the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Disclosure by Proxy??

Posted by Jeff Id on August 6, 2011

Steve McIntyre has posted on something we’ve discussed behind the scenes for some time now.  It was a weekend morning at the end of January 2010 when I got the call from Guardian reporter David Leigh for asking for Patrick Condon.  Now, the interesting thing about it was that I had not released my first name to anyone except to Steve McIntyre in my entire gmail or blogging history.  My gmail contains every blog comment and email associated with the Air Vent blog since its inception.  I can look back and find every single disclosure of my name in its history.  There are very few prior to climategate and everyone I wrote to except one, I introduced myself as Jeff (my middle name).  That is the name I use for everyone except banks.  Even wordpress and gmail, by which all of my blogging communication occurred, had no information on my address or phone numbers.

In fact even the UK anti-terror police knew me as Jeff when they wrote to me at the link on my blog, yet weeks later David Leigh contacted me asking for Patrick Condon of the Air Vent.   Now everyone should know that an internet blogger, business owner and engineer isn’t exactly a top secret spy.   It is quite difficult to have the 5000 readers/day I had prior to cliamtegate and claim anonymity but I very, very rarely mentioned my last name.

How did the UK press find me? There is more than one piece in this puzzle.

Were there legitimate avenues for discovery of my name and address?  I’m sure, but they aren’t easy and what is most concerning is that if the information were legitimately located, is that supported by the Guardian’s unique responses to Steve below?

One of the most telling bits is that in the same post by David Leigh, they quote Steve’s private email to Paul Dennis.  Information that to my knowledge only the UK police and Steve had. It is reasonably apparent that the Guardian’s David Leigh was in ‘close’ contact with the UK police on this matter and the UK anti-terror police had information which the general public did not.  If the Guardian wishes to make public the method by which they discovered my name I would be happy to report it here.  If the confidentiality of their source is a problem as they claim, then at least some remark that there were no government sources used in the disclosure would be appropriate.   Finally, there is the matter of my specific request not to have my name published.  In the UK, it isn’t legal to release names of people who don’t want to be identified unless there is some public good.  After the release of my full name,  David said that his ‘editors’ were at fault.

David Leigh

I’m really sorry,  I asked my editors to change it, but it never happened last night for some reason

Recently we learned that many in the UK work above the law for the discovery and disclosure of private information.  It seems apparent that this may be the norm of reporting in the modern age.

I look for the simple answer but am no internet expert.  I had emails to Paul Dennis that would probably have IP addresses attached that would give a nearby Chicago-esque location. The anti-terror police who had access to the UEA emails and my middle/last name would have the same information.  I also had some emails with RC scientists that could do the same for the police.  There were methods to find me but if the methods were easy, why didn’t the Guardian reply – well we did a public records search on your name, or a private source sent an email.

My first comment to David when he called was, “How did you find me?”

He answered, “It wasn’t that hard.”

Any way you cut it, I take him at his word but the second question is, did it come from the same people who released the Paul Dennis emials?  In my world, the simple answer is the most likely.


Steve McIntyre —

David Leigh of the Guardian has been added to the list of UK journalists who’ve engaged in phone hacking and other illegal/unethical conduct. Some of the more questionable conduct by UK journalists has involved their acquisition of information from police that police were not legally entitled to disclose either for payment or as a favour. David Leigh also had a role in the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate early last year and, in today’s post, I’ll discuss the connection.

Leigh’s admission of phone hacking is discussed at Bishop Hill here; Guido Fawkes here. Leigh himself admitted here.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages…

Leigh differentiated his illegal phone hacking from that practised by News of the World because his cause was noble:

unlike Goodman, I was not interested in witless tittle-tattle about the royal family. I was looking for evidence of bribery and corruption.

Now the Climategate connection.

In February 2010, a couple of months after Neil Wallis of Outside Organisation had been retained by the University of East Anglia to help them strike back against critics, Leigh authored a smear against Paul Dennis of the University of East Anglia, entitled:

Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks: University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators

Leigh’s smear began by reporting that Norfolk police had interviewed Paul Dennis (as, presumably, other faculty of the University of East Anglia.) However, Dennis had “refused to sign a petition in support of Jones when the scandal broke”. Furthermore, according to Leigh’s apparently disapproving “university sources”, Dennis was reported to have sent a letter to UEA head of department Jacquie Burgess “calling for more open release of data” – suspicious activity indeed. Dennis had also refused to observe the fatwa against communication with climate blogs that were critical of CRU and the Team and had even sent an article on isotopes to Jeff Id.

