Did UK Police Quietly Sideline ‘Climategate’ Hacker Investigation?

Fri, 2011-11-25 22:23Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Did UK Police Quietly Sideline ‘Climategate’ Hacker Investigation?

The UK police force tasked with investigating the hacking of emails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (the debunked “Climategate”) seems to have quietly de-prioritized its investigation earlier this year, according to documents released under the UK Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Norfolk Constabulary police force’s responses to FOIA requests indicate that the amount spent on attempts to identify the hacker in the last year was just £5,649.09 - with all but £80.05 spent on invoices for work carried out previously by private companies, suggesting police work on the investigation has ground to a halt.

Earlier this week, the hackers (ironically calling themselves “FOIA”) illegally released a second set of hacked material consisting of 5,349 emails and 23 documents from UEA. The university and independent reviews suggest these are leftovers from the initial November 2009 theft – in the words of one climate scientist, “two-year old turkey.” 

While nine independent inquiries have cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing in the wake of the baseless ‘Climategate’ episode, the person (or persons) responsible for the hacking has gotten off scot-free to date. The FOIA documents seem to indicate that the police investigation was derailed and perhaps dropped earlier this year.

The grand total spent by Norfolk police on the UEA hacker investigation since the November 2009 theft is just £80,905.11.

To illustrate the vast gap between this figure and the expenditures reported publicly about other UK police investigations, see the infographic below.

 

Norfolk Constabulary invoked an exemption under the FOIA rules to refuse to confirm or deny whether other UK security services such as MI5 or MI6 have worked on the investigation. A statement from Norfolk police did confirm it is receiving “ongoing assistance” from the UK’s domestic terrorism agency, the National Domestic Extremism Coordination Unit, and that it was helped early in the investigation by London's Metropolitan Police. But the current status of their involvement – and how high a priority this investigation is for these agencies – is unclear.

While the Guardian reports that police say the latest leak could produce more leads and claim their investigation is ongoing, the FOIA documents show that the last time any money was actually spent on this case was in February 2011, when the £80.05 in “officer expenses” were filed. 

In response to the publication of the tiny £5,649.09 annual expenditure, a Norfolk police spokeswoman told the Guardian it is “relevant to note that the figures relate only to additional expenditure and do not include officer and staff time on the investigation, which is not routinely recorded.”

It is entirely plausible that British security agencies have spent millions and are poised to make an arrest. But the budget certainly indicates that it hasn’t been a high priority for the Norfolk police force.

If there is a serious investigation underway, surely the officers would incur more expenses than the cost of a few boxes of paper and doughnuts?

One FOIA response from the Norfolk Constabulary in September 2011 was particularly troubling, and it doesn’t exactly square with the police force’s statement to the Guardian this week:

“There are currently no police officers or police staff, within Norfolk Constabulary, working full time on the investigation into the acquisition of data from the computers at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. The Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) and the Deputy/SIO retain responsibility and resources are allocated if and when necessary.”

There is a vital public interest in confirming that the UEA emails were criminally hacked and in turn, identifying those responsible and their connections.

Among many reasons for continued police diligence, climate scientist Phil Jones said he contemplated suicide after the initial email theft in 2009. So it is important for investigators to get to the bottom of this crime in order to mete out at least some justice for this baseless attempt at character assassination of climate scientists.

The ongoing harassment of climate scientists – including death threats in several cases – cannot be ignored by law enforcement agencies. If police were able to confirm the identity of the UEA hackers and bring them to justice swiftly, it would hopefully have a chilling effect on the vicious smear campaign against climate scientists.

If in fact there is a robust police investigation ongoing, then the public needs to have confirmation about that. Investigators can provide some indications of their progress without compromising the investigation, and they owe at least that courtesy to the public.

As it stands now, these FOIA results showing very little expenditure on the investigation indicate that the Norfolk police effort is completely inadequate.

If the investigation was sidelined for much of 2011, as the FOIA documents indicate, then a formal review must commence immediately to determine the reasons for that lapse in judgment.

British officials should also seriously consider the suggestion from Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Edward Markey that the U.S. intelligence community should assist in the investigation.

Markey explained the significance of this investigation in a statement:

“This is clearly an attempt to sabotage the international climate talks for a second time, and there has not been enough attention paid to who is responsible for these illegal acts. If this happened surrounding nuclear arms talks, we would have the full force of the western world's intelligence community pursuing the perpetrators. And yet, with the stability of our climate hanging in the balance with these international climate treaty negotiations, these hackers and their supporters are still on the loose. It is time to bring them to justice.”

Whatever the reason for the low UK police expenditures, it is clearly time for a more coordinated international investigation into this crime. 

View the FOIA documents: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Image credit: Richard Peterson/Shutterstock

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UK-Govt-Expenses-on-ClimateGate.jpg193.36 KB

Previous Comments

no leads.

