Information regarding access to private email accounts and websites: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. Number of times per month private email accounts are accessed from Scottish Government issued IT equipment to MSP's (desktops, laptops, mobiles, other electronic devices).

2. Number of times per month Adult related websites are accessed by MSP's using official government issued equipment. Listing top 10 sites visited per month for last 2 years.

3. Breakdown of request number 1, into Party, and individual MSP's.

4. Breakdown of request number 2, into Party, and individual MSP's.

5. Number of times per month First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accesses private email accounts from government issued devices, and number of account providers accessed.


Attached is a copy of the information requested. 

The Scottish Government does not hold information on MSPs who are not Government Ministers because we do not supply equipment to those MSPs. The Scottish Parliament, which is a wholly separate public authority from the Government, is responsible for supporting MSPs to discharge their parliamentary duties. Advice on making an FOI request to the Parliament is available at: Requesting information | Scottish Parliament Website. Government Ministers are members of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The Scottish Government policy is to retain logs of web access for six months. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested. Scottish Ministers, special advisers and the Permanent Secretary are covered by the terms of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016. See St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG for the past two years. I have therefore provided the information that we do still hold which covers the period from 04/02/2021 - 05/08/2021.

1. The Scottish Government 'IT Code of Conduct' allows the use of IT facilities for some personal use, which includes Web-based Email.

Annex A provides information on the Web-based Email platforms accessed by Ministers during 04/02/2021 - 05/08/2021.

2. Zero. IT Policies block access to websites categorised as 'Adult' content.

3. See Annex A.

4. As per question 2 response.

5. Zero.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI202100223756 - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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