UPDATE: 12/21/11 4PM -BBC covers Tallbloke, finally, Richard Black still silent- Norfolk constabulary to share
hand-off Climategate investigation, and Greg Laden caves – see below
Dec 14th -The first blogger to break the Climategate2 story has had a visit from the police and has had his computers seized. Tallbloke’s Talkshop first reported on CG2 due to the timing of the release being overnight in the USA. Today he was raided by six UK police (Norfolk Constabulary and Metropolitan police) and several of his computers were seized as evidence. He writes:
After surveying my ancient stack of Sun Sparcstations and PII 400 pc’s, they ended up settling for two laptops and an adsl broadband router. I’m blogging this post via my mobile.
Strange and troubling that they’d seize his computers for comments dropped onto a US service (wordpress.com) from the cloud. There wouldn’t be any record on his PC’s of the event from FOIA’s placing comments, that would be in the wordpress.com server logs.
Either there’s more than meets the eye or they have no idea how the blog system works.
UPDATE: I’ve been in contact with Roger (Tallbloke) and he tells me that he is not a suspect, and that they’ll clone his hard drives and return the computers to him. – Anthony
UPDATE2: 12/15/9AM It seems that the story has gone viral on blogs. Four skeptic blogs are in the top ten of all WordPress blogs today. While I’ve seen 2 at a time on CG1 and CG2, four has never happened before. This is from my wordpress.com dashboard:
From top to bottom, WUWT, The Air Vent, Tallbloke’s Talkshop, Climate Audit.
UPDATE3: Delingpole in the Telegraph thinks its going to escalate
UPDATE4: Horner in The Washington Examiner weighs in
UPDATE5: The Guardian picks up on the story here
UPDATE6: Jo Nova suggests it is a form of intimidation
UPDATE7: Josh weighs in with two cartoons
UPDATE8: Greg Laden on Scienceblogs accuses Tallbloke of being a “criminal” – a claim really over the line and over the top. Clearly this is outside of the Code of Conduct for Scienceblogs.com (contact page here) Of course, after reading the rant of hate this man has for anyone not like him, especially Americans in some states, I suppose it’s just another day for him. Update: I sent off a complaint to the editors of Sb about this, and it appears that Laden has been asked to remove the libelous language, though the post remains as does his hateful attitude in comments.
UPDATE9: Lord Monckton to pursue fraud charges against Climategate scientists: Will present to police the case for ‘numerous specific instances of scientific or economic fraud’
Monckton: ‘I have begun drafting a memorandum for prosecuting authorities…to establish…the existence of numerous specific instances of scientific or economic fraud in relation to the official ‘global warming’ storyline…they will act, for that is what the law requires them to do’
Story at ClimateDepot here
UPDATE10: More than a couple of people have asked me about computer security in the last couple of days, especially after the Tallbloke raid incident.
I’m offering a simple security solution for those that want to protect their files: a USB flash drive with built in hardware security. See it here
UPDATE11: A copy of the search warrant can be seen at Climate Audit
UPDATE 12: The BBC’s Richard Black is silent, probably because he can’t “… find an angle that will allow the BBC to maintain the usual warmists good, sceptics bad holding pattern”.
UPDATE13: Tallbloke apparently is going to take legal action against ScienceBlogs and blogger Greg Laden over his libelous article (now modified to not be libelous) accusing Tallbloke of being involved in criminal activity, and is soliciting barristers. Laden says on his blog in comments:
“I think he’s a criminal for being a climate denialist. Sue me. “
Looks like Greg Laden will get his wish.
UPDATE14: Rep Markey has an “off with their heads” moment, Jeff Id explains how the connections being made are preposterous.
UPDATE15: Tallbloke has decided to take the libel issue with Laden to tort. A letter from his attorney is posted.
UPDATE16: Planetsave makes another libel with the headline: “Criminal Who Manufactured Climategate Caught?” The clueless writer, Zachary Shahan, is about as far away from understanding journalism as anyone I’ve seen. He’s in for a nasty surprise as Tallbloke has added him to the tort list.
UPDATE18: UK cartoonist “Fenbeagle” has done up a Star Wars parody in the vein of The Empire Strikes Back. Mike Mann, Phil Jones, Jawas, and a Wookie are featured.
UPDATE19: Tom Nelson points out that Laden seems to have caved to impending legal action: Warmist Greg Laden: Did I say that tallbloke is a criminal? I meant he’s not a criminal. Details here
UPDATE20: Tallbloke reflects on the solstice and says that questions are starting to be asked in the UK.
UPDATE21: Tallbloke reports that:
In a sudden new development, your correspondent has learned that Norfolk Constabulary have decided that climategate is too big for them to handle. According to an un-named source, they intend to hand over the inquiry to another force.
This follows on the heels of a ‘request for a contact’ at Norfolk Constabulary by Lord Christopher Monckton in connection with his intention to have the police investigate revelations in the ‘climategate’ emails placed in the public domain.
UPDATE22: Donna LeFramboise writes in the Financial Post:
This is all rather chilling. It appears that being the proprietor of a blog in which strangers leave links pointing to material on third-party websites now exposes one to being raided by the police.
UPDATE23: The BBC finally gets around to covering the seizure episode almost a week later, unsurprisingly, the very biased Richard Black isn’t the reporter.