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« Not-so-white | Main | Scientific independence »
Friday
Aug192011

+++Has the Climategate hacker just spoken?+++

Afficionados of the Climategate story know that the person behind the disclosures signed themselves "RC", a reference presumably to RealClimate. They linked to a file called FOIA.zip on the RealClimate server.

Steve M has been speculating that RC was a UEA insider, who held back some important parts of the email archive as a bargaining chip:

Let’s suppose that U of East Anglia discovered who had the emails and also knew that the person had a big hold back that he’d secreted away somewhere. If you were Acton or Trevor Davies, would you be prepared to enter into a confidential agreement to drop all charges if the leaker turned over his copies of the holdback? It would be very tempting.

If you were the leaker, would you be prepared to turn over all copies of the holdback in exchange for East Anglia dropping all charges and maintaining confidentiality? It would be very tempting.

Thinking in such terms, there isn’t a whole lot of incentive for the University to find the leaker or for the leaker to drop another bomb. Sort of a Cold War standoff. I wonder…

Last night, someone signing themselves RC and again using their website link as http://www.realclimate.org/FOIA.zip left the following comment.

There was no deal made.

Was this the real RC? Has the mystery man just spoken? Let's see...

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Reader Comments (102)

Now starting to work through the UEA enquiry documents that provide a reasonably clear view of the IT infrastructure and nature of the files that were accessed. One of the meeting documents does however relate to the placing of files at Realclimate

http://www.cce-review.org/pdf/MR%2018%20Dec%20final%20IT%20Personnel.pdf

This twice makes reference (from Steve Mosley) to the upload at RC being on 16 Nov rather than 17 Nov and if correct would blow holes in the story provided by Gavin Schmidt. However it does look as if this is 3rd hand information so its reliability is questionable. Mike Salmon did not attend and he would have been closer to the communication chain.

Jan 9, 2012 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

Too good an opportunity not to use this.

link://joannenova.com.au/2012/06/on-those-recent-site-troubles/

"but we won’t know for sure until we’ve gone through the logs which are monstrous."

Once you get past all the digressions and other junk that clutters the "ever changing story" post then it would appear the most significant concern is that Gavin Schmidt did not mention the 4 downloads until the 23rd November.

My view has always been that if someone is multitasking on several fronts then it will be difficult to assimilate all the information even if some of those tasks are delegated.

It would not have been readily apparent on the 17th November that any downloads had taken place. It would probably have been spotted later by someone from the hosting company but early on they would probably have been focusing on how the site was breached and not on who grabbed the file. As demonstrated by the current crisis at Jo Novas site working through logs is not straight forward.

In my view the delay until the 23rd November is quite likely attributable to someone not spotting the downloads in the logs until later.

The significance of the downloads attracted some discussion around the blogs when they were mentioned. Were they done by RC/FOIA? Were they the result of someone right clicking on them without downloading? Were they the result of a robot crawler? Without having access to the logs then we dont know.

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

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