Government Aides Accused of Using WhatsApp to Avoid Brexit Paper Trails

Government Aides Accused of Using WhatsApp to Avoid Brexit Paper Trails

By Gary Cutlack on 27 Apr 2016 at 2:15PM
http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2016/04/government-aides-accused-of-using-whatsapp-to-avoid-brexit-paper-trails/

Officials within the government have apparently taken advice from the ISIS communication guidelines PDF, and are said to have started using WhatsApp to chat about how to handle the forthcoming EU referendum — in order to avoid leaving any form of chit-chat records that could one day be embarrassingly pulled by a Freedom of Information request.

The claims suggest that some within government offices backing the “Remain” stance have been using the encrypted messaging service to talk about how to handle the campaign in private, with The Sun quoting anti-EU Conservative member David Davis as saying: “Attempts to avoid the Freedom of Information Act in what is supposed to be a legitimate activity will lead to scandal and embarrassment. This will only reinforce the public’s view that the Remain campaign is prepared to cheat to win this referendum.”

Labour, scenting an impending scandal on the wind, has said using WhatsApp for serious work business may breach the 20-year disclosure rule on cabinet papers, with Louise Haigh, the shadow minister for digital industries, asking the Information Commissioner to have the alleged used of untraceable messages “urgently investigated” and either banned or brought within the wrapper of the FoI rules.

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