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« Shub and the IPCC renewables report | Main | The National Press Club debate »
Tuesday
Jul192011

What's the deal with Norfolk Police?

Norfolk Police have decided to disclose the £10k invoice that they sent UEA at the start of the year.

The covering letter for the FOI disclosure is here. The constabulary's explanation for the transaction is as follows:

Whilst conducting their investigation into the acquisition of data from the computers at the University of East Anglia, the Investigation Team engaged the services of a company with the ability to forensically examine the relevant server from the UEA. The Independent Review, chaired by Sir Muir Russell, subsequently requested access to certain data on this server and the Constabulary facilitated the request by acting as a conduit to confirm the requirement and the cost of meeting it. Norfolk Constabulary was subsequently invoiced for all work undertaken and UEA subsequently reimbursed the Constabulary for the work that had been completed at their request.

More information about the relevant work is publically available on the website of the Independent Climate Change Email Inquiry at http://www.cce-review.org/index.php

the following documents are relevant:

Appendix 6 of the Inquiry Report – Data Mining – Access to the Original CRU Email Archive Written Evidence – Initial Report and Commentary on Email Examination

The invoice, along with some interesting correspondence is here.

It appears that Qinetiq billed Norfolk Police £8910 plus VAT for extracting emails from the backup server on 27 May 2010.  This was charged to the cost centre for the police investigation, which we learn is called "Operation Cabin". Nearly six months later on 23 November, the officer in charge of the police inquiry, Julian Gregory, emailed Russell panel member Jim Norton:

We are catching up with invoices from Qinetic as they have been a little tardy in billing us and we have an invoice for £8910.00, which is for the extraction of data for Sir Muir Russell's review. Can you please advise who we should send this to?

The "tardiness" was obviously not real, and Gregory was presumably covering up the fact that the police had been sitting on the invoice for such a long time. This small untruth appears to be of little consequence to me.

The friendly response from Norton was that it should be directed to Brian Summers, the UEA registrar and he wishes Gregory and his team well. Later we see an email from Summers to Gregory advising that this will be paid. Summers and Gregory seem very friendly, with the UEA man addressing the policeman as "Greg". Somehow this makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Intriguingly, the invoice recharging the amount from Qinetic is dated a further four months later on 28 March 2011.  This is slightly before I asked UEA for financial information about the inquiries (a request I placed on 15 April). I wonder whether there was some discussion of the financials prior to that date, or perhaps other requests? I shall have to do some follow-up there.

Lastly, the narrative on the recharge invoice says

Extraction of emails per Sir Muir review as per email agreement

Strangely, the covering letter says that there is no contracting relating to the work. However, it also says that some further correspondence is being considered for disclosure, so I shall wait to see what is revealed.

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Reader Comments (34)

So what did the forensic analysis find ? Was there any evidence of a hack ? And if not why have the police not made a statement to that effect ? We have people like Sir David King making wild claims so some facts would be of use.

Jul 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

The forensic analysis was ridiculous, see the following: http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/09/the-botched-examination-of-the-back-up-server/

e.g. one of the learned comments was "The analysis package will have to export selected emails so that they can be printed out.”

The basic summary is - Russell et al could not examine the mail - for fear of finding something out - and the Norfolk police force have been helping in this pathetic inactivity.

The UEA and the Norfolk police are stuck with some server, thumbdrives (and backup tapes) that they do not want to examine and cannot destroy. But - at least - it gives these loyal public servants something to do prior to picking up their pensions and/or prison uniforms.

Jul 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

i think that the vat man should be aftger norfolk police for this. Charging 17.5% after the 3rd jan 2011....

Jul 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commenteral

"Update on Jul 19, 2011 by Bishop Hill

Aha! The transaction went through UEA's books in January by the looks of it - i.e. before the invoice was produced by Norfolk Constabulary."

