Dr. Peter Gleick may have run afoul of a new cyber-impersonation law in California

WUWT commenter “The Duke” writes:

I just sent the following letter to Senator Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto) regarding Dr. Gleick’s apparent violation of SB 1411 which went into effect January 1st, 2011.

Dear Senator Simitian:

I am writing to you regarding possible violations of the impersonations law (SB 1411) you authored and successfully guided through the California legislature into law. It appears that Bay Area Scientist Dr. Peter Gleick has violated the law you wrote by impersonating a member of the Board of Directors at the Heartland Institute in Chicago in order to obtain privileged information from that private organization. Mr. Gleick has confessed to violating the law in a column on the Huffington Post. Here is a link to that column:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/heartland-institute-documents_b_1289669.html

As SB 1411 is a new law and, as the violation of privacy is particularly egregious in this case, I think it important that it be vigorously enforced. Enforcement would also serve to educate the public about the illegality of impersonating a fellow citizen.

I have read that this is a law that needs to be enforced by local law enforcement officials. Although I do not know where Mr. Gleick lives, I am writing to you in hopes that you might use your influence to see that the law enforcement officials in the Bay Area city in which he lives are aware of his offense and will act accordingly.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[theduke]

More info:

http://www.senatorsimitian.com/entry/sb_1411_criminal_e_personation/

Summary

Senate Bill 1411 would make it unlawful to knowingly and without consent credibly impersonate another person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person.

Current law addressing false impersonation is outdated and was not drafted with the technologies of the 21st century in mind.  SB 1411 brings us up to date by making these forms of cyber impersonation a punishable offense.

SB 1411 would add upon existing criminal penalties by providing a civil remedy, whereby anyone who suffers damage or loss as a victim of false impersonation perpetrated through the Internet or other electronic means may bring a civil action against the violator for compensatory damages and injunctive relief.

After this bill passed the Legislature, Senator Simitian sent a letter to the Governor urging his signature on this bill.

For more information, you can read the SB 1411 “Fact Sheet” prepared by a member of Senator Simitian’s staff.

California State Senate
SENATOR
S. JOSEPH SIMITIAN
ELEVENTH SENATE DISTRICT
DISTRICT OFFICE
160 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 688-6384
Fax (650) 688-6370
SATELLITE OFFICE
701 Ocean Street, Room 318A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 425-0401
Fax (831) 425-5124
STATE CAPITOL
SACRAMENTO, CA 95814
(916) 651-4011
Fax (916) 323-4529
E-MAIL
Senator.Simitian@sen.ca.gov
WEBSITE
http://www.sen.ca.gov/simitian

About these ads
This entry was posted in Fakegate and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Dr. Peter Gleick may have run afoul of a new cyber-impersonation law in California

  1. William McClenney says:

    “a stern chase after a lie is a long one.”

  2. Richard Sharpe says:

    Well, unintended consequences can be a b*tch.

    However, it will depend on whether or not Governor Moonbeam signed it into law, so maybe Gleick is safe.

    REPLY: It is actually law now, it has been signed – Anthony

  3. Damage6 says:

    Will see how vigorously this senator supports his won legislation when it’s one of their own breaking the law. Me thinks……not so much.

  4. AndiC says:

    I read the link “letter to the govenor” and had a quiet chuckle (remember I’m down-under) – it was addressed “The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger” ……. I’ll be back !!!!

    Sorrry, it may seem very logical to the US citizen to elect a b-movie “star” as a govenor – and in many respects it does I suppose – is there any significant difference in required qualities?

    Excellent post – just enjoyed the ambience

  5. Gixxerboy says:

    A California Democrat going after Gleick? Love your optimism.

  6. viffer says:

    Nice one. The cam on the scamshaft is approaching top-dead-centre. The more-savvy of the CAGW disciples are en route to Damascus. They are cognizant that a conversion, ahead of the stampede, will have first-mover advantage in future employment prospects and the “How I exposed the CAGW Scam” book deals.

    Operation BACKPEDAL is happening. You will cough up a skeleton when Operation I NEVER REALLY MEANT THAT starts. Bring it on, and the fraud/conspiracy charges.

  7. Bill Jamison says:

    I’ve posted a few times that Gleick likely violated California Penal Code Section 528.5 which went into effect on Jan 1, 2011 (not 2012 as claimed in the post, see link in the post for confirmation). Here is the text of PC 528.5:

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person
    who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another
    actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other
    electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening,
    or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense punishable
    pursuant to subdivision (d).
    (b) For purposes of this section, an impersonation is credible if
    another person would reasonably believe, or did reasonably believe,
    that the defendant was or is the person who was impersonated.
    (c) For purposes of this section, “electronic means” shall include
    opening an e-mail account or an account or profile on a social
    networking Internet Web site in another person’s name.
    (d) A violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by a fine not
    exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a
    county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and
    imprisonment.
    (e) In addition to any other civil remedy available, a person who
    suffers damage or loss by reason of a violation of subdivision (a)
    may bring a civil action against the violator for compensatory
    damages and injunctive relief or other equitable relief pursuant to
    paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of subdivision (e) and subdivision
    (g) of Section 502.
    (f) This section shall not preclude prosecution under any other
    law.

    Subsection C makes it clear that creating an email account in someone else’s name is a violation when used to defraud or impersonate another person.

    REPLY: year fixed, thanks – Anthony

  8. Steptoe Fan says:

    let every possible punishment rain down on his sorry, stupid, liberal head.

  9. Kozlowski says:

    Does a telephone call count as “other electronic means” or does this bill specifically and only target internet usage?

    Because Peter Gleick, from what we have been told, used the telephone to call Heartland.

    I think the bill is about cyber impersonation.

    OTOH, Gleick impersonated a board member of Heartland when he drafted the fake memo. That memo, without question, was used with the intent to defraud and it was sent via the internet. So perhaps this law does apply after all.

    Any lawyers here care to comment?

  10. These laws are for thee, not for we the elite.

  11. Lew Skannen says:

    aaahhhh! So nice!
    When I see these kinds of threads on WUWT I don’t read them immediately.
    Instead I maximize the window and then go off and make a nice mug of hot tea. As it is brewing I find a couple of biscuits and put them on a little plate. I add a nice dollop of milk and then head back to the computer, settle back into my comfy chair and slowly read and cherish the little gems…

  12. Skiphil says:

    oh my, oh my…. this new law seems to be made for Gleickgate but will Calif. CAGWarmists allow prosecution? Can they permit their own pet law to be subverted? Such decisions….

    p.s. Tweet of the day from Lucia quoting comment at TAV:

    lucia liljegren ‏ @lucialiljegren
    Comment at TAV: I would love to discuss the finer points of Mannian mathmagic sometime, but Gleick has just crashed the Hindenburg.

