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« BBC local news on Tallbloke | Main | Justice Committee call for evidence »
Wednesday
Dec212011

Back to the haystacks

Perhaps overwhelmed by all their recent activity, Norfolk Constabulary have handed over the investigation of the Climategate affair to another, as yet unnamed police force. Tallbloke has the story.

 

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    Response: fat burning foods<
    - Bishop Hill blog - Back to the haystacks

Reader Comments (49)

I love the way that this international issue is now centred in rural Yorkshire. Can't think of a nicer place or people.

Dec 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I guess that is hardly likely to mean Tallbloke's hardware gets restored to him any day soon. I mean ... it's the only 'hard evidence' they've got and would have to accompany the case notes wherever they are destined.

Dec 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

'I love the way that this international issue is now centred in rural Yorkshire. Can't think of a nicer place or people'.

I expect that they will next be arresting Foggy, Compo and Clegg. They are known troublemakers. :-)

Dec 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Careful, Latimer - there are writs flying about, and our trio are no slouches when it comes to hiring m'learned friends ;-)

Dec 21, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneMustGo

Norfolk Constabulary have decided that climategate is too big for them to handle.

This is good news, IMO. Climategate definitely is too big for the Norfolk Constabulary. At least now the scandal will be investigated by a body big enough to handle things. Whether that body will actually investigate remains to be seen, but this is a necessary step for moving in the right direction.

Dec 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas J. Keenan

"Two officers join Rutland police force" - 21st December 2011.

http://www.rutland-times.co.uk/news/local/two_officers_join_rutland_police_force_1_994156

Is there a connection?

Dec 21, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

So it's taken just over two years for Norfolk plod to work out they are not up to the job.

Yet, to obtain a search warrant, they have to have evidence that a crime has been committed. How did they work that one out?

Dec 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

From IPCC to IPCC

The latter being the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Dec 21, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Surely Compo could ferret out the leaker.

Dec 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Bob

Martin A

Yet, to obtain a search warrant, they have to have evidence that a crime has been committed. How did they work that one out?

Apparently, not even Tallbloke's solicitor is permitted to know that. I suspect the Norfolk plod are running as fast as they can from this mess. My question is is there evidence? Somehow I doubt it and they got the warrant under questionable circumstances.

Dec 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Anoneumouse - I reckon that may have been the reason the case has so suddenly been passed upwards. They have only just realised it may involve the IPCC in impropriety ...!

Dec 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

My money's on the Met. They seem to be the most overstaffed and most profligate with public money of all the UK police forces - in fact it will be my money, seeing as I pay London council tax. I feel an FOI request as to how much money and resources they intend to put into this case, if it does turn out to be them.

Dec 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

My hope is that it has been turned over to the X-Files. Scully and Mulder will get to the bottom of Climategate, once and for all.

Dec 21, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterEmily Litella

If it is the case that Lord Monckton has stirred the police into action as might be suggested by Tallbloke. Then they have all the evidence they require and UEA paid them ten grand to gather it. Now that is irony.
Come on FOIA release the code before the police do.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Oh oh. Tallbloke's update:

"National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism unit" is now involved.

Skeptics = Terrorists.

The big money people are really mad now. Climate Skepticism is threatening their graft.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Any resemblance to the Keystone Kops in a treacle universe purely coincidental.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

NDET were brought in in relation to CG1 as well so this is not so much a new development but a repeat development. Going by Wikipedia they were formerly a division of ACPO but are now run by the Met Police.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Gonna go the the store, buy a couple pounds of popcorn and sit down with Atomic Hairdryer and enjoy the show. My guess it will turn out to be a comedy farce. Perhaps some of the more talented contributors can suggest a script -- "It was a dark and stormy night as the cursor slipped deftly across the dimmed flat panel screen toward the server's IP ..."


Other suggestions: "Three's a crowd", "Two and a half men", and perhaps "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Maybe Michael Mann will post here and give us the details of why he believes that Tallbloke is a criminal.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

I'd like to think that if the National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism Unit is involved, it is the environmental fascists they suspect of extremism not humble truth-seeking sceptics of the sort you find around here. Fat chance!

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Bishop, how long do you think it will take before Mann et.al. begin to use this law, if passed by our US Congress, to begin to take down websites 'offending' the climate orthodoxy?............

'The legislation that campaigns across the country should be concerned about is the Stop Online Piracy Act. The overarching goal of SOPA is a good one: Take aggressive steps to curb online copyright infringement. The problem is that the bill would create heavy-handed regulations that would blacklist legitimate websites without adequately addressing online piracy.'

