ICO Orders UEA to Produce CRUTEM Station Data

Breaking news: Today probably marks the closing chapter of the longstanding FOI request for CRUTEM station data. The UK Information Commissioner (ICO) has rendered a decision (see here) on Jonathan Jones’ appeal of the UEA’s refusal to provide Prof J. Jones with the CRUTEM station data that they had previously provided to Georgia Tech. The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia.

Professor Jonathan Jones of Oxford University (like me, an alumnus of Corpus Christi, Oxford), is a Bishop Hill and CA reader and was one of several CA readers who requested the CRUTEM version sent to Georgia Tech earlier that year. (Contrary to disinformation from Nature, relatively few readers requested CRUTEM data; most FOI requests at the time were for the supposed confidentiality agreements prohibiting data being sent to “non-academics” – agreements that the University was unable to produce.

[J.] Jones’ request for CRUTEM data, like mine, was refused by UEA. Like me, [J.] Jones appealed the refusal at UEA (the first stage). On Oct 23, 2009, UEA rejected his appeal. (My appeal was rejected about 3 weeks later on the very eve of Climategate.) While I didnt pursue the appeal to the ICO, Prof [J] Jones did appeal and the present decision is the result of this appeal. I was unaware that this appeal was pending and the decision came as a surprise to me. Since the story started at CA, Andrew Montford and Prof [J] Jones decided that news of the decision should also be broken here. I anticipate that Bishop Hill will also cover the story.

I urge readers to read the thoughtful decision. My own comments will be restricted to some legal aspects of the decision that intrigued me.

As a first comment on the University’s defence – in keeping with similar refusals of other requests, rather than focusing on their best line of argument,the practice of the UEA is to use a laundry list of exemptions – more or less throwing spitballs against the wall to see if any of them stuck. Many of the spitballs seem pretty strained, to say the least. In his ruling, the ICO picked each spitball off the wall and, in the process, established or confirmed a number of precedents that will hopefully encourage fewer spitballs in the future.

They attempted to use the following exemptions:
s 6 – “information already publicly available”
s 12(5)(a) – would have an adverse effect on “international relations, defence, national security or public safety”
s 12(5)(c) – would have an adverse effect on “intellectual property rights”
s 12(5)(f) – would have an adverse effect on the interests of the person who provided the information

The ruling on intellectual property rights interested me in particular, as UEA has attempted to apply this in other cases as well (e.g. Yamal, presently under appeal). The ICO observed that the mere existence of a copyright or database right did not demonstrate the application of s 12(5)(c), let alone the primacy of the exemption over the public interest test.

In addition to other arguments, the UEA claimed both copyright and database rights to the CRUTEM station data and argued that, if released to Prof [J] Jones, they would “lose any right of commercial exploitation of its [CRUTEM] databases. Once the information was released and freely available, extraction and reutilization of the data could be carried out by any party without further recourse to the UEA”. The Commissioner dryly wondered how “UEA might have planned to commercially exploit the specific information requested and how disclosure might have impacted on any plants that it might have developed or been in the process of developing” before rejecting their arguments.

Some of the University’s arguments purporting to uphold their supposed “intellectual property rights” should ring as particularly contemptible to most members of the public. If climate scientists exhort the public to make personal sacrifices, it seems hypocritical that they should claim that their “intellectual property rights” prevent examination of data being used to underpin those requests to make sacrifices.

Lest the University be tempted to delay further, the Commissioner ordered the University to produce the requested data to Prof [J] Jones within 35 days, stating:

Failure to comply with the steps described above may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to ths High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

I also remind readers of my own caveats about this data set and CRU’s reasons for withholding it – cautions expressed at the time (July 2009). My own surmise was that CRU’s data handling was trivial and that the only commercial interest that they were seeking to protect was their own – they didn’t want anyone to realize how little actual work was done by CRU into quality control, improving the quality of metadata or scientifically studying the nuts and bolts of temperature measurement. I also discouraged readers from assuming that CRU data was heavily adjusted from original data. The ongoing issue with CRU was a little different – they argued that UHI had negligible impact on their data set and thus adjustments were unnecessary. My recommendation at the time was that the function had become too important to be carried out in their part-time by professors at a small UK university, that Jones be thanked for his services and that responsibility for CRUTEM be transferred to the UK Met Office. This recommendation makes even more sense now.

Readers should also interpret this decision as case law. In another case involving a different sort of dataset, the ICO could readily find grounds to make a distinction from the circumstances of the relatively sui generis CRUTEM data set.

Congratulations to Prof (Jonathan) Jones for the remarkable success in this ruling. Perhaps Nature and other defenders of CRU obstruction will take note.

261 Comments

  1. Patrick M.
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations!

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

      As an American lawyer, I am clearly not an expert on British law. The decision makes great sense, but I would expect that there would be several additional levels of appeal that the UEA has, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they took further appeals.

      JD

  2. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    It would seem like S6 would preclude any of the other excuses from being true. If the data is already publicly available (which it might be, but not which stations were used and under which parameters), then there can be no IP rights to a list of facts. A certain presentation can be copyrighted, but not a list of facts, supposedly.

    • RB
      Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

      I agree. There is a considerable dissonance between claiming that one does not need to disclose information because it is already publicly available elsewhere and at the same time arguing that disclosing it will adversely impact on your intellectual property rights to expolit that information at sometime in the future.

      What this says to any judicial decision maker is that the organisation pushing these arguments is looking for any reason to refuse and is adopting a “scattergun” approach to the original request, looking for any and all reasons to refuse. It does UEA’s credibility no favours when these issues actually come before the IC for a decision.

  3. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    This is wonderful new, and a great day for the advancement of real science.

    Oh, but they’ll almost certainly come back and say the data was lost when transferring it to digital media and it no longer exists, or something like that.

    • nevket240
      Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

      I don’t know that that will happen. Most people would hang onto a ‘winning lottery ticket’ with their lives.
      regards :)

  4. nevket240
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    I’m a rock solid Skeptic of all religions so when I say thank you Buddha you know I’m bl##dy happy.
    Thanx SM & crew and J Jones
    regards

  5. John M
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    Paragraph 34 could have been lifted from any number of comments posted here and at WUWT over the last two years.

    The dataset posted on the GHCN website contains data for a much larger number of weather stations than that contained in the withheld datasets. The Commisioner notes that the public authority did not inform the complainant which weather stations on the GHCN website were included in the datasets that were withheld. Consequently, it is not apparent how the complainent would have been able to identify on the GHCN website the information that had been withheld under regualtion 6.

    Whenever this argument came up, the usual Jones supporters tried to argue that the data were publically available and skeptics were just too lazy to find it.

    Very heartening that the ICO sees it so clearly.

  6. Kimberley Cornish
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Rattus, DeepClimate, Nick Stokes, etc – Where ARE you?

    • Rattus Norvegicus
      Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

      Here I am!

      I think that the ICO was right on section 6. On the section 12 he may well have blown up the HadCRU temperature record going forward. He wants a pretty high standard to be upheld here and CRU claims under the section 12 exceptions seemed sound and ethical.

      • Rattus Norvegicus
        Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

        I would also note that even though an explicit “no” was received from Trinidad and Tobago, the ICO did not except them from the disclosure. This is a very high standard indeed, requiring disclosure in the face of an explicit denial of the right of disclosure by one of the affected NMSs.

        • Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

          Actually the ICO did not hold CRU to a high enough standard.

          before accepting ANY confidential data CRU must

          1. determine that the data is NECESSARY to their MISSION.
          the confidential data is NOT necessary to their mission.
          I can get the SAME ANSWER AS CRU using Open data.

          2. Inform the third party that FOIA may TRUMP confidentiality.
          their letter of dec 2009 ( I have that under foia) did not
          do this.

          Further CRU released the data in july 2009, by accident on the web.
          NO INTERNATIONAL FALLOUT.

          At some point CRU will realize that they dont need to work with confidential data and
          that they dont have the procedures for working with it.

          All in all The ICO has backed every single argument we have made since the beginning of this

          BUT FOR the stupid arguments made by CRU and its supporters, there would be no climategate.

          So there you have it. Maybe folks who care about the planet will think twice before engaging in stupid arguments.

        • Rattus Norvegicus
          Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

          Ah, so I see you have become the evil Mosher again…

          1) You and many others have been able to get much the same answer as CRU from GHCN data. So why the need for FOIA on the data which is not on GHCN?

          2) I agree that this is necessary now. In 2009 this was not clear. Care to provide a link to that letter?

          3) I am not familiar with is incident, does this have anything to do with the Rutherford thing in the “Climategate” emails? If so, this was accidental and not the result of a FOIA request. Now that it appears as thought a FOIA request to CRU will result in the disclosure of data which an NMS may wish to sell to commercial services cooperation with CRU/Met Office may be impaired.

          On point 3 this is a problem with governments looking towards their met services as revenue sources. Personally I do not think that any (non-national security related) data developed by a government should be looked at as a revenue source, but the rather unfortunate conservative trend in G20 and especially G8 governments over the last few decades has led us here. They need revenue but don’t want to raise general taxes, so why not try and make the met service pay for itself?

          We’ll just have to see what happens from here, it may be nothing or CRU may have to shift to an all GHCN analysis, which will of course require more adjustments to make the new analysis comparable to the old one. A whole new can of worms for the deniers to dig into…

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

          Rattus

          Now that it appears as thought a FOIA request to CRU will result in the disclosure of data which an NMS may wish to sell to commercial services cooperation with CRU/Met Office may be impaired.

          Of course they may wish to sell anything. I “might” wish to sell my old socks with holes worn into the heels.

          It appears that UEA presented no evidence to suggest how they might commercially commercially exploit the information requested. The commissioner noticed the requested information was for stale year old 2008 data, not fresh data. The notion that CRU/Met might find a commercial interest willing to pay good money for stale data seems as likely as me finding buyers who will pay big bucks for my old holey socks.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

          Lucia, you’re missing the point here. It isn’t that CRU might want to sell the data, but the people who supplied it to them (the NMS) might.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

          Nick–
          Might I suggest you are missing the point? Stale data that no one would would buy does not becom any more marketable if the NMS’s rather than CRU “might wish” to sell it.

          Let me rephrase this:

          The notion that CRU/Met might find a commercial interest willing to pay good money for stale data seems as likely as me finding buyers who will pay big bucks for my old holey socks.

          To

          The notion that the NMS’s might find a commercial interest willing to pay good money for stale data seems as likely as Mosher finding buyers who will pay big bucks for his old holey socks.

          I think the new example now covers the point you seem to think I don’t get.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

          “The notion that the NMS’s might find a commercial interest willing to pay good money for stale data…”
          Lucia, you just don’t know that. But what counts is whether they think they might.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

          Yeah, hey might think that the moon is made of blue cheese. It doesn’t matter. What is wrong is wrong.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

          Nick–

          “The notion that the NMS’s might find a commercial interest willing to pay good money for stale data…”

          Lucia, you just don’t know that. But what counts is whether they think they might.

          Oh?
          Well:
          1) No one from CRU seems to have even attempted to present any evidence the NMS’s actually think they might find a buyer for the stale data.

          2) No one from CRU seems to have even attempted to present any evidence the NMS’s even want to try to find a buyer for that stale data.

          3) No one seemed from CRU seems to have bothered to consult or ask the NMS’s whether they think they might find a buyer for the stale data or whether they would ever try to find a buyer for the stale data.

          4) The ICO in his ruling clearly communicates that he doesn’t seem to think that what counts is merely what the NMS (or CRU) thinks they might under some hypothetical circumstance do something to profit from the data. It matters whether what they think is remotely plausible and, moreover, whether releasing the data could plausibly affect their ability to profit from their IP.

          So I have no idea on what basis you are decreeing “what counts” is that the NMS “think they might” find someone willing to pay for stale data that– as far as anyone can tell — is as worthless as my old holey socks. The only think I can imagine you mean is that you Nick Stokes think that’s what matters. Of course, you are allowed to hold that opinion even if it is totally bizarre.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

          A:27. Contracts and 3rd Party Confidence. The UEA should only accept
          information from third parties in confidence if it is necessary to obtain that
          information in connection with the exercise of any of its functions and it would not
          otherwise be provided. In addition, the UEA should not agree to hold information
          received from third parties “in confidence” which is not confidential in nature.
          Again, acceptance of any confidentiality provisions must be for good reasons,
          capable of being justified to the Commissioner. Further details are given in Annex
          D and in Annex G.

