UEA Files Were on a Single Server
Posted by Jeff Id on February 2, 2010
Since these files first came out, there has been a lot of speculation as to the source of them. Today we learn that, in fact, my Id may have guessed correctly as to the nature of the breach. David Leigh of the Guardian broke the story using an oddly rare technique these days called investigation – those Brits are so old fashioned. I would be remiss to not mention that the UK press have represented the only ‘for profit’ media outlets worth a crap on Climategate.
Yesterday David King was making some wild speculations about international terrorists and behind the scenes, I received an email about how stupid he looked for saying so ‘from a British reporter’. I wrote a whole post last night about it, but it was just a rant by the time I finished, so it went to the trash. Anyway the whole stupid event he created, prompted the university of East Anglia to release this little tidbit of information.
In fact, as UEA confirmed today, all the files and emails were archived on a single backup server on the Norwich campus. Once access was gained, it would have been simple to copy all the material.
So being the instant expert in profiling that I am, lets look again at the relevant facts. We have the childish act of taking over the Real Climate server (likely from shared passwords in the files), posting a link at Climate Audit saying then a miracle occurred. No international organization would behave that way, it’s obviously a giddy kids prank. Can you imagine how fun that would have been in college, and for those of you who are older, can you imagine how scared you’d be now? — and Sir King was too slow witted to figure it out.
But there’s more, the people who released the file don’t read a lot of climate papers. You can tell that because they said this in the comment left at several blogs.
0939154709.txt * Osborn: we usually stop the series in 1960
While the practice is disingenuous and fraudulent, it is absolutely well known. This point had been discussed here several times, at Climate Audit many times and is in publication over and over. This does refer to the ‘hide the decline’ incident although this email had nothing interesting except the data, which I plotted within the first couple of days of seeing the email and never posted. CA again took care of the postings on this later.
The fact that it is NOW well known doesn’t exonerate the hiders of the decline because of the timing of the events. We shouldn’t forget that those outside the immediate friends of Briffa or the dank depths of an obscure paleoclimatology paper at the time, had no knowledge of it. The hockey team took advantage of that fact for the IPCC report. And of course the whole practice is IMHO fraudulent.
In fact, one of my first posts on the breaking of the hide the decline story with respect to Phil Climategate Jones saying he didn’t remember what he meant took this exact position. My point in reply was to basically call him out as a liar and make the argument that EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT DIVERGENCE OF THIS SERIES!! In fact, at Real Climate, that was also their first defense of the hide the decline incident, to claim that everyone knew. Which they do now, but didn’t back then. –Tricky little slime balls aren’t they, hiders of hiding the decline.
But the point is, this is NOT NEWS, however it is fraudulent and whomever posted the emails was not familiar with this fact. It wouldn’t have elicited a shrug from a paleo-climate scientist, but if the scientist was on the team, there would be some long winded completely-bullshit explanation about why it’s ok to remove inconvenient data – in this case.
So with all that said, when David King made his comment yesterday, about an international conspiracy which has now forced out this little bit of information, — the files were actually collected together on a backup server by someone else! They were left in a single place where someone with access – a student say – could grab them all and publish them.
One of the questions the UK anti-terrorism squad asked me was, do you have a UEA password?
In my opinion, this was done by a couple of students (they said “we” a couple of times in the comment they left at tAV). They were probably right there on the premises, looking right at the box. I hope to god the kids are smart enough to stay quiet and not brag to their friends for the next twenty years because, while the cops aren’t interested in prosecuting the real criminals, the kids have a target on their backs.
So Kudo’s to the Guardian and David Leigh for looking into this, you can read the full article here: