FOI victory against Phil Jones, CRU, and UEA

Excerpts from Bishop Hill: A major FOI victory

This post is a jointly written effort by myself and Don Keiller.

Readers may remember the Information Commissioner’s ruling last year that UEA had to release the CRUTEM data sent by Phil Jones to Peter Webster at Georgia Tech. This had been requested by Jonathan Jones and Don Keiller.

This ruling was obviously very welcome, but in fact it was not the end of the story. UEA had put forward an argument that CRUTEM data was held under agreements with national meteorological services and could not therefore be disclosed to outsiders. Along with his request for the data, Keiller had therefore also requested the covering email that Phil Jones had sent to Webster, which should presumably contain caveats about reuse and disclosure. However, when the Information Commissioner ordered UEA to release the data,  UEA’s non-disclosure of the email was upheld, on the grounds that the information was, on the balance of probablilities, ‘not held’.

However, by the time of the ICO’s ruling, it was clear that CRU had its own backup arrangements – the CRUBACK3 server that was at the centre of the Climategate affair – and it was therefore fairly clear that the email did still exist. UEA were in essence trying to argue that since it was no longer on Phil Jones’ hard drive, it was no longer legally ‘held’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), regardless of its presence on the backup server. Keiller therefore decided to appeal the ICO’s decision to the Information Tribunal. Firstly he had to provide new prima-facie evidence to support the appeal to an internal ICO Appeals Panel, who decide whether there are grounds for an appeal.

 

The tribunal looked at three questions:

  • Is it more probable than not that the email sent on or about 15 January 2009 by Professor Jones to Georgia Tech attaching datasets was backed up onto and retained on the Climate Research Unit’s (CRU’s) back-up server prior to this server being taken by the Police?
  • Is it more probable than not that the e-mail contained ‘any instructions or stipulations accompanying the sending of datasets’?
  • Is there a valid argument that a back-up of an e-mail retained after the original had been deleted from the computer on which it was composed is not ‘held’ for the purposes of the EIR?

The hearing started with Jonathan Colam-French (Director of Information System at UEA) providing evidence about the procedures in place to record, manage and dispose of staff emails. Unfortunately for UEA, the systems described by Mr Colam-French were not in place at the time Jones sent his email to Georgia Tech, a fact uncovered by the otherwise ineffective Muir Russell Report.

In their decision the Tribunal made some pointed remarks about UEA’s evidence, stating that:

The Tribunal were rather disconcerted by the evidence adduced by the UEA on [Question 1]. Jonathan Colam-French had almost no knowledge of the CRU’s back-up system and was simply unable to answer several pertinent questions…

and

…we noted the complete lack of evidence about anything resembling a coherent deletion/retention policy for emails.

On this basis, the tribunal reached their first ruling, namely that the email was more than probably still on the backup server.

UEA are now required to approach the Police to see if they will provide a copy of the email in question, and to see if they or someone else will extract it for them. (As another aside, we might note that copies of Jones’ emails and indeed those of Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn have already been provided to the Russell inquiry. I wonder what happened to those copies of the emails or if UEA also received a copy?).

So, the key outcome of this case is that a further precedent has been set. That precedent is that UEA’s refusal to release information on the grounds that under EIR Reg. 12(4)(a) – Information not held, is no longer valid. Backup servers have to be searched.

Full story at Bishop Hill: A major FOI victory

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73 Responses to FOI victory against Phil Jones, CRU, and UEA

  1. Dave says:

    I only have one thing to say… yessss!!!!

  2. onlyme says:

    One small win for a man, one giant win for humankind.

  3. pat says:

    Try that excuse if you are an accountant or the President of publicly traded corporation.It will land you 5 years in jail.

  4. tarpon says:

    Bit by bit the walls come down.

  5. patrioticduo says:

    I see a small snow ball accelerating down a very slippery slope.

  6. bwanajohn says:

    Put out an appeal to FOIA. He/she probably has it and that is probably quicker route.

  7. manicbeancounter says:

    “The Judge agreed, saying that counsel for UEA were making “bold assertions”, but these were “unsupported by evidence”.”

    Were counsel for UEA moonlighting climate scientists?

  8. Nick Shaw says:

    Drip. Drip. Drip. It’s kinda’ like torture but, with a happy ending! Well, for us anyway ;-)

  9. Resourceguy says:

    Where are all the thought police on this one to justify stonewalling the FOI body of laws up to this point? Chalk this is up as another downside to the concept of settled science and end of the debate.

  10. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.

  11. Henry chance says:

    Stonewalling will continue. They will keep playing games. I don’t see punishment or penalties.

  12. Rob Crawford says:

    “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.”

    Then why did they fight this request?

  13. richard says:

    i feel a little drink is in order to celebrate, not that i did anything , well I did read the article.

  14. Jean Parisot says:

    Backup servers everywhere just got unplugged.

  15. Wade says:

    What are the chances that an “accident” will destroy all backups?

  16. kwik says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

    “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind. ”

    Yes, well, you are not exactly on the side of the people either. You support The Big Green, right?. Maybe you work for them? Some Government backed institution in Norway, perhaps?

  17. matthu says:

    The victory is the precedent that has been set i.e. that deletion from a personal PC can longer be relied upon as an excuse that the data or correspondence is no longer “held”. (This victory may also affect other pending appeals since I believe UEA have relied on this excuse before.)

  18. Anthony Scalzi says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

    In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.

    This particular case was about more than just the data. CRU was trying to claim that because the scientists in question had deleted emails off their personal computers, they didn’t have to supply them, even though the emails still exist on the back up server, which is conveniently(?) in police custody.

  19. Doug UK says:

    Agree with Pat.

    “pat says:
    January 23, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Try that excuse if you are an accountant or the President of publicly traded corporation.It will land you 5 years in jail.”

    As for the victory being small or large to a rat – I say “Am I botherred?” (which is a UK sort of funny bi-line for those not in the UK) – The main point is that an incredible series of barriers were put up to stop the truth from being revealed.

    Even in the court, three distinct and interlinked hoops had to be fought whereby failing on any one single point would mean the truth manipulators would have succeeded once again.

    SO! whatever the size any one thinks this victory is on its own does not matter a damn.

    That snowball is gathering speed on its run down off its ivory tower.

  20. David, UK says:

    Henry chance says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am
    Stonewalling will continue. They will keep playing games. I don’t see punishment or penalties.

    My thoughts EXACTLY. Why should these snakes and fraudsters be allowed to continually treat this like some sort of “catch me if you can” sort of game and not be threatened with incarceration for obstruction of the FOI act?

    On the plus side, their relative safety from the long arm of the law may be intact for now, only because they are acting at the pleasure and support of the liberal political powers of the day. But the colour of the politics of power can flip like the magnetic poles. I can just imagine how nervous these crooks will be if constitutionalist Ron Paul gets in at the next election.

  21. Yarmy says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

    In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.

    So why waste money fighting the case?

  22. Robert M says:

    I believe that at the end of the day, the information that CRU, Jones, and Co. are trying to hide will never see the light of day. If they lose in court, an “accident” will occur.

    As for Rattus telling us that the info is in the public domain, that simply will not do, whatever information was voluntarily put in the public’s view has been whitewashed to death.

    It is obvious to any casual observer that The team has played fast and loose with the rules, and that they have been enabled by their employers to keep the cash rolling in. Taxpayer cash. The taxpayer would like to see what we paid for. All of it!

  23. DirkH says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am
    “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.”

    A “victory”? You don’t support Freedom Of Information, as no warmist does, so why do you call it a victory?

  24. steven mosher says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am
    In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.

    #####################

    Rattus. Throughout this whole process your sides opinion on things has been wrong far more times than it has been correct.

    The significance of this ruling has nothing whatsoever to do with the data. It has to do with
    our access to the mails that have been deleted but still exist on the CRU backup server held by the police. One wonders why the police still hold the server. One wonders why CRU hasnt asked for a copy of the mails held by the police.

    The answer to that is simple. CRU want the police to hold the server. That way CRU can deny any requests for mails on that server. That ploy has just been shot out of the water.

    More to come. CRU defenders have been so wrong about so many things FOI related that you should just keep quiet.

    Or perhaps we can test your claim that this ruling doesnt mean anything by requesting some more documents on that back up server. care to bet? wanna keep this story alive for another 4 years.