          In Dec 2009 CRU did a couple things.
          1. they published an updated version of hadcrut using NON confidential data and they argued that
          the answer they got was the same. ( most people forget this little episode.
          2. they argued that HADCRUT was supported by other studies (like Giss) who dont use confidential
          data.

          So, what they argued was they could get the same answer without confidential data. Problem?
          that makes confidential data UNNECESSARY.

          My whole point here ( and in my submission to Parliament) was that CRU didnt need confidential data
          and that if they insisted on using it that they do so properly and according to best practices.
          Not Phil’s memory.

          I did FOIA around the letter they sent out. Actually that letter was the attachment to the last mail in the climategate stack. It was a mail between thorne and Jones and I figured that they were discussing the request to other countries. So I FOIAd it. I raised some other issues ( see A above) in that time frame, Palmer took ill and out of common decency I dropped the matter. He had already been through enough.

          So, you and I can argue about it, but if I get frustrated with your unreasonableness, then I suppose we can see what the ICO says. I’d rather not. I’d rather we agree that CRU needs to mend its ways. My stance on these things has changed. Before I would argue for days before firing off a FIOA. Now, I think I prefer to have the ICO settle the blog debates. what’s your choice?

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

          1) You and many others have been able to get much the same answer as CRU from GHCN data. So why the need for FOIA on the data which is not on GHCN?

          Actually, steve ammended his request in his appeal to only ask for NON confidential data. CRU denied this request. The first FOIA request for CRU data came from Willis. he wanted to check the UHI calcs. So he would need their version of the data to actually check their claim. The need for an FOIA is due to CRU not sharing data. You ask for data, they say no. You FOIA. how hard is that to understand? The sad fact is they caused more damage to the public interest by fighting the release than they would have by breaking verbal agreements they should not have made in the first place. The PRESUMPTION is to release, unless it can be shown that harm outweighs the public interest. They released to Mc in 2002. No harm. They released to rutherford in 2005. no harm. Webster, no harm. Publically posted the data, no harm. pretty simple “theory” of harm had been tested multiple times. No harm. pretty simple

        • ferd berple
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

          “1) You and many others have been able to get much the same answer as CRU from GHCN data. So why the need for FOIA on the data which is not on GHCN?”

          There is a “need for FOIA on the data which is not on GHCN”

          a) because it is not on GHCN.

          We are talking about decisions here that will potentially impact every human being on earth. The scientific method requires that ALL data be on the table for examination, not just that data which supports one point of view.

          Human beings have a long history of belief and superstition leading to mistakes and deaths. The scientific method is the only known technique that has been consistently shown to minimize these problems.

          Truth is not dependent on the number of experts that agree with any one position. History shows that experts are routinely wrong in what they believe. No matter how many times something is shown to be right, that doesn’t make it true. I have a stopped watch that is right more than 700 times a year.

          Phil Jones did not want to release his data to those that were seeking to prove it wrong. The CRU is continuing this tradition, completely at odds with the scientific method.

          The scientific method works by allowing ideas to be tested, to see if they are true are not. This only works when people are actively trying to prove the idea wrong. Like a stopped clock, it makes no difference how many times it can be shown to be right.

          If someone can prove it wrong, then unless there was an error in the test, likely it is not true. If the idea holds up, if no one is able to prove it wrong after repeated tests, then perhaps it is true.

          Only then should the idea be used as the basis for any decisions. In the case of AGW this has not happened, because of a campaign of obstruction, to withhold data from those that are seeking to try and prove the idea wrong.

          Thus, there is no basis to trust that AGW is true. It has not been adequately tested by those that wish to show it is wrong, as required by the scientific method.

          The reason it has not been tested is because the underlying data and methods have not been made available to those that are seeking to show that AGW is wrong.

          The data and methods have only been made available to those that are seeking to show that AGW is correct, which is a corruption of the scientific method. It is “Post normal science” or “cargo cult science”.

          Proponents of AGW are seeking to prove the theory correct by counting the number of times it has been shown to be right. Similar to my broken watch. It is not science.

        • Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

          Collection of this data began long before FOIA.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

          Yes collection of the data began before FOIA. That is utterly beside the point.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

          I say let Jones and company keep “their” data. If they don’t want to practice open and honest science, then no one should take what they do seriously. End of story.

    • Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

      And OK, I’ll chime in too. I have consistently maintained that I think that Phil Jones genuinely believed that assurances that he had given while gathering the data meant that he could not consent to its effective publication. Consequently he was bound to seek an exemption, and UEA backed him. They were overruled – it happens. He did what he could.

      • Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

        Riiigghht. Even to the extent of hoping privately that the Two Ms didn’t discover that recent FOI legislation applied and planning a quick flush in the eventuality.

        Weak, Nick; very weak.

      • Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

        I have consistently maintained that I think that Phil Jones genuinely believed that assurances that he had given while gathering the data meant that he could not consent to its effective publication.

        1 he freely gave the data to rutherford and webster and Mcintyre (2002)

        2. In his communications prior to 2005, he seemed to hold to the position that the data should be free.
        see the mails with Hughes and this one with steve,


        Dear Steve,!Attached are the two similar files [normup6190, cruwld.dat] to those I sent
        before which should be for the 1994 version. This is still the current version until the
        paper appears for the new one. As before the stations with normal values do not get used.
        I’ll bear your comments in mind when possibly releasing the station data for the new
        version (comments wrt annual temperatures as well as the monthly). One problem with
        this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. With
        monthly data I can use even one value for a station in a year (for the month concerned),
        but for annual data I would have to decide on something like 8-11 months being needed
        for an annual average. With fewer than 12 I then have to decide what to insert for
        missing data. Problem also applies to the grid box dataset but is slightly less of an issue.
        I say possibly releasing above, as I don’t want to run into the issues that GHCN have
        come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available. I
        would like to see more countries make their data freely available (and although these
        monthly averages should be according to GCOS rules for GAA-operational Met. Service.
        !Cheers!Phil Jones

        3. He argued that if asked to share the data he would “hide” behind confidentiality

        His attitude was determined not by t the LAW, but rather by the person ASKING.
        In 2002 when Mcintyre asked, Jones delivered. Then Mc Published and the rest is history.

        His memory was opportunistic and his desire to protect confidential data was opportunistic

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

          “he freely gave the data to rutherford and webster and Mcintyre (2002) “
          If that’s really true, then what was the fuss all about? Was Steve withholding the data?

          But yes, it’s possible that he was inconsistent. People sometimes are. But he may still well have felt that handing over on demand, with publication a certain outcome, had to be resisted, while giving it to an academic for an agreed purpose was OK.

          In fact we had a somewhat similar situation under Australian FOI. We had to get part of our funding from industry through doing research for them; for that we needed access to confidential information. Of course if we held it their competitors could apply for that under FOI. We needed to assure them that there was an exemption for that purpose.

          But the company doesn’t control that process. They are not a party; they have to rely on us aggressively pushing that exemption. So it was very important to us that we should be seen to do so in all cases.

          Here’s a UK version of the dilemma.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

          “he freely gave the data to rutherford and webster and Mcintyre (2002) “
          If that’s really true, then what was the fuss all about? Was Steve withholding the data?

          But yes, it’s possible that he was inconsistent. People sometimes are. But he may still well have felt that handing over on demand, with publication a certain outcome, had to be resisted, while giving it to an academic for an agreed purpose was OK.

          You avoided my question.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

          I don’t see how this is a dilemma. Private companies needing to formalize non-disclosure agreements is not a “dilemma”. They formalize non-disclosure agreements when sharing with private companies too. How are any of the other things “dilemma”.

          I should think the problem was worse pre-FOIA when private companies exchanged using verbal agreements which someone like Jones took enforced according to whether or not he, Jones, wanted to share the data. Webster got the data. Jonathan Jones didn’t. If the third party was concerned about possible sharing, they lost just as much control when Phil Jones could send it to Webster, or possibly an American at a National Lab —itself subject to FOIA.

          Companies sharing confindential data should make sure they have donfidentiality agreements in place– and know how those would be enforced. This is not a “dilemma”, it’s “life”.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

          The older history of this data set shows the total mendacity of this UEA excuse. Phil Jones’ early data collection was financed by CDIAC, a branch of the Oak Ridges Nuclear Lab. The early versions (in the early 1990s) were placed online by CDIAC. Did Jones tell the NMSs that he was collecting the data for the US Department of Energy? I doubt it.

          Although this line of argument was not pursued by the ICO, my guess is that the “early” confidentiality agreements – if they ever existed – would have been waived by Jones’ conduct in the 1990s. That would leave only “later” confidentiality agreements as potentially binding I surveyed this in a CA post some time ago, and, as I recall, Iran and Syria were the principal countries involved.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

          “Companies sharing confindential data should make sure they have donfidentiality agreements in place– and know how those would be enforced. This is not a “dilemma”, it’s “life”.”
          It’s a dilemma because the companies are sharing with someone whose desire to abide by confidentiality can be overridden. And in a legal process in which the companies have no standing, and can only hope that their public authority partner will look out for their interests.

          How they do enforce their agreement in those circumstances is an interesting question.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

          Nick–

          How they do enforce their agreement in those circumstances is an interesting question.
          It’s certainly more intersting than pre-FOI, where the question was clear cut. Pre-FOI, the private third parties agreement was utterly unenforceble.

          Pre-FOI the companies would be sharing with someone who, like Jones, who, as we can see by his bevior, would get the data and send it to people of his choosing. This isn’t even disputed– if he liked you, he sent it.

          Not only that, Jones likely shared data internally; this meant other people at CRU might send it to people of their chosing. The company was already cut out of this decision, wasn’t informed, had no recourse etc.

          If anything, the ‘interesting’ aspect of FOI is that it clarifies things for companies and likely reduces their exposure to unwanted sharing of their IP. With FOI in place companies know that if they hand things over, a judicial body might make the decision, and that they, the company, had darn well better get any of these informal gentlemans agreements in writing and to also understand the circumstances under which they might be overruled. If the company wished, they could probably explore pre-stated fees for sharing certain commercially valuable materials. That would provide information about value to the judicial body.

          But this isn’t worse for the private company than the situation before FOI. It’s better– because if the private company has formal written agreements in place, they can at least have some recourse for compensation if someone like Phil Jones or his employer UEA loses track of their legal agreements and ends up harming the private companies financial interest by failing to supply these things to an adjudicator.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:19 AM | Permalink

          Lucia, That’s wrong. FOI doesn’t stop Jones from distributing the data as before. It doesn’t add any enforceability to the agreement. It simply means that an agreement that was made by two parties who were prepared to abide by it can be overridden by non-party to the agreement. And one of the partners, the data provider, doesn’t get a say in the proceeding.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

          Nick–

          That’s wrong. FOI doesn’t stop Jones from distributing the data as before. It doesn’t add any enforceability to the agreement.

          Clearly, you don’t want to get the point. Of course Jones distributed data to people he liked before and would continue to distribute the data to people he likes afterwards. FOI itself can’t stop that.

          What I mean is that now that FOI is in place, third parties know they need to formalize in writing instead of relying on Jones’ “memory”, which seems sufficiently selective that when his friends wanted data he didn’t ‘consult’ any agreements that may have existed. This means that if Jones’s breach of the agreement is discovered, the 3rd parties have written document to demonstrate Jones agreed to something. That would be helpful should they wish recourse. The recourse could be outside the FOI process, but it’s still recourse.

          Without these pesky written documents the 3rd parties are pretty much SOL should someone like Jones shares data (as he did), and the sharing turns out to be of a nature that did not comport with the agreement as viewed by the 3rd party rather than Jones only.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

          Nick

          it can be overridden by non-party to the agreement

          I should add that contractual agreements can always be overridden by courts if the sort of agreement entered is not permitted by law. This is true for leases, wills, employment agreements, divorce decrees etc. FOI gives clarity. Pre-FOI, the verbal agreements had no clarity. The 3rd parties forked something over to someone like Jones after some sort of verbal discussion in which any agreement was clearly vague. Jones remembered or not as suited him.