"i think that the vat man should be aftger norfolk police for this. Charging 17.5% after the 3rd jan 2011....
Jul 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM | al"

Could it be that an invoice went though late Dec / very early Jan when in-the-real-world-post-xmas-festivities VAT was charged at 17.5% by a number of businesses. But later someone changed the Invoice date for some reason? Just asking.

Jul 19, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

It does no harm to mention again the role of the "trusted, independent, forensic analyst" who was obsessed with the difficulties posed (to him?) by the mailboxes being in Thunderbird format and whose scant knowledge of e-mail formats (no forensics involved) is rightly derided by many comments on ClimateAudit (see ZT above).

Jul 19, 2011 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJC

Presumably the Muir Russell request was to look for forensic evidence of deleted Emails?

No? Didn't really think so, only kidding.

Jul 19, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommentermikemUK

true, bish, there's a book in this saga and what is still to come re neil wallis/outside organisation.

O/T any chance of someone over your way checking out the truth of the following reason given as to why Beamish coincidentally posted the letter to Monckton online just in time for the National Press Club debate?

19 July: UK Daily Mail: Richard Kay: Lords are a-leaping on Viscount Monckton after he passes himself off as one of them
‘We had a Google alert which let us know about this interview in Australia and the Clerk to the Parliaments, David Beamish, wrote to him afterwards asking that he cease to claim to be a Member of the House of Lords,’ says a Lords spokeswoman…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016262/RICHARD-KAY-Lords-leaping-Viscount-Monckton-passes-them.html?ITO=1490

BBC. which apparently hadn't noticed Beamish addressing Monckton as "Lord":

A letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments
Dear Lord Monckton,
http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2011/july/letter-to-viscount-monckton/

put up this:

(copied from google results)
Viscount told “you are not a Lord”
BBC News – ‎10 hours ago‎
UKIP climate change spokesman and deputy leader Viscount Monckton…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14190400

the headline was properly corrected by BBC:

18 July: BBC: Viscount Monckton warned off Lords membership claim
Last updated at 17:08 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14190400

but not before (as BBC would have known would happen) many websites had picked up the original headline, e.g. (tho there are many more if u do a search):

Malaysia: BBC: Viscount told “you are not a Lord”
http://www.ukmalayalikal.com/index.php?news=232669

The Derry Standard: Viscount told “you are not a Lord”
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/uk-politics-14190400
http://www.londonderrystandard.com/2011/07/viscount-told-you-are-not-a-lord/

Jul 19, 2011 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Plod.

Jul 19, 2011 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

The reality to date no analysis seems to have been done on the 'missing e-mails' from those leaked , despite this actual being on of the things the review was supposed to do, combine this with a total lack of information as regards to leak of hack , What you can say its lots of money spent and very little sign of product.

Jul 19, 2011 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

vat treated at point of supply so no issue - shame....

Jul 20, 2011 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commenteral

Speedy could/should do a skit on this saga!

Jul 20, 2011 at 2:02 AM | Unregistered Commentergyptis444

Slightly off-topic, but I see that Joe Romm is pointing the finger at Rupert Murdoch as the new prime suspect for the 'hacking' of Climategate emails. His argument displays no knowledge of how policing in the UK works, or indeed any logic at all, but I suppose he couldn't see a bandwagon without attempting to jump on it.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/19/272361/news-corp-hacked-climategate-emails-time-for-an-independent-investigation/

Jul 20, 2011 at 3:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeterJ

20 July: Daily Mail: Kirsty Walker & Gerri Peev: Further embarrassment for David Cameron as it emerges hacking suspect Neil Wallis worked as Tory adviser
‘We can confirm that apart from Andy Coulson, neither David Cameron nor any senior member of the campaign team were aware of this until this week.’
The spokesman said that neither Mr Wallis nor his PR firm ‘has ever been contracted by the Conservative Party, nor has the Conservative Party made payments to either of them’...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016570/Camerons-spin-doctor-Andy-Coulson-advised-phone-hacking-suspect-Neil-Wallis.html

