UK police seize computers of skeptic blogger in England

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.

That means his cellphone. In his blog report are all the details. including actions in the US involving WordPress and the US Department of Justice. Jeff Id at The Air Vent also has a report here.

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.

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Latitude
December 14, 2011 4:48 pm

or they have no idea how the blog system works.
============
….thumbsup

December 14, 2011 4:50 pm

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Isonomia
December 14, 2011 4:50 pm

Somehow I don’t think they have a clue what they are doing.

JEM
December 14, 2011 4:50 pm

Alright, where’s the decryption key for the rest…

theduke
December 14, 2011 4:50 pm

The UK press needs to start demanding answers fast. First question: what is he suspected of?

AdderW
December 14, 2011 4:52 pm

Stashing up on popcorn, will the password phrase to the next load of emails soon be presented, oh the merry musings …

Interstellar Bill
December 14, 2011 4:55 pm

Hie thee to the Cloud! What will they confiscate then?

December 14, 2011 4:57 pm

Sounds like they are grasping at straws in response to pressure from the warmists that was in the media not long after the announcement of ClimateGate2.

December 14, 2011 4:57 pm

This is truly frightening. If they can get away with this, what next?

richard verney
December 14, 2011 4:57 pm

Ir is not clear from this post what it is alleged that the blogger did wrong.
What is the charge against him?

BradProp1
December 14, 2011 4:58 pm

Personal experience has shown me that what cops don’t know, they lie about. And what they do know, they lie about.

albertalad
December 14, 2011 4:58 pm

Sorry Tallbloke – perhaps the UK police aught to read YOUR Climategate 1.0 and Climategate 2.0 emails and then lay criminal charges against the East Anglia criminals instead of going after an innocence fellow. The real criminals are at East Anglia and their co-conspirators at the BBC and the Guardian.

Athelstan
December 14, 2011 4:59 pm
December 14, 2011 5:00 pm

Rest easy: This is mostly for show to demonstrate that the gov takes the leaks seriously. But in reality they do not really want to apprehend the culprit(s) because they would need to charge them with some crime or other. This would likely produce a ‘trial of the century’ in which the defendant would be branded as the worst criminal since (fill in the blank), while being hailed as hero by skeptics aroudn the world. Famous lawyers would rush to be chosen to defend the case. And here is the rub: The media would be forced to cover the case, and this is the last thing the gov wants.

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 5:04 pm

Seems like a “show” to me. They are under pressure to investigate, and so their doing something to show their bosses that….they’re doing something.
There’s a couple of possibilities I suppose. They could suspect that Tallbloke is liberator of the CG2 emails, and they want to see if there is any evidence to that effect on his computers. Of course, anyone bright enough to liberate that many emails over that period of time and get them onto multiple blogs from a server in Russia that can’t be traced any further backward to the source, ought to be bright enough to not leave the evidence in their home laptop.
I don’t know what the law is in the UK regarding this, but I for one would have refused to allow access to my computers until I had taken a complete image of all drives and copied them to backup media under the supervision of a legal representative who would then sequester the backup copy for future reference. If the investigation turns up something “incriminating”, I’d then have the backup copy in my lawyer’s vault to refer to and ensure nothing had been changed on my computer after it left my possession.
Three years ago I would have poo poo’d the need to do something like that in regard to an investigation by a 1st world police force. Now, I’m not so certain.

dtbronzich
December 14, 2011 5:05 pm

https://www.facebook.com/norfolkpolice?sk=wall Facebook page, if anyone is interested.

tallbloke
December 14, 2011 5:05 pm

They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.

ChE
December 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Somehow I don’t think they have a clue what they are doing.

Who? These guys?
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/12/14/ooops-eric-holders-doj-misses-litigation-deadline-in-voting-case/#comment-217875

John Smith
December 14, 2011 5:06 pm

They’ll “fit him up” meaning that the cops and the media and probably some sleazy politician will have arranged to frame him as a cyber terrorist. He’ll be the main suspect in the hacking of UAE and the MSM will have him convicted within a week. This is a scary scenario for him. Good luck Tall Bloke.

Leadfootin
December 14, 2011 5:06 pm

George Orwell was only off by about 27 years!

meemoe_uk
December 14, 2011 5:07 pm

That ….. is appalling. UK police can now steal citizen’s property. And for what? To save someone’s life in an emergency? No. For being a skeptic blogger.
Wonder if any of the AGW gang will visit Norfolk police and steal their computers.
I think since the 7/7 bombings, the UK government allows the police to do just about anything under the guise of protecting us from terrorism. Letting police terrorise citizens to save them from terrorism goes without saying.

jkp416
December 14, 2011 5:07 pm

Hmmm … interesting times …
This could be just what’s required to spark “lame stream media” interest in ClimateGate 2.0
(To date, their silence has been deafening)

ChE
December 14, 2011 5:08 pm

The UK press needs to start demanding answers fast. First question: what is he suspected of?

Meanwhile in the US, maybe Darryl Issa can add this to the gunrunner business next time he has Holder on the griddle?

old construction worker
December 14, 2011 5:08 pm

Now, they’ll come for his cellphone.

December 14, 2011 5:09 pm

So, Anthony, what was the actual timeline of the ClimateGate2 news breaking? Were the files posted somewhere, and Tallbloke happened to stumble onto it? Or did he receive a notification from someone? Do the UK police somehow suspect him of being involved in breaking into the UEA email servers, just because he blogged about the file posting first?

December 14, 2011 5:12 pm

Actually, about 6/20ths of his computers were seized.

GreatAnarch
December 14, 2011 5:14 pm

Search warrants require a magistrate to see evidence of some crime. Did anybody tell him what the charge was? Under an extradition treaty signed by Blair, it is enough for the US authorities to announce that they want a UK citizen arrested, and no judge has to see the evidence they may have; extradition is almost automatic. Perhaps the US Department of Justice can get a UK search warrant on the same basis?

December 14, 2011 5:15 pm

They took away a DSL router? That would only be done by “experts” to frustrate access to the Internet.
And I would ask commentators not to refer to his mobile phone as a “cellphone”. The bloke’s not yet been incarcerated.

Robert M
December 14, 2011 5:17 pm

Evidently the powers that be have decided that it is time to harass a few bloggers, shake a few trees, and see if any cherries fall into their grubby little clutching fingers.
Sadly, I usually respect and support the police, but in this case, I feel the chances of Tallbloke being an actual perp are smaller then Micheal Mann admitting that his hokey stick is fraud from start to finish. One wonders where the authorities are planning on going with this…

tokyoboy
December 14, 2011 5:19 pm

Paging………. Mr. Holms and Mr. Watson

ChE
December 14, 2011 5:22 pm

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.

I’m glad to hear that. However. I hope you have a lawyer just in case this gets more “interesting”.

Ian W
December 14, 2011 5:22 pm

It makes one wonder if the encrypted part of the CG2 dump is thought to contain something that would make various politicians lives difficult. Someone in authority must be in a cold sweat to bend rules like this.

Alvin
December 14, 2011 5:22 pm

Nick, what did you do?

Nick
December 14, 2011 5:23 pm

The only way the “Enviroalitarians”, “PoliticalCorrectnessPolice” and the supporting media interests are going to get their agenda moving to where they want it to go is to get all Orwellian.
They’re making every attempt at it.
This raid is practice and a fishing exercise I’m guessing.
How many in the raid? 8-10 Your joking?! For a computer geek with, supposedly, sources to some more nerds email’s? Nup, doesn’t work for me.
And to trace the traffic to and from a Russian server? You have to get hold of that Russian server. Good luck with that. 🙂
I’m open to be convinced otherwise, that’s what reasoned argument and evidence do, change your mind. 🙂
There’s something else going here. Dunno what, but I’m strugglin’ with “tallbloke” being FOIA.
Who’s next, though? 🙂

Craig Moore
December 14, 2011 5:24 pm

The brown shirts have risen to strike again.

Editor
December 14, 2011 5:24 pm

tallbloke says: December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Historical reference: “Yes, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”
Did they give any indication of just what it was they thought they might find? And, if you can talk about it, just what was that about the USDoJ?
Good Luck and keep in touch.

Lance of BC
December 14, 2011 5:24 pm

You need legal advice NOW, maybe there are some members of this blog who close to you with connection to a lawyer or may be one. Not a bad idea to get the media involved also.
What could they possibly hope to achieve from this action? The documents are out of the bag now.
Good luck and stay safe.

Wayne Delbeke
December 14, 2011 5:25 pm

So did Penn State and East Anglia get similar letters …. ? How about Realclimate?
Looks like a fishing expedition, wonder where their gear is. And who is Kendra?

Alvin
December 14, 2011 5:26 pm

Clone them yourself when they are returned, and check them for malware and keystroke loggers. Time to change all your passwords.

December 14, 2011 5:31 pm

I guess it was only 2 20ths of his computers.
As for the DSL router, they’re a dime a dozen. I have two spares sitting on a shelf. Routers hold no data, just access codes and linkage admin setup.

RB
December 14, 2011 5:32 pm

As BradProp1 says – from personal experience I can say that lying comes easy to coppers. I know a police sergeant very well. Went round his house once and noticed that he had another PCs pocketbook on his kitchen table. When I asked him why it was there he told me that a case that he had dealt with along with this PC was due in court next week and he hadnt made any pocket book notes at the time of the incident so he was copying them from the PCs notebook to be prepared for court – at which hearing he no doubt answered the age old question “Were these notes made at the time of the incident” with the angelic “Yes”.
I wish you the best of luck Tallbloke – although I cannot bear the fact that a copper can come round to your house, polite or not, tell you that you are not a suspect in any crime, but still cart off your personal property. I dread to say it, but lets just see if any kiddie porn is “found” on your computer.

Big Dave
December 14, 2011 5:33 pm

First, they came for the skeptics….
[snip – let’s keep it relevant to what actually happened – Anthony]
Cheers
Big Dave

carbon-based life form
December 14, 2011 5:34 pm

No one expects the Mannish Inquisition…
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSe38dzJYkY ]

Wayne Delbeke
December 14, 2011 5:36 pm

Kendra Ervin is a University of Virginia alumnus … 6 degrees of separation or less. Has a computer science, math, economics and law degree.
Kendra Ervin
Trial Attorney, Criminal Division, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section at U.S. Department of Justice
Washington D.C. Metro Area Law Practice
Current
Trial Attorney, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section at U.S. Department of Justice
Past
Associate at Williams & Connolly
Law Clerk to the Honorable Alvin A. Schall at United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company
Education
University of Virginia School of Law
Emory University
Connections
285 connections
Kendra Ervin’s Experience
Trial Attorney, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section
U.S. Department of Justice
August 2010 – Present (1 year 5 months)
Associate
Williams & Connolly
Partnership; 201-500 employees; Law Practice industry
October 2007 – July 2010 (2 years 10 months)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Alvin A. Schall
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Government Agency; 51-200 employees; Judiciary industry
2006 – 2007 (1 year)
Business Analyst
McKinsey & Company
Partnership; 10,001+ employees; Management Consulting industry
2001 – 2002 (1 year)
Kendra Ervin’s Education
University of Virginia School of Law
2003 – 2006
Emory University
2001, B.S. Computer Science/Math and Economics
1997 – 2001

u.k.(us)
December 14, 2011 5:36 pm

The internet never forgets, if someone is trying to suppress information, this is possibly the worst strategy one could take.
It just feeds the fire, and puts an added focus on the rights of the accused.
Note to the investigators:
Everybody is watching, and it might be best assumed, they know/or will know the exact timeline of all communications in the course of the investigation.
Be very, very careful what you say.
Every detail will be closely examined.

danj
December 14, 2011 5:36 pm

The DOJ, huh? I guess between lamely trying to cover their exposed tails in the “Fast and Furious” debacle and trying to prevent various states from enforcing their state laws to stem illegal immigration (which Holder’s DOJ champions) they have enough time to mess with wordpress and skeptical bloggers to attempt to give comfort to the bruised egos of The Team. I think I’ll throw up…

Alvin
December 14, 2011 5:38 pm

DSL routers contain MAC addresses and in some cases log files showing connections.

albertalad
December 14, 2011 5:39 pm

I do whole heartily agree with those who said – GET A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY. Say NOTHING, NOTHING! And you ARE a suspect otherwise the cops would NOT have taken YOUR computers for study. For God’s sake find out your rights! Protest yourself – no one else can do that right now except YOU.

Philip Peake
December 14, 2011 5:42 pm

– Unless the law has changed drastically since I left the UK, they need a warrant to search your property and relieve you of any of the said property.
They should have given you a copy of this, and it should list the reasons for its issue.
Would be interesting to see what excuse they used.

RichieP
December 14, 2011 5:44 pm

.. pour encourager les autres.
“In this country, it’s good to intimidate a blogger from time to time, to encourage the others.”
With apologies to Voltaire.
Dissent needs to be managed and controlled.

gnomish
December 14, 2011 5:44 pm

good advice from alvin.
the router is probably for the mac address to trace some traffic.
obviously, they descended upon TB in a gang to investigate allegations of innocence.

Dave Worley
December 14, 2011 5:44 pm

I would surely want my own copy before handing over my personal files.

RockyRoad
December 14, 2011 5:46 pm

CG2 must have had a bigger impact on the warmistas than we thought (or that the MSM has admitted). Maybe they’re just mad that COP17 was a bust and Durban will forever have a negative reputation when it comes to tourist appeal.