          So, yes, there are things Jones can’t promise. Things that aren’t his to promise. He might wish he could promise them, but he can’t. This situation was not created by FOI, it’s always existed.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

          Lucia,
          PJ obtained data, starting in early ’80s, on the understanding that it was not for publication. There’s nothing wrong with that understanding – nothing that a court would interfere with. He may have been careless with that in giving data to Steve M etc, but still, no publication ensued. Both parties were still happy. Pre-FOI, there’s no problem. No court is going to intervene – there’s no cause.

          It’s only when third parties come along empowered by FOI that there is danger of breach of the understanding.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

          Nick, you say:

          PJ obtained data, starting in early ’80s, on the understanding that it was not for publication

          If that’s the case, then Phil Jones deceived NMSs around the world right from the start. Jones was being funded by the US Department of Energy to collect the data. Jones delivered the data to CDIAC who published several editions of the data in the early 1990s. To my knowledge, none of the NMSs protested at the time.

          Now you’re saying that Phil Jones broke these supposed agreements almost before the ink was dry on them. Shouldn’t use be criticizing Phil Jones for misconduct in breaching these supposed agreements?

          Nor did any of these NMSs complained about Jones’ breaking these supposed (and probably imaginary) confidentiality agreements.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

          Both parties were still happy. Pre-FOI, there’s no problem. No court is going to intervene – there’s no cause.
          Once again: You seem to be missing the point when you decree “no problem”.

          You refer to”both parties”. Both means “2”. But there are three parties. Presumably the “both” parties who were “still happy” when Jones gave data to Webster would be Jones and Webster (or any of the other people who he gave data to unbeknownst to the NMS he gave data to? Yes, I’m sure both those parties were happy when Jones bequeathed data he’d gotten from the NMS to them.

          But I thought you were concerned about the NMS being cut out of the decision of who Jones could share data with. Note that even if PJones and the person he gave data to are still happy the NMS was just as cut out of this decision as under FOI and the NMS could still be unhappy. And if the NMS is theorrically unhappy with the ICO handing out data they didn’t want Jones to hand out, they presumably would be equally unhappy that Jones routinely handed it out too!

          But worse: a) The NMS has almost no way of knowing their data is being handed out to friends of Jones, b) the NMS will have no recourse because there are no formal agreements in place. For all practical purposes, Jones is bound by nothing. (This is fine if the NMS doens’t wish to bind Jones because they actually don’t care who gets their data, but in which case, there can be no harm if the ICO hands out the data either! So, it’s idiotic to suggest that the NMS has lost something if the ICO can also hand out the data after a formal process.)

          In any case, if we focus on whether the NMS is happy or unhappy (rather than P.Jones feelings only), how do you know whether the NMS’s were happy with Phil Jones Pre-FOI sharing of data? Answer: You don’t. Do you think Trinidad and Tobaggo even know Phil Jones had shared the data? For all you know, they would have been very upset to learn Jones gave Webster his data and would have preferred Jones tell Webster to contact them directly. Jones doesnt; seem to have asked them before he sent data to Webster. He certainly didn’t consult any written agreement to refresh his memory about precisely what he’d promised Trinidad and Tobaggo.

          For that matter, do you (or even Jones) know what the Trinidadian and Tobaggoians requested of Jones as a condition of putting their data into his care? (BTW: It seems 2008 data was involved in the ICO decision. ) In fact, you have no idea whether the conditions were breeched. And if Trinidad and Tobaggo was upset and wanted to bring action against Jones of Cru for violating the agreement, they couldn’t show any court the terms and conditions. So, if the conditions were breeched by Jones pre-FOI behavior, Trinidad and Tobaggo has no legal recourse because they had no formal agreement on record.

          So, how are Trinidad and Tobaggo worse off post-FOI? (Answer: They aren’t. Trinidad and Tobago were at least as cut out of any decision to share their data pre-FOI as they might be post-FOI.

          As a practical matter, they are better off post FOI because they now know that they need to put whatever conditions they have in writing and include an explanation of the harm distribution would cause. If such documents exist the FOI officers and the ICO need to read them. This puts them in the loop where pre-FOI they were totally cut out of Jones decision.

          Plus since the document exists, Jones and CRU are also bound– because they can’t just conveniently forget their agreement with Trinidad and Tobaggo when it suits them to forget.

          So, the FOI formalism protects Trinidad and Tobaggo’s interest more than the pre-FOI system where Jones, unbeknownst to Trinidad and Tobago– just handed out data like his own trove of candy– but only to people he “liked” and where others at CRU had access to the data, and totally unaware of any agreement might equally hand out data. Not withstanding your theory that the NMS-Jones agreement was somehow in place pre-FOI, it was an utter fiction. Jones just handed out data. Likely, so did others at other locations. There was nothing to prevent it.

        • Sean
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

          “So, yes, there are things Jones can’t promise. Things that aren’t his to promise. He might wish he could promise them, but he can’t. This situation was not created by FOI, it’s always existed.”

          Well said. In my business, I have been a signatory on many confidentiality agreements. I have seen many forms of “confis” (as we call them) from many major companies. They always exempt mandatory disclosure to a court or regulatory body. Because that’s something that’s not ours (or our client’s) to promise.

        • mpaul
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

          Per Nick Stokes:

          “But the company doesn’t control that process. They are not a party; they have to rely on us aggressively pushing that exemption. So it was very important to us that we should be seen to do so in all cases.”

          Per Phile Jones:

          “We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it!…
          Phil”

          Opps, there’s that word again — ‘hide’. Phil seems to do a lot of it. In your world, Nick, Does being a aggressive advocate for exemptions include doing anythng necessary to secure the exemption?
          Per Phil Jones:

          “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

          Would deleting information subject to FOIA be OK if it were necessary to secure the exemtion of ‘we no longer hold this data’?
          :p.Or take another example:

          Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

          Is this just being a strong advocate, or is it something else? Does this cross any lines in your book?
          Or how about this classic from Phil Jones:

          “A couple of things – don’t pass on either…

          2. You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in FOI requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we’ve found a way around this…

          This message will self destruct in 10 seconds! “

          Doesn’t any of this bother you Nick?

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          “Would deleting information subject to FOIA be OK if it were necessary to secure the exemtion of ‘we no longer hold this data’?”
          This is actually a very common pre-emptive response to the possibility of future FOI requests. Just be careful what you keep. I linked again some standard UK advice here:
          “Require the return or destruction of all materials once the process has concluded”

          But I’ve noted elsewhere the double standards promoted here. We had recently the spectacle of a large amount of US Government business being conducted on a private (RNC) email network, just to avoid FOI (and Congress) intrusions. That network deleted all emails after 30 days. And massive deletions of email that was on the government servers. PJ’s uncooperative attitudes are pretty minor in comparison.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

          That is an absolute irrelevanace and a straw man to this argument. First you start of with stating PJ did nothing wrong. Then you qualify degrees of misconduct. And now yyou bring in a US Government business network deleting e-mails to justify PJ’s conduct.

          How desperate can you get? More and more of this rambling makes you look stupid.

          If US Government people did something wrong, the relevant laws and the peopl affected by that will take care of that. And yes, deleting is wrong and they need to face the consequences of their action.

          We are discussing here about PJ’s actions and UEA’s actions. They have been proved wrong by the ICO with a ruthless smackdown. And here you are, justifying their action still with absurd excuses.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

          “Private entities should be cautious whilst providing information to public bodies or when holding information on their behalf. For example, bidders in government procurement should:

          Review materials thoroughly in the initial stages of the process, to confirm whether all information should be disclosed
          Consider the timing of any disclosures (as other bidders could submit an FOIA request at any time)
          Mark all relevant disclosed information as confidential and commercially sensitive
          Ensure non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are in place
          Require the return or destruction of all materials once the process has concluded”

          Nice cherry pick nick. Those are instructions to PRIVATE ENTITIES. CRU has a documents retention policy.

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

        Nick,

        This is what Dr Phil boasted about, a year before Climategate.

        ” When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide
        by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince
        them otherwise showing them what CA was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive. I’ve got to know the FOI person quite well and the Chief Librarian – who deals with appeals. The VC is also aware of what is going on – at least for one of the requests, but probably doesn’t know the number we’re dealing with. We are in double figures.”

        Would you care to argue an assertion that this is a pure and simple act of law breaking, an act that one of the subsequent “Inquiries” noted, but then refused to go down that road?

        If you answer in the affirmative, what is in it for you to condone breaking the law? Especially by the V-C?

        Do you know what happened between this date (Dec 3rd, 2008) and September 2009, when responses to FOI requests started to be sent out? What caused the 180 degree turn in attitude?

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

          “Would you care to argue”
          Well, Geoff, how about you provide an argument. What law do you think was broken?

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

          Nick,

          “When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide
          by the requests.”

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

          That’s not an answer. Apart from the fact that PJ is writing a private email, not striving for legal exactitude, all it bears on is whether they can claim (legal) exemptions. Maybe PJ successfully argued to them that they could.

          But I’d like more exactitude from you. What law do you think was broken? Chapter and verse?

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

          Nick, The plods around here are reputed to hit your head with a thick telephone directory if you act dumb to them. Would you like A-K or L-Z?

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

          Are you condoning breaking the law?

        • theduke
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

          No, but you are. He’s speaking in jest. You are condoning a clear attempt to avoid compliance under the law because the person violatiing the law didn’t like “the type of people (he was) dealing with.”

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

          For the nth time, that as not a private e-mails. Those e-mails were written on the official e-mail ID’s and they are not private. Don’t peddle obvious BS.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

          Nonsense. He was expressing himself to Ben Santer, not to you. And describing how he felt about the meeting – not propounding the legalities.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

          Absolute nonsense, he was writing on the institution’s e-mail ID to a fellow researcher in the Climate Science community about his research and his data, both of which are the property of UEA. That is not a private correspondence by any standards. Try this in the real world in an organisation and see how it works out. It does not matter to whom he was expressing himself to. He wrote on UEA’s e-mail ID about UEA research matters and that is classified as official correspondence, not private.

          You have no clue of what you’re talking about.

          On the other hand, a correction, you know what you are doing, which is deliberately spreading BS and being an apologist for bad practices, which seems to be your job.

        • RB
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

          Hi Nick

          How about conspiracy under section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977?

          All the best,

          RB

        • Mike Davis
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

          Nick:
          I worked for a public utility and was advised that all my e-mails or written correspondence of any type was not private and subject to being released for many reasons. This was since I started working there in 1968. The non private issue was reinforced regularly when someone thought they could use company equipment for private use and were caught. One of those e-mails would have been grounds for dismissal.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

          I doubt if people were being dismissed in 1968 because of emails. But people in research organisations use email for all kinds of discussion. Probably not so much in the future – I expect gmail will be popular.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

          Ignorance of law is no excuse for the crime anywhere.

          People in research organisations in the AGW promoting Climate field certainly seem to inhibit the twilight zone removed from any normal world. They don’t seem to know private from official correspondence, right from wrong, truth from falsehoods and general scientific methods.

          People from Research organisations I deal with in my field do understand these areas and know what is private and not private and what mail ID’s to use for what discussions. They also find life simpler as they possess one valuable criteria which allows them to separate wrong from right, ethics. This is something distinctly lacking in people from the AGW promoting scientific side and their apologists.

          Fact that we’re having this discussion with somebody having a Ph.D who is still defending the indefensible and talking this kind of BS is exactly a symptom of what’s wrong with AGW promoting Climate Science, a total absence of scruples.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

          http://www.cfoi.org.uk/pdf/foistories2005.pdf

          “This publication contains summaries of 500 disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act that were reported in online
          media sources in 2005, the first year of the Act’s operation. They represent only a small sample of all FOI disclosures, but give
          an idea of the wide range of information that has been released. They include disclosures under the UK and Scottish FOI Acts,
          both of which came fully into force on 1 January 2005.”
          ==========
          In the UK this act is very new. Until the Act was written in 2000 most acedemics would not have even considered what it meant. Even after 2005 no acedemic would have considered their emails would be scrutenised looking for misplaced commas, humour, and general banter. If they did then none OBVIOUSLY thought that the humour and banter would be misconstrued – do you REALLY HONESTLY think Jones would destroy permanently irrecoverable data collected over decades?!!

