By Alex Montague
Number of animals used in University of Leeds testing revealed
Almost 17,000 animals were used in medical experiments conducted by the University of Leeds last year – and most of them were killed.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed the university has carried out experiments on 55,235 mice and 5,155 rats over the past five years.
Other animals subjected to scientific tests between 2007 and 2011 were pigs, sheep, bats, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, toads, frogs, and birds
Debbie Leigh | Yorkshire Evening Post | 29th June 2012
Civil servants find no documents supporting Alex Salmond’s BSkyB lobbying ‘alibi’
The Daily Telegraph used the Freedom of Information Act to ask for all emails and civil service minutes of meetings and telephone calls between the Scottish Executive and Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation that indicate the deal would have created jobs.
But Patrick Berry, Mr Salmond’s assistant private secretary, could not find any and said all the First Minister’s communications with the Murdoch media empire were published by the Leveson Inquiry earlier this month.
These documents also contained no mention of extra jobs. Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary who was in charge of ruling on the aborted takeover, has already said that he was not aware of the deal increasing employment north of the Border.
Simon Johnson | The Telegraph | 28th June 2012
The FBI’s Secret Surveillance Letters to Tech Companies
Just what kind of information can the government get with a so-called “national security letter” – the tool that allows investigators to seek financial, phone and Internet data without a judge’s approval?
It’s a secret.
The letters let the Federal Bureau of Investigation get information without going before a judge or grand jury if it’s relevant to a national security investigation. The letters have been around since the 1980s, but their use grew after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and passage of the USA Patriot Act. Tens of thousands of the requests are sent each year, but they are generally .
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries | Wall Street Journal | 27th June 2012
Chinese Still Face Long March To Establish Freedom Of Information
Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday it is deeply concerned about the continued attacks by the Chinese authorities on those such as artists, human rights activists and the media who bring public attention to sensitive subjects.
“Rights campaigner Hu Jia beaten up on June 20, artist Ai Weiwei facing improper legal proceedings, journalists of the South China Morning Post forced into self-censorship… the record is shocking,” the press freedom organization said.
Eurasia Review | June 27th 2012
ICO chides South Yorkshire Police over arrest data blunder
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has chided South Yorkshire Police over a data breach that saw information on 600 arrests sent to a journalist by mistake.
The force sent data in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request but accidentally included sensitive information, including details of the offences for which the arrests were made, in a spreadsheet attached to the email.
The ICO said it decided against any financial action as staff at the force are trained regularly on handling FoI requests and the information had been deleted by the recipient once it was realised to have been sent by mistake.
Dan Worth | V3 | 27th June 2012