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 5:51 pm

There was a time when I thought my government stood for justice and that we were on the side of “the good guys”. This is heartbreaking in so many ways.

Barbara Skolaut
December 14, 2011 5:52 pm

“They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
Then what reason did they have for doing what they did, Tallbloke?
I thought both our legal systems were based on English common law, but y’all’s is certainly different from ours. 🙁

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 5:54 pm

So…. Anthony….anyone at your door yet?
FOIA posted on your blog….so one would think they’d come look at your computers too? At work and at home? If not….why Tallbloke’s and not yours? the various comments indicate coordination with the US…
But if there is any “real” information to be found, I’d think they’d need to start with the WordPress servers and logs. Anyone work there? Or across the street from “there”? Wherever “there” is?

Jesse
December 14, 2011 5:55 pm

Just because you’re not guilty doesn’t mean you won’t be prosecuted. Meaningless accusations are made everyday and it cost money just to protect yourself from falsehoods. Hope you know an attorney who will look out for your interest and not bankrupt you in the process.

Severian
December 14, 2011 5:57 pm

Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Anteros
December 14, 2011 5:59 pm

I love the way you say [mobile] that means cellphone
Do any of you really need a translation of ‘mobile’?

December 14, 2011 6:00 pm

It reveals FEAR,…but fear of what? Going after some bloggers will make possible “Global Warming? LOL!!! Or…is it something bigger behind?. Anyway it´s useless: What will be will be if the greatest “conspirer” (God) wants it. Really childish.

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Barbara Skolaut says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm
“They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
Then what reason did they have for doing what they did, Tallbloke?>>>
They didn’t charge him with anything, and I doubt if they will. Executing a search warrant to seek evidence is just a legal search for evidence. I think under common law if he was a suspect they’d have to inform him that he was a suspect.
It isn’t any different than there’s a body found at the bottom of a high rise. There’s no doubt that the police could show up with search warrants for each and every apartment above the body. Searching for evidence in each and every apartment in that fashion would be a pretty logical thing to do, and one would be just searching for evidence, not charging every single apartment dweller with a crime.
At best, they’re shooting in the dark, hoping for some clue or corroborating evidence on Tallbloke’s computers. At worst, they’re just hopelessly and completely clueless about how to investigate something like this.

December 14, 2011 6:05 pm
Neo
December 14, 2011 6:08 pm

Clearly, the police believe that there was more communication between Tallbloke and the originator of the FOIA “Climategate” releases.

Slabadang
December 14, 2011 6:09 pm

Its NOT the police!
Obviously its the gouvernments national intelligence services in action hiding behind the police. They are trying to get hold of “FOIA”. The gouverments are [SNIP! -REP] afraid of what´s in the remaining..encrypted e.mails. There is more here on the line here for the western gouvenrments and the UN and EU than most understand. To find anything that can discredit any sceptic is what they are seeking. They are trying to register all “oppositional” individuals watch your doors and instruct your children NOT to disclose what your familys opinion is on the issue. Dark days are here my friends very dark days. Whos the first sceptic to go to jail for his opinion?

4 eyes
December 14, 2011 6:10 pm

Odd that IPCC is asserting exemption from FOI laws and someone who would like to know what they’ve been up to is having his computer seized.

mrrabbit
December 14, 2011 6:11 pm

1. While the ADSL router may have it’s own MAC address, the moment they pulled the plug all running data in RAM was lost. Logs have to be directed to another server’s “syslog” service in order to save it. The manufacturers prefer to save the limited number of writes of the FLASH RAM for firmware updates and config changes.
2. It’s quite possible though the ISP saved something on their end…
3. I suspect that the encrypted portion may not be exclusively emails focused on the usual gimmicks – but rather – they identify 6-12 individuals world wide who are enablers, backers, and financiers of Mann and Co. A few very high up-politicians, a few very high level CEO’s in league with those politicians, some of whom may be CEO’s of energy companies besides your usual Green fanatics and Soros types.
4. n++; what everyone else has said, “Get a lawyer immediately!” They don’t give a damn about your guilt of innocence.
5. EVERYONE!: Put aside $5.00, or $10.00 bucks if you can spare it. Charity season is upon us…
=8-)

December 14, 2011 6:12 pm

“tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
Just don’t say ANYTHING to them, reserve the right to remain silent!!!

LamontT
December 14, 2011 6:12 pm

The Air Vent’s main page is now down. Though you can still reach it through the archive page for December 2011.

G. Karst
December 14, 2011 6:12 pm

FOIA:
They have drawn “first blood”… repeat “first blood”. The fox has the hen… repeat the fox has the hen… end of message. GK

Kaboom
December 14, 2011 6:13 pm

They are probably looking – in a ham fisted way – looking for traces of FOIA’s IP address to trace it back to the original Climategate leaker. Of course he’d have used an anonymous VPN and a proxy to drop off any messages considering he was smart enough to elude them so long and they’ll come up with nothing.

Steve from Rockwood
December 14, 2011 6:13 pm

Should we throw some money at Tallbloke? Maybe he could upgrade from those PDP-4s.
Seriously, if he’s out hardware, $50 from 50 people would solve the problem. And a copy of H.G. Wells 1984 😉

AdderW
December 14, 2011 6:13 pm

I have nothing to hide, but I still use PGP Whole Disk Encryption.

December 14, 2011 6:16 pm
Steve from Rockwood
December 14, 2011 6:16 pm

It’s his own fault for being tall.
But I would throw out anything returned. You never know what crap they put on it.

LamontT
December 14, 2011 6:16 pm

Ok, The Air Vent is back again.

DonS
December 14, 2011 6:18 pm

“And then, they came for me.”

Gail Combs
December 14, 2011 6:19 pm

When you get your computers back have someone check them out very throughly. With the US DOJ involved, I would not trust any of them.
As several others have said – GET THEE TO A LAWYER!
The Police ARE your enemy – sad but true.

jthomas
December 14, 2011 6:21 pm

Still haven’t learned the proper definition of “skeptic”, Anthony. No wonder you’re you fall for onspiracy theories so easily.

roh234
December 14, 2011 6:22 pm

God!
Very dark times indeed. I love how the watermelons claim that they are ‘pro-democarcy’.

Luther Wu
December 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Dark Days ahead…

December 14, 2011 6:33 pm

Neo says:
“Clearly, the police believe that there was more communication between Tallbloke and the originator of the FOIA ‘Climategate’ releases.”
I wouldn’t know what the police believe, but even if it were true, so what?? Despite the protests from the Team’s water carriers, nothing was stolen. How could it be? What, exactly, is missing?
And what law says that the public that paid for those emails cannot read them? This probably isn’t the critical event, but sooner or later something will happen that pushes this entire issue into an adversarial setting, where documents can be subpoenaed, witnesses questioned under oath, and cross-examined. If the Mann/Jones climate clique is ever subjected to full-on legal discovery, the public will start to sit up straight and pay attention as the “Team’s” self-serving shenanigans come to light showing how they conspired to divert tax money into their pockets.

December 14, 2011 6:36 pm

In other news we have this from Sacramento yesterday:
http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/firearm-sales-way-up-during-holiday-season/
I just read the link above before checking WUWT for new posts. Imagine coming here this evening after reading this:
——
Firearm Sales Way Up During Holiday Season
“Black Friday sales were off the charts this year,” a TDS employee said.
FBI stats show the number of background checks done on Black Friday three years ago pales in comparison to the number done this year — a 32-percent jump.
“People are just coming in to protect themselves,” the employee said. “I think there’s just a lot of things going on in the world that are getting people thinking.”
——
Hope this isn’t over the top Anthony, but the “TDS employee” might be on to something here. Feel free to snip. Just sayin.

December 14, 2011 6:38 pm

There are several troubling aspects to this.
For one, no cop is going to be dragging anything out of my house regardless of cause without a warrent. This is just common sense because as much as I want to cooperate, I do not trust cops who are under no obligation to ever tell the truth except to as their identities in official capacities.
Other then that, nada. They will take anything you give them and will attempt to take anything they can get without a warrent. They might be able to get a warrent, but the thing that really sounds fishy here is the involvement of the US DOJ.
I have no issues with terrorism and the US DOJ in general but this has nothing to do with them. This is a case of a UK citizin and a UK case involving a UK university so what the heck is the US DOJ doing mucking itself around in the UK’s dirty laundry?
That is what upsets me the most about this as an American and I can tell you that I will be for the second time calling my senetors tomorrow asking why our department of justice is singling out individuals in other countries to investigate for crimes that have nothing to do with the US and for all intensive purposes trashing the rights and the purposes of anti-terrorism agreements.
As for the UK common law, why in the world is the US interested in the first place? Isn’t this a UK issue? And what does it have to do with the US at all?
That is probably the most troubling aspect, the entire premise that the US is involved in any capacity whatsoever.
If this was the case of an American citizen, I could perhaps see the point and perhaps see the involvement therein.
But a UK citizen? There is more here then we know at the moment. It could be just simple harrassement or a simple fishing expedition (both of which are simply wrong legally and hence my case for calling for a warrent and then subsequent juriprudence)….and the involvement therein of the US DOJ.
Smells fishy. Kind of like Fast and Furious. I personally do not trust our justice department here in the states at all, so yea, we shall see what this entire escapade is about.

Roger Knights
December 14, 2011 6:38 pm

Steve from Rockwood says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm
It’s his own fault for being tall.

You know what they say about tall poppies ….

Tipocaldo
December 14, 2011 6:42 pm

Would not be surprised that the HIGHEST levels in UK and USA government are involved in stopping further release of 220,000 emails by leaker because they were involved LOL

December 14, 2011 6:44 pm

Haha they won’t have a clue what they’re doing, believe me! I used to live fairly close to the county of Norfolk and, lets just say, brains are in short supply.
Mind you they might learn something if they read enough sceptical blogs! I reckon someone is leaning on them to do something and this was all they could think of :o)

Streetcred
December 14, 2011 6:44 pm

davidmhoffer says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm
========================
My understanding is that they need reasonable cause to suspect Tallbloke of being complicit in any crime … and then they can get a magistrate to sign a search warrant.
So, what is their “reasonable cause” ?
They’d have a lot more “reasonable cause” to execute a search warrant of the ‘The Team’ at the University of Easy Access for climate fraud.
Nothing more than harassment of innocent people because they can.

u.k.(us)
December 14, 2011 6:44 pm

What was the reason for the seizure ?
Any explanation ?
Or was it the “inconvenient truth”.
Freedom Of Information is a bitch, and she still has some teeth.
Only a fool would confront her, considering her internet allies.

Tipocaldo
December 14, 2011 6:45 pm

Well all you have to do is vote Obama out and Rick Perry/Newt Gingrich in haha. That will really end the whole thing quick with quite a few changes in The Justice Dept and EPA LOL

Big Dave
December 14, 2011 6:48 pm

What crime is US DoJ investigating? Are they simply cooperating with UK?

Ed Dahlgren
December 14, 2011 6:50 pm

Anteros says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Do any of you really need a translation of ‘mobile’?

=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=
Probably. In American, the adjective “mobile” isn’t used as a noun for any kind of action or object. That I can think of at the moment, anyway.
An amateur-radio licensee, operating a station away from the address on his/her license, would say (is required to say, I think) that they are operating mobile.
But to the ear of this linguistics-grad-school dropout, aged 57, the word carries a connotation of something requiring a vehicle.
A mobile laboratory, perhaps. (Accent on the first syllable, if you please.) Mobile pet grooming. Mobile windshield repair – they’ll come to your workplace and install a new … ehh … “windscreen” without requiring a trip to their shop.
In the recent past, “-mobile” was used as the second half of a compound noun invented by replacing “auto” with something else: “Junkmobile”. “Clownmobile” (small like those at the circus that emit more people than could possibly fit inside). “Lovemobile.”
Mobile is also, of course, an historic 310-year-old city in the state of Alabama.
But cell phone? No, not an obvious meaning for the word “mobile” in all parts of the “English”-speaking world. 😉

December 14, 2011 6:53 pm

I’m totally flabbergasted and dismayed that the police can just barge in and nick private property of a private citizen in England. As others here have said – get a lawyer! This has to be in violation of your rights! Even making a copy of all your personal files and returning the computers is beyond the pale. I’m appalled beyond words.

Pamela Gray
December 14, 2011 6:54 pm

fahrenheit 451 anyone?

S Basinger
December 14, 2011 6:56 pm

I’m just curious. If you’re not a suspect, why were they awarded a search warrant for your house and go through your personal belongings. That seems like a pretty massive invasion of privacy for a ‘hunch’ that you may know something relevant to a criminal investigation.
I would lawyer up and if the authorities don’t give you satisfaction as to the reason why your privacy and belongings were taken, go to the press.

AnonyMoose
December 14, 2011 6:56 pm

So how many computers have they been seizing at East Anglia? Or Russia?

December 14, 2011 6:58 pm

If a search warrant has been issued, doesn’t it have to be related to an established offence?
The last murmurings that I heard from Norfolk Police was that there was no evidence of a crime/offence with the leaking of emails from CRU.

