Climategate Investigation Warms Up Globally: UK Police Seize TallBloke’s Computers, DOJ Tells U.S. Denier to Preserve Records

Police officers investigating the theft of thousands of private emails between climate scientists from a University of East Anglia server in 2009 have seized computer equipment belonging to a web content editor based at the University of Leeds.

Buildings of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UEA, in Norwich

The glacial investigation into the stolen emails has experienced rapid, unprecedented warming that very much appears to be caused by humans, in this case the Norfolk police.

The UK Guardian reports today:

On Wednesday, detectives from Norfolk Constabulary entered the home of Roger Tattersall, who writes a climate sceptic blog under the pseudonym TallBloke, and took away two laptops and a broadband router. A police spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that Norfolk Constabulary had “executed a search warrant in West Yorkshire and seized computers”. She added: “No one was arrested. Investigations into the [UEA] data breach and publication [online of emails] continues. This is one line of enquiry in a Norfolk constabulary investigation which started in 2009″….

Both Tattersall and a US-based climate sceptic blogger known as Jeff Id said they had received a “formal request” via the blogging platform WordPress from the US Department of Justice’s criminal division, dated 9 December, to preserve “all stored communications, records, and other evidence in your possession” related to their own blogs as well as to Climate Audit, a climate sceptic blog run by a Canadian mining consultant called Steve McIntyre. All three blogs had received messages from “FOIA” last month pointing to the link hosting a second tranche of emails first taken from the UEA in 2009.

It’s funny to see the hyperventilating at the denier websites.  As you know, the deniers routinely assume any scientist being independently investigated is almost certainly guilty, that any scientist exonerated by an independent investigation is definitely guilty, and that thousands of actual evidence-based studies are part of a grand conspiracy to deceive humanity.

Unlike the deniers, however, we stay evidence-based, so the fact that the police have seized TallBloke’s computers and told a U.S. denier not to delete or destroy any evidence is not proof in the least bit of their involvement in any crime.

Here’s more of the story:

Tattersall posted his own account of the police search on his blog: “An Englishman’s home is his castle they say. Not when six detectives from the Metropolitan police, the Norfolk constabulary and the computer crime division arrive on your doorstep with a warrant to search it though … They ended up settling for two laptops and an ADSL broadband router … I got the feeling something was on the go last night when WordPress [the internet host for his blog] forwarded a notice from the US Department of Justice.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Tattersall said: “I am happy to assist the police with their inquiries because I haven’t been hiding anything important like some people have. I assisted them with their inquiries, which involved voluntarily answering some questions regarding computer use etc.”

Last month, Tattersall’s blog, as well as at least four other blogs popular with climate sceptics, received a comment from a user called “FOIA” providing a link to a Russian server hosting a compressed folder containing more than 5,000 emails exchanged between climate scientists, along with a short message setting out the perpetrator’s motives. The folder also contained an encrypted subfolder containing a further 220,000 emails. It was the second time such a release had occurred.

In November 2009, thousands of emails were released in a similar manner on the eve the Copenhagen climate summit. The episode prompted a series of inquiries into the working practices of climate scientists. Although these were critical of the scientists’ handling of Freedom of Information Act requests and lack of openness, they did not find fault with the climate change science they had produced….

During an interview with the Guardian last week before the seizing of his computers, Tattersall said that he had been questioned by Norfolk police “some two months” after the initial breach in 2009, but had heard nothing since. A number of climate scientists and bloggers are known to have been questioned by the police.

A spokesman for the University of East Anglia said today: “We are pleased to hear that the police are continuing to actively pursue the case following the release last month of a second tranche of hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit. We hope this will result in the arrest of those responsible for the theft of the emails and for distorting the debate on the globally important issue of climate change.”

Stay tuned.

8 Responses to Climategate Investigation Warms Up Globally: UK Police Seize TallBloke’s Computers, DOJ Tells U.S. Denier to Preserve Records

  1. Snapple says:

    This is really exciting!

    Hopefully the hackers will get a lump of coal in their stockings.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Tattersall is small potatoes, and may have been picked as a conduit for denier circus acts like McIntyre and Morano. Then, they count on their MSM sources such as Fox and CBS to parrot their useful idiots.

    Let’s hope there’s an evidence trail from Tattersall’s computers to the source that sent him the purloined emails. I would guess not- people like the Kochs and CEI are smart enough to hire black ops who know how to cover their tracks.

    It’s nice to see the police making some effort, even if they are overmatched. Maybe that will motivate them to dig a little deeper.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    I opine it is rather hopeless to determine how the e-mails ending up on a server @ Tomsk State University.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Not likely. The police serve their masters, the political and business bosses, and they are more determined than ever to destroy renewables, maintain fossil fuel production at as high a rate as the collapsing global economy allows, and pocket the gelt. In this country the AFP, the Federal plod, were thoroughly politicised under Howard, and a favourite tactic was the glacial ‘investigation’ that meandered for years, then was euthanased at 0330 on a Sunday morning, by press release.

  5. Andy Olsen says:

    We must keep demanding to know: Whodunnit?

    For all the press on the content of the emails, we have a small trickle of news reporting on the actual crime.

    Well, who funds these guys? Why? Where is the press on this story?

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Where? Following orders, as always.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    “to preserve “all stored communications, records, and other evidence in your possession”

    The first thing should be to make a backup of the bloggers database. I think it will be much more interesting to see how the manufactured opinions against climate science is used against them. And that the denial machine with all the names is partly responsible for delayed action to combat climate change (a top national security threat).

  8. markus says:

    prokaryotes says;

    “”climate change (a top national security threat).””

    My dear human. If you are so concerned about delayed action to a top national security threat, my suggestion would be to lobby the US senate to invade Canada for their withdrawal from Kyoto.