CTM is Contacted by the Norfolk Constabulary and Responds

Me ~ ctm

by charles the moderator

I received the following this morning,

Dear Mr Rotter

I am part of the enquiry team who are investigating the theft of data from the UEA in Norwich last year.
As part of the investigation we would like to speak to everyone who has made any requests for information relating to the CRU at the UEA.
Records indicate that you made such a request last year and as a result I would like to discuss this and any other knowledge you may have with you at a convenient time.
Please can you contact me (I would suggest initially by e mail) leaving a contact number so that we can have a chat.

Kind regards

Sean Baker

Sean Baker
Detective Constable
Joint Major Investigation Team
Norfolk Constabulary
Lowestoft Police Station
Old Nelson Street
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 1PE
Tel: xxx
Mobile: xxxx

This e-mail carries a disclaimer [this was a dead link. Put here for reference. ~ ctm]
Go here to view Norfolk Constabulary Disclaimer

I responded within a few hours with this:

I can be reached at xxx. I work nights so please don’t call before noon PST. I’m in San Francisco. Between noon and 1 PM is the best time to contact me.

I have previously posted my entire involvement with the CRU leaked emails and files online here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/13/climategate%E2%80%94the-ctm-story/

I’m not sure what else you would like to know. I’ll see if I can cover it in advance.

1. I have never received any money for my volunteer services at wattsupwiththat.com

2. I met Steve McIntyre once for dinner two years ago when he was in town for AGU. I paid for the dinner.

3. I read Climate Audit.

4. [personal info]

5. [personal info]

6. [personal info]

7. I am 51, turning 52 next month.

I understand that you are diligently performing your investigation, and I’m not sure how well you understand the perspective from this side of the fence.

The multiple FOI’s were submitted in response to Phil Jones’s obstruction of the scientific process of verification and replication. Had he behaved as any scientist should, no FOI requests would have been required and it would have been ten minutes work to respond to the original request. The CRU began moving the goal posts, making up more and more unbelievable reasons why they should not give data to perceived critics, thus causing the subsequent FOI’s and escalation, in which I participated. It seems likely that soon after Steve McIntyre’s appeal was denied, someone at the University of East Anglia, disgusted by what he or she witnessed, subsequently leaked the files. I have no knowledge or direct evidence that this is the case, but it is the explanation that makes the most sense.

If you would like more information on the escalation of FOI requests and the obstruction by CRU, as confirmed by your own ICO, I can dig up the relevant threads.

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232 thoughts on “CTM is Contacted by the Norfolk Constabulary and Responds

  1. Man these guys hit the ground running!

    How long have you been public with the facts of the case and they are just contacting you.

    They know that these cases require fast investigation…. IFF you want to catch the perp… IF.

  2. You could also add that:

    1) The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have stated that Phil Jones and UEA acted unlawfully by failing to comply with your lawfully submitted FOI request.

    2) British Government ministers have refered to this matter as an internal leak.

    Happy birthday for next month :-)

  3. Why would he say he wants you to respond back via email first? That sounds weird. The whole thing sounds weird to me…*shrug*

  4. I get the feeling that this must be the most exciting thing that’s happened to Norfolk Constabulary. Much of the time they investigate animal abuse and speeding on the Broads.

    (disclaimer, I’m from Suffolk, if you want any real North/South divides, live in East Anglia. Anything beyond that is marked ‘here be monsters’)

    Other than that, it’s interesting to see it’s a major investigation and has roped in resources from outside of Norwich, as it perhaps should given this is a potential fraud larger than Madoff, Worldcom, Enron combined. But I still get the feeling they’re out of their depth, hence the ‘theft’ investigation. In law, that’s clearly defined, and in this case, unproven.

  5. You were always high on my suspect list, ctm. Oldest dodge in the book that “somebody posted the link where only I could see it” thing, really.

    Be sure to mention your roomie is getting rich and famous off the whole thing too, that’ll help a lot in allaying their suspicions.

    ;-)

  6. Charles,

    You are giving the best response. This guy knows if he goes ahead and tries to drive you down a reconciliatory road, he will have his head handed to him.

    You remind me of an old Uncle Remis story that being of “Brair Rabbit” and the “Tar Baby”. If this guys got any sense, he’ll run on your side of the story which is the side of truth. If he chooses to do otherwise, he’ll have trouble in ways he never imagined.

    Thanks for your “Truth”

  7. Nice reply!

    BTW – in case it hasn’t been said lately you mods are doing an absolutely incredible job and, for the record, loved the reply in the Lacis thread!

  8. Good to see that the bobbies are continuing to investigate this. I also submitted an FOIA request to either CRU or Hadley/Met Office last year about the same time we were all filing complaints with the US inspector generals office in regards to Jim Hansen’s politicking and protesting on salary. I got the same runaround excuses as everybody else.

  9. LOL this must be one of the first cases in history were just about everything about it has been written about at length and posted in public. Is it reasonable that the police buy a copy of everybody’s book as evidence? No freebies, obviously.

  10. So does this mean the investigation has turned up so many dead leads that they’re harassing anyone who ever submitted an FOI request now? If submitting an FOI request makes someone a suspect in a crime investigation then it will have a chilling effect on the FOI Act itself. This is truly Orwellian. They’re going after the skeptics for the crimes committed by Jones et al!

  11. I am part of the enquiry team who are investigating the theft of data from the UEA in Norwich last year.

    Theft? I find the term interesting.

    They are not investigating the nature / method of the release of information?

    They ‘assume’ it was a theft?

    Are they also investigating the potential that CRE / UEA violated FOI laws?

  12. I suspect that they may be dissembling a bit when they say they are contacting you because they are contacting all that submitted a FOIA/EIR request.

    It is quite possible that they have read the blogs and books about this incident and are interested in you because you were one of the first to download, or archive, or distribute the files.

    Then again, maybe I’m just feeling neglected since I submitted 3 FOIA requests to UEA last summer and the constulatory has not contacted me. :)

  13. I am intrigued by this phrase “theft” of information. As I understand the law regarding information, one has copyright on information and and as far as I am aware there is no such thing as theft of information only infringement of intellectual property rights.

    Indeed, our right to obtain information is explicitly outlined in the UK human rights act:

    Article 10: Freedom of Expression

    (1) Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    Note it specifically gives us a right to “receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

    For the police to act conspire “interfere” with this right would in itself be breaking the law and subject to legal action.

    OK, I’m no lawyer, but the right to exchange information seems to be very explicit, and as I understand it the law regarding intellectual property is a civil matter and has nothing to do with the police.

  14. What am I missing here, charles?
    They whitewash an FOI investigation on grounds of statute of limitations, but are hot & heavy on ‘alleged hacking’.
    Seems to me the statute of limitations would begin AFTER the last correspondence of denial of public info on the private communication excuse tab.
    Which means they are looking for an external scapegoat to fry.
    Smart move making their inquiry public.
    Political agenda, like climate, nevers sits still, but twitches like an overactive child. Eventually, the winds change. They must be on a tight schedule.

  15. I’ve been falsely accused in my life.I fought mine by making suing noises.
    Nasty letters from the attourney, etc. No evidence no case.That plus at the
    time of the incedent- a hit and run by a guy using my name-I was somewhere
    north of Faribanks dropping mud on a tundra/tagia fire.I even had acess to the
    CO’s office at Ft. Wainright to confirm this-just in case….

  16. Now isn’t the CRU the Criminal Records Unit, and the IPCC the Independent Police Complaints Commission?

    I think they may be feeling threatened.

  17. Your email was from “Joint Major Investigation Team” and the one I received was from “Protective Services” and we know the “National Domestic Extremism Team” is also involved. I wonder how many other branches of Norfolk Constabulary are investigating?

  18. Evidently no one ever taught Charles that in dealing with law enforcement, less (talking) is more.

    They just want you to answer some questions, Charles. They aren’t interested in your theory of the crime.

  19. You’re screwed! (Oy Inspecta’ !, I nicked the ‘acka. It’s this cheeky Yank over ‘ere), Just remember, in the UK, judges are referred to as “M’ Lord” not “Your Honour”—this might shave a few years off your sentence.

  20. Sad to say, despite the obviousness of it all, my read is that the fix is in. They’re looking for the lime to complete the whitewash. It would appear that it’s in the “established best interest” to maintain status quo ante bellum. I mean, despite what our parents told us, when did we ever win as children when we told the truth?

    Sorry to be so cynical…

  21. The Google ad:
    “Master of Arts in Diplomacy
    Norwich University”

    BTW, 51 going on 52? How old is that photo?

    Reply: I saw the same ad and thought it was hysterical. The photo is a couple months old. Most people think I look in my mid to late 30’s. This is good because I am very immature for my age. ~ ctm

  22. Let me get this straight. You are a US Citizen, being investigated by a a local British Constable? Have they contacted the State Dept.? Or bothered to coordinate with a US Police Dept. that has jurisdiction? If not, I’d tell them to piss off.

  23. Carbon Market Update

    Wrapped in the Man-made Climate Change Meme, the money to fund the worldwide global governance carbon tax is being financed through offshore island wealth funds. It seams the elite of the world are still hell bent on implementing the global carbon tax despite the climate change hoax being exposed.

    “Islands of money
    At present, almost US$13 trillion in secrecy-protected wealth is held offshore and out of reach. If moderately taxed, these funds would yield over $250 billion. Such funds could more than finance the Millennium Development Goals, which are estimated by the World Bank at $40 billion to $60 billion annually through 2015. They could also go toward the adaption and mitigation funds needed by developing and emerging nations, which the UN puts at $4 billion to $86 billion annually.

    The recovery of this illicit capital will be difficult. The islands that host these accounts are dependent on this revenue. The economy of the Seychelles is dependent on the financial sector for 11% of its GDP. This puts the Seychelles not far behind the notorious Cayman Islands, the world’s fifth-largest financial center, where financial services account for 14% of GDP. Switzerland, which launders one-third of all illicit capital, depends on financial services for 15% of its GDP. ”

    “Meanwhile, Group of 20 (G-20) governments subsidized fossil fuels to the tune of $300 billion in 2009. So, as the G-20 spends its time creating a carbon trade market that does little to reduce carbon emissions, multinationals continue to expand their extractive enterprises, dictators continue to siphon off capital, financial firms cash in on pollution credits, and this illicit capital continues to flow into offshore locations that are themselves threatened by the rising waters associated with global warming.”

    Climate Change’s Secret Weapon

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/LB26Dj02.html

  24. Lee Kington (16:04:08) :
    It was the CRU team that made the original claim of hack and theft. The police got involved because of the claimed “theft”. The police investigation may go on for a long time; they will be thorough and bring charges only when they have sufficient evidence to prosecute.

    Whitewashing can only be done by the University itself, the police are a red hearing in all this and their final outcomes are unpredictable at this point in time. Though it should also be remembered, they are investigating the reported hack and theft, not the science.

  25. steven mosher (15:47:00) : “How long have you been public with the facts of the case and they are just contacting you.”

    The wheels of justice may grind slowy, but they grind…uh…slowly.

  26. Mr. Plod is still investigating “The Theft”. Hmm, it’ll be a long time before they uncover anything, I think. Possibly they will cover it up before they uncover it :-^

  27. [quote Pascvaks (16:03:00) :]
    Sounds like the beginning of an Agatha Christy mystery.
    [/quote]

    And a new mystery cliche for the technology age:

    The moderator did it!

  28. As a Brit, we do sort of like the “slowly slowly catchee monkey” approach of our “plod” (cops). Despite the attempted politicisation of the UK police by the “guv’mint” there are still some good guys out there.

    Take it for what it is, answer the questions, tell the truth and put the boot in, where it belongs.

    You might be surprised.

    Believe it or not some of them don’t believe in AGW either, especially the ones in my neighbourhood. (600 feet above sea level, overlooking Loch Ness with 3 foot snow drifts outside). Nothing new, it was worse in the 1970s. Worse still in the 1960s, but i was just a “waen” then!

    Best wishes

    Ian

  29. Pascvaks (16:03:00) :

    Sounds like the beginning of an Agatha Christy mystery

    *************************************

    Or an episode of “Mystery!”

    You know, something tells me Climategate is the absolute last thing the Norfolk PD wants to investigate.

  30. I would guess they call it a theft because that’s what they were asked to investigate by CRU. Not sure the police would have the authority to investigate a whistleblower. Their investigation may come to the conclusion that it was not theft.

  31. One should be very suspicious of detectives. They told you it’s a criminal case (theft). They’re not asking you questions just to fill in their story but, imho, looking at you as a person of interest or at least potential person of interest. You should have asked a lawyer before responding and had the lawyer email them. You should not have responded via email. You should have dropped a note in the mail to their address, made a copy, and got a receipt from the postal service. Consider:

    They may want you to respond by email so they can track your MAC address so they can use that for tracking and use, if needed, as circumstantial evidence against you. It’s sort of like asking for your DNA. If that’s what they wanted and to confirm the MAC and tie it to you, the noose is tightening for whatever crime/infraction/et al the UK penal code and international treaties may yield.

    The request, especially the “any other knowledge” is about as broad as they get and is potentially dangerous. if you’re foolish enough to talk to them without a lawyer present at least get a really good recorder and make 100% certain that you tell them you’re recording the conversation and be sure to get a device that does the “beep” periodically.

    You should ask, directly, if you are under suspicion of any crime, wrongdoing, ethics breach or responsible in any legal manner to their knowledge. Ask how many other FOI requests they’re checking out, whether you’re the first, whether there is any special reason for them talking to you versus the dozens of other that filed FOI, etc. Ask if they consider you a material witness. Ask if they’re considering charges. I.E., you should question them to the same extent they question you. They won’t likely tell you but it will sound better on the record and may help if you need to consider entrapment. Plus, you are not compelled to answer any question, period. It’s ok to just say “see what I wrote”. After all, perjury is a possibility – don’t forget what happened to Scooter Libby.

    You’re a player in the publication of the subject matter of the theft. If you were my client, I’d just refer them to the what you’ve already written and simply not talk to them at all unless and until they gave you a legally binding written statement that you will not be prosecuted. Period.

    I’d ignore the rather cavalier/libertarian advise and comments on this thread. Extreme caution should be your guide. It’s a lot easier to avoid a charge that to defend one. And it’s your skin, not theirs.

  32. Gary Hladik (16:31:50) :

    The wheels of justice may grind slowy, but they grind…uh…slowly.

    They grind exceedingly fine… yielding a light powder that gets into the air and spreads everywhere… then comes a spark…

  33. “Pascvaks (16:03:00) :
    Sounds like the beginning of an Agatha Christy mystery.”

    Is that John Christy’s mother perhaps?? ;-)

  34. Didn’t think about the jurisdiction issue – should have told him you’ll help them out with their hacking as soon as they hand over the DoD assburgers hacker :P

  35. For Norfolk, think endless miles of carrot fields. An endless vista of agricultural flatness as far as the eye can see.

    Antique dealers with insecure loads on their roof racks is pretty much the extent of law breaking in this corner of the Queen’s realm. :-)

  36. From someone who has some involvement with the legal system, this investigator is just doing his job. It is altogether proper that he not just copy files from the internet, but that he personally contact everyone who may have some input and ask them what they have to say, including people in other countries than his own. I would be very surprised if this man will make the decision about where to go next; typically several people will work tracking down information and after it is accumulated a decision about where to go next will be made one or two levels up the organization.

    Understand that he is just a researcher, in the same way that scientists are researchers. At this stage it is his job to make sure that the questions are asked all the way around, and that all of the answers are as complete as possible.

    and a handy thing to remember if you are ever involved in *any* investigation, in the US or the UK – very often the investigator does indeed know most of the facts of the story already. He is asking not just to seek confirmation, but more importantly to observe the reaction he gets. Someone who freaks out at a set of completely ordinary questions is someone who is sending up huge red flags that there is something more to look at. Always cooperate, always be calm, just as CTM was here.

  37. Charles that is because you are the Scarlet Pumpernickel. These guys do get around, could be a Mel Gibson movie.

  38. Ian (16:36:39) :

    ;-) As a Canuck, could never understand how I was living in the Great White North (Toronto) at 43 degrees north when London 51 degrees north, Paris 48 degrees north, and Loch Ness 57 degrees north are a lot closer to the arctic circle than I am. We’re having a very low snow year (it’s because I bought a snowblower this year) we’ve easily had a several orders of magnitude less than Washington DC winter season this year (not normal).

    God bless the “slowly, slowly, cathchee monkee” approach. I hope you’re right but from my perspective it looks like they’re working the harassment FOIA defence angle.

    Cheers!

  39. thanks everyone. i believe i am cooperating fully with transparency. to the person who asked. the photo is a couple months old. -ctm via mobile from a party in the haight.

  40. The multiple FOI’s were submitted in response to Phil Jones’s obstruction of the scientific process of verification and replication. Had he behaved as any scientist should, no FOI requests would have been required and it would have been ten minutes work to respond to the original request.

    Oh, you had to bring that up! :-)

    Nice volley, ctm.

  41. Members of the press have always been granted immunity for whistle blowing cases, going back to at least Watergate in 1972. CTM is untouchable.

  42. LOL – CTM: TMI IMO… FWIW. (YMMV)

    or:

    Uh oh, the jig’s up, the coppers are on to us…

    (for the humor impaired, that last WAS intended purely as humor!)

  43. Surely the notice should have read “alleged theft”.

    I’ve not seen anything yet to suggest that the release of the emails was even a result of a criminal act .

  44. Hmmm – somehow I completely skipped the rest (stupid laptop)

    CTM, TMI IMO WRT UEA CRU. AGW FTW! LOL

    Reply: I made that my Facebook Status. ~ ctm

  45. He’s probably a fine, competent guy and all. . . I just always think of Richard Jewell in this kind of situation. Some breed of cop just like to grab the nearest live body next to the dead one and call it a day.

  46. I hope we soon find out who- [fill in appropriate verb- fitting your politics] the CRU e-mails as it is the most intriguing leak since Watergate which brought down Nixon. It took 25 years before we really discovered who “Deep Throat” was. The speculation and finger pointing was almost too much to endure. That is waaay too long for this caper. If the investigative action ultimately leads to a “criminal” charge, I have $100 ready to add to a defense fund. So I hope someone “soon” will come forth and legitimately say: “I did it!!”

  47. Not being familiar with British common law if that is what is involved here. Some years ago I was a police officer in Fl. U.S.A. When we received a report of a crime the report was treated as a statement of sworn fact. While it seems slow there at that time begins two investigations. 1. to determine if there actually was a crime committed. and 2. If a crime was committed who was the perpetrator.

    I have a suspicion that this is more turning into a determination of did a crime actually occur. It seems that this was a publicly funded facility and by that definition “public facility” there is no right of privacy. It has already been determined that the blockage of the FOIA requests was a crime but beyond the statute of limitations. The release of the same information that was a crime to not release I would feel would not be a crime.

    Me thinks that some one is in trouble at UEA but possibly for the reporting of a false accusation and statement. There is a possibility that the report of a crime will be determined as unfounded. This will have a by product of the possibility of an investigation of filing a false report at multiple levels.

    The original charge of theft will be in use by the authorities until it is either falsified or the charge is dropped. if there is an arrest and conviction it will remain.

    I think some balloons are about to pop above UEA.

    Bill Derryberry

  48. Re: “Leaked” emails

    It always reminds me of “Yes Minister” where civil servant Bernard Woolley explains to the Minister about the verb “to leak”:

    Bernard: That’s another one of those irregular verbs – I give confidential briefings, You leak, He is charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act.

  49. climatebeagle (16:41:17) :
    I would guess they call it a theft because that’s what they were asked to investigate by CRU. Not sure the police would have the authority to investigate a whistleblower. Their investigation may come to the conclusion that it was not theft.

    They call it a theft because that’s what it was (unless you think it was circulated by the owner of the material), it doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘whistleblower’.
    Regarding jurisdiction, the US has a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the UK.

  50. Carbon Dioxide (15:49:59) :
    You could also add that:

    1) The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have stated that Phil Jones and UEA acted unlawfully by failing to comply with your lawfully submitted FOI request.

    Better to tell the truth.

  51. That’s a little too much information I needed about you Charles. I trust you just the way you are, ie CTM.

  52. So I suppose it wouldn’t be that amusing to tell the Norfolk Constabulary that you were going to file a FOI request to see their investigative results?

  53. CTM,

    Read Detective Constable Baker’s email again.

    He leads off with “I am part of the enquiry team who are investigating the theft of data from the UEA in Norwich last year.”

    Interesting.

    Baker does not say what theft of data he is referring to only saying it was sometime last year. Interesting. There was the unauthorized release of emails and data in late November, the one everyone knows about. Is this what Baker is referring to?

    My Mere Speculation Begins here:
    My point is, while investigating the publicly known unauthorized release at UEA in late Nov, has the Norwich police or any other org investigating UEA/CRU come across other 2009 events involving unauthorized releases of email/data from UES/CRU? If they have then it would be reasonable for them to withhold that info during the continuing investigation.

    Hey, if I was a policeman I might set up an interview that ostensibly is talking about one public release but fishing for knowledge about another release at UEA that is not public knowledge.
    My Mere Speculation End Here

    New Topic – Anyone, is it normal for a British policeman to contact a US citizen at home in the US regarding a British police matter? Curious.

    John

  54. “leaving a contact number so that we can have a chat.”

    OMG, is this the new “helping police with their enquiries” ??

    Having a chat, over a cup of tea ??

    You’re toast Charles. Ha ha ha.

  55. wonder if they have contacted Paul Hudson at BBC and his bosses. some may consider Hudson a “red herring”, but i don’t; in fact, I feel Hudson’s 9 Oct “Whatever Happened To Global Warming” piece may have been the straw that broke the camel (or even whistleblower’s) back.

    26 Nov: Hull Daily: Look North weatherman Paul Hudson in climate change
    scandal
    Mr Hudson, a climate change expert, says documents allegedly sent between
    some of the world’s leading scientists – which discuss how to “spin” climate
    data – are a direct result of an article he wrote.
    His essay, written last month, argued that for the last 11 years there had
    not been an increase in global temperatures.
    It also presented counter-arguments to the belief man’s actions are warming
    the planet.
    The weather presenter – who is also honorary mayor of Wetwang, near
    Driffield – claims he was sent the leaked e-mails, which were apparently
    taken from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit,
    over a month ago.

    http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Look-North-weatherman-Paul-Hudson-climate-change-scandal/article-1552079-detail/article.html

    (the public comments are indeed interesting)

    27 Nov: Hull Daily: BBC weatherman in global warming row
    When contacted by the Mail, the weatherman said he was not allowed to
    comment and asked us to speak to the BBC press office.
    A BBC spokesperson said: “Paul wrote a blog for the BBC website on October
    9 entitled Whatever Happened To Global Warming. There was a big reaction to
    the article – not just here but around the world. Among those who responded
    were Professor Michael E Mann and Stephen Schneider whose e-mails were among a small handful forwarded to Paul on October 12.

    http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/BBC-weatherman-global-warming-row/article-1553969-detail/article.html

    (could anything in this blog post give any clues Hudson received anything on this date from Mann/Schneider etc?)
    12 Oct: Paul Hudson: A few points about my article

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/10/a-few-points-about-my-article.shtml

    23 Nov: ‘Climategate’ – CRU hacked into and its implications
    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

    the direct link from hudson is to some of the most explosive emails, some including the date 14th October and certainly indicate no-one from “the team” had as yet contacted Hudson:
    East Anglia Confirmed Emails from the Climate Research Unit – 1255523796.txt

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=1052&filename=1255523796.txt

    the fact Hudson linked to the entire cache of emails suggests he was authenticating more than a few emails from Mann/Schneider, even tho Hudson toed BBC’s line later:

    24 Nov: Paul Hudson: ‘Climategate’ – What next?
    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. ..
    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

    am not necessarily suggesting a “whistleblower” first sent Hudson the entire cache of emails, which anyway go beyond the 12th October date, tho it is possible he received them all and, when BBC did nothing, the “whistleblower” added to the cache and kept releasing them in November until some “wonderful people” had the courage to keep them online.