December 14, 2011 7:03 pm

My theory- they are desperate to find the password – they are terrified that the rest of the emails get out. Just a theory

pat
December 14, 2011 7:06 pm

Tallbloke –
concerned for you, but wonder about the legality of the police action.
14 Dec: ScienceMag: Ralph Hall ( (R-TX) Speaks Out on Climate Change
by Jeffrey Mervis
The chair of the House of Representatives science committee doesn’t think much of the investigations exonerating the scientists involved in the 2009 Climategate e-mail scandal. He also believes that climate scientists are driven by hopes of financial gain in producing reports that provide evidence for global warming…
Ralph Hall in a statement to ScienceInsider expanding on his comments to the NJ: …
Recently released emails highlight many of the same concerns that initially emerged in the 2009 ‘ClimateGate’ emails – a small cadre of scientists coordinating advocacy rather than communicating uncertainty; manipulating journals rather than facilitating peer review; and cherry-picking data rather than following transparency principles, which is a central tenant (sic) of science. While several groups have investigated the actions associated with the ClimateGate emails, these straw-man reviews failed to address the real underlying allegations that continue to undermine the integrity of those involved…
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/12/ralph-hall-speaks-out-on-climate.html

Chris
December 14, 2011 7:07 pm

Be aware that the returned computers may be loaded with key logger software.

Patrick Davis
December 14, 2011 7:07 pm

“vigilantfish says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm”
As is the case now in Australia and New Zealand, the UK has been a police state for some considerable time.

1DandyTroll
December 14, 2011 7:08 pm

It used to be:
I work for $$$
Then it was:
I work for fish
Then it was:
Will work for broadband
Now, the bobbies work for
the crazed climate hippie communists,
but I do so wonder, if in the end that, the peace bobbies would have acted all differently had they but focused on that slight sliver of information they already possessed but, apparently, all, ignored?
So what could poor Mr Tallbloke do, to counter sue? Or are the UK peace officers claiming war time laws?

1DandyTroll
December 14, 2011 7:10 pm

Otherwise, in EU you have to be a suspect of a crime for the bobbies to nick you hard drive even. :p

December 14, 2011 7:12 pm

A 2008 quote from the Samizdat blog:

Imagine telling somebody twenty years ago that by 2007, it would be illegal to smoke in a pub or bus shelter or your own vehicle, or that there would be £80 fines for dropping cigarette butts, or that the words “tequila slammer” would be illegal, or the government would mandate what angle a drinker’s head in an advertisement may be tipped at, or that it would be illegal to criticise religions or homosexuality, or rewire your own house, or that having sex after a few drinks would be classed as rape, or that the State would be confiscating children for being overweight. Imagine telling them the government would be contemplating ration cards for fuel and even foods, that every citizen would be required to carry an ID card filled with their private information which could be withdrawn at the state’s whim. They’d have thought you a paranoid loon.

I guess I’m a paranoid loon.

Bernie
December 14, 2011 7:13 pm

I am not sure but the appearance of threatening to release a boatload of emails may somehow constitute some form of extortion.

Reply to  Bernie
December 14, 2011 7:34 pm

At 7:13 PM on 14 December, Bernie had written:

I am not sure but the appearance of threatening to release a boatload of emails may somehow constitute some form of extortion.

Well, bubbie, I am sure. The “appearance or threatening to release a boatload of emails” could only be considered “some form of extortion” if the person or persons with the power to release those e-mails demanded of the potentially embarrassed (or incriminated) parties some form of consideration.
No demand for payment – or a job, or suicide, or marriage to an ugly chick, or doing the White House Intern kneepad routine, or whatever – no “extortion.”
Now, if somebody were to cuddle up to Prof. Jones or Dr. Mann or Dr. Briffa and whisper: “Tierra del Fuego, for the rest of your life, and not even so much as a cell phone or Internet access; you’ve got one hour, and then get the hell out of here,” that would count as “extortion.”
Also a public health measure, but “extortion” nevertheless.
That help you achieve surety, Bernie?

NotSpartacus
December 14, 2011 7:16 pm

I am Spartacus

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 7:17 pm

Streetcred;
So, what is their “reasonable cause” ?
They’d have a lot more “reasonable cause” to execute a search warrant of the ‘The Team’ at the University of Easy Access for climate fraud.>>>
As to reasonable cause, I don’t have a clue, but I could think of many possible reasons that would be legit. As for investigating the UEA, what makes you think they haven’t?
It is likely that the UEA would have had to report to any number of governing and regulatory bodies that their security had been breached. For all we know, the board of regents (or directors or whatever universities in the UK have) asked for an investigation. Or maybe the executive of the UEA lodged a complaint. Or maybe the minister of education asked for an investigation. Who knows at this point? Based on the info we have, we’re shooting in the dark as to “why”
The easiest explanation in my mind is that UEA filed a report or possibly even a complaint that the police have to investigate. Being the experienced professionals they are, they most likely interviewed a whole pile of people at UEA and asked each of them “do you know of anyone you think might of done this?”. If even one person said, yeah, I think it was this Tallbloke guy, he’s kinda shifty and he’s been publicly critical of us just look at his blog” then they’d pretty much have to follow up that “lead” no matter how ridiculous they themselves thought it to be. In that context, securing the cooperation of the US Dept of Justice to investigate the WordPress IT infrastructure (my understanding being that WordPress hosts Tallbloke’s blog) would make perfect sense.
All that said, I could come up with a few other scenarios that make sense too. Investigating a cyber crime is a tricky thing, and the first rule of thumb is that all the evidence you collect from the computers themselves points to innocent parties. But you still have to follow the leads no matter how illogical.
[Moderator’s Note: My guess: it was the word “shooting”. -REP]

Dougmanxx
December 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Alvin says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm
gnomish says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Unless he was directly connected to the Russian server, MAC addresses recorded by his router will not tell the police anything other than: the MAC address of his ISP and those of his local machines. This type of consumer device is comparatively simple and isn’t capable of logging anything more than that. Depending on how it was set up, there may not even be logs of those things. In order to get any real information on Internet browsing behaviour they would need logs from the ISP providing his connection. If a VPN was used? They will get nothing. (As any real hacker will tell you, the MAC address is easily faked, so even THAT record is pretty meaningless.) I suspect someone tech savvy enough to post this stuff on multiple Russian servers is well aware how MAC address spoofing, VPNs and proxy servers work. Unless the authorities were looking in EXACTLY the right place at EXACTLY the right time, there is very little chance of them finding FOIA. From a technical standpoint a lawyer who also has a degree in Computer Science should be well aware that there is nothing to find here. This strikes me as nothing but intimidation and harassment, and suggests that there is something to find: In the emails not yet released.

sky
December 14, 2011 7:20 pm

When standing tall in pursuing the truth hidden by the party line, citizens of police states have to expect such summary seizures. The only surprise here is where the invasion happened.

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 7:20 pm

I can’t help but wonder if the govt already cracked that encrypted file, knows what is in it, and that is why they are doing this. It doesn’t make sense. Government doesn’t usually come to the aid of the perpetrators of fraud like this.

Robert of Ottawa
December 14, 2011 7:23 pm

If I were Tallbloke, I wold never use those hardrives again. Probably full of virses & etc.

Editor
December 14, 2011 7:24 pm

My guess? Look at the date on the letter, the letterhead, and the date of the “raid” on Tallbloke. This thing is originating here and the Brits were responding to a US request.

Gary Pearse
December 14, 2011 7:25 pm

Yoikes, maybe the aniti government militia “nuts” have a point.

Robert of Ottawa
December 14, 2011 7:25 pm

OK What ight did the police have to invade an Englishman’s home and raid his property?

grant
December 14, 2011 7:26 pm

Ed D.
As a Canadian, I recognize the word mobile to mean what is colloquially called a cell phone here in North America. but then I have 3 more years of experience than you do. Although, given the level of technology I want in a cellular phone, (make/receive calls only) I would be more inclined to think of his “mobile” as a “smart phone” as opposed to a “cell phone”. Back on topic, I like many others who have posted here would be interested in the contents of the legal documents presented by the police in order to confiscate the computers that they took.

b_C
December 14, 2011 7:27 pm

Hope those other 220,000 emails get distributed widely … and soon.

Pamela Gray
December 14, 2011 7:28 pm

I am Spartacus (the short Irish version)!

Dave
December 14, 2011 7:28 pm

TomB says:
December 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm
This is truly frightening. If they can get away with this, what next?
Tom yes they can the UK is now a police state

M Ryutin Sydney Australia
December 14, 2011 7:29 pm

I don’t know if other comments mention this (I haven’t had time to read them all at this stage) but the US Justice Dept involvement is, I suggest, also on behalf of the Norfolk/Metropolitan police. As major servers are based in the USA the only way a foreign policee force can get access to them and their records is via a US Warrant, undertaken by the DOJ on their behalf. This is a bilateral, country-to-country arrangement, Attorney-General to DOJ request with documentation etc.
As the police are finally going on this (probably for completeness, rather than really seeking evidence of the perpetrator), I suspect that similar requests would have been made (through WordPress) for information from Americam sceptical sites also.

TRM
December 14, 2011 7:32 pm

Yea go ahead and clone my truecrypt file. Let me know how that works out for you sport.
What a bunch of dolts. The probably took the laptops because they were running windows and the sparc stations were running unix and they have less than no clue on that. On the windows ones they probably think they know but I’d wager a pile against them having an clue.
1984 is a bit late.

Robert of Ottawa
December 14, 2011 7:32 pm

We should form a fund to help a) defend Tallbloke or b) sue the pants of the British police and government.
Notice this happened immediately after the collapse of Durban. I suspect a Cleggeron to be thrashing out, hoping to intimidate the skeptics.

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 7:33 pm

“If I were Tallbloke, I wold never use those hardrives again.”
Not only that, I would not connect them to a system that runs the same OS they originally ran or Microsoft Windows. I would not trust them not to put a key logger or some other surveillance on it.
Of course, if the filesystem is encrypted, they will look like unformatted disks without even a directory structure.

DRE
December 14, 2011 7:35 pm

Does this mean somebody is nervous about what is in the encrypted part of the newest file? If so, finding out who leaked/hacked the email isn’t going to do any good, The info is out there all it takes is 1 or more people who are instructed to release the pass phrase if the leaker is arrested. All the authorities can do is speed up the process.
Every thing will eventually come out and it will be worse than we thought.

December 14, 2011 7:39 pm

Robert of Ottawa says:
December 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm
We should form a fund to help a) defend Tallbloke or b) sue the pants of the British police and government.
—–
I’m in!

LamontT
December 14, 2011 7:39 pm

Actually Gail Combs it isn’t that the police are your enemies. But instead to be accurate that the police are not your friend. At the end of the day they just want to find a bad guy and close their case. Sadly they are not always interested in who thy catch if they can just close a case.
It is for that reason you need to be careful talking to the police. Not that they are actively trying to do ill but that if they are negligent it can go so badly for you. Because things have gone pear shaped with cooperating with police in the past it is wiser to take some precautions when dealing with them simply to avoid putting either them or you in a bad position.

Slabadang
December 14, 2011 7:40 pm

Hey wake up!!
This what the Attorney demands! :
This request applies to the following items, whether in
electronic or other form, including information stored on backup media, if available:
1. The contents of any communication or file stored by or for the Accounts and any
associated accounts, and any information associated with those communications or files,
such as the source and destination email addresses or IP addresses.
2. All records and other information relating to the Accounts and any associated accounts
including the following:
a. Names (including subscriber names, user names, and screen names);
b. Addresses (including mailing addresses, residential addresses, business addresses,
and e-mail addresses);
c. Local and long distance telephone connection records;
d. Records of session times and durations, and the temporarily assigned network
addresses (such as Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses) associated with those
sessions, including any log history of when username “FOIA” uploaded posts to
the Accounts;
e. Length of service (including start date) and types of service utilized;
f. Telephone or instrument numbers (including MAC addresses);
g. Other subscriber numbers or identities (including the registration Internet Protocol
Well ! What information is she then NOT asking for? Dont open your door. McArthy was an amateur in comparence. They are mapping the hole sceptic community. Who think they wont save ALL information. Anyone who registred on the sites will be registred as “opposition”.
What are oyu all doing on Newe Years Eve? Wanna celebrate the New year 1985 anyone ?
Maybe someone have a big “animal farm” where we all can get together?

Pamela Gray
December 14, 2011 7:41 pm

Does this mean that climate warming causes seizures?

December 14, 2011 7:42 pm

I just donated at TallBloke’s Talkshop http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/
He is probably going to need a legal fund.
The UN declare themselves above the law and then the law is used to invade the home of a private citizen and confiscate personal belongings. This is deeply troubling.
If I were Anthony Watts or any other high-profile anti-warmunist, I would be installing a very robust security system and have an attorney on speed-dial.

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 7:42 pm

Robert E. Phelan says:
December 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm
My guess? Look at the date on the letter, the letterhead, and the date of the “raid” on Tallbloke. This thing is originating here and the Brits were responding to a US request.>>>
You’re right, it says Dec 9th. But it is addressed to the company that owns WordPress, directing them to preserve info regarding three blogs hosted by WordPress. Now, was that because of an investigation initiated in the United States? I sort of doubt it because there’s no crime (theoretical or otherwise) to investigate in the US in the first place. My guess would be that the investigation began in the UK, and that someone there asked the US DOJ to assist in securing information that may be relevant on the WordPress servers. If there are any electronic fingerprints to be had at all, the WordPress servers would be pretty much the first place to look, and my guess is that the DOJ is just doing as asked.