  13. oMan says:

    Looks pretty real to me. Here is a link to what appears to be the official California laws website. Penal Code 528.5 is the Simitian SB1411. What puzzles me is the effective date –it has been on the books for over a year? If so, it makes Gleick’s activity appear even more reckless; if that’s possible. Whoever suffers damage or loss from the impersonation would have standing to seek compensation from the impersonator. Who is injured here? Heartland may not be the only one…

    http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1411_bill_20100927_chaptered.html

  14. Hoser says:

    Why would they enforce the law this time? After all, Gleick meant well. Right? Aw, give the guy a break since he was working for the Team. Yeah, right.

    Ah, but wait till some bad ol’ skeptic maybe does something a littly off….

    There was another story today about two idiots who stole a $385 ice sculpture. They are going to be prosecuted for, get this, FELONY larceny. Stealing ice? Is everything a felony? Well, maybe not. I believe you can legally crack someone over the head if you are a member of a union on strike.

  15. Bill Jamison says:

    SB 1411 became section 528.5 of the California Penal Code and it went into effect on January 1, 2011 not 2012 as stated in the post.

    I’ve posted the text of the section a couple of times in threads here and over at Lucia’s.

  16. Ben Harman says:

    Great idea, in principle. But the rules are for us, not them. I doubt it will be enforced. It’s the same story with Obama and his “birth certificate”. The guy was due in court, didn’t show up and got off Scott free. Typical.

  17. James Sexton says:

    Just wondering…… What Gleick has done, as I understand it, clearly in violation of federal law(it went beyond state lines-crime), and now I see that it is also in violation of state law.

    Let me guess ….. the justice dept. will get to that just as soon as they finish up with the serial dead people voting often and early thing…… that would be right before Cali collars him for this obvious and blatant crime.

    Honestly, I thought of phoning the FBI in cali, but then I realized that nothing would come of it. Call me cynical, but I’ve seen how both roll. Peter Gleick considered himself above the law, and so does the law. An arrest should have been made as soon as Gleick’s confession hit HuffPo…. how long has it been? They’re prolly collecting evidence and whatnot. I believe it’s called, “impunity”.

  18. Skiphil says:

    Well someone had better inform the Editors at “Nature” because they seem confident that a tiny verbal slap on the wrist will be enough to make this all go away:

    Editorial in “Nature”

  19. philincalifornia says:

    FBI contacted:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

    Since he already confessed, the FBI should take this one. Not exactly a whole lot of difficult work to catch the perpetrator.

  20. philincalifornia says:

    PS Gleick’s attorney:

    http://www.kvn.com/Lawyers/Keker-John

    Noted San Francisco criminal defense lawyer.

  21. McComberBoy says:

    I hope this goes somewhere, but… When you consider how many millions have been spent trying to prosecute high profile athletes it quickly becomes apparent that prosecutors are much more interested in cases that can get them on television than in prosecuting cases that redress evil. Nobody cares who stuck which needle full of which substance into their gluteus. This ‘look at me’ kind of rot goes all the way through the system from city, to county, to state, to federal attorneys. No more breath holding folks. But on the other hand we shouldn’t give up all hope that right will prevail and wrong will be punished.

    Maybe the way to put this in perspective is to consider how far the ball has moved in just the last eighteen months. For american football fans it was fourth and twenty seven on our own ten yard line not so very long ago. (For everyone else that describes a nearly impossible situation.) Now it’s more like first and ten on our own thirty. Keep going Captain Anthony!

  22. theduke says:

    Where Gleick lives could be a problem. From the line above:

    . . . The law will be enforced by local law enforcement, but the state attorney general’s office could also get involved, Simitian said.

    If Gleick lives in Berkeley, there could be a problem. Or Oakland, for that matter.

  23. theduke says:

    Bill Jamison: I was not aware of your posts on this subject. I did a google on “Impersonation California Law” today and found the link to sfappeal.com above.

  24. Alec Rawls says:

    Reading Simitian’s “fact sheet,” there is no definition of impersonation. Clearly Gleick would be covered, as he represented himself as a particular real person other than himself. What I am wondering is whether the law might also consider it “impersonation” to play some fictious person other than oneself. That is, does it outlaw using aliases?

    Given the lack of clarification, I could see this being used for all kinds of mischief, even bringing charges against people on dating sites for using fake names and misrepresenting themselves. Hey, he/she “impersonated” a younger thinner man/women!

    More seriously, companies might try to bring charges against employees for misrepresenting their qualifications. Given the prevalence of aliases/creative-representation on the internet, you would think the author of such a supposedly internet savvy bill would have realized the need to clarify the meaning of “impersonation”!

  25. Alec Rawls says:

    Okay, the wording of the law itself answers my question. It does NOT criminalize the use of aliases:

    This bill would provide that any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means, as specified, for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a misdemeanor. [emphasis added]

  26. Steven Hales says:

    Going after comrade in Peoples Republic of San Francisco…I laugh at your face capitalist stooge. — Vladimir Putin

  27. Ally E. says:

    Lew Skannen says:

    February 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    “aaahhhh! So nice!
    When I see these kinds of threads on WUWT I don’t read them immediately.
    Instead I maximize the window and then go off and make a nice mug of hot tea. As it is brewing I find a couple of biscuits and put them on a little plate. I add a nice dollop of milk and then head back to the computer, settle back into my comfy chair and slowly read and cherish the little gems…”

    Beautiful, Lew! This sums it up for me.

  28. Jenn Oates says:

    Ouch.

    There must be a petard around here somewhere…

  29. DirkH says:

    Alec Rawls says:
    February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    “Okay, the wording of the law itself answers my question. It does NOT criminalize the use of aliases:

    This bill would provide that any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means,”

    AFAIK part of Gleick’s ruse was to create an e-mail account with the name of one of the board members of HI as part of the e-mail address so that would indicate he wanted to impersonate that particular real person. And e-mail is an internet based technology, so it looks like it sticks.

  30. dtbronzich says:

    Cyber crimes across state lines must be reported to several authorities; Law enforcement where the crime was commissioned, or planned, where the crime was committed (i.e. Illinois) to the Federal authorities whose responsibilities oversee such crimes as interstate commission of fraud, fraud intended to defame (obscure, but real). Since money did not change hands, neither the FTC or Treasury Department would be involved, just the FBI and U.S. Marshall’s office.