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_74/stephen_demaura_david_segal_candidates_concerned_stop_online_piracy_act-211023-1.html

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid B

Re: David B
As fast as they possibly can

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Just saw Tallbloke on the local East Anglian news here. It was mostly sympathetic and a bit critical of the plods, though they did have to pre-amble it with the usual unproven "hacked and cleared" story about the original release.

Dec 21, 2011 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Norfolk's finest can get back to investigating serious crime:

http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2011/december/appealafterchickensstolen.aspx

(I saw the link on another blog, but I can't remember where.)

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Re NDET

Regardless of how long they have been involved, this Tallbloke case suggests how easily such units can be abused by powerful ppl.

I know of nothing in relation to Tallbloke or any skeptic blogger that could possibly justify even cursory attention from units like NDET in any country. Nor does anything to do with the. CG1 and CG2 emails seem to merit attention from the NDET.

This would seem to be a gross abuse of police powers. NDET should be required to stick to the T And E I their title and leave citizen bloggers alone!!

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Don Pablo de la Sierra Dec 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM


"Yet, to obtain a search warrant, they have to have evidence that a crime has been committed. How did they work that one out? "

Apparently, not even Tallbloke's solicitor is permitted to know that. I suspect the Norfolk plod are running as fast as they can from this mess. My question is is there evidence? Somehow I doubt it and they got the warrant under questionable circumstances.

Yes. "A crime of great seriousness but nobody to know what it is"

For a crime to have been committed, the perpetrator has to have hacked into a system - eg by impersonation, by eavesdropping passwords, etc.

If someone with authority to view any file on the system (eg an IT admin - or anyone who had been given a root logon by UEA) copied and published data, then no offence would have been committed. (This was established in a case where two coppers used data on the police computer for illicit purposes - they had authority to access the data so, although naughty, it was not a crime.)

Other than UAE would like it to have been a crime, I can't believe any actual evidence of a crime (ie a hack) exists. The administration of the systems used by the CRU seems to have been - shall we say - shambolic. Not to forget that CRU has form for posting stuff they would like to keep private in places accessible to all and sundry.

For the tort of maliciously procuring a search warrant to have been committed, it is not sufficient that the police were incompetent or made a false declaration. They would have had to have malicious intent eg to give Tallbloke a fright. Proving such an intent, although one might well suspect it, might be difficult

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

It's absolutely right that the National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism Unit should be involved in a review of the Climategate investigation - precisely because Counter Terrorism and its parent Protective Services were intimately involved from November 2009. Why officers identifying themselves in this way spoke to Steve McIntyre and other peace-loving questioners of the climate elite is a different matter. It's a national disgrace, as that thread on Climate Audit and the two on either side of it make abundantly clear. (Try getting your head round the police involvement with The Guardian in the Paul Dennis story of February 2010 for extra marks.)

I hope very much that all that's about to be put right - but, as for me and my family, I'm ready for anything.

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Skiphil Dec 21, 2011 at 7:23 PM


I know of nothing in relation to Tallbloke or any skeptic blogger that could possibly justify even cursory attention from units like NDET in any country. Nor does anything to do with the. CG1 and CG2 emails seem to merit attention from the NDET.

This would seem to be a gross abuse of police powers. NDET should be required to stick to the T And E I their title and leave citizen bloggers alone!!

I would imagine that UEA told plod that "climate denial extremists" were probably involved. The word "extrememist" would be sufficient to get NDET involved. There was confirmation of their involvement after Climategate 1 when (for example) people who had FOI'd UEA found themselves being questioned.

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

@Richard Drake

Thx but it is exactly that sort of "counter terrorism" aspect that I submit has likely been an unjustified use of police powers from the start.

Ofc I am writing from across the pond so I do not have a citizen's voice in the UK.

Still, the same kind of issue exists everywhere that special counter terrorism police units are created. I support sound and strong counter terrorism policies, but there is a grave danger of "mission creep" as such powerful units with special surveillance capabilities etc. may be misused against ordinary citizens.

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Skiphil:

it is exactly that sort of "counter terrorism" aspect that I submit has likely been an unjustified use of police powers from the start.

Absolutely. I agree too about the general dangers with such forces - but the way to put those right is in specific instances of abuse, as we have here. Tallbloke is at the centre of something of great importance.

Dec 21, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

@Martin A

Yes, and that is what I think should concern ppl in the UK.