Dave
December 14, 2011 7:43 pm

Norfolk Constabulary
Norfolk Police think that everyone should feel safe and all those who want to should be able to enjoy the festive season. That’s why today’s tip of our 12 tips of Christmas includes an important message – http://bit.ly/ssET0o
What about raiding Tallbloke’s Talkshop did he feel safe – the UK in 2011 has become 1984. Positively Disgusting.

TomRude
December 14, 2011 7:44 pm

Eco fascists at work…

Robert of Ottawa
December 14, 2011 7:45 pm

Now we know how the Chinese feel.

CO2friend
December 14, 2011 7:46 pm

could be about leaked stuff..maybe some [SNIP: Over the top. Sorry. -REP]

Don.W
December 14, 2011 7:46 pm

A warrant and 6 (SIX!) detectives… In my little town that would be one hell of a donut party.
You’re a better man than I Tallbloke. I’d be mad like six dogs right about now!

Rank opportunist
December 14, 2011 7:47 pm

Hmmm, it sounds like opening a blog hosting service on an anonymous Russian server may be a business opportunity worth exploring…

Al Gored
December 14, 2011 7:47 pm

The Evil Empire strikes back.
We should all enjoy the free flow of information on the net while it lasts.

pete50
December 14, 2011 7:47 pm

Oh no! Not the Warmistani climate police.

Eric Gisin
December 14, 2011 7:52 pm

The DoJ is pretty corrupt, just look at the gunwalker scandal. AG Holder should be fired, he could be impeached.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Mann and Hansen convinced Democrats or the DoJ there is a “criminal” conspiracy to discredit him through the email leaks by the “climate denial machine”.

December 14, 2011 7:52 pm

[SNIP: Max, really a bit provactive. -REP]
This is now serious. Of course, we had a prediction some years ago of G.B. becoming a garrison state, I think 27 years ago!

u.k.(us)
December 14, 2011 7:55 pm

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
================
And, wot will they provide to Tallbloke in return for the information, they gleaned from his computer.
I would imagine f-all, with a bill for the privilege.
Care to give us the details of your travails, hopefully a pint or two will be able to assuage the costs, incurred.
Just say the word.

Snake Oil Baron
December 14, 2011 8:00 pm

“tallbloke on December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm said:
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
If a choice was given as to whether the disks could be taken and cloned then fine. If no choice was given then it seems that criminals and terrorists get more liberties than people who are not suspected of any crime. If so, I had better go commit a crime so I won’t be treated like a criminal.

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 8:00 pm

I started wondering what the heck Title 18, United States Code, Section 2703(f) was…and google is a frightening thing sometimes:
———
(f) Requirement To Preserve Evidence.— (1) In general.— A provider of wire or electronic communication services or a remote computing service, upon the request of a governmental entity, shall take all necessary steps to preserve records and other evidence in its possession pending the issuance of a court order or other process.
(2) Period of retention.— Records referred to in paragraph (1) shall be retained for a period of 90 days, which shall be extended for an additional 90-day period upon a renewed request by the governmental entity.
——–
So….translating both the legaleeze and the technoleeze as best as I can, this isn’t actually a search warrant. It isn’t even a request for information. It is actually just an order to preserve any and all electronic information that WordPress has in regard to the specied accounts for a period of 90 days. That’s it. WordPress just got told to not delete anything they have in regard to those accounts for 90 days. If the DOJ wants to actually SEE that info, they either have to secure the cooperation of WordPress (who may very well say “no” if it violates any of their contractual agreements to do so) or come up with a search warrant giving them access.
My guess stays the same. An investigation started in the UK. Someone in the UK asked the US DOJ to help preserve any evidence that may exist in the US on the WordPress servers. If they find something meaningfull on their side of the pond, they want to ensure that regular clean up procedures dont result in lost information that might be important.
when I say “might” think “not likely” in bold, italics, underlined, 28 point font, flashing neon red.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 8:34 pm

At 8:00 PM in 14 December, davidmhoffer writes of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2703(f) his discovery that it entails:

———
(f) Requirement To Preserve Evidence.— (1) In general.— A provider of wire or electronic communication services or a remote computing service, upon the request of a governmental entity, shall take all necessary steps to preserve records and other evidence in its possession pending the issuance of a court order or other process.
(2) Period of retention.— Records referred to in paragraph (1) shall be retained for a period of 90 days, which shall be extended for an additional 90-day period upon a renewed request by the governmental entity.
——–

…about which davidmhoffer considers:

…this isn’t actually a search warrant. It isn’t even a request for information. It is actually just an order to preserve any and all electronic information that WordPress has in regard to the specified accounts for a period of 90 days. That’s it. WordPress just got told to not delete anything they have in regard to those accounts for 90 days. If the DOJ wants to actually SEE that info, they either have to secure the cooperation of WordPress (who may very well say “no” if it violates any of their contractual agreements to do so) or come up with a search warrant giving them access.

Of course, this is also an order directing the owners of WordPress to change their business practices so as to make of their own computer archives a repository of material which the Department of Justice may at some time in the indefinite future want to examine.
May. An order to retain records “for a period of 90 days, which shall be extended for an additional 90-day period upon a renewed request by the governmental entity.”
Which may be further renewed at 90-day intervals until the heat death of the universe, or until Dr. Ron Paul takes the presidential oath of office in January 2013, at which time we may expect that this kind of crap will come crashing to an end.
Is WordPress going to be provided some sort of compensation for what is obviously a foreclosure of their rights to private property in the use of their computer archives?
Companies like Carbonite provide online backup services to home and business computer users at specified monthly and annual rates in order to help preserve their clients against data loss in the event of theft or device failure or malicious software “hacks,” so there is a very real monetary value for such archival services.
Is WordPress therefore compensated for the archiving being required of them under this law, or are we just looking at yet another violation of the “takings” clause of the Fifth Amendment?

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:05 pm

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.
———————————————————————
TALLBLOKE: For Pete’;s sake man….get a Solicitor!!!!! Of course you are innocent darling. But you may have to prove it!!! Just make a call. You need advice. BTW…..Don’t get Rumpold. Cherie Blair maybe. Where’s D’Arcy when you need him. You need cash…..??
So, they @ GCHQ have no idea who FOIA is. Would they help the police. Because if you believe the AGW claptrap. Which no body really does….just the cash, it’s a matter of national security. INcredible. It’s not you is it Tallbloke?? I did ask over here whether FOIA leaving a direct contact on your blog could be traced. Google no doubt keeps everything per Homeland S. and the net Mandarin gatekeepers…..@l 12 of them, must keep logs incase of cyber attack by states, Wasn’t there one in the Latvia elections. Wired had a interesting article on the first true cyber attack by one Soverign country of another.
FOIA — Better run mate!
If China and India decided to co-operate in destroying planet earth; what would, we in the west, do to stop them?? How far would we go??? And if you believe AGW, how far does AGW hype go in projecting the threat to the Human species??

Robert of Ottawa
December 14, 2011 8:05 pm

RockyRoad said @December 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm
CG2 must have had a bigger impact on the warmistas than we thought
I think you have it there, Rocky. Those “in the know|” and they know who they are, know what is in the other e-mails.

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:09 pm

Pamela Gray says:
December 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm
Does this mean that climate warming causes seizures?
————————————————————————-
Ha! Good one.
Not a seizure, not a muscle spasm,….just a natural return to ,,,,,,,,,,,,, Amora !!!

December 14, 2011 8:10 pm

Just don’t say ANYTHING to them, reserve the right to remain silent!!!
British / UK law is different in this regard.

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:13 pm

Maybe they are looking for Mann’s decline that got lost before going to AR4 press!!!!

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Gosh, but the freakin’ suspense is killing me. We’re watching in realtime, over a period of months and years, as what will one day be a 2 hour movie, unfold before us.
Reading a historical whodunnit is interesting. Watching it “live” is….excrutiatingly slow.

Nick
December 14, 2011 8:18 pm

For all those a little worried about their security online?…
A few little tools may help…
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=incognito
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ipcop
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ipfire
Let this through, please, MODS? 🙂

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:18 pm

YEp,…..i think it’s time to get the Beers in and the pop-corn machine cranking. FOIA is about to do the ‘dump that gagged the world!!’ as me gueses he’s not sitting comfortably at the mo’.

Nick in Vancouver
December 14, 2011 8:18 pm

Waitaminute!!! He is “not a suspect” and they still enter his house and seize his computers. Don’t the Brit police need a warrant for that? In that case he is indeed a suspect and a magistrate has to believe he is guilty of something. Get a lawyer and get new hardware. Get the Telegraph and the Daily Mail on the line and keep us posted.

LamontT
December 14, 2011 8:19 pm

They must be looking for all of the deleted emails from Mann and Phil.

Gail Combs
December 14, 2011 8:22 pm

benfrommo says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm
There are several troubling aspects to this….
I have no issues with terrorism and the US DOJ in general but this has nothing to do with them. This is a case of a UK citizin and a UK case involving a UK university so what the heck is the US DOJ doing mucking itself around in the UK’s dirty laundry?…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You forget that one of the e-mails shows that the US Department of Energy “ordered” Jones to evade the FOIA requests.
The head of the Department of Energy at the time had just served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Energy.
This could be a very big CYA for the US government.
I sure wonder what is in the hidden e-mails…

Bill H
December 14, 2011 8:26 pm

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.
______________________________________________
As a retired LEO in the US what right do they have seizing your personal property? Copying it? or any other invasion if YOU are not the subject of their investigation? Who was the magistrate that authorized the search and what specifically was it they intended to find?
this stinks bad… there is something very fishy about this…
Bill

bikermailman
December 14, 2011 8:34 pm

Tallbloke, I wouldn’t even feel confident wiping the drives and reinstalling everything. Complete new hardware! Seriously. I, and many others here will cover your costs for thks, and any legal costs. Speaking of, GET. LEGAL. REPRESENTATION.

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:34 pm

SOMEONE GET THIS TO DRUDGE FAST!!!

December 14, 2011 8:34 pm

Noblesse Oblige says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm
“Rest easy: This is mostly for show to demonstrate that the gov takes the leaks seriously. But in reality they do not really want to apprehend the culprit(s) because they would need to charge them with some crime or other. This would likely produce a ‘trial of the century’ in which the defendant would be branded as the worst criminal since (fill in the blank), while being hailed as hero by skeptics aroudn the world. Famous lawyers would rush to be chosen to defend the case. And here is the rub: The media would be forced to cover the case, and this is the last thing the gov wants.”
Noblesse, I appreciate your insightful comment. And I hope that you’re right. On the other hand, The Land of Orwell has done some backsliding on the rights of the accused. I remember reading a year or three ago that some bloke or blokes charged with bank robbery were denied the centuries-old right to trial by jury! What’s next? The resurrection of the Star Chamber?

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:37 pm

Okay. Reported the link here @ WUWT to Drudge.

Johnnythelowery
December 14, 2011 8:40 pm

Bill H says:
December 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm
tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.
______________________________________________
As a retired LEO in the US what right do they have seizing your personal property? Copying it? or any other invasion if YOU are not the subject of their investigation? Who was the magistrate that authorized the search and what specifically was it they intended to find?
this stinks bad… there is something very fishy about this…
—————-
LEO…..L.E.O.?????

D. King
December 14, 2011 8:40 pm

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.
So, just a random disk cloning? Yeah, that happens all the time.:)

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 8:44 pm

This is something they could have done after the first “climategate” release but they didn’t. Now we get the second release which now shows complicity with media, more context around the gyrations they underwent in order to get the data to fit the desired result, and the close association with NGOs among some of these climate people.
It is now beginning to impact people who are huge political donors to very powerful people. The first release was about the science, this release begins to impact on the policy discussions and as the README shows, the potential impacts of these policies on the poor.
They could have done this two years ago. They didn’t. Someone, somewhere is starting to sweat.

Bill H
December 14, 2011 8:46 pm

This sounds like a poke and hope….
nothing more that poking the pile to see what pops up….
i would really like to see those other E-mails.. i hope this poke unlocks the mess.. which is my Hope….
Bill

Bill H
December 14, 2011 8:52 pm

Johnnythelowery says:
December 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm
Law Enforcement Officer “LEO”
I’ve served search warrants … and they are very specific.. and that warrant has to be served on the subject… this is a very bad thing.. the officers statements sent up big alarm bells… I hope Tallbloke had goof representation..

Gail Combs
December 14, 2011 8:52 pm

LamontT says:
December 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm
Actually Gail Combs it isn’t that the police are your enemies….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In my neck of the woods they most certainly are. Crooked does not even begin to cover the bunch in my county or in the county next door. It is an open secret they are neck deep in drug dealing and so are several county officials. A friend over heard the county officials talking and two neighbors, one a cop have independently verified the drug dealing connections.
If someone high up is putting the pressure on the cops ARE your enemies because they are looking for a scapegoat to hang.
I am sure Tall bloke’s ancient equipment just saved his rear. It is hard to convince anyone that someone is a “Hacker” if he doesn’t have new and sophisticated toys.