          English humour is not understood by many (e.g. monty python)

          You claim that confidentiality agreements should have been kept from 1980s but some would have been gentlemen’s agreements (another english thing) A sheet of paper amongst millions of paper record can easily go astray. It is still evident that WMOs believe their data should not be distributed aggreement or no! Can you not understand this? Confidential data would have been incorporated when available when the project was started in the 80s as no one knew if it WOULD make a difference. It remained incorporated because it caused no problem until people started requesting it. To determine which was private and had to be removed would have taken time – was this time available to Jones?

          So far the data freely available from the met office has not been used by Mcintyre or J jones. Their requests are obviously made just for embarassment factor!!!

        • Hum
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

          TFP you write “You claim that confidentiality agreements should have been kept from 1980s but some would have been gentlemen’s agreements (another english thing) A sheet of paper amongst millions of paper record can easily go astray.”

          Perhaps I can help you here since you seem to not be aware of how this is handled in the real world, there are things called “filing cabinets”. They are typically metal cabinets with drawers. Sometimes whole floors of buildings are comprised of nothing but filing cabinets to store “paper” and facilitate retrieval in an easy fashion. There are numerous ways to group and identify the documents for retrieval, some are alphabetical, some numeric, date, geographic by office, etc. Libraries use a system of cards to help find books on shelves – this is the Dewey Decimal system, this is usually taught in elementary school. Medical records, most legal documents and other similarly important things like contracts are still kept on paper since that allows for something else you may not be familar with it is called a signature. Signatures are typically made with pens. They still make pens even in these modern times. Pens can be bought in most office stores, grocery stores, convience stores etc.

          If after some suitable research on your part you are still having problems learning about these various devices and systems please let me know and I will track down an elementary teacher who can tutor you at reasonable rates.

        • Speed
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

          On Jun 29, 2011 at 7:10 AM, thefordprefect said, “English humour is not understood by many (e.g. monty python)”

          It’s unfortunate that so much of British culture is not understood by many – common law, literature, language, rock music, classical music and … Monty Python.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

          Monty Python’s insightful analyses into the University of East Anglia, a recurrent theme, are readily understood by people all over the world.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

          The law in question would be contempt of court. Or a conspiracy charge which might be easier to get.

          Personally, I’d go the conspiracy route. Jones played a game. Use and bend the rules to his advantage to deny someone their rights. It would seem that a prosecutor could haul him into court. Doesnt really matter if he wins the case.. he’s just using the system. using and abusing the system Goes TWO WAYS. Mann for example is being abused by the system. That Nick is what people like me object to. Hacking a system of policies and proceedures to achieve a PERSONAL end.

          Jones had a personal animus toward Steve. Justified or not, he had an obligation to follow the rules. plainly and clearly. When he used the system to promote his personal animus, he got what was coming. Institutions are powerful things. When people abuse their institutional power to promote their personal agenda, that requires correction. That’s why someone like like me objected to the AG of Virginia using his institutional power on Mann.

        • Richard Brearley
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

          I just don’t get this expression of what laws you like and what you don’t.

          Fact is that the law is what it is. Any member of the public is entitled to seek info under FOI/EIR.

          The AG of Virginia is entitled to use any legal powers that he has.

          Motive is, except in exceptional circumstances, irelevant, and that’s as it should be.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:01 AM | Permalink

          NickII
          ” Another issue that should be considered as well is this.
          With many papers, we’re using Met Office observations. We’ve abstracted these
          from BADC to use them in the papers. We’re not allowed to make these available
          to others. We’d need to get the Met Office’s permission in all cases.”

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

          Sounds reasonable.

        • Tom
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

          Nick,

          You can read the FOIA of 2000 here.

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents

          No where does the act give the public authority the power to deny requests based on who is making the request. No such exemption exists anywhere within the act. By Dr. Jones admitting that he, the VC, and their FOIA officer decided to deny all requests based on who was making the requests they put themselves in violation of the FIOA of 2000. Once more it was conspiracy to do so.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

          “No such exemption exists anywhere within the act.”
          And none was claimed.
          “By Dr. Jones admitting that he, the VC, and their FOIA officer decided to deny all requests based on who was making the requests they put themselves in violation of the FIOA of 2000.”
          Quite untrue. You’re just making stuff yp.

        • Tom
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

          Since you obviously dont care to read 80+ pages as I did and would rather just accuse me of lying there are nice summaries of the exemptions out there that you can read like this one.

          http://www.mayerbrown.com/publications/article.asp?id=2828

          The listing takes only about 7 pages and its a very quick read.

          You will find no such exemption. Dr. Jones, the VC and the FIOA officer violated the FOIA of 2000 when they decided amongst themselves that requests from skeptics would be denied based on who they were. Any attempt to pretend that the reasons were otherwise are what he law would call subterfuge.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

          I’m familiar with the Act. You haven’t read the five lines that I wrote. You said “No where does the act give the public authority the power to deny requests based on who is making the request.” And I said no such power was asserted. If you want to refute that, then show where it was.

          UEA claimed exemptions. The ICO judged that the facts did not meet the exemption conditions. But he didn’t say that the exemptions claimed were not in the Act.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

          Again, semantics from Nick. The UEA claimed exemptions which proved to be non-existent as exemptions can be claimed only when facts support the claim. You can claim an exemption on a confidentiality clause but if you don;t have anything to back it up, that does not make the exemption claim genuine. It makes the claim bogus.

          If you want a parallel, try making an expense claim to your organisation for a non-existent expense for which you can’t produce a bill and see where you get. The very fact that a section allowed for claiming of an expense does not mean that you can make baseless expense claims. You have to put up the goods to back what you claim. Which is what UEA and Jones could not do and hence the smackdown from the ICO.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

          The exemptions are not black and white. I know you think it’s clear – anything UEA says is wrong. But in fact they are just as entitled as Prof J Jones to put their argument to the ICO for adjudication. And to go higher if they wish.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

          It’s clear to everyone concerned except you and the CRU crowd but that’s par for the course anyway.

        • Tom
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

          I dont think the FOIA of 2000 gives anyone the right to knowingly submit false arguments to the claimant or the ICO. While the law gives CRU the right to respond I do believe that the law requires them to respond truthfully.

        • John F. Pittman
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

          In the ruling, ICO states that UEA has violated the regulations for timiliness.

          The law is the enabling law for EIR regulations to name one. The ICO also alludes to laws and regulations that indicated the information should be released that are EU.

          The statue of limits is over, but does not mean the law or regulations were not broken. Note a technical violation of a regulation can be considered a criminal violation of law. Also, note at the end that inadvisable delay could result in contempt charges. Whether civil or criminal may depend on actions of the party(ies).

          Short version UEA did wrong.

      • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

        I don’t think you believe that he genuinely believed he could not share the data.

        I think you believe that an argument about his “genuine” beliefs is an
        argument you can’t lose. But, you forget, that he did in fact share the data.
        knowing in all those cases that the data was confidential.

        The real question is why did he knowingly violate the agreements in some cases and
        uphold the agreements in other cases? A question no inquiry was clever enough
        to ask.

        Simple really. He didnt like Steve, Didn’t trust steve, and thought he could use the
        system to assist him in his fight. That doesnt make Jones’ science wrong. It doesnt make him evil.
        He’s just a poor judge when it comes to picking fights. He fought a high profile fight over
        nothing, where the cost of the fight was more damaging than the thing he fought over.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

          Nick is peddling BS. This was Jones’ mail to Mann, part of Climategate files

          “For your eyes only…Don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone….Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially? from UEA so he can hide behind that.”

          This shows intent not to share the data. So Nick’s assertion, as usual is baseless bullshit.

          Nick is known for peddling deliberate disinformation with intent to deceive. There is a one word definition for that but I leave that for readers to deduce themselves.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

          Of course he didn’t want to release it. That isn’t in doubt.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          Phil Jones did not have a problem releasing the data. He released it multiple times. He only had a problem releasing it to skeptics who might be critical.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

          “I don’t think you believe that he genuinely believed he could not share the data.”
          I can assure you that I do. I’ve been in that situation many times. Someone has data. I need it. They have no reason to give it, but they could. So they ask well – what exactly do you want to do with it? And I explain.

          It may not be written down legally. And there’s a fuzzy area about showing it to colleagues. And I don’t think PJ is very disciplined about that. And he obviously resented being pushed into releasing it.

          But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

          It is not his choice whom to give it or not give it to. He tried his best to avoid giving it to people who requested it using FOIA, with intent. UEA supported him, Now they all have been told in no uncertain terms to release the data and have been told that what they have been doing was totally wrong. So boo hoo to you and your likes. You all can run, cheat and obfuscate, but you can’t hide. The truth will win always and will show up liars.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes (Jun 28 04:33) wrote —

          …I’ve been in that situation many times. Someone has data. I need it. They have no reason to give it, but they could. So they ask well – what exactly do you want to do with it? And I explain…

          Nick is responding to Steve Mosher (Jun 28, 2011 at 12:49 AM), but he is not being responsive to the point Mosher made–which is key.

          Here it is again.

          The real question is why did [Phil Jones] knowingly violate the [confidentiality] agreements in some cases and uphold the agreements in other cases?

          I think the most plausible defense of Jones’ actions is the one Mosher offers, which amounts to, “Jones withheld data from people he disliked and mistrusted, while sharing it with those whose ‘climate politics’ were aligned with his own. He ignored FOIA and EIR mandates because he thought he was serving a higher purpose, and because he thought it unlikely that he would be held to account.”

          If Nick Stokes has a different explanation in mind, perhaps he can state it succinctly.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

          I think PJ’s attitude was modified by his feeling towards the people who wanted his data, yes.

          But “He ignored FOIA and EIR mandates” is quite untrue. In the first place, responsibility for FOI rests with UEA, not PJ. And they did not ignore FOI, though they may have sometimes been unpunctual. They responded with claims of exemption, as they are entitled to do. Prof Jones appealed, as he is entitled to do, and was successful.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

          Nick (@8:47am) —

          > responsibility for FOI rests with UEA, not PJ.

          Good point. Nick: as far as you know, did Prof. Jones provide any input into UEA’s handling of FOIA and EIR requests on this subject?

          > [UEA] may have sometimes been unpunctual.

          Yes, that is a possibility. Is this an invitation for me to supply other amusing uses of the “may sometimes have been” turn of phrase involving, say, Lord Monckton or Joe Romm?

          > [UEA] responded with claims of exemption, as they are entitled to do. Prof Jones appealed, as he is entitled to do, and was successful.

          Um. So Prof. Jones acted (appealed) on a matter for which he bore no responsibility. I’m getting confused. Also, the title of this post invites reflection on your use of “was successful.”

          By the way, “was” is the past participle of “is”. Perhaps we should start with the meaning of that word.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

          “So Prof. Jones acted (appealed) on a matter for which he bore no responsibility.”
          No, you’re not keeping up with the Jones’s.

          “Is this an invitation for me to supply…”
          No, it’s an invitation to try to be more accurate, which I know you can do. They did not ignore FOI.

          “did Prof. Jones provide any input into UEA’s handling of FOIA and EIR requests on this subject”
          Yes. UEA needs him to – he knows the facts. But if anyone was “ignoring” FOI, it would have to be UEA – the request is for documents that they hold.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          Re: Nick Stokes (Jun 28 17:27),

          > “So Prof. Jones acted (appealed) on a matter for which he bore no responsibility.”
          > No, you’re not keeping up with the Jones’s.
          Funny! But non-responsive to the issue raised with your prior claim — trying to have it both ways.

          > “Is this an invitation for me to supply…”
          > No, it’s an invitation to try to be more accurate, which I know you can do. They did not ignore FOI.
          Yes, Mosher already clarified that “ignore” may sometimes have been a non-optimal word choice. Always nice to see you two in accord.

          > “did Prof. Jones provide any input into UEA’s handling of FOIA and EIR requests on this subject”
          > Yes. UEA needs him to – he knows the facts. But if anyone was “ignoring” FOI, it would have to be UEA – the request is for documents that they hold.
          True but incomplete. Prof. Jones was an active participant in the response to this request.