    BBC should release what they claim is “a small handful” of emails, including some from Mann/Schneider that were allegedly “forwarded” (not copied?) to Paul Hudson.

    Hudson is just back from a break:
    23 Feb: BBC: Paul Hudson: Unusual winter weather patterns continue
    A feature of this winter has been the unusual position of the jet stream.
    For the last week or so it has once again positioned itself through Spain
    and Portugal, North Africa and the Mediterranean and is the reason for the
    violent storms in Madeira that led to the incredible flash floods that most
    of you will have seen on TV…
    Also, I thought you might be interested in this; while I was away on holiday
    Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s environment analyst interviewed Professor Phil
    Jones who is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University
    of East Anglia (UEA). The article is in the form of a question and answers
    session and can be read in full by clicking here. Some of the questions echo
    some of your comments when I wrote about the UEA on this blog recently.
    Finally It’s going to be a close run thing – but with only one week left of
    winter (winter being classified climatologically as Dec, Jan and Feb) –
    there’s a chance that it will turn out to be the coldest winter based on the
    central England temperature range (CET) since 1978/79, although there is
    also a chance it may only be the coldest since 1981/82, depending on how far
    north milder air pushes this week. I’ll be doing a review of this winter’s
    statistics as soon as I have them to hand.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2010/02/unusual-winter-weather-pattern.shtml

  56. Judging by the message to CTM, there is simply no way that they are ever going to catch the perp. I give it a 1% chance or less that the investigators (of their own efforts) will find any meaningful clues.

    This is a job for the fabulous Inspector Clouseau.

  57. Don’t panic, its just a DC. Detective Constable, the lowest rank of detective.
    He is just making enquiries that his boss a DCI, an inspector, has given him to do. When the Superintendant starts chasing you and is looking for statements
    then he is getting ready to pass it onto the CPS.

  58. “”””Phil. (17:54:20) : They call it a theft because that’s what it was (unless you think it was circulated by the owner of the material), it doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘whistleblower’.””””

    Phil,

    UEA alleged theft in their complaint to the police, so that is what the police are investigating. It does on mean that the finding will be theft. Are you saying that it is theft because that is what the UEA complaint was? Or do you have other reason to call it theft?

    ”””’Phil. (17:54:20) : Regarding jurisdiction, the US has a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the UK.”””’

    But that mutual assistance does not mean the Norwich police would contact directly a US citizen at home in the US on a British police matter. In fact, I think it highly unlikely that direct contact by British police without prior notification of US police is the normal police protocol.

    John

  59. magicjava (16:36:22) :
    [quote Pascvaks (16:03:00) :]
    Sounds like the beginning of an Agatha Christy mystery.
    [/quote]

    And a new mystery cliche for the technology age:

    The moderator did it!

    Absolutely priceless, mate, but you now owe me for a new keyboard!

  60. Sean Peake (16:19:48) :

    You’re screwed! (Oy Inspecta’ !, I nicked the ‘acka. It’s this cheeky Yank over ‘ere), Just remember, in the UK, judges are referred to as “M’ Lord” not “Your Honour”—this might shave a few years off your sentence.

    Come to Canada and you’ll be out in half an hour for good behaviour and an apology ( we’re polite :-) ) from the crown. Or do like our cops being charged and delay until the judge throws out the case for waiting too long.

  61. I see a very different possibility. If there is legal and open access to the information by reason of a FOIA request, they may process this response and declare there was no theft here.
    What I am saying they may have filed a theft hack report and that may be closed because this info is not secured. It is like stealing a free cup of coffee. Charges are dropped and a theft case is closed.

  62. “Are you now, or have you ever been a denier? If not, who else might be? Know of any good crimes we might investigate? Not much fun doing these white wash investigations… Anything at all?”

  63. Henry chance
    I see a very different possibility. If there is legal and open access to the information by reason of a FOIA request, they may process this response and declare there was no theft here>>

    As I posted in another thread, there is a jurisdictional difference between the UK and Canada in terms of who owns an e-mail. In Canada and the US, the e-mail message is the “property” of the employer. In the UK it is the property of the employee. Drives compliance officers of multi-nationals nuts. So, I suspect that the FOIA request would apply to the data, but not to the e-mails themselves.

    That said, I refuse to believe that the missing data/email/ what ever is not on a backup tape off site and it would be interesting to file an FOIA against THAT.

  64. As lubos mentionbed. This whole climate thing has become way over the top both for skeptics and agw believers. Lets all move with our lives please….There is no AGW and being anti-AGW is becoming a joke. Please let meteorologists do their job.

  65. Phil,
    Go back under your bridge.

    CTM, Obama decreed (illegally) that Interpol now is above the law in operating within these United States. Contact a lawyer. Trolls like Phil show that decency and legality isn’t necessarily the boundaries that the warmist conmen will limit themselves to.

  66. Bill in Vigo (17:50:58) :
    Not being familiar with British common law if that is what is involved here. Some years ago I was a police officer in Fl. U.S.A. When we received a report of a crime the report was treated as a statement of sworn fact. While it seems slow there at that time begins two investigations. 1. to determine if there actually was a crime committed. and 2. If a crime was committed who was the perpetrator.

    I have a suspicion that this is more turning into a determination of did a crime actually occur. It seems that this was a publicly funded facility and by that definition “public facility” there is no right of privacy. It has already been determined that the blockage of the FOIA requests was a crime but beyond the statute of limitations. The release of the same information that was a crime to not release I would feel would not be a crime.

    Actually no such determination has been made, certainly not for the bulk of the material (the statement by the ICO referred to by the BBC re one of the FOIA requests can’t be found on their site and no official determination has been posted). It’s not true that there is no right of privacy at a British university. Whoever released the information did not have the right to do so so a crime was committed. British law on whistleblowing would not cover this activity, and in any case would not absolve someone from breaking a law.

    Me thinks that some one is in trouble at UEA but possibly for the reporting of a false accusation and statement. There is a possibility that the report of a crime will be determined as unfounded. This will have a by product of the possibility of an investigation of filing a false report at multiple levels.

    The report was accurate, material was removed from CRU and circulated without the permission of the owner (copyright owner), the determination of what crime was committed doesn’t effect that.

    The original charge of theft will be in use by the authorities until it is either falsified or the charge is dropped. if there is an arrest and conviction it will remain.

    Even if no one is charged it will remain a theft (by person or persons unknown).

  67. Re: Phil. (19:02:30) :

    Whoever released the information did not have the right to do so so a crime was committed.

    You can only state this if you know who released the information. There ARE people who have the legal right to release this information and until you can demonstrate it was none of these people, this statement, while probably true, can not be stated as a fact.

    The report was accurate, material was removed from CRU and circulated without the permission of the owner (copyright owner), the determination of what crime was committed doesn’t effect that.

    I’m not aware of any material being reported as having been “removed from CRU”. There is certainly evidence that material has been copied, though. Copying, however, is not “theft” per se, though it can breach copyright and intellectual property rights.

    So, I’m not sure your stance regarding it remaining a theft is legally correct. A case can be made along those grounds, granted, but it’s not proven.

  68. Why are they so slow to investigate? At this rate it will take decades to resolve the real issues behind the AGW fraud. In any other filed, such as finance, such allegations revealed in the CRU emails and elsewhere would have forced certain people in the AGW crowd to be investigated by various enforcement organizations, with some issued with charges by now to defend in a court of law. I smell a rat.

  69. ctm said: “The multiple FOI’s were submitted in response to Phil Jones’s obstruction of the scientific process of verification and replication. Had he behaved as any scientist should, no FOI requests would have been required and it would have been ten minutes work to respond to the original request.”

    Way to set the record straight! In this case, the keyboard is mightier than the sword. WELL SAID.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  70. If anyone enjoyed the Battle for Germania scene in Gladiator, please tune in to Phildot’s always pompous postings on what he knows about California law.

    People should know when they’re conquered:

  71. John Whitman (18:14:24) :
    New Topic – Anyone, is it normal for a British policeman to contact a US citizen at home in the US regarding a British police matter? Curious.

    Wouldn’t the American Consulate be the party to contact a US citizen on behalf of a foreign government? I was contacted by the US Consulate in a foreign country and given the police numbers, and had to give permission for their local police to contact me directly.

    I think this is a phish dressed in a wolf suit. A dead one that smells bad.

  72. Such a shame that the only record that really should be set straight is the scientific one, but the focus is continually steering towards the desired political one.

    Norfolk Constabulary is probably pretty excited about putting on the SWAT gear, pouring a cup of tea, sitting down and sending out some emails.

    I can just see Marc Wootton now…..To get to the bottom of the Climategate email scandal, Norfolk Constabulary employs world famous Shirley Ghostman…..

  73. I am a lawyer.

    1. Don’t talk to the cops.

    2. Get a lawyer.

    3. If somebody calls you and says he is a cop. Don’t talk to him.

    4. Why would you believe an e-mail from somebody claiming he is a cop, and more than an e-mail claiming he is a Nigerian banker.

    5. Don’t reply to the e-mails.

    6. Even a fish cannot get in trouble if it keeps its mouth shut.

  74. I’m no lawman, but have you considered this to be a prank ? Because I find it hard to believe that this is normal procedure. In any case, you can only lose if you talk (or write) to a cop.

  75. cedarhill (16:46:30) :
    Good advice. I wouldn’t have responded. If he really wants to ask questions, he can go through the U.S. legal system and I can get a lawyer…and not say anything…substantive (“Well, that looks like it might be my blog post…I’d have to compare it directly with my records at home”). Who the hell can navigate British law, ICC law, and U.S. law, without discovering that they broke one?

    @ wws (16:57:43) :
    Worst advice every. Innocent people who listen to you end up in prison. I take it you are the investigator in question??

  76. take a bow, anthony, charles, Big Mac!

    Pew Research: “Climate-Gate” Re-Ignites the Blogosphere Debate
    The blogosphere last week once again fixated on one of its most popular topics, global warming, following a BBC interview with Phil Jones, the scientist at the center of the so-called “Climate-gate” controversy last year..
    In the blogosphere from Feb. 15-19, the global warming debate received more than a third (34%) of the week’s links according to the New Media Index produced by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. This is the first time the subject has made the list of top five subjects among blogs since last December when global warming was a significant subject for three weeks in a row..
    The previous discussions of climate in the blogs were mostly dominated by the voices of global warming skeptics. This past week, that viewpoint was still the predominant one, but supporters of global warming science were more visible than in previous weeks.
    The subject of global warming has been of much greater interest in social media than it has been in the traditional press. Last week, the story was not among the top 10 subjects covered in the mainstream media, according to PEJ’s News Coverage Index that monitors coverage in traditional media. ..

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1507/bloggers-focus-again-climate-gate-controversy

  77. Phil. (19:02:30) :
    Bill in Vigo (17:50:58) :
    Not being familiar with British common law if that is what is involved here. Some years ago I was a police officer in Fl. U.S.A. When we received a report of a crime the report was treated as a statement of sworn fact. While it seems slow there at that time begins two investigations. 1. to determine if there actually was a crime committed. and 2. If a crime was committed who was the perpetrator.

