New York Times Questions The Legality Of Climategate Leaks

The Times policy seems to be that it is OK to leak military secrets (Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers, etc.) but not OK to leak the truth about climate science.

About stevengoddard

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69 Responses to New York Times Questions The Legality Of Climategate Leaks

  1. ChrisD says:

    What information leads you to believe that this was a leak?

    • Did you read the NYT article?

      • ChrisD says:

        I did (and it’s a blog post in the Opinion section, not really what I would call an “article”). I see nothing in there that says it was either a leak or a hack.

        So, my question again: What information do you have that leads you to believe it was a leak? As far as I know, no one other than the leaker/hacker and his or her accomplices knows the answer to that question, yet you conclusively label it a leak.

      • ChrisD says:

        I did. What’s in there that allows you to be so certain that it’s a leak?

      • Is there some reason why I should care what the source of the information is?

        No one has denied the accuracy of the content.

      • Lazarus says:

        “Although the police and the university say only that the investigation is continuing, Nature understands that evidence has emerged effectively ruling out a leak from inside the CRU, as some have claimed. And other climate-research organizations are believed to have told police that their systems survived hack attempts at the same time.”

      • Lazarus says:

        Definitely doesn’t sound like a leak – just found this;
        “When I did get control back from the hacker (and hacker it was), there was a large uploaded file on our server, and a draft post ready to go announcing the theft of the CRU emails.”

    • Adam says:

      Chris D there was the fact that on all of the emails, personal information like email addresses were deleted.

      A hacker would not have sorted through one thousand emails deleting personal information.

      There was also no way a hacker could have got into the CRU’s servers and gathered all that information

      The CRU also cancelled out all passwords, a few hours after the emails were leaked. Would they really have done that, if it was just a hacker?

      • ShugNiggurath says:

        The ZIP file that contained the emails and other documents did contain the email addresses and telephone numbers (if in an email signature) throughout the files. The files on are not the originals, but an uploaded copy of the leaked/hacked zip file.

        I do think it was an internal problem though; if Real Climate are correct and someone also gained acccess to their server then that someone would be a person likely to have access to passwords for both.

      • Mike Davis says:

        That is the way I saw it. There some that have come to the table later than others and see things as they appear now after the corrections have been made.
        At one point I had a copy of the original ZIP file that I got within hours of its first being reported on one of three sites I frequented at the time. CA, WUWT, or Jeffid’s site. TAV is not one of my current regular sites along with the black board.

    • Mike M. says:

      Here, Chris, read this entire post and tell me if you think it is unlikely that someone from CRU leaked this…

      Remember, the very first email in the file is from Briffa. He is mentioned more than any other name in the file. He has not spoken in public for over a year now, certainly not to support his beleaguered colleagues. I see no reason why he wouldn’t have had access to RC’s servers, either.

      Maybe you can explain how a hacker, fully versed in the nuances of the climate wars, had the ability to sift through years of emails and pull out the most damaging ones while never once being detected.

      • ChrisD says:

        Why does the hacker and the “sifter” have to be the same person? That post is just speculation. It’s certainly not sufficient to label the release a “leak” as has been done here.

        Was it a leak or a hack? I don’t know, and neither do you, Goddard, or Revkin.

      • Steve Koch says:

        Yeah, I always wondered if it was Briffa. I wonder what the statute of limitations on this kind of whistle blowing would be. Whoever leaked this stuff is going to be a huge hero and make a lot of money from a book/movie deal. Hope we don’t have to wait as long as it took for “Deep throat”‘s identity to disclosed.

    • sunsettommy says:


      I believe the title of his blog entry is:

      New York Times Questions the legality of Climategate leaks.

      But all you could come up with is crap.

      Would it make you feel better if we said it was released into the public domain?

      Sometimes you make a big deal out of a teeny weeny thing and miss the rest of the picture.

      • ChrisD says:

        Sorry, but labeling the release of the emails a “leak” without evidence is not teeny-weeny crap. There’s a WORLD of difference between “leaked” and “stolen,” and we don’t know which it was.

      • ChrisD says:

        Yes, you’ve mentioned this before.

        But you still haven’t said what you know that allows you to make this statement.