          As far as the general point on accuracy — always a good idea to strive to give a full and complete picture to readers. You and I — and those readers — can weigh the advantages and problems associated with careful speaking.

        • Jeremy
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

          Ah, yes, a modified attitude based on feelings towards the people requesting information. This reminds me of when a despot denies information to his political rivals so that nothing embarrassing can come out to shake his/her power.

          Laws are in place for a reason. They are not on the books so that they may only be followed when it feels politically safe to do so. Defense of such actions as Phil took because of feelings of distrust/dislike of certain members of the public is defense of lawlessness.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

          Phil Jones is by no stretch of the imagination a despot.

          But the outrage at the thought that he might respond differently to people he likes and trusts is ridiculous. Of course he does, most people do. Any lawyer will advise you to be polite to the judge. It shouldn’t matter, but it does.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

          Re: Nick Stokes (Jun 28 17:34), once again you miss the mark.

          When Jones first gave the data to McIntyre in 2002 he didnt even know him. Steve was unpublished and unknown. Jones had no basis to trust him, so why did he share the data? well his letter gives a clue. he thought the data should be free, per WMO. he had a similar exchange with warwick. The fact that Jones did not keep good records of the agreements is further evidence that he paid little regard to the confidentiality.

          The other point I would make is that Jones doesnt get the luxury of treating his friends and his enemies differently. That is what FOIA is all about. At least that is what the NOAA FOIA officer told me. As she said, “I don’t care if Dr. Peterson likes you or not, I’ve determined you have a right to the data, so you will get it. he has no say in the matter” Smart lady. Having been in similar situations myself, having to give data to my enemies, my approach was always to recuse myself from any discussions.

          In anycase, we’ve left behind the argument that Jones held onto to data out of respect for confidentiality. And now we agree with what I wrote in the book. Jones made the decision based on personal animus. He tried to use the system opportunistically to support his personal bias. That is an abuse of institutional power.
          My suggestion was this: Jones should not be in charge of data access. Is THAT really that hard to admit?

          Seriously, Jones held the data for personal reasons. He should not have done that. It wasnt a crime, but for gods sake, take the man out of the role where he gets to decide or influence who gets data. Seriously. He’s sloppy ( by his own admission), lost the agreements, misused his power. Put the data in the hands of a competant document control specialist.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

          “Jones should not be in charge of data access. Is THAT really that hard to admit?”
          He was not in charge of data access, at least after an FOI request. That was left to the UEA FOI folk. It may be that he was able to persuade them of the applicability of exemptions.

          Yes, he likely was apt to make decisions on the basis of how well he thought of the person he was dealing with. Lots of people do. He doesn’t have any judicial role – it’s not a big deal.

        • None
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes
          “He was not in charge of data access, at least after an FOI request. That was left to the UEA FOI folk. It may be that he was able to persuade them of the applicability of exemptions.”

          Eh ? No, he was in charge of data access – that is why requests for the data were being refused by him. FOI requests were made to try and force him to release it – yet there he was persuading the weak minded FOI representative that what mattered was not whether FOI rules should be followed, but what “type of person” he was having to deal with. Amazing. The exemptions mentioned, laughably weak, were just thrown out as excuses to avoid releasing the data.

          “Yes, he likely was apt to make decisions on the basis of how well he thought of the person he was dealing with.”

          This is a phenomenally huge problem in climate science. Anyone critical of the “consensus” papers, results, or evidence are quickly given the cold shoulder. The data and full results should be archived already as a matter of course to prevent this kind of immature retaliatory behaviour. This is data upon which global political decisions are being made and some guy stuck in an office is refusing to let someone else look at it because he doesn’t like him ?? Honestly…

        • Tom
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          Nick,

          With Jones admitting in private the he set up the meeting that convinced the VC an FOIA officer to deny the requests he is admitting to taking part.

        • John F. Pittman
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

          Not being timely is a violation of the regs and was noted by the ICO.

        • TerryS
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

          Section 77 of the FOIA states:

          Offence of altering etc. records with intent to prevent disclosure.
          (1)Where—(a)a request for information has been made to a public authority, and(b)under section 1 of this Act or section 7 of the M40Data Protection Act 1998, the applicant would have been entitled (subject to payment of any fee) to communication of any information in accordance with that section,any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the communication of which the applicant would have been entitled.
          (2)Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the public authority.

          Phil Jones blocked the disclosure of records therefore under the act he can be held responsible.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

          There’s no indication that this data was damaged or rendered unavailable in any way. There was a FOI argument about whether it could be released. If this decision resolves that, the data will be released.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

          The question at the beginning was never about whether it could be released, but whether Phil Jones wanted it released. Huge difference. Confidentiality agreements which didn’t exist only materialized as an excuse years later.

        • TerryS
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

          Nick, your original comment I was responding to was:

          But “He ignored FOIA and EIR mandates” is quite untrue. In the first place, responsibility for FOI rests with UEA, not PJ.

          Section 77 clearly lays out legal consequences to individuals within an organisation. It is not just for damaging data, it is also for blocking release of data. There can be no legal consequences without responsibility.

          Phil Jones made false claims (confidentiality agreements allowing release to academics but not Steve) to block the release of the data.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

          It doesn’t say blocking release of the data, it says blocking the record. I’m not sure what it means, but it’s with a whole lot of other words that imply physical damage to a record.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

          Re: TerryS (Jun 29 02:34), It’s with a whole lot of words? look, the purpose of enumerating all the ways one can avoid DISCLOSURE of the records. The reason why one enumerates all the ways the intent of the law can be thwarted is to prevent the very kind of WEASELING you are engaging in.

          I didnt alter the data, I just said it was confidential when it wasnt
          I didnt alter the data, I changed the permissions on the file
          I didnt alter the data, i merely compressed it with a lossless compression, and encrypted it and lost the key.

          you get the idea. there are many ways to “alter” data to thwart the intention of the law and to weasel your way of of your obligations.

          Again, the reason why one gets a litany of ways of altering (some including physical alterations) is the history of weaseling, the history of people with “criminal” minds doing just the sort of thing Jones has done. Oh, you asked for records.. “emails arent records, faxes arent records, etc etc. These types of lists
          are made up because of the sad history of weasels

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

          Well, what do you think it means? It is in there with defaces, erases, alters etc, applying to record. Use some English major skills. Do you think that one word is meant to imply that seeking the exemptions provided in the rest of the act is an offence under Sec 77? If so, don’t you think that they might have wanted to say a little more about that?

        • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

          Re: TerryS (Jun 28 19:03), Blocking a record.

          I would say it means taking any action to block the record from release. That would include.
          lying about the whereabouts of the record. securing the record with an unbreakable cypher,
          remving the record from its storage so it couldnt be found. making up stories about verbal
          agreements that prevent me from releasing the record, there are losts of ways to “block” a record.
          And since the law is written to with the presumption in favor of those requesting data, I’d argue for pretty broad interpretation of “block” as Opposed to a narrow one. in short its up to you to convince me that they didnt block.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

          Nick,
          So Jones is not in charge of data access? Ok. Please give me the name of the person who controls the release of the CRUTEM data?

          And here:

          And they did not ignore FOI, though they may have sometimes been unpunctual. They responded with claims of exemption, as they are entitled to do.

          “unpunctual” They are required to respond in a timely matter. Further, they are ENTITLED to respond with VALID CLAIMS of exemption.

          They are not entitled to “make up” facts and say that agreements preclude release to non academics
          when that is untrue.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

          In the first instance, David Palmer, advising the VC.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stoke, you said “In the first instance, David Palmer, advising the VC.”

          At first, Jones was in controlld release or deny release at his pleasure.
          If FOI came through, then Palmer could only advise and take action. However, he cannot be said to directly control, can he be ?

          But Jones could be said to directly control it.

        • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

          palmer does not control the data. Jones’ memory of confidential agreements does.

          If Palmer acted like an independent officer he would clearly see that without a written agreement
          the presumption would fall to turning the data over.

          Trust me, Webster did not write to Palmer for the data.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

          He ignored FOIA and EIR mandates because he thought he was serving a higher purpose, and because he thought it unlikely that he would be held to account.”

          I’d say that Jones worked with Palmer to stretch the interpretations of FOIA to their limit.. Ignored?

          1. They were late
          2. They were non responsive ( Keith can say he never got anything)
          3. They read the act in a restrictive way.

          They pay the price now.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

          They were non responsive ( Keith can say he never got anything)

          Steve, I doubt that you and I disagree on the substance here.

          However, while they were, as you say, “non responsive”, they also made excuses that were sometimes flat-out dishonest. For example, their mendacious claim about having confidentiality agreements that contained clauses preventing them from sending data to “non-academics” as a futile excuse to distinguish between Webster and me. The mendacity of this and similar excuses was understood by the public and occasioned much of the blowback. The failure of the wider community to take offence at the mendacity hasn’t helped their cause either.

        • MikeN
          Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

          Not only do they not take offence, but they repeat the lie that climate scientists are being burdened by FOIA requests.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

          Ah yes, let’s not forget that confabulation. They handled the multiple requests under section 27 of their guidelines.
          Handling coordinated requests. They followed that guideline, posted a response for all on the web and dispatched their obligations in under 18 HOURS of work.

          After handling the 50+ requests According to procedure, they then confabulated stories to the press that this was a burden and a threat to their ability to do science. Rather than speaking the truth
          ” we got 50+ requests, and we treated them as one request, per our guidelines, and handled the matter
          in under 18 hours”
          we were subject to a false pityparty aimed at disparaging people who acted within their rights to request information.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:35 AM | Permalink

          Opps I forgot that one.. How can we word it nicely to say that they fabricated excuses…

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

          how about “they fabricated excuses”?

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

          confabulated excuses?? something to indicate that they had the decency to believe their own lies

          Remember that odd little document they released with the other “agreements”

          Arrangements have been set in place whereby bona fide academic researchers working on
          agreed NERC-endorsed scientific programmes may obtain access on favourable terms to
          UKMO data (and associated software).

          It would be interesting to get the mails WRT the posting of those documents

        • Peter S
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

          Or, the excused fabrications?

        • Sean
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

          I think they used “proxy” excuses.

          Unfortunately, they neglected to check the relevance of the proxies before including them.

        • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

          Well Jones shared it with Steve in 2002 when mcIntyre was a Nobody ( sorry steve, just kidding)

          Some strange dude writes Jones in 2002 and jones just shares the data. no questions, no checks, AND he says that this data SHOULD BE FREE AND OPEN.

          That my friend is the state of play before mcIntyre published.

          AFTER mcintyre published, Phil Jones beliefs about confidentiality changed. His attitudes are OPPORTUNISTIC

        • genealogymaster
          Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

          You’re missing the point about this being a public institution which is bound by FOI. They have to come up with the data or give legitimate reasons why they can’t. Obviously the ICO found them not to be exemptions at all. Private information held by an individual is one thing but if you are a public employee holding that information where FOI laws exist you can’t pick and choose who you want to give the information to.

      • KnR
        Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

        Is this the same Jones that planed to avoid FOI request before he got any , the same one that asked others to detail information related to an FOI request , or some other PhIl Jones working at CRU?

      • ferd berple
        Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

        When asked by Warwick Hughes for this data, Dr. (phil) Jones famously replied:

        Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.

        Labour MP Graham Stringer asked (Phil) Jones why he refused to comply with requests to share data to which Jones answered:

        “Because all he [a skeptic] wants to do is find something wrong with it.”

  7. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    I expect that Phil Jones is now inquiring about the possibility of borrowing the fig leaf from Mike Mann.

  8. DocMartyn
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    I never used to be a fan of FOI, but that changed over the last 10 years.
    Typically you have to hit a scientist with a wrench to stop them showing data and how smart they have been in analysis.

  9. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    Fantastic news.

    I also discouraged readers from assuming that CRU data was heavily adjusted from original data. The ongoing issue with CRU was a little different – they argued that UHI had negligible impact on their data set and thus adjustments were unnecessary.

    I always found it rather unsettling that GIStemp, which did correct for UHI, and CRU data, which supposedly did not, agreed rather well. This is taken by many as reason that adjustments and UHI have little effect. However, with looking at the scale and magnitude of adjustments on an individual station and regional basis, I have never bought this entirely.

    • mark t
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      It could also mean the adjustments are not proper.

      Mark

  10. RB
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    It is gratifying to see the IC come to a sensible and common sense decision in respect of UEA’s (usually) bare statements that its intellectual property rights trump disclosure obligations. There is now this and the Keenan case that have given that argument short shrift.

    Also I am pleased to see set out clearly that the exception that applies if the information is available elsewhere does not apply where UEA tries to use the tactic of stating that “some of the information” is available elswhere. Also it is clear that the holder of the information has to give proper “directions” about how any information might be identified and accessed if it is indeed available publicly somewhere else.

    A good decision that clearly dismisses UEA’s approach to this EIR/FOI request out of hand. The decision is sensible and in my view properly enforces the requirements of the Regulations.

    Not a good day for David Palmer.

  11. sherro1
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve, With your own chronology of refusals just before the climategate emails, I can add that there was also clean-up of one of my FOI requests to UEA on Sept 23 2009, re alleged international agreements preventing data release. It was an official UEA letter sent by email. I followed this up with an email (unanswered, IIRC) to Dave Palmer thus:
    ………………….
    Sherrington reply: 24 Sept _09

    Dear Dave,
    I have unrestricted communications of earlier date from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, in which essentially the same questions are asked and answered. This would tend to put the information into the public domain and hence negate your comments about copyright. Would you agree with this?
    Given other correspondence directed to you on this issue regarding several countries, I think you would not be surprised to learn of my intention to distribute this information world-wide. Indeed, had you wished, you could have asked me to keep your response confidential before supplying it; and you did not.
    Regards and thanks

    Geoff Sherrington
    Scientist.

    IMPORTANT: The BOM copyright is quite restrictive – see

    http://www.bom.gov.au/other/copyright.shtml

    ………………..

    Then, Mosh and Chas seem to have got email flooding about 17 Nov. I’m gathering an impression that someone at UEA had an idea about 6 weeks before climategate that it was going to happen. Also, it would not surprise me to learn even now that UEA realised that they might be in breach of copyright claimed by BOM.

    This is just a personal impression, nothing more, that more went on at UEA in that 2 months than has been revealed.

  12. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia.

    That’s how it reads to me!

  13. pesadia
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Great news.
    Many thanks to all those who have persued this data.
    Now counting the days to Data zero.

  14. geo
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    If UEA is the first-level appeal, then what is the practical precedential value of this decision going forward? Can’t they just continue to play “kill the clock” in the future, and phlegmatically offer their “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” when eventually spanked by the highest authority?

    Is there some practical process whereby UEA will be sanctioned in the future if they continue to ignore this precedent?

  15. Phil
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    It is perfectly understandable and expected given the nature of the proceeding, yet, with regard to the scientific aspects, it is sad that the principle public interest in requiring data to be disclosed – replication as a fundamental element of the scientific method – was not mentioned.

    (Apologies as grammar has deserted me momentarily)

  16. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Edit note: UEA makes GMOs, too?
    “might have impacted on any plants that it might have developed”.
    ;)

  17. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    http://stevemosher.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/rghcnv3-version-1-1/

  18. theduke
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    UEA has the right to appeal. The decision seems airtight to me, so I doubt they would attempt that. But then, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did given what has gone on so far.

    Maybe now those who are qualified can see if they can “find something wrong with it.” I believe that’s what the other Jones said.

  19. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations! Persistance is rewarded, eventually.

  20. kim
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Shhhh, it’s sub rosa,
    The plant to be developed:
    Horizontal larches.
    =========

  21. dp
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

    If Phil Jones does not vacate his office it will mean he knows he will be exonerated again. It may be shown that he is a poor custodian of data but not a crook (in the Nixonian sense). So far, on both sides of the Atlantic, it is not illegal to be stupid. The result of a flaw, probably, in the Magna Carta.

  22. mpaul
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    This is a very well researched opinion. I think many of us expected a similar level of care from the “independent investigations” but were sorely disappointed. This opinion restores my faith in the UK system of justice. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that we will see some sort of a ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse from UEA.

    • LC
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

      I too was impressed by the level of dissection of each of UEA’s arguments. It ensures that any subsequent appeal by UEA will have to contain a great deal more information than provided to the ICO thus far to have any hope of success. The final paragraph of the decision shows that UEA are now on very dodgy ground should they fail to comply. The ICO’s attention to detail does indeed cause one to wonder what the outcome may have been had the HoC committee commissioned it’s own professional investigation into “Climategate” rather than relying on the university to conduct it’s own. Congratulations to Prof. Jones for showing the same level of dogged determination as our host.

  23. Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    I read the whole thing and I have to say that this decision was a joy to behold! I found myself chuckling as each of UEA’s “arguments” was very thoroughly rehearsed … and then “zapped”!

    Since they do appear to have the right to appeal, I can’t help wondering if there aren’t some individuals deep in the heart of UEA, muttering to themselves and declaring, “We’ll keep this data out of their hands, even if we have to redefine ‘adverse'” ;-)

    Congratulations, Prof. (J.) Jones!

  24. Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    My recommendation at the time was that the function had become too important to be carried out in their part-time by professors at a small UK university, that Jones be thanked for his services …

    At the end of such an excellent article, it seems a little churlish to refer to Oxford like that.

    (A joke. It’s a Cantab thing. Well played, Prof. Jones.)

    Steve – Cantab – the original redbrick university. [An Oxford thing]

  25. Pandanus
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:19 AM | Permalink

    Clearly all of this could have been avoided through the use of creative commons licencing. It’s simple to understand, is layered and provides all parties to an agreement with surety regarding the level of disclosure permitted for any data set.

    We use it at work all the time and the associated metadata contains all of the details of what who and where the custodians of the data are, who the contact person is and how to contact them. It simplifies all aspects of data handling and should be mandatory where government funding is responsible for sourcing the data.

  26. Alexander K
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    I am neither a scientist nor a lawyer, but I am sitting here laughing at the incredible circularity of the arguments from Stokes, Rattus et al. They make Dickens’ ‘Circumlocution Office look like a sensible place!

  27. Spence_UK
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations, and thanks, to Prof Jonathan Jones and Steve for their hard work in holding the UEA to account.

    An interesting observation to this is that the only reason the UEA received so many FOI requests was because of its blatant stonewalling. Now the ICO has declared that stonewalling to be incorrect, we see the UEA only has itself to blame for the large amount of work it created for itself in refusing to release the data from the first request.

    Somehow I don’t think we’ll see that commentary appearing in Nature magazine, or from the Royal Society; these institutions prefer to live in the dark ages.

  28. Jit
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

    UEA shouldn’t use confidential data in generating gridded sets that go on to inform national & global policy. How can such things be based on hocus pocus?

    If some providers explicitly refuse to share then their data needs to be given the old heave-ho. The global temp series will have to be remodelled using only the freely available data.

    If you want to use confidential data you have to keep your results confidential…

    And UEA need to have this freely available on their website.

    Hopefully this will set a precedent for the proxy series.

  29. R.S.Brown
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Here in the US in climate research matters, not only is “privacy” an alleged
    concern, along side “intellectual property” rights arguements, but in the
    instance of Mike Mann’s 1998/99 material at the University of Virginia they’re
    trying to argue a non-legislated “academic freedom” right for e-mails relating
    to the creation databases under the American FOI law.

    Some of the e-mails might well be from the later Climategate period…
    but we won’t know until UofV proffers those e-mails for in camera review with ATI
    and the Prince County judge. The judge will rule on allowing or rejecting
    “exception” arguements from the University of Virginia on an item-by-item basis.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men ?

  30. son of mulder
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    It is excellent news that this milestone has been reached. But it is only a milestone, it is not the end of the long and winding road to obtain this data.

    The next step will be UEA wasting more of my tax pounds appealing this ruling. This is about the release of historic temperature data for crying out loud, not Cold Fusion research data some equally commercially valuable data. The governing body of UEA should act now to provide the data and concentrate on creating a culture where science and the scientific method comes first ahead of what is clear in the Climategate e-mails.

  31. KnR
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    The trouble is your dealing with people that master at the greased pig trick , expect this story to carry-on .
    But its always been amazing given the AGW is the most important thing ever , that the science is settled and there is no time to waste , or so we are told .
    How much effort and time as go into not releasing information which can only validity these claims , or so they would have us believe.

  32. Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Irony here: 1) some of the “private” data are for tiny places that could be ignored (and how about writing to the confidential countries and asking if they still want to keep it secret–maybe they don’t care any more!), 2) CRU has failed to update many (thousands of) stations which still exist (e.g., Canada, Russia), 3) Public archives like WeatherUnderground and Wolfram Research have public access data sometimes available up to the minute or hour, with many more stations than CRU or GHCN.
    Lazy lazy lazy.

  33. Pete H
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    All the arguments about who is doing what to whom are irrelevant. I am a U.K. tax payer, an engineer, not a scientist)! The UEA uses tax money for the CRU. As a taxpayer I want to know what is going on. Is that not fair?

    Nick Stokes etc, enough wriggling! The commissioner has spoken and spanked the UEA. Lets draw a line under all this, make the data free and see what has occurred. Forget the emails and the “investigations”. Once again, what is it that you are all afraid of?

    As an engineer I am simply amazed that the rest of the scientific community stand by and watch a small research department at the UEA drag them into the gutter. Reading between the lines the commissioner would seem to have the same opinion!

  34. Gary
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    Turn the task over the UK Met Office? With their track record? Really? The academic/governmental complex has failed repeatedly to the right things with public with important data. Why trust them now?

  35. Beth Cooper
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    On a lonely Siberian peninsula, above a small stand of bristle- cone pine trees, the sound of beating wings, pigeons are coming home to roost.

    • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

      Erm, the Bristlecones were in the American southwest. The Larches were in Siberia ;)

      • kuhnkat
        Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

        Jeff,

        after Mann and associates got through smearing the data from the Bristlecones all over the rest of the proxies they are everywhere!! 8>)

    • Jimmy Haigh
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

      Teleconnection does that.

  36. John Whitman
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Well done Dr (J) Jones. Your persistence is inspiring.

    I am sure that the decision of the UK Information Commissioner (ICO) will be scrutinized by both:

    1) Virginia AG Cuccinelli and his team of investigators pursuing documents related to M. Mann while he was at UVA

    2) The American Tradition Institute’s team that will, in the coming few months, view (in camera) the UVA documents of M. Mann that UVA says are exempted from FOI. It appears to me that the UK ICO decision supplied some cogent arguments that will be useful to spring into public light the UVA MM related emails that the UVA has so far claimed are exempted from FOI disclosure.

    John

  37. Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    also ironic that it took someone named “Jones” to pry the data out.

    • Scott Brim
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

      This is the climate science equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

      • ChE
        Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

        For some reason, “no one named Jones” comes to mind:

  38. John Whitman
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    The ICO decision is a very well written document.

    Thank you ICO.

    John

  39. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    I just love the claim that Rattus and others are making, that the CRU couldn’t release the data because of confidentiality agreements.

    They made that same claim in response to my FOI request (at which time they also said that they “estimated” that only 5% of the data was covered by confidentiality agreements).

    I said OK, fine, just send me the 95% of the data that isn’t covered by the confidentiality agreements. Of course, that merely got them to invent another reason why they couldn’t send the non-confidential data … but as soon as they did it, that proved that the “IT’S TOP SECRET” story was just another in the endless chain of excuses.

    So the history of the CRU so-called “confidential” data shows:

         1. Phil Jones sent “confidential” data to his friends, with no attempt to maintain confidentiality.

         2. Phil Jones refused to release “confidential” data to people he didn’t like.

         3. Phil Jones refused to release data which was not “confidential”.

    In short, the claim that the reason for not releasing data was that it was “confidential” doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    Congratulations to [J] Jones for following the saga through to the bitter end, and to the ICO for realizing the gravity of their previous errors.

    And as always, my thanks to our gracious host for all of this work in this matter.

    w.

