The UK government is reportedly "bracing itself", as it was ruled this week that Freedom of Information laws could be invoked to access the private emails of government officials, politicians, and public sector workers.
In a ruling on Thursday, the ICO chief Christopher Graham said: "It should not come as a surprise to public authorities to have the clarification that information held in private email accounts can be subject to Freedom of Information law if it relates to official business. This has always been the case -– the act covers all recorded information in any form."
The ICO thinks differently, however. The Freedom of Information requests apply to the person, rather than the email account they are using.
Speaking to the Guardian, one source said:"Everyone is s**ting bricks at the implications. It looks as if they are going to say Post-it notes are disclosable. There is going to be material on the budget, Libyan strategy, everything".
Other exemptions include the "formulation of government policy", and the "prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs", giving government the right to block. The ICO would at this point intervene to determine whether the content was in the public interest.
Those expecting to dive into the minutia of party politics may be disappointed, however. Freedom of Information requests only apply to public sector organisations, and not party-political content.