State secrecy is a necessary tool of liberal-democratic governance, but public scrutiny of government is also essential to ensure accountability and good policy-making. The British Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was introduced to promote such goals, giving the public a right of access to all but the most sensitive information. This law is flawed. The law explicitly assumes that the disclosure of official material poses an inherent danger to society and that secrecy works to protect against such harms. The notion that secrecy is also always potentially harmful to those same societal interests is absent. Drawing on recent legal disputes, I show how this imbalance has a profound and paradoxical effect: information that should, in principle, be accessible through the law is always too dangerous to release and is consequently subjected to permanent concealment.