Peter - the Romm thing is also on Grist. how extraordinary is Romm's take on this! and still no MSM mentioning Wallis/UEA - that is the BIG CLUE Wallis was doing DAMAGE CONTROL for CRU:

Grist: Romm: Here's one more astrological coincidence of the highest order: In October 2009, Wallis became a senior consultant to Outside Organisation -- a PR firm and crisis management agency, which ... wait for it ... "was used by the [University of East Anglia] following the Climategate scandal."
What's funny is that if you go over to the denier sites, like Climate Audit, the hiring of Wallis's firm by the University of East Anglia (UEA)'s Climatic Research Unit is somehow further evidence of their corruption, that they were trying to carry out "covert" operations to clear their name. One article reports:..
In fact, most people think that UEA's crisis management was catastrophically bad for months -- "covert" is a good word for it, though I prefer "virtually nonexistent." I can't imagine wanting to put on your resume that you were the guy in charge of UEA's PR after Climategate..
Whether there is anything more than just extreme coincidence in Wallis leading on UEA's Climategate defense, I do know that when the deniers say it is cooling, you can be certain it is warming, and when they say there is no smoke, you can be sure it is a hellish, record-breaking wildfire.
In any case, it is time for an independent investigation into the Climategate email hacking...

Jul 20, 2011 at 4:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

PeterJ
Romm also doesn't seem to have much idea about the British press.

As far as I've noticed in the UK, though I can't say I read them, the Murdoch press don't seem to be much interested in climate scepticism at all.

The two papers and/or their websites which have most routinely published sceptical pieces are the non-Murdoch Telegraph and Mail although they also both publish masses of pro-CAGW cut-and-paste tripe. If it wasn't for Delingpole and Booker respectively even their sceptical output would be close to zero.

The idea that News International would have hacked CRU seems absurd especially as their other activities don't seem to have, so far, included any sophisticated computer hacking. Even their phone hacking was about as technically childish as it gets.

Did the Murdoch press even make a particularly big deal about the climategate emails once they were in the wild? Even The Guardian made more of them, surely.

The targets of their illegal activities haven't usually had even the fig leaf of genuine serious public interest, and they were mostly just aiming for trivial sensationalist gossip (and I'm including the activities of our useless politicians in that).

Jul 20, 2011 at 4:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Romm is merely making a pre-emptive move on this story.
all the murdochs, including rupert, have been pro-CAGW, with the exception of individuals like andrew bolt at a murdoch paper in australia, who mostly blogs, and couple of his colleagues who occasionally put a sceptical viewpoint in print. his TV in australia, also Sky, is totally in the alarmist camp.
Romm is being ridiculous, because only the sceptics have touched this story and tried to get the MSM to cover it, which they refuse to do. why have the alarmists ignored the story?

Romm may have made a mistake, tho, because alarmists who do understand about the Murdochs pro-CAGW position will see through his take on this. idiotically, in the US, the left thinks Fox News is on the sceptics' side, which shows they don't watch it. it oozes with Green Fox Extras every five minutes sometimes, and only glenn beck, who is no longer with them, ever put forward the sceptical viewpoint, and then very rarely and never in his last months with Fox. in fact, i felt his scepticism on CAGW might have been what got him "fired" tho it was called "transitioning".

Jul 20, 2011 at 5:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Off subject but Professor Steve Jones has dropped the ball!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016299/Climate-change-sceptics-BBC-coverage-challenged-vigorously-corporation-body-rule.html

Gotta love the headline!

Jul 20, 2011 at 5:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Apologies,

Is the suggestion here that the constabulary and UEA are retrospectively creating a paper trail for financial transactions that have already taken place?

Jul 20, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

GSW

I believe the police did retrospectively create the invoice recharging UEA, yes (unless UEA have supplied the wrong date for when the cost went through their books). In terms of the stuff we're interested in, I'm not sure this is significant in any way though.