  40. Wil
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    What so many seem to intentionally missed here Jones at the time in question was a public servant paid for on the taxpayer dime. His and others who worked at the MET were also public servants who had no right under their job description to declare any of their work private or commercial without divorcing themselves entirely from said government job and ventured out on their own and then have done ALL the work under a private entity. That did not occur. Only a government party then could have possible declared taxpayer funded work commercial which is then taken out of the MET hands and delivered to said private entity. Likewise only a government body could possible classify MET work under any national security guise what so ever. That also did not occur.

  41. mpaul
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    The Team and its defenders have often claimed that all of the data needed for replication is available from public sources and that all of the fuss from those wishing to replicate the work was much to do about nothing (or the alternative argument that those wishing to replicate the work are just lazy and unwilling to take a few simple steps to obtain the data). I think this opinion totally destroys that argument.

  42. bill
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    I’d like to know some more about these confidentiality agreements. It seems implausible to me that bodies, like national meteorological institutions, part of whose primary purpose is, usually explicitly, written into their charters, to further knowledge, would attach confidentiality or copyright clauses to their data (apart from the obvious exeception of preventing someone using the data for private gain in some way). So I suspect these agreements don’t exist, or if they do, are a lot less restrictive than Jones claimed – ie they were just a front for him to refuse to hand over data to someone who was going to tear holes in the conclusions he had derived from it. So perhaps someone familiar with FOI requests could trouble the people at UEA for copies of these agreements which forbade data sharing (notwithstanding the fact that data was shared with ‘chums’ anyway). If no such agreements exist, or if their tenor was a lot less restrictive than has been claimed, would this not be rather awkward for Jones, UEA, and the various commissions of exoneration?

    Steve; FOI requests were made for the confidentiality agreements. See posts in July 2009.

    • KnR
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:00 AM | Permalink

      In one case we found out that the problem was the country ( I think it was Sweden) did not what CRU adjusted version of their data released , but where happy to have the original data released. Jones double played is in trying to claim they objected to any of there data being released , classic smoke and mirrors from the CRU.

      • Gdn
        Posted Jul 8, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

        In one case we found out that the problem was the country ( I think it was Sweden) did not what CRU adjusted version of their data released [with it attributed to Sweden], but where happy to have the original data released.

    • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

      Given the low level of attention a government would give to what happens to their historical climate data, it is quite possible that the persons holding it simply made up rules about further disclosure in the absence of explicit policy. In the light of the internet, a request to release it now would probably get an affirmative from what are now probably different people in charge at those locations.

  43. Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Rattus, Stokes and the other apologists appear to be in denial. ;)

  44. Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    I thought it might be useful to make a few comments at this stage, partly in response to comments and questions both here and at Lucia’s Blackboard:

    1) I apologize for the rather crude format of the pdf file which forced Lucia to transcribe large chunks by hand: there should eventually be a copy of the decision notice as a true pdf file on the ICO website, but all I have at the moment is the dead tree version which arrived by post on Monday. I thought people would prefer to see this version as soon as possible rather than wait for something better formatted.

    2) My original request was, as Steve suggests, triggered by a post on CA. I’m fairly sure it was the refusal of Steve’s request for the same dataset on the bizarre grounds that he was not an academic, but as this all started almost two years ago I can’t recall the finer details. My decision to push this request as far as I could was largely due to the nature of early stage refusals which I considered wholly unacceptable.

    3) Since that initial trigger Steve has not been involved in my request, and did not know what was happening until he received an email on Monday morning. Andrew Montford did provide some helpful background information during the final stages of my appeal, for which I am grateful. I offered Steve (through Andrew) the opportunity to announce the outcome simply because of his indirect role in my initial decision to pursue this matter.

    4) My own position on AGW is quite agnostic. As I have said elsewhere, it is not my field and I am not qualified to have a detailed opinion on the technicalities. I am, however, extremely concerned about the apparent pattern of secrecy and evasion which seems to surround parts of the climate science community. I consider these attempts at secrecy to be both deeply inappropriate and highly unwise, and my sole aim is to help to restore climate science to something more closely resembling scientific norms. I am even more disturbed by the apparently unswerving support for this behaviour being offered by parts of the scientific establishment, and I do hope that actions such as mine might lead them to at least pause and think. Conversely I am delighted at the efforts of people like Judith Curry and Hans von Storch to try to bring some sanity into an increasingly bizarre situtaion.

    5) Please note that I have not yet received the Webster data. UEA has 28 calendar days from the date when the decision notice was sent (24th June) in which it can mount a further appeal against the ICO’s decision. Failing that it has 35 calendar days from the date of the notice itself (23rd June) to provide the data. Given that they have already sent a copy of the data in question to the ICO this timescale should not prove difficult for them. It is very hard to predict what they will do with respoect to further appeals: the damming nature of the ICO’s decision notice suggests that an appeal would be foolish, but the great significance of this decision for future FOI requests might tempt them to make one further throw of the dice. If they do appeal I will, of course, seek to oppose that appeal.

    6) Even if I do receive the Webster data it is highly likely that UEA will claim the right to restrict further distribution of my copy of the data. In other words if you want a copy you will probably not be able to get one from me, and will instead have to make your own FOI request to UEA. It would be simplest to cite this decision notice in any such request.

    7) That said, I would urge people not to request this or other data from UEA unless you genuinely want it for some useful purpose. While I understand the reasoning behind the decision to make multiple requests for confidentiality agreements from UEA, that action, in my opinion, helped UEA’s public relations presentations (although not, it seems, their case with the ICO). There are plenty of individuals reading this capable of undertaking effective analyses of this and other data, and on the whole such analyses should be left by the rest of us to them.

    8) The decision notice was, as far as I understand it, written by Andrew Battersby, who signed the covering letter, and then signed off by Steve Wood, Deputy Information Commissioner. (The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, was not himself directly involved, but by the nature of the way the ICO works this decision notice can be treated for all practical purposes as if he was.) I am extremely grateful to Mr Battersby for his hard work, professionalism, and especially for his never failing courtesy during a long and at some times trying process.

    9) I agree with Lucia Liljegren that in practice the most significant features of this decision are the precedents that have been set for future FOI requests. (My understanding from email correspondence with Mr Battersby is that the precedents apparently set here will indeed be treated as such unless and until they are overturned.) Lucia put things very well in her comments on her thread, which I commend to readers here.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, while I must return to marking Physics Finals papers. I do not plan to provide much further running commentary, but will attempt to keep an eye on this thread.

    • Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

      I see that the ICO copy of the decision notice is now available here. There is also a copy of a second, clearly closely related appeal, which was also largely successful. No doubt the owner of that appeal will also be in touch at some point (the ICO redacts names and addresses of complainants from their copies).

      • R.S.Brown
        Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

        Professor Jones,

        I believe you’re mistaken in thinking there may be limitations placed on the CRUTEM
        data UEA has been ordered to transmit to you. (Which they might appeal.)

        Note the “actionable” trigger for exemptions of material provided “in confidence”:

        British FOI

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents

        41. Information provided in confidence.

        (1) Information is exempt information if—

        (a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other person (including another
        public authority), and

        (b) the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under this Act) by
        the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by
        that or any other person. (emphasis added)

        Also, I see no authorization in the Act for the Commissioner to limit the use “public
        information” can be put to once it’s been deemed truly “public” under FOI procedures.

        It is either public or it isn’t.

        The second decision by the ICO on the same day on a separate appeal running parallel to
        seems to render any thought to render the data “confidential” rather moot.

    • KnR
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for the information and I think most it not all would agree that the climate science return to norms of science , such as critical review , is a goal worth pursuing . Like you its the act of secrecy its causes me as much a concern as the nature of the data, its simple makes no sense if the story is as they try to sell it as.

    • golf charley
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

      Thank you Prof J.Jones

      Hopefully this could start a return to science,for you, to marking physics papers, and climatology, to the scientific principles of openness and honesty

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

      Prof Jonathan Jones,

      Please accept my sincere thanks for your persistent and successful work. Your motivation reads as more pure than my supplementary comments above and before, but sometimes it takes a certain type of talk to help recalcitrants understand. I apologise if I have appeared to be rude and accusative at times and I hope that my tone and side excursions have not denigrated your efforts. Fundamentally, your motivation is the same as mine, though our methods of public expressions might differ.

      There is more material in my files that is available if you ask for it in the event of appeals.

      Like you, I am helped by Steve’s persistent, calm and logical progression in the face of substantial opposition. History will show that he has created some milestones, as you have just done as well.

    • mpaul
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

      6) Even if I do receive the Webster data it is highly likely that UEA will claim the right to restrict further distribution of my copy of the data. In other words if you want a copy you will probably not be able to get one from me, and will instead have to make your own FOI request to UEA. It would be simplest to cite this decision notice in any such request.

      Nothing that I am aware of in the FOIA act allows a producer of information to restrict the use of the information produced. The underpinnings of FOIA are that information produced using public funds are assumed to be in the public domain unless exempt under a few conditions enumerated in the act.

    • Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

      Fred Pearce from the Guardian has been in touch, and has now written the story up, clearly largely based on my comments above. I’m afraid that Don Keiller has been whitewashed out of this bit of history again.

      • Speed
        Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

        Single copy price of the Guardian … four pounds.
        UAE’s response … priceless.

        The UEA said: “We have nothing to fear from scrutiny; we are committed to openness and transparency in our research… and we fully intend to make all data publicly available as soon as possible.”

    • Adam Gallon
      Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 3:50 AM | Permalink

      Dear Professor Jones.
      This is the most pertinant part of the whole story.
      “I am, however, extremely concerned about the apparent pattern of secrecy and evasion which seems to surround parts of the climate science community. I consider these attempts at secrecy to be both deeply inappropriate and highly unwise, and my sole aim is to help to restore climate science to something more closely resembling scientific norms. I am even more disturbed by the apparently unswerving support for this behaviour being offered by parts of the scientific establishment, and I do hope that actions such as mine might lead them to at least pause and think.”
      Let’s hope that others in this corrupted climate science arena, pause and reflect.

  45. Tom Ganley
    Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    “The Commissioner dryly wondered how “UEA might have planned to commercially exploit the specific information requested….”

    The commercial exploitation is not in selling it to anyone, it is in keeping it confidential. They have an income stream they would like to keep, and they don’t want to release the data to potential market competitors. All the people they did give the info to were supporters with whom they already shared the market, i.e., their business partners.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

      Tom Ganley,
      Technically very little of the ‘specific information requested’ was measured by CRU. Their self-appointed role was to collect and compile the work of others. They had no claim to secrecy about the data because much was already in the public domain. What they did try to prevent was knowledge about their selection and modification of some of the data into a form that was offered to policy makers, not as a commercial product, but as an instrument to influence a preferred line of policy. Our desire was to check that they had done this fairly and correctly, so see if the policy makers were sent a non-fiction work or a novel. The data release ordered by the Commissioner will help inform.

      • Venter
        Posted Jun 28, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

        Spot on Geoff. And the confidentiality agreements excuse was pure BS as when asked by Steve to produce the agreements they couldn’t find any. So in my opinion it was a bare faced lie given by PJ and the UEA.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

          Venter,

          If you want to follow the story further, it gets deeper. I will not go deeper than the following unless circumstances develop.

          As Steve noted, he asked for some help from people to try to discover the extent of countries with agreements on data sharing with CRU, which CRU used as a reason to refuse supply. When examined more closely, there were 2-3 countries with small agreements that could have been restrictive, some of which subsequently appeared to be capable of negotiating away.

          I inquired of the status of Australia, because its records form a large part of the Southern Hemisphere land record. The letters I wrote and their responses have been gathered into this spot on my rudimentary web site:

          http://www.geoffstuff.com/UEA%20composite.doc

          The correspondence can be better understood if you examine the explicit copyright agreements claimed by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (see URL in these documents). It is understandable that the BOM wording could have gone from none through various versions over the course of time, but it is relatively easy to infer that CRU might not have been conforming to the BOM requirements at some times at least, particularly in relation to unathorised adjustment of data, which requires specific BOM agreement.

          Therefore, I seek to show that not only did CRU feel “inventive” when claiming that country agreements prevented their sharing of data – they might also have been in breach when they did share data, depending on whether they had made unathorised adjustments to data, especially that passed to third parties.

          They might not have had a product that they could sell legally. It will be interesting to see the data when finally produced.

