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« Parsing the police | Main | Something's up »

++++Statement from Norfolk Police++++

This morning I contacted Norfolk Constabulary with a view to finding out if they had yet ascertained whether the breach at the Climatic Research Unit was a leak or a hack. I have just received a response which is frankly amazing:

Norfolk Constabulary continues its investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia.  During the enquiry officers have been working in liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team. The UEA continues to co-operate with the enquiry however major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

The National Domestic Extremism Team? Words fail me.


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Reader Comments (80)

Fascism can be a very cosy place...

-For the chosen Volk.

from one who's not:
Bishop, I'm pleased to have you ammong us.


Jan 8, 2010 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Bugger all happens in Norfolk so expect they're getting all excited about the prospect of playing the Sweeney.

Send them an FOI about Wildlife Crime...

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPlatoSays

They've contacted me as well.

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Id

Well you can't be a domestic extremist, Jeff. Perhaps we're an international conspiracy?

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Is this what the police did with the MPs expenses leak?

What about the corrupt data at CRU involving thousands of pounds of research money? What about the conflict of interest at IPCC?

Nothing to do with us, missus. Move along there.

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermontysmum

Well, I suppose they will be knocking on my door.

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Mosher

National Domestic Extremism Team on Google It looks as if they have gone OTT, as Plato has blogged. Or, perhaps, the want to use expertise of other forces.

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnM

I notice from the NDET website that one of their definitions of a 'domestic extremist' is....

"Domestic extremist campaigns rarely cause a danger to life, but in some cases the aim is to create a climate of fear."

So the right people are on the case, they are just looking in completely the wrong direction.

Jan 8, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

'National Domestic Extremism Team'. So I guess prominent 'deniers' such a the Bishop who publish material that NuLabour ideologues would consider seditious are considered as big a threat as Anjem Choudary (who at least serves the purpose of 'rubbing the right's nose in multiculturalism').

Maybe the showtrials for denialist crimes against humanity that Monbiot fantasises about are not so remote as one would suppose?. Perhaps one of the marxists (a Miliband?) is roughing out a format?.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

"The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals."

To my mind the statement suggests that the police probably aren't entirely sure which way to go. They may even be looking at two distinct strands - the initial leak/hack which could be (although I don't think so) the work of people extremely opposed to the work of CRU (ok that might be lots of us).

The mention of the ICO suggests that they are also looking seriously at the misuse of public data and serial avoidance of legitimate FOI requests.

The fact that a small constabulary seeks advice from specialists shouldn't IMO be seen as anything sinister.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDan

The Norfolk Police haven't asked me anything. I feel left out.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterlucia

National Domestic Extremism Team may have confused "UEA" with "UCL".

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterKit

I'll just tell them to buy the book for some more clues.

It wasnt Phil jones who dunnit. He left the office friday the 13th shortly after noon. At least, that's what my source says.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Mosher

Sorry Dan and others, all this means is that they are investigating the copying of data and the potential hacking of the computer(s).

Put simply, they have no interest in the content of the data or what it might suggest, only if a criminal act was involved in its unauthorised acquisition. The presence of the National Domestic Extremism Team indicates they are looking at the possibility of a campaigning or activist group being involved. This is the unit which monitors Animal Rights, anti nuclear power and other such groups.

I suppose to the establishment AGW 'deniers' are thought to be the same ilk as those people that sabotage hunts, try to shut down power stations, stop road developments, or assault vivisectionists and their families.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterpietro

Pietro - from their website ICO covers:

Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act gives you the right to know what information is held about you, and sets out rules to make sure that this information is handled properly.

Privacy and electronic communications
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations set out rules for people who wish to send you electronic direct marketing, for example, email and text messages.

Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to obtain information held by public authorities unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential.

Environmental Information Regulations
The Environmental Information Regulations give you the right to obtain information about the environment held by public authorities, unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential.

They have no apparent responsibility for hacking/leaking of data. The only area of expertise that ICO has that is relevant to the case is the FOI piece.

A quick bit of Googling suggests that if hacking was being investigated then either the e-Crime section of SOCA or the Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) which is a part of the Metropolitan Police. If either of these organisations were to be involved one would expect it to be included in the press release from Norfolk Constabulary.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDan

Well, at least if it ends up in court it gets more public. I wonder if this might attract more media interest.