        • Is there some reason why you care if the mails were stolen by an employee like Ellsberg, or by an outsider? The distinction is meaningless and you are just trying to drag the conversation off topic.

      • Mike Davis says:

        A preponderance of evidence points to the material released being compiled before it was removed from the CRU host file server. It was as if it was compiled for a specific purpose but was not used for that purpose so was released anonymously. However it also suggest there is additional material that can be released by the same source. Hack or whistle blower it appears to be an inside job due to the complexity of the material and the source appears to be a back up file server for working papers and e-mails. The corporation I worked for had just this sort of system and some of my customers used this with individual servers for individual departments. Because of their contents usually these servers are not accessible from out side the system for security purposes.
        It possible some one inside compiled the files and transferred them to a shared server with remote access. 80 meg is no longer a large file by IT standards. the average thumb drive would have lots of room left over. One I picked up a couple of years ago is 1GB.

      • Hey, hey ChridD the troll spammer is back.

      • ChrisD says:

        Amino, you know neither what a troll is nor what a spammer is. I wouldn’t advertise your ignorance like that.

      • Mike Davis says:

        I found this at WIKI:
        Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social networking spam, television advertising and file sharing network spam.
        You fit the definition if SPAM

      • Mike Davis says:

        From WIKI again
        In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[2] In addition to the offending poster, the noun troll can also refer to the provocative message itself, as in “that was an excellent troll you posted”. While the term troll and its associated action trolling are primarily associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels highly subjective, with trolling being used to describe intentionally provocative actions outside of an online context
        You also fit the definition of TROLL!
        Imagine that you are wrong again!

      • ChrisD says:

        Is there some reason why you care if the mails were stolen by an employee like Ellsberg, or by an outsider? The distinction is meaningless and you are just trying to drag the conversation off topic.

        Bullshit. There’s all the difference in the world.

        A leak implies that someone on the inside was struck by conscience. Makes a clean breast of it against self-interest. Heroic attempt by anonymous worker to root out evil. Little guy out to save world from evil mad scientists.

        A hack implies none of this. There’s no implication that anyone is trying to expose corruption or wrongdoing. It could have been done for a strict profit motive or for any other reason. There’s a moral component to a leak that is entirely absent in a hack. It’s entirely different.

        So it is a BIG deal whether this was a hack or a leak, and this is most certainly not an attempt to drag the conversation off topic. You say it’s a leak. My entire post consisted of a very short, very simple question, which you are dodging, so I’ll ask it again:

        “What information leads you to believe that this was a leak?”

      • Mike Davis says:

        You have already been given answers to your question. The Gigabytes of data on a server. The access to that server. The knowledge of how to access the server. The time required to sort through the data to pull selected files.
        There is the chance that once randomly accessed the file could have been found to contain what was thought to be incriminating evidence and the hacker applied a file search for a unique combination of words and we are seeing the results of that search. A possible conclusion but doubtful ass it would have resulted in duplication. For it to have been an outside hack it would have required a large group of people to sort through the raw material.
        Innocent until proven guilty but evidence points to deliberate inside compilation of the released files.

      • ChrisD says:

        Mike, you’re clueless. I posted a very simple, eleven-word, on-topic question. That’s not trolling. I responded in context to others’ comments, and I repeated the question to Steve when it wasn’t answered. That’s not spamming.

        Unless you consider the posting of anything you disagree with spamming and trolling, as you obviously do, this isn’t either.

  2. omnologos says:

    Actually I have read that Revkin’s blog post as a full-on admission that there is no evidence of anything criminal about the leaks. IOW they were alright to be leaked.

    Dear Steven – Please be kind to him, I am not sure how he recovered from being at the receiving end of this mellifluous captatio benevolentiae by Michael Mann: “Fortunately, the prestige press doesn’t fall for this sort of stuff, right?”.

    It’s hard to imagine anything more humiliating for a professional journalist than to be covered in purrs by the people he’s reporting. In fact, I stopped reading anything from Revkin for weeks after finding out about the above.

    But he’s no Romm, and that makes a huge difference.

  3. OT,

    4-5 feet of snow in some locations of US expected by Thanksgiving, 1-2 feet on France and Germany(or is that 4-5 feet of bs piled up by Tony Duncan?)

  4. omnologos says:

    How plausible is it that the “hacker” just happened to be able to get those files within days of them been prepared by the “sifter”?

