Photos of Corsham Computer Centre - a Freedom of Information request to Royal Navy (2022)

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Matthew Williams please sign in and let everyone know.

Dear Royal Navy,

Are there any photos or videos of the inside of the CCC, Peel Lane, Corsham which could show some of the facilities underground. Similar such photos and video has been released of sites like Northolt so it wouldbe very inlightening to see something of this facility finally after 40 years of secrecy.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Williams

  • 20200924 FOI2020 09687 Matthew Williams Response.pdf

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Dear Mr Williams,
Please find attached the response to FOI2020/09687.
Yours sincerely,

Navy Command Secretariat - FOI Section

Please be aware that the Government’s contingency planning for the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently impacting on our ability to process
FOI requests. Please be assured that all FOI requests will be actioned as
soon as possible, however due to factors beyond our control and the need
to adopt remote working practices there maybe delays in processing
requests and providing responses. We would therefore ask for your
patience and understanding during this time.

Dear NAVY SEC-FOI MAILBOX (MULTIUSER),

I would like to know how far up the command chain my request was given for this decision to be made or was this simply a clerical level low level decision denial?

Yours sincerely,

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Matthew Williams

Please be aware that the Government’s contingency planning for the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently impacting on our ability to process
FOI requests. Please be assured that all FOI requests will be actioned as
soon as possible, however due to factors beyond our control and the need
to adopt remote working practices there maybe delays in processing
requests and providing responses. We would therefore ask for your
patience and understanding during this time.

Dear Mr Williams,

Thank you for your email of the 25th September asking how decisions on
FOIs are taken within the department. I can confirm that all FOI responses
which involve the use of qualified exemptions as part of a public interest
test are cleared by the relevant 1* or equivalent member of the Senior
Civil Service.

Yours sincerely,

Navy Command Secretariat – FOI Section

Please be aware that the Government’s contingency planning for the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently impacting on our ability to process
FOI requests. Please be assured that all FOI requests will be actioned as
soon as possible, however due to factors beyond our control and the need
to adopt remote working practices there maybe delays in processing
requests and providing responses. We would therefore ask for your
patience and understanding during this time.

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[FOI #687922 email]

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Dear Royal Navy,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Royal Navy's handling of my FOI request 'Photos of Corsham Computer Centre'.

I think it is unfair to expect the public to accept that a simple photograph or video showing the inside of a bunker will be a terrorist threat. We asked to see photo or video of CCC Bunker and were denied. Other bunkers such as Northwood had pictures released. Why not CCC. Why does the Navy think it can act in a way that differs from the rest of the armed forces? Even CGHQ and Mi5 and Mi6 have pictures out there. This seems wrong.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Williams

  • 20201215 Rev Mr M Williams FOI2020 09687 Corsham Computer Centre Final.pdf

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Dear Mr Williams,

Please see attached final internal review response to your FOI 2020/09687.

Yours sincerely,

(Video) Government Communications Headquarters

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

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Dear Royal Navy,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Royal Navy's handling of my FOI request 'Photos of Corsham Computer Centre'.

I have to COMPLAIN that I believe a number of provisions and declarations have been made in the decision to withold information which clearly and demonstratably do not apply. So many of these have been stacked up in a way which I would like to hold up for inspection a side by side comparison of why in other cases of information release why the same standards which are being used to DENY me the information are not being used. A case in point would be the following video for sky news onboard a Nuclear Submarine where names of serving officers are given and views along corridors with pipes, machinery and access ways. Up to and including the nuclear launch trigger hand control which is shown off and computer screens and weapons panels. You argue that details inside CCC could be used to aid crime and ways to counter systems. Would this not also apply to the Trident having its systems shown. I believe this is a contradiction.

The video can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUnoGsJn...
or can be searched by the name "Life On A Trident Submarine" on Sky TV youtube channel.

I disagree with witholding photos in full because redaction is possible to remove or blur unwanted parts of images so as to not identify key machinery at CCC. I would also argue that vague photos of corridors or equipment presents no more threat than it would for said same photos and video on the Trident Nuclear Submarine. It concerns me greatly that the Nuclear Sub video is allowable but a land based bunker such as the CCC, which is also similar to Northwoods, is considered NO GO... when Northwoods was considered OK. There is a clear discontinuity here and you have not addressed this discontinuity so far.

Redaction and selective release of photos to show only safe views of CCC *is possible** and to state that it in no way shape or form is not possible to me seems wholly unreasonable, if we can see the same type of internals of a Nuclear Sub. I request this be looked at again please.

It is stated that personnel would be compromised if their faces and names were revealled. Please let me be clear, I have never asked for faces of people to be revealled or for names of CCC staff, current or otherwise. However if one looks at the Trident Nuclear Sub video both faces and names are given out multiple times. To be clear I am not requiring to see faces or have names of staff working at CCC. Blurring these out and redacting names would be fine. I agree without staff being consulted it might be unfair to release their details into the public domain. However you have stated that this cannot be done due also to GDPR which does not apply because GDPR is for records you hold which are private to individuals. How then could anyone take part in the Trident video if their names are given and staff positions they hold... surely this would be a breach of GDPR according to the decison making you have used. GDPR is too many times wrongly given as the newest and latest weapon government bodies like the use to withold information, when its use should be to protect information, which does not apply if an overriding decision has been made **to release** the information like names. Such a decision was clearly made in the Trident video.

Or is it more a case that these working individuals on the Trident sub agreed to be named. So the decision had been made by the MOD to allow news crews in and for naming of staff to be given to the public. The staff involved would also probably be asked if they are happy with this. So why then can such a similar process be put into play with the CCC? MOD higher powers as far as I am aware do not appear to have been consulted on their willingness to become more public with the CCC and have any staff been asked if they are awilling to be able to speak? You do not disclose if the question of how to deal with my request have been given from higher up. How high has the decision making on this been achieved. Can you please divulge if this has been looked at by higher authorities, or is this just a desk excercise dealt with solely by you based on current rules you say apply?

My point is that if you have made decisions based on the rule book and you say these rules are extant and apply to all aspects of the Navy then how is it at all possible for the Trident video to even exist as it breaks so many of the confines and rules you have already laid out that there is a glaring discontinuity between what you say should happen in my decision and what happens elsewhere for News Organisations. This would then suggest one rule for me and one rule for others which I believe is unfair!

Yours sincerely

Matthew Williams

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Williams

Dear CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER),

COMPLAINT

now not even bothering to acknowledge my request.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Williams

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Dear Mr Williams,

Thank you for your email to the Information Rights Compliance Team in which you have complained about the findings of the internal review into your recent request for 'Photos of Corsham Computer Centre'.

As advised in the MOD's letter dated 15 December 2020, the formal route to appeal the decision of the Department's review is to raise a complaint directly to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Information on how to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner can be found online at https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ Complaints about FOI requests can be initiated using the form which is available on the Commissioner's website via https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/offi...

Yours sincerely,

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

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