    I have a suspicion that this is more turning into a determination of did a crime actually occur. It seems that this was a publicly funded facility and by that definition “public facility” there is no right of privacy. It has already been determined that the blockage of the FOIA requests was a crime but beyond the statute of limitations. The release of the same information that was a crime to not release I would feel would not be a crime.
    ***************
    Actually no such determination has been made, certainly not for the bulk of the material (the statement by the ICO referred to by the BBC re one of the FOIA requests can’t be found on their site and no official determination has been posted). It’s not true that there is no right of privacy at a British university. Whoever released the information did not have the right to do so so a crime was committed. British law on whistleblowing would not cover this activity, and in any case would not absolve someone from breaking a law.

    Phil,
    Don’t take this the wrong way, but you probably shouldn’t be giving legal opinion without having read the law in question. PIDA in the UK is probably the most wide reaching FOI legislation around. A couple of tidbits from http://www.pcaw.co.uk/law/pida.htm (emphasis mine):

    …the Act sets out a framework for public interest whistleblowing, which protects workers from reprisal because they have raised a concern about malpractice. Though the Act is part of employment legislation, its scope is wide and no qualifying periods or age limits restrict the application of its protection (s.7).

    Only a disclosure that relates to one of the broad categories of malpractice can qualify for protection under the Act. These include (s.1, s.43B) concerns about actual or apprehended breaches of civil, criminal, regulatory or administrative law; miscarriages of justice; dangers to health, safety and the environment; and the cover-up of any such malpractice. Cast so widely, and with its emphasis on the prevention of the malpractice, and with the guarantee of full compensation, the Act requires the attention of every employer in the UK.

    As the short title makes clear, the Act (s.1 ss. 43E to 43H) also sets out the circumstances where the disclosure of the malpractice outside of the organisation is in the public interest and should be protected. In these provisions, the Act adopts and develops many of the signposts from the common law on whether particular information may, notwithstanding the fact it is confidential, lawfully be disclosed in the public interest. Before touching on the relationship between these new statutory provisions and the common law principles, there are two important points. First, the Act applies to all information, whether confidential or not. Secondly while it draws on the common law, it should be noted that these cases focused on whether the confidential information might itself be published (usually by a newspaper) or disclosed to a regulator, rather than whether the whistleblower who made that public interest disclosure should be protected from reprisal or sanction.

    In some circumstances, the Act may impose requirements additional to those in the law of confidence. For a disclosure to be protected, (a) the whistleblower must make the disclosure in good faith; (b) as to all external disclosures, he needs to show some substantive basis for his belief; and (c) as to wider public disclosures – unless there is some legitimate reason why not – the concern should have been raised internally or with a prescribed regulator first. In other respects – such as factors to be weighed in deciding whether a wider public disclosure was reasonable under ss.43G and 43H – the Act requires tribunals to have regard to matters which are also considered at common law. While relevant cases from the law of confidence may provide helpful guidance to tribunals, they are not binding. Indeed the Act only requires tribunals to consider duties of confidence where the disclosure was in breach of a duty of confidence which was owed to a third party by the employer: s.43G(3)(d). For a comprehensive analysis of the case law in this area, the reader is referred to Dr Y Cripps’ monograph The Legal Implications of Disclosure in the Public Interest, 2nd ed. (Sweet and Maxwell, London, 1994) and, more generally, to Toulson & Phipps Confidentiality (Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1996).

    So lets see here:

    Doesn’t apply to UEA: Wrong – Applies to all UK Employers
    Copyright/Privacy claim: Wrong – specifically states that it applies to confidential information
    Implied that a crime must have occurred for PIDA to apply (actually this one might have been Bill’s fault): Wrong – concern of malpractice is all that is required

    Could the argument be made that if, in fact, this was an employee that did this that they should not be protected? Yes it could, but not for any of the reasons you posit. It would be on the grounds that 1.) there was no valid concern of malpractice or 2.) there is a solid basis to argue that the concern should have been raised internally or to a valid regulator (ICO I would imagine). Given the climate ate EAU/CRU revealed by the e-mails, I don’t think any lawyer would have trouble arguing for whistleblower protection for this situation.

    That is, of course, assuming it was a leak. If it was an outsider, I’m not sure what you would call it exactly – interesting question.

    …and in case I was too convincing (fat chance I’m sure) I am not a lawyer and you’d be an idiot to consider what I just wrote as valid legal advice – just my reading/opinion of the statute in question.

  78. DJ Meredith (20:07:02):
    Norfolk Constabulary is probably pretty excited about putting on the SWAT gear, pouring a cup of tea, sitting down and sending out some emails.

    Spewing on keyboard laughing, another valid uptake. HAHAHA!
    Makes me think of Noddy Book Four, Mr. Plod, (the cop), Mr. Big (was it? Been too many years, the white haired old guy) and all those darned Golliwogs. Not to mention poor little Noddy and his parp parp..

  79. When I was at school in Norfolk, I and two others were apprehended by the Norfolk Constabulary riding our bikes back to school with a single tail and front light between us. A mere three weeks passed before a summons arrived, resulting in my appearance in the Cromer Magisrates’ Court, and a fine of 10s. They seem to have slowed down a lot…

  80. Question: If the statute of limitations has already expired for prosecuting the unlawful conduct of Phil Jones/CRU, when will the statute of limitations run out for the leaker/hacker? It should be any day now, right? :)

  81. LOL! I can’t wait to read the extradition order. As I recall, our country was founded because of such over reaching b.s.

  82. NickB. (20:39:12) :
    Thanks for your concern. Whistleblower legislation addresses reprisals by employers it does not protect someone who breaks a law in acquiring the data from prosecution.

    According to a government website:
    Qualifying disclosures
    To be protected as a whistleblower you need to make a ‘qualifying disclosure’ about malpractice. This could be a disclosure about:
    criminal offences
    failure to comply with a legal obligation
    miscarriages of justice
    threats to an individual’s health and safety
    damage to the environment
    a deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above
    There are some disclosures that can’t be qualifying disclosures. You won’t be protected for whistleblowing if:
    you break the law when making a disclosure
    (for example if you signed the Official Secrets Act as part of your employment contract)
    the information is protected under legal professional privilege (eg if the information was disclosed to you when someone wanted legal advice)
    Protected disclosures
    For your disclosure to be protected by the law you should make it to the right person and in the right way. You must:
    make the disclosure in good faith (which means with honest intent and without malice)
    reasonably believe that the information is substantially true
    reasonably believe you are making the disclosure to the right ‘prescribed person’
    If you make a qualifying disclosure in good faith to your employer, or through a process that your employer has agreed, you are protected. You should check your employment contract to see if your employer has set out a process for whistleblowing.
    If you feel unable to make a disclosure to your employer then there are other ‘prescribed people’ you can make a disclosure to. If you are unsure, you should always get professional advice before going ahead. Anything you say to a legal adviser in order to get advice is automatically protected.
    You could make a qualifying disclosure to the person responsible for the area of concern to you. For example, you might raise concerns about health and safety with a health and safety representative.
    In some circumstances you may be able to make a disclosure to someone who isn’t prescribed. More information on prescribed persons is contained in the ‘blowing the whistle on workplace wrongdoing’ article.”

    Note that distributing the information on the web doesn’t constitute a qualifying disclosure.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/ResolvingWorkplaceDisputes/Whistleblowingintheworkplace/DG_10026552

  83. Sorry about that CTM, I should have been a little more sensitive.

    Reply: Really? That’s your response? I wouldn’t allow such offensive crap to be posted against any group, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Shakers, even Michael Mann. Since it is policy for moderators not to express opinions political or otherwise in inline comments you will be spared a long diatribe about your political beliefs or how you acquire them. ~ ctm

  84. Okay this story has been at the top of WUWT for like 7 hours now. CTM, I’m sure we all feel your pain but can we now switch back to our regularly scheduled programming of clouds, climate, weather, and the models that created them? Oh wait, models can’t make clouds yet… nevermind.

  85. Instapundit, law professor Glen Reynolds, once warned that no one should ever undergo questioning by a police officer without a lawyer present. It’s good advice, no matter how innocent you are.

    The person who released the information deserves a Nobel prize, not jail, for saving the world. Lord Monckton had it right. We were a hair’s breadth away from ceding national rights to an ultra leftist global government that would transfer the wealth of western nations to corrupt third world dictators. Thanks to this hero, the utter depravity of the warmists was revealed at the very moment it would do the most damage.

  86. [keep that disgusting distorted leftist propaganda to yourself. ctm ~ a not-self-hating jew]

    Oh dear, was somebody quoting Chomsky again?

    Reply: Very funny, close but worse. ~ ctm

  87. This is good because I am very immature for my age. ~ ctm

    At a party one night a very good friend was asked, ‘Well what do you want to be when you grow up’? After about 30 seconds he responded – ‘Old age pensioner’

  88. Really Charles, I know this is not the forum for the sort of stuff I tried to delve into. My esoteric interests can be pretty heavy. I won’t, let it happen again here. Please accept my apology. One battle at a time.

  89. What’s the old joke “neither drink, Norfolk”

    (something like that anyway).

    How did the the Norfolk Inquisitor obtain your email?

  90. CMT
    You may need to brush up on Letters rogatory. Note particularly:

    Letters rogatory should be written in simple, non-technical English and should not include unnecessary information which may confuse a court in the receiving foreign country.

    You may need to ask Rumpole’s assistance.

  91. Phil,
    You might be the most creative reader I’ve seen.

    Whistleblower legislation addresses reprisals by employers it does not protect someone who breaks a law in acquiring the data from prosecution.

    The law states makes absolutely no reference to the manner in which the data is acquired – true – but you are assuming that a crime was committed for said employee to access the data itself (i.e. breaking into another employees computer, for example). This is, at best, a stretch of the imagination and by no means a given… and the fact of the matter is that in a whistleblower situation, the government will not typically, if ever, prosecute the manner in which the information was obtained (assuming it could even be proven forensically). For example, “taking” a stack of papers is protected, breaking into someone’s office to take it is where it gets a little shady.

    The act of releasing said data is, most assuredly protected unless it is illegal to disclose the information. I’m not sure if you intentionally misquoted/misread/mis-emphasized it or not, but the following…

    There are some disclosures that can’t be qualifying disclosures. You won’t be protected for whistleblowing if:
    you break the law when making a disclosure (for example if you signed the Official Secrets Act as part of your employment contract)
    the information is protected under legal professional privilege (eg if the information was disclosed to you when someone wanted legal advice)

    …is clearly describing specific legal obligations to the information being disclosed. For CRU this has absolutely no bearing whatsoever. There are no state secrets in play and unless the leaker obtained this information through being Phil Jones’ lawyer, doctor, or clergy (in which case he wouldn’t be an employee anyway), this caveat does not apply.

    Finally to your last point, from the brief portion of this handbook/guide/FAQ that you cite – which is not the actual statute verbiage – it could be assumed that public disclosure is not allowed. Again your interpretation is patently wrong and possibly a willful misrepresentation/misquote. The guide links to criteria for releasing to “others” whereas the statute refers to a “wider public disclosure”. Releasing to the internet would fall into the third – internal, regulator, public – category and as I originally posted, that does not automatically qualify it (there are standards outlined in the law, as previously described and are the highest for a public disclosure).

    Are we there yet?

  92. Careful … Norfolk police are fearless, just check out how they handled Alan Partridge with the traffic cone theft incident.

    Good luck

    Andy

  93. So the inquisitors won’t contact the “deniers” when it concerns direct info related to the blocking of the FOI requests or the scientific disputes involved, but have no problem finding us concerning the e-mails that were apparently left on an unsecured server…..

    I’m almost surprised.

  94. The law enforcement authorities in the UK are actually behaving quite reasonably and compentently in this, contrary to some overwrought postings here and elsewhere.

