That hacking scandal

The current phone hacking scandal in the UK brings back some memories. It’s taken several years for those hacking crimes to reach public consciousness and create a storm of disgust. I wonder how long it will be before we get to find out who was behind the “climategate” hacking scandal? It was obviously well organised and had  a big political effect, despite the tameness of the emails released.

But I bet the true story behind that hacking will be interesting.

Thanks to Treehugger for the timely reminder (see Cold Case: Who Hacked Climatic Research Unit Emails Back In 2009?)

I also have to thank treehugger for bringing this handy infographic to my attention. It’s from ReuseThisBag.com and compares the scientific consensus and the sceptics arguments over global warming. Click on the image for a larger version.

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25 responses to “That hacking scandal

  1. I doubt much will even amount from the hacking of the climate scientists email accounts. It’s far sexier to think scientists are corrupt.

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  2. Mind you, the actual story itself could be quite sexy. The international links, the computer nerds doing the hacking. The sabotage of the Stockholm conference. The links with the conservative think tanks and their links with the denier groups.

    I reckon there could be quite a nice story in all that.

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  3. True, but it’ll still be unpopular in many circles as it only reinforces the truth; climate change is real, we’re largely responsible and wishful thinking won’t save us.
    The reality is uncomfortable to the reader, so harder a sale in pop media.

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  4. Why do you say that the climate emails were hacked? Do you have some information that the Norwich Police don’t have?

    As I understand it, they are still investigating this issue, and an inside job is still on the cards

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  5. Yes, Andy, the police are still investigating. I think an inside job would have been revealed by now and the information together with the electronic transfers and mode of release seems consistent with hacking.

    Do you have different information?

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  6. So, Ken, your assertion that it is a hack and not an inside job is based on this TreeHugger article and the fact that “an inside job wold have been revealed by now”

    is that really the best you have got?

    Personally, I would have thought a leak was much more likely. UK Climate/Energy Minister Greg Barker used the term “leak”, although this may have been a Freudian slip of course.

    It seems a little premature to jump to conclusions and conspiracy theories.

    In the absence of any other information, I am not going to labour the point, so lets not make a meal of it.

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  7. Do you have some information that the Norwich Police don’t have?
    As I understand it, they are still investigating this issue, and an inside job is still on the cards.

    As you understand it? And your information sources are?
    (shrug)

    Personally, I would have thought a leak was much more likely.

    Personally? That’s nice. I don’t care about your “personal opinion”.

    It seems a little premature to jump to conclusions and conspiracy theories.

    Then don’t. Simple, yeah?

    We’re talking about a criminal conspiracy here.
    A crime.
    Some people getting together and hacking a computer and stealing data. It happens. Hardly a stretch of the imagination. Welcome to the 21st century.
    What we are not talking about is who really shot JFK or how NASA faked the moon landings.

    Do you have some information that the Norwich Police don’t have?

    Did it occur to you to google it and find out what the Norwich police position on the matter actually is? Or are you just too lazy?
    Let me help you with that:

    “The Norfolk police subsequently confirmed that they were “investigating criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia” with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime unit, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET). Commenting on the involvement of the NDET, a spokesman said: “At present we have two police officers assisting Norfolk with their investigation, and we have also provided computer forensic expertise. While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues in relation to criminal investigations.” However, the police cautioned that “major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion.” The investigation is as yet unresolved. The UEA has confirmed that all of the leaked material was in an archive on a single backup CRU server, available to be copied. According to Nature, however, the police are no longer considering the possibility that the data was leaked, rather than stolen. Jones and others fear that the hackers may be sitting on other stolen emails.

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  8. Cedric, as you kindly provide the key phrase, I will repeat it for you

    The investigation is as yet unresolved.

    What “Nature” thinks of a UK police investigation is irrelevant. I thought this was a science journal, not CSI

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  9. What “Nature” thinks of a UK police investigation is irrelevant.

