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Your Right to Know - Second Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Freedom of Information Act Paperback – 20 Oct 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Your Right to Know - Second Edition: A Citizen's Guide to the Freedom of Information Act
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; 2 edition (20 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745325823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745325828
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Information is born free, but everywhere is in chains. Heather Brooke has written the Information Liberation Front guide to end the politicians’ enslavement of the facts which belong to the public. Bravo. (Greg Palast, author The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)

Heather Brooke pulls no punches when it comes to exposing how the government, public institutions and private companies all keep the British public in the dark. Even better, she tells readers how they can successfully challenge the system using the latest public access laws. (Michael Crick, BBC journalist)

Labour had been promising freedom of information for decades. Now we are getting it we need to keep the pressure on, and this is just the book to do that. All journalists should pick up these tricks. (Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists)

Both revealing and practical, 'Your Right to Know' is a necessary antidote to the British culture of secrecy. (David Banisar, Deputy Director of Privacy International)

About the Author

Heather Brooke worked in the United States as a newspaper reporter. She used the American FOI Act to uncover politicians misuse of public funds for travel and personal election campaigning. Later, as a crime reporter in South Carolina for a New York Times regional newspaper, she uncovered flaws in the state's forensic crime lab and exposed dangerous practices in funeral homes. Both investigations resulted in changes to state law


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book, "Your Right To Know" by Heather Brooke, is a very informative guide to ordinary members of the Public on how to deal with Civil Servants in Government Departments and Quangos as well as Council Officers in Local Government. It appears that most of the so-called Public Servants are not interested in serving the Public. They are more concerned to keep information secret, which the Public has a right to know, and serve only themselves and their colleagues. The central message of the book is persistence which the author showed in her 5-year campaign which resulted in the Parliamentary Expenses Scandal. There are many helpful hints and suggestions which are of great assistance for those who are unfamiliar with the devious ways of bureaucrats.
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Format: Paperback
Brooke walks you through how to go about making a successful request and how to get the most from the Freedom of Information Act. This is an invaluable book for all those who want to use the Freedom of Information Act to access public information. Personally I use it as a resource and find myself referring to it when faced with new problems or if I want to find out who to contact and in which Government department. The template letters in the back are also very helpful.
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Format: Paperback
I, for a long time, have been a fan of people like Mark Thomas, not because of what their politics are but the way that they actively exercise our rights in the name of comedy and civil liberties - Buy, beg or borrow Mark Thomas's DVD Seriously Organised Criminal. That was the inspiration for me buying this book and I have used it to seek to get information out of a certain north Cambridgeshire council who will remain nameless.

Public authorities do not tell you that you have a right to know, they would much rather that you didn't. This book explains your rights and where to expand your understanding further, the Act itself is as all laws is only as good as how it is used and the legal precidents set at tribuneral and the rulings of the information commissioner.

The book explains how the act has been recieved by public authorities, Health Service, Local Authorities etc and explains the exemptions upon which information requests can be refused. The standard letters for requests and responces to refusals, should be invaluable to the citizen activist, lobbyist or journalist who is seeking to raise the veil of secrecy and condesention towards the general public of the nanny state.

Well worth having on anyone's quick reference shelf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fine as far as it goes. But quite out-of-date now. Really needs to be brought up to date very soon if its to be any use.
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Heather explains freedom of information; the law, how it works in practice and how we the public can and should use it. She also explains the absolute importance of FOI in support of democracy.

After reading this book, I lodged an FOI request with my local council, to which I am pleased to say I got a prompt and detailed reply.

This is an informative and empowering book. I highly recommend it.
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Handy to have in your library. It's comprehensive and easy to read. The relevant legislation is quoted which is a great help when dealing with "jobsworths"
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Book was required for a module in which we had to write an investigative piece.

As well as the book being written so wonderfully and a brilliant foreword from Ian Hislop, a journalist himself, it is a very useful thing to posses and it is one of the few books I have kept after finishing university. Heather Brooke should be a familiar name to any aspiring journalist and so this is a must have.

Detailed templates for Freedom of Information requests are also included, which makes sending of those requests that much easier, especially if it is your first. Templates can also be adapted to suit your needs, though there are a few included for different situations.
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