Freedom of information
Quotes given in the Independent's story indicate that commercial confidentiality is behind the NCA's decision simply to decide that Freedom of Information doesn't apply to it: 'We’re also going to increasingly rely on the relationship with the private sector. There’s a very real danger that being required to operate in line with freedom of information could fracture some of those relationships'.
I work for a university. Quite a lot of what we do involves 'relationships' with the private sector. Where that's the case and commercial confidentiality is an issue we have a clause covering it written into that particular contract. We certainly don't take the view that because some of our work involves commercial confidentiality we have the right to act as if it all does. Freedom of Information applies to us, and the burden of proof is on us to establish good reasons for it not to apply in specific cases. It should be the same for everybody.
It obviously suits the NCA that we should be left with no way of knowing what it is we're not allowed to know, nor of knowing (or challenging) the basis upon which we are not allowed to know it. The fact that a law enforcement body is talking in this way and seems to take it for granted that it's fine really ought to worry somebody, somewhere.