  25. I’m still trying to get this all straight in my mind (assuming I have one).

    1. Phil Jones stated that the data no longer exists, it having disappeared on Tom Wigley’s watch.
    2. Phil Jones said that he would destroy the data, rather than share it with [climate realists].
    3. The Met Office has stated that recreating the data would cost some millions of pounds.
    4. Phil Jones has shared the data with at least one third party.
    5. Phil Jones has said that the data cannot be shared with any third party because of NDAs.
    6. The data has been sitting on a Met Office server since July 2011.

    How is all of this true if all these statements refer to the same dataset?

  26. Gary Hladik says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says (January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am): “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.”

    If it was a moot point, then UEA really screwed up by fighting it, losing, and setting a legal precedent for later (and possibly more important) requests.

  27. James Reid (from Arding) says:

    Hellooooo….. LazyTeenager you out there? What say you? How do you explain/rationalize this behaviour?

    “bwanajohn says:
    January 23, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Put out an appeal to FOIA. He/she probably has it and that is probably quicker route.”

    It crosses my mind that this might be amongst the emails contained in the “locked up insurance policy” released along with CG2?

  28. Carrie says:

    @ pompousgit
    ‘How is all of this true if all these statements refer to the same dataset?’

    Exactly; something smells!

  29. mikemUK says:

    Rattus might talk about a ‘small victory’, but even he knows it wasn’t small.

    Messrs. Keiller and Holland, as ‘laymen’, take on both the ICO and a mob-handed UEA presence and win?

    Outstanding achievement, gentlemen!

  30. Berényi Péter says:

    The Judge agreed, saying that counsel for UEA were making “bold assertions”, but these were “unsupported by evidence”.

    Gosh. The method used to work so well in science. What could possibly go wrong? Are these legal people really untouched by post-normal standards? Is it not the case that only deniers are trying to look for evidence where a clear consensus is declared to exist? How can a denier get appointed as judge in a sensitive case like this in the first place? Someone surely has to be held responsible and get exposed to the bones for it. Anyway, occupy the courts and make sure it gets proper media coverage.

    /off whatever

  31. Rosco says:

    I didn’t think the raw data was the issue anyway but the procedures and analysis used to “coerce” the raw data into the results sets that show “unequivocal evidence” of “unprecedented” warming.

    I thought this was the real issue because many well qualified but “non team” scientists tried in vain to reproduce Jones’ results using the raw data and simply requested his assistance to do the most fundamental scientific investigation into ANY theory – verify the claimed results by independent.

    As I remember it was then Jones started all his obfuscations – he was a genius but untidy, his office records were a mess, he couldn’t find the stuff anymore – it may have been deleted, it has been deleted, it doesn’t exist.

    This is the issue – an analysis of raw data producing results that cannot be independantly reproduced.

    To my way of thinking rhis is tantamount to gross scientific fraud – scientific results that cannot be independantly verified are not science – and this needs to be followed to the bitter end no matter whether Jones is right or wrong – it needs independant verification.

    My bet is there is another “hide the decline” type trick hiding beneath this sordid tale.

  32. Jer0me says:

    It’s really rather bizarre to hear them complain in public that FOI requests are repeated and intrusive. The only reason they are repeated is they keep getting knocked back. The only reason they are intrusive is that the reasons for the knock-backs refer to increasingly obscure and unverifiable details. The only way to get anything at all from the charlatans is by both repeated and intrusive FOI requests.

    Long may the war of attrition continue, and may it be eventually fruitful.

  33. Mark Johnson says:

    Another step on the journey that will eventually lead to Dr. Michael Mann brought to justice.

  34. KnR says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says (January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am): “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.”

    The NDA’s they claimed existed which stop them releasing the data in the first place seem to be as easy to find as fairy’s in the bottom of the garden . And the data on the available does not cover the e-mails which were sent which should support the claimed NDA’s , if they existed in the first place. In other words was Jones lying when he claimed there were these NDA’s in first place .

  35. Peter Miller says:

    Is it just possible that climate scientists have not been completely frank and open with us, possibly even a tad deceitful, misleading and dishonest?

    No, perish the thought, how could that possibly be?

