Are Police About to Bust Climategate Perps?


Read also: the truth about Climategate.Read also: the truth about Climategate.

When an anonymous internet commenter posted another batch of pilfered emails from climate scientists last month, I wondered whether the move would renew interest in figuring out who was behind the heist. The initial incident in 2009 didn’t seem to get the police too riled up, but it appears law enforcement is now taking it more seriously. The Guardian reported Thursday that UK police have seized computer equipment from the home of one climate skeptic blogger this week, seeking evidence in the case:

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.”

Tattersall also posted an account of the search and seizure on his blog, which was one of several where, late last month, a commenter by the name of “FOIA” posted a link to another 5,000 emails that had been stolen from a server at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in 2009.

Interestingly, the US Department of Justice also seems to be conducting an investigation; the department’s Criminal Division has submitted a request to WordPress for information related to the latest round of emails to three skeptic blogs that use their platform: TallBloke, No Consensus, and Climate Audit. Blogger Jeff Id of No Consensus posted the request on his site, which seeks records, IP addresses, and log history specifically related to the commenter “FOIA.”

I’m definitely interested to see what comes of this.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.