    There is no public safety issue. There is no violent criminal at large. There is no large monetary loss, no drugs. The material is out there, you cannot get it back. They are grinding their way through it with the level of priority any reasonable police force would give to it. From what one hears and reads of their communications with people who they think can help with the investigation, they are being perfectly polite and straightforward and matter of fact about it.

    And the Norfolk police are a perfectly competent lot, they are neither conspiring against civil liberties nor are they rural yokels, as the overwrought postings imply. They deal with a couple of active ports and several cities, including Norwich. They’ve plenty of experience of all kinds of crime.

    Bear in mind that the UK does have a serious domestic extremism issue. You just have to list the stuff to see it. Irish terrorism, Islamic terrorism, Animal Rights direct action, demonstrations against the various International economic summits held here, environmental direct action (for example against Kingsnorth, urged on by Prof Hanson).

    Any reasonable person looking at all this would conclude that when the emission reductions which the government is now committed to start to bite, the potential for it turning to violent confrontation between rival groups of nutters is fairly high. Leaks of data may be trivial, but what its part of is not particularly trivial.

    My opinion is that the Norfolk police are doing and will do a decent investigation with a level of resourcing that is appropriate to the importance of the issue, and that denigration of them and the investigation by people most of whom live several thousand miles away and have never been anywhere near Norfolk is really pretty stupid stuff. As for what CTM should do, he should make sure he really is talking to the Norfolk police, but then he should just talk to them. Why ever not?

  95. poor mr plod is likely to remain a constable if he poesesses so little knowledge of the law that he has construed what happened at crm as “theft”, the defintion of which includes “with the intention of permanently depriving the other [person]of [property]”. it may have been a crime, but it was not, and could not be, theft.

  96. cedarhill,
    On a technical note, sending an email will not give away your computers mac, as you will be going through several routers. It is unlikely to give away your IP address, as few of us have fixed addresses nowadays, and because the mail will be sourced by your ISPs mail server rather than your PC. You could set up a hotmail/gmail/yahoo account just for talking to him. Then you can see who he has shared your email address with.

    Reply: I’m not hiding. My identity is public knowledge and any law enforcement agency can find my location in two minutes. ~ ctm

  97. Phildot, I think you need to think a good bit more about what law you think was broken here. It’s not nearly as clear as you think. Copyright law doesn’t really work; copyright is meant to apply to someone who takes the work of another and appropriates it as his own, especially for profit. However, copyright does not necessarily apply to someone who simply makes a copy of an e-mail and releases it into the wild, so to speak, with no intent at making profit or gain for himself. If this was a piece of music or art then the creator could seek damages based on the potential economic loss he or she suffered by not being able to sell the work himself (that’s the case the RIAA has been making against people) but that doesn’t apply to a piece of writing with no commercial value. (like a personal e-mail) Remember that copyright law is civil law, not criminal law, so a lawsuit is the only remedy, and economic damages must be shown.

    Likewise the Data Protection Act of 1988 doesn’t apply either – that is meant to help a person control their own personal information when it has been collected by a corporation. Not what’s going on here.

    Theft laws don’t apply, because the originals weren’t physically taken, they were just duplicated electronically, and no economic loss was suffered by the original owner.

    Even the UK’s hacking law may not apply, since that is meant to apply to DOS attacks and other incidents that are “designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.” Simply copying e-mails doesn’t qualify. I considered a violation of the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, which criminalizes unauthorized access of a computer; but this is where it matters whether it was an outside hacker or an inside leaker. An inside leaker who had authorized access to the computer in question cannot be prosecuted under this act.

    So what law do you think was broken here? Be very specific, please. I know this will surprise you, but you need to look closely at what the applicable law *actually* says, not what you think it says.

  98. Robert of Ottawa (16:35:06) :

    Clue Game!

    It was Jones, in the washroom, with his portable!

    ………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Maybe it was someone, in their quieter moments, with their conscience.

  99. I played a very small role in this matter, yet, a few days ago, the Norfolk Constabulary called me. The fellow I spoke to was courteous and professional. I’m not sure if this investigation is worth the money which is being spent upon it (calling Cairo for an hour ain’t cheap), but I was happy to tell the Norfolk Constabulary about my limited participation in the affair, which consisted of nothing more than sending an FOI request via email. I’d like for the investigators to get the facts of the case right.

  100. charles the moderator (17:21:46) :

    thanks everyone. i believe i am cooperating fully with transparency. to the person who asked. the photo is a couple months old. -ctm via mobile from a party in the haight.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The Haight. Ok, I’m in the Bay Area so I know what that is. But I’m pretty sure most people elsewhere don’t.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Haight–Ashbury, San Francisco

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haight-Ashbury

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Haight Street

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

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The Haight

    http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/haight/

  101. RE: Odd Address
    I’ve been checking… Suffolk PHQ is in Ipswich. Norfolk PHQ is in Wymondham (just
    outside Norwich). UEA and CRU are in Norwich, so it seems peculiar that you’re
    contacted by someone seemingly in Lowestoft.

    I think it’s reasonable to confirm his identity by contacting Norfolk, or Suffolk or
    even Scotland Yard! They’ll want to know who you are and what it’s about, and if
    DC Sean Baker is genuine, then they’ll confirm that much.

    http://www.norfolk.police.uk/mailer.cfm?&ampampemail=enquiries&ampampintro=Use%20this%20email%20form%20to%20send%20an%20enquiry%20to%20Norfolk%20Constabulary.

  102. ””””michel (22:46:35) : As for what CTM should do, he should make sure he really is talking to the Norfolk police, but then he should just talk to them. Why ever not?””””’

    michel,

    As an American, I am acutely aware of the highly litigious nature of my country’s society. So perhaps from an American perspective we might tend to advise caution to CTM on talking to police, even to British police. Other societies might be less litigious and advise less caution. Not all Americans, of course, would agree with me.

    Perhaps your area/society is less litigious?

    John

  103. CTM

    I accidentally clicked on your image and enlarged it.

    You’re done for mate, even I think you’re guilty after looking at that image. I need counselling…

    tonyb

  104. Daniel H (21:40:32) :

    Okay this story has been at the top of WUWT for like 7 hours now. CTM, I’m sure we all feel your pain but can we now switch back to our regularly scheduled programming of clouds, climate, weather, and the models that created them? Oh wait, models can’t make clouds yet… nevermind.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Well, we could talk about models anyway, couldn’t we?

    I would like to date a climate model. hehe

  105. i don’t think ctm is in any sort of trouble, as some seem to be worried about. they’re just contacting people who did FOI on CRU. Nothing to see here.

  106. Push will come to shove in the world of the unseen, and it will not be pretty. That which you sees is what is allowed to be seen. The confidence of the lords of darkness is astounding. They feel nothing can stop them at this point in time. Pride goeth before the fall. And yes, they will fall.

  107. wws (23:24:00)

    “I considered a violation of the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, which criminalizes unauthorized access of a computer; but this is where it matters whether it was an outside hacker or an inside leaker. An inside leaker who had authorized access to the computer in question cannot be prosecuted under this act.”

    I think, if (say) a police data processor discovered an up-coming drugs raid, and
    tipped-off the criminals, that would be an “unauthorized access”. The authority
    only extends to “proper use”. BIcbw.

  108. Well, I had my phone interview with Sean Baker earlier this week and was happy to do it since I was keen to put over my view of the events – my opinion being
    that it was an inside job. Also to make it clear I’m not part of some ‘monolithic climate denial machine’.

    It was a friendly interview (or seemed so, at least), but I can understand why non-UK citizens would be reluctant to reply.

  109. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (23:59:15) :

    I would like to date a climate model. hehe

    On second thought, make that a climactic model.

  110. The basic definition of theft is defined in S.1(1) of the Act.

    The Act states that

    “A person shall be guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.”

    This clearly is not a theft. The UEA have not been deprived of anything, there is no evidence whatsoever of anything physical being stolen.

    Unless this is a very sloppy use of language by the police, it seems to me the police are investigating something which is not a crime. There is also a clear right under the UK Human rights legislation to exchange of information:

    This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

    In an legal explanation note to the act it makes it explicit that this right covers acts which are “artistic or journalistic” in nature. There’s no doubt the information was intentented for journalistic use.

    There is also whistleblower legislation which I believe will protect people regarding the crimes under the FOI.

    All in all, it seems to me there is absolutely no crime for the Norfolk police to be investigating and if anyone is asked to partake of this sordid bit of what can only be described as politicing, then they should really make a formal complaint to the IPCC. (Independent Police Complaints Commission (http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/)

    All in all it is a complete waste of taxpayer’s money because no jury on earth would convict anyone for exposing the activities exposed by the climategate emails.

  111. Sounds like a fishing expedition to me.

    Theyre hoping to get a free holiday out in the US “investigating”… :)

  112. As a european citizen i cannot warn you enough against the civil servants that are capable of any act as long as it is serving their own careers . It would not surprise me if the story is originating from high government levels looking for ways to put the blame on outsiders the socold agw-deniers . Gordon Brown is nowadays already famous for his acceptance of critical remarks . I have experienced myself the reality with our civil servants when they wish to find a scapegoat . Dutch court cases are nowadays quite often dismissed because the prosecutors have been distorting truth and reality . There is possibly more information available about you than you are imagining and all the guys are possibly looking for is a way that your acts have triggered this and that you are the devious mind behind this . Truth does not county here , all they are trying is possibly to find a way to victimize you . It has happened quite often before and yes please take the good advice of some lawyers given on this blog . Remember quite a lot of people are considering you as the enemy of their livelyhoods and wish you behind bars forever…….

  113. There wouldn’t have been any FOI’s needed, there wouldn’t have been any police investigation, any Muir/Boulton stitchup, any parliamentary enquiry, if CRU had ‘fessed and committed to putting their house in order. No sleazy conferences, no holding the whole world to ransom.

    This is like the wasted lives of the First World War trenches, all over again.

    Cedarhill may be right – or not, in this unique case. ctm feels like he’s said the right thing. Human values can get trampled but only for so long. I hope the Norfolk police are slowly realizing this. The Battle of the Beanfield was a low in police behaviour – but also a turning point in the UK – which as we know from Kingsbridge has now gone too far the other way in supporting “green” protest. How confusing for the police to see similar behaviour from what must, at first, have seemed like the other side.

  114. Don’t worry – you have nothing to hide. What would be a real step forward would be if you can gauge their openness to the thought that this may have been “theft” of data but it may also have been a “leak” of data from a disaffected insider.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  115. Actually – Sleepalot has a fair point. do find out if this a real Plod and not… goodness knows what… MI5, the Gruainiad? The Warmistas? Suffolk Police seems like the wrong lot to me.

  116. I think they are looking for a hacker in the US then they can exchange extradition entitlements with Gary McKinnon. You aren’t autistic are you Charles, that would be even better :-)

  117. i have 3 words to say Cover Your Back.

    It makes for a scarier world but you are covered from anything they may claim you have done.

    I dont trust the police when they get involved in politics and unfortunatly thats what alot of the police do today, so cover your back. (i have cousins in the police).

  118. David Chappell (17:23:14)

    “On a matter of geography, why is a Norfolk Constabulary team based at a Suffolk police station.”
    answer;
    Norfolk born, Norfolk bred,
    Strong in arm, thick in head,
    Suffolk born, Suffolk bred,
    used to catch CTM instead.

  119. Just call him Sargeant, you’ll be OK.

    And if you have to use the county’s motto: Norfolk and Good, say it slowly and carefully.

    We all know that you aren’t a rotter by nature, in fact you’re a brick.

  120. @IsoTherm

    I am not a lawyer. I agree it’s not theft.

    If it was hacked from outside, it is a crime. Not theft, but there are laws against unauthorised access to computer systems and data.

