Met Office/CRU Finds the Mole

More news on the Met Office/CRU molehunt.

Late yesterday (Eastern time), I learned that the Met Office/CRU had identified the mole. They are now aware that there has in fact been a breach of security. They have confirmed that I am in fact in possession of CRU temperature data, data so sensitive that, according to the UK Met Office, my being in possession of this data would, “damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”, interfere with the “effective conduct of international relations”, “hamper the ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations” and “seriously affect the relationship between the United Kingdom and other Countries and Institutions.”

Although they have confirmed the breach of security, neither the Met Office nor CRU have issued a statement warning the public of the newCRU_tar leak. Nor, it seems, have they notified the various parties to the alleged confidentiality agreements that there has been a breach in those confidentiality agreements, so that the opposite parties can take appropriate counter-measures to cope with the breach of security by UK institutions. Thus far, the only actions by either the Met Office or CRU appear to have been a concerted and prompt effort to cover up the breach of security by attempting to eradicate all traces of the mole’s activities. My guess is that they will not make the slightest effort to discipline the mole.

Nor have either the Met Office or CRU have contacted me asking me not to further disseminate the sensitive data or to destroy the data that I have in my possession.

By not doing so, they are surely opening themselves up to further charges of negligence for the following reasons. Their stated position is that, as a “non-academic”, my possession of the data would be wrongful (a position with which I do not agree, by the way). Now that they are aware that I am in possession of the data (and they are aware, don’t kid yourselves), any prudent lawyer would advise them to immediately to notify me that I am not entitled to be in possession of the data and to ask/instruct me to destroy the data that I have in my possession and not to further disseminate the sensitive data. You send out that sort of letter even if you think that the letter is going to fall on deaf ears.

Since I am always eager to help climate scientists with these conundrums, I’ll help them out a little here. If, prior to midnight Eastern time on Thursday July 30, 2009, a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia notifies me that I am in wrongful possession of the data and directly requests me to destroy my copies of the CRU station data in question and thereby do my part in the avoidance of newCRU_tar proliferation, I will do so.

I will, of course, continue my FOI requests since I do not believe, for a minute, that their excuses have any validity nor am I convinced that the alleged confidentiality agreements actually exist nor, if they exist, am I convinced that they prohibit the provision of the data to me.


198 Comments

  1. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve

    I would presume that, when they make this request, that you will ask for copies of the documents that allow them to make this request; i.e. the confidentiality agreements or other pertinent documents?

    I would expect, that since your site is built upon the auditing function, that this type of auditing would also be employed.

  2. jae
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    LOL.

  3. theduke
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m beginning to detect a . . . never mind.

    But, in the ongoing spirit of international mystery and intrique, I will tell you the word I was thinking of starts with a “p.”

    • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: theduke (#3),

      This possibility briefly surfaced on the previous Mole thread. Somewhere I think Steve McIntyre mentioned that Anthony Watts had verified the existence of the Mole by validating an IP address and had managed to track down a photograph of the ‘person’.

      The latter aspect went a little too far, IMO.

      Steve: I categorically made no such statement. To my knowledge, Anthony does not have a photograph of the mole.

      Steve: Let me amend the second sentence slightly: To my knowledge, Antony does not have a photograph of the mole in ‘person’”.

      • thefordprefect
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Dan Hughes (#8),

        This possibility briefly surfaced on the previous Mole thread. Somewhere I think Steve McIntyre mentioned that Anthony Watts had verified the existence of the Mole by validating an IP address and had managed to track down a photograph of the ‘person’.

        The latter aspect went a little too far, IMO.

        Steve: I categorically made no such statement. To my knowledge, Anthony does not have a photograph of the mole

        .

        From wuwt

        But most importantly this will not deter Steve in his FOI requests, he writes:
        And by the way, just because I’ve got a version of the data doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up trying to get the data through FOI. Quite the opposite.
        Indeed. Better to get it through the front door.
        I mentioned to Steve this morning via email that in addition to verifying the source, I was able to come up with a photo of the “anonymous” mole in CRU. I’ve sent him a copy.
        Stay tuned

        hhhhmmmmm!

        Steve: Puh-leeze. I said that I made no such statement. I didn’t. Please do not quote statements by someone else at another blog as something that I said. I also said that to my knowledge Anthony does not have a photograph of the mole, responding to the statement that Anthony had “managed to track down a photograph of the ‘person’.” My language here should have been more precise: I should have said that, to my knowledge, it was untrue that Anthony had “managed to track down a photograph of the mole in ‘person’.” I’ve added an update to the comment in question. You’ll see how the various statements tie together as matters unfold. Be patient.

        • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#15),

          hhmmmm indeed.

          I was working from memory and should have verified my memory before posting. It was Watts. Excuse me, Steve.

          Why did Watts use “anonymous”?

        • steven mosher
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#15),

          Ford you seriously need to learn to read text as closely as you read Code. “to his knowledge”
          I suspect that Anthony and I have the same photo of the mole and the IP address only
          resolves so far. and people have been known to hijack other people’s email accounts.
          Or log onto peoples computer and send a mail which then looks like it came from the
          person owning that computer.
          So, you have a name, an IP address that indicates a certain institution, a photo of the
          name in the email. you still don’t KNOW it’s the mole. you don’t know it’s the mole
          until the MET does it’s investigation.

  4. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t even think about getting rid of the data on their request alone. Make them produce a legal document which shows confidentiality first,they can usually present a large enough portion of a legal document to validate their claims. I get that you probably believe the alleged confidentiality is suspect.

    Perhaps the better option would be for them to identify which series are ‘confidential’ so those could be destroyed. That way we would know who to request the ‘confidential’ data from.

  5. Mark T
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m guessing the Met realizes that such a request would itself be published, and would probably damage their credibility even further.

    Mark

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mark T (#5),

      Yes, of course, I will publish their request.

      Re: Jeff Id (#4),

      Jeff, I’m going to give them a chance. If they think that I’m in wrongful possession of the data, then they can’t just “lie in the weeds” (this is actually a common legal phrase); they have to say so promptly upon the matter coming to their attention. I’m giving them some incentive to come out of the weeds.

      • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#9),

        For reasonable notification to take effect, there has to be notice provided or proof that it has come to their attention. — at least in the US.

      • steven mosher
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#9),

        I think a fair response to their request to destroy the data would be to agree to destroy the data on completion
        of all the related FOI processes, including all appeals. Let’s see, with 288 countries thats about 50 FOI requests
        for the confidentiality agreements, assuming they deny the FOI, then you have 50 appeals. Gosh, this story has legs.
        I imagine when it’s covered in the press that Dr. Jones quote that we all know so well will be spread all over the place.
        And if Dr. Jones can’t be trusted to keep files on something as simple as a contract, can we really trust him with the data for the global temperature index? Can we trust CRU with such vital information? Contrast this situation with the situation we have at GISS. There the data is open. the source is open. There isn’t a question about trust. there, attention turns to the accuracy of the data and the competence of the methods. At some point people in climate science will “get” the value of being open with their data and their methods.

    • Peter
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mark T (#5), How can you go below zero on the credibility scale?

      • Bob McDonald
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Peter (#40),

        It’s like the game show “Jeopardy”. You get yourself in hole and have to work your way out of it, or else you don’t make it to the final round. You get dismissed during the commercial break…

  6. EddieO
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Destroying the data would just give them the excuse they need to continue to deny the public the right to access the data. It would be counter productive to the “auditing” cause. Far better to ask them to produce evidence of their “confidentiality agreements” to demonstrate that the data is truly sensitive or restricted.

    In the recent expenses scandal in the UK parliament the stonewalling went on for years until a mole took action.

  7. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    What happens to the poor mole? Is this person going to lose their job over this?

  8. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well lets see if the fordpefect writes a letter to the MET demanding that they move to protect this data. In fact,
    maybe a bunch of the UK citizens here should write letters demanding that the MET investigate. Heck write your whatdacallums in Parliment and demand a full investigation. I like it when people put there money where there mouth is. If you spent time posting about how this data was confidential, then spend the time to write the MET.

  9. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I, however, DO have a photograph of the mole.

    • bernie
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Sonicfrog (#12), I\
      I could be mistaken, by your mole picture reminded me immediately of Gordon Brown!

  10. Bob Montle
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I read Climate Audit and W.U.W.T. daily and you gentlemen help to reduce my frustrations and despair caused by the AGW alarmists. I am thrilled that you have the HADCRU data and am eagerly looking forward to reading your analysis.

    Or at least I think I am…..

    I cannot see you now, but can imagine your photo with tongue stuck firmly in cheek.

    Are you and Anthony playing some sort of game???
    Anthony wrote:
    “I mentioned to Steve this morning via email that in addition to verifying the source, I was able to come up with a photo of the “anonymous” mole in CRU. I’ve sent him a copy.”

    You just wrote:
    Steve: I categorically made no such statement. To my knowledge, Anthony does not have a photograph of the mole.

    Hmmmm

  11. theduke
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Poor mole. I’m sure he’s already been waterboarded, or, worse, rendered to Crutaristan.

  12. Bob McDonald
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As an observer in the balcony, I find the most confusing part of this to be why on earth yesterdays’ weather could be considered “confidential” in anyway.

    Could it be true that somewhere, an official office exists that classifies “what time it was yesterday” as confidential information?

    This is simply bizarre.

    • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Bob McDonald (#16),

      As an observer in the balcony, I find the most confusing part of this to be why on earth yesterdays’ weather could be considered “confidential” in anyway.

      Could it be true that somewhere, an official office exists that classifies “what time it was yesterday” as confidential information?

      The answer is very simple. Phil Jones and the CRU are part of the civil service, and it is the foundational policy of the civil service that information is to be withheld from the public unless it is in the best interests of the civil service for it to be otherwise.

      The reason for this is control:

      The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated.

      And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’

      And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’

      No prizes for guessing where that quote came from.

      The operating assumption of the civil service is that withholding information, no matter how trivial, is a key lever of control that must not be relinquished. And so, the minor civil servants go into bat to invent new and interesting legal theories as to why a data product based on historical temperature records should be withheld.

