Collectively the documents are a testament to the findings that have been made by journalists using the Freedom of Information Act since 2005. Their publication is a strong response tot he recent official attempts to retreat from this open data policy.
In the early years of the FOI Act, the Metropolitan Police ("The Met") and the Home Office were relatively open to releasing Special Branch documents. Unfortunately this openness was short-lived. The authorities now routinely refuse to disclose Special Branch files, including information which they previously released. This is despite the fact that their own disclosure log proclaims that 'when information is released under the FOI Act, it is disclosed to the world.'
The authorities may want to prevent further access to this information but they can't turn back the clock. Journalists and researchers who received those files in the past, generously shared them with the Special Branch Files Project for publication. That’s why the documents are now accessible to the public.
The initiative aims to expand its collection and invites anyone who wishes to share further files, analysis or to support the project in any other way to get in touch.
The Special Branch Files Project is run by journalists, academics, researchers and volunteers and has received funding from the European Center for Press and Media Freedom and Journalismfund.eu.