Civil servants have refused to name inmates who have fled prison even though individual police forces will often identify them if they pose a risk to the public.
They say releasing their names would breach obligations under the Data Protection Act.
It echoes a row in 2007 when Derbyshire Police refused to release pictures of two escaped murderers.
The latest development emerged in response to Freedom Of Information requests to name inmates on the run rom the prison near Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Read more in The Telegraph.