      They are not embarrassed by this, as Steve would think. It is a rite of passage for all civil servants who wish to climb the greasy pole that they must all, at one time or another, defend the absolute right of the UK civil service to withhold information from the public no matter how trivial that information.

    • Posted Aug 2, 2009 at 7:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Bob McDonald (#16),

      You never worked in a job that requires you publish “scientific” articles regularly, didn’t you ? It’s all about protecting your sources, data, insights etc. until you publish that “groundbreaking” article that will bring you recognition and grants. While the data you protect might be insignificant, it could provide somebody else with the missing brick in his wall, or cause him a sudden flash of enlightenment that will rob you of a well deserved and well paid tenured position. Welcome to the academic paranoia.

  13. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Jeff Id #11,

    For reasonable notification to take effect, there has to be notice provided or proof that it has come to their attention. — at least in the US. I’m not sure a disappearing file rises to that level.

    Whence Steve’s disclosure of the Lund data, proving that he actually has these “state secrets.”

    RE Bob Montle #13,
    I had assumed that Anthony had sent Steve a photo such as Sonicfrog’s in #12, or MetMole’s at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6634#comment-350624.

    Be that as it may, the IP address should be sufficient for the FBI to identify the likely culprit, if NATO security is deemed to be at stake.

  14. Tim
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Why is yesterday’s weather confidential? Of course we all really know the answer:

    Those who own history are at liberty to re-write it as they see fit.

  15. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Met Office claimed your possession would:

    damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”, interfere with the “effective conduct of international relations…blah blah blah

    Yet not once do they ever cite any law that you may have violated. Rather, I’d say it is the Met Office that is probably in violation of some code by not complying to the FOI Act. Legally you have nothing to fear. Indeed it is the Met Office management who ought to fear a lashing for failing to fulfil its public obligations. At least that’s how the real world is supposed to or used to work.

    I wonder what the IPCC, UN, Hansen and other AGW vested interest groups are thinking right now. I suspect the data will show warming, but only to the modest extent shown by satellite measurements.

  16. Ryan O
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think this should become a reality show.

  17. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    steven mosher:
    Why UK citizens only? The MetOffice has an international function, and thus anyone no matter where he/she lives ought to make themselves heard. The IPCC is relying on their data after all.

  18. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Has anyone tried anonymous ftp?

  19. Patrick M.
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Mr. McIntyre,

    You have not responded to my inquiry concerning the CRU data:

    Dear Mr. McIntyre,

    Please send me a copy of the CRU data.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Patrick M.

    p.s. Don’t give me any lame excuses about not being able to release the data due to the confidential manner in which you obtained it. No really, I’m serious.

    I assure you I will treat the data with the utmost care. I figure if I have the data printed in a medium blue on a white coffee cup with a big red “TOP SECRET” stamped across it they’d sell like hot cakes!

    Respectfully yours,
    Patrick M.

    Steve: Please read the above post in which I advise CRU and Met Office (whose actions clearly demonstrate that they are monitoring events here) that I have not disseminated data so far. Tempting as your offer to add a legend with a big red “TOP SECRET” may be, I’m afraid that I can’t avail myself of this offer until my offer to Met Office and CRU has expired.

    • theduke
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Patrick M. (#25),

      I’m sure SM will release the data in time and you will then be able to perform the unenviable task of finding something right with it.

      Respectfully yours,

      the merry dukester

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Patrick M. (#25), in response

      Steve: Please read the above post in which I advise CRU and Met Office (whose actions clearly demonstrate that they are monitoring events here) that I have not disseminated data so far.

      from wuwt:

      Steve has shared this data and the source with me, as a way of verification, and I can vouch for both the validity of the data and of the source ip address. It truly comes from deep within the organization. – Anthony

      Hmmmm!

      Steve: You’re a careful reader and the question is fair. However, I stand by my statement that I have not disseminated data so far. Matters will become clearer over time.

      • steven mosher
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: thefordprefect (#38),

        Ford. You can assume that the same source that supplied the data to SteveMc, supplied the data to Anthony.
        You can also assume that the source, upon request, supplied the data to other people.

      • thefordprefect
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: thefordprefect (#38), in response

        Steve: … However, I stand by my statement that I have not disseminated data so far. Matters will become clearer over time.

        I think it is clear to most now. I hope CRU and MET also know. You may have destroyed credibility when it did not deserve to be destroyed. You have become just another climate “denialist” and have lost all my respect! :o((

        I have pointed out that data is also unavailable from from the european climate pages. The specifically state in their report that 48% is not available to the public
        CRU is at fault in not having a list of sources that will not permit dissemination. BUT CRU has been in business 20 years longer.

        Steve: As I’ve said before, I do not believe that there are any confidentiality agreements that would prevent them from providing me with the data. I do not think that your references to european climate pages are relevant. Nor have I “destroyed credibility when it did not deserve to be destroyed.” To the extent that this sorry episode diminishes the credibility of the Met Office and CRU, they have done it to themselves in their own words, which I have quoted precisely.

        • steven mosher
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#48),

          Ford. 48% does not refer to temperature data. please be precise. I believe the figure for temperature data is 42%.
          Further, this is 42% of european data and the study you site references, I believe, more sites than jones uses.
          Finally, it looks like THEY keep good records of their contractual obligations. They can at least report a percentage.
          We will see if CRU keeps such records. And if they do, then CRU can supply a percentage for their GLOBAL data, not just europe. Finally, there is the question: did jones select data that could not be shared when there was suitable data available that could be shared? will he continue to use closed data, when hansen, for example, uses Open data.

  20. Dominic
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Steve
    I am a big fan of what you have been doing and read this site with interest. However I am a bit put off by the whole tone of what you are doing here. If the whole “mole” story is true (which I am beginning to doubt) then you seem to be taking a lot of pleasure out of something that could potentially end someone’s career – especially as you now claim that they have been identified. I would expect you to at least acknowledge and sympathise with the predicament that they are now in. If however you picked up the data via some other means then it is unbecoming to play this mole game and it could backfire on your credibility.
    Dominic

  21. AnonyMoose
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    They can’t prove that there are confidentiality agreements, because they say that no records were kept. So they also can’t tell suppliers that their confidential data has leaked out, other than by informing all the suppliers of the leak.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: AnonyMoose (#28),

      So they also can’t tell suppliers that their confidential data has leaked out, other than by informing all the suppliers of the leak.

      Car companies have do this sort of thing to customers. There’s nothing to stop CRU from notifying all the countries in the world that there has been breach of confidentiality. They could add that they have also lost or destroyed all copies of their existing confidentiality agreements, instructing the recipient to disregard the message if there is no applicable confidentiality agreement between them and CRU.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: AnonyMoose (#28), Yes. they will have to tell all the suppliers.

      ” we don’t have records that indicate the data you supplied us is covered by a confidentiality agreement. If it was, please supply us with a copy of the agreement we signed and be advised that we did not take adequate steps to protect your data”

      And then of course we can FOI all over again. 1. did you inform your suppliers, did they send you agreements, provide the copies of the agreements.

      And if they don’t inform the suppliers, then I guess it’s up to us to do so. all 288 countries on the FOI list. After all this was confidential data.

  22. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve has made this a very interesting chess match. I can well imagine other people popping up from time to time
    to claim that they too are in possession of this data. The MET could be busy for quite some time writing letters
    to people to ask them to destroy the data in their possession. It could go on for years.

    • Patrick M.
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: steven mosher (#29),

      I think Steve’s approach is much more direct than that. I believe he clearly states his strategy:

      By not doing so, they are surely opening themselves up to further charges of negligence for the following reasons. Their stated position is that, as a “non-academic”, my possession of the data would be wrongful (a position with which I do not agree, by the way). Now that they are aware that I am in possession of the data (and they are aware, don’t kid yourselves), any prudent lawyer would advise them to immediately to notify me that I am not entitled to be in possession of the data and to ask/instruct me to destroy the data that I have in my possession and not to further disseminate the sensitive data. You send out that sort of letter even if you think that the letter is going to fall on deaf ears.

      So either they act in accordance with their stated policy which draws attention to the absurd nature of their policy or they don’t act in which case they set a precedent for non-enforcement.

      The absurd nature of the CRU posts stems not from Steve but from the Met Office. Steve is just drawing attention to the absurdity.

      Just my $0.02
      Patrick

  23. David Ermer
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is a little crazy. Scientific data that is being used to make political/public policy decisions is somehow Top Secret, a Mole, an outed Mole, a car chase(?!) … Are we in the middle of a John Le Carre novel?

    This is as far from science that you can get.

  24. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The whole thing is crazy. Confidential temperature measurements, pretend international relations– it’s nuts. I’ve got no patients for HadCrut’s horsecrap. The data has to be extraordinarily ugly for them to obfuscate to this level.

    Blog food for sure.

  25. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    # 3, 8, 13, #152 on previous thread – indeed, there is some kind of wind-up going on here at the expense of CRU and some of the more earnest blog-readers who are unfamiliar with steve’s sense of humour

    • Matthew
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: PaulM (#34),

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!
      I like what this might mean !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. theduke
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #30:

    This is a little crazy. Scientific data that is being used to make political/public policy decisions is somehow Top Secret, a Mole, an outed Mole, a car chase(?!) … Are we in the middle of a John Le Carre novel?

    More like:

    Re: Henry A (#116),

  27. theduke
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Link to a picture of Peter Sellers didn’t work. Meant to say, “More like a Pink Panther movie.”

  28. Ron Manley
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony has a photo of a fingerprint labelled “The Mole”. I assumed that his assertion that he had a photo of the model was a joke.

  29. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Of course it would be very unwise if any from CRU or Met replied here as their ip address is tracked!

    bb2_addLoadEvent(function() {
    for ( i=0; i < document.forms.length; i++ ) {
    if (document.forms[i].method == ‘post’) {
    var myElement = document.createElement(‘input’);
    myElement.setAttribute(‘type’, ‘hidden’);
    myElement.name = ‘bb2_screener_’;
    myElement.value = ’1248801904 213.83.99.xx’;
    document.forms[i].appendChild(myElement);
    }
    }

  30. Henry A
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    How can Steve simply destroy this data if instructed to do so by the Met, after the “Mole” risked his career and future to get Steve this data?