Leigh’s article disclosed two pieces of information that were not in the public domain.

First, Leigh “outed” Jeff Id by name, occupation and hometown. To that point, “Jeff Id” had been anonymous. His registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous. To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable Leigh to identify him.

A few days before the article, Leigh had telephoned Jeff. Jeff asked Leigh how he had located him; Leigh refused to say. Jeff expressly asked Leigh not to disclose his personal information, which were then not on the public record. Leigh disregarded the request and then proceeded to “out” him as collateral damage in their smear of Paul Dennis.

A couple of weeks earlier, Jeff had been asked to answer a questionnaire by the UK counter-terrorism officer investigating the release of the emails and tree ring data. The policeman had contacted Jeff at his gmail address as “Jeff Id”. In addition to inquiring about his views on climate change, the questionnaire asked his name and address. Jeff answered the questionnaire (as did I and many Climate Audit readers). To Jeff’s knowledge and recollection, that was the only disclosure of his identity that could have led to Leigh identifying him.

Leigh’s article also quotes from an email from Paul Dennis to me, which Leigh ascribed to “police files”.

UK police are subject to the Data Protection Act, which prevents the disclosure of personal data for unauthorized purposes -see the webpage of the Norfolk Constabulary on this topic here, which states:

Disclosure or passing of personal information to other organisations or individuals is strictly controlled….

The Police work in partnership with other agencies to reduce crime and disorder, reduce the fear of crime and protect the vulnerable. In order to work together it is necessary to share information. Often this information is about crime figures or areas where crime or disorder is a particular problem. However, sometimes it is necessary to share personal information to tackle a particular problem involving an identified offender or victim. Sometimes information is shared to assist the partner agency in carrying out their lawful functions, but only when it is necessary and proportionate to do so.

Given the recent publicity about illegal and unethical practices by UK journalists, often involving UK police, both Jeff and I obviously wondered about David Leigh’s access to the above information. On July 25, we wrote to Damian Carrington, Environment Editor of the Guardian about the matter. (I had previously corresponded with Carrington in connection with my appearance at the Guardian symposium in July 2010 and was treated very cordially both by Carrington and other Guardian representatives on this well-convened occasion.) The following email was sent prior to the recent publicity of David Leigh’s past history of phone hacking (for causes that he believed to be virtuous):

Dear Mr Carrington,
In case you did not already know, in 2009-2010, Neil Wallis, then of Outside Organisation, acted as consultant to the University of East Anglia because “the university’s Climatic Research Unit wanted Outside to fire back some shots on the scientists’ behalf”. As is now widely known, at the time, Wallis was also then acting as a consultant for the Met Police. I am planning to write some articles on this and would appreciate a comment from you on an article published by the Guardian.

On Feb 5, 2010, the Guardian published an article by David Leigh, Charles Arthur and Rob Evans entitled “Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks: University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators”

In the article, you identify the blogger known as “Jeff Id” as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer from Morris, Illinois”. At the time, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of Condon’s knowledge, there was then no legitimately available information that would have enabled the authors of the Guardian article to identify “Id” as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer from Morris, Illinois”.

The article also includes a quote from an email from Paul Dennis to me, the provenance of which is described in the article as “files obtained by police”.
Can you provide me and Mr Condon with an unequivocal statement that the Guardian did not use illegal or unethical means or accept information obtained illegally or unethically concerning Mr Condon’s identity or the police files referred to in the article. For greater reassurance, could you please describe the legal means by which you obtained Mr Condon’s identity and the excerpt from the police files quoted in the article.

Thank you for your attention.
Yours truly,
Stephen McIntyre,
Climate Audit

The Guardian reported back as follows.

A Guardian spokesperson said:

“I would like to make it absolutely clear that the Guardian did not use illegal or unethical means or accept information obtained obtained illegally or unethically concerning Mr Condon’s identity or the police files referred to in our article. To suggest otherwise would be totally untrue. We can also confirm the information did not come from the UEA or from Neil Wallis, either directly or indirectly.

The statement was obviously carefully worded with the sort of plausible deniability that we’re familiar with from the climate “community”. I replied as follows:

Dear Damian,
I appreciate your prompt response but your answer does not resolve the matter. We had asked you to show the legal means by which you acquired the information and you did not do so. I presume that you are refusing to provide this as opposed to this being an oversight in your response.