December 14, 2011 8:53 pm

This whole mess has been reported at the Instapundit, which is one of the most widely read blogs in the US. A post on Instapundit often produces an avalance of readers and lurkers on a server. Anthony should see huge spike in readers.
DECEMBER 14, 2011
CLIMATEGATE UPDATE: UK police seize computers of skeptic blogger in England. Hmm. Could it be politically motivated? Some think so.
UPDATE: The U.S. DOJ is going after blogs too, reportedly. None of this is increasing my confidence in the disputed climate science . . . .

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 8:53 pm

Gail Combs;
This could be a very big CYA for the US government.>>>
Not likely me thinks. If they were trying to cover something up, ordering the electronic records to be preserved would be the LAST think they would want to do.

Bryce
December 14, 2011 8:53 pm

LEO = Law Enforcement Officer (i.e. policeman)

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 8:54 pm

think…thing…same ting?

JonasM
December 14, 2011 8:54 pm

Johnnythelowery says:
LEO…..L.E.O.?????

Law Enforcement Officer.

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 8:55 pm

Companies like Carbonite provide online backup services to home and business computer users at specified monthly and annual rates in order to help preserve their clients against data loss in the event of theft or device failure or malicious software “hacks,” so there is a very real monetary value for such archival services.

And the government can access your data any time they want with a subpoena. In fact, if you have left the data there more than 180 days, government doesn’t even need a subpoena! There is a little loophole that says if you have left data on a provider’s server for more than 180 days, then it is “abandoned” and the government (in the US) may have a copy of it at any time simply for the asking. This also goes for any email you might have on such a service as hotmail, google, or yahoo. If it is more than 180 days old, the government may have it for the asking without requiring a judge to be involved.
Same goes for the “commercial” cloaking services where you have a VPN to them and they mask your true IP address behind one of theirs. This is very useful for people like patent trolls and people who are perusing their competitors websites. But they also have a very cooperative relationship with law enforcement. You can’t use a commercial service to keep data private unless it is offshore in a place with very strict privacy laws and that might not even help if enough money is involved.
Look, SCAGW is a multbillion dollar business deal. Thousands of careers have been made on it. Political careers have been made on it. People are going to “protect” it.

Leon Brozyna
December 14, 2011 9:02 pm

Shades of Keystone Kops … at least till they come a-knockin’ at your door.
Now, if FOIA starts leaving more comments on blogs in the near future …

December 14, 2011 9:03 pm

pat
December 14, 2011 9:04 pm

They did the identical thing at Climategate 1. They are desperate to cover up this info. I suspect this push is from bureaucrats and not politicians, as it was before.

wayne
December 14, 2011 9:07 pm

Everyone thought the eco-green police in that SuperBowl video were just actors. Now we know better. Tallbloke, did you ever say “AGW is total crap” or “all AGW believing climate scientists are complete fakes” in any of your posts? That might be what they are really digging for.
I’m assuming you must have been clean on batteries-in-the-trash and have changed all your bulbs to CFLs.

Roger Carr
December 14, 2011 9:09 pm

Pamela Gray says: Does this mean that climate warming causes seizures?
One of your very best, Pamela,

I'd rather not say
December 14, 2011 9:11 pm

As soon as Obama signs the DAA, and he has come out and confessed that he will, suspending our unalienable rights, and declaring the entire US a ‘battlefield’,
the military will be able to seize anyone and anything without warrant or cause. Maybe even use a Hellfire from one of the Predators they are now using in domestic law enforcement. Combine that with SOPA and the pre-existing power to shut down the cell phone networks, and there will be no reporting or communication about people disappearing, if the Administration desires that.

crosspatch
December 14, 2011 9:12 pm

What I can’t understand is why the disks were handed over. I would have approached it differently. I would have got legal council and been cooperative in a different way. I would have said “tell me which files exactly you are looking for and I will give them to you”. When they go in to search someone’s home they must state on the warrant exactly what they are looking for. They can’t just have a warrant that says “we want to come in a look around and see if we might find something incriminating”. In other words, searches are not supposed to be “fishing” expeditions. They are supposed to know exactly what they are looking for.
I would tell them “fine, you can have copies of any file you want, which ones would you like?” and make them very clearly specify what they want and what they are looking for. It sounds to me like they just got a pass to go fishing and look to see if there might be something interesting in there.
They can’t show up and say “hey, we would like to make copies of all your personal paper files to peruse at our leisure to see if there might be something in there that interests us”. They have to specifically state what records they are after. Same should be true with files on a computer.

pat
December 14, 2011 9:13 pm

BTW, lest any one think this is a funny in the UK, it is not. Like the Justice Department in America, the police and national government officials have no compunction about destroying the lives of ordinary citizens. And there is no redress, attorney fees or even discipline. Free speech in the UK is sharply limited. Even a town council can destroy a family and career with impunity, much like the boards in Canada.
There is clearly an attempt in America to shut down thought that varies from the bureaucratic line, at least on a national level. I dare anyone to pose a question to the EPA about something they wish to0 do that involves a proscribed activity in the minds of these creeps.

December 14, 2011 9:13 pm

Tallbloke: Call a solicitor NOW. I don’t care if the police are polite and promise to return your equipment. They might also politely slip in some “evidence” before cloning the drives, so you need legal protection before anything untoward happens. DO NOT TRUST persons in authority when they are snark hunting!

Gail Combs
December 14, 2011 9:15 pm

Larry Fields says:
December 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm
….The Land of Orwell has done some backsliding on the rights of the accused. I remember reading a year or three ago that some bloke or blokes charged with bank robbery were denied the centuries-old right to trial by jury! What’s next? The resurrection of the Star Chamber?…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..
Actually it is more like disappearing into a black hole never to be seen again according to the bill just passed in the US Senate. The President has been given the right to declare a US citizen an enemy “Combatant” who can then be “detained” indefinitely without trial.
I am not sure whether the matching bill in the house has passed yet.
See my comment: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/14/ipcc-declares-itself-exempt-from-foia-laws/#comment-830959

The Other Pamela Gray
December 14, 2011 9:19 pm

crosspatch
They are supposed to know exactly what they are looking for.
——————-
It’s the UK – who knows what the laws are

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 9:23 pm

Tucci78;
Is WordPress therefore compensated for the archiving being required of them under this law, >>>
Any organization the size of WordPress would (or should) have tools in place that would automate complying with this request. The amount of disk space and/or backup tape required would be miniscule, pennies more than likely. We’re talking server logs and such, they are tiny. If they don’t have the right tools in place…then it could be a major expense. Nor would they necessarily implement such tools merely to respond to requests by the DOJ. Standard evidenciary rules apply just as much to electronic evidence as anything else. If they were sued for example, and the judge ordered their electronic records be preserved, no extraordinary laws would be required to make it stick. The tools that all large IT shops should have in place to deal with something as simple as discovery processes in legal disputes work just as well for requests such as this one.
On the other hand, if they DON’T have those tools in place, then it would be a hassle. Their risk would not be so much in terms of the cost of preserving those files manually (which still wouldn’t be all that large) but in terms of accidently MISSING something that they SHOULD have preserved and accidently deleting it. THAT could be a VERY bad thing, and jail time for the executive a real possibility.

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 9:35 pm

Brian Epps;
They might also politely slip in some “evidence” before cloning the drives, so you need legal protection before anything untoward happens. >>>
That is why I would have recommended taking my own complete copy of the hard drive before turning it over to them. That said, I kinda doubt they could make something like that stick. Once they walked out that door with his computers, he no longer had control of them, and anyone who had custody of them could have modified the contents of the drive at any time in any way. If they were actually after Tallbloke, and actually had anything serious to go on, and were actually competant, they would have ensured he had legal representation, and made copies of the hard drive under supervision of both legal council and a qualified neutral expert in computer forensics.
The fact that they didn’t do those things suggests to me they are either after corroborating evidence that has nothing to do with Tallbloke directly, or they just do not have a clue. Once out that door without first making a reference copy, they broke chain of custody.
This is all a big show. They’ve been ordered to investigate, and so they are running around showing everone how serious they are about this, and then they’ll throw up their hands and say it was nothing but dead ends.

December 14, 2011 9:41 pm

You know, it may actually be Jones, Mann, et al. that need to be nervous right now, and not “our” guys. Perhaps someone in the gov’t thinks there might be evidence of Climate Shenanigans on those servers & computers.

NotSpartacus
December 14, 2011 9:52 pm

Pamela Gray says:
December 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm
If I recall the movie correctly, the Romans (aka the Norfolk Constabulary) needed to execute (crucify) the protagonist forthwith. Numerous false confessions (led by Tony Curtis) required the execution (no pun intended) of many fruitless warrants and computer/hardware seizures. In the interests of avoiding a similar unfortunate situation, I unreservedly withdraw my false confession, and urge others to ignore Tony Curtis (or diminutive Celts?).

RichardSmith
December 14, 2011 10:00 pm

Remember the recent posts on WUWT on the theme ‘Let’s see if we can work out who FOIA is’? Fun, wasn’t it?
A few contributors, me included, tried to get the ‘Colonel Nicholsons’ to shut up, but the IT ‘experts’ just carried on playing with themselves in public.
Some people on the thread opined that the authorities were no longer interested in exposing FOIA and wouldn’t risk creating a martyr etc. etc.
Fortunately, most of the IT ‘experts’ were just windbags, but even so, why do it?
I wrote at the time: ‘The police seem to have dropped the investigation into C1? Well then, let sleeping dogs lie.’
Well, the dogs are clearly not sleeping. Well done, guys!

December 14, 2011 10:02 pm

“They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
But they do suspect a crime somewhere, and they do want to look for evidence on your computers to find out whether you’re involved in that crime.
Something similar once happened to me. My work was raided after my employer’s stock price had crashed 50%. This was in the aftermath of the dot com thing. There were a few employees who thought that the prices in the weeks before were a good deal and sold, including me since I had bought a home, and within minutes of that commitment I did of course secure the money for it. So the suspicion was that the management had leaked information to employees. While I officially was regarded as a “witness” and interrogated, in reality I was of course suspected for insider trading.
(They cloned the hard drives and returned the computers the day after, but my computer had apparently been dropped and badly damaged. The hard drive was broken. The police sent it to a company who have experts in recovering lost data (whether this was an honest attempt to repair what they had broken or just because they badly wanted the contents of the drive, I don’t know). But even that company could not extract anything. I lost a couple of weeks of work.)

Pete H
December 14, 2011 10:25 pm

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
“They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.”
Roger,
That makes me wonder how they came by a search warrant that has to be issued by a Judge/Magistrate and the reason the police gave to them for the issue. Its been a while since I left the UK so maybe they have amended the law under the “terrorism threat”. Roger, you better have a word with Gary McKinnon’s legal council as the the U.S. Department of Justice seems to have had a hand in all this!

December 14, 2011 10:27 pm

The Other Pamela Gray said:
December 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm
crosspatch
They are supposed to know exactly what they are looking for.
——————-
It’s the UK – who knows what the laws are
=================================
Yeah – I think they’re under Sharia law now.

December 14, 2011 10:28 pm

Inspector Knacker of the Yard “Tell us what you know or we will find kiddie porn on your hard drives”

davidmhoffer
December 14, 2011 10:35 pm

RichardSmith;
I wrote at the time: ‘The police seem to have dropped the investigation into C1? Well then, let sleeping dogs lie.’
Well, the dogs are clearly not sleeping. Well done, guys!>>>
That thread was dated Dec 6th. The legal order from DOJ to WordPress was dated Dec 9th. If you think that a thread on WUWT sparked an international investigation that coordinated multiple police forces in the UK and legal orders by the DOJ in the United States in just three days….Actually, based on the time of the thread and other factors…more like two days or less…
Well, you’re free to believe whatever you wish.

Dale Thompson
December 14, 2011 10:38 pm

Use the free Trucrypt program to encrypt your harddrive or to create an encrypted volume on your drive.

Mac the Knife
December 14, 2011 10:52 pm

Tallbloke,
Anything we can do to help?
MtK

December 14, 2011 10:59 pm

If the hacker had a sense of humor he would post links to the files on Joe romms site
I wonder of the cops would seize those computers.

KenB
December 14, 2011 11:01 pm

It would be interesting to have the hard discs checked to see what documents were accessed, but I guess that they won’t do anything other than clone the disc, then work on Tallblokes private information on their copy.
In that regard I would think there is a great risk of privacy abuse as you will never know what has been accessed, or copies made or distributed. In those circumstances the police who seized the hard discs, should be restrained with an application to the supreme (higher) court.
That they show cause for the search, specify the purpose of the search, and in the interests of the individuals privacy specifically record any access or document or copy, and be be limited to the specified matter under investigation. Undertakings be given to the court to preserve the individuals privacy and rights and document the process.
Blanket seizure and open ended perusal is not a light matter in law. I am sure that any high profile legal person in the UK would be capable of getting an injunction to prevent such open ended examination and it should be easy to impose court ordered supervision of the process.
My guess is that some one is frightened at what might be revealed if the password is cracked or released before they have their actual suspect in some bargaining position to prevent that happening.
Tallbloke and his privacy, becomes a pawn in that larger game. British law usually depends on the co-operation of the general public with the police and naively surrendering personal rights to that higher purpose.
Perhaps this is the time to put that to the test and impose the supervision of a court in their evidence discovery process.

charles nelson
December 14, 2011 11:17 pm

Given the vast eclectic intelligence of the WUWT readership I have no hesitation in saying….
Oscar Wilde.
A proto-celebrity if ever there was one. The ‘flamboyant’ Mr Wilde sued someone who had made unpleasant allegations about him.
He didn’t win…no…in fact the revelations about his life that ‘came to light’ during the trial was sufficient for the poor fellow to be ‘banged up’ in Reading Gaol. (See poem very good).
I always think that anyone who initiates legal proceedings should be very very careful, courts are great places for revelations and uncoverings.
I for one would love to see poor Mr Tallbloke in court. (Of course another part of me really feels for him, being harrassed by the police is never nice…even when you know you are absolutely innocent.)
No, I would love to see him in court because with some top legal aid (pro-bono), and a fighting fund behind him he could really shine the spotlight on the nefarious activities of Jones, Mann, etc…a Trial…what a great way to let the world see the antics of the ‘climategang’!

Bart
December 14, 2011 11:18 pm

RichardSmith says:
December 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm
I agree completely. STFU, people. This is serious. Always was, but now it is pretty clear.

Neil Jones
December 14, 2011 11:21 pm

“they’ll clone his hard drives and return the computers to him.” They will but don’t hold your breath, it’ll take forever. Also it’s an invasion of privacy.

Martin Brumby
December 14, 2011 11:21 pm

As to the theory that they are wondering what’s on the FOIA encrypted emails?
You have to be kidding!
They KNOW what’s in the encrypted files.

Don Monfort
December 14, 2011 11:24 pm

“steven mosher (Comment #86227) November 26th, 2011 at 3:53 am
Bugs.
There is a reason why the case is open.
There is a reason why the file is in the open password protected
No deal has been done. Yet.
He may want to come in from the cold.
He has contacted the other side.
he’s not a hacker.”
Above, you referred to the revealer of the emails thusly;
“If the hacker had a sense of humor he would post links to the files on Joe romms site”
Hacker, or not hacker? What do you know, and when did you know it? 🙂

cui bono
December 14, 2011 11:41 pm

Jeez, poor TallBloke. This is sick!
But not unprecedented for our wonderful boys in blue. A couple of years back they raided the offices of a British Member of Parliament, suspecting him of being in receipt of leaks from a whistleblowing bureaucrat. They had no search warrant. The police have no jurisdiction within Parliament. The whole raid was filmed by aides. When other MPs asked what the **** the police were doing they were told to go away. Eventually the hapless Speaker of the House of Commons had to apologise to all MPs for letting the police into the building.
Which made no difference. The MP was arrested (although he’s now a senior government spokesman). The whistleblower was found, arrested and charged. As I recall no action was taken against the police.
All this in Parliament, involving MPs, and on the telly.
What chance for a mere individual blogger in this increasingly scary country, once the citadel of democracy and individual rights?

John
December 14, 2011 11:43 pm

You need to have a read of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000
Your computer can be seized and you are required to reveal any and all encryption keys as required. Failure to reveal is a separate offence.
The above act is also used by local councils to obtain information about people living in a house, the amount of rubbish they throw away, and anything else that fits….and there is loads of fitting.
AND they do not have to say why they are doing anything, and they can require you to not inform others (including the press)

Bart
December 14, 2011 11:54 pm

My apologies for asking, but I haven’t been following things very closely. Can someone enlighten me?
As I gleaned in passing, there is a further cache waiting to be released, but it is encrypted and the passcode has not been released. Does that mean the encrypted files are already widely distributed and all that is required for them to see the light of day is someone publishing the passcode?

Shevva
December 14, 2011 11:55 pm

Hope you don’t mind Tallbloke I’ve forwarded your story to El Reg as they are the guys that know about all thinks IT, including the law.

December 15, 2011 12:00 am

Tallbloke’s main allies are the IPCC now. He sent a complaint to the IPCC to investigate the police. Well, it’s this IPCC:
http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/en/Pages/how_complaint.aspx
Carefully note what the IPCC stands for. Pretty cute, right? 😉

Mann Bearpig
December 15, 2011 12:05 am

Was Tallbloke arrested? or can the police just turn up and copy your hard disk these days ?

Richard111
December 15, 2011 12:07 am

UK law is imposed from the EU. Is this Sarkozy’s revenge?

December 15, 2011 12:09 am

For:

Bart says:
December 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

The answer is yes.
If you downloaded the FOIA 2011/Climategate 2 files, the encrypted ones are in it.

Skiphil
December 15, 2011 12:13 am

Steve from Rockwood says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Steve, please……. it was George Orwell (the pen name of Eric Blair) who published “1984”

Skiphil
December 15, 2011 12:18 am

and others,
It is an urgent matter to assemble relevant expert advice on legal and digital issues….. there may be organizations which might lend free expertise if they see this as germane to their work, such as possibly the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):
https://www.eff.org/bloggers
I don’t know much about them except that I understand they are very ‘purist’ digital libertarians fighting against govt intrusions upon the internet, and they have this specific focus upon defending and enhancing “blogger rights” —- so they may well lend at least some expertise and advice.

Skiphil
December 15, 2011 12:35 am

May the call go out to FOIA,wherever you are, to monitor this matter closely and strike like Robin Hood as needed!
Timely releases of more emails may be just the thing to embarrass powers-that-be.
I have no idea whether this raid represents a credible investigation or merely some fishing expedition, but I am astonished that UK law can allow police to just sweep up some hard drives merely because they are interested in seeing all the data they can find. Was there a detailed search warrant???
If Tallbloke is not any designated ‘suspect’ it seems amazing (too innocent minded me anyway) that authorities can simply seize his computers.
I don’t know much about any aspects of any of this but I hope that folks reading this thread are thinking hard about any possible contact(s), legal, digital, political, and otherwise, who might have useful advice and information.

RichardSmith
December 15, 2011 12:37 am

@davidmhoffer
Where did I suggest that the recent posts on WUWT ‘sparked an international investigation’?
My point was that the efforts to track down FOIA are ongoing and speculating about the identity of FOIA are out of place.
You also seem to think the short time interval between the latest post of this type and the police action in the UK rules out WUWT as the trigger for this action.
On that you’re probably right, but irrelevant, since I never said it was the trigger.
However, I seem to remember a ‘Guest Post by David M. Hoffer’ on November 30, 2011 in WUWT entitled ‘The Climategate email network infrastructure’. Was that you suggesting that ‘we can then discuss everything from the simple questions regarding who could delete what (and when), how the emails might have been obtained’?
Some interesting contributions in the comments on that article too, for example Johnnythelowery: ‘And as he posted on TallBlokes under FOIA….wouldn’t Tall Bloke have some basic information to identify something about this……….hero??’
Great minds think alike, it seems.

Nick
December 15, 2011 12:38 am

Might be time to emai/upload foia.zip everywhere possible.
Email may propagate it better. The file has to go through Mail Servers and be back’dup by sys admins.
It is a little big though, so may cause some data issues for some.

Steve C
December 15, 2011 12:45 am

This ought to be terrifying, but TBH in the UK these days it will cause scarcely a ripple – I haven’t, for instance, heard a word about it on the “objective and impartial (ho ho) BBC”, who you would think must be rubbing their hands with glee. TB, I echo every word above about never again using or trusting that kit (if you get it back) and about making darn sure you have a fully briefed solicitor onside – police protestations that they don’t suspect you are just words. I’m not rich, but will cheerfully contribute what I can to a TB restoration fund – assuming that it remains possible to, think Wikileaks.
sky says (December 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm):

When standing tall in pursuing the truth hidden by the party line, citizens of police states have to expect such summary seizures. The only surprise here is where the invasion happened.

It really shouldn’t surprise you. The UK has been a cheap suit police state for years now, and the suits are getting smarter by the week. FFS, a few years ago the Chinese sent a team over to London to learn how best to run CCTV systems for public surveillance; how big a red flag (no pun intended) do you need? There are literally millions of cameras continually recording the innocent activities of innocent people in this country, quite apart from the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system which does the same job for innocent vehicular journeys and God knows how many other systems. Oh, and I wonder how many people register the occasional mentions of how they’re working hard at improving their facial recognition software – not everything you hear on the BBC is a lie. “Innocent until proven guilty” means precisely nothing in the face of an authoritarian government dedicated to removing every check on its actions against the public, and the evidence suggests that we have that on both sides of the pond.
If nothing else the fact that this happened under a “Conservative” government ought to give pause to those who still try to paint the encroaching totalitarianism with a “leftist” tag. As I’ve pointed out before, what we’re all seeing is taking place on the authoritarian/libertarian axis, it’s nothing to do with left/right.
And “FOIA”, man, if you’re reading this, I hope that this act ratchets you a step or two closer to releasing that encryption key. Be very careful how you do it when you do.

December 15, 2011 12:46 am

Remember. There are four lights. Don’t let them talk you into seeing five.

DirkH
December 15, 2011 12:57 am

Bart says:
December 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm
“As I gleaned in passing, there is a further cache waiting to be released, but it is encrypted and the passcode has not been released. Does that mean the encrypted files are already widely distributed and all that is required for them to see the light of day is someone publishing the passcode?”
Everyone who downloaded the full ZIP (60MB or so) has a copy of the encrypted, yet to be decoded stuff. A million copies of Pandora’s Box. All it takes is one word… 🙂

December 15, 2011 12:58 am

Just to drop here a line of support to Roger.
Don’t forget: The Inquisition is back!
Ecotretas

Dave Springer
December 15, 2011 1:00 am

“But cell phone? No, not an obvious meaning for the word “mobile” in all parts of the “English”-speaking world. ;-)”
I’m in the US and knew what he meant right away. Of course I’m old enough and still have enough wits left about me to remember that mobile phones were what the first, well, mobile phones were called.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone
A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator, allowing access to the public telephone network. By contrast, a cordless telephone is used only within the short range of a single, private base station.
In addition to telephony, modern mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these and more general computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing around 1 kg.[1] In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. In the twenty years from 1990 to 2010, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 4.6 billion, penetrating the developing economies and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid.[2][3][4][5]

crosspatch
December 15, 2011 1:07 am

He sent a complaint to the IPCC

Hello, you have reached the IPCC. All of our agents are currently busy assisting others, please hold the line and your call will be ignored in the order in which it was received … (click) (buzz).

Mike Haseler
December 15, 2011 1:13 am

Under the freedom of information law, most of these emails should have been made public anyway. Under the human rights legislation, the police are breaking the law if they attempt to deny the free movement of information, particularly for journalistic purposes (and leaking to the press clearly comes under this category).
Only where there is a specific offence can the police action contrary to our human rights be legal. There was no theft of information: it was already public under the FOI law, but the only offence was the denial of the public of OUR information. In otherwords, if anything the law is on the side of disclosure and not prevention of disclosure.
Which all goes to prove this has nothing to do with enforcing law let alone justice. This is really the action of a police state enforcing the will of the elite irrespective of the law.

George Lawson
December 15, 2011 1:14 am

Tallbloke should sumit a FOI request on Norfolk Police to find out what promted them to raid his computer.

December 15, 2011 1:20 am

I’m Spartacus too. Tallbloke, if you need help drop me a line. This nonsense should soon blow over, but if it doesn’t, you aren’t alone.

Richard S Courtney
December 15, 2011 1:22 am

Tallbloke has my deepest sympathy for this outrage and the inevitable worry and distress it causes him. And I have no idea of any kind as to why the police have violated his privacy as they have.
I write to correct some misunderstandings repeatedly presented in above comments.
Firstly, the UK is a Constitutional Monarchy. We members of the UK are subjects of Her Majesty, and we are under the protection of the Crown. But several above posts from Americans seem to think we have “rights” as defined by a piece of paper which American’s value. We don’t have such “rights”, and most of us don’t want them because most of us prefer the protection of the Crown.
So, all the above comments pertaining to “rights” are not relevant because they do not apply to a UK subject (i.e. Tallbloke) in the UK. A UK subject has the protection of the Rule of Law which formalises how the Crown protects subjects.
Secondly, national security has always taken preference over all “freedoms of an individual” in the UK. This was formalised in the Security Act adopted in the 1960s. Recent anti-terrorist laws have merely clarified the matter.
So, the Rule of Law does not apply when agents of the Crown (e.g. the police) are acting in defence of national security. But an affected subject (e.g. Tallbloke) has a right to appeal to the monarch (i.e. at present HRH Elizabeth 2) who wears the Crown.
Thirdly, it is very, very probable that UK security agents know both the contents of the encrypted Climategat 2.0 files and the identity of the Climategate leaker. GCHQ is extremely competent and its staff working in the Donut probably sorted those things out within hours of being asked.
So, it is not likely that UK authorities need further investigations to determine these matters because the authorities already know them.
Richard

Stephen Richards
December 15, 2011 1:25 am

In my experience, the UK is a police state. I lived next door to one for 14 years. He was into everything he could lay his hands and used his mates to try tp prosecute me for some ridulous offence while his senior officers protected his back. Quote from his most senior officer ” I have to get an officer in from another force because I can’t trust my own”.

Beth Cooper
December 15, 2011 1:32 am

The skeptic, democratic community here are on red alert, watch dogs for Tallbloke’s civil rights, in the FOI case of the whistleblower who released tax payer funded climate *science* communiques into the public domain.

richard
December 15, 2011 1:40 am

excellent – just feeds more publicity about the Climatgate 2 emails,
it makes it look like they want to hide information.