    Henry

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Henry A (#42),

      How can Steve simply destroy this data if instructed to do so by the Met, after the “Mole” risked his career and future to get Steve this data?

      The Met’s letter would have to stick closely to the wording in the above note, including the statement that I was in “wrongful possession” of the data. If they are not prepared to say that I am in “wrongful possession” of the data, then I won’t destroy the data.

      I do not know precisely who the mole is (and fordprefect – please don’t ask me to parse what others say: take me at my word) nor do I entirely understand his/her motives in the security breach. Nor do I assume that the mole necessarily had my best interests at heart. We’ll see how things turn out.

  31. gamail
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Could it be that the source is not a person, being anonymous, immune to threats of losing job or responsibility – working on an underground movement to – Free The Program (and data of course) – the anonymous FTP movement

    • See - owe to Rich
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: gamail (#47), I was thinking along the same lines, and I am now prepared to speculate. It was the Reverend Green (because this is a green issue) with the lead piping (because lead is poisonous like CO2) in the library (because that’s where you store data).

      No, seriously, I think the mole is an IP address of a location where the data has been stored by someone, possibly quite some time ago, and is located in a place where it would be very difficult for UK authorities to remove it. So, it’s out there, for all to see, if you just know where to look.

      Such a place might be in a country which is quite anti-AGW, for example some Eastern European countries. If the Met Office already gave it away it might be quite hard to get the genie back in the bottle.

      Anyway, I might be quite wrong, but I’m going to enjoy seeing the answer to the enigma, however close or distant I might be.

      I also believe from Mosher’s writings that he has quite an inkling too.

      Rich.

  32. Henry A
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I would rather Steve simply get on with it and audit the data and shed some light on what this whole nefarious charade of confidentiality agreements was about. I was on pins and needles waiting for the audit of this data, enough already with these word games.

    Henry

  33. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You may find this a useful read:
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1990/UKpga_19900018_en_1.htm

    9 British citizenship immaterial .
    (1)
    In any proceedings brought in England and Wales in respect of any offence to which this section applies it is immaterial to guilt whether or not the accused was a British citizen at the time of any act, omission or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence. .
    (2)
    This section applies to the following offences— .
    (a)
    any offence under this Act; .
    (b)
    conspiracy to commit an offence under this Act; .
    (c)
    any attempt to commit an offence under section 3 above; and .
    (d)
    incitement to commit an offence under this Act.

    Mike

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ford’s section includes the following interesting offence:

    3 Unauthorised modification of computer material

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

    (a) he does any act which causes an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer; and

    (b) at the time when he does the act he has the requisite intent and the requisite knowledge.

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite intent is an intent to cause a modification of the contents of any computer and by so doing—

    (a) to impair the operation of any computer;

    (b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer; or

    (c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data.

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite knowledge is knowledge that any modification he intends to cause is unauthorised.

    (5) It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether an unauthorised modification or any intended effect of it of a kind mentioned in subsection (2) above is, or is intended to be, permanent or merely temporary.

    As ford says, hmmmmmmm.

    Update Note: I added (4) and (5) about 5 nanoseconds after submitting this post, since they were relevant.

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#54), I think you need to reinterpret clause 2 again

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: thefordprefect (#56), I’m not alleging anything. I am not privy to the inner workings of CRU and the Met Office. However, recall the various outstanding FOI requests – these restrict the ability of public employees to thereafter to take matters into their own hands. The Act that you identified may interact with FOI in interesting ways. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. :)

      • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: thefordprefect (#56),
        What’s your interpretation of clause 2?

        2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite intent is an intent to cause a modification of the contents of any computer and by so doing—

        (a) to impair the operation of any computer;
        (b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer; or
        (c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data.

        As far as I can tell, there is no reason to think the mole modified the contents of any UK comuter If no such modification occurred, a-c are irrelevant.

        Based on your failure to include your interpretation of various statutes you quote, it appears you think our reading the statute will somehow make your point. But might it not be wiser to tell us what your point is? Because I, for one, have no idea.

        • Scott Brim
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

          Re: lucia (#64)
          .
          Lucia, it’s possible that Scotland Yard, Interpol, and the RCMP are even now forming a flying squad to track Steve McIntyre down and to bring him into custody for questioning about these alleged violations of UK Met Office confidentiality agreements.
          .
          If we had to, we might think about offering him refuge in the US; and if he accepts, spirit him across the border.
          .
          We could do that here in the US northwest with the assistance of the Sasquatch that roam freely between Washington State and British Columbia; or if similar creatures exist in Illinois and in other US north central states, perhaps at the Michigan-Ontario border.
          .
          Desperate times call for desperate measures ….

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

          Re: lucia (#64),

          Re: thefordprefect (#56),
          What’s your interpretation of clause 2?
          …But might it not be wiser to tell us what your point is? Because I, for one, have no idea.

          This is to be read with my following post. Steve had highlighted 2b as if it gave him right to access data – rather than the opposite
          Mike

          Steve: I made no such interpretation. My observation pertained to people deleting data without authorization – an issue that may or may not arise as we go along in this matter. I firmly believe that the mole’s actions were authorized or that he believed that he was authorized.

        • Joe Curwen
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

          Re: lucia (#64), Is it possible that the data sent by “the mole” was prepared in such a way that:

          a) any analysis done on it would be false and unreliable because the data is phony, and
          b) would allow the sending party to know if the data was used or disseminated?

          Maybe “the mole” (or maybe we should call him “the rat”) is trying to get people to stop bothering him with FOI requests (which I bet has actually happened) and trick “deniers” into wasting their time by analyzing made-up data. Honestly, I don’t think that the mole is trying to get anyone in trouble.

          What I find funny is that SM seems to be saying that the mole might have actually broke the law with their little joke!

  35. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is worth checking:
    http://www.computerevidence.co.uk/Cases/CMA.htm

    So with this wizard ruse you may be able to destroy the credibility of the CRU and MET without the data or any auditing. But unfortunately for you there is a second source of this data.(albeit for only Europe)

    So is this going to be next weeks “Audit”?
    Mike

    Steve: Mike, you’re getting a little over-excited. None of these examples are comparable. I do not believe that I am in “wrongful” possession of the data. If the Met Office or CRU believe otherwise, it’s up to them to notify me. Despite what you guess, they may not think so.

  36. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You should also stop editing your comments when other cannot!

  37. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I like this case:

    Teenage hacker aka Curador demonstrated security weaknesses in e-commerce web-sites and accessed 23,000 credit card records, some posted on his web-site. Viagra sent to Bill Gates using his credit card. Guilty plea. Defendant convicted and sentenced to three years probation and medical treatment for obsessive mental disorder.

  38. marks powers
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If, prior to midnight Eastern time on Thursday July 30, 2009, a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia notifies me that I am in wrongful possession of the data and directly requests me to destroy my copies of the CRU station data in question and thereby do my part in the avoidance of newCRU_tar proliferation, I will do so.

    Why midnight July 30th. Does this give them proper notice/adequate time…? If they do not respond, can you then audit their data?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: marks powers (#62), Maybe a little more notice would make sense. Let me check.

      • marks powers
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#63),

        The question also becomes was proper notice given on July 25th with your original A Mole post or when the “Mole” was discovered “Late yesterday (Eastern time) [7/27/09], I learned that the Met Office/CRU had identified the mole.”

        Steve: My own opinion, and it’s nothing more than that, is that their clock started ticking on Monday when they were able to confirm what I had posted. Prior to that, they could have argued that they did not know one way or the other whether my claims were true. It’s not a situation where there is a specific legally prescribed notice period. But parties in a dispute, if there is one, can’t lie in the weeds. If they think that I’m in “wrongful” possession of the data (something that I don’t think), then they should tell me.

        • marks powers
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

          Re: marks powers (#66),

          Thanks, I agree with your comments:
          Steve: My own opinion, and it’s nothing more than that, is that their clock started ticking on Monday when they were able to confirm what I had posted. Prior to that, they could have argued that they did not know one way or the other whether my claims were true. It’s not a situation where there is a specific legally prescribed notice period. But parties in a dispute, if there is one, can’t lie in the weeds. If they think that I’m in “wrongful” possession of the data (something that I don’t think), then they should tell me.

          Although I certainly consider you to be an academic, I was wondering if you know whether any other academic may have requested the “value added” CRUTEM dataset that was sent to Georgia Tech as mentioned in your 7/24/09 post. This should be done.
          your 7/24/09 comments:
          “This is the first time that we’ve heard that their supposed confidentiality agreements merely restrict “further transmission to non-academics”. A couple of observations on this. I’m sure that CRU will soon receive a similar request from someone to whom this excuse does not apply.”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

          Re: marks powers (#76), Yes, a number of “academics” have requested the data, including, unsurprisingly, Ross McKitrick.

        • Patrick M.
          Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (#78),

          I assure you I would only sell the “TOP SECRET” data coffee cups to academics.

          Yours Civily,
          Patrick M.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: marks powers (#62),

      I’ve thought a bit more about whether this is adequate notice.

      Here’s my position. To be proper legal notice, it would have to be properly sent to them (not as a blog announcement) and have a longer notice period. I’m not relying on this as a form of legal notice, in the sense that their failure to respond would be held against them or would enable me to do things that I would not otherwise be entitled to do.

      It is an unconditional offer that is open with no strings attached, as they say, for a limited time only.

      • marks powers
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#86),

        Yes, the form of written notice did cross my mind. However, it appears you have communicated with the Met Office via e-mail on several occassions and they have replied to you via e-mail. It is not unreasonable to assume that readers of Climate Audit have forwarded your comments via e-mail to the Met and thus provided notice for you…

      • Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#86),

        It would be tough for them to argue they didn’t notice that pesky CA blog at this point. Its just not perfectly clean notice.

        The offer is plenty generous IMHO. The only problem is that they have to restate in a public fashion something about proprietary data. Perhaps they should seek public relations advice from the RC guys on what to do next :)

  39. 40 Shades of Green
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Has any mainstream media or Warmist Blogs picked up on this. If so could someone provide links.

    40

    • Atomic Hairdryer
      Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 3:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: 40 Shades of Green (#67),

      40 Shades of Green:
      July 28th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      Has any mainstream media or Warmist Blogs picked up on this. If so could someone provide links.