    • ChrisD says:

      Quite plausible. Maybe it was an organized effort. Maybe there was a roomful of “sifters.” Who knows?

      My point is that it is stated here point-blank that this was a leak. I’m aware of no information that permits this. Speculation about plausibility doesn’t count.

      Where’s the beef?

    • Mike M. says:

      See, the True Believers never bother to think out the logistics. Go show this case to 2500 criminal lawyers and I’m sure you would have an Overwhelming Consensus that this is a whistleblower case. But the Norfolk Constabulary remains as silent as Briffa’s Wiki page…

  5. truthsword says:

    Liberals always kick themselves in the pants, from wistleblowers to “hate crimes”, they don’t understand what’s fair is fair.

  6. omnologos says:

    How loud is the snoring coming out of Norfolk Constabulary’s premises? And what about the counter-terrorism guys?

    Does anybody know of any year-long investigation into a “hack” without a single arrest or even admission by the police that a crime has been committed, anywhere in the world?

    • ShugNiggurath says:

      I was interviewed by two of the Norfolk officers, mostly to discover if I was the hacker. I got the feeling at the time that they simply didn’t know, but that there was a team going over the server with a fine toothcomb looking for evidence of tampering in the logs. Since then there has not been a peep.

  7. omnologos says:


    Definitely doesn’t sound like a leak – just found this

    The RC incident is a completely different issue. Something curious about it: despite the seriousness of the situation, the RC people have refused to ask police to investigate what’s happened over at their site. For all we know, the “hacker” was somebody with some access to their servers, perhaps a chum from CRU that one day decided to give himself more user rights than usual, and the lack of involvement of the police is to avoid further embarrassment.

    The issue with not exploring things thoroughly is that everything is open to speculation. For an example of an amazing coincidence, hacking has become of late a very Russian activity, and we all know where those famous Yamal trees are.

    • Lazarus says:


      The RC link was in addition to my previous one;
      “Although the police and the university say only that the investigation is continuing, Nature understands that evidence has emerged effectively ruling out a leak from inside the CRU, as some have claimed. And other climate-research organizations are believed to have told police that their systems survived hack attempts at the same time.”

      • Mike Davis says:

        The RC cult allowed True Believers to have access to their system to create their own posts. It is Human Nature for some to want to say ME TOO even when it was not what was done some where else. Nature has turned into a Cultist Propaganda Rag and a member of the GOB club. It is almost as bad as BBC! or HuffnPuff!

  8. M White says:

    Yet despite a year long police investigation no one has been charged.

    Slack security or subversion at the university may have led to ‘unintentional sharing’, making the police investigation pointless

    “He added that files were perhaps put “in an ftp directory which was on the same central processing unit as the external webserver, or even worse, was on a shared driver somewhere to which the webserver had permissions to access. In other words, if you knew where to look, it was publicly available”.

    If this hypothesis turns out to be true, UEA may end up looking foolish. For there will be no one to arrest.”

  9. omnologos says:


    Nature understands that evidence has emerged effectively ruling out a leak from inside the CRU

    Not sure what Nature does “understand”, as even the silliest remark (by Tim Osborn) “My inbox is full and I need to delete some e-mails” goes unchallenged.

    There we are, these people want to save the world by running complex computational models on supercomputers, and they cannot fathom how to archive their messages. I’ll volunteer to provide myself free IT support about any of the major email applications, if they ask nicely.

    • Mike Davis says:

      Some of our other so called IT professional EX-PERTS do not seem to understand the idea of backing up an e-mail server and keeping that on a separate server or that when you download mail to your PC it continues to reside on the server and you would only delete the mail on your PC. I worked at a place where deleted only meant it took 10 more minutes for the IT group to find it and when a random audit was preformed some were terminated for inappropriate use of company property. They thought they had deleted all trace of their activity.

  10. Erik says:

    Who cares if it was a leak or a hack – the emails was already out there – Poul Hudson had them and did nothing

  11. Paul H says:


    If you have evidence that the files were stolen, please share this with us. Until then we must assume they were leaked.