    Nature didn’t offer what they “thought”.
    It’s wasn’t an opinon piece, you moron.
    Nature simply reported that the police are no longer considering the possibility that the data was leaked, rather than stolen.
    Do you understand the difference?

    You want to cling to the idea that a leak is “still on the cards” and that’s how the criminal investigation is going then you will have to offer more than your “personal opinion”.

    Do you have some information that the Norwich Police have but that Nature failed to mention? Share.

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  10. As Cedric’s quote points out the leak does not seem credible to the police. However, whether internally or externally hacked it was a crime. A network of people were involved as the movement of the data shows. The motive was malicious and political. The distortions and cherry picking of the emails was intentional and obvious to any analysis.

    Scientists have been cleared of any crime of guilt apart from being human. The science remains well accepted and credible. If anything the science and their institutes and procedures have come out of this affair stronger.

    The fact remains that the criminals involved are still at large. One hopes though that the time required for the phone hacking to become well known indicates that although it might take years the criminals in this case will also eventually be exposed. And state organizations in the end must ensure the security of their digital Information and communications. Which suggests they will not give up on this case too easily.

    But, Andy, what is your interest. Do you support that crime? Did you benefit from it? Were you involved in the ensuing denier propaganda?

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  11. Ken,
    It is a criminal investigation

    The investigation is as yet unresolved.

    Do you not understand English?

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  12. The investigation is as yet unresolved.

    Yeah but that’s not what you said.
    This is what you said:
    As I understand it, they are still investigating this issue, and an inside job is still on the cards.

    Only that’s not true. Your understanding is…y’know…wrong.
    You just went with what felt good for you at the time without checking your facts and it bit you on the butt.
    An inside job is not still on the cards.
    Google is not your friend.

    Here’s the key phrase. I shall kindly repeat it for you.

    “According to Nature, however, the police are no longer considering the possibility that the data was leaked, rather than stolen. Jones and others fear that the hackers may be sitting on other stolen emails.”

    Do you not understand English?

    Do you have some information that the Norwich Police have but that Nature failed to mention? Share.

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  13. But, Andy, what is your interest. Do you support that crime? Did you benefit from it? Were you involved in the ensuing denier propaganda?

    Oh I bet he gleefully joined in, boots and all without a moment’s thought.
    He just knew “they” were all lying to him.

    Climate Crock Sacks Hack Attack: The Wrap

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  14. Andy, I don’t know what your problem is. Of course its a criminal investigation and as yet the criminals have not been identified. I hope they will be eventually and it would be nice if they were bought to justice (unfortunately they appear to have operated from the US so that may not happen).

    Why the quip about understanding English? Bit silly isn’t it?

    And you seem to have avoided my questions. You do seem to have some emotional investment in this, don’t you?

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  15. I don’t know what it is, Ken, but every time I follow one of your comment threads, before long some troll starting jumping up and down over the most mundane points.
    I suspect, because of your views of certain subjects, that these characters indulge in a little hathos to acquire a hollow victory over some triviality.
    Honestly, Andy, who cares if Ken thinks the emails were more likely hacked than leaked? What a pathetic argument you’ve inspired.
    Give me a break… I feel for you Ken – what a waste of your time!

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  16. are these real or it was just made for the clip?

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  17. Why is this a mundane point? The release of the UEA emails was a fairly major issue prompting several inquiries.

    If there was an outside hack, then it implies that there is an as-yet unknown third party involved. If it was an inside job, then there is a whistleblower

    Why is this subject mundane? I would have thought it would at least stir some interest, especially as it is the topic of the blog post
    I also somewhat resent being referred to as a “troll” when I am discussing the actual subject matter of the blog post

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  18. Richard Christie

    Andy, spare us the indignation. Better for you to address the following.

    Do you accept that you were simply wrong to imply that an inside job.was still being considered by Norwich Police and opine that such a scenario remains a likely finding?