Jan 8, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean Houlihane

There is not a hope, not even a remote hope, of any email dump content being exposed to cross-examination in open court

It is even likely that any leaking/hacking charges, completely unrelated to content, will be settled out of court to avoid such cross-examination

Jan 8, 2010 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

I can can already see the investigation outcome... Newsflash:
"The UEA was hacked for political purposes by Russian extremists, concludes the National Domestic Extremism Team under the auspices of the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU). The division "supports industry, academia and other organisations that have been targeted or could be targeted by extremists". The Unit has now given the UEA "security advice, risk assessments and information that can help minimise future disruption and keep their employees safe".
Job done. Risk averted. Criminals blamed. Business as usual. Nothing more to see. Back to the AGW bandwagon, with extra experience of how to deal with dissent using official channels, and to capitalise on the outcome in a blaze of warmist publicity on the eve of the Mexico festival of eco-apocalypticism...
... sorry, got carried away ;0

Jan 8, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

The National Domestic Extremism Team? - ACPO deal chap, ACPO. You just need 'Odre' in these things!


Jan 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterWitteringsfromWitney

National Domestic Extremism Team

AKA "The Thought Police"?

Jan 8, 2010 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

As a life-long socialist (please, please do not confuse that with "left wing") one has to smile, much as I admire our good Episcopalian's work on Climategate.

He hasn't been beaten up by the City of London's finest after selling newspapers or shot in the head on the tube. He hasn't been arrested (as has happened regularly in recent months) under PTA for photographing a public building. Relax. The ravens are still safely in the Tower.

He's been fobbed off by a bureaucrat. That's all. The rozzers' reply can just as easily be read as:

"Actually, we are fed to the back teeth with those poncy boffins from UEA banging on about theft when it was blindingly obvious it was an inside job. We think they deserve all they get 'cos, dammit, it's so ****ing parky in the canteen that no-one'll ever convince us that the climate's getting hotter and we think they were caught lying something rotten. But, what with the Super down our necks every five and whinging fit to bust about calls from Whitehall, we have to look like we're doing something even though we've been told to string it out until after the election.

"So, if you feel you must ask (though we think it's none of your business), we'll get Gorgeous Gertie in the press office to fob you off with whatever comes into her pretty little head. OK? Now eff off, son, my tea's getting cold."

In short, routine inquiry, pretty routine response.

Jan 8, 2010 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave B


NETCU stands for the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit. It is a national policing unit set up by ACPO to respond to the threat of domestic extremism in England and Wales.


ACPO's work is on behalf of the Service, rather than its own members.

The Association has the status of a private company limited by guarantee. As such, it conforms to the requirements of company law and its affairs are governed by a Board of Directors.

So we have a private company, who works on behalf of "the service" setting up a national policy unit?

Does this mean we have lobbyists consulting Norfolk Constabulary about an ongoing investigation?

All funded by public funds...., it's as if they set up private companies "jobs for the boys" just to avoid FOI legislation. Oh. This sounds all very constitutional eh

Talk about the need for massive government spending review!

Jan 8, 2010 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete

Job advert for "National Operations Co-ordinator Head of National Domestic Extremism Team"

"Business Area: Terrorism and Allied Matters"


Still, makes you wonder why they've got the National Domestic Extremism Team looking into Russian hackers...

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJF

This entire piece is an amusing bit of paranoia, taking the name of an agency completely out of context and using it to whip fellow nuts into a frenzy...

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Fat Earl

To answer the question "What is a domestic extremist?" I give you this short footage taken from BBC2's Daily Politics show.

Yes. He really did say pacifists.

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commentermanwiddicombe

Does anyone think Big Fat Earl actually believes the name of the "National Domestic Extremism Team" (Business Area: Terrorism and Allied Matters) is being taken out of context here?

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJF

"So we have a private company, who works on behalf of "the service" setting up a national policy unit?"

They are brothers in arms with the UEA. Both rely on government handouts, both exaggerate extremism and their own necessity to keep the money coming in and increasing.

Back scrathing!

Jan 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterCO2

UEA call in the police to investigate the leak/hack.
The police start investigating the leak/hack.
The police then find that attempts may have been made to avoid FOI.
(OK so far?)
What happens next?

Jan 8, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

I contacted them at the end of November and got this this reply:

Dear Terry S...........

This communication follows your enquiry with Norfolk Police on 23/11/2009 and your request for information regarding a "hacking" incident at the University of East Anglia, Climatic Research Unit. I would like to speak to you in connection with this enquiry but I note your contact has been via email only. Please can you provide me with a valid telephone number that I can reach you on so that we can speak further? Alternatively, you are welcome to call me. I am best contactable via my mobile phone, as below.

Thank you, regards.

Chris S.........

Protective Services

Norfolk Constabulary

OCC, Falconers Chase, Wymondham, Norfolk.


P Save trees... is it necessary to print this email?

When I rang the mobile number Chris asked for my name, address, date of birth, occupation, employer, where and when I'd first heard of the incident, reason for the enquiry, what I was intending to do with any information I got etc.