    Climate scientists are backed by honourable politicians such as Al Gore and Chris Huehne, so how could anything they possibly say, or do, be rotten to the core?

  36. GeoLurking says:

    bwanajohn says:
    January 23, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “Put out an appeal to FOIA. He/she probably has it and that is probably quicker route.”

    And probably not admissible should it come down to convicting and incarcerating these (in my opinion) FELONS.

  37. Ron Manley says:

    It’s not exactly true that all the data have released. The data are in numbered folders from 1 to 91. The numbers ‘jump’ 12 times implying that each time data from a country is missing. The one country I have indentified with no data is Australia.

  38. David L says:

    Why did (does) UEA fight all this nonsense? Something doesn’t make sense with all this. I can’t put my finger on it though…,

  39. markus says:

    By knowing that I know, a proclamation is made.

    Arrheniushansenous has been slain, by the hand of a man.
    Rejoice, for the fear of climate is no more.

    The most powerful force in the universe, is the reasoning of a man.

    Markus Fitzhenry.

  40. Philip Peake says:

    @Rattus: I would have thought that you would appreciate that its not whether its a large or small “victory”, its a matter of principle.

    Its totally unacceptable to have anyone (pro or anti AGW) lie and hide information. That is what this was really about, not any data itself or really the constraints put upon the distribution of the data by its owners. Although, I strongly suspect that we will find no such constraints when the email is eventually “found” — which is probably why Phil Jones has studiously avoided saying anything under oath.

    You have to understand that I, and a lot of people like me, started off believing in AGW. Maybe not so much in CAGW… But became “unbelievers” due to seeing stated “facts” exposed as misrepresentation (being kind … or lies, being more truthful), and herculean efforts to suppress access to conflicting data – or even what is supposed to be confirming data. Then there are the huge amounts of money being extracted from people on the basis of this. Taxing people to death is not the only way to solve a problem.

    An open display of all the evidence just might turn some of us unbelievers back again, but while evidence is hidden, and millions of dollars is spent on trying to keep it secret, our doubts about the validity of the arguments and the “science” only grow.

  41. I first read this on His Grace’s site and thought very carefully about what what the full decision of the Tribunal meant.
    This decision is like the faintly sparking fuse which is disappearing into the barrel of gunpowder. In itself, the decision might not seem to be important; what is important is the irrevocable legal precedent which it has set under the UK’s FOI Act.
    The explosion has not yet happened, but it is now unavoidable.

  42. Goody Haroldson says:

    These guys are hiding behind technicalities. It is a despicable and dishonest way for a “public servant” to behave. This is not a private corporation with IP to protect. It is supposed to be a public institution doing work for the greater good of the public. What possible, what possible, reason could there possibly be to not fully disclose everything other than hiding something sinister?

  43. Matthew W says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am
    In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July. That makes this a rather small victory in my mind.
    =================================================
    NOT AT ALL !!!
    A precedent has been set for future FOI requests !!

  44. Septic Matthew says:

    This is good news.

  45. Former Forecaster says:

    It seems the courts are starting to get weary of the globalwarmists’ crap. It’s about time.

  46. Ron Manley said @ January 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    It’s not exactly true that all the data have released. The data are in numbered folders from 1 to 91. The numbers ‘jump’ 12 times implying that each time data from a country is missing. The one country I have indentified with no data is Australia.

    Oh dear! Is that why I have only been able to ripen my tomatoes with a greenhouse the last few years? Australia no longer has temperatures! This government must go. Australia needs temperatures. Etc.

  47. Ross Brisbane says:

    The backfire effect begins. By seeking out such let us say we seek from Watts Up all email correspondence and data regarding an attack on a certain scientists calling their work fraud and of ill repute.

    Our purpose although not stated or implied is to get this information and cherry pick the bits of information so we can mitigate the intended action and consequence of our finding.

    The myth of Phil Jones continues even to this day. The data is corrupt and used to support a global movement of thousands of scientists being Socialist and Marxist wanting to re-engineer politics. The myth which has been proven incorrect time and time again by other data collections globally and by calculations by so many INDEPENDENT gathers of climate data of ALL political persuasion to utterly be in AGREEMENT with some climate gathering place in England. The myth perpetrates without any new evidence. The smoking gun cannot be found. The only fruit of this is ruined careers, broken men, expensive litigation and hallow victory dripping with vengeance and hate.