Jul 20, 2011 at 8:23 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

What is REALLY significant (and surprising, surely?) is whether the voice mail of John Prescott and assorted other politicos and celebs was hacked by the seedy and sordid tabloids, aided and abetted by a few dodgy coppers.

The contrast with the brave, pure and altruistic scientists at CRU and their heroic battle to save the planet couldn't be more stark.

Neither could the contrast be starker between the treatment of Phil Jones and Acton in Phil Willis's Select Committee on Climategate and yesterday's Culture, Media & Sport grandstanding mega fest treatment of the equally execrable Murdochs.

But Prescott's voicemail is MUCH more important than the accuracy of "science" used to justify spending Trillions, surely?

\sarc.

Jul 20, 2011 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Errr what?,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't quite get over the apparent contradiction between:
"The Independent Review, chaired by Sir Muir Russell, ..."
&
"and UEA subsequently reimbursed the Constabulary for the work..."
so the Independent Review, into the nefarious goings on at UEA is having its tab paid ... by the UEA ... ?!!? That can't be correct, can it?

Jul 20, 2011 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commenternixmith

Everything that has emerged from the UEA, the IPCC, the Constabulary, the faux enquiries, the relevant ministerial and quasi-official pronouncements on the theme of 'nothing to see here, move on please', the teeth-grating odiousness of significant players such as Sir Paul Nurse and various former and the current Scientific Advisor to the UK government and the obscene growth of the illogical and wildly ineffective 'alternative clean energy' industries demonstrate how woefully compromised and fundamentally dishonest the Establishment in the UK has become, and how much the UK's sovereignty is in thrall to the EU and the UN.
A few incredibly able and determined players in this drama, which I believe to be a battle for the eventual survival of the concepts of freedom and the scientific method are the current source of hope.
If only Gilbert and Sullivan were still in their prime, we could at least get some entertainment on stage and screen from all of this mess. Josh and Fenbeagle are doing a wonderful job, but the scale of the malfeasance is, in my opinion, so large that the wide screen options are needed.

Jul 20, 2011 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

PR skills are as much about keeping stories out of the papers as getting stories into them. So might Outside Organisation's great achievement be keeping the results of any Norfolk Police investigation under wraps? After all, is it really that hard to figure out who's hacked whom? The FBI seemed to spot one bloke in Barry, another in Essex, easily enough. And even the MoD figured out that the Chinese, who no doubt used all techniques available to cover their traces, were hacking them. Or would the really bad news story be that no hacking happened, it was an inside job. Now if Outside Organisation are in bed with Met Commissioner, might they not also be able to 'communicate' with Norfolk Police - "don't say you found no evidence of hacking, just say you're investigation continues, which is true, isn't it?" - or might their friends in the Met had a quiet word with the Norfolk Police? A nasty and inconvenient story kept out the press, trebles all round. All supposition I know, but what raises suspicions is that after, what, 21 months, the Police are unable to report anything about what is usually a straightforward, easily traceable offence - hacking. Why?

Jul 20, 2011 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Why can't they understand the difference between Hacking and Leaked, Norfolk Plod, oh dear...... they couldn't find their noses, thank heavens for mirrors.

Jul 20, 2011 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

@Bishop

Agreed, probably not significant. Norfolk Police probably don't consider it their job to chase invoices on behalf of UEA, which in fairness it isn't.

Jul 20, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Assuming this is only a fraction of what the polis have spent they have clearly put substantial amounts of public money into finding this "theft" yet it appears they have found nothing. Or at least nothing that it would be politically advisable to make public.

So it was an internal release and I doubt if more than half a dozen people could have done it, none of whom it would be politic to name.

Jul 20, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Very amusing related thread over at Harry's Place. All the usual ill-informed 'Hack' and 'UEA cleared of any wrong-doing' myths being touted as if they are gospel.

Someone called 'securityresearcher' (an IT expert) trying to introduce a note of reality into proceedings.

I'm always amazed at how badly informed otherwise intelligent people are.