  31. Mike M says:

    And the hilarity continues… All those Huffpo commenters who have already posted every conceivable lame excuse in the universe to excuse Gleick’s fraudulent activity will hopefully soon find themselves putting a new bumper sticker on their fossil fueled cars:

    FREE PETER GLEICK!

    (Schadenfreude squared, boy it must suck to be them right now! )

  32. Joshua corning says:

    What a stupid law.

    I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.

    Go after him in civil court and the court of public opinion. Don’t waste tax payer money when it can be used to prosecute rapists, thugs and murders on this horse crap.

  33. Brian H says:

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make insanely overconfident.
    Oh, hi, Peter! How’s the ego-balloon today?

  34. MikeH says:

    From a link previously noted above:
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

    Heartland officials tell Washington Secrets that they have been in talks with the FBI over the case against prominent global warming proponent Peter Gleick, co-founder of the respected Pacific Institute.

    Now, I’m not an expert on the English language (but I’ll play on on the net), doesn’t that sentence state he is in favor of global warming? It just shows how clueless the national media is on the subject, or they just don’t know how to write. Could Peter Gleick consider that slander? That fact is, none of us are Proponents of global warming (unless you were in Eastern Europe this winter), there is a difference on the cause and if humans can effect change.

  35. MikeH says:

    Steven Hales said on February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Going after comrade in Peoples Republic of San Francisco…I laugh at your face capitalist stooge. — Vladimir Putin

    Just think, a jury of his peers. Now that is peer review… (hearing whispers of not guilty in the air as I type this)

  36. MikeH says:

    Mike M said on February 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    And the hilarity continues… All those Huffpo commenters who have already posted every conceivable lame excuse in the universe to excuse Gleick’s fraudulent activity will hopefully soon find themselves putting a new bumper sticker on their fossil fueled cars:

    FREE PETER GLEICK!

    Hey now, I consider myself a capitalist, can I make some $$ off this with some tee shirts?

    Free Peter!

  37. Ian H says:

    “… harm intimidate threaten or defraud …”

    intimidate – no ; threaten – no
    defraud … arguable but quite a stretch.
    harm – yes you could argue this. Harm is a very broad word.

    However personally I would prefer NOT to see this particular law applied to this case.

    Internet and computer specific crime laws have been very popular and trendy recently with politicians. It lets them look like they are doing something useful and allows them to pretend that they are knowledgeable about computers and the internet. But the fad for passing these types of laws is very very dangerous.

    Firstly there is seldom any need for them. Intimidating, threatening, defrauding and harming others are already criminal offenses without this law. So why was there a need for a specific law with extra serious penalties for doing these things with the help of a computer. See what I mean?

    Laws like this are written for no better reason than to make a politician look good. Not much real thought went into them. They are frequently shockingly poorly drafted – excessively punitive and dangerously vague. There is often huge potential for them to be abused.

    For example laws criminalising unauthorised use of a computer have been abused recently by corporations to charge employees caught browsing the internet while at work with a CRIMINAL offense carrying a possible penalty of many years in prison. If that seems ridiculous disproportionate and just plain crazy then it is precisely the kind of unintended consequence that arises when politicians play silly games with the loaded gun that is the law.

    Laws of this type are dangerous rubbish. Steer clear of them. A charge of wire fraud fits. The legal parameters and boundaries around such a charge are extremely well established. Just use that.

  38. Bentley Strange says:

    As sad as it seems, I’d be prepared to wager a few quatloos at least that Gleick will not be prosecuted by either State or Federal authorities, and if he is, he will not suffer any penalties of note. He will also be back as an official AGW spokesperson and receiving significant sums of government cash within 2 years, and Heartland will be continue to be reviled as serial tax cheat and as being anti-science.

    What is more likely is that Heartland will be hit with malicious prosecutions over their tax status and other regulatory based alleged violations within 3 months in order to prevent them attempting to sue Gleick.

    Immoral, sure, but when the “fate of the world is at stake…”

  39. Sharpshooter says:

    “I WANNA SEE HIM DUCKWALKED OFF TO JAIL WHERE HE CAN BE BIG BUBBA’S LOVER FOR A FEW YEARS” paraphrasing a former CA AG (?)

  40. Stephen Richards says:

    Don’t gloat guys. Their tactics at the moment are to shout loud about AGW and ignore everything else, and it’s working. No CG2 enquiries, no sign of any proscecution, no nothing. AGW is a long way from dead.

    Churchill said, this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end but (maybe) it (could be) the end of the beginning of the end for AGW. Me, I doubt it.

  41. Nick de Cusa says:

    Denouncing your adversary to a politician is quite despicable. Gleick has already done irreparable damage to himself, and I hope Heartland will sue him in court. This is uncalled for.

  42. Chuckles says:

    What about the fake memo being mailed, and the 1872 California Law about ‘lost’ property that Apple used to much effect a short while ago?

    ‘One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.’
    (from Findlaw – http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/1/13/5/s485)

  43. MikeH says:

    I have a feeling that if/when PG gets his day in court, I foresee the same result as the event that occurred in England in the fall of 2008. Greenpeace activists were cleared of charges in court when they vandalized a power plant.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/09/11/british-jury-says-greenpeace-protesters-were-right-to-vandalize-coal-plant/

    A quote for the Discover-blog article

    “based on the defense attorneys’ argument that the protesters were trying to prevent even worse damage from climate change”.

    Now I know this occurred in another country, but I can see the strategy, “he had to act to defend the innocent civilians from the impending global warming catastrophe”. They’ll show that since he truly believes in AGW, then he had to take drastic measures to save lives. Which is legal in the U.S., but it must be imminent danger (they’ll ignore that little clause). They’ll show that he did not attempt to benefit personally from it, monetarily or in position at work. He did it to save people. (queue the Nobel prize nomination)

  44. The Rule of Law as espoused around 880 A.D. in the domboc
    “Doom very evenly! Do not doom one doom to the rich; another to the poor! Nor doom one doom to your friend; another to your foe!”

  45. redc1c4 says:

    forest for the trees people… you missed the important parts (see the asterisks):

    SB 1411 would add upon existing criminal penalties *by providing a civil remedy*, whereby anyone who suffers damage or loss as a victim of false impersonation perpetrated through the Internet or other electronic means *may bring a civil action* against the violator for compensatory damages and injunctive relief.

    IANAL, nor do i play one on line, but this is a civil matter, so there is no need to wait around for a governmental agency to act. you just need to get a California lawyer (and we have oodles of them) and let them go at it. since there are damages involved, you might even get this case taken on contingency.

  46. Charles.U.Farley says:

    Breaking news! Mann reads tree rings on faked document; declares authentic.