      Slashdot got it-

      http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/07/27/0520216

      BBC however did not, but should win a brassneck award for this story-

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8173533.stm

      Met Office cools summer forecast

      But the independent weather forecaster Piers Corbyn says the Met Office failed to make a correct forecast because it cannot predict the jet stream.

      He claims his solar-based forecasting method is consistently more accurate for medium-term predictions than the Met Office, and he urges them to give up medium-term forecasting.

      The Met Office complains in response that Mr Corbyn will not publish his “unique” methods of forecasting.

      The BBC’s climate champion Harrabin doesn’t do irony, or unbiased reporting. Rumors of Harrabin arranging a date between a pot and a kettle are unconfirmed.

  40. bluegrue
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #45 Steven Mosher

    I think a fair response to their request to destroy the data would be to agree to destroy the data on completion of all the related FOI processes, including all appeals.

    Hmmm, the story told so far looks to me as if an insider without proper authorization sent data to McIntyre. To me as a layman in law this sounds like theft on the mole’s part. Steve McIntyre is in possession of the data, but as it is stolen data he can not hold property rights. If he were now to make the destruction of that data dependent on conditions I am not sure that this could not be construed as blackmailing. Therefore I do not think, the above is good advise. At the very minimum he ought to consult a good lawyer first.

    Please do not quote statements by someone else at another blog as something that I said.

    (emphasis changed) FYI: Anthony Watts on CA wrote

    I have been able to get a photo of the mole, which I have sent to Steve.

    To be clear, it was Anthony’s comment, not Steve’s.

    BTW, I find the cavalier attitude shown by some posters towards possible damages involved appalling. As Ron Manley has pointed out that the Cru/MetOffice receives that is not easy to come by. If this leak is taken serious by the data suppliers these connections might well dry up.

    Steve: At present, I have no reason to believe that the mole “stole” the data nor that I am in wrongful possession of the data.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bluegrue (#67),

      People are assuming that the CRU receives data that is “not easy to come by”.

      I make no such assumption. I do not take at face value the claims that “confidential” data is material to their calculations. See my post CRU Then and Now for a preliminary assessment.

      It’s also possible that the “confidentiality” argument is a smokescreen.

      • Ryan O
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#70), Besides, CRU themselves used to say that all you had to do was contact Phil Jones for the data . . . which means that it is highly unlikely that CRU has any agreement with anyone besides Jones (and the Jones agreement was probably never documented).

    • Patrick M.
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bluegrue (#67),

      I don’t think the “mole” is a person at all. Check out this exchange at WUWT:

      We have sources at EPA and now Hadcrut. These people, and they should be applauded, obviously feel their organization is up to no good. Like my father always told me , “do the right thing”. I’m glad that there are still people out there with a conscience.

      REPLY: I don’t know that the source has a conscience, per se. “Impartiality” might be a better word. – Anthony

      The “mole” could be Google for all we know.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bluegrue (#68),

      As far as I can tell nobody who is in possession of this data is in wrongful possession. You will all note that the
      alleged “confidentiality” agreements prohibit the transfer to “non academics.” That is their words not mine.
      If we had those agreements I suppose the definition of terms, a section in most contracts, would define exactly
      what a “non academic” is. Note they didn’t say “non climate scientist” or “non believer in AGW” or “non professor”
      or “un published author working on an academic paper” They said ” non academic.”

  41. Håkan B
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As for the Swedish data our constitution states that anyone can request them in this case, as they have been sent from one authority to another!

  42. Bob McDonald
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If this leak is taken serious by the data suppliers these connections might well dry up.

    And, hopefully, “science” based on “confidential” data will dry up with it….

    Note to SteveMc: If you need a safehouse….you can use mine. How do you like Virginia?

  43. Fred
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m thinking all this must be causing a massive case or diaper rash over at the MET office. Is anyone here located nearby that office and could confirm late night lights on and/or cars in the parking lot ?

    • Jean S
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Fred (#76),
      well, at least Phil Jones is working … he’s the only one at CRU who’s ftp site has been modified lately … in fact last time today. Strange though, nothing seems to have have been added …

      • steven mosher
        Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Jean S (#120),

        Yes Jean. Dr. Jones ftp site has been modified. I suppose inquiring minds will want to know if copies of the confidentiality agreements we sought under FOI were located there. Perhaps notes and drafts and emails pertaining to the FOI were there. Dr. Jones should be aware that while we have FOI pending it is not advisable for him to be
        deleting or disappearing files. Faced with the evidence that he is modifying files that may be the object of an on going FOI, I suppose we just might have to FOI the CRU and ask them what measures they undertake to insure that employees do not destroy documents that are the object of an on going FOI. For my part whenever I got a request from the legal department to produce documents I did two things:

        1. Went to MIS and had copies of everything made ( emails, documents, etc)
        2 Took all my papers to the copy center and had them copied. ( and got a receipt)

        That way nobody could accuse me of destroying files. Looks like Dr. Jones may have a problem.

  44. Richard
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – forbidden words

  45. bluegrue
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Steve and Patrick M., I think I understand better now. If I’m correct, my concerns voiced above are immaterial.

  46. Dave Andrews
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In this febrile, Le Carre type atmosphere, perhaps we should also consider that the ‘mole’ might be a person of some standing who has long anguished over the way data is being presented. For example, Mike Hulme, founder of the Tyndale Climate Centre and by coincidence the ‘moniker’ of the ford prefect:-)

  47. L Nettles
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll up the ante. If the MET does not request the data be deleted by the deadline I will put $20 US in the tipjar here. The MET’s silence will have made Steve some beer money.

  48. mbabbitt
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Considering Steve’s rigorous statistical analysis and success at correcting both Hansen’s NASA data and Mann’s Hockey Stick, could you imagine anymore more qualified to receive such data? Isn’t this the utmost in silliness? In a court of law, would anyone point to Steve McIntyre and say, “Your honor, this man is not serious about climate data, its statistical analysis and validation; he’s just an amateur dilletante and not deserving at viewing our data”? Draw your own conclusions about such people.

  49. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What benefit would a confidentiality agreement bring? Collecting weather data and distributing is done in a non-competitive field, independent of free market enterprise. The purveyors of such public data incur no financial damage from “unauthorised use”.

    There was a case in Germany in the early 90s where the state run Deutsche Telekom sold a set of floppy disks containing the entire national telephone directory for a bargain price of only 1800 German Marks (ca. US$1200). Then a young entrepreneur made his own diskette by having all the numbers typed in China and then marketed the diskette for an honest DM 19.90.
    Telekom sued him for copyright infringement, but the court through the case out claiming, if I recall correctly, that telephone numbers are public domain and the public has the right to use them as they wish.
    Unfortunately one enters Administrative Law here, and it gets awfully complex and messy. My gut feeling is that Steve has nothing to worry about. Even if confidentiality agreements do exist, they probably would not even be recognised by a court of law as being vaild. Case closed?
    We have: Public data, no financial damage, superfluous agreements, if they even exist at all!

    • Harry Eagar
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Pierre Gosselin (#86),

      A few years ago, I was looking in a public file which had some documents in it under seal, as commercial confidential information supplied to the government under duress. A local manager had forgotten to put a few hundred pages back in the sealed envelope, so I copied them out and read them, then called the state agency to tell them what I’d done.

      Curious response. There were two companies involved. One did nothing, one sued me and my boss.

      As it turned out — rather as Mr. McIntyre suspects in his case — the secrets were not very explosive. When my publisher asked me if I was going to use them in a news story and I said no, he said, ‘Throw ‘em away,’ which is what we did.

      But now that I know what was in them, the companies had better make careful responses to my future questions, since I will know how close they are staying to their own truth.

      My understanding of US law is that when the government makes that kind of mistake and I acquire the information without doing anything underhanded myself, it’s mine. But I had no reason to press the issue.

  50. Neil Hyde
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    We could of course, all sit and wait for the outcome of Steve’s offer to the Met Office, and hopefully his analysis of the data he has received.

    ……….ah what the hell , speculate away !!

  51. dearieme
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am a mole and I live in a hole.
    Zee clock at midnight strikes.

  52. Neil Hyde
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ……so I will add my bit of speculation.

    I suspect Steve has found something of significance , and is biding his time to release it . I hope so, and I also hope you spread it far and wide Steve !!

  53. Robert Wood
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is a godd riddle.

  54. Rod Smith
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve: I am always suspicious. How do you KNOW you have the original and correct data, or even the totality of the data?

    Consider: No firings. Why not? No disciplinary actions. Why not? No request for you to destroy the data. Why not? No threats of legal action. Why not?

    Maybe they want you to use the data! Since you don’t have it “officially” then how do you know it hasn’t been somehow “doctored” so as to confirm the previous calculations you are auditing?

    In other words, how do you know you haven’t been “spoofed?”

  55. Ivan
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, you actually don’t have any data, correct? You are just trying to force them to confess there are no confidentiality agreements at all. Is that what you are doing? Data from Sweden you offered in previous post are freely available online somewhere?

  56. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve’s suspicions are right I think. It’s all a big smokescreen, stonewalling. Even a real signed / notarised confidentialiity agreement would very likely be deemed invalid in court. We’re talking public data here, and not automotive secrets. Commerical Terms and Conditions in sales contracts are voided routinely by courts when disputes arise.

    What harm is there in Steve auditing the data to assure suppliers that the Met is doing their job correctly? All this worry about protecting trust is a load of BS.

  57. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Rod Smith,
    My God, cite one law that he broke.
    There isn’t any. All he got was a bunch of stonewalling gobbledygook about trust and dubious confidentiality agreements. It’s all smoke.

  58. AlanUK
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And I was cursing you for censoring posts from the UK until I realized that the wife had unplugged the keyboard while dusting. Don’t laugh, she’s retired and I’m not yet. Never mind.

    You’re a great statistician Steve and all round good guy but you’re a lousy diplomat. Somehow you’ve triggered patriotic instincts in me towards the Met Office which is pretty remarkable considering what I think about their weather forecasts. You are not entitled to FOI from them, you’re a Canadian. The British Empire died some time ago if you hadn’t noticed.

