Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Rob W in the Courier | Main | Politicians cause another food crisis »
Friday
Jul202012

Interview with Julian Gregory

Leo Hickman has published the transcript of his interview with DCS Julian Gregory, the policeman who led the investigation into Climategate. There is much of interest, not least this bit about what led the police to believe that nobody internal was involved.

Norfolk Police gave a press conference yesterday in which it revealed some more details about the investigation. For example, DCS Gregory said that the hacker(s) had, whilst accessing the university's servers remotely via the internet, breached several passwords in order to gain access to the emails and other documents. He also said that officers had examined CCTV footage at CRU to investigate the possibility – subsequently ruled out - that a member of staff might have been involved.

This, I have to say, brought a smile to my face.

There was also this reference to Mosher:

Have you kept on top of all the internet speculation and commentary surrounding this case?

Firstly, you can't investigate what's said online. Secondly, you look at those blogs and most of it is speculative, uninformed and, occasionally, ridiculous.

But did you keep an eye on it in case someone came up with a possible lead or sensible theory, or did you see it as nonsense and a distraction?

The latter. I think it was Steven Mosher who said he knew who it was, or had a theory, at least. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn't. Where does that take you? And is he likely to tell the police? The difference between the police and, say, journalists, is that we won't embark on a number of lines of enquiry because, ultimately, you can see that in terms of getting to where we need to get to - which is beyond reasonable doubt - it's not going to get you there. The fact that things are "interesting" is not always enough.

If I'm reading this correctly, the police didn't even ask Mosher about his ideas. Given that he has written a book about Climategate, this is rather surprising. I would have thought it was worth the effort of an email.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (45)

"I always find some of the conspiracy theories mildly amusing, because anyone who knows anything about British policing knows that sort of level of collusion just doesn't happen."

Yes. And the Leveson Inquiry has shown absolutely nothing untowards.

Oh, wait........

Jul 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartinBrumby

"Where does that take you?"

A possible lead?

Jul 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Perhaps Mosh should have posted a link to CG2 as a comment to his blog

Jul 20, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I can't believe that it had totally slipped my mind that there was what could very nearly have been a documentary on the CRU made in the mid 80s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWFY7HtjJg8

Jul 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce Hoult

At least Clouseau always got his man in the end :)

Jul 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Martin,
.....I thought that was the 'Mounties'?

I assume they couldn't be bothered.

Jul 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

"...you look at those blogs and most of it is speculative, uninformed and, occasionally, ridiculous."
"This appears to have been done with the intention of influencing the global debate on climate change and ultimately that affects us all."

There. The voice of reason.

Jul 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

He also said that officers had examined CCTV footage at CRU to investigate the possibility – subsequently ruled out - that a member of staff might have been involved.

Looking at CCTV footage would only tell them if somebody physically walked up to the server and plugged an external drive into it.

Jul 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Bearing in mind that the Norfolk/UEA statement deliberately conflates FOI requests with the hack and deliberately misleads that the FOI's were 'orchestrated', I think I'll take what they say with a pinch of salt.

There's going to be some explaining to do when the truth comes out.

Jul 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

"..and, occasionally, ridiculous"

Only when you contribute. :-)

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The FOIs were orchestrated. They arranged for a large number of people to do 5 countries each, so as to avoid asking for a large request.

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

" most of it is speculative, uninformed and, occasionally, ridiculous."

IPCC in a nutshell.

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Bishop Hill, they never interviewed you either?
Do you know or have a strong suspicion who Mosher thinks is FOIA? It seems to be out there for people who want to get it.
I was surprised by the level of cooperation provided by skeptic blogs, with Jeff Id putting up ideas of who the leaker is and providing all the details.

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

You know, investigations just aren't what they used to be are they.

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Mike N

"The FOIs were orchestrated. They arranged for a large number of people to do 5 countries each, so as to avoid asking for a large request."

Err... Yes. But that is quite a different implication than the police statement, which reads:

"Do you know when the attacks began?

There’s a timeline of events and there has been speculation, in the media and the blogs, that there may have been an orchestrated campaign of Freedom of Information requests to the University in the summer of 2009. It appears the attacks were undertaken late in that summer, early autumn, through to November. The first tactic that we were aware of was in September 2009."