  47. Ian W says:

    Interesting quote at the bottom of the article here about Heartland calling in the FBI:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

    Said Gleick’s lawyer John Keker, “Heartland no doubt will seek to exploit Dr. Gleick’s admitted lapse in judgement in order to further its agenda in the ongoing debate about climate change, but if it wants to pursue this matter legally, it will learn that our legal system provides for a level playing field.” Keker added, “Dr. Gleick looks forward to using discovery to understand more about the veracity of the documents, lay bare the implications of Heartland’s propaganda plans and, in particular, determine once and for all who is truly behind Heartland and why.”

    The California Penal Code Section 528.5 is quoted above. So is the Lawyer by working with Dr. Gleick to “…in particular, determine once and for all who is truly behind Heartland and why.” assisting him in creating the very damage the Section 528 is written to prevent? The Heartland Institute would I am sure see this as a reason for increasing the damages claim against Dr. Gleick.

  48. Thomas says:

    From the text of the law: “for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense punishable pursuant to subdivision”

    Who is the person being harmed? As written this law only seems to protects people, not organizations like Heartland Institute.

  49. Garry says:

    California Penal Code 484 – Fraudulent Taking

    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/484.html

    Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry,
    lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property [more at link above]

    California Penal Code 530 – Impersonation

    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/530.html

    Every person who falsely personates another, in either his private or official capacity, and in such assumed character receives any money or property, knowing that it is intended to be delivered to the individual so personated, with intent to convert the same to his
    own use, or to that of another person, or to deprive the true owner thereof, is punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as for larceny of the money or property so received.

    California Penal Code 530.5 PC – Identity Theft

    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/530.5.html

    Every person who willfully obtains personal identifying
    information, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 530.55, of another person, and uses that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain, or attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, real property, or medical information without the consent of that
    person, is guilty of a public offense, and upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by a fine, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

  50. Ian W says:

    Thomas says:
    February 24, 2012 at 3:37 am
    From the text of the law: “for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense punishable pursuant to subdivision”

    Who is the person being harmed? As written this law only seems to protects people, not organizations like Heartland Institute.

    The people who had their private donations made public and who are even now being harried by Green’peace’ and others. These are the persons being harmed.

  51. J.H. says:

    Ian W says:

    February 24, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Said Gleick’s lawyer John Keker, “Heartland no doubt will seek to exploit Dr. Gleick’s admitted lapse in judgement in order to further its agenda in the ongoing debate about climate change, but if it wants to pursue this matter legally, it will learn that our legal system provides for a level playing field.” Keker added, “Dr. Gleick looks forward to using discovery to understand more about the veracity of the documents, lay bare the implications of Heartland’s propaganda plans and, in particular, determine once and for all who is truly behind Heartland and why.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    So Keker is the Lawyer of great renown come to save Gleick’s fraudulent skin…. Well he certainly own goaled right at the kick off with that dumb statement…… Damages just doubled.

  52. CodeTech says:

    MikeH, I’m in favor of global warming.

    The record shows that a warmer Earth is a more productive Earth, better able to grow food to feed the people, with more precipitation providing clean drinking water and fewer violent storms due to less dramatic temperature differences. Also I live in Canada and would be more than happy to never experience -40 again…

    It actually makes me sad that the whole thing is a load of crap. I hate winter.

  53. Jimbo says:

    Gixxerboy says:
    February 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    A California Democrat going after Gleick? Love your optimism.

    Can’t “The Duke” report this violation directly to the police? Won’t they then be compelled to act?

    You guys in the USA need to file reports now. Gleick admitted on Huffington to have broken the law!!!! Come on!!!

  54. Garry says:

    Here’s a link to Tom Nelson’s blog for more info about Gleick and his lawyer John Keker:

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/02/meet-criminal-defense-attorney-who.html

  55. Jeff Evans says:

    Pardon me, but read the text:

    SB 1411 would add upon existing criminal penalties by providing a civil remedy, whereby anyone who suffers damage or loss as a victim of false impersonation perpetrated through the Internet or other electronic means may bring a civil action against the violator for compensatory damages and injunctive relief.

    This means, at least as I understand it, that the Heartland Institute could sue for damages, in civil court. That’s a whole different ballgame than persuading someone to prosecute Gleick, and it’s also a whole different ballgame in the legal burden of proof needed. Anyone recall OJ?

  56. Luther Wu says:

    Unicorns, winged Furies and blind Justice…

  57. Paul Coppin says:

    “Joshua corning says:
    February 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What a stupid law.

    I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.

    Go after him in civil court and the court of public opinion. Don’t waste tax payer money when it can be used to prosecute rapists, thugs and murders on this horse crap.”

    Always amusing to read this progressive crap that white-collar crime is inoffensive. A murderer or rapist may destroy the lives of a few. A white-collar criminal has the ability the destroy the lives of thousands

  58. Anton says:

    Moderator, when I scroll down the left side of the page using the scroll bar, the entire page vanishes, and does not return until I’ve either hit the back button or re-entered the URL. This happens constantly, and has been going on for many days now.

    Also, trying to write messages in the “Leave a Reply” field is difficult. I have to click on it many, many time, with the cursor in the lower right corner, till, finally, a blinking dash in the field’s upper left corner indicates that I can start writing. I’m using Internet Explorer 8 and MSN Explorer.

    [Reply: Is anyone else having this problem? ~dbs, mod.]

  59. TomB says:

    Joshua corning says:
    February 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What a stupid law.

    I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.

    The law has provision for prison time, but that would be highly unlikely in this case. I assume a fine would be levied – and I’m fine with that. That’s presuming prosecution was pursued at all, which (like the majority of commenters) I highly doubt.

  60. More Soylent Green! says:

    Make no mistake about it, the good Dr. Gleick broke both criminal and civil laws at the state and federal level and I don’t imagine the Heartland Institute is going to take it easy on him. (And they should stick it to him and he deserves it, IMO.)

    Does anybody with a legal background know about the potential liability of the Pacific Institute, it’s officers and directors?

  61. henrythethird says:

    Kozlowski asked (February 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm)

    “…Does a telephone call count as “other electronic means” or does this bill specifically and only target internet usage?

    Because Peter Gleick, from what we have been told, used the telephone to call Heartland.

    I think the bill is about cyber impersonation…”

    True, he may have made a phone call to start the fraud, but any documents he requested wouldn’t have been sent over the phone – thus the need to create an email account, using a name that would have been believable to the staffer.

    THAT’S how he got the real docs. It’s still up in the air as to whether or not he created the “confidential memo”.