    Why did you and Anthony have to say the e-mail came from deep within? Most organizations run Outlook so there would be a copy of the e-mail and attachments on their Exchange Server. He was your friend. Why did you out him? He or she will be sidelined at least for commercial reasons in spite of what you may believe.

    A number of things are going on at the Met Office:
    1. The recently move from Bracknell to Exeter which won’t bother you – like getting promoted to Outer Mongolia.
    2. The UK government treasury has been pressurizing the Met Office for years to become more commercial. Think temperature and ice-cream sales.
    3. The MoD has just cut their budget by 25%.

    All this adds up to pressure to go after revenue, but how are they to do this when they are up against the US forecasting juggernaut paid for by the taxpayer and supplying their data for free because ‘the taxpayer owns it’. Looks like a government subsidized industry. The MoD has access to weather forecasts on the entirely separate internet run by the US DoD so they don’t care. The Met Office will have data swap and usage agreements with other organizations which are also under pressure to generate revenue. The confidentiality is commercial not state secrecy.

    snip

  59. Allen63
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 2:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I cannot disagree with your offer to destroy the data — its the “right thing to do” — assuming the data is protected by law and is not public data that is being withheld illegally.

    Though its Monday morning quarterbacking, were it me, I would either have never accepted the data, or I would have accepted it and never said anything public. In the latter case, I would have worked with the data and waited for either the FOI to come through or proof that the data was being illegally withheld.

    Anyhow, I hope you are able to retain the data and work your magic to find the truth (whatever that truth may be).

  60. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m getting the feeling that Steve, possibly aided by Anthony, is steps way ahead of us on this. I hope you’re enjyoing yourself, leading us around by the nose like you are!
    A grown man like Steve just doesn’t go around taking data unless he already knows it’s okay to do so. All this speculation is a waste of time.

  61. Neil Hyde
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @92 AlanUK,

    Please speak for yourself , don’t presume to speak for the rest of the UK, and read the earlier posts and check the FOI Act itself. I suspect your own political leanings shine through your post .I am fairly certain the majority of the population in the UK would be quite pleased for you to emigrate to the socialist utopia of the European Superstate and live under the “Animal Farm ” beaurocracy.

    …….but back on topic , lets wait and see what the outcome is.

  62. Cold Lynx
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I would not be surprised if the “Mole” is a a web page as this http://www.ipcc-data.org/obs/cru_ts2_1.html
    and this stunt Steve do is entirely to make sure that the met office is way out of order.

  63. David Ermer
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So did you guys find an anonymous FTP link to the data (the mole) which has subsequently been password protected (the mole being outed)?

  64. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Alan UK
    I suppose Steve could learn a lot from you on the art of diplomacy. Tell your wife to keep dusting your keyboard.

  65. Brian
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I will speculate:
    The “anonymous” mole is a server within the MO/CRU that contains data which is accessible via “anonymous” ftp. Was this data intentionally made available by a real person inside the organization, or was it simply a lapse in security that made this data available unintentionally? Anthony would be able to verify the “identity” of the mole (server) by connecting to the source IP address (the mole itself) to verify the data contained on the server. A “picture” of the mole could be a screenshot of the data indexes on the server.
    Steve, keep up the good work. I enjoy your blog.

    • See - owe to Rich
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Brian (#97), that’s a bit like my #65 except that you put the server in the UK. If that were the case, the MO might close it up, and take Steve up on his offer to delete his copy. But Steve clearly doesn’t think that’s going to happen – he doesn’t seem to play poker without a few aces in the hole. Therefore I think it’s on a foreign (or at least difficult to control) server so Steve knows he’s in a winning position.

      Oh, and also you didn’t make a Cluedo (Clue in U.S.) joke. I really think that should be mandatory in this LOL investigation :-).

      Rich.

  66. Mark_T
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well Steve, I hope that you analyze the data before you might have to destroy it.

    When organizations like this keep their data private, it fuels my distrust in them and their work and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If you analyze the data and say it agrees with CRU’s analysis, it’ll help me regain some trust with them.

    These people are nuts if they think they are going to tax and regulate me into a different standard of living and lifestyle over science that can’t be verified by people like you.

  67. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    from an earlier thread:

    The Met Office are not party to information which would allow us to determine which countries and stations data can or cannot be released as records were not kept, or given to the Met Office, therefore we cannot release data where we have no authority to do so. Competitors or collaborators could be damaged by the release of information which was given to us in confidence and could affect their ability to trade.

    Methinks the CA tipjar needs to be refilled, lawyers in UK are ridiculous expensive…

  68. bernie
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to say I am dumbfounded by those who see Steve as having done something wrong – legally or ethically. (Although it may come under the coveting of others goods but I never did quite get that commandment!!)

    Unless the data is marked confidential and not for distribution in some visible way, who ever sent the data to Steve has done nothing wrong. The fact that someone has previously declined to send Steve the data and claimed that it is confidential provides no basis in itself for preventing someone else from sharing the data – provided that the document is not specifically marked as confidential and/or for restricted distribution. In this Kafka-esque world, only thing marked “Top Secret” are legally viewed as “Top Secret”. If the claimed confidentiality agreements exist, then the Met would be required to append such statements to the data and every part thereof. The law is tricky on this kind of thing. (For example, I heard someone yesterday telling a story about a contract for a rock band that included a requirement that those loading and unloding the equipment had to be sober. Since the clause explicitly addressed one group, the legal expert said it was open to conjecture whether other crew members could appear as less than sober!! )

    Steve has clearly been through this type of issue before with commercial information. Anyone who has signed or been a party to a confidentiality agreement should know the drill. One aspect of which is that something cannot be treated as confidential if it is available from other public sources.

    There are lawyers who regularly read this blog, I am sure they can correct me if the above is in anyway misleading.

    I believe that Steve has create a marvellous and clever Catch-22 situation for the obstructionists at the Met and CRU.

  69. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I know that Britain is a bit weird, what with the Official Secrets Act and all, and the swearing to silence for 250 years, but it strains the imagination to believe that temperature data is Secret. (Unless it’s part of a trade-secret or military manufacturing process – which I suspect this is not.)

  70. SimpleServant
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am a bit more sanguine than most about concerns for the wellbeing of the “mole”. There may be a very real danger of significant disciplinary action taken, up to and including fines and or jail time.
    As a Crown officer and user of protected government data in a commonwealth country, I can tell you the content of the data, while perhaps germaine to its classification level, is irrelevant to the outcome of a violation of its level of security. There may be at least two violations here, one of his oath of service, one of the security level of the data. There is the possibility of issues of having forwarded protected data to a foreign national. In all cases, at least in the commonwealth government I represent, explicit punishment includes possible heavy fines, criminal charges and imprisonment. While the latter is rare, termination is routine. The oath survives termination. At a minimum there will be a reprimand and a “letter in his file”. Hopefully not more than that.

  71. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My guess is that the CRU will do nothing, and will refuse any further correspondance with Steve McIntyre, which will leave Steve to publish the data and his analysis, but will allow clear uncertainty as to whether that analysis is valid or not.

    That’s my guess.

  72. bluegrue
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to say I am dumbfounded by those who see Steve as having done something wrong – legally or ethically.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think only actions of a third unknown person, the mole, were considered illegal.

    Unless the data is marked confidential and not for distribution in some visible way, who ever sent the data to Steve has done nothing wrong.

    If a person in a company/institute disseminates data that it has not the authority to release, that’s illegal. Steve has done nothing of the kind and my remark about possible blackmail was about a hypothetical situation, which very likely does not apply at all here. I can’t say more right now.

    Steven Mosher:

    As far as I can tell nobody who is in possession of this data is in wrongful possession.

    By now I consider it very likely, that you are correct.

  73. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am sure either Christopher Booker at the Daily Telegraph or Andrew Alexander at the Daily Mail would be interested in this story (and the background to it) which might eventually help to prise open the door to fortress Hadley a little wider.

    Tony Brown

  74. MetMole
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Brian (#97).

    I will speculate:
    The “anonymous” mole is a server within the MO/CRU that contains data which is accessible via “anonymous” http://ftp.

    I’ve been thinking on similar lines. But I’ve also been thinking about Operation Bodyguard too.
    .
    I can’t find a reference for it but I think I recall hearing that some allied officer was conveniently captured by the Germans who quickly discovered he was carrying papers giving details of the planned invasion landings — at Calais. Tee hee.
    .
    Still, not to worry. I can tell you Steve McIntyre in is posession of the real McCoy — the ‘Normandy’ plans, so to speak.
    .
    They seek him here,
    They seek him there,
    Those ffffffffingfudgers seek him everywhere.
    Has he scored a try
    Has he scored a goal
    That damned elusive f…..g mole.

    .
    Ha ha. They won’t catch me. :)

  75. Rod Smith
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Pierre #95

    I guess I didn’t make myself clear. Of course Steve didn’t break any law. But suppose the so called mole – by design – gave him data that doesn’t match the original.

    Could they be trying to make a public fool of Steve after he publishes something that they say is incorrect? All they need say is, “We certainly didn’t officially supply you any data, authorize such release, nor can we guarantee your data matches that used by Jones. Case closed.

    How about that for a squeeze play?

  76. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    In some respects, Steve’s “offer” on the table is similar to what I suggested in reply 5 to the first Mole posting. The goal seems to be to get CRU to admit the data, whatever or wherever is, is indeed the desired data. If that is done, then they can’t later claim Steve’s analysis is wrong because wrong data was used. But if they don’t accept the offer then Steve can use it as he wishes. I’m assuming as a number of others have decided that the data is actually freely available elsewhere once you know what it is.

  77. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 4:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Was the ghost of Kim Philby involved?

    More questions. Does the Met Office have the Ultra Secret? Is there a code breaker in the house?

    I can’t wait for the riposte: “Gentlemen don’t read other gentlemen’s mail.”

  78. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Why would the weather be confidential?

    You might want to look up “The Weather War” in the book Bodyguard of Lies (what an apt title). Perhaps the XX Committee is still at work. Or maybe LCS was never shut down. You never know. There was some one looking for Napoleon on the South Coast for about 200 years after 1812.