Kelvin Vaughan
December 15, 2011 1:42 am

The police are getting suspicious that global warming isn’t happening and are looking for the truth.
They wouldn’t find the truth on a warmists computer!

Mike Haseler
December 15, 2011 1:42 am

In any state the police can only act effectively with the sanction of the people … particularly in a democracy. The solution to this abuse of power by the police is in our own hands. In the US and UK most of us will sit on a jury in our life time. Most cases will involve the word of the police against that of the suspect. All we need to is to utter these words in the jury room:
… “You can’t always trust the police”.
The police have to deserve our trust. They have to act within the law, not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. There has clearly been fraudulent behaviour by at least some climate scientists. There may not be enough evidence to convict any individual, but there clearly is enough smoke in the air to look to at least start checking their servers to see if there is a gun.
Far from trying to track down the criminals who have been responsible for probably the biggest fraud in human history, they show that their only interest is in stopping those who are trying to uphold the law of FOI.
In other words, the police are trying to clamp down on those who are doing the job the police should be doing!
OK, like most police work, it is probably cock-up over conspiracy, but the real conspiracy is that they haven’t even attempt to investigate the biggest fraud in history. They are clearly not even handed in their enforcement of the law, and when the police hold the law in contempt, then I’m afraid members of the public will just follow their example.

King of Cool
December 15, 2011 1:42 am

Some interesting parallels in this case:
http://www.news.com.au/national/police-raid-the-age-over-alp-database-hacking-allegations/story-e6frfkvr-1226222702380
The Melbourne Age newspaper and the hacking of the Australian Labor Party Data Base (unusual that the pro AGW newspaper is conflicting with the party it normally promotes). The newspaper is presently seeking an injunction to stop any police search of their computer records.
“The Age discovered, via a whistleblower, that the ALP was collecting and storing personal information about members of the public, unbeknown to those individuals, and reported, carefully and precisely, what those files contained without breaching any person’s privacy.”
The Age is defending any action it took as “in the public interest.”
They also deny any wrong doing and have expressed grave concerns over the risk that the sources for the report may be identified adding that “we protect our sources at all costs.”
In that case the national newspaper should support the disclosure of Climategate material? Mmmnn, I wonder.
Guess it all depends on the definitions of a “whistle blower” and “in the public interest.”

Editor
December 15, 2011 1:45 am

A further expression of support to Roger.
As others have speculated, those who have downloaded the full set of files have a time bomb waiting to explode when the code is given. Perhaps the police have advance notice that the original Hacker is ready to release the code?
Tonyb .

Reply to  climatereason
December 15, 2011 3:35 am

AT 1:45 AM on 15 December, climatereason writes:

…those who have downloaded the full set of files have a time bomb waiting to explode when the code is given. Perhaps the police have advance notice that the original Hacker is ready to release the code?

If they have such “advance notice” from the whistleblower (I’m disinclined to accept the “Hacker” meme), it can be expected that the whistleblower has seeded the password to the all.7z archive in multiple locations. Something as simple as uploads on a few of the sites already used by interested parties to spread FOIA2011.zip around, or on one of the Usenet newsgroups.
They could “disappear” him and expect thereby to trigger a “pop goes the weasel” opening of all.7z a categorical 24 hours after the whistleblower drops off the grid.
This “FOIA” person (or persons) have demonstrated a high level of sophistication and a lot of hatred for “Mike’s Hockey Team” and all the others who have battened upon the AGW fraud. That all.7z Easter egg isn’t there for no reason.

Jason
December 15, 2011 1:55 am

I know people love to speculate but banging on about local laws is utterly pointless. This was done in the UK. The relevant authority is this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000
This insidious act allows the Police, hell even your local council to demand access to your digital information. You must also provide encryption keys. People have been jailed for withholding encryption passwords.
This is BIG BROTHER, 1984, and thanks to the panic over 9/11 we allowed it into law.
So Tallbloke has NO rights in this, they could even use this law to add monitoring equipment to his PC on return and not tell him, or otherwise track or tap his communications.
This is what “democracy” and “freedom” mean, it means they can do whatever the hell they like to obtain and sift through Tallblokes, yours or my computers, track us, force ISP’s to give them information, basically anything – and we have NO rights within it.
Also, if anyone really, honestly, in this day and age does not know that a “mobile” is what we Brits call cellphones, then you maybe need to work on expanding your world view.

Otter
December 15, 2011 1:55 am

What, no hugh pepper or /a physicist commenting on this one?
Here’s hoping the climate crooks just shot themselves in the foot.

Jason
December 15, 2011 1:58 am

EDIT: I meant terrorism generally, not 9/11 specifically, as it did not happen until year after the law was legalised!

TheBigYinJames
December 15, 2011 2:01 am

Maybe they think Tallbloke is hiding the missing heat? Those old Sparcs used to get very hot, so perhaps they are onto something…. warming shall resume now they are liberated.

Keitho
Editor
December 15, 2011 2:01 am

The same thing happened to me , for different reasons in a different country, and I put it down to the fact that I lived in a police state. Fortunately my laptop was returned after two and a half weeks of intrusive and threatening “interviews” and allegations of all sorts. I have never used that laptop again.
That such a thing could happen in the UK is scary but not surprising . The intrusive state that is Britain seems to be in the increasing habit of knocking down doors and confiscating computers, often in the name of hunting pedophiles or “extreme right wing racists” and the like.
I know how disconcerting it can be Roger and it takes a while to get back to normal. Good luck.

Stephen Wilde
December 15, 2011 2:13 am

No need to get too paranoid.
The Police are under pressure to get results and show some effort. With Climategate 2 it is becoming a desperate issue as to whether the leak was from a whistleblower with the right to protection in the public interest or from a theft of data by someone without legal authority to handle it. Personally I’d guess at the former but obviously cannot yet be sure.
Tallbloke was the smallest and easiest target so this activity could just be a way of the Police being seen to do something without having to expend much money or effort in a case which they are probably not deeply interested in and which they regard as more likely a civil rather than a criminal matter.
From Tallbloke’s comments it appears that he is being treated politely, is apparently not a suspect and can expect to receive his data back shortly. In the meantime he is still able to maintain his blog.
This could turn out to the advantage of Tallbloke and the entire sceptic community with the Police possibly laughing up their sleeves at the idiocy of those who are pressing them to do something (anything).
Anyway, I hope that is an accurate diagnosis.

KPO
December 15, 2011 2:18 am

I’m Spartacus …. No I’M SPARTACUS…. No I’m REALLY Spartacus……

John Marshall
December 15, 2011 2:19 am

This is the first reaction of this government to the fact that their policies on climate change are wrong. Huhne still maintains that he is right and that his policies are the right course for the UK. How wrong he is. He is the sort of man who, allegedly, gets someone else to take a speeding ticket for him. So not the most likeable or trustworthy type of person.
Scare tactics in the extreme and must be stopped for the sake of free speech and truth in science.

AlexS
December 15, 2011 2:29 am

“Either there’s more than meets the eye or they have no idea how the blog system works.”
You forgot how intimidation works.
Many of this occurrences are intimidation. They force the person to loose time, expenses knowing very well from start that in the end they have no case.

Ninderthana
December 15, 2011 2:31 am

King of Cool,
The left-wing Age newspaper has been at the forefront of those claiming that Murdoch newspapers in the U.K. are low-life scum because they hacked into the phones of celebrities and politicians, yet they have no problem hacking into the computers of the Australian Labor Party whenever they want.
The hypocritical nature of the Age is matched by that of the UK Guardian who openly boasts about hacking into the phones of big corporations while at the same time condemning the Murdoch newspapers for their hacking.
The question becomes, when is it ethical to hack into other peoples privacy. It would appear that if you are hacking then enemies of the Left (e.g. Wikileaks, the Age or the Guardian) it is “noble” and OK. However, if you are accused of hacking [note: I know that the climate-gate emails are probably not the result of hacking but more likely a disgruntled academic] into the bastions of the politically correct (e.g. IPCC or East Anglia Climate Unit] the you are a criminal and it’s not OK. No double standard there….. move on….. nothing to see here.

December 15, 2011 2:39 am

Conspiratorial gathering

Tipocaldo
December 15, 2011 2:39 am

Well at least DMI have put ice extent back to normal (haha its now within “normal”range), check norsex ice.

December 15, 2011 2:41 am

Anyone outside the UK may be amused to learn that the place to make a complaint about the police force in the UK is the Independant Police Complaints Commission
thats right, its another IPCC

John
December 15, 2011 2:48 am

Now being followed on other blogs:
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/12/force-for-evil.html
And to repeat the question. Why seize his property if he is NOT a suspect.

December 15, 2011 2:53 am

“WillR says:
December 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Just don’t say ANYTHING to them, reserve the right to remain silent!!!
British / UK law is different in this regard.”
not true, i have a friend who is a Police officer (a good, honest one, BTW – they do still exist) and when arresting someone they still have to give the schpeel which includes the “you have the right to remain silent , anything you say may be used against you, (blah blah blah etc)”,
so, yes, even in Police State EU/UK your best course is to exercise your right to remain silent.
Oh, and “Tallbloke”, the Police had no right to take your lap tops without a court order. They only took them because you let them. I would have mad them jump through hoops and in the mean time backed up, then wiped the hard drives and re-installed! hah

Stephen Wilde
December 15, 2011 2:56 am

“I request that you not disclose the existence of this request to the subscriber or any other person,
other than as necessary to comply with this request.”
It appears that WordPress was in breach of the above instruction contained in the electronic notification since they did disclose the existence of the request to at least some of the subscribers ?

December 15, 2011 2:57 am

“If you are charged, the police must caution you that you do not need to say anything in answer to the charge but that you have the opportunity to reply. Any reply that you make will be noted and may be used in evidence.”
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/your_rights/legal_system_index_scotland/police_powers_scotland.htm
This part of the law is the same in Scotland as in the rest of the UK, BTW.

Frederick James
December 15, 2011 3:09 am

It would appear that the esteemed officers of Norfolk Constabulary may be what is known in the UK as “normal for Norfolk”…
Frederick James (Norfolk, UK)

R. de Haan
December 15, 2011 3:12 am
amoorhouse
December 15, 2011 3:15 am

Maybe they are looking for the missing Hotspot?
Anyway can’t one (all) of you get hold of a hot shot lawyer from Big Oil to sort it all out on his behalf? Wouldn’t that service be included in the recruitment package for shills?
No? Strange…

December 15, 2011 3:16 am

tallbloke says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
They were polite and promised to return the kit after cloning the disks.
They say I am not a suspect for any crime.
============
so mate, if your’e NOT a suspect??? what right do they have to copy your personal info and be intruding on your life then??

Charles.U.Farley
December 15, 2011 3:16 am

Its like a scene from “A shot in the Dark” isnt it?
A bunch of Clouseau’s all stumbling around and getting the wrong suspect.
Its obvious that they have no clue who theyre looking for, heck , Mr FOIA could be looking over their shoulders right now and theyd have no idea, but thats what happens when you try to cover up a lie, one thing leads to another and before you know it youre intimidating people, kicking their doors down, treading on their rights and acting like tyrants.
Just to cover up a lie. A climate conspiracy.
I really, really do hope that Mr FOIA drops the passphrase soon and i really do hope the rest of whats in the file is so destructive that completely blows this whole climate charade wide open so we can at least prosecute those at the heart of it and also get a return to common sense and some kind of normal behaviour, this certainly isnt.
Instead of going after the liars at uea, at penn and nasa theyre trying to cut off dissent and kill the truth in favour of what their political masters want.
Well, the truth will out, it always does and no amount of gaming, fixing, lying, cheating or threatening will stop it.
Its as inevitable as the fact that agw is a fantasy generated by scheming mendacious hypocrites, pretending they care about this world but proving all along theyre only interested in dollars.
Come on Mr FOIA, strike one for freedom.

AdderW
December 15, 2011 3:20 am

Request for Cartoon by Josh ?

Dr Mo
December 15, 2011 3:22 am

Pentium II 400s .. man.. Tallbloke really needs some funds from Big Oil to run his climate skeptic’s operation! 🙂

MattN
December 15, 2011 3:25 am

Morons are raiding the wrong damn place….

DirkH
December 15, 2011 3:26 am

Richard S Courtney says:
December 15, 2011 at 1:22 am
“Thirdly, it is very, very probable that UK security agents know both the contents of the encrypted Climategat 2.0 files and the identity of the Climategate leaker. GCHQ is extremely competent and its staff working in the Donut probably sorted those things out within hours of being asked. ”
No, Richard, at the moment nobody on Planet Earth can crack the encryption. This is the newest report I can find about progress in attacking AES 256; still falls short of a practical real life attack.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/08/new_attack_on_a_1.html
“As our attacks are of high computational complexity, they do not threaten the practical use of AES in any way.”

Roy
December 15, 2011 3:50 am

Since even a teenager would know there could be no trace on Tallbloke’s computers (still less his ADSL router) to lead the police to FOIA that can’t be their purpose.
But if he is suspected fo being (or aiding) FOIA then having his router and his computers makes very good sense.
He doesn’t need to be a very likely suspect for the police to need to actively rule him out. I suspect it is just a routine bit of policing, albeit with garish levels of over-manning. I bet at least one of the officers was there just as a health-and-safety rep.