Statements are very precisely worded. They are vetted by lawyers. There is no way one can read that paragraph with it's deliberate run-on from insinuation of 'orchestrated campaign' through to 'attacks', without drawing the conclusion that the two are linked.

They weren't.

Steve M and the Climate Audit crowd 'orchestrated' FOI requests (in the face of UEA's criminal obstruction). This was to save time and effort. There was no barrage of FOI. We know that little myth was an invention.

This statement is PR, pure and simple.

Jul 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Andrew, within the FOI requests to Norfolk, someone asked them whether they had bought either Illusion or Climate Files. They hadn't.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Ask for emails between Gregory's office and Wallis.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

40-60 FOI requests could be interpreted as a barrage It would save time and effort to do a single request.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

"If I'm reading this correctly, the police didn't even ask Mosher about his ideas."

Steve McIntyre says they did not contact Mosher.

Wasn't Mosher alerted at a very early stage to what was out there? If I remember, he kept quiet for a while working out if it was genuine.


"The latter. I think it was Steven Mosher who said he knew who it was, or had a theory, at least. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn't. Where does that take you? And is he likely to tell the police?"

Later, Mosher identified Gleick.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:50 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"most of it is speculative, uninformed and, occasionally, ridiculous"
Mr Plod is unaware of our plan to protect FOIA by suggesting a wide range of ridiculous possibilities for her identity.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaymam

Martin A

Yes, Mosher was in the midst of it from the start:

"The Mosher Timeline"

I wasn't around the blogs until recent months so I found the thread linked above most helpful to getting a sense of how the public releases known as Climategate got underway....

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

I got started from day one.

Just bragging :) :)

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

Here My favorite quote from the lips of Gregory: “We’ve found no evidence to implicate anyone from UEA and the nature of the attack – the level of sophistication – leads me to a hypothesis that it was very unlikely to be someone from UEA” :-)

Jul 20, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

Gregory stole the 'excluding the UEA on the basis of their level of sophistication' joke. Is there no honour in the police force?

Taking terabytes of data from the server across a string of proxy servers would take months (1 terabyte would take 300 hrs (12.5 days) at 10 Mbps - which would not be achievable using the internet across continents). This transfer would be a traceable activity for months - and a sophisticated hacker would not have risked this.

More likely, FOIA is an insider who took a copy of the data using an internal network (with a high rate of transfer) and did the processing on his or her own machine...

Jul 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Q- Did you and UEA collaborate in terms of announcing the end of the investigation? [Both put out press statements at the same time which linked to each other.]

A- We've always had a working relationship, as you would expect because they were the victims of the crime. But we obviously have different perspectives. What we said in our statement was what we wanted to say. The coordination part was along the lines of "you may want to say something and it would be sensible to coordinate that". That's not to say we wouldn't be mindful of their perspective on things, in the same way they'd be mindful of ours, if that makes sense.

So its a <'no' but 'yes' but 'they wanted to say something and it was sensible to coordinate that'>, then?

Jul 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

There was a hack. Plod can't work out who did it. That's all folks.

The New World Order aren't involved. The Bilderberg Group aren't involved. The Priory of Sion aren't involved. There isn't the tiniest bit of evidence that a heroic whistleblower was involved.

Some smart person worked out how to grab the files. It's awesome. It changed history. That's it.

Jul 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

40-60 FOI requests could be interpreted as a barrage It would save time and effort to do a single request.

Jul 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM | MikeN

The reason it was split up was to stop UEA using the 'too much work to meet this request', and its hardly as if they ever responded to any of these requests by releasing data anyway, the time they spent on them was so much because they were spending so much time thinking of excuses not to comply. They just had to release the data and the effort would have been much reduced.

Jul 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

MikeN

"40-60 FOI requests could be interpreted as a barrage It would save time and effort to do a single request."

Yet it wasn't considered so by the Information Commissioner. He ruled the FOIs weren't vexatious. So they can hardly be a barrage then, can they? And it's his job to do the interpreting, not UEA or the Police.

Jul 20, 2012 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

"Some smart person worked out how to grab the files. It's awesome. It changed history. That's it."

And the sea ice is still spiralling downward. Oh, it didn't change a thing.

Jul 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJ Bowers

troll J Bowers stops by for the usual OT hit-n-run

If he has something intelligent to say on the topic of the thread he could have a discussion here.