    If it was leaked from inside, and the person exceeded their authority, it may fall under the hacking legislation. It may alternatively fall under privacy laws or duties to the university (but I think these are civil matters, so not for the police),

    FWIW: My personal theory is that maybe somebody inside the UEA made the ZIP file for an FOI request, or to back it up, perhaps they were intending to clean it up and didn’t get round to it. Or they forgot the file. And then it was accidentally left in a publicly accessible but obscure folder on or connected to UEA’s web or FTP server. If my theory were right, I’d be surprised if it were a crime to download it, given that UEA themselves accidentally published it.

    I know there are public interest defences for whistleblowers though. I expect they would be stronger for an insider, than an outside hacker though.

  121. It’d save them a lot of time if you’d just ‘fess up, ctm ;o)

    Let me see…

    If I’ve been following the story correctly…
    1. The janitor did it
    2. in the cafeteria
    3. with a Dell computer.

    Everybody else get the same answer?

  122. All that FOI-requesting evidently works wonders for the complexion! I would never have put you a day over 35.

  123. Please can you contact me (I would suggest initially by e mail) leaving a contact number so that we can have a chat.
    Kind regards

    That does *not* sound like the wording a LE professional would use when making initial contact with a prospective witness.

  124. Don’t you worry, they’ve got no CCTV photage, that’s why they’re fumbling about.

    If they’d been on to you you’d gotten an email shouting STOP or I shout STOP again!

  125. I have received a friendly reply from the Detective Constable.

    He may or may not call me next week. I may or may not publish his replies. It’s 3:30 am and I’m indecisive…I think.

  126. CTM the nightshift,

    For me 3:30 am would not be a good time for decision. I have found it is always good to take my mind off something for a while and sleep on it before making a decision.

    John at 7:45 pm Taipei time

  127. I was also contacted by the Norfolk Constabulary, and asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire. Here is a quote from my last e-mail to Detective Constable Sean Baker (January 31), which sums up my position.

    Your message of the 22nd states that “finding the truth is the purpose of the investigation”. Yet the investigation has been going on for long enough that the truth must now be obvious: crimes and scientific frauds were committed by people at the university, and the data was leaked to expose some of that. Your questionnaire (1) presumes that releasing the data was theft and (2) contains no indication that the criminals and fraudsters are being investigated. This contradicts your statement.

    I have been involved in exposing science-related crimes and frauds, in many fields of research, in several countries. I am accustomed to how authorities prefer to ignore such matters. Your investigation, though, appear to be going beyond that: the only objective of the investigation seems to be to expose the identity of the persons who blew the whistle. Such exposure would probably cause serious harm to the careers of those persons, even though they almost certainly committed no crimes. The investigation thus works for the benefit of the perpetrators of the frauds–frauds that you are seemingly ignoring, even though you are an officer of the relevant policing authority.

    I declined to fill out the questionnaire.

    (CTM: if you let me know your e-mail address, I can send you the questionnaire.)

  128. You created quite the **** storm that complaints were filed to the police (probrably by discret politicians).

    They really have no clue what to do as it would be the crown that would be after any charges.

    So now they are quietly letting you know that they are around in case this type of incident should happen again.

    If you were being “busted” they would not be announcing their precence to you but would be knocking your door down for evidence.

  129. For all you people fretting about the response, I’m pretty sure the Norfolk Police have no jurisdiction over somene in San Francisco. I wouldn’t be too worried.

    As for the polite tone of the email – if all you’ve ever seen the police about is traffic fines or property crime, then you’d get used to a less polite way of doing things. The fact is your average English policeman is quite a polite fellow, particularly once you get a rank above street plod. I’m sure there are many exceptions, but I see nothing wrong with a polite request for information.

    I think some people have been watching too much crime on TV.

  130. Don’t worry, be happy !
    CTM,
    I (the above) have contacted my dear friend Dr. Watson, who, has his ex-wife running a bakers shop in Beach Road Lowestoft, (a short tri-cycle ride away from the prison ) She ( a really wonderful, homely soul ) has confirmed that she will visit and bake for you during your encasement in this cold, wet, and windy, and very mundane coastal town/prison colony.
    PS.
    Anthony, any thoughts on a replacement ? CTM looks to be indisposed for quite a long time looking at the turmoil in the British government.

  131. Perhaps someone on the investigation team has been reading the blogs. The recent comments by Steve McIntyre that no-one had talked to him about any of the Mann allegations might have rang an alarm bell and reminded them that not asking some questions raises questions.

    Notwithstanding the fact that there are descriptions of all the events as they happened posted on line, what kind of investigator would take the blog posts as evidence and not try to corroborate with the actual persons involved.

    If the Domestic Extremism unit links this data theft with eco-terrorism, (how about trying to undermine the consensus on global warming and thus endangering the planet, don’t laugh, it could happen) we could soon have some extradition warrants issued.

    Except Norfolk Police probably haven’t got any budget for that. And there’s an 8 hour time difference, so he won’t be at work when you’re available, so don’t expect a call.

  132. I think the advice not to tell him anything is spot on. How do you know that he is really a policeman, and if he is, use your right to remain silent! This may be part of Gordon Brown and Ed Millibands “War on Climate Change Deniers”.

    First, identify who we can make guilty.
    Then change the law so “Climate Change Denial” is a crime.
    Finally catch and lock up the “criminals”.

    I live in the UK and believe me when i say that unlike you Americans, we do not live in a free country. So don’t incriminate yourself and keep quiet.

  133. Someone back there asked the question, is this legit? Then I saw several other comments from people saying they were contacted too. But the fact is that this is NOT normal procedure for investigating a crime where evidence needs to be gathered from outside the investigating country’s jurisdiction. The “best practice” if you will is for the investigating jurisdiction to secure the assistance of the local jurisdiction to investigate, or at a minimum to secure permission from the local jurisdiction to communicate, with the local jurisdiction advising the witness that they are aware and involved before communication takes place.

    I don’t think CTM is at any particular risk, but a call to local authorities advising of the contact and asking if the source is legit or not might be in order. I know if I got such a call (being important enough to warrant one being a fond dream) I would be placing a call to the RCMP first.

  134. Hiding behind Yahoo or Hotmail, etc.

    Someone made that suggestion, and CTM pretty muched nixed his need for it, but just FYI, this wouldn’t work. Without going into the gory details, you would have to do much more than that to make your trail impossible to follow, and both Hotmail and Yahoo etc can be compelled by court order to produce the information required in the case of a criminal matter should they not cooperate.

    I once had hatemail being sent to me from a Hotmail account. I tracked through Hotmail to the ISP, contacted the ISP and secured their cooperation. The source was an ex business partner I was sueing. Made the next discovery session in front of the judge OH so much fun.

  135. for the record: personally, I agree with Copner’s hypothesis that this file was probably acacidentally left on an unguarded, open server in which case it was no crime for anyone to access it.

    Re: Sleepalot and what constitutes “unauthorized access” – I think it would be very difficult to make “unauthorized access” stick even in your hypothetical case; interfering with an official investigation and some other, non electronic based criminal laws would come into play instead.

    “unauthorized access” generally means that the person had no right whatsoever to log into that computer at all. If someone has authorization to access a database and does not have to break any security protocols to get to it, he is out from under the scope of that law. As I said, when criminal activity results from this there will be plenty of other statutes that come into play. The problem for those wishing to criminalize this incident is that there is no follow-on criminal activity, so none of those are available. Therefore they must argue that the copying itself is criminal – but that is a much more problematic proposition than they realize.

    Copying data for commercial or economic purposes can clearly be punished; for instance copying music so that the copier and his friends don’t have to pay for the download. But copying non-commercial data with no follow-on criminal activity and no commercial or financial losses resulting is a legal grey area where no current laws apply.

  136. Charles, as a law enforcment officer (financial “malfeasance”) in a commonwealth legal system (not Britain), I can only advise you three things:

    Be civil,
    Be co-operative,
    Be quiet.

    The Norfolk Constabulary are investigating an allegation of a criminal offense -theft, and it appears, by the wording of his email, that they are looking to confirm a suspect. Never, ever respond to requests for information by email in a police matter. Never, ever disclose information by telephone without independent confirmation of the caller. Do not assume nationality is a shield – its really only a limit on the extent to which funds will be allocated…(as mentioned, libertarians need to think about that…)

    Ask the emailer to frame his questions in writing on the letterhead of the agency, containing a verifiable return address, rather than an email. Written communications of any kind can surface anywhere in an investigation (this is where we came in, remember?), irrespective of its admissibility or its constitutionality.

    Know that telephone conversations may be recorded with or without notification to you.

    I can carry out a conversation with you and ask you questions that will lead you to believe I’m heading in one direction or just being casual, but all structured to find out information I’m looking for, which, on the surface may appear innocous or irrelevant, and about things you might never suspect.

    Beyond the obvious liabilities that exist in being caught up in a police matter, there is also the consideration of any role you may play that puts you at risk in the “simpler” court of civil action. “loose lips sink ships” – don’t let it be yours. Your civic duty is to answer truthfully the questions put forward to you, no more. If you feel there is a bigger issue that needs addressing, file your own complaint (this last comment is directed more to others than Charles).

  137. Lowestoft is a former port town on the north coast of Suffolk, close to Norfolk. Very little happens there now that that the north sea herring fleet has been all but eradicated (by EU fishing quotas), so the plod there probably have time on their hands and have been asked to help out by Norfolk who are no doubt under max pressure to find the ‘hacker’ fast (ie before the forthcoming general erection gets under way).

    It might also be that they wanted to find a plod with the specific expertise / training required to look into this, and DC Sean Baker was the closest based. They might also have wanted to use a plod unit with no personal attachments (eg social or family) to anyone at CRU – which might have been difficult in a close knit and quite small city like Norwich

    I agree that the best course for all approached by DC Baker is to emphasise the wrongdoing at CRU with respect to FOI requests, and the corner into which those understanding what was going on were pushed.

    The plod over here may have had their heads stuffed increasingly with PC rubbish at Hendon (Police College) but they are only human. Here in East Anglia (I live in Suffolk) people don’t much fall for all that stuff: they are pretty down to earth and pour scorn on ‘received wisdom’, inc AGW. I would guess DC Baker will keep an open mind, whatever his brief from on high, esp if he is responded to with politeness and openess. It’s important though imo to keep pointing out that no ‘theft’ has taken place

    As for Phildot, he seems to be very keen to support the UEA/CRU line.
    His arguments smack both of PR and legalise – has been coached? – and of desperation that someone should be ‘got’ for the publishing of the files (of which surely the Harry_read_me sets revealing the worthlessness of the data are the most important scientifically, and the emails for evidence of scientific manipulation by the Team)

    I wonder if ‘dot’ is short for Jones?

  138. I think the evil deed was done by someone impersonating a Detective Constable from the Norfolk Constabulary.

  139. Regharding John Whitman’s comment:

    If they have no other way of contacting Charles except via WUWT, then of course they will use WUWT to contact him. They don’t know his full name.

    Regarding cedarhill and others:

    There’s a good deal of paranoia here. Charles is unlikely to get done over by the Plods. They are just “eliminating people from their enquiries”.

    My only advice to Charles here would be:

    1. Verify this guy is kosher before you agree to speak to him – probably best to contact the police station in question by phone and check. Could be a mad warmista journo on the prowl. Try Suffolk police on http://www.suffolk.police.uk/Useful+Information/Contact+Us/
    Their number is +44 1473 613500
    2. Don’t assume anything – let them tell YOU what they want to talk about.
    3. Keep a record of the conversation – tape it or at least keep copious notes while you are talking.
    4. Tell them what you know.

  140. I filed a FOI for 5 of the T countries and got approximately the same Emails and a phone call from Sean. I declined to answer any questions of what I considered to be private information and unrelated to the inquiry.