The mere invocation of the word 'extremist' by hostile self-interested political opponents or politicized hacks such as CRU folks should not be sufficient to get such a specialized police unit involved.

I'm surprised that this potential problem does not seem obvious to more ppl in the UK.

In the USA we had such a history of our own FBI infiltrating and harassing even non violent activist groups, often on the political left, that it is a hugely sensitive issue to classify ppl as extremist never mind terrorist for mere expressions of non violent belief.

Not that there is not a huge amount to worry about here too, with the DOJ memo etc., and ppl like Rep. Markey trying to tar all skeptical voices with an "extremist" type of label.

Dec 21, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Yep, the Anti-Terrorist squad was sort of involved after CG1 - but Yates of the Yard who ran that unit has now resigned. We of course don't know what he advised the Norfolk Police to do, but we did throw a few thoughts around when we discussed the involvement of that former NOTW hack as PR mand employed by the UEA, earlier this year.

I suggest the powers that be got the wind up their backsides because the huge, encrypted CG3 file is out there, and some of the mails in CG2 have been hinting at involvement of the World Bank and such entities, which are a bit more heavy-weight in politics than the usual NGOs.
So it is perhaps more about finding and suppressing the next e-mail bomb than seeing climate realists as putative terrorists.

Btw, Latimer - I'm all for plod arresting Clegg - Nick, that is ...!
;-)

Dec 21, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

I don't know where to put this. The BeeB have opened a pagehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16291768 which asks you to comment on solar panels. Come on everybody! Fill your boots before the BeeB close the page.

Dec 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

Concerns over Climategate inquiry is Nikki Fox reporting from BBC Norfolk - the prose, not the video version, with a prominent photo of Roger. Reasonably sympathetic but not desperately intelligent, in that she doesn't make clear early on that the comment the police are presumably interested was FOIA launching Climategate 2.

Dec 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

The reason NDET are involved is that exposure of flaws or fraud in the science underlying the political engine of Climate Alarmism threatens the policy direction of most of the countries in the Western world.

And this cannot be allowed.

Dec 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Tallbloke has withdrawn his claim that the Norfolk Constabulary have handed over the investigation to another police force:


I’ve got my wires crossed on this it seems. Apparently the Norfolk Constabulary, along with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police and the National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism unit (Golly!) are to revue the evidence so far assembled in order to decide the future direction of the investigation.

Dec 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

Maybe the plod can sing the final chorus (courtesy of the Kipper Family):

Norfolk and good, Norfolk and good,
We are the boys who are Norfolk and good.

Dec 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

Imagine another university's emails being published in this way. There might be some embarrassment for the university but the police wouldn't take much notice. No government secrets revealed and no fraud perpetrated.

Climategate is seen as deeply subversive because it undermines the basis on which huge amounts of money and political investment have been made. As the CAGW scam rolled forwards and became institutionalised, it forgot about its claimed basis, the science was all in and the debate was over. Now the establishment is having that Oh shit! moment and trying to paper over the cracks.

Climaegate is so dangerous because it works at the same level of perception as public scandals such as prominent politicians being shown to have illegitimate children. On the same level, if these emails can be shown to be stolen, it somehow invalidates them. If they can't be shown to be stolen but the question can be kept alive, that works towards the same end. I suspect the Tallbloke incident amounts to the powers that be making a PR gesture in this direction.

The creepy aspect is the apparent abuse of the law enforcement process for a political end and I'd say a shabby political end.

I also consider that TPTB have misread the situation and are handling this very badly from their own point of view .

Dec 22, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

You mention haystacks. With enough manpower, you can find a needle in a haystack. I believe with enough resources it might be possible to catch FOIA if he made a certain mistake. I suspected that the raid on TallBloke meant an increase in resources along those lines, but now it just looks like a fishing expedition. Now if there is a handoff, perhaps they are considering the resourceintensive effort I theorized about. Or perhaps they read my post and decided to implement it:<

Dec 22, 2011 at 1:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

Perhaps a UK denizen can comment here

If FOIA, or someone the police think may be FOIA, is charged in the UK under some variation of an anti-terrorism cloak, can any subsequent trial be held "in camera" with a total news blackout ?