    The truth is thus: This is a vendetta. The scene: Phil Jones being in the same room with Anthony Watts being demanded information from each. What say these gentlemen when pushed, shoved and accused of fraud like this?

    “He who is without sin throw the first stone”.

    I see all those clean hands and hearts running froward to crucify.

    As one anti-warmer with hands sullied and dripping with oil investment deals said: round them up as criminals, meet out the justice and execute those for those with crimes against humanity.

    Thus the trails begin in full earnest. We need to rid this world of this witchcraft. How dare they tell of back omens and we are going to have to change.

  48. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    Speaking of FOIA issues: When do Mann’s UVA e-mails get released?

  49. A C of Adelaide says:

    Call me a pessimist but ….
    My reading of this is that they still have to get the emails off the police.
    I’m betting that that will never happen. Not without another court case to extract it from there.
    There is just too much at stake here for the stone-walling to end now.

  50. Michael D Smith says:

    thepompousgit says:
    January 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    How is all of this true if all these statements refer to the same dataset?

    How is all of this true, yet there seems to be no issue whatsoever in creating a temperature index from the data (despite the misgivings of Harry about the quality of the data).

  51. Ross Brisbane @ January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Could you please translate that for those of us who have problems understanding druggese? I’m quite sure it’s deep and meaningless, but we’d like to be sure. Just in case…

  52. Mark T says:

    Ross Brisbane says:
    January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm
    The backfire effect begins. By seeking out such let us say we seek from Watts Up all email correspondence and data regarding an attack on a certain scientists calling their work fraud and of ill repute.

    Wow, how idiotic is this?

    CRU is a public institition, WUWT is a private blog. FOI does not apply to WUWT. Duh.

    @Rattus Noridicus: only because you weren’t capable of actually reading the article. Had you, you’d have known the appeal had little to do with the data itself, as so many others have already embarrassingly pointed out.

    Mark

  53. Bennett says:

    thepompousgit at 5:45 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to read that drivel, and react to it. I didn’t get past the first paragraph at first, but then I read your comment and went back and waded through it.

    Good call!

  54. Chuck Nolan says:

    My understanding is Harry destroyed the original data during his part of this comedy of errors.

  55. rossbrisbane says:

    Mark T says:

    Wow, how idiotic is this?
    CRU is a public institition, WUWT is a private blog. FOI does not apply to WUWT. Duh.

    Mark

    Do not be so smug. We well know that Watts Up [snip. Grow up. ~dbs, mod.]

  56. David A. Evans says:

    I see there are still people who think Ian “Harry” Harris was the programmer.

    The Harry-read-Me file was messages from the programmer to Harris.

    DaveE.

  57. Pete H says:

    So, its now down to the Norfolk police………On their performance over the last year or so…….I ain’t holding my breath that long!

  58. Doug UK says:

    Hats off to Rosco – I agree totally

    Rosco says:
    January 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    I didn’t think the raw data was the issue anyway but the procedures and analysis used to “coerce” the raw data into the results sets that show “unequivocal evidence” of “unprecedented” warming.

    I thought this was the real issue because many well qualified but “non team” scientists tried in vain to reproduce Jones’ results using the raw data and simply requested his assistance to do the most fundamental scientific investigation into ANY theory – verify the claimed results by independent.

    As I remember it was then Jones started all his obfuscations – he was a genius but untidy, his office records were a mess, he couldn’t find the stuff anymore – it may have been deleted, it has been deleted, it doesn’t exist.

    This is the issue – an analysis of raw data producing results that cannot be independantly reproduced.

    To my way of thinking rhis is tantamount to gross scientific fraud – scientific results that cannot be independantly verified are not science – and this needs to be followed to the bitter end no matter whether Jones is right or wrong – it needs independant verification.

    My bet is there is another “hide the decline” type trick hiding beneath this sordid tale.

  59. Peter Plail says:

    Is the combination of “bold assertions” and “unsupported by evidence” a judicial euphemism for lying?

  60. Don Keiller says:

    An interesting excerpt from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee “investigation” into Climategate 1.