We also have a concern over your failure to exclude the police as the source of your information. If you are in a position in which you either can exclude them as a source and are prepared to do so, this would go some way towards re-assuring us. Otherwise, our concern that you obtained the information through use of information obtained illegally or unethically remains unresolved.

We draw your attention to yesterday’s article in the Guardian describing many incidents in which information was passed illegally to the media by the police (some involving payment, but, as I understand it, the passing of information can be illegal even without the payment of money.) We note that the Norfolk Constabulary is subject to the Data Protection Act and that their passing Jeff Id’s identity to you, if that is what happened, would not appear to be permitted under the circumstances at hand ( ).

In addition, if you did get the information from the police, you will understand our concern over Wallis’ potential indirect involvement, given that Wallis was, at the time, not only consulting for the University of East Anglia, but also consulting for the police and, as I understand, was particularly connected to John Yates, who was in charge of UK counter-terrorism operations (counter-terrorism officers were involved in the investigation) and to Andy Hayman, a former Chief Constable of the Norfolk Constabulary and also much in the news recently.

Accordingly, once again, I ask that you detail how you obtained the information through legal means as well as confirm that you did not obtain the information from police services (who, we believe, could not legally pass the information to you given the circumstances.)

Thanks, Steve Mc

The Guardian replied that they were “utterly bemused” by our concern and re-iterated that “nothing illegal or unethical” was done to obtain the information, again refusing to disclose how they got the information:

I have to say we’re utterly bemused by your questions over this report. To reiterate our very clear statement, nothing illegal or unethical was done to obtain the information.

Of course we can’t give you an account of how we obtained the information – we take protecting our sources very seriously.

If you still believe you have any evidence of wrongdoing, you should give it to the police and the information commissioner.

The Guardian’s repeated refusal to exclude counter-terrorism police as the source of Leigh’s information leaves obvious question marks. We know that the University of East Anglia retained a former News of the World operative with close connections to the police as an agent to strike back against their critics. It’s hardly implausible (though not proven) that police either connected to this operative (or otherwise) might have leaked personal information to the Guardian as part of the UEA’s campaign to strike back at critics. The Guardian purports to be “bemused” at the idea and is indifferent to the disclosure of Jeff Id’s personal information, presumably on grounds similar to those proffered by David Leigh in relation to his phone hacking (where the Guardian apparently condoned illegal conduct if it believed the cause to be virtuous or if they disapproved of the target.)

However, Jeff obviously has a different view. Jeff is not “bemused” by disclosure of personal information against his express wishes, particularly when, in his view, the disclosure of his personal information lacked any legitimate journalistic purpose and when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that personal information had been leaked to the Guardian by the police, that the police violated UK law in disclosing the personal information to the Guardian and that the Guardian knew that the police had violated UK law in giving the information to Leigh (if indeed the police were the source of the information, as it appears.) Nor has Jeff been shown that the police leak (if that is the source) was not connected to the University’s desire to strike back at critics, either via the University’s retention of former News of the World operative Wallis or otherwise. Jeff has written once again to the Guardian. However, as the Guardian observes, it is unlikely that the matter can be resolved without an investigation by the Information Commissioner and doubtless that’s where this file is going as well.

45 Responses to “Disclosure by Proxy??”

  1. […] Disclosure by Proxy?? […]

  2. Steve McIntyre said

    Jeff, to clarify something – your email to me identifying yourself as “Patrick Jeff Condon” came on January 31, 2010 immediately AFTER you had been called by Leigh asking for “Patrick”. Your email said that the reporter (Leigh) “wanted to know what the police had been asking me.”

  3. Ed Moran said

    Oh! Boy!

    Is this slime ball in trouble?

    Mind you he has all the right left-wing (Ouch! That’s an awkward construction!) connections to get away with it.

  4. […] seen this yet–it’s blowing up–check out the first person accounts from Jeff Id and Steve McIntyre. In the article, you identify the blogger known as “Jeff Id” as “Patrick […]

  5. The entire history of events that produced Chimategate, now updated (going back to the April 1967 Bilderberg Conference) and renamed – “The Bilderberg Sun, Climategate & Economic Crisis” – reads like a spy story.

    It is available at these links:

    Click to access 20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

    Comments would be appreciated,

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  6. Ben said

    Leigh is most likley resting his assertion that his methods and the release of your name was not illegal and did not involve illegality on the “public interest” defence (a kind of whistleblower clause, wide ranging, but hard to prove).