But no, he prefers sneer-n-run

Jul 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

There's a glaring irony that no one else appears to be mentioning here: the fact that sceptic (or luke warm) bloggers and writers are willing and eager to dob in one of their own to the police. I mean: Mr FOIA has done a great service to the principles of truth and transparency - and yet there are sceptics who wish to give evidence that could lead to him being captured and tried? And then to complete this beautiful irony, the police respond as if they are not really interested in such leads - like they (secretly) don't actually want to catch him.

Am I missing something here?

Jul 20, 2012 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid, UK

David, UK

Yes, I have found it more than odd, both that the police seem to have been so relaxed about not following some obvious trails for information, and that a number of skeptics have expressed such willingness to assist the police. If one really regards "FOIA" as a heroic whistleblower and not some bad guy, then why seek to help police identify him?

I think perhaps skeptics are so used to being beaten down and abused in public opinion that (some of us) want to say "hey, we're good citizens, we will help the police catch the guy." I am full of curiosity to know more about FOIA but I hope he will continue to proceed with extraordinary caution for his own sake. If and when there is any clear freedom from potential legal sanctions (which I don't think are warranted, but I don't know the details of UK laws) then perhaps he can take some bows in public someday, even write a book if so inclined, go on speaking tours, ha ha.

FOIA may also need to be very wary of possible civil actions in the future, I don't know. He's a hero in my eyes but there are plenty of people, some very powerful and/or of financial means, who would love to harass him forever.

Jul 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Hi Skiphil,

FOIA is a made man. They won't and can't touch him, even if the know exactly who it is. The password protected archive is a gun he's got against all their heads. That's why he released the encrypted archive.

http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/some-thoughts-and-some-questions-about-the-climategate-2-0-release/

Pointman

Jul 20, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Pointman

Thanks for the link, that's a fascinating article (which reminds me that I need to explore more of your blog postings).

I do agree (it seems highly plausible) that there ought to be political dynamite in those encrypted FOIA files. How is it that a bunch of world-leading climate scientists at the heart of several iterations of IPCC and other reports supposed to drive UN, EU, USA, and all national policies did not have some substantive (or any) exchanges with aides to leading political figures, if not the pols themselves? However it is speculative, we don't know. I do know in the USA case that there is usually a "policy entrepreneur" ala John Holdren (before he was the White House Science Adviser) or Michael Oppenheimer conducting those kinds of discussions as a cut-out, and with some degree of careful distancing for future deniability by pols, so I'm not sure it's a certainty that FOIA has emails to/from 10 Downing or the White House, but I simply don't know. You always provide a banquet for thought.

p.s. Funny aside about cross-cultural experiences of English even within the Anglosphere: in the USA the phrase "made man" always connotes the mafia process of initiating someone (mainly in movies, I suppose). But when you said "made man" in reference to FOIA that was the first image that came and it made me laugh. For some reason, here we say "he's got it made" to indicate or "FOIA has got it made" to indicate what you wanted to say. "Made man" is more succinct but has the mafia aspect for me, anyway. lol

Jul 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

They increasing sound less like law enforcement people and more like PR/marketing ones .
I wonder who is briefing them on this ?

Jul 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Some smart person worked out how to grab the files.

My best guess is that someone on the inside told someone on the outside how to get the files.

I know that if I had sensitive information I wanted to leak from my work-place without being traced, that's how I would do it. I would find an appropriate journalist or concerned person and e-mail the details of how to break in with a once-off untraceable e-mail account. I'm dead safe, and the person "breaking in" has a very easy job to do.

Jul 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Good debate on this in progress at Lucia's place

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/climategate-inquiry-ended/

Looks like the 'too embarassing-dont go there' scenario in the yellow jersey.

Jul 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

"They increasing sound less like law enforcement people and more like PR/marketing ones "

Exactly.

There isn't the whiff of *honesty* about the releases. Only marketing.

Jul 21, 2012 at 2:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

When you consider the 3 key areas of means, motive and opportunity, it becomes very hard to accept that there was nobody at UEA involved in this -- maybe no more than tipping the wink to a tech-savvy friend on the outside.

Jul 21, 2012 at 4:46 AM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

Outwitted the Feds yet again!

(Evil cackle)

Jul 21, 2012 at 6:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterFOIA

Jul 21, 2012 at 6:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterFOIA

Have we just been contacted or are we being had?

Jul 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

David Porter - had I would think. I can't imagine anyone referring to the Norfolk wallopers as the Feds.

Jul 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

David Porter - had I would think. I can't imagine anyone referring to the Norfolk wallopers as the Feds.
Jul 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM GrantB


A Merkan probably would. I think FOIA has just inadvertently revealed which side of the Atlantic they are from. I think commenting here was unwise.

Jul 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterFairy Nuff

Is this the same Norfolk police that couldnt protect Norfolk farmer Tony Martin from his big gipsey burgurlars.

And the same counter terrorism police command that supposed to be protecting us from terrorists during the Olympics.

The UEA should have got G4S in to carry out the investigation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9415793/Police-fail-to-solve-three-in-four-crimes.html

Jul 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I think perhaps the 'evil cackle' was a clue!!


Pointman,

An interesting analysis but am concerned at one of your assumptions.

Paul Hudson didn't receive the entire email cache in October, merely received (probably from a colleague, most likely Richard Black) one of the strings which criticised an article he had written.

He was one of the very few BBC reporters with enough integrity to question the CAGW meme and his post

"Whatever Happened to Global Warming"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/10/whatever-happened-to-global-wa.shtml

caused great consternation to 'the Team' at the time.

They weren't used to anyone, particularly in the BBC, questioning their dogma so it immediately started a flurry of emails IMHO one of the most interesting strings in the Climategate cache.

Informed of the article by a 'PhD candidate' Schneider sent an email to the team (Myles Allen, Peter Stott, Philip D. Jones, Benjamin Santer, Tom Wigley, Thomas R Karl, Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen, Trenberth , Michael Mann , Michael Oppenheimer ) with the snide remark

"Any of you want to explain decadal natural variability and signal to noise and
sampling errors to this new "IPCC Lead Author" from the BBC?"

Mann responded -

"extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd,
since climate is usually Richard Black's beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from what I
can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for
the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what's up here?"

125535244 (dated 12th October)
http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=6348

I expect the string of emails that Paul received was the follow on from this either via the Met Office or more probably Richard Black.

When Climategate 1 hit in November there was initially much speculation as to if the emails were genuine. In a rather rushed post on 23rd November Paul confirmed that they were -

"I will add comment on this page as soon as I can free up some time. But I will in the meantime answer the question regarding the chain of e-mails which you have been commenting about on my blog, which can be seen here, and whether they are genuine or part of an elaborate hoax.
I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the worlds leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article 'whatever happened to global warming'. The e-mails released on the internet as a result of CRU being hacked into are identical to the ones I was forwarded and read at the time and so, as far as l can see, they are authentic."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-cru-hacked-into-an.shtml

Unfortunately 'the chain of e-mails on the 12th October' was misinterpreted as him having received the entire cache a month earlier !! and Paul came in for a lot of flack particularly from the sceptic side.

which his follow up post on the 24th November

"As you may know, some of the e-mails that were released last week directly involved me and one of my previous blogs, 'Whatever happened to global warming ?'
These took the form of complaints about its content, and I was copied in to them at the time. Complaints and criticisms of output are an every day part of life, and as such were nothing out of the ordinary. However I felt that seeing there was an ongoing debate as to the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, I was duty bound to point out that as I had read the original e-mails, then at least these were authentic, although of course I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the others."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-what-next.shtml

did not allay.

I seem to remember the BBC issued a statement at the time (can't seem to track it down now) but it was appallingly vague (perhaps deliberately so) and did not help Paul so he received a lot of unnecessary criticism from the blogosphere and attention was diverted to some extent from Richard Black whom according to Mann 'does a great job' !!!

The 'entire cache' consisted of many more mails that simply the 12th October, ie many dated November 2009.

That particular string, ongoing from there was extremely interesting and IMHO one of the most sensational in Climategate 1 though it was the shortened at 12th October string on the BBC u-turn that Paul Hudson received and not the entire cache.

However I do agree with your conclusion that the encrypted remainder is probably insurance against detection so I'm not at all surprised at the Norfolk police's failure to find our FOIA friend.

Jul 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>