Hard to investigate the clewless crime.

turns out clew is a word - ball of thread or some such thing. It seems this ball of thread is too tightly wrapped to undo. Hey I like conspiracy theories as much as the next guy.

Clew is a part of a sail. Strewth, have you never heard of a ‘clew garnet’?

But then you always present yurself as a clewless type.

That meaning of clew is superior to its use to describe the ball of thread used according mythology hence why you like that one being a believer in myths, by Theseus.

I’m pretty sure we’re all just a bunch of cats chasing a ball of string with this whole climate thing.

tip: hit enter then hit save if you want to do a double post

Even harder to investigate an imaginary “crime”.

“Even harder to investigate an imaginary “crime”.”

You have evidence otherwise?

Btw, classic name “bellend”. Lol.

 

IIRC, there is no evidence either way on the release of the emails at this point.

So the theory that the emails were ‘released’ by a whistleblower at the CRU is just as valid as it being a ‘hack’ by an outsider. If I was the CRU, I would rather have no findings at this point instead of proof that it was an ‘inside job’.

Hey, wait a second – you’re using common sense and logic.  No fair!

What are you, some kind of denier?

“If I was the CRU, I would rather have no findings at this point instead of proof that it was an ‘inside job”

They wouldn’t want to know if someone was stealing from them? Or trying to whiteant them from within?

 

“You have evidence otherwise?”

Do you have evidence proving the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist?  Kind of hard to prove a negative, you know.

And, as the article makes very clear, despite several years of investigation, the police have produced precisely zero evidence that any crime has taken place at all. 

The police are the qualified experts in investigating crimes.  That is their consensus.  You’re not going to go against the consensus of experts now, are you?

Besides, these e-mails were funded by taxpayers.  They have a right to know what’s going on, and what their money is being spent on.  Why all the secrecy?  You’d think they had something to hide.

If nothing else, as Forbes put it -

“Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails:

(1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions;

(2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and

(3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.”

So you can really understand why Desmogblog is frantically trying to spin this as some sort of super-crime caper carried out by Lex Luther, or something, to divert attention from the real message.

But I suppose they’ll keep at it until they run out of corny stock photos of detectives-with-magnifying-glasses.

“Do you have evidence proving the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist?”

Why yes Bellend, yes I do. I can see why you struggle with climate science or unsolved crimes if you struggle with this.

“And, as the article makes very clear, despite several years of investigation, the police have produced precisely zero evidence that any crime has taken place at all.”

No, that is your interpreatation. They have evidence, they just don’t have a culprit as yet.

“The police are the qualified experts in investigating crimes.  That is their consensus.  You’re not going to go against the consensus of experts now, are you?”

They didn’t mention a consensus.

“Besides, these e-mails were funded by taxpayers.  They have a right to know what’s going on, and what their money is being spent on.  Why all the secrecy?  You’d think they had something to hide.”

Then ask if Stephen Harper will allow us access to all of their current & archived emails immediately…for the reasons you stated above.

“So you can really understand why Desmogblog is frantically trying to spin this as some sort of super-crime caper carried out by Lex Luther, or something, to divert attention from the real message.”

The timing of the release of the emails is a little suspect.

By the way, out of interest, what do you think of Atlas Shrugged?

 

Generally you don’t investigate whistleblowers, you commend them. We certainly learned alot about the inner workings of the CRU and the climate within climate science from the whistleblower.

I can’t imagine where we would be today without this brave soul. My guess is that Joe Romm had a breakdown and spilled the beans.

the ethics, or rather lack thereof, of the bullshit artists in the media and the fossil fuel paid scientists to who’s coat tails they cling. No names need be mentioned as the Research Database here is replete with these and any not mentioned are now familiar from their wailing in the wind, flatulence being their mark.

One such from that latter was certainly exposed by a true scientist as nothing more than an ‘interpreter of interpretations’ with an ego the size of Jupiter and a self awareness as massive as an iota.

As the evidence that makes their position untenable mounts these hacks and charlatans of climate change denial resort to ever more desperate, and low, means of seeking attention, all the time revealing more about themselves than they realise. Amongst other things they reveal an astonishing lack of maturity for grown men and women.

Some webs of intrigue:

This one expanded from Russia-Kyoto Web of Intrigue

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=2030

others expanded from Biggest EXXon $$ Winners

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=1931

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=1947

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=1927

and we have not even included the Kochtapus or Peabody.




 

Lets see…

Climate Study Gets Pulled over Plagiarism…  Talk about Ethical Problems… this is the poster child… a study on ethics.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/environment/Climate+study+gets+pulled+over+plagiarism/4790543/story.html

And how about Koch?

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer


And here’s what a republican scientist has to say about all this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNXuX6D60U

So… you are stating that the CRU voluntarily gave a bunch of emails to russian websites? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

Umm… Presumably if that was the case then they wouldn’t claim to be hacked. (Internally or Externally)

Now… for them to intentionally release this email then it would some sort of UK Government PR campaign?  I don’t buy that.

Finding evidence for computer forensics is dang hard. (I wouldn’t be suprised if they couldn’t find anything.)

Lastly you are trying to read too much into a bunch of emails.

Why these men chose to be scientists in this field is certainly aptitude as well as political.  They didn’t do it for the money.

What ever their beliefs, they are backed by tons of other scientists.  And there are no other scientists on the opposing side.  (Appearently from your opposition, they can write blogs bitching to their heart’s content, but they can’t write a single scientific paper.)

Finally, you are looking at old emails and papers.  Seriously… roll back your clock and the world looks different.  Evidence keeps mounting.

Frank Luntz says as much in the last 2 minutes of this documentary (and he recants he thinks this issue is too important to keep doing what we are doing). Frank Luntz advised the US Republicans and Canada’s Prime Minister on how to spin Climate Change.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8012901811669462665

“Lastly you are trying to read too much into a bunch of emails.”

And you refuse to read them at all.  Give your head a shake.

A “few emails”?  This latest batch has over 5,000.  They were released in their entirety, and are quite explicit.  It is not possible to “read too much” into them.

“Why these men chose to be scientists in this field is certainly aptitude as well as political.  They didn’t do it for the money.”

Dr. James Hansen’s growing financial scandal, now over a million dollars of outside income

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/

“A “few emails”?  This latest batch has over 5,000.”

Why not just release the lot? What is there to hide?

Dr. James Hansen’s growing financial scandal, now over a million dollars of outside income”

Paid for doing good!?……reprehensible. How could he?

 

If he makes a lot of outside money because of who he is in the climate world (and I have no idea if he does or not) that would create a conflict of interest and you would have to weigh his expressions about climate in that light.

If an oil company exec. says “global warming is nothing to worry about”,  then you automatically would say theres a man with a conflict of interest. 

It applies in both cases. So yes, it does matter if men like Hansen and Gore have a conflict of interest.

Unlike your oil field executive, who is demonstratably ignorant of climate science.  Hansen’s science is vetted, and verified.

So… the evidence you need to locate is on 10,000 scientists some how being corrupted.  (I’ll hold your coat.)

So let us see:

Patrick Michaels

Ian Plimer

Roy Spencer

John Christy

Richard Lindzen

and

Ross McItrick

Steven McIntyre

Tim Ball

Have no conflicts of interest by never having sucked at the teats of the fossil fuel glands?

You do set yourself up for falls RJ (maybe it’s that Dallas thing).

sure they all have a conflict of interest - everyone does. Money is an equal opportunity motivator.

If someone were to go through a ton of my email, I’m sure they’d turn up something wrong, or inappropriate.

Unless you can find something that states, “I faked the data to promote my world view.”  You got nothing.  The fact is that all the results these guys produced is available for scientists to read, understand, and debunk.  No climate change denier has done that.  But they have blogged about it ad nauseum.  Called camera crews… ad-nauseum… called newspapers, ad-nauseum.

IMO, I wonder if climate deniers guys do anything but bitch ad-nauseum.  They certainly can’t do anything else.  I suppose the truth is in the pay checks, eh?  They are paid bloggers right?

So… looking through emails.  Ever done that?  As part of a lawsuit, I looked through a co-worker’s work emails.  Of course it was full of private stuff.  Lots of great stuff which would have been a good laugh if I had shared it around the office.  Lots of great stuff to dredge up in our lawsuit.  But frankly, there was no smoking gun of any sort.

Sifting through the CRU emails has produced nothing.  Furthermore, all of their data has been verified by other scientists.  You know, real experts (plural) in things like dendroclimatology.

You side of the fence has clueless bloggers.  I’d say to them, “Get a job.” But I suspect we already know what they are paid to do.

I read your post about Dr. James Hansen’s finances.

This has nothing to do with his scientific work.  At all.  The man could bop little puppies in the evening for all I care.


I have an idea.

Why don’t you guys do some real work for a change. Try to understand the science, and publish an actual honest to goodness rebuttal instead of dicking around with non-issues.

“I read your post about Dr. James Hansen’s finances.  This has nothing to do with his scientific work.  At all.  The man could bop little puppies in the evening for all I care.”

Hmm, that’s odd?  I could have sworn it was you who just wrote:

Why these men chose to be scientists in this field is certainly aptitude as well as political.  They didn’t do it for the money.”

Funny how you suddenly don’t care about how they make their money, when it proves to be embarrassing to your political cause.

“Try to understand the science, and publish an actual honest to goodness rebuttal instead of dicking around with non-issues.”