    Essentially releasing or obtaining information which would otherwise be an offence may not be an offence if it is in the public interest – jury decides (or magistrates if in the lower courts). It’s a good exception to have.

    But it does mean that when asking him simply if it was illegal is going to allow him to say “no” without feeling that he is lying.

    He hasn’t denied, so far as I know, that he got it from the police, nor that he is relying on the public interest defence.

  7. lucia said

    When you have emailed me using gmail, the headers do not show your IP address. They show an IP similar to the one mine show when I email myself after logging onto to gmail and sending from the gmail address. I know my current IP address so I can confirm this IP is not mine. I think similar things happen whenever you log onto the web and email from the gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc. The originating IP is belongs to gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc. The reason is their server is the originating IP from the point of view of the email.

    I think your IP would recorded by their server logs. It could be worth having a real IT person verify this– but this is what seems to happen based on observation.

    There is another source where people can get IP addresses. When you leave a comment at my blog, your IP is recorded. I can look at that. So, presumably, anyone with a blog where you left a comment would have your IP address. I entered the most recent IP you dropped in It suggests you are north of Joliet and south of Bolingbrook. The 2nd most recent IP you dropped also puts in you between Bolingbrook and Joliet. (ATT doesn’t always use the same IP for the same town. My most recent IP puts me in California!)

    I know you’ve left comments at RC and may have at other blogs. Possibly you’ve left comments at the Guardian. So, these could be the source of your IP. Still, getting from the IP to Morris, Il. and learning your unused first name would require some digging. I don’t know how to do it– but that doesn’t mean it would necessarily be difficult for a person who does know how to dig.

  8. lucia said

    Note: For those who don’t live in Illinois, “north of Joliet and south of Bolingbrook” is not where Jeff lives. It’s closer to where I live.

  9. ZT said

    Some thoughts:
    Amusingly Andrew Montford recalls that his conversation with David Leigh turned to the topic of the interviewees cell-phone:
    How to blag instructions:
    The Observer/Guardian are high on the league table of ‘transactions positively identified’ as illegal personal information purchasers:
    A contact to discuss legal options:

  10. Robert E. Phelan said

    3.Ed Moran said
    August 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Ed, I really don’t think this is a left-right thing. While here in the U.S. the climate debate has taken on a liberal-conservative tinge, the fact is that influiential people in both parties and a strange array of bed-fellows ranging from environmentalist NGOs to huge commercial operations have come together to support CAGW…. and other issues. What is happening in the UK is the public unravelling of an almost unnaturally promiscuous alliance of elites… bound together in a sense of eliteness against the unwashed like ourselves. Their attitude is that we need to be controlled while they are rewarded for doing the controlling. Whether we are talking Cap and Trade, environmental justice, income redistribution, TARP, alternative energy, fair housing…. the elite will continue to prosper.

  11. Jeff C. said

    Jeff – I’m curious if you regret having filled out the questionnaire. From a post over at Bishop Hill back in January 2010, it’s clear that many of the questions were way over the line (assuming these were the same questions you received). Here are three that were posted:

    18) What is your stance on climate change?
    19) Are you a current or past member of any political or environmental organisation/ group? Details:
    20) Do you contribute to, participate in, or administer any internet based website, forum, blog, etc. including any related to climate change? Details:

    I don’t believe the entire list has been posted anywhere. Since information from the questionnaire may have been leaked to others, it would be interesting to see exactly what the police were asking and how relevant it was to an alleged criminal investigation.

    There was really only one relevant question, “Do you have knowledge of any illegal activity leading to the public posting of the Climategate files?” If the answer is no, your civic obligation is complete. Anything beyond that is entirely voluntary, as citizens of a free society we have no duty or obligation to cooperate with fishing expeditions.

    As part of my job, I’m routinely subjected to security evaluations. I’ve learned the hard way to stick to the matter at hand; bringing up items unrelated to specific security issues, offering opinions, and speculating always causes needless difficulty.

  12. Carrick said

    Jeff, are you sure they just didn’t use one of the online reverse search engines, like Net Detective?

    The dealio is that if you ever purchase something online and link your email to it (some of the sellers require an email address), that merchant can legally turn around and sell who you are, your email and what you bought (they just can’t provide it to the feds without a search warrant or your consent.). social networks do it too.

  13. Jeff Id said

    #12, I don’t know how they got my name as I wrote. My opinion is that it was most likely disclosed by the police in the same conversation by which they received Paul Dennis and Steve’s emial. I really don’t know though.