Dec 22, 2011 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

Re ianl8888

Yes, but only if that level of security can be justified. NDET's involvement in this saga makes some sense. They evolved out of investigations into attacks on scientists by animal rights extremists who mailed letter bombs, were very nasty extremists and terrorists. If people had made threats against CRU, UEA or any of the scientists then it would be right and proper for NDET to investigate those. NDET probably also takes a lead role in investigating environmental activists who conduct extreme activities like trying to shut down power stations, which adds a certain irony.

Bringing in extremism or terrorism also makes a possible crime more serious. Various talking heads have suggested that Climategate was a sophisticated attack, possibly by a foreign state with the intention of trying to disrupt Copenhagen and Durban. That's rather more exciting than a disgruntled insider or lone individual who may not even have broken the Computer Misuse Act. Penalties under that Act aren't particularly severe.

Penalties under terrorism acts are much more severe, and also give the police more scope for investigations. Charging could get interesting though. If FOIA gets convicted as a terrorist/extremist for crimes against humanity, ecocide, or endangering billions by trying to stop climate change spending as pro-AGW people think should happen to sceptics, then I guess there's a built-in appeal. Just keep watching the temperature trends.

So more popcorn may be required. Especially if the Met or NDETs reviews show evidence of conspiracy by individuals or groups. As wiki puts it, NDETs role is:

However, they say that a "vague stab" at a working definition by senior officers is that domestic extremists are individuals or groups "that carry out criminal acts of direct action in furtherance of a campaign. These people and activities usually seek to prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy, but attempt to do so outside of the normal democratic process.

That would seem to describe individuals or groups that lobby, campaign or attempt to influence policy to further a cause. Especially if they are public funded, but hide data, delete inconvenient data, promote dubious data to further that cause.

Dec 22, 2011 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

MikeN Dec 22, 2011 at 1:51 AM


Or perhaps they read my post and decided to implement it:<

Dunno what your post contained. But I think any speculation whatever about the identity or profile of FOIA on blogs is helpful to plod. It may provide that idea/lead they need.

Dec 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Holding any trial of FOIA in camera would be akin to pointing a 88mm Flak gun at the Establishment's own foot. Considering most Jihadi trials are held in public and freely reported on, it would be like saying: "Yep. We REALLY have something to hide here".

Even our idiot media couldn't ignore that.

Dec 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

UEA and Norfolk's finest have had two full years to determine what information might have been copied from any of their servers. They probably had a pretty good idea even a year ago when during the course of an "anniversary" article on poor Phil Nature's David Adam reported:

Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails

In hindsight, considering the purported "international" nature of the investigation, what "others" might be "connected to the CRU"?! Mann, perhaps?! Not to mention Schmidt's ever changing story regarding the alleged "hack" - and now you don't see 'em, now you do, now you don't alleged "downloads"- that had morphed into a "prank" (neither of which were reported to US authorities) between November 2009 and February 2010.

Assuming that WordPress complied with the DoJ request and provided DoJ with the requisite details, I cannot believe that the police thought they would be any further enlightened by anything they might find on Tallbloke's computers. Although it is curious that they wanted his WordPress password - perhaps when they arrived on the scene they were unaware that WordPress had already notified Tallbloke of the DoJ "request", the password request was just for "authenticity"!

Considering the rather cosy relationship that is now known to exist between the police and the press in the U.K., I have a few questions (to which I doubt I'll ever get answers ... but I'm getting used to that!) in light of the timeline of events. For those who are interested, pls see:

Of Climategate, constabularies, Hickman and l’affaire Tallbloke: a timeline to consider

Dec 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Hah, he'd be very curious to know where that suspicion came from! Methinks he protesteth. Leo, honey, the whole ClimateGate saga is the story of backchannel duplicity. Now he's surprised that there is 'suspicion'? Please, Leo, tell us about this strange universe you inhabit.
=========

Dec 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Actually, you can feel sorry for them. The artificial sense of credibility afforded by the groupthink at places like Arg!uinda & the Beeb seduces them into the idea that they will be believed whether they are lying or not. This is pathology difficult of cure, and I pity both physician and patient.
===================

Dec 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"...the National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism unit (Golly!) are to revue the evidence so far assembled in order to decide the future direction of the investigation"

I presume Tallbloke means REVIEW the evidence...

Revue (n): A musical show consisting of skits, songs, and dances, often satirizing current events, trends, and personalities. - thefreedictionary.com

On second thoughts.......

Dec 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Turner

Needle:Haystack problem much reduced by large electromagnet.

Or, you could just go buy another needle.

Dec 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

"the National Domestic Extremism and Terrorism unit "

Do they deliver?

Dec 23, 2011 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

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