I was, apparently, a "loose end" in their enquiry because the email address I provided when requesting information was uea@xxxxxx.xx.xx and they thought I might be attempting to pretend to be associated with the UEA because of this.

The good news (or bad news depending on how you consider it) is that Chris hadn't heard of WUWT so Anthony isn't a suspect.

Jan 8, 2010 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Why the perp(s), whether hacker or whistle blower, haven't stepped forward for accolades.

A number of very powerful/rich people are really P.O.ed that their little game was blown!!!

Jan 8, 2010 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterkuhnkat

Dave B.As a life-long socialist (please, please do not confuse that with "left wing") one has to smile, much as I admire our good Episcopalian's work on Climategate.

He hasn't been beaten up by the City of London's finest after selling newspapers or shot in the head on the tube. He hasn't been arrested (as has happened regularly in recent months) under PTA for photographing a public building. Relax...

Agreed he hasn't been shot in the head on the tube, and I suppose we can thank the lord for small mercies. But that is probably because they actually consider the Bish a terrorist. The police are in the habit of shooting innocent travelers while giving terrorists a free ride.

I fear though for our good Bishop and the other denier terrorists in the UK, who have been so seditiously plotting to blow up the AGW edifice. They may not have Guantanamo Bay there but the British prisons I hear are not a pleasant place to spend ones days.

Jan 9, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

An "extremist" is anyone who doesn't agree with the orthodoxy of the times. So Quakers (pacifists) would certainly have been regarded as extremists at one time. So were Suffragettes. So were anti-Cruise-Missile Protesters in the 1980s (I was one), or CND protesters in the 1960s (I was a little young for that).

I don't agree with animal rights protesters, but I agree with their right to protest, so long as it is done reasonably peacefully.

Protest and survive. Dissent and decide.

Ironically the arch-dissenters were once Greenpeace, who have somehow found themselves in the mainstream...rather an uncomfortable position, I would have thought.

Jan 9, 2010 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

@TerryS: Did you give "Chris" all those details he asked for?

Jan 9, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

Re: MikeE

Yep, I provided all the details he asked for.

Jan 9, 2010 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Smacks of Lysenkoism on the march.

Jan 9, 2010 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael F

First, this is a good blog, keep up the good work. As a frequent user of Amazon though I cannot find any reviews. All they show me is the book is not yet released and some warnings about weather in England that may delay it's arrival. Which is humorous and yet timely considering the issue. In any event, when it is available I will be ordering it. It is even cold down here, in usually warmer South Carolina.

Jan 9, 2010 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterRalph Short

@TerryS: Well, name, address and phone number reasonable enough to allow normal contact, but I would have thought the rest superfluous (and instrusive). Almost as though _you_ were the suspect .... I suppose you were, in a way, because of that "UEA" in the email address. However, anyone with the slightest knowledge of email conventions would know that what comes before the "@" has no reason to have any organisational significance.

I suppose it's a policeman's job to be suspicious, but this seems over the top.

Jan 9, 2010 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeE

A clear need here for certain individuals to be reminded that "1984" was not an instruction manual.

Jan 9, 2010 at 1:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterb_C

I've posted the equivalent info on the Watts site, but for your reference:

The reason the NDET team was brought in was so that the local Police could get access to powers under the RIPA act - section 49.

These powers include the ability to demand passwords under threat of 2-5 years imprisonment. There is no right to refuse based on self-incrimination. The onus of proof is on the defendant if they claim to have forgotten the password.

These powers will be used to investigate whistle-blowers on the site, as well - possibly - domestically located hackers. has a bit more info

Jan 9, 2010 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry

I would be curious to know what law was broken. It seems to me that ownership would have to be involved before anything can be stolen. And since the CRU data was already public property, how is it possible to steal it?

Jan 9, 2010 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterTilo Reber

"These powers include the ability to demand passwords under threat of 2-5 years imprisonment. There is no right to refuse based on self-incrimination. The onus of proof is on the defendant if they claim to have forgotten the password."


So I was thinking about the British citizens having to shell out big bucks to stay warm this winter. At the same time their government will ask them to shell out even more bucks to make it even colder. Is there anything that they will not tolerate?

Jan 9, 2010 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterTilo Reber

..So I was thinking about the British citizens having to shell out big bucks to stay warm this winter. At the same time their government will ask them to shell out even more bucks to make it even colder. Is there anything that they will not tolerate?

Perhaps a banning of Corro St? Fish n Chips? or am I out of date? Chinese take-aways? Indian curry? That might bring them out with their spades and pitchforks.

My.. how have the mighty fallen. Are these the same guys who forced the signing of the Magna Carta, who beat off the Spanish Armada, beat Napoleon, fought the Battle of Britain, who ruled an Empire over which the sun never set? Perhaps not.