    The conversation centered around which websites organized the FOI requests and when. It was a nice conversational phone call all in all. Sean normally works homicide and I got the impression he was simply doing due diligence.

  141. >>Antique dealers with insecure loads on their roof racks
    >>is pretty much the extent of law breaking in this corner
    >>of the Queen’s realm. :-)

    You forgot the new trend in Norfolk.

    Half the population is now Polish, so we have a rash of drunkenness, prostitution and motoring offences (driving on the wrong side of the road while consuming a bottle of vodka is standard.)

    Crime levels have gone through the roof.

    .

  142. My advice? As much as I hate to be that guy, I would never, ever, ever speak to the police about something like this. You don’t have to, first off, and the only thing – THE ONLY THING – that can come of it is that you say something that piques their interest and they start an investigation of you. Think about it – what else could come of it? And by “say something” I mean, something very innocent and non-suspicious to your ears that comes across as a tad suspicious to them. Your response that you already sent has already drawn a line in the sand and proven to them that you could be a likely suspect – you were at odds with the CRU, you didn’t agree with them not releasing the data, and you were obviously (by the tone I read into the e-mail) incensed about it.

    Tell them that if they want to question you, to get a warrant for your arrest or a subpeona for your testimony (which they will not be able to do) and until then, you don’t want to speak with them. Nothing good can come of you speaking with them. Nothing.

  143. Genghis;
    The conversation centered around which websites organized the FOI requests and when;

    My BS meter just went into the red zone. Have ANY of you who have been contacted by this guy called your LOCAL law enforcement agencies to verify that he is legit?

  144. In an effort to distance myself from malicious, moderator, malfeasance:

    I see nothing nothing!

    Sgt. Hans Georg Schultz (Hogans Heroes)

  145. Let’s see, CTM is contacted by the Norfolk Police. He responds. Soon after Bishop Hill reports that the UK government may be calling early elections which will, among other things, terminate the parliamentary inquiry into CRU.

    Charles, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

  146. wws (06:23:59) :

    “unauthorized access” generally means that the person had no right whatsoever to log into that computer at all. If someone has authorization to access a database and does not have to break any security protocols to get to it, he is out from under the scope of that law. As I said, when criminal activity results from this there will be plenty of other statutes that come into play. The problem for those wishing to criminalize this incident is that there is no follow-on criminal activity, so none of those are available. Therefore they must argue that the copying itself is criminal – but that is a much more problematic proposition than they realize.

    Except you forget the hacking into RC to upload the data there, which many surmise resulted from a password found among the CRU posts, if so there’s your ‘follow-on’.

  147. @ Paul (06:39:09) : who states: “Your civic duty is to answer truthfully the questions put forward to you, no more.”

    I disagree with you. He has absolutely no civic duty, as an American, to answer ANY question asked by the Norfolk Constabulary. As an American, if I knew who “hacked” the information, I doubt I’d answer questions. The guy did us a great service. He deserves to be protected for revealing evidence on this fraud. If I were on a jury where this guy was caught, I’d argue for nullification.

    There is a point at which one should disobey the government. I think it arrives a lot sooner than most people think; sooner than waiting until you have to hide people in your basement because some genocidal government is looking for them.

    Of course, in this case, Americans in the U.S. have no duty to obey the instructions of Iranians, Russians, Venezuelans, Cubans, North Koreans, …or the British. They may even have a duty to disobey them.

  148. izzat really you Chasmod, peeking out from under the bed like that ?

    And here I imagined some geeky guy in horn rimmed glasses with a goatee and soup strainer.

    You look positively scholarly; and what is all that thick fuzz sitting on top of your head ? I don’t have anything like that; is that some sort of genetic defect (either way) ?

  149. The bobbies don’t have any jursidiction here. If this was Interpol it would be different.

    I would have told them:

    1. Go suck and egg
    2. Collusion to evade FOI requests IS a well documented crime that happened repeatedly in your jurisdiction with nary a phone call to discourage it. Now you want to investigate the victims instead? If your failure to investigate this years-long crime spree results in my having to pay carbon taxes, the provided contact information will be useful to me in serving you a court summons when US citizens file a class action against the UEA. You don’t take money from your own taxpayers then conspire to assure that the laws that protect them are not enforced.

    Cheery-O!

  150. Genghis (08:12:46) :

    The conversation centered around which websites organized the FOI requests and when. It was a nice conversational phone call all in all. Sean normally works homicide and I got the impression he was simply doing due diligence.

    BWAHAHAHA! Charles, just asnwer the questions directly you’re comfortable with and then STFU. LOL!

  151. You have done nothing unlawful – OK. By all means answer plod’s questions but first ask who made this complaint of ‘theft’ and how does this meet the definition of theft (see sections 1 to 7 of the Theft Act). There may be a subsequent complaint of wasting police time by making a false complaint. It may be that no complaint has been made and plod has been pushed into this by the UK Govt. Plod do not operate by investigating matters that float in cyberspace (apart from child pornography etc.). They must have recieved a complaint or direction from someone. It would be interesting to know from whom.

  152. Sorry, I forgot to mention it earlier.

    When dealing with Norflok Constabulary, do not mention webbed feet.

  153. Evidently Climate-Gate pressed “very sensitive corns”, or rather it touched sensitive wallets. It began as limited to climate science only, now, that black CRU hole menaces to swallow all kinds of settled science branches and well settled and established scientists and endangering a whole species of politicians all over the world, which btw are not in any peril of extinction.

  154. The leaking of the emails is not a crime. Something ‘Inspector Knacker’ ought to be aware. They belong to the UK taxpayer from whom they were being illegally withheld.

  155. “the north sea herring fleet has been all but eradicated (by EU fishing quotas)”

    Wrong. It was eradicated by overfishing, driving the herring to extinction. Before the EU had any quotas. The EU quotas will not help, either. They are set too high.

  156. In defense of Officer Baker, he may not be aware of the proper procedures he should be following if his agency is as “Mayberry” as some of the posters imply.

  157. In my view DC Baker is conducting a ‘fishing expedition’. And, indeed, why is he working out of an office in Suffolk? I would have treated this email with considerable circumspection, and if not a UK citizen, would have ignored it.

  158. Charles;

    This is from the disclaimer you said you were unable to access

    Norfolk Constabulary email disclaimer
    The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for the named person or organisation to which it is addressed. Unauthorised disclosure or use of such information will be treated as a breach of legislation or confidentiality.

    It would appear that merely by posting about this you may have at least potentially placed yourself in legal jeopardy. This is obviously a logical stretch, but it does highlight the point that there really is no upside to talking to legal authorities unless you possess information that might lead to the prosecution of someone you really want to see prosecuted. Even then the merits are not clear cut.
    I would very strongly recommend that you at least review the video linked by several commenters above before making your decision on how to proceed. Consulting a lawyer would probably be a better option, but since you don’t appear to be the kind of lowlife who would actually have lawyers for friends, this would probably entail some expense.
    When I first read the post, before the comments revealed that DC Baker was spreading a wide loop, I envisioned some inveterate punster in the UK legal system salivating over the prospect of dragging you into the dock just for the opportunity to utter the line “M’Lord, this man is obviously a Rotter!”

  159. ” Allan M (09:50:58) :

    Sorry, I forgot to mention it earlier.

    When dealing with Norflok Constabulary, do not mention webbed feet.

    LOL!

    (explanation for those over the pond- Norfolk is seen as the English version of Deliverance, banjo country, marry your cousin etc… ;-) )

  160. Has anyone caught the irony that we are debating an email issued for the purpose of investigating previous released emails?

  161. Phil., you get it wrong again when you say “Except you forget the hacking into RC to upload the data there, which many surmise resulted from a password found among the CRU posts, if so there’s your ‘follow-on’.”

    But what was the “crime” there? Unless I’m mistaken, the RC servers are in the US, not the UK, and this means you are dealing with a completely different body of law. Playing with a password to make a post on a public site is not a crime in the US if it does not cause economic damage to the site. Placing a post *on* a server is not the same as taking something away from it. It’s very difficult to come up with any “crime” involved in putting the data on Real Climate, since no damage was done to the site and nothing was taken or copied.

    Furthermore, you just have an allegation that this password was used. Unless you can prove that’s how it was done (what do RC records say?) then nothing but an allegation exists. You’re forgetting that in Court, unlike the internet, you actually do have to prove what you claim before you can do anything about it. I haven’t seen anything which indicates to me that proof exists, and circumstantial claims won’t get you very far in a real life court.

    And this may be a bit arcane, but generally a prosecutor cannot use extra-jurisdictional activities and complaints as an element of his local case. In the US, this is why the FBI and the Federal Courts handle all multi-state and interstate cases; the various state courts don’t have the jurisdiction to do it.
    The UK cannot use actions outside of its jurisdiction as part of a complaint inside it’s jurisdiction, because they do not have the authority to adjudicate the outside claim.

    Don’t forget that I’ve agreed that if it’s an outside hacker, there’s good evidence for at least unauthorized access. But if it’s just a leaker, then it doesn’t seem that there was any crime committed that is actionable under any body of law.

    And that’s actually a catch-22, because while a leaker may someday be outed, any hacker assuredly removed all of his electronic fingerprints at the time the file was transferred.

    Conclusion – there will never be any prosecution of anyone for anything concerning the dissemination of this data, no matter how it was obtained. This investigation is just becaue this is a very public case and the police will look bad if they don’t go through the motions and make it look like they are making an effort.

  162. Claiming that no laws were broken in getting the information out suggests the possibility that the person speaking knows more than he is saying and was either involved or knew who did it.

    Emphasizing a belief that CRU did something wrong (broke the law) suggests the possibility that the person speaking believed that committing an otherwise illegal act was justified, and was either involved or knew who did it. (“Earth First” activist type behavior.)

    Take a look at how Groklaw handles the ludicrous claims made by SCO regarding Linux. (A surprising number of highly intelligent people posting there do not see how alike HadCRU and SCO are, and are AGW true believers. Brains do not equal sense. Please do not bring up AGW there.)

  163. Don’t say a damn thing. Don’t confirm or deny anything. Keep your mouth shut no matter what, especially if you are innocent!

  164. As for the hacking or theft or leaking debate… if the perpetrator is an insider, he/she should claim that he/she was whistleblowing. The UEA has a whistleblowing policy, one can Google it, maybe all other avenues were exhausted and the time came for the Public To Be Told What Was Going On.

    However, if CTM was not the hacker then he has nothing to fear.

    I expect the Plods are interested in the timing and sequence of events, to try to track how the info got into the public domain. If it ever got to be more than a nice chat, they would ask Chas to make a formal statement. He’s a witness, possibly, but no more than that.

    He can always ask the Plods whether he is being considered as a witness or a suspect or what!

    There was a post refernced here a few weeks ago by Steve M, who did lay out a plausible account of the sequence of events, maybe nice DC Sean should look for that (I know you are reading this, DC Baker, good luck with the Truth, you might only be looking at a leak right now but maybe in future we will be looking at fraud, deception, “obtaining money with menaces” (my favourite English law) and misuse of public funds.

  165. The leaker, if an insider, could claim that they were whistleblowing and one day be commended for it. The UEA has a whistleblowing policy which one might Google, I found it easily enough.

    What is the crime? Hmmm, possibly none, although one normally has a duty of confidentiality to one’s employer, which can only be superseded by justified whistleblowing. The penalty then is not a criminal one but it might lose you your job.

    On the other hand, if the leaked e-mails and the HARRY_READ_ME file are anything to go on, CRU may well have committed offences; I wonder whether they will be labelled Fraud, Deception, Misuse of Public Funds, or my favourite “Obtaining Money with Menaces”.

  166. Robert of Ottawa (16:35:06) :
    Said:-

    Clue Game!

    It was Jones, in the washroom, with his portable!

