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Justice and Security Act 2013

Sensitive information

43.Paragraph 5 defines “sensitive information” in the context of paragraph 4. The position under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 was that information was considered sensitive information if it might lead to the identification of, or provide details of, sources of information, other assistance or operational methods available to the Agencies; or if it was information about particular operations which had been, were being or were proposed to be undertaken in pursuance of any of the functions of the Agencies; or if it was information provided by, or by an agency of, the Government of a territory outside the United Kingdom where that Government did not consent to the disclosure of the information. Paragraph 5 extends the definition of sensitive information beyond the Agencies to cover also equivalent information relating to any part of a Government department, or any part of Her Majesty’s forces, which is engaged in intelligence or security activities. Although the power to withhold sensitive information is widely drawn, it is expected to be exercised sparingly in practice (as the equivalent power under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 was).

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