    Graham Stringer MP (Chair)
    Professor Acton (Vice Chancellor, UEA)

    “Q94 Graham Stringer: Right. I shall look at that.
    Professor Acton, are you satisfied that these questions
    weren’t asked, that people in your university were
    sending out e-mails suggesting that e-mails should be
    deleted and that hasn’t been investigated?
    Professor Edward Acton: It has been investigated. I
    have asked them and they have assured me that they
    have never knowingly deleted e-mails subject to a
    request.
    Q95 Graham Stringer: Did you ask them under
    caution?
    Professor Edward Acton: The relationship that I have
    with them is rather different. It is absolutely part of
    my duty to address that kind of spirit and make sure
    I drive it out of the university and establish the facts.
    Can those e-mails be produced? Yes, they can. Did
    those who might have deleted them say they deleted
    them? No. They say they did not. I wanted to be
    absolutely sure of those two, and I have established
    that to my satisfaction”

    So the emails, supposedly in the possession of the Police, can be produced. In fact I have (solid) evidence to support this.
    “In the possession of the Police” is another UEA red herring.

    And sorry we don’t ask the nice Professor Jones nasty questions.

  61. Doug UK said @ January 24, 2012 at 12:54 am

    As I remember it was then Jones started all his obfuscations – he was a genius but untidy, his office records were a mess, he couldn’t find the stuff anymore – it may have been deleted, it has been deleted, it doesn’t exist.

    Genius? As Steve McIntyre has pointed out, Jones is engaged in what amounts to accountancy and that hardly requires genius. I recall some years ago that the average temperature of both the northern & southern hemispheres had declined. Jones reported an increase in average temperature. The “unqualified” John Daly pointed out his mistake and it was corrected (sans attribution).

  62. Harpo says:

    David Evans has it dead right. When I wrote dodgy code on The instructions of my bosses I would leaves messages and clues as to what was really going on. If this were a Raymond Chandler novel Harry would have written the names of the crooks in blood on the floor…

  63. Don Keiller says:

    There is no doubt that UEA already have all the relevent emails despite UEA’s Counsel claiming that they would have to go grovelling to the Police to get their eager hands on the emails and the Police may say “no”. Poor dears!

    Remember Professor Edward Acton stating (see my previous post)
    “Can those e-mails be produced? Yes, they can.”

    This is supported by the fact they have already paid for them. (I have the copy of the invoice for £10,469.25, for “Extraction of Emails” sent to and paid for by UEA.) Plus see email correspondence, below.

    On 14/04/2010 17:16, “XXXXXX” wrote:
    Dear Greg,

    Just a heads up. The Review Team discussed this yesterday and we have made a
    recommendation to the UEA Vice‐Chancellor (who in DPA terms owns this
    information on behalf of the University) that Qinetiq should be asked to
    proceed but just for three machines (those of Prof Jones, Prof Briffa and Dr
    Osborn). We have also suggested hiring a (highly reputable) independent
    forensic analyst to carry out a targeted search of this limited set of e‐mails
    on behalf both of the University and the Review Team We await a response from
    UEA…

    From: XXXXX
    Sent: 20 April 2010 13:50
    To: XXXXXX
    CC: ALASTAIRMUIRRUSSELL;
    Subject: Qinetiq contract
    Dear Greg,
    Further to the e‐mail below, UEA have just confirmed that they would like to go
    ahead, but only subject to the information being made available quickly to the
    independent analyst. They would need to have the information from Qinetiq
    (presumably on a portable hard disk) no later than next Monday 26th April.
    As I suggested below, we would want Qinetiq to make available all of the e‐mails
    held (sent, received, or otherwise stored) in the backups held of the PCs of just
    three individuals. Those three individuals to be: Prof.
    Phillip Jones, Prof. Keith Briffa and Dr. Tim Osbourn. These three are the
    significant focus for the e‐mails already in the public domain.
    Could you please confirm with Qinetiq that they can meet these requirements and the
    timescale?

  64. richard verney says:

    This is an important precedent.

    However, of utmost concern is that the UK Parliament is presently debating FOI requests and is seriously considering revising legislation that would restrict their availability.

    Somehow, this threatened restraint on Freedom needs to be resisted. People in the UK should write to their local MP noting their concern and expressing a view that FOI requests should not be restricted.

