Skip to the content

Return to Neverland? freedom of information and the history of British intelligence

Murphy, CJ and Lomas, DWB 2014, 'Return to Neverland? freedom of information and the history of British intelligence' , The Historical Journal, 57 (01) , pp. 273-287.

Download (283kB) | Preview


This article considers the use of the UK Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in order to explore the history of British intelligence. While the intelligence and security agencies are themselves exempt from the Act, releasing only such archival material into the public domain as they see fit, the article will argue that this does not mean that FOI cannot be used productively in this area. Rather, by adopting a wider definition of ‘intelligence’, as advocated by Wesley K. Wark in this journal in 1992, FOI can be used as part of a broader research strategy to secure the release of information that allows the archival study of intelligence to move beyond the material released by the agencies themselves. The article will illustrate this point by drawing on relevant examples of successful FOI requests, while also highlighting some of the related practical challenges and limitations that its use has revealed.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: The Historical Journal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0018-246X
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 07 May 2014 15:31
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:35

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year