  14. Robert E. Phelan said


    Just kind of wondering… has there been any fallout from having been “outed”? An uptick in hate mail, attempts against your business….. mysterious clicks on your phone line or dark, four-door sedans parked across the street at night? ;>)

    I’ve been using my real name on the blogs for quite awhile now and cannot say that I’ve had any untoward encounters of the worst kind as a result… but perhaps others have had a different experience.

  15. Jeff Id said

    I”ve had a few grumpy comments but no threats or anything. I think the morons get that I didn’t invite or create the link.

  16. Mark T said

    I’m curious if there will be any charges in the UK over all of this. Your outing seems unlikely to generate any legal rifts without you pushing, but Leigh has seemingly also admitted that he was involved with the phone hacking scandal as well. If it is not illegal, or it is and he is not charged, something is wrong with the legal system in the UK. His “I was doing it for good reasons” excuse (paraphrased, of course) doesn’t hold water on any level.


  17. curious said

    FWIW – I remember reading the Guardian article at the time and thinking the unnecessary naming of Jeff was malicious and spiteful. Given Jeff had specifically requested his anonymity should be respected, having just reread the article now, my view is reinforced.

    If the timeline is correct, Leigh’s claim:

    “I’m really sorry, I asked my editors to change it, but it never happened last night for some reason”

    doesn’t ring true to me as the article is dated Thursday 4 February 2010 20.51 GMT and Jeff recalls:

    “It was a weekend morning at the end of January 2010 when I got the call from Guardian reporter David Leigh for asking for Patrick Condon.”

    which means, in the absence of other correspondence with Leigh (?), despite Jeff’s request for anonymity the article was drafted from the outset with his name in it. The possibility the article was drafted prior to the conversation with Jeff is ruled out by “Condon” being directly quoted.

    So much for “we take protecting our sources very seriously.”

  18. Fred Streeter said

    You placed your location and profession on Watts up with that, Jan 26 2009.

    If that helps. That would narrow the field for an investigative journalist.

  19. Jeff Id said

    Read carefully Fred.

  20. The danger to life on this beautiful planet today is not global warming, but a tyrannical government – so enamored by its own propaganda – that it fails to make rational plans to deal with climate changes caused by the Sun and to develop neutron repulsion in nuclear reactors to meet future energy needs of the world’s people.

    That is the real danger we face today, and a tyrannical government is #1.

  21. Fred Streeter said

    Jeff, I have read your complaint regarding your being ‘outed’ by the Guardian. I agree that it served no purpose, and that you were owed a formal apology.

    However, from the facts that you published here and on ‘Watts up with that’ in 2009, regarding your location, occupation, and patents, I have probably traced you, perfectly legally, via the internet alone, without needing your last name. (I shall never know for sure, ‘cos it’s none of my business.) It took no time at all, just over an hour, much faster than bribing the plod – and less risky.

    As for Steve’s private email to Paul Dennis, that is worth pursuing.

  22. Jeff Id said


    What I meant by read carefully is that my point is that there were likely legitimate ways to find me but the combination of events and the way it was handled leave me with the impression that something else ‘actually’ happened.

  23. Fred Streeter said


    I think the Guardian’s reply is a Wizard of Oz thing, designed to impress. Leigh could have spent hours going through possible candidates: “Can I speak to James [Jeffrey] Alvardo* of the Air Vent?”, “Can I speak to Herbert [Jeffrey] Boyd* of the Air Vent?”, … until bingo! “Can I speak to Patrick [Jeffrey] Condon of the Air Vent”. “How did you get my name?” “It wasn’t that hard” (smugly, implying “for the mighty Oz”).

    The email, however, is not so easily ‘splained away.

    * Not based upon my trawling, all fictitious.

  24. Chris Law said

    While investigative journalists in all probability do reverse searches and if that’s how they got the information then why didn’t the Guardian ‘fess up to that and unequivocally deny any police records have anything to do with this.

    This is pretty piss poor performance for a institution that is supposed to beholden to the truth. Not like the NYT at … oh wait nevermind.

  25. Jeff,

    Regretfully corruption of space sciences, personal attacks and smear tactics have been used as propaganda tools of the global climate scam for four decades (1971-2011).

    The decision was apparently made during Kissinger’s secret visit to China in 1971 to use “Anthropologic Global Climate Change” as the “common enemy” to:

    a.) Unite Nations;
    b.) End the Cold War, the Space Race; and
    c.) The threat of Mutual Nuclear Annihilation.