    The release of the UEA emails was a fairly major issue prompting several inquiries

    When the dust settled and all said and done, the so called scandal was revealed by several independent inquiries as being based on nothing of substance. Climate science remains unchallenged and the scientists involved cleared of all charges of scientific malpractice. But you know that.

    Troll isn’t an inappropriate label, you are plainly continuing a pathetic attempt to breath life into the corpse of the inappropriately labeled and artificially created climate-gate incident. Perversely, I enjoy your presence here, especially once you’ve engaged Cedric’s attention. I guess that deep down we all enjoy blood sports..

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  19. Andy, if there was a “whistleblower” involved that is still a 3rd party and still illegal. And hopefully a party who will be prosecuted (significantly though the police appeared to exhaust that possibility in the early parts of their investigation).

    But I agree those details are mundane (although important for justice and legal resolution).

    There is a far more interesting and significant story in the political and psychological consequences though. We can learn a lot by analyzing these.

    That is why I asked the questions I did. And maybe why you avoid answering them.

    What about discussing those questions sensibly instead of shadow boxing an irrelevant issue?

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  20. Why should I answer your questions about my motivations, understanding of climate science, whether blue is my favorite colour, or whether I think the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup, when it has nothing to do with the issue of leaking/hacking information from computers?

    You will notice that I am addressing the issues of the blog post, not creating strawmen arguments or heading off on a Gish Gallop.

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  21. Andy – you surely noticed the major part of this post relates to the comparison of arguments used by climate change deniers/contrarians/sceptics. The hacking news was pourely a lead in.

    However, if you don’t want to discuss substantive issues – so be it.

    One wonders why you bothered commenting.

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  22. One wonders why you bothered commenting

    I was commenting to find out if you had any substantive information on the UEA leak/hack. This is something that I have been following for a while, so naturally I am interested in any new information that comes to light.

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any new info, apart from the fact that Nature has concluded that the Norwich plod think it’s a hack.

    Sorry to disappoint your resident commenters if they were hoping for a bit of “sport”. Got a busy day ahead.

    ta rar.

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  23. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any new info, apart from the fact that Nature has concluded that the Norwich plod think it’s a hack.

    Except that Nature has not “concluded” anything.
    The Norwich police think that it’s a hack.
    Nature simply reported what the police have concluded.
    (That is to say, it was the police doing the concluding bit and Nature was just doing the reporting bit.)
    Yes, the investigation is ongoing (Duh!) but no, the police don’t think that an inside job is still on the cards.
    Has this penetrated your thick skull yet?

    You do seem to have some emotional investment in this, don’t you?

    To which Andy the straw-clutcher replies…

    Why should I answer your questions about my motivations, understanding of climate science…

    ‘Cause it’s a safe bet that you swallowed the climategate fake outrage hook, line and sinker? Innocence until proven guilty be damned, right?
    You just knew them there scientists were lying to you all along, right?

    Now that multiple, investigations have cleared all the scientists involved of any wrongdoing and nobody went to prison or lost their job and the actual science remains as solid and as vast as ever…you are left with nothing except the knowledge that you were led by the nose. You got used by those that wanted to whip up some froth.
    You are not a skeptic, you are a sucker.

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  24. …are these real or it was just made for the clip?…

    You are referring to the “Crock of the Week” vid?
    I assume they are real. Could be mistaken but it’s the standard denier nonsense that floats around the Internet.
    I greatly appreciate Peter Sinclair and Potholer54’s work creating a magnificent series of videos that debunk zombie talking point.
    The cool thing about them is not that they TELL you that deniers have got it wrong but rather they elegantly explain HOW TO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF how the deniers are wrong. The research methods and the information sources are excellent. They work well for anybody and are useful for searching for the truth in any other scientific topic. Critical thinking skills at their best. Here’s another example, this time from potholer54.

    6. Climate Change — Those hacked e-mails

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  25. Don’t you just love Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist’s conspiracy theorist?

    He gets so….excitable

    Like

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