    A little suitable atmospheric music London Calling

  79. Gunnar
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    >> To be proper legal notice, it would have to be properly sent to them (not as a blog announcement) and have a longer notice period.

    I was going to point out that a blog is not proper legal notice. However, I think from a purely legal point of view, you don’t have to provide such notice. Since we’re talking about alleged confidentiality, not copyright, you are violating no law in auditing it. You would naturally assume that whoever gave you the data had the legal right to do so. Their legal obligations don’t transer to you.

    However, I think that what you have done is a brilliant chess move. Whatever revealing information can be gleaned from auditing the data will still be obtained after you play this move. So, you are maximizing your position by publicizing the dead-line, which adds to the drama.

    They are in a pickle. They must consider the possibility that if they ask you to destroy the data, you will call their bluff.

    They can’t really go to court, because, besides the PR nightmare, they can’t really make a legal case why the data should not be made public, and audited. A private company could make a case of irreparable harm. However, they can’t do any such thing, without exposing their agenda for all to see.

    So, they won’t send you any notice, and you know that. Impressive.

  80. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t find a reference for it but I think I recall hearing that some allied officer was conveniently captured by the Germans who quickly discovered he was carrying papers giving details of the planned invasion landings — at Calais.

    A different operation along the same lines: Operation Mincemeat. Commonly referred to as “the Man Who Never Was”. It was a body given the name Major William Martin, Royal Marines. The Germans swallowed the martin.

    • TAG
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: M. Simon (#126),

      Perhaps other operations in which secret plans were inadvertently lost would be more apropos.

      Plans for the Normandy operation after D-Day were found by the Germans in a washed up landing craft. These plans were discounted because of the success of Operation Bodyguard. Bodyguard contained the deception operations for D-Day. It convinced Hitler that the invasion would be at the Pas de Calais

      For Operation Market Garden (depicted in the movie “ Bridge Too Far”), plans that should have not left England were left in a glider used in the operation. This was captured by the Germans but because of the success of Mincemeat and other operations, they were regarded as deceptions and ignored

  81. Robert Wood
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve is having wonderful fun with a riddle.

    What can provide files upon request that the owner does not want to provide, yet all is legal? The file provider cannot be charged under the official secrets act, perhaps because it has no conscience; the receiver of the files has not stolen them (not even scraped); others have the files as well, but they were not provded by the original receiver of the files. No legal lines have been crossed; no confidentialities broken. There is even a picture of the provider of files.

    Well, the file provider is inaminate. The files were requested and delivered. The picture is a screen shot of the web, or FTP, request page.

    I suspect the HCRU has cocked up big time, and will be right royally embarrassed once Christopher Booker writes a piece in the Daily Telegraph, and a certain Lord Branchly asks questions in the house.

  82. 40 Shades of Green
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve figured it out.

    Steve and Anthony abandoned Google and started using ….. BING.

    So it was Professor Bing, in the library with the (new) search tool.

    40 Coats

  83. rephelan
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “My guess is that they will not make the slightest effort to discipline the mole.”

    Yes, Minister, we have the evidence that Winnie has been slipping information to Jerry, but we can’t arrest him. He’s too important to the war effort!

  84. Robert Wood
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    L Nettles:
    July 28th, 2009 at 2:14 pm
    I’ll up the ante. If the MET does not request the data be deleted by the deadline I will put $20 US in the tipjar here. The MET’s silence will have made Steve some beer money.

    Heck, Nettles, why wait. I’m off to the tip jar right now!

  85. Garrett Harmon
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I personally will fund $5 in the tip jar if MET doesn’t request the data to be deleted. MET Office, your silence will fund your rival! :D

  86. Ryan O
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Many of you continue to assume the mole is a person, and, therefore, capable of being disciplined.

  87. Rathtyen
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been reading through this thread with some amusement, but also a degree of sadness: with all the real problems in the world that public funds could be used for, the rank stupidity of the Met & Co’s position shows just how much money is being wasted by government institutions which have lost the plot.

    My guess on all this: Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts are having some fun (and deservedly so after all the hard they have done) because having got the “data” they now know there is nothing particularly secret about it. Just a guess, but I’m thinking the value is not the data itself, but confirming what the data really is.

    I’m guessing when Steve does reveal all, its going to be an anti-climax describable as Much Ado About Nothing, which in turn will highlight the rank stupidity of the Met & Co’s silly position on not releasing this information.

    The trap for the Met etc is, if they say nothing, they demonstrate their previous positions were rubbish. If they make an issue, Steve will destroy the data, keeping his word. But since he now knows (my guess) the source of the data, it will still be out there, and it will be revealed to be nothing special or secret. Either way the Met etc are shown to be the fools they have become.

    Its too early for checkmate, but I think the Met & Co have just lost their queen.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Rathtyen (#134),

      But since he now knows (my guess) the source of the data, it will still be out there

      Nope. If they meet the terms of my request, I will destroy the data and my only recourse will be through success at FOI.

      Actually I’ll do more. If they wish to take up my generous one-time offer, I will also ask Anthony Watts and Steve Mosher, both of whom also seem to have been in contact with the mole, to destroy their copies of the data so that everyone is back at square one. (While I’ve not discussed this specific offer with them, my guess is that they would follow my recommendation.)

      I’m not offering a trivial destruction of data in which I merely re-acquire the data through an associate the next day. I’m offering a genuine destruction of the data in which I do not get access to data without FOI success if the Met Office makes the statements in the above thread.

      Needless to say, I would criticize the Met Office for making the absurd assertion that I was in “wrongful possession” of the data and do what I could to hold them accountable for such assertions and make fun of them in the subsequent FOI actions, but sometimes people have to make choices.

  88. Antonio San
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 6:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Who said there was no James Bond movie release this summer? ;-)

  89. pete m
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ryan O – Yes, most have figured out access was innocently gained to a folder at Had via public means, but, perhaps the person who left the directory folder open to public access can be disciplined, still? Maybe the person who did this did so deliberately? Let the Mole free!!!

  90. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 7:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Pete M, #137,

    Yes, most have figured out access was innocently gained to a folder at Had via public means, but, perhaps the person who left the directory folder open to public access can be disciplined, still? Maybe the person who did this did so deliberately?

    It’s sounding as if the “guilty” party is CRU director Phil Jones himself, or if not, then deputy director Keith Briffa. Whence Steve’s confidence that the mole will not be disciplined by CRU.

    But still, this leaves the MoD and/or Parliament to bring the culprits to justice.

    • David Holland
      Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 3:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Hu McCulloch (#138)

      Perhaps I should have spent more time looking around last year.

      From: “CRU Computing Support”
      To: d.holland
      Cc: Sylvia.Sheppard
      Subject: Re: FW: Server Problem
      Date: 04 December 2008 17:39

      Dear Mr Holland,

      >The search feature on your home page is broken and falling through to a directory.

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention: it was caused by a misconfiguration of the webserver.
      It should now be working. Please let me know if you have further problems.

      regards,

      Mike Salmon

  91. mpaul
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I must say, you are going about this all wrong. You should insist on 6 party talks. The Chinese and Russians will decline causing the Americans to panic. The Americans will then offer you a package of incentives to destroy the data — maybe nuclear reactor technology. You should then secretly bury the data in an underground bunker, but tell them you destroyed it. Take the nuclear technology and sell it to the Chinese and Russians. Then about 6 months later fire another salvo of data to let them know that you still have it. The Americans will then sweeten the incentives (maybe fighter jets this time), and so on and so on. You are really thinking too narrowly here.

  92. Chris Byrne
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I must say that I feel this hilarious little turn of events has been exactly what the climate change doctor ordered (undoubtedly not Dr Jones, of course). I, for one, applaud SM’s little joke; but then again, I suppose those of us living in climate denial do have the luxury of humour…

  93. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    When first I heard that they were being secretive about the data, I assumed the data was simply invented.

    From the preliminary investigation that Climate Audit has reported, it looks like they threw out stations that failed to report climate warming and added, often as duplicates, airports, which tend to report climate warming for obvious reasons. The world gets supposedly gets warmer every time airport traffic increases, or airport facilities are expanded. It looks like cherry picking, rather than the barefaced fraud I had assumed.

  94. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 8:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve: Please read the above post in which I advise CRU and Met Office (whose actions clearly demonstrate that they are monitoring events here) that I have not disseminated data so far.

    from wuwt:

    Steve has shared this data and the source with me, as a way of verification, and I can vouch for both the validity of the data and of the source ip address. It truly comes from deep within the organization. – Anthony

    Steve McIntyre (#136),

    Actually I’ll do more. If they wish to take up my generous one-time offer, I will also ask Anthony Watts and Steve Mosher, both of whom also seem to have been in contact with the mole, to destroy their copies of the data so that everyone is back at square one. (While I’ve not discussed this specific offer with them, my guess is that they would follow my recommendation.)

    Well hhhmmmm!
    playing with the truth/words.

    You make it very plain this is all about getting one up on CRU/MO nothing to do with data verification. Which is sad as I was actually looking forward to seeing your results.

    On the previous thread SM says:

    I agree with your comments. Like you, I believe that 95% of CRU is obtained from GHCN, with a very few non-GHCN sources, of which Austria is one (Norway, Sweden, Denmark are others.) Like you, I believe that they do relatively trivial manipulations of GHCN data. AS I’ve said elsewhere, that is my best guess as to the secret that they don’t want exposed and the only commercial interest that they are protecting.

    One could read into this tha McIntyre has not seen the data: “I beleive” after possessing the data for over 48 hours does not inspire belief!

    Steve: first of all, I was at the lake and not spending all my time on this data. Second, CRU has not provided a concordance linking their identification numbers to GHCN identification numbers. I do this sort of thing as fast or faster as pretty much anyone, but it takes time. I’ve made it very clear that I’ve seen the data. I’ve said so in blog posts. There is nothing in this comment response that says or implies otherwise and your effort to contest this is absurd.

    Some identifications can be automated but a lot require manual inspection. There are spelling changes, name changes, incorrect lat/longs at CRU, country changes or non-changes. (USSR lives on at CRU).I might add that this sort of collation is boring and there’s only so much that I want to do at a time. At this time, I’m not prepared to offer more than an estimate – sorry about that. If you think you can do better, feel free to do your own assessment.
    Better yet, maybe you can get a concordance of CRU ids and applicable GHCN ids from CRU for all of us.