Jan 9, 2010 at 5:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

"The majority of the comments here display a basic misunderstanding of how policing in England works. Simply by referring this matter to the NETCU gives the Norfolk Constabulary access to much more intelligence and investigative powers than they would normally have . . . . . The strongly Conservative Police Authority will have a big say in this. The Acting Chief Constable’s personal attitudes towards AGW are not known, neither are those of his Police Authority Members nor his MPs. However, it could be reasonably construed that there is a substantial degree of reluctance to their absolute acceptance of the AGW premise . . . . . .The Norfolk Constabulary will, I think, investigate the whistleblower with all due diligence. At the same time, however, I think that all other offences uncovered are also going to be fully investigated and that includes any attempt to avoid any FOI requests. Investigations into the maladministration of Government-provided funds, fraudulent presentation of data etc will, I am sure, follow."
And he adds: "It will take a great deal of time and effort which the Constabulary can ill-afford"
@ Stephen Brown (14:49:05 Jan.8)

IF we accept Stephen Brown's view (should we?),

how can we HELP the Norfolk Constabulary, monetary or otherwise? I'm not much up on constabulary budgets. Anyone know?

IF we take Stephen at his word, it sure wouldn’t hurt.

Jan 9, 2010 at 5:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterClif C

"how can we HELP the Norfolk Constabulary, monetary or otherwise? I'm not much up on constabulary budgets. Anyone know?"

Monetary? Are they susceptible to bribes? Maybe slip em a quid or two? Treat em to a pint at the local pub? Be up front about it though. Ask the local Bobby, Ere mate, how much will yer taike to nick Phil Jones?

Jan 9, 2010 at 6:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

In addition to the snow it seems this is what the British have to deal with this winter -

Jan 9, 2010 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Not quite what I had in mind - though they'd probably appreciate your equivalent of coffee and doughnuts for the "task force."
No, I was thinking more substantial......... But only if their investigation is comprehensive and legit. And if there's a way to do it.
These are the sincere questions I have: Is the investigation for real and if so, how could we keep them on the job ("task forces" starve to death from lack of funds)?

Jan 9, 2010 at 6:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterClif C

I'm not a lawyer, but from reading about these same FOI and other "Team" issues in the past and then continuing after the leak, I’d say the National Domestic Extremist Team had to be brought in because the UEA CRU made the claim, also alleging previously that ~”National Security” was involved along with "confidential agreements" as excuses for not adhering to FOI requests. The final excuse, ~”losing the data/stations” doesn’t play well against the first two excuses for the CRU, imo. The CRU itself was never able to back up the first two. It seemed instead to be in deathly fear of FOI.

Given the CRU’s allegation of crimes, I’d think the contents of the whole of CRU’s + ? computer bank would have to be looked at, to verify what was leaked and to compare it to what else was in there, for good or ill, that would give more evidence as to what might be the crimes of anyone and everyone given prima facia evidence of FOI obstruction from the leaked files, and what in fact was not leaked. If non FOI info was not leaked +/- truely National Security related files, then that possibly puts a good slant on what was leaked as far as its criminality goes: theft, National Security, single issue terrorism.

So I’d think the CRU would be the most worried compared to the leaker, as someone else intimated weeks ago, because of the CRU’s having alleged a crime to begin with. That commenter thought the CRU made a mistake in alleging a crime against itself. But on the other hand, what else could they do? A cover up was not going to work because the emails and files were already out there, and the CRU would have been the only target of any investigation relating to FOI obstruction, fraud, manipulation of Science, etc...

Therefore, the CRU might be only trying to play what could be its last tactical card before otherwise being the defendent after trying to blame and vilify the leaker. Again, I don’t see how any of the CRU’s excuses and allegations wash well for them, because they couldn’t back them up at all to begin with.

Imo, after a while the various investigators are going to have to ask, "What do these leaked or hacked files have in any way to do with National Security or single issue terrorism?" Unless the real treat is to the Government because of its incompetence and perpetration of fraud.

Jan 9, 2010 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJ.Peden

"task forces" starve to death from lack of funds - They might freeze to death this time

Jan 9, 2010 at 7:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Could "Hiding the decline", "redefining the peer-review process" etc not be a form of Domestic Extremism worthy of constabulary concern?

Jan 9, 2010 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterPunksta

I am well aquainted with the suffolk constab or at least was before I emigrated. Do not read into this more than there is and I mean that precisely.

My experience was of a police force corrupted by influence and in it for what benefits the force. Even my MP was unwilling to support his constiuent and always sided with the police.

No this is what it says and don't think for one minute that this will go beyond the leaking of the data. It won't.

Jan 9, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

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