Maybe you should tell that to Desmogblog.  From reading their articles here, it seems to be one of their favourite mud-slinging techniques.

Or are ad hominem rebuttals only naughty when I do it?

Has had a huge impact because what occured behind the scenes is not what was publically stated. The impartial scientific establishment as it turns out is hardly unbiased. Reasearchers that discuss political spin and how to pressure journals into censoring opposing research is not what we we’re told science is about or how it should operate.

The hard push that the science was settled certainly is not the case. There are great doubts privately but not publically. Why can’t this be honestly disclosed, rather than always attempting political spin, like would occur in every other branch of science?

Conspiring with journalists, exagerating claims, rigging peer review, hiding the decline. None of this looks too objective.

So, yes everything is ok except the science.

 

OK… You got me.  You found a scientist who made money.

Now, go dig up the same evidence on every single scientist who uses, and vetts his work.  (I’ll hold your coat.)

Again.

Why can’t you get any real evidence that their science is wrong?

Is this why you have to attack climate scientists?

“Besides, these e-mails were funded by taxpayers.  They have a right to know what’s going on, and what their money is being spent on.  Why all the secrecy?  You’d think they had something to hide.”

It seems the hackers had something to hide, as why would they only publish or release a few thousand of over 200,000 emails…………something to hide?……the truth?

Why not release the whole lot & let the public decide? It’s obvious the bulk of the emails were detrimental to the denial movement, otherwise they would have been released.

 

… they’ll find George Bush’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Tsk, tsk!  You give President Bush far too much credit.

But maybe they’ll find Al Gore’s weapons of mass destruction?  It seems The Internet isn’t the only thing he invented (long before Bush was even around).

http://youtu.be/fFBl0fnMUVc?t=51s

He’s not a scientist.

He’s not an expert.

That’s what he says.

“Why do you guys always mention Al Gore?”

Because by doing that, they can use him as a red herring for a few things. They can keep the focus on progressives & hide the fact that many conservative governments have successful climate change policies or carbon taxes. You will rarely if ever see an article in right wing climate blogs ( WUWT, Depot, Audit, Hill etc) about Angela Merkel or N.Z . It’s also a rallying point for conservatives. They can show Gores photo almost weekly on posts to convince the easily led that it’s all Al Gores fault AGW came about & not the scientists or science that has been around 80 years before Inconvenient truth. By mentioning Al Gore frequently, they can also identify themselves with outright saying it….as right wingers.

 

Al is the public face of AGW. When the average Joe thinks about climate change, they think about Al.

“Al is the public face of AGW.”

Al is the anathema of the denialist right. The convenient political scapegoat & red herring .

“When the average Joe thinks about climate change, they think about Al.”

Maybe that is the right’s perception. It’s certainly not true, but would explain some of their need to attack him so frequently. In the mind of the right, he is commander in chief. To everyone else, he is a corporal.

 

Check this Reuters link;

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/22/us-carbon-climate-idUSTRE7AL1GE20111122

The Carbon Market and Investors Association changed its name— they think “Climate Market” sounds better, lol! Give me a break!

clew 2

n. & v. Chiefly British

Variant of clue 1

 

from

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/clew

 

After all, it was a British crime, wot?

 

Markey says that the U.S. intelligence agencies should become involved in the search for the hacker. Hopefully, this has already happened. The CIA has a Center for Climate Change and National Security, so the CIA might be trying to snare the hackers.

Hopefully, U.S. intelligence services are looking for the hackers, since the

hackers target U.S. government  agencies and programs with their propaganda.

I read that the National Intelligence Council, which does research on climate change, also does research on transnational organized crime. The NIC has stated:

 “Transnational criminal networks are actively targeting U.S. … government programs.” [That might mean those hackers are targeting our scientists.]

The NIC has posted a document called “The Impact of Climate Change to 2030.” This document is a collection of research and conference reports. On June 25, 2008, Dr. Thomas Fingar, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis, summarized this report in Congress.

In his testimony before Congress, Dr. Fingar stated:

“Our primary source for climate science was the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, which we augmented with other peer-reviewed analyses and contracted research. We used the UN Panel report as our baseline because this document was reviewed and coordinated on by the US government and internationally respected by the scientific community.”

I would not be too critical of the Norfolk Constabulary. They actually have had information on their site about how to respond to climate change.

Here are some links about the NIC, climate change, and transnational organized crime: 

http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/09/national-intelligence-council-impact-of.html

[x]

I am a little reluctant to remind everyone about the so-called “Climategate” incident that was sparked this day five years ago.

Many people, in the end, were embarrassed by this major attack on climate change scientists when it turned out to be nothing more than manufactured media hype. Nine independent inquiries by multiple agencies all arrived at the same conclusion that the Climategate conspiracy was nonsense

Interestingly enough, the...

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