  95. Gene Nemetz
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 8:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Reading the first paragraph I can say the Met has an over inflated view of itself.

    “hamper the ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations” and “seriously affect the relationship between the United Kingdom and other Countries and Institutions.”

    Pulease!

  96. TJ Overton
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 8:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If it was me in charge at MO, I wouldn’t say a word. I’d just let Steve audit the data on the principle that having to wade through that pile of sludge was punishment enough for any transgression.

  97. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think there are enough clues here for us to decipher the Mole. This *is* all rather amusing. On the other hand, if a person actually comes forward I will be totality and completely surprised.

  98. Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 9:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Totality surprised. Totally, man.

  99. Calvin Ball
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is reminding me of Mann’s “censored” directory. I think Mann’s still winkled off about that.

  100. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Test
    Let $latex $T_a[$/tex] be the temperature anomaly at any point on the surface of the earth.

  101. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 28, 2009 at 11:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    $latex $T_a$ $

  102. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre:


    Mathematical and Numerical Analytic Issues Independent of Station Values

    Let $latex $T_a$ $ be the temperature anomaly on the surface of the earth at a given latitude and longitude. Then the mean temperature anomaly is given by

    $latex $\bar{T_a} = \int T_a dA / \int dA$ $

    where the integrals are taken over the entire earth’s surface. The integral in the denominator is
    just the area of the earths surface. The point to be made here is that for any finite number of
    station values, the integral in the numerator is zero because the measure of the set of station locations is zero

    The second point to be made is that only by some ad hoc interpolation method can the station values be extended to areas with nonzero measure to produce a nonzero numerator. Already in one dimension, e.g. along latitude lines, there are problems interpolating the station values to large sparse data voids over the oceans. It is trivial to show that gaps in the data will be filled in with very different values depending on the ad hoc interpolation scheme used. Numerically it is well known that if the gap between interpolation points is too large, no reasonable error bounds on the interpolated values can be determined.

    In summary, I believe that the errors in determining the mean temperature anomaly cannot be estimated and that the process is not robust.

    Jerry

    • Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 12:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Gerald Browning (#150),

      gee, that’s kind of solopsistic, isn’t it? Couldn’t I say the same thing about any sample of observations at all? Let’s suppose individuals in some experiment are located along some “latitude” representing some some heterogeneous behavioral dimension with arbitrary probability measure on that circle. If I randomly sample from that circle, according to your reasoning, isn’t it impossible to draw any conclusion about mean behavior from any sample of individuals residing on that circle? If not, what did I miss? If you are saying that every inference requires some kind of assumption about the distribution from which we are sampling, I can agree with that. But isn’t that always true for sampling discretely from any arbitrary continuous distribution?

  103. Andrew
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 12:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Video of the Mole……

  104. Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 12:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Oops, I mean solipsistic not solopsistic. And maybe “nihilistic” would have been a better choice of words. Silly me. At any rate, tell me what else was silly…

  105. bluegrue
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 1:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steven Mosher

    Perhaps notes and drafts and emails pertaining to the FOI were there.

    I know you were careful to use hypothetical language. Do you know, what the legal status of email data would be, if left on an easily accessible server? Would it be legal to obtain and use copies of e-mails between third parties, once one is aware of the nature of the data? I simply don’t know and am looking for answers.

  106. nut
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 2:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I apologise if this has already been covered as I haven’t read all the comments.

    Could it be that from the METs point of view the whole situation was getting out of hand and they just wanted it to go away? Then they leak a copy of the data and hope that Steve is then happy and the issue fades away. Also by not following the appropriate channels they do not set any precedent whereby they would have to issue data to additional requests in the future without ‘the standard’ delaying procedures.

    Just a thought. Now I can move onto my next conspiracy. :o)

  107. nut
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 2:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    … or more simply they give you the data outside of your FOI requests so as to not set precedent for later FOI requests.

    :o)

  108. JustPassing
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 2:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is like an egghead version of The Da Vinci Code. :P

  109. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 2:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Fianlly revealed, the pic of the mole:

  110. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 3:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This has become an intriguing soap. Now I’m forced to check in daily. There is no “wrongful possession” here.
    Unless a surprise comes up, it looks like Steve has check-mated them, or at least captured their queen.
    Shall we place bets as to whether a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia duly notifies him of wrongful possession and directly requests him to destroy it?
    8 to 1 they don’t. Any takers?

  111. Johno
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 3:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The mole is of course none other than the good Dr Jones who has finally shared the data on the CRU ftp server (went up the day after Steve’s revelation), hence the beautiful irony of the whole “who is the mole” saga. The Met office is now in the enviable position of defending its claims of confidentiality in the face of this.

  112. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 4:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Harry Egar,
    Interesting story. Even with confidentiality agreements, could the acquired public information even be subject to confidentiality? A court prbably would throw it out.
    Bernie 111
    hits it right on the nail in my view. But I’m not a lawyer. Even if one is a lawyer, (s)he’d have to be one specialising in Administrative Law, which indeed can be formidably complex and is often in gray zones. Even worse, it gets international. And if confidentiality agreements did exist, qualified lawyers would be the first to tell you: “It’s really iffy and it depends on what the judge thinks”. If there are indeed no confidentiality agreements, then the Met Office aint got a real leg to stand on. Their claims of “confidentiality” reek so strongly of stonewalling and smokescreening. I think the taxed public won’t be amused by this, should this begin to get publicised.

  113. Boudu
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 4:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The MET office recently installed their new supercomputer complete with a new software module known as the MOLE or Met Office Leak Enabler.

  114. kimberley_cornish
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 4:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This thread has been sublime – a delight beyond the reasonable expectation of mortals in this life. A foretaste of the joys of heaven (wherein the temperature is perfect, the beer is cold, as in Australia, and the English never win at cricket.)

  115. David Holland
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 5:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    While I am at it I might just chip in another two penn’orth. The station data like MP’s expenses will eventually get released. This is what Defra say about confidentiality.

    Confidentiality is unlikely to be established where the information is already known to a wide circle or is in the public domain.

    Exceptions 12(5)(d) and (e) are subject to the public interest test and so information may still be released when the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the arguments for withholding it. In balancing confidentiality against the public interest, the task is not to weigh up the impact upon the individual against the good of society, but rather the good of society against the importance of preserving confidence.

    The public interest is overwhelming. It is to allow the European public to exercise their rights under the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (“the Aarhus Convention”)

    And anyway, just how many people have this allegedly confidential information? Maybe some someone might ask. Someone might ask them to fillet out the non confidential information and ask for the contact details of the owners of the confidential data.

    As we get into AR5 someone might also ask the the DECC, the Met Office and CRU how many people have various documents like lists of proposed authors and reviewers. Then we might ask how many people have the zeroth drafts. Do not wait till after the second review stage. If we want to force the level of disclosure that all European Union Governments are legally obliged to ensure, through the Aarhus Convention, we need to start creating precedents now. This means taking requests through the process.

    The problem we face – and the “team” know it – is how long it takes to go through the process. The MPs held out for years but they took a risk and lost. The Court went much further than they could have settled for earlier. For those that want to join in, bone up on the European Directive and the various country regulations and get stuck in.

    In the UK do not get into negotiations. Every bit of information, held by public authorities, that we might want to see on climate change is subject to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Read them. Ask once stating it that is environmental information. Wait 20 working days then complain if they do not release it. If they refuse ask for a Regulation 11 reconsideration. By law they must do it in 40 working days. If that does not get the information complaint the Information Commissioner’s Office. They will try to give you the brush off because they are snowed. Complain and demand a decision notice. If they don’t give you a proper one refer it to the Information Tribunal anyway as they can investigate if they choose. After that if you have not got the information take a deep breath and go for judicial review. Some one has to break the log jam.

  116. Craig Bear
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 5:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Love your work Steve :) Keep up the hard effort. You don’t get anywhere without a struggle! And struggle must we keep doing over things that the average person would not even contemplate as being “difficult” to obtain. A temperature measurement being sensitive? Ahaha… what a joke.

  117. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 5:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So how many of you have left the hard work to Steve and how many have contacted their Governments to ask if any such alleged agreements exist?

    It’s disappointing to see how many people advise Steve he should get legal advice. From pers comm I do not think that is worth mentioning again.

    There are only so many hours in a Steve day and it might be more fruitful to be proactive and to do as many did and file FOI requests, etc., as part of a loosely coordinated plan. Not much value in writing “Steve, you should do this or that or the other.” Pick up the theme when it is clearly indicated and do it yourself.

  118. MetMole
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Love your work Steve :) Keep up the hard effort. You don’t get anywhere without a struggle!

    Right. But, HEY! What about me? Don’t I get any credit?

    It isn’t easy being a mole.

    Look here, I feel my risk taking and provision of top-notch entertainment has earned me at least some help with relocation to an unspoilt pasture in the green belt. All the worms in my current crappy brown-field site are stunted and deformed and barely digestible. A decent manicure wouldn’t go amiss either.

    Come on. Play fair.

  119. Steve
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t wait to see if MI5 or MI6 (whichever has the lead in a case like this) can track down that scoundrel Steve Mc, retrieve the highly classified data, and…………still make it to a Starbucks the same day.

    Very entertaining. We’ll see an episode like this on ’24′ next year I bet.

    (If I put more money in the tip jar will come for me also? There is a Starbucks about 10 minutes away.)

  120. Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    From Merriam Webster’s:

    Main Entry: so·lip·sism
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Latin solus alone + ipse self
    Date: 1874
    : a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing ; also : extreme egocentrism
    — so·lip·sist noun
    — so·lip·sis·tic adjective
    — so·lip·sis·ti·cal·ly

    …so it is the adjective form of the noun solipsism.

    As you say, some assumptions about smoothness need to be made, and my guess is that no finite sample could conclusively test them. There could always be an arbitrary number of goofy ill-behaved places on any underlying distribution, lying between our sample observations. So the solipsist could always say, and would always be right, and no amount of external data could convince him otherwise.

  121. Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jerry, you can reach my website by clicking on my initials. I am not hiding.