  65. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    “In case you guys didn’t know, the CRU data was released (and is available on the Met Office site) last July.”

    Another classic example of the Team’s smoke & mirrors misdirection and obfuscation campaign. How many times have we seen this same song & dance from Mike Mann, Phil Jones, and other members of the Team? Their data is always available somewhere on the web – NOT! There’s no way to know if the data on the Met Office site is the data sought in the FOI request unless it’s compared to the data attached to the actual e-mail.

    Rattus: If they released the data last July, why were they still fighting its release in court?!

  66. Don Keiller says:

    Louis, Professor Jonathan Jones (not to be confused with Professor Phil Jones) and I forced UEA to release the CRUTEM dataset last summer as a result of ICO decision FER0280033 (see here) http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=FER0280033&gbv=2&oq=FER0280033&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=2313l2313l0l3328l1l1l0l0l0l0l109l109l0.1l1l0

    My appeal was for the covering email sent with the data, which the ICO rejected.

    The importance of the Judgement is that it sets precedent- as described on this legal blog

    http://www.panopticonblog.com/2012/01/23/climategate-in-the-tribunal-deleted

    CLIMATEGATE IN THE TRIBUNAL: DELETED EMAILS ON BACKUP SERVERS ARE “HELD”
    January 23rd, 2012
    The “Climategate” scandal surrounding the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit has received extensive media coverage. The Unit’s computer servers were hacked into in late 2009 (around the time of the Copenhagen Summit). Following the posting of much of this material on the internet, it was alleged that, in some instances, the scientific data had been manipulated so as to produce conclusions in support of the existence of climate change, or to suppress conclusions pointing the other way. FOI requests were inevitable.

    The scandal has now surfaced at Tribunal level. Keiller v IC and University of East Anglia (EA/2011/0152) is an important decision, not only because of the underlying scandal, but because it deals with the thorny question of whether or not deleted emails which still exist on back-up servers are “held” for FOIA purposes.

  67. G. Karst says:

    Louis Hooffstetter says:
    January 24, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Rattus: If they released the data last July, why were they still fighting its release in court?!

    This question must be answered, by all Jones apologists, before anyone listens to anything else they offer. GK

  68. greg holmes says:

    methinks, they doth protest too much.
    Normally in my experience if it does not smell right, it is not right.
    perhaps corruption may come to light here. fraud most certainly.

  69. ozspeaksup says:

    Mods!!!!!!!!!!! check THIS out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Environment
    Climate change scepticism

    Climate scientists back call for sceptic thinktank to reveal backers

    Leading experts lend support to Freedom of Information request concerning climate sceptic foundation chaired by Lord Lawson

    reddit this

    Leo Hickman
    The Guardian, Monday 23 January 2012
    Article history

    Lord Lawson
    Former Chancellor and Conservative politician Lord Lawson, who chairs the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

    Leading climate scientists have given their support to a Freedom of Information request seeking to disclose who is funding the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a London-based climate sceptic thinktank chaired by the former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson.

    James Hansen, the director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies who first warned the world about the dangers of climate change in the 1980s, has joined other scientists in submitting statements to be considered by a judge at the Information Rights Tribunal on Friday. They will argue that Lawson’s foundation routinely misrepresents and casts doubt on the work of climate scientists. Their statements will form part of the supporting evidence being presented by an investigative journalist who is appealing against an earlier rejection of his FOI request to the Charity Commission for it to make public a bank statement it holds revealing the name of the educational charity’s seed donor, who gave £50,000 when it launched in 2009.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/23/climate-sceptic-lawson-thinktank-funding?CMP=EMCENVEML1631

  70. ozspeaksup says:

    hmm, down the bottom of the above story the crowd behind the crowd doing this PR stunt, is
    unLtd..who have 100mil uk pounds from?
    millenium mob.
    smelling fishy?

  71. RockyRoad says:

    So the bottom line is:

    What’s to prevent somebody now from requesting the WHOLE BACKUP SERVER? (“Um, pardon me, but while you’re looking for that email, would you mind making a mirror image of the entire disk? Yes, the entire disk! Thanks!”)

    Nothing prevents it now. And it shouldn’t cost anybody down at the police station that much to do it, either.

    Egads!

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