    Hilarious. I can just see Christopher Monckton turning this into another one of his celebrated board games… after he’s finished pursuing them all through the courts of course.

  167. Kevin is right.

    It’s none of their business, you don’t have to justify or prove yourself right.

    Just tell them to sincerely fo.

  168. wws – “The UK cannot use actions outside of its jurisdiction as part of a complaint inside it’s jurisdiction…” Not true. A recent example in January 2010 – Regina vs Simon Guy SHEPPARD and Stephen WHITTLE was tried in London about material on a site hosted in Torrance, California. The material was agreed to be legal in Torrance, but that was not a defense in the UK.

  169. People in Norfolk who have webbed feet etc. tend to have a cryptic note on their health record which is just ‘NFN’.

    This stands for ‘Normal for Norfolk’.

  170. Reviewing some of the comments from others contacted by DC Baker, particularly Ghengis, one possibility does suggest itself. The British authorities may have already identified the “leaker” and are now trying to assemble some sort of conspiracy to commit prosecution. Prosecutors love conspiracy laws because their general vagueness allows them enormous flexibility. Many defendants charged with things like conspiracy to commit blatant mopery have found themselves in the joint even when the blatant mopery could not be proven.
    If the person they suspect of leaking the information has posted comments to blogs in the past, any interaction you might have had with him in moderation replies could conceivably entangle you in such a scenario. Your email reply was already a case of TMI, but I would strongly caution against further interaction with this guy.
    In the unlikely event that the British authorities do come after you, I recommend changing your name to Mohammed and fleeing to Vancouver. The Canadian have a deserved reputation for protecting asylum seekers with Islamic surnames from extradition efforts of international authorities.

  171. BTW, it’s always prudent to remember what the T-shirt said “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there trying to get you.”

  172. @Phil. “the hacking into RC to upload the data there, which many surmise resulted from a password found among the CRU posts, if so there’s your ‘follow-on’.”

    Well then, then the person really didn’t hack into anything. 0_o

    Just because something is illegal in one country doesn’t necessarily make it so from another, and international agreements are just that agreements not necessarily law.

    You’re just jumping through hoops by over simplifying to reach a preconceived assumption of truth.

  173. Veronica (England) On the other hand, if the leaked e-mails and the HARRY_READ_ME file are anything to go on, CRU may well have committed offences; I wonder whether they will be labelled Fraud, Deception, Misuse of Public Funds, or my favourite “Obtaining Money with Menaces”.
    one of mine is,

    § 3729. False claims
    (a) Liability for Certain Acts.— Any person who— (Note: Any person, not any person in the US)
    (4) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government or willfully to conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;

    is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person, except that if the court finds that—
    (B) such person fully cooperated with any Government investigation of such violation; and
    (b) Knowing and Knowingly Defined.— For purposes of this section, the terms “knowing” and “knowingly” mean that a person, with respect to information—
    (1) has actual knowledge of the information;
    (2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
    (3) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information,
    and no proof of specific intent to defraud is required.
    (c) Claim Defined.— For purposes of this section, “claim” includes any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property which is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient if the United States Government provides any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded, or if the Government will reimburse such contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded.
    § 3729. False claims

    I do believe that they received research grants from the USG, and may fall under this jurisdiction.

  174. My gut feeling is that they’ve spent months on this, and need something to
    justify the expense, so they’re “Intel gathering” – making a list of names of
    er,… let’s say “potential domestic extremists” (they can drop the “potential”
    later) and their international contacts.

    We know what our Glorious Leader thinks of us, so we know which way the wind
    blows.

    Just as changes to the diagnosis of autism created an apparent “autism epidemic”,
    so liberal use of the term “extremism” can create an apparent surge in extremism,
    which justifies over-arching police powers to contain. (Which raises tension in
    society, in a neatly self-fulfilling-prophecy kind of way.)

  175. Charles:

    They won’t believe a word you tell them.

    They think you are a Rotter! (Heh, heh, heh…they are right on that judgement. Probably the BEST Rotter they’ve ever met.)

    Max

  176. Curiousgeorge (16:24:49) :
    Let me get this straight. You are a US Citizen, being investigated by a a local British Constable?

    What about moi? What about moi? This is getting beyond ridiculous. I sent my FOI request for confidentiality agreements in at the same time as CTM and received a reply. But what have I heard from PC Plod of Norfolk. Nothing, zero, zip, zilch, bugger all. Most of us down here in Oz do probably retain strands of convict code in our DNA, so they have probably just stamped my file “GUILTY” and pressed on with the more difficult cases.

    It is disappointing to be left out nevertheless.

  177. Roger Knights (00:39:06) :

    aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (23:59:15) :

    I would like to date a climate model. hehe

    On second thought, make that a climactic model.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

    You mean drama? I’ve had enough drama with women.
    Or did you mean something else??

  178. For goodness’ sake join the dots! Just cos we’re all sceptics here hasn’t stopped a streak of paranoia running through this. Some of you sound like Mann. The very last thing anyone in the AGW camp wants from any of the rash of investigations breaking out all over the place is any action at all. Least of all anything that might result in a trial – a process involving forensic logic, a process foreign to them, but which they rightly suspect they will find disagreeable. And if the email is from an impersonator, so what? Presumably you have little to say that you haven’t said here, and in any case an impersonator would have difficulty making use of any information you give him in any of the relevant jurisdictions, since however indifferent they may be to scientific malfeasance (and that remains to be seen), the police disapprove deeply of people who impersonate them.

  179. @aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES

    “I would like to date a climate model. hehe”

    Here you go: The future of Obama’s climate change agenda, straight from Chicago, the one and only…. Kelly Bundy, “Weather Bunny”:

  180. I believe in your integrity Charles. We all knew this game could get ugly. I prepared myself a long time ago to face whatever may come. I would be curious to know what Jello’s view on this would be. Has any body here ever heard Jello’s band “Lard” doing a song called “Drug Raid At 4:00am”. Pretty hard core, but very funny in a demented way. After the police have torn the house apart and abused all the residence, the final line is “oops, sorry, wrong house.” Classic stuff. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Very frustrating that the constabulary seem to be investigating in the completely wrong direction.

  181. Phil, why would they have to “hack into RC” to upload a file? Wouldn’t it just have been a file sent by email like it was for everyone else? It is so funny when they try to make themselves out to be the victims all the time. Pathetic.

  182. The advice above: “do not talk to cops” is correct. All your communications with them should be in written form, as this is, with copies retained so they can’t twist your words.

    If there is ever any need to have an actual conversation with cops, have an attorney present, as well as your own recording equipment, as Ezra Levant did with the “Human Rights Commission” Commissar investigating him for offending someone. Have the attorney let the cop know that because you have nothing to hide, you’re planning on putting the interview up on YouTube (Don’t tell him, but you can still bleep out any personal information you don’t want the whole world to hear when you do that part). He will have no prayer of testilying that you said something you didn’t say, or selectively remembering just the right snippets of what you said to misrepresent the meaning.

    If he refuses to interview you under these circumstances, your attorney should inform him that you will therefore have to invoke your right to remain silent, as anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

  183. davidmhoffer (08:35:45) :

    “Genghis: The conversation centered around which websites organized the FOI requests and when. My BS meter just went into the red zone”

    That certainly rang loud alarm bells with me – the use of the word websites, rather than idividual scientists – and like David Wendt I fear ‘Conspiracy’ is what they are after here. A couple of other things int he thread also got my ‘red alert’ meter in overdrive, esp the mention of that the new unit against ‘domestic extremists’ is involved. Gordon Brown and his ministers have been making threatening noises about going after ‘deniers’ whom they consider to be ‘extremists’ (and ‘right wing’, therefore in his terms ‘enemies of the state’!)

    So yes, maybe this is a fishing expedition – but with possibly sinister outcomes, and it’s probably best to employ extreme caution as advised by all those posting who have legal experience. The endgame might be, if they can implicate any website under the catch-all ‘conspiracy’ laws, they could move to close it down, which might prove a problem for any British-run site; not sure they could touch Anthony though

  184. After making a similar FOI request last summer, I was contacted by Norfolk Constabulary about six weeks ago and, after a short e-mail correspondence, interviewed for about an hour over the telephone. They wanted to know what I thought about the general AGW issue, what my connections were with other skeptics, what my political affiliations were, and all sorts of background stuff. After having recently read on the Bishop Hill blog about the involvement of the UK’s Domestic Extremism Unit with this investigation, I asked the officer about this and he mentioned that he himself was from Special Branch, and that both Special Branch and the Domestic Extremism Unit had been helping out with the investigation “because of the shortage of manpower within the Norfolk Constabulary” (who, to be fair, are indeed a small rural force unaccustomed to this level of publicity).

    I felt bemused by all of this rather than threatened, but I was nevertheless very surprised that the police were following this line of investigation.

  185. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (23:25:05) :

    Roger Knights (00:39:06) :

    aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (23:59:15) :

    I would like to date a climate model. hehe

    On second thought, make that a climactic model.

    …………………..
    You mean drama? I’ve had enough drama with women.
    Or did you mean something else??

    It’s a feeble joke-attempt. Here’s what I got by googling for define climactic: “consisting of or causing a climax.”

  186. You guys are really tempting me to engage in a project.

    How to date a climate model.

  187. CTM – Would do well to practice his “PERP WALK” just in case…the old boy scout motto of “being prepared”…

  188. Can’t you guys see the grey hair on his chin? ;)

    Oh man I just got the power back on today after the “snowocane” whacked us here in New Hampshire. Five days without power… I’ll be writing something up about this. Note: this cyclonic nor’easter has given us above average temps here for this time of March (I like to think that it blew Boston’s UHI up this way), but the constant snow cover definitely insulated us from radiating heat to space at night. Temps have ranged from high 20’s to low 40’s, when the norm is between 11 to 20 degrees F. The higher temps are a RESULT of the storm, not its cause, the cloud cover insulating us at night, the last two days the night time temps have not gone below 29-32 F , when normally they’d go sub-zero. Now that the storm is moving offshore, we have open skies tonite and the temp is now falling again. Its 30F now at 8:30pm, and should reach the low 20s.

  189. I find Eon Pengwern’s comment above quite scary. The fact they are calling on both Special Branch and the Domestic Extremism Unit for this investigation – and enquiring into political views! – displays a very unpleasant attitude to legitimate intellectual freedoms. The ‘secret ballot’ is of course a fiction as every ballot paper is numbered…

  190. On Feb 25 at 16:15 I left a comment saying that I hadn’t been contacted by the Norfolk constabulatory. It turns out that they had been attempting for some time, but had an incorrect e-mail address.

    Their Feb 23 letter just finally caught up with me and I’ve given DC Baker my current contact info. We’ll see where it goes from here.

    It appears that the UK police are treating all FOIA requestors as suspects in a crime. I wonder if the chilling effect that has on future FOIA requests is intended, appropriate, and legal.

    Eos Pengwern (09:38:45) : 28Feb said “After making a similar FOI request last summer, I was contacted by Norfolk Constabulary about six weeks ago and, after a short e-mail correspondence, interviewed for about an hour over the telephone. They wanted to know what I thought about the general AGW issue, what my connections were with other skeptics, what my political affiliations were, and all sorts of background stuff. ”

    That a very intesting set of questions. A bit strange if the only intent of the investigation is to determine if there was a theft of e-mails and who did it. My intent is to decline to discuss such matters as my opinions and connections with others (or lack thereof) are IMO not relevant to the investigation.

    OTOH, perhaps I will discuss in detail my connections with the NASA quality of information people, and point them to the Request for Correction regarding Sea Levels and other items at NASA Chief Information Officer webpage, http://www.sti.nasa.gov/qualinfo.html

    Those NASA people are truly scary activists and revolutionaries, on a mission to convert others, and should be very closely monitored and observed.

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