    I’m not agreeing to dismiss all climate models, or to accept them all, or anything like that.

    I’m simply saying that I know of no statistical test–even with randomization to treatments, which in an observational science like climate studies, we don’t have–which doesn’t depend on one or more fundamentally untestable mathematical assumptions, typically assertions about the underlying data-generating processes that we cannot directly observe (and so cannot check up on). (Name a counterexample and I will think about it.)

  122. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    NW (#177),

    My mistake about the initials.

    If the station data met the smoothness assumption, the interpolation procedures would have large errors
    because of the data void regions. If the station data does not meet the smoothness requirements, then it cannot be properly interpolated. In either case the average temperature anomaly cannot be accurately determined from the finite number of stations exactly as I have indicated.

    Then the issue of changes to temperature based on the station data is meaningless
    as is the comparison of climate models to that data.

    Jerry

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 7:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Gerald Browning (#178),

      I agree that you cannot know the true global (or hemisphere or other large area) mean temperature. But isn’t the real question something else? Specifically, is the current sample sufficiently representative (with adequate QC/QA, etc.) so that year over year (or decade to decade) changes in the constructed average are proportional to changes in the planetary surface temperature with sufficient precision to be able to draw conclusions? That would seem to be a statistical rather than a numerical analysis problem.

  123. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    DeWitt Payne (#178),

    Given that two thirds of the planet is ocean and that the ocean is a major component of the climate
    (especially in the tropics where there are very few obs and little understanding of the physics), my answer would be no. Mathematically it is trivial to construct a counter example by having the true ocean temperatures be very different from the inaccurate interpolations from extremely far apart land stations, e.g. on different continents.

    Clearly over some areas, e.g. the US and Europe, there are reasonably dense surface stations, but
    the above argument still applies. Also the climate scientists are the ones that promote the concept of a global temperature anomaly, not me.

    It is my own belief that the scientific case for AGW is very weak (nonexistent?) even if there is AGW.
    The station data is questionable (see WUWT site) and the climate models are pathetic, i.e. they are not solving the correct dynamics, let alone the correct physics.

    Jerry

    • John F. Pittman
      Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Gerald Browning (#180), I still chuckle at the handwaving, strawmen, and answering questions not asked, by Gavin, when you were discussing the hyperviscosity layer in model E, and other ODE vs PDE problems.

  124. thefordprefect
    Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As the childishness of CRU bating is now reducing
    Will you please turn you FOI attention onto SCIENTIFIC journals that hide important papers behind pay-walls.

    It is important information that the future of the world economy is being based on. What right have they to prevent access by the public?

    Mike

    • Mark T
      Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: thefordprefect (#182),

      What right have they to prevent access by the public?

      Um, they’re privately owned? Gee, that wasn’t a very tough question.

      Mark

      • thefordprefect
        Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Mark T (#183), Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#184)

        So if the data is privately owned then it does not have to be made available!!!!

        snip – no irrelevant discussion of DVDs

        • Ryan O
          Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#185), See, it breaks down like this. Data that was acquired via public funding is subject to FOI. Data that was not acquired via public funding is not. As noted earlier, with perhaps the exception of Syrian data, not only was the CRU data collated through the use of public funds, it was also generated through the use of public funds (the GHCN network).
          .
          On an unrelated note, nonsensical statements cannot be turned into sensible ones merely by adding extra punctuation.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: thefordprefect (#182),

      And the information is available for fee or from a friend. You need to perfect your nuances.

    • TAG
      Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: thefordprefect (#182),

      As the childishness of CRU bating is now reducing
      Will you please turn you FOI attention onto SCIENTIFIC journals that hide important papers behind pay-walls.

      This month’s Scientific American has a column on the issue of the refusal of some private drug companies to release data for critical research. Some researchers complain that they are refused access to important data and that if they fear that they will be refused all access to data if they complain about it.

      Thee issue of the withholding data that is pertinent to significant societal problems is an important one. The withholding of climate data is only one example. My solution would be that of eminent domain. The IP rights of certain agencies and certain scientists will be respected. However in the presence of an issue of worldwide importance, their right to withhold data cannot be allowed to stand. just as someone cannot refuse access to the fire department if they need access to put out a fire on a next door building. The holders of vital climate data have no right to withhold it.

      So in the CRU case, the university and the researchers would be told that the climate data are now the property of Her Majesty the Queen and that they are to turn it over forthwith.

      • Gunnar
        Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: TAG (#189),

        >> My solution would be that of eminent domain.

        Statist! Skoffing…

        >> The holders of vital climate data have no right to withhold it.

        A judge might ask you: How is it vital? Especially if they are going to do whatever they want to, if they have the political power, regardless of any data you present.

        Why do you need this data so badly, when you have access to UAH?

        http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    • jeez
      Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: thefordprefect (#182),

      As the childishness of CRU bating is now reducingvealed.

      Fixed it.

  125. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    OK time for me to have a stab at who the mole is and how Steve and Anthony managed to get a copy of the CRU station data.

    I think they’ve both given us all sufficient clues for us to be able to work out that this has been yet another cock up on the part of the Team.

    The mole is IMO an FTP server where the permissions on the station data file have been set incorrectly. In fact I guess that the FTP server was accessed using the ‘anonymous’ user and to Steve and Anthony’s great surprise they stumbled (as Steve did the CENSORED folder on Mann’s FTP server) upon the unprotected file (because they are both very curious people) and found it to have ‘read permissions’. The person responsible for this cock up i.e. incorrectly setting the permissions on the file is none other than Phil Jones himself hence why Steve thinks that no one is going to be disciplined or sacked as a result of this cock up. More’s the pity really but never mind. Phil has now shut the stable door after his horse bolted hence Steve’s screen grabs in the thread that follows on from this one. Steve is now having some fun at The Wizard’s expense as he knows that CRU can hardly discipline the man who is their champion AGW alarmisim promoter as if they do then he may well just come clean, go to the MSM and tell them that this whole thing has been politically inspired and funded every since the early days of the Thatcher goverment.

    I’ll say this once again Steve as I’ve said many times in the past. The Team really! really!! realy!!! really!!!! must HATE you as at every opportunity (which they more often than not gift you) you show them to be the incompetent fools that they are. Well done once again ‘our resident Toto’.

    KevinUK

  126. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Johan Kanada (#192),

    See my comments on the latest comedy of errors on the ITCZ thread.

    Jerry

  127. Richard Henry Lee
    Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The clock has struck midnight and the world wants to know: will Steve keep the data or will he have to destroy it?

  128. Ryan O
    Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 10:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    CRU PARTY!
    .
    First 100 guests get a free Lund series! Raffle for all the Syrian data! And the main event: Dance-off for the whole data set!
    .
    (Though invited, Dr. Jones declined to attend. :( )

  129. Posted Jul 30, 2009 at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    No word yet from the MET. When did that deadline end?

  130. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 31, 2009 at 7:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In the above thread, I made the following offer to CRU/Met OFfice (whose actions clearly demonstrate that they are monitoring CA on this topic:

    If, prior to midnight Eastern time on Thursday July 30, 2009, a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia notifies me that I am in wrongful possession of the data and directly requests me to destroy my copies of the CRU station data in question and thereby do my part in the avoidance of newCRU_tar proliferation, I will do so.

    I received no request or other communication from either CRU or the Met Office.

  131. L Nettles
    Posted Jul 31, 2009 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I received no request or other communication from either CRU or the Met Office.

    As promised MET made you some beer money. $20 US in the tip jar. This has been more fun than a movie and popcorn.

  132. AlanUK
    Posted Jul 31, 2009 at 11:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If Steve or a moderator comes back here could you please snip my previous post 96 or at least the last 3 paragraphs. I was on my 4th glass of 86 proof when I wrote that rubbish. It’s rude and not even what I believe. I apologize if it caused offense. Must not post until sober!

  133. AndyL
    Posted Aug 2, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve:
    > I received no request or other communication from either CRU or the Met Office.

    This reminds me of a famous quote from September 1939
    “I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received”

  134. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Sep 4, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    It’s great to see you back from Erice and promising interesting stories and analyses. But this CRU data thing was big and I hope it isn’t going to fizzle away. Assuming you still have a copy of the data, there is one thing I would most like to see done with it. That is to analyze it to see whether it can support McKitrick & Michaels’ claim that CRU data has underestimated (by ~50% IIRC) the impact of Urban Heat Island effect.

    There are a number of discussions on estimating climate sensitivity from, say, the last 60 years’ data, and you perhaps have an opportunity to shed light on it. If you are very busy with Erice stuff, I wonder if Dr. McKitrick would be interested in looking at this?

    Rich.

  135. hswiseman
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 4:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “I am not aware of any such activity or operation, nor would I be disposed to discuss such an operation if it did indeed exist.”

    Place your bets on who plays Col. Kurtz in this merry little paper drama where no real shots are fired and no one so much as get attacked with a fireplace poker. Needless to say however, he is operating beyond the bounds of all human decency.

  136. Spence_UK
    Posted Jul 29, 2009 at 1:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: PaulM (#156),

    I heard that on the radio this morning, and LOL’d. Of particular interest from the BBC report is a para at the very end in which they discuss another forecaster who claims greater accuracy than the met office but won’t reveal the details of his method:

    The Met Office complains in response that Mr Corbyn will not publish his “unique” methods of forecasting.

    Yeah, it’s just so annoying when scientists avoid providing data and methods, isn’t it? Perhaps the met office should place a consultancy order on Steve for some advice on obtaining this sort of thing? Sounds like Corbyn is independent, so a FOI request won’t work.

6 Trackbacks

  1. [...] on the story below. I know the identity of the mole. The ball is now in CRU’s court. Steve McIntyre reports below and throws down the [...]

  2. [...] Met Office/CRU Finds the Mole [...]

  3. [...] who says he got them anonymously. The breach was due to an insider (”mole”) in the UK. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6644 http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6634 (esp. comment [...]

  4. [...] how sloppy CRU was at leaving files lying around in the open (Steve McIntyre had fun with the “mole” story prior to Climategate), getting onto the internal UEA/CRU network might have been all that was [...]

  5. [...] [2]http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6644#comments [...]

  6. [...] [2]http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6644#comments [...]

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