    For the last year the leaks have been investigated by the National Domestic Extremism Team ( NDET) alongside the Norfolk Plod. The NDET are NOT part of the police service but a private body run by another private company ACPO ( Association of Chief Police Officers). As private organisations neither body are covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

    It does seem strange that the govt should have decided to send the heavy boys in. It also suggests they have a lot to cover up if they are trying to hide the investigation from the FOI.

    • ChrisD says:

      If you have evidence that the files were stolen, please share this with us.

      I already said, several times, that I don’t know whether they were stolen or leaked.

      Steve, on the other hand, says flat-out that they were leaked. I asked him for his evidence.

      So, if you were a reasonable and disinterested persion rather than what you are, you would be asking Steve for his evidence. Not me. Asking me for my evidence when I’ve already said I don’t know is just stupid.

      Until then we must assume they were leaked.

      Really. And why is that, exactly?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Already answered! TWICE!

      • Mike Davis says:

        Twice is the wrong answer. I am not going to take the time to count the number of times you have been provided logical responses to your query.

      • ChrisD says:

        Speculation is not evidence, Mike. Doesn’t matter how many times you repeated it. It’s still just speculation.

      • I have a really annoying fly in my office. It serves no useful purpose other than to annoy people.

      • ChrisD says:

        Perhaps it would buzz off if you would just answer its very reasonable question.

        • Chris. I am not sure how to explain this to you any more clearly. It makes absolutely no difference to this article if the emails were taken by someone inside UEA or outside. Like the fly, your sole purpose for being here is to distract.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Even if those involved came forward and admitted their involvement all we would have is speculation.
        The entire field of Climatology is speculation.
        The practice of Law is speculation.
        Science is based on assuming the degree of accuracy in observations and speculating about the causes.
        You accept the speculation by the TEAM of pathological scientists as proof of something! Why not speculation of people who were or are involved in IT practices?

      • Mike Davis says:

        My question are meant as a trigger for you to speculate the answers, not a desire to see a response!

      • ChrisD says:

        Chris. I am not sure how to explain this to you any more clearly. It makes absolutely no difference to this article if the emails were taken by someone inside UEA or outside.

        And I don’t know how to explain this to you any more clearly. There’s a huge difference between an internal leak by a conscience-stricken scientist and external theft by persons unknown with motives unknown and financing unkown. One of these is favorable to your gospel, and one ain’t. You casually say it’s a leak, as if it were a known fact, which it ain’t. What leads you to say this, and why is asking a reasonable question about something you wrote in this post just “distraction”?

  12. omnologos says:

    All – I strongly dislike these accusations of trollism. It makes this site the equivalent of countless agw places where any expression of mild dissent is treated as spamming.

    What is the point of adopting a knownflawed approach?

    • ChrisD has made 369 posts in recent weeks, essentially all of which are tangential or completely off-topic.

      Someone leaked the e-mails to the outside world. That is why we know about them.

      • ChrisD says:

        essentially all of which are tangential or completely off-topic.

        To quote a knowledgable source, what a load of BS. You can keep repeating this as often as you want. Doesn’t make it true. The only thing that makes them “off topic” is that I disagree with things you say and ask questions you don’t want to answer.

        Someone leaked the e-mails to the outside world.

        How do you know this? That is the only question I have asked, and it is not off-topic, since it directly addresses something you said in this post. This could have been handled in three messages:

        Chris: How do you know this?
        Steve: I don’t, for sure, but it is my suspicion.
        Chris: Fair enough.

    • ChrisD says:


      Thank you. I couldn’t agree more, and I’ve said the same thing on “pro”-AGW sites too. Dissent isn’t trolling, and if a question isn’t answered, repeating it isn’t spamming. The accusation of trolling is usually just a cheap way to avoid discussion.

      • You have been spamming for weeks. No one objects to intelligent dissent.

      • omnologos says:

        I guess much of the “spamming” on both sides would stop if we would all agree that exchanges like “didn’t – did too” are seldom necessary after reaching the mental age of a 6 year old.

        Despite all of Pachauri’s efforts, there is absolutely no need to agree on anything at all. If ChrisD or anybody else can’t see what IMNSHO is very, very clear, so be it, and who cares?

  13. peterhodges says:

    the cru was illegaly withholding foia’d information, and someone decided they would rather not be party to those illigal shenanigans. they promptly leaked the what had been compiled.

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