    The thing that’s burning me is the fact that other blogs are using the “stolen” emails as a counter-arguement. Here, we’ve got an admission of mail fraud, and on the other hand, after this many years, still no CONCRETE proof that the ClimateGate emails WERE stolen.

  62. Steve Keohane says:

    [Reply: Is anyone else having this problem? ~dbs, mod.] I only have trouble with the main page, not the comments, where Watts Up With That?
    Theme: Twenty Ten Blog at WordPress.com.
    become overlaid at the bottom of the screen, see my screencap in tips & notes from ~ week ago. When this occurs, either the main page will not load completely, or all pages load. In either case there is no access to older/newer posts. I’m using Firefox 10.0.2

  63. DirkH says:

    Anton says:
    February 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “Moderator, when I scroll down the left side of the page using the scroll bar, the entire page vanishes, and does not return until I’ve either hit the back button or re-entered the URL. This happens constantly, and has been going on for many days now.”

    I have that with Firefox on the main WUWT page sometimes. also for the past few days. Feels like some wicked JavaScript, but haven’t analyzed further.

    “Also, trying to write messages in the “Leave a Reply” field is difficult. I have to click on it many, many time, with the cursor in the lower right corner, till, finally, a blinking dash in the field’s upper left corner indicates that I can start writing. I’m using Internet Explorer 8 and MSN Explorer.”

    Happens with long threads. Workaround: Type your reply in a notepad or other editor window, when done, copy&paste your text into the wordpress box as a whole. Just click into the wordpress box, press ctrl v for paste without waiting for the cursor to appear. Again, seems to be a JavaScript that gets very slow when the thread is long.

    HTH

  64. DirkH says:

    Ian W says:
    February 24, 2012 at 4:58 am
    “Thomas says:
    February 24, 2012 at 3:37 am
    From the text of the law: “for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense punishable pursuant to subdivision”

    Who is the person being harmed? As written this law only seems to protects people, not organizations like Heartland Institute.

    The people who had their private donations made public and who are even now being harried by Green’peace’ and others. These are the persons being harmed.”

    Don’t forget the scientists who receive money from HI. The Greens try to whip up a propaganda campaign, they want only CO2AGW governments to fund scientists; nobody else should be allowed to. Oh, and they’d love to neutralize those scientists completely by getting them out of academia. The Greens are on an annihilation campaign; I hope it backfires severely on them.

  65. Alex the skeptic says:

    All scientists are equal, but some are more equal than others and if these ‘more equal scientists’ were to break the law then nothing happens to them, but if, on the other hand, some less-equal scirentist were to poke his nose inside the rotten books of the ‘more-equal’ ones, then all the laws of the land would of course apply.

  66. Alex the skeptic says:

    The British police raided Tallbloke’s house and took awa his computers on some stupid excuse or other connected to the Climategate 2 revelations while Obama’s olice issued some notice to WordPress on the same excuse.

    I expect that the US lawmakers will come down like a ton of bricks on Gleick for his criminal act. But then, some scientists may be more equal than others…………even in front of the law. We’ll wait and see.

  67. More Soylent Green! says:

    Alex the skeptic says:
    February 24, 2012 at 7:15 am
    The British police raided Tallbloke’s house and took awa his computers on some stupid excuse or other connected to the Climategate 2 revelations while Obama’s olice issued some notice to WordPress on the same excuse.

    I expect that the US lawmakers will come down like a ton of bricks on Gleick for his criminal act. But then, some scientists may be more equal than others…………even in front of the law. We’ll wait and see.

    Are there any countries with strong privacy laws where a site could be posted and keep the owner free from that sort of harassment TallBloke suffered?

  68. Mr Lynn says:

    MikeH says:
    February 24, 2012 at 12:07 am
    From a link previously noted above:
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

    Heartland officials tell Washington Secrets that they have been in talks with the FBI over the case against prominent global warming proponent Peter Gleick, co-founder of the respected Pacific Institute.

    Now, I’m not an expert on the English language (but I’ll play on on the net), doesn’t that sentence state he is in favor of global warming? It just shows how clueless the national media is on the subject, or they just don’t know how to write. Could Peter Gleick consider that slander? That fact is, none of us are Proponents of global warming (unless you were in Eastern Europe this winter), there is a difference on the cause and if humans can effect change.

    I beg to differ. I like warming, whether global or not. The mild winter we have had here in eastern Massachusetts has been a blessing, especially after the piles of snow last year.

    Good catch on the unintentional twist of “global warming proponent,” though. It’s of course shorthand for “CAGW acolyte.” Compare Dr. Gleick’s (and others of his ilk’s) use of the oxymoronic “anti-climate.”

    /Mr Lynn

  69. theduke says:

    Joshua corning says:
    February 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What a stupid law.

    I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.

    Go after him in civil court and the court of public opinion. Don’t waste tax payer money when it can be used to prosecute rapists, thugs and murders on this horse crap.

    Obviously written by someone who never had his identity stolen. Or private information released publicly or used illegally. The Constitution says “the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . .” and while that only prohibits the government from such depredations, it is the basis for all laws against this kind of activity that are on the books.

    What Gleick wants is precisely what you want to give him: no jail time and to have all his green friends around the world pay for any civil liabilities he may have incurred. It means he will get off scot-free and live the life of a hero among his friends. He wants to turn his crimes into a stage for political theatre. If you read his lawyer’s statement, you can see that is where this is going.

    The laws need to have teeth or else society will devolve into anarchy. There should be no special dispensations for Gleick because he was acting on behalf of a noble cause.

  70. Alex the skeptic says:

    The warmists accuse us of being climate-change deniers, which we are not. It is them that deny climate change. We skeptics accept the scientifically proven fact that climate is always changing due to naturally-changing forces. We skeptics are not climate-change deniers, but actually proponents of climate-change, natural climate change.

    On the other hand, the AGW church wants our governments to tax us people so that the planets temperature would stay steady for ever, denying us and our descendants from natural climate change. It is people like Gleick who are actually climate-change deniers.

    It is time that we should start addressing the AGW church leaders as climate-change deniers because they want to deny us and our children of naturally-occurring climate change.

  71. TomB says:

    Ian H says:
    February 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

    “… harm intimidate threaten or defraud …”

    intimidate – no ; threaten – no
    defraud … arguable but quite a stretch.
    harm – yes you could argue this. Harm is a very broad word.