D. Patterson
December 15, 2011 3:52 am

Ed Dahlgren says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm
[….]
But cell phone? No, not an obvious meaning for the word “mobile” in all parts of the “English”-speaking world. 😉

Cellphone was the established usage of the lingo in the United States from the time these devices were first introduced into the U.S. market. Motorola setup a prototype cellphone netswork elsewhere in California, and then established a commercial cellphone network in Los Angeles. Our company delivered the first retail sale of their new cellphone, and I was given the task of arranging with FEDEX to have it delivered by FEDEX to the first customer. FEDEX lost it (chuckle), and it was a circus as they tried to tell me they COULD NOT possibly lose a shipment, but they did (LOL). Must have been two firsts in one outing. FEDEX eventually found the lost shipment, and we were off and running with cellphone service in Los Angeles. The local managers hounded the district manager to have one of these new cellphones installed into my automobile, because I had to spend most of the day sitting in traffic on the L.A. freeways as I went to appointments in the three counties.. They liked to see him get all red in the face as he reminded them there was no way he was ever going to authorize the >$1.00 per minute air time charges for them to talk to me…. Kind of different than today.
When Motorola introduced this new product, they gave us some extensive training. The first cellphones had to be installed in the trunk (boot for you corssponders) of an automobile. An antenna had to be fitted in back with the cable running into the trunk with the cellphone. Motorola was quite insistent upon their new product being described as a cellphone or mobile cellphone. This was to distinguish the new cellular communications technology from the already decades old mobile telephone services that did not employ the cellular switched mobile services. Until very recent years or perhaps even to the present, there were still some of the older non-cellular mobile telephone services still in service in some of the more isolated regions of the Western United States, where cellular networks were not established or available. So, mobile cellular telephone, mobile cellphone, or cellphone; the cellphone moniker Motorola chose to describe the device has been the normal terminology for it in the United States.

Martin A
December 15, 2011 3:54 am

About week ago I posted a comment asking if it was wise for us to be speculating on the identity of FOIA as the Norfolk fuzz were presumably adding ideas posted on WUWT to their “leads to follow up” file.
Anthony replied REPLY: Not likely, I have information that they have no interest in pursuing the case further. – Anthony
I think that the information that Anthony had been given must have been misinformation, intended to keep the flow of useful leads coming. It is now clear that they have *every* interest in pursuing the case further.

KnR
December 15, 2011 3:59 am

Before people rush off in the land of tinfoil conspiracy over Tallbloke , lets remember the present UK government was not in power during the period the leaked e-mails cover and that there may be good reasons to think the current UK government would have no issue with the last one having embarrassing information made public. Lets leave the conspiracy calls to those that claim all AGW skeptics are in the pay of ‘big oil’ and are part of the ‘organized’ disinformation campaign.

John-X
December 15, 2011 4:01 am

Way to go, Airstrip One!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_of_Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Airstrip_One
We in Oceania salute our brave comrades, who courageously deployed a force of only 6 enforcers from the Ministry of Truth, to seize a vast and dangerous cache of two laptops, and a deadly hair-trigger router.
John Smith says:
December 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm
“They’ll “fit him up” meaning that the cops and the media and probably some sleazy politician will have arranged to frame him as a cyber terrorist.”
It’s even easier than that. While you’re “helping with enquiries,” giving statments to the enforcers from the Ministry of Truth, if you say something that disagrees with what they found on your laptop (or anywhere else), bam! they’ve got you for lying to investigators.
Anthony can probably expect Barbara Boxer and Janet Incompetano to arrange a visit from some helpful government advisors.

Jason
December 15, 2011 4:08 am

Of course the real issue here is that people are assuming that this is the Norfolk Police investigation into a UEA “hack driving this. The truth is this was instigated from across the pond, the UK plods are just carrying out orders.

December 15, 2011 4:11 am

Police Priorities
The Norfolk rozzers
—a half a dozen of them!—
take stuff from Tall Bloke.
Seriously, they
need six cops to hound a
sceptic? What a joke.
Sex slavery and
similar crimes increase, but
they search blogging folks.
Other malefactors
ignored are those who push the
global warming hoax.

davidmhoffer
December 15, 2011 4:13 am

RichardSmith says:
December 15, 2011 at 12:37 am
@davidmhoffer
Where did I suggest that the recent posts on WUWT ‘sparked an international investigation’?
My point was that the efforts to track down FOIA are ongoing and speculating about the identity of FOIA are out of place.>>>
My point was that there was no way the discussion in WUWT had anything to do with the investigative processes that were clearly well under way already. The impetus to investigate (whatever it is they are investigating) began long before that thread, and would have happened regardless of the WUWT existing or not.
Further, if you were paying attention to what I wrote in that article, I went to considerable lengths to explain what enterprise class email systems looked like. My purposes in that regard were to clear up various matters of confusion regarding the technology that were recurring in various threads, and to expand (not narrow down) the list of possible suspects by showing just how many possible ways those emails might have been obtained.
So in essence, we agree. Speculation about the identity of FOIA is nigh on useless because of the broad number of ways the information could have been obtained. I was just simply explaining why that was, while clearing up some misconceptions. The police are going to investigate for reasons entirely their own, and unknown to us (also not worth speculating about) but I can assure you that the chattering of the masses affected their actions not one bit.

Ron
December 15, 2011 4:14 am

Let’s face it, how does one go about giving a Nobel Prize to an anonymous leaker? This person or group must be found so that they may come forward to claim the prize. Seriously though, how can one see this as any other than an attempt by the authorities to ferret out a key cyber clue. It does demonstrate how desperate they are, if this is to be the approach. Or, perhaps they already know who the leaker is, and are in the process of gathering evidence to lay charges upon arrest.

Cassandra
December 15, 2011 4:15 am

This is probably one of the best things that have happened for skepticals. Usually the injured party (skeptical Bloggers in this case), win hands down re public perception of an issue (ie AGW).

December 15, 2011 4:18 am

At 3:20 AM on 15 December, AdderW writes:

Request for Cartoon by Josh?

Sorry, no can do. The police confiscated his pencilbox.

December 15, 2011 4:18 am

Can they have my laptops?? Norfolk and chance!

David
December 15, 2011 4:22 am

Is it not curious, one can spend years trying to get a public funded scientist to release their data and meta data (McIntyre vs Mann, and many other examples) or one can submit FOI requests to the IPCC (found guilty of subverting the scientific process on numerous ocassions) reciepients of world wide attention for their policy recomendations affecting every man woman and child on the planet, and have these GSE efforts stonewalled to no end, but on the otherhand you can be a common citizen, with a deserved reputation for being an open minded well informed, well educated man, and with nary a notice the authorties can come into your home and take all your computer files and poor through all your private records. It just ain’t right.

chuck nolan
December 15, 2011 4:28 am

They might really be worried about the rest of the emails and the cops are being told to get them.
Maybe they’re looking for the rest of the email and the password before climategate 3 and they’re caught by surprise, again. This is big money and they know they’ve been caught in the fallacy of their own arguments. Who know how deep this runs?

lurker
December 15, 2011 4:40 am

If climategate 2.0 was really such a bore, and really had nothing of interest, they would not be doing this sort of raid/intimidation.
We are getting close.

Urederra
December 15, 2011 4:44 am

So, It wasn’t the milkman, it was the police.

Wade
December 15, 2011 4:44 am

Ed Dahlgren says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm
But cell phone? No, not an obvious meaning for the word “mobile” in all parts of the “English”-speaking world.

You must also remember that cellular phone is not a clever name. Each tower had a range where it would be the primary tower. That range was called a cell. The way I saw it originally, and this was back before there were any digital towers anywhere, was to have a chart full of hexagons. Each hexagon had a little drawing of a tower and represented the tower’s cell and that represented the range in which the tower would be the one to carry the call. When I saw the idea drawn out, the name cell phone made perfect sense to me.

John-X
December 15, 2011 4:48 am

This thing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000
is a nightmare.
“Agencies with investigative powers:
“…Charity Commission
“…Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland
“…The Pensions Regulator
“…Scottish Environment Protection Agency
“…Scottish Ambulance Service Board
“…Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust”
In the UK, just about anything that can call itself a “government agency” can investiagte you, intercept your communications, surveil you in any number of ways, electronically and physically, and the act,
“…prevents the existence of interception warrants and any data collected with them from being revealed in court.”

Noelene
December 15, 2011 4:50 am

I believe they must have the right to take anything they like from you if it prevents deaths and child abuse,but surely they must tell you why they are confiscating your possesions?

Jace F
December 15, 2011 4:56 am

I’d beware it’s easy for information to be planet on the PC to smear Tallbloke, I would be careful that they didn’t find something that wasn’t there before to make Tallbloke look bad.

Darren Parker
December 15, 2011 4:57 am

First they came for the bloggers…

December 15, 2011 4:59 am

I read the “Request for Preservation of Records” PDF and what I found most interesting was that only those three Accounts are mentioned. WUWT, for example, is not. This can only mean that there is very specific content in those three Accounts that ties them together and also separates them from the rest of the blogs.
Logically then the next question is: What is it about the contents of those three particular Accounts in regards to FOIA that is so unique and similar at the same time, and that ties them together in a way that beckons potential scrutiny by the DoJ?
Best,
J.

DaveF
December 15, 2011 5:00 am

Climatereason 1:45:
I hope you’ve taken appropriate backup precautions on your computers, Anthony. Tallbloke might not be the only target.

Ron
December 15, 2011 5:03 am

(I made an attempt to post this thought earlier but don’t see it, even in moderation. If it turns out a duplicate, sorry.)
It is quite possible that the authorities have a person or group targeted for arrest and are simply gathering evidence in front of laying charges, meaning this is not a fishing expedition at all, but the building of a case.

Another Gareth
December 15, 2011 5:06 am

Richard S Courtney said:
“Thirdly, it is very, very probable that UK security agents know both the contents of the encrypted Climategat 2.0 files and the identity of the Climategate leaker. GCHQ is extremely competent and its staff working in the Donut probably sorted those things out within hours of being asked. ”
DirkH said:
“No, Richard, at the moment nobody on Planet Earth can crack the encryption.”
GCHQ wouldn’t need to. All they would need to do is look at the UEA backups which are (I assume) unencrypted and which the Police (iirc) have a copy of.

TimC
December 15, 2011 5:09 am

Tallbloke – commiserations, but chin up and keep your eye on the ball. Max Clifford (the publicist) may be interested: it might be worth a phone call. Someone, somewhere, precipitated all this by making a court application (possibly to a Magistrate or a Crown Court judge) – try to find out why, who is leading, why and under what procedure (are they for some strange reason looking at Article 16 of the UK/US extradition treaty?). And keep smiling: (a) it will all be over before long, (b) you’re now famous and (c) all this will really be something to dine out on, or regale the grandchildren at length about, in the fullness of time!

Tom in Florida
December 15, 2011 5:12 am

Perhaps Leif …… no that’s way over the top.

Steve from Rockwood
December 15, 2011 5:13 am

Skiphil says:
December 15, 2011 at 12:13 am
Steve from Rockwood says:
December 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Steve, please……. it was George Orwell (the pen name of Eric Blair) who published “1984″
——————————————–
You know Skip, I forgot that, having only read it twice. I understand he wrote the book in 1948 but renamed it. Sad ending. A lesson to never give up, even though most of us do.
Also read H.G. Wells Time Machine and Invisible Man. I have a terrible memory for authors although I remember most of John Wyndham’s books.
These novels are described as “a pessimistic answer to scientific optimism”. Add that to what amounts to a shakedown of Tallbloke and welcome to 2012.

Speros
December 15, 2011 5:16 am

If Tallbloke is not a suspect in any crime, then wtf are the cops doing “impinging his personal freedom” and confiscating his kit?
Ask for a warrant, and make sure the terms of the warrant are proper.
This affair stinks to high heaven.

Ulrich Elkmann
December 15, 2011 5:16 am

I’m not surprised. I mean, he put this on this Inter-thing, this Al Gore invention. He basically gave it to the Russians to read, or the Chinese, the Huns, maybe even the Yanks, I shouldn’t wonder. (Made trusted Olde English institutions look bad, to boot.) Time for Bulldog Drummond & Col. Blimp to biff the baddies.

December 15, 2011 5:18 am

Your computers are next, sir.
*twirls mustache*

Paul Vaughan
December 15, 2011 5:27 am

=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//
tallbloke says:
December 15, 2011 at 9:43 am
many thanks to those who have hit the donate button.
I’ll be able to get a second hand laptop soon so I can keep blogging.

=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//=\\=//
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/tallbloke-towers-raided-many-computers-taken/#comment-10781 [bold added]

Charlie K
December 15, 2011 5:28 am


As others have said, when they do return your computer throw it out. Or at least quarantine it and DO NOT hook it up to your home network. There is no telling what kind of spyware they will put on it while they have it. And there is a good chance that whatever they put on it will not be found by commercial antivirus or antispyware software.
I would go on, but for some reason this news has me paranoid about voicing my views online.

Pamela Gray
December 15, 2011 5:28 am

Tallblock, one word: Upgrade.
Raiding Tallblock’s place to find deepthroat would be similar to police raiding our old Commodor 64’s in order to discover who created the internet. Who wants to bet they are all sitting around Tallblock’s computers with “Windows 98 for Dummies” cracked open trying to find the on button?
That you do what you do with the hardware you do it with is astounding.