If one person can get hold of documents under the Freedom of Information Act, then so can anybody else, simply by making a request to the relevant public authority. Rather than trying to face down the FCO and its lawyers, a better response would be to draft a fill-in-the-blanks Freedom of Information Request, which anybody could email in to the FCO to get their own copy of the key documents perfectly legally. That's certainly less convenient than simply downloading them off the web -- in particular, most government departments make sure they send responses no earlier than the maximum twenty working days permitted under the Act -- but there's a limit to what the government can do to wriggle out of its obligations. If Craig can provide information identifying each document to be used in such a request, I'll happily build him a website which will allow anybody to send in such a request at the click of a button.As Chris is one of the MySociety people, and I've yet to see a site of his that didn't impress, this is a damn fine offer.
Assuming it does happen, links to it will of course follow. As will links to the extracts. Now, go buy the book already (seriously, I'm skint, and I've no time to go into the library for at least another two weeks).
Mirror sites known as of 22.24BST 20060712:
If you haven’t seen the documents, they’re available here, here, here, here, here, here, and as a bittorrent here.(via)