Jul 20, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Perhaps the Norfolk fuzz are waiting until Phil Jones is again at a "conference" in Tahiti, so they can fly out and interview him there?

Jul 20, 2011 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Earlier today I met with Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, the title that appears on his passport. He explained that while some 1999 legislation reduced the ability of certain hereditary Peers to sit in the House of Lords, it did not take away the privilege of being named as a Lord. He has asked the Parliamentary clerk for confirmation of this conclusion, but awaits it - as he has for some time. You will notice the distinction between the statement of Justice Lewison noted above (re: sitting in the House) and the finer point of CM that the peerage remains intact, as does the salutation.

Jul 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

The continuing Norfolk Police enquiry meant that CRU emails, other than those that were leaked, provided the reason (excuse?) for them not be investigated by the Muir Russell enquiry. There remains a large cache of emails which no-one outside the the CRU/UEA has seen. These should have been examined by any serious investigation into the truth about what went on between the CRU and its international contacts. I believe that the released e-mails related principally to FOI requests? Shades of the current Hackgate scandal?

We should recall that Mr McIntyre says he was contacted by "anti-terrorism police". This arm of the law is the responsibility of the Metropilitan Police. Was it a real contact? Or a blagging contact? We do not know. Shades of the current Hackgate scandal?

It is evident, from looking at the statements by the V-C UEA, by the Muir Russell enquiry, by the Oxburgh panel and the subsequent Cmd 7934, that there was a significant mismatch between the original expectation by the HoC Committee for Science and Technology that the science would be investigated, the actuality that it was not (per Oxburgh) and the bland assurances of Cmd 7934 para 6 that "the information in the illegally-disclosed e-mails does not provide any evidence to discredit the scientific evidence of of anthropogenic climate change" plus other assertions. Shades of the current Hackgate scandal?

Of course we know that the both Muir Russell and Oxburgh avoided an examination of the science, did not take evidence from witnesses in public and failed to pursue many submissions of evidence. In short it was a classic establishment stitch up. Shades of the current Hackgate scandal?

As far as I am aware, no one has undertaken a serious re-eaxamination of the various reports in the affair and of the invalidity of the conclusions reached in Cmd 7934, the official government response. They would repay close study.

It sounds like a good opportunity for a back bench MP, willing to sacrifice his career in opposition to the recived Parliamentary wisdom, to draw attention to the obvious discrepancies and to demand that the HoC Science and Technology Committee reopen its enquiry so that the job can be done properly the next time around. Shades of the current Hackgate scandal?

Jul 20, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

A long, thorough, pains-taking investigation - that takes so long that everyone forgets about it.

That's the ticket.

Jul 20, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

Pat whilst I'd agree with you that Joe Romm's hackgate take was simply wrong , Fox cannot lay claim to being fair and balanced on AGW. We have seen the memo from Fox CEO Roger Ailes
http://theweek.com/article/index/210396/is-fox-news-pushing-climate-change-skepticism

Jul 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

RE: Hengist McStone and assertions about Ailes/Fox.

All may be true IF indeed these/this e-mail is true ... since the source is dubious (we have no trail. no 'chain of evidence' for its handling) why do you place so much faith in this correspondence (which for all we know can range anywhere from simple embellishment of really innocent actual corresondence to purely fabricated material)?

Unless it resonates with your own personal train of thought ... please, can you show a little more balance?

.

Jul 21, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commenter_Jim

bill: "Now if Outside Organisation are in bed with Met Commissioner, might they not also be able to 'communicate' with Norfolk Police - 'don't say you found no evidence of hacking, just say you're investigation continues, which is true, isn't it?' - or might their friends in the Met had a quiet word with the Norfolk Police?"

Indeed. And I don't suppose university staff have much experience in offering bungs to plod. So why not hire a PR outfit whose staff are reputed to have lots of expertise in this specialism?

Jul 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

"Andy" Hayman once held the rank of Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary

funny old world

Jul 21, 2011 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

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