    However personally I would prefer NOT to see this particular law applied to this case.<blockquote
    I love to quote Arnold J. Rimmer, "Wrong, wrong, absolutely brimming over with wrongability!" Intimidate – yes, since the personal information of donors has now been exposed and Heartland specifically stated in their press release that these individuals and organizations are now in fear of senseless violence, for good reason.
    Threaten – yes, the implicit intimidation also implies a threat. Again, the Heartland press release mentions this very real threat. And rightly so.
    Defraud – no, as defraud implies a theft of money.
    Harm – yes, as the reputation of the institution has been impugned with a possible negative effect on future fund raising and bearing the cost of future security measures.

    Firstly there is seldom any need for them. Intimidating, threatening, defrauding and harming others are already criminal offenses without this law. So why was there a need for a specific law with extra serious penalties for doing these things with the help of a computer. See what I mean?

    Again, you’re wrong. This, and laws like it, have been written and passed in response to specific requests from State and Federal Attorneys General who have stated over and over again that existing law does not provide sufficient grounds for pursuing prosecution. These laws fill a dangerous gap in existing legislation.

    Laws like this are written for no better reason than to make a politician look good. Not much real thought went into them. They are frequently shockingly poorly drafted – excessively punitive and dangerously vague. There is often huge potential for them to be abused.

    Wrong again, as addressed above. I’m actually quite pleased with how this law has been written. It is very short, succinct, to the point and in no way “dangerously vague”. That’s very uncommon. I also fail to see how a maximum penalty of a measly $1,000 fine and/or 1 year county jail time can be described as “excessively punitive”. Given how damaging such electronic impersonation could be, the penalties that attach seem to be very light.

    Overall, I agree with your EFF based sentiment as I am in general agreement with the EFF. I just disagree with your analysis as it applies to this specific statute.

    I still think a civil remedy is the way to go. It appears Peter Gleick (or his attorney anyway) are all but salivating in anticipation of the discovery request they plan to put forward to the Heartland Institute in that event (see the Examiner article linked above). Methinks they might be disappointed. Even in Kalifornia most judges won’t allow them to use this as a fishing expedition. And it wouldn’t be tried in Kalifornia anyway but in Illinois (Ok, maybe not much better – but a little). And discovery goes both ways. What if the Pacific Institute, the American Geophysical Union, the National Academy of Sciences were served a subpoena duces tecum for documents and depositions? I believe a very strong case for requesting documents from these organizations could be made. Not gonna make Gleick any more popular with those organizations, will it?

  72. Henry chance says:

    Peter was given the invitation to speak. He submitted a request for the names of donors. At that point it becomes intent and personal. Why would he need donor names?
    Peter will not want to face a jury in criminal court.

  73. Mike M says:

    Josh take note, I think we’ve got a new poster idea for you.

  74. John Whitman says:

    I assume the new CA law also applies to accomplices who aid someone impersonating another on the internet.

    Is that so?

    If so we may see some of Cleick’s associates prosecuted as well.

    John

  75. More Soylent Green! says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    February 24, 2012 at 7:05 am
    [Reply: Is anyone else having this problem? ~dbs, mod.] I only have trouble with the main page, not the comments, where Watts Up With That?
    Theme: Twenty Ten Blog at WordPress.com. become overlaid at the bottom of the screen, see my screencap in tips & notes from ~ week ago. When this occurs, either the main page will not load completely, or all pages load. In either case there is no access to older/newer posts. I’m using Firefox 10.0.2

    I had something similar happen last week. I had to click on one the links for the most recent comments in order to see any content for the post.

    Using Google Chrome.

  76. MikeH says:

    Steve Keohane said on February 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

    [Reply: Is anyone else having this problem? ~dbs, mod.] I only have trouble with the main page, not the comments, where Watts Up With That?
    Theme: Twenty Ten Blog at WordPress.com. become overlaid at the bottom of the screen

    I had the same thing earlier today, I just refreshed the page and it was OK.. FireFox 10.0.2

  77. Caleb says:

    Anton says:
    February 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “…..Also, trying to write messages in the “Leave a Reply” field is difficult. I have to click on it many, many time, with the cursor in the lower right corner, till, finally, a blinking dash in the field’s upper left corner indicates that I can start writing.”

    I have the same problem. I found that when I click the curser in the scroll bar on the right hand side, the blinking dash appears. I begin typing, (or paste,) taking care to leave the curser in the scroll bar. I have no idea why this works, but it works, and that’s all I care about.

  78. kim2ooo says:

    Fine or incarceration still equals a conviction = convicted criminal.

    Mr. Keker threatens with “discovery”…..A two-edged sword and one edge could be much sharper than the other. Knowing his client already confessed to impersonation / lying – he may want not to unleash the beast.

  79. kim2ooo says:

    Mr. Keker would probably not be the attorney in a civil suit.

  80. John Whitman says:

    Anton says:
    February 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “…..Also, trying to write messages in the “Leave a Reply” field is difficult. I have to click on it many, many time, with the cursor in the lower right corner, till, finally, a blinking dash in the field’s upper left corner indicates that I can start writing.”

    I have the same problem. I found that when I click the curser in the scroll bar on the right hand side, the blinking dash appears. I begin typing, (or paste,) taking care to leave the curser in the scroll bar. I have no idea why this works, but it works, and that’s all I care about.

    – – – – –

    Mods,

    I also have that problem occasionally. I have sort of associated it with heavy commenting on longer threads. But that is just my guess.

    John

  81. Paddy says:

    Gleick is president and a member of the Pacific Institute’s board of directors. He is a speaking agent of PI. Moreover, his endeavor may well be within his authority to act on behalf of PI. I suggest that Pacific Institute may be liable for the harm he caused. The CA cyber impersonation law seems to give standing for injured parties to sue the Institute and Gleick for civil damages.

  82. Rob Crawford says:

    “I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.”

    So those who commit fraud should not be prosecuted? Prison isn’t just for the violent, you know.

  83. Alan Watt says:

    Thanks to Bill Jamison for posting the text of the bill. Now all we amateur lawyers can spin our theories based on actual language.

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person
    who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another
    actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other
    electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening,
    or defrauding another person
    is guilty of a public offense punishable
    pursuant to subdivision (d).

    I’ve embolded the section which in my opinion (and I’m not a lawyer) will probably make this law not apply to Glieck. To prosecute under this statute you must establish intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud. I suspect in statutory usage the word harm generally means physical harm, of which I see no evidence. It may have more general meaning including economic harm, or damage to one’s reputation — more about that later. Intimidation and threatening are related; both involve coercion applied to make someone either do something they are not otherwise inclined to do or not do something they otherwise intend to do. I haven’t seen mention of intimidation or threats resulting from Gleick’s deception, so establishing that as his intent will take some doing. I believe defraud requires actually depriving someone of property, cash, or other items of enumerable value. No evidence of that here.