    To negate the Sun’s obvious control over Earth’s climate, the model [1] of a “homogeneous Sun in hydrostatic equilibrium” became official government dogma after 1971.

    Precise experimental data from studies of meteorites, the 1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon, the 1995 Galileo probe of Jupiter, and even nuclear rest mass data have been ignored, manipulated or hidden.

    1. “The Bilderberg Model of the Photosphere and Low Chromosphere”….3….5G

    Hang in there!
    Oliver K. Manuel

  26. Keith Wells said

    Fed, could you direct me to the WUWT post that has Jeff’s information you found? I’ve not been able to find anything from Jeff on January 26, 2009.

  27. Keith Wells said

    I found the city reference, but nothing about his profession in that listing, nor his last name.

  28. Fred Streeter said


    Jeff posted a comment on January 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm.

  29. Fred Streeter said


    Ooops.Never make tea in mid post.

    The rest of the information was gleaned from Jeff’s posts on this site.
    I did not use his last name, I assumed that it would have been unknown to the journalist.

  30. Eli Rabett said

    Yet the blogroll at Climate Audit can be amusing in the passive aggressive sense.

    Eli’s advice is forget it.

  31. Venter said

    Yes, compared to the practically non-existent blogroll at Rabbet Run, isn’t it?

  32. RomanM said

    #30, E.R.

    Instead of making your usual coy, vacuous statements, you should share your humorous perceptions of the CA blog roll..

    I’m sure that we could all use a good laugh..

  33. timetochooseagain said

    Joshy takes umbrage to the use of his actual name, perhaps?

    It says a lot about a man who prefers to be called a small, easily frightened animal than by the name his parents gave him…

  34. FergalR said

    There’s one possibility I don’t see mentioned already. This was true when gmail first launched and probably up until a couple of years ago. They may have changed it since without me noticing.

    When you sign up to gmail you can enter your name. Did you put your real name in at that stage? If so then anyone you send an email to will see your name (and it will be automatically added to your contacts list) if they are using a gmail account too.

  35. Keith Wells said

    Fred, even with Jeff, “Morris, Illinois” and aeronautics engineer (a good general description of the information available about Jeff at the time of Climategate) for a Google search, you do not find Patrick Condon without a lot of digging. Even now, if you disregard listings for the blog posts where Jeff is specifically named, you do not find him listed in the first dozen or so pages Google provides. I doubt he was better known in January, 2010. The important thing that brings him up is his last name. So where did Leigh get that?

  36. Eli Rabett said

    Like Eli said, passive aggressive.

  37. Mark T said

    Leigh likely has a subscription to Lexis-Nexis at his diaposal, something nobody has apparently considered. Lots more info there than on the web.


  38. Fred Streeter said

    #37, Mark

    “something nobody has apparently considered” True, but I have no idea what is available via such directories. Companies House has always been sufficient in the UK.

    “Lots more info there than on the web.” But a lot less challenging.

  39. Mark T said

    Yup. LN contains a dbase of news with powerful cross-checking tools.

  40. […] author of the Air Vent blog, “Jeff Id” had until that time been anonymous. As the article explains, his registration […]

  41. Taken in isolation some of the possible explanations for how Leigh got hold of Jeff Id’s real identity and contact details.

    However, when Leigh’s activities and that of his team at the Guardian are looked at in the round, the likelihood that Jeff Id’s details were obtained legitimately shrinks very rapidly.

    The Guardian must not be let off the hook about this. There is a case to answer.

  42. […] conduct also looks into any links with how David Leigh managed to trace ‘Jeff Id’ from the Air Vent blog, as covered by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", […]

  43. Alexander Harvey said


    When Mr Leigh called you, were you able to discern whether he realised that your name, telephone number etc. were hard to obtain information.

    If he had tracked you down, he might know this, if he had tried and failed and resorted to asking an agency such as the UK police, he would know this.

    If he had simply been handed a sheaf of documents giving all the details of all related perties he would not necessary know which were the hard to get names and addresses.

    If this was a first contact, as opposed to his having tried gmailing you and found that unsatisfactory, why would he be knowingly informing you that he had information, e.g. name and telephone number, that might cause you some concern? That would seem antagonistic and counterproductive or to carry an implied threat.

    All I am suggesting is that he may have been blissfully unaware that your identity was an issue. That is something that might have been apparent during that call.


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