    Taken as a whole, I believe the target of this statute is cyber-bullying, and I believe the intent requirement quoted above effectively exempts Gleick’s admitted actions. The only possible match would be if the word harm encompasses damage to reputation, public image, community standing and so forth. Since there are existing statues addressing libel and slander, I doubt the courts would entertain using a new statue as a way to punish offenses already covered by existing laws.

    Whether my reading of the law is correct or not, there are practical obstacles to prosecuting Gleick. Heartland Institute cannot on their own bring a criminal action; they can only make a complaint and see if a prosecuting authority (a) wants to take it up, and (b) can get an indictment from a Grand Jury. I think either one is unlikely, but I may have an unduly pessimistic view of the current legal/political climate in California.

    In civil actions, Gleick risks a libel action from Heartland, and possibly invasion of privacy suits from anyone whose personal information was disclosed.

    The really interesting peril for Gleick comes if it can be established he fabricated the “Confidential Strategy” memo which has been so widely quoted to discredit/defame Heartland Institute. That would establish actual malice and intent to defame, something US courts require if the plaintiff asserting libel is a “public official”, which term has been expanded to include “public figures” who are not government officials. I believe organizations like the Heartland Institute would come under the “public figures” provision

    It has been alleged in several blogs that Gleick is the author of the fabricated memo, but Heartland (through Joseph Bast) who made that charge in an interview with the Wall Street Journal has since backed off. If Glieck’s authorship cannot be established, a successful libel action would have to prove “reckless disregard for the truth”. I believe a libel suit could be brought either in California or Illinois, and I suspect the later would be a better venue choice for Heartland.

    Libel penalties also apply to anyone who re-publishes or forwards defamatory material. Hence the notices from Heartland attorneys to newspapers, web sites, etc.

    Another thing a successful libel plaintiff must establish is actual harm suffered. This one may be difficult. The fabricated memo did not claim or suggest criminal acts, a factor always deemed harmful. Heartland can claim expenses incurred monitoring and correcting the false and defamatory information when it has surfaced. If one or more donors decline to renew their gifts and credit the decision to defamatory publicity, that would also constitute actual harm. But what if nobody pulls their donations, or if public donations actually increase? [full disclosure: I gave them $250 as a direct result of this incident, and my employer (a large corporation) will match it].

    All in all, I am dubious that Heartland could win any significant libel judgement. There was an egregious case in 1992 involving a segment of ABC’s “20/20″ show which faked what appeared to be the explosion of a GM pickup truck following a collision. GM managed to acquire sufficient physical evidence to establish the producers rigged the truck’s fuel tank with an incendiary device which actually ignited the explosion shown on TV. Facing overwhelming evidence, ABC settled on terms not disclosed, and read an on-air apology. In this case, GM had solid proof and could establish millions of dollars in damages. From what I’ve seen, neither circumstance applies here.

    However as I am not an attorney, I am certainly not Heartland’s attorney, who may well hold a different opinion.

    To me much more sinister than any actions Peter Gleick may have taken is the almost universal mantra among his supporters and even some lukewarm detractors that Heartland Institute does not have a constitutionally protected right to do exactly what they are doing.

    That it a topic for a separate post.

  84. Bernd Felsche
    Thanks for your reference to the Code of Alfred The Great. ~801 AD. That is incorporated into US law as:
    28 USC § 453 – Oaths of justices and judges

    Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office: “I, XXX XXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as XXX under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

    Uphold the Rule of Law!

  85. theduke says:

    Jimbo said: “Can’t “The Duke” report this violation directly to the police? Won’t they then be compelled to act?”

    I don’t know where he lives and I’m 500 miles away in Southern California. I was hoping Anthony might initiate that kind of action since he’s one of those who have been violated. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s doing that as we speak. But as noted earlier, Dr. Gleick apparenlty lives in or near the left-wing funny farm known as the Bay Area, so the chances of local authorities pursuing this aggressively are probably slim.

  86. Richard Sharpe says:

    Gleick has powerful friends. I predict that nothing really bad will happen to him. He might have to resign a few more times and slink away, but that is all.

  87. Mike M says:

    Paddy says:.. I suggest that Pacific Institute may be liable for the harm he caused.

    WOW! Good point! If he used any of their resources, (computers, net connection, etc) which were gladly supplied per his ‘permission’ to use in the course of his capacity to do so being a director of that organization – the entire organization is guilty of aiding and abetting his crime thus soiling the reputation of all the other directors.

    I expect them to begin jumping ship any moment 3…2…1…

  88. jtom says:

    Alan Watt:
    1. Harm Law and Legal Definition: Harm means any injury, loss or damage. It can also be any material or tangible detriment.
    http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/harm/
    2. The Feds take wire fraud laws very seriously. I doubt if Gleick will get a pass unless a politically-based order from on high comes down.
    3. For a civil case of defamation the actual writer of the fraudulant document is immaterial in this case, although you would certainly want to show a jury the likelihood that he did (just make it easier to reach a verdict). According to Gleick’s own words, he did not know the origin of the fake document, yet, again by his own words, he passed it along with the others claiming its authenticity. That’s defamation. He made no reasonable effort to obtain the validity of it being a legitimate document. While his supporter will claim he ‘verified it by comparing the contents’ of it to the legitimate documents, that’s a failed defense. Almost EVERY fraudulent document has elements of verifiable information in them simply to add to the apparent authenticity of the fraud. His best defense of that is ignorance, but his own ego won’t let him go there.

    (While I am not an attorney, my immediate family is infested with them, including a judge. I think I know some of the right questions to ask and where, or who to ask, to find the answers.) Clear the decks; full court press ahead.

  89. John Whitman says:

    Rob Crawford says:
    February 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

    “I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.”

    So those who commit fraud should not be prosecuted? Prison isn’t just for the violent, you know.

    – – – – –

    Rob Crawford,

    Fraud and other white collar crime is violent. It is not bodily harm kind of violence, but it is violence.

    John

  90. Chance N says:

    Hello Mods,

    Looks like I was snipped for posting Dr Gleick’s city of residence. Is that a blog violation? I have all of his contact info, however I would never publish anything other than the city

  91. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Thomas says:
    February 24, 2012 at 3:37 am
    From the text of the law: “for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense punishable pursuant to subdivision”

    Who is the person being harmed? As written this law only seems to protects people, not organizations like Heartland Institute.

    In addition to the responses above, I would point out that the Hearland Institute, if incorporated, is considered a “person” for most legal purposes including fraud. Otherwise, how could a company recover damages in a suit for fraud (like insurance companies, for instance)?

  92. Joshua Corning says:

    [snip. Too insulting. ~dbs, mod.]]

  93. Joshua Corning says:

    “Rob Crawford says:
    February 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

    So those who commit fraud should not be prosecuted?”

    A person who commits the crime of fraud should be prosecuted for fraud…no need to tack on idiotic cyberbullying laws.

    Also read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229

  94. theduke says:

    Joshua says: “So says the anonymous “theduke” to the named Joshua Corning. Also “cyberbullying” is not identity theft.”

    I have reasons for my anonymity and people like Peter Gleick are among them.

    It was identity theft. I don’t see what “cyberbullying” has to do with it. He assumed the identity of a Heartland board member for nefarious purposes. He didn’t bully the board member. In fact the board member probably had no idea his identity had been stolen.

    If you don’t like the law, write Senator Simitian. I agree that laws frequently overlap. In this case, there were specific instances of new kinds of identity theft occurring in Simitian’s district, which includes Silicon Valley, and he responded to his constituents demands for protection under the law.

  95. Alan Watt says:

    jtom:
    Thank you for the reference (1) on legal usage of harm. OK the “material or tangible detriment” could cover loss of donations, but a prosecution would have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that this was Gleick’s intent. I have reasonable doubt this was his intent — I think he wanted to wake up all the apathetic people blissfully assuming that Heartland is only exercising Constitutionally protected free speech (which of course is not permitted for people denying AGW orthodoxy or accepting money from other AGW deniers).

    My comment was mostly about the application of the new California cyber-impersonation law (the topic of this thread), so your item (2) regarding federal wire fraud is not applicable, although it may well be another potential avenue for prosecution. Of course federal prosecutors all work for Attorney General Eric Holder, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that possibility either. He’s kind of busy explaining exactly how federal ATF agents permitting Mexican drug gangs to purchase large numbers of guns and smuggle them back to Mexico didn’t commit any crimes.

    To your point (3): while it is true that HI has been defamed regardless of who fabricated the memo (one of the four elements a libel plaintiff must show), as a “public figure” they must also establish Gleick acted out of “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth”. This test is much easier to meet if HI can establish Gleick created the memo and passed it off as genuine. Although HI may prevail regardless, their case is clearly stronger with this additional showing.

    I realize now I should have stuck to my original point: criminal prosecution under the new California law is unlikely. The foray into civil libel law was a distraction, and a topic requiring far more space than I allowed.

    My immediate family is also lousy with attorneys, most of whom would probably support Gleick.

  96. Mike M says:

    Joshua Corning says:
    [“Mike M says:Josh take note, I think we’ve got a new poster idea for you.”]

    Mike take note…….Also go screw yourself.

    Something tells me you aren’t smart enough to realize you are not the ‘Josh’ I was referring to. Regardless, there’s no excuse for resorting to vulgarities.

  97. More Soylent Green! says:

    Joshua corning says:
    February 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm
    What a stupid law.

    I’m no fan of the fraud Gleick but prisons are filled already with too may non-violent offenders.

    Go after him in civil court and the court of public opinion. Don’t waste tax payer money when it can be used to prosecute rapists, thugs and murders on this horse crap.

    So you’re in favor of treating the 1% differently?

    Seriously, there is a trend lately to not let white-collar criminals off as easily in the past and it’s also based upon the “fairness” argument.

    Personally, I favor alternate sentencing for non-violent first offenders, such as house arrest with electronic monitoring, or something less costly to the taxpayers. But I don’t believe Gleick should be allowed to skate on criminal charges as his actions were clearly criminal and malicious.

    There should be multiple civil suits against him, from Heartland and various donors whose private information was illegally published.

  98. CharlieD says:

    I’ve been wondering about the memo. Gleick claims he got it from somewhere else. but he was suspected int eh first place because of similarities to his writing. what if he didnt write it? maybe he never writes the stuff published under his by -line. maybe he uses a ghost writer and thats the person who wrote the memo. exposing the source may also be exposing the person that does his other writing.
    as for exposong funding source, have a look at Gleick’s PRI’s own funding sources http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Pacific_Research_Institute#Funding Chevron/Texaco , Exxon Mobil and the Charles G Koch Foundation all make the list…

  99. BMF says:

    When have Democrats ever felt that laws apply to them?

    Your letter was the right thing to do, but don’t hold your breath that CA will take any action until a consevative is involved.

  100. Vigilantfish says:

    Anton says:
    February 24, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Moderator, when I scroll down the left side of the page using the scroll bar, the entire page vanishes, and does not return until I’ve either hit the back button or re-entered the URL. This happens constantly, and has been going on for many days now.

    Also, trying to write messages in the “Leave a Reply” field is difficult. I have to click on it many, many time, with the cursor in the lower right corner, till, finally, a blinking dash in the field’s upper left corner indicates that I can start writing. I’m using Internet Explorer 8 and MSN Explorer.

    [Reply: Is anyone else having this problem? ~dbs, mod.]

    —-

    Actually, I’m having this problem with the disappearing WUWT page today, too. It occurs on the main page mainly, but also on other long threads. I use Firefox, so it’s not an Explorer problem.

  101. Mike M says:

    Firefox 10.0.2, XP, SP3 – no evidence of any problem here. My scroll bar is on the right. I tried that, the mouse wheel and the middle click free scroll mode (or whatever it’s called that I never use)

  102. Tim Clark says:

    If HI wins a case, or settles for money, would the awarded damages be considered a donation by PG to skeptics?

  103. kim2ooo says:

    CharlieD says:
    February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    ["........................."]

    ————————-

    Mr D
    I think you have mixed http://www.pacificresearch.org/ For http://pacinst.org/reports/success_stories/index.htm

  104. Gofigure says:

    The website JunkScience.com reports that the Pacific Institute has received some $400kl+ in various grants (and/or contracts) from the EPA. The folks at JunkScience took an initial look (to come up with the total) of EPA’s online (presumably public) database. A very short time later they went back to get more information, but, alas, all of the information regarding Pacific Institute had disappeared !

    I hope this gets reported to someone who can light a little fire under EPA !

  105. bubbagyro says:

    Gofigure:
    Nice alert. This means that EPA, if they are reacting to this controversy, is potentially colluding with PI and tethering themselves to the charges. Can FOIA uncover any emails to the effect that EPA is removing sunshine from an ongoing investigation? WHo made the judgment to remove PI data? When did they do it? In response to what putative stimulus? Was the stimulus to remove the documents from EPA website contemporaneous with the Gleick allegations, or, better, with his confession? This causes one to wonder…

Comments are closed.