          BTW, for those genuinely interested, Warwick Hughes has the full set of Oak Ridge CDIAC records, but they stopped some decades ago. Ref Steve at Jun 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM above.

  46. Beth Cooper
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:00 AM | Permalink

    Jeff Alberts, I admit error, wrong continent, now that’s not a small mistake:-(

  47. Don Keiller
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    I am the “other complainant” (Ref. FER0280033) who Professor Jonathan Jones refers to.
    Like Jonathan, I was appalled at the cavalier manner in which UEA dismissed each and every lawful request for data.
    Back in November I had some brief correspondance with Jonathan Jones, as it transpired that we were the only two left making formal complaints to the ICO on this issue.

    Unlike Jonathan, I am a “Luke Warmer” who has grown increasingly miltant by what i perceive as a sustained campaign of political manipulation to “fit” facts to models.

    Karl Popper will be turning in his grave.

    • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

      As Don Keiller says we corresponded very briefly to compare notes in November (I think that Andrew Montford was aware of both requests at that stage and put us in touch with each other). It seemed clear then that the ICO was in effect treating our appeals through a common process, which made obvious sense, but we decided that it was more appropriate to continue to run the final stages of our appeals as individuals.

      I was surprised not to hear from Don earlier on this thread, and am as pleased at his success as I am at my own. It seems certain that his own role in the process was at least as important as mine; my making the first announcement simply reflects the vagaries of the UK postal system and I hope that his contribution will receive the recognition it deserves.

  48. Don Keiller
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Jonathan.

    The main thing is that the ICO has now shown, clearly and unequivocally, that the UEA were in breach of FOI Act laws when they dismissed ours and many other lawful requests for data.

    The ICO have done what so many “official” enquiries failed to do.

    However, given UEA’s past “form” I expect that they will be putting in an appeal.

    • LC
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

      Congratulations on your successful appeal Don. Although, of course, they might try, I cannot see where UEA would have any grounds for an appeal. The ICO’s deconstruction of the UEA’s various exemption claims is pretty thorough and, without bringing an awful lot of new evidence to bear, any appeal might well be seen as obstructive. I’m not sure the UEA can afford to risk upsetting the ICO further.

      • LC
        Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

        PS – Steve, any chance of adding an update to the head-post to reflect Don’s similar success to that of Prof. Jones?

  49. Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    I once worked for a gov’t lab. We had a guy in our dept whose job was to contract for and archive aerial photography, including spectral imagery. He loved to give slide shows of the pictures. But when people asked for it, he was nonresponsive. It was “his” data–even though he was a service center, not a university scientist. People get possessive, even of things they do not own.

  50. Solomon Green
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    Professor Jonathan Jones is to be admired for his courage and for his integrity. His FOI request and the persistence with which he followed it up must have upset the climate change establishment. In doing so he has almost certainly damaged any hope that he might reasonably have had, as a distinguished physicist, of being elected to a fellowship of the Royal Society.

  51. cohenite
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    Onus of proof is a basic check to criminal prosecutions, this means that the state has to prove a criminal defendant is guilty; in its decision ICO notes:

    “40. Regulation 12(2) explains that the public authority must apply a
    presumption of disclosure when considering the information. This
    means that in the event that the weight of public interest in favour of
    maintaining the exception is balanced with the public interest in
    disclosure, the information should be disclosed.”

    In civil proceedings authorities often hide behind the concept of rebuttable presumption which is the civil equivalent of transferring the onus of proof onto the citizen who is seeking to contest whatever regulation or law is acting as a constraint; this is rather like a person charged with a criminal offence having to prove their innocence. Regulation 12(2) is a mitigation of that whereby the onus is placed back on the authority to justify its actions. UEA could not do that.

    The salutory lesson here is that in democracies both the law and scientific process must be as transparent as possible. The advocates of AGW have not conformed to this paradigm.

    • Interested N-S
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

      What is important here of course is that the ICO has now transitioned UEA’s position from a grey to a very black and white one, from the fud of hiding behind the FOI regulations to one of Contempt of Court. Getting to that clarity of position was clearly difficult, so all praise to Proj J Jones (& DK) for achieving that.

      snip – editorializing

  52. Interested N-S
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    I just wonder when, or most probably “if”, the BBC or Guardian newspaper will get around to reporting this, and if so, with what spin. Somehow, I doubt they will report it though.

  53. Don Keiller
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    Not all my complaints were upheld by the ICO. My original request also asked for;
    “A copy of any instructions or stipulations accompanying the transmissions of data to [a named individual] and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2009 limiting its further dissemination or disclosure”

    UEA explained (in its response to the ICO) that any such conditions were verbal and between the parties involved at that time. Consequently, the exception under 12(4)(a) applied to this part of the request as the UEA did not hold any information falling within the scope of the request. The complainant (then) asked the Commissioner to investigate whether UEA had correctly dealt with this part of his request

    “UEA explained that emails for the CRU were held on personal computers and not held centrally. The personal computer for the relevant member of staff had been searched following the request for information and no cover email relating to the data sent to Georgia Tech was found. It confirmed that there was no overarching UEA-wide retention policy or schedule regarding such information. The member of staff concerned routinely deleted emails on a periodic basis.”

    I found UEA’s explanation extraordinary when I was making my complaint and I still find it extraordinary now. In an organisation such as mine, and one would reasonably think, UEA, all emails going in and out go through a central server. Everything I receive, or send, via email is recorded centrally, irrespective of whether I “routinely delete” it locally on my “private” PC or not.

    So are UEA really saying that staff PCs, presumably paid for and installed by the University, were not connected externally via a central server?
    Or are they saying that staff could routinely bring in their own personal and private PCs and use them to send material, which in itself could be the property of the University?

    If either scenario is correct, it would appear that UEA had unique procedures for maintaining data security.

    I also wonder just who the “member of staff concerned” was?

    • compguy77
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

      What they likely mean is that (copies of) emails are or may be stored locally on a PC. If we assume UEA uses Exchange/Outlook for email, then that means copies might be placed in a local PST file.

      If the end user deletes a message from their mailbox, then it will be deleted from the main (Exchange) server. But s/he may still have a copy in a local PST file.

      Of course any messages would still be retrievable from the Exchange backup tapes. But that is a harder, more expensive proposition.

      Finally, I remain surprised by the sparse utilization of commercial email archiving solutions at public entities. Given the basic assumption that everything they do using the publicly funded email ID is in the public domain, why are they not required to make a searchable copy of each email communication from that ID? Governments have required this of most financial institutions for many years.

  54. Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    TFP said:

    If they did then none OBVIOUSLY thought that the humour and banter would be misconstrued – do you REALLY HONESTLY think Jones would destroy permanently irrecoverable data collected over decades?!!

    English humour is not understood by many (e.g. monty python)

    Where is your proof that anything Jones said regarding deleting data and/or emails was meant as humor? There are many Englishmen frequenting this blog, one would think they’d know. I grew up, as an American, watching Monty Python. I can recite most of their skits verbatim. Your apologistic attempts are not funny at all.

  55. glacierman
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    TFP Said: “Their requests are obviously made just for embarassment factor!!!”

    What is there to be embarassed about?

    The data?

    The way they have attempted to shirk FOI?

    Yes, asking someone for data really embarasses them. I think they have done that to themselves.

    • glacierman
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

      I forgot to add that their reaction to the FOI requests is almost as embarassing as the knots their apologists tie themselves in in their attempts to provide cover.

      • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

        glacierman Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        So what has been accomplished.

        Neither McIntyre nor (possibly) J Jones want the data for any purpose
        The data has been 95% available at all times
        The data according to Mosher and many others shows correct response even with parts of it missing or additional sites added
        The full CRU data may become available.
        This data will show correct response.
        Many £100ks has been wasted with no real forwarding of GW knowledge
        A point has (or may have) been made in UK Law (which could be the reason for UEA taking it this far)and a new act of parliament has been tested.
        A scientist personal life has been taken to the edge.
        A University financial income may have been damaged.
        The sceptics will still not believe that the plots of temperature vs Time is valid.

        Much cost and no advancement of knowledge. i.e NOTHING

        Most here will say “it’s their fault – they should have released the data” but on the Met Office site there is still this statement:

        “Station data
        Most of the station data was given to us under conditions that don’t allow us to redistribute it; but the CLIMAT reports we use to update the data in near-real time have no such restriction. Summaries of these reports are available on this page.”

        The data is not for redistribution!!!!! Giving it to another scientist is wrong, but if this scientist says he will send it no further then the WMOs have lost very little money. Sending it to McIntyre, who will liberate the data and post it freely on the web means it will have no worth. – There is a difference.

        • KnR
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

          That’s rather desperate stuff your pushing there, in case you missed it this data is not publicly available .Which is why its been the subject of a FOI.
          But remind us what science was advanced by CRU playing fast and lose with FOI, what more do we know about the climate because they held the data back and lied about why they did it ? As your so concerned about the advancement of science I am sure you can tell us how CRU’s behavior over this has advanced it , so why don;t you?
          And in the end the claim that they could not release it becasue of legal reason turned out to be bull , that’s effectively what the FOI commissioner said .

        • glacierman
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

          I didn’t know the Met Office was the keeper of CRUTEM Station Data.

          So Phil Jones moonlights at the Met Office after he is done thwarting FOI at UEA?

          Redirect much?

        • kuhnkat
          Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

          You DO relize that EU law says ALL Climate Data WILL be freely available don’t you?? It did when Jones et al was witholding it and still does. Now you can go hire a lawyer to argue whether Jones, financed by gubmints, had the RIGHT to enter into agreements contravening this law.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

          For heavens sake, people make up so much stuff here. Cite that law, please. And explain how it operated when Jones was entering into agreements.

        • bobdenton
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

          Nick,

          You and Ford should read the law and the application of it by the ICO more carefully. You appear to have some psychological barrier preventing you coming to terms with the Freedom of Information ethos.

          All environmental information is, as a matter of public policy, presumed to be dis-closable and this is so notwithstanding any IP rights, or any contractual or treaty agreements not to disclose, or the date on which the data was received. Any Public Authority holding such information must disclose it other than in the exceptional circumstance that there is a greater contrary public interest in non-disclosure. The burden of showing an overriding contrary public interest falls on those seeking to resist disclosure and they must show on a balance of probabilities that disclosure will,in fact, will be an adverse effect on an interested party. The ICO even describes the burden of proving a contrary public interest in non-disclosure as “high.”

          So the answer to your question is that the law was different when Jones collected much of the data. The law changed as a result of UK implementation of a European Union directive requiring vindication of the overwhelming public interest in disclosure of environmental information. Professors Jones supposed sentiments about contravening agreements entered into long ago are not a relevant consideration.

        • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

          Bob,
          KK’s statement was that Jones was in breach of an EU law. I don’t believe that is so, and you have not pointed to such a law.

          Jones’ prior agreements are relevant. They can be outweighed by public interest etc. The ICO has judged that they are. It is not a breach of FOI to seek that adjudication.

        • Hoi Polloi
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

          It is not a breach of FOI to seek that adjudication.

          Did you read the ICO Decision Note? Apparently UEA did breached the FOI regulation:

          117. The Commissioner has decided that UEA did not deal with the following
          elements of the request in accordance with the Act:
          • it incorrectly applied regulation 6 and regulation 12(5)(a),
          12(5)(c) and 12(5)(f) to the information contained in datasets
          A and B; and
          • it
          breached regulation 5(1) and 5(2) by not disclosing the
          information contained in datasets A and B to the complainant
          within 20 working days of the request.

          It seems to me that the AGW community has its own Baghdad Bob…

        • bobdenton
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

          Here:

          http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32003L0004:en:NOT

          That is the mandatory EU directive required to be implemented by each treaty nation and implemented in England by regulations issued under FOIA 2000 – the EIR 2004. The directive not directly enforceable, but it is indirectly enforceable and I understood KKs comment to refer to this directive, which has been implemented in all EU nations.

          You are still reversing the burden of proof. The regulations enact a presumption that it is in the public interest to disclose information even though it is subject to IP rights and non disclosure agreements and whenever those agreements were entered into.

          Seeking an adjudication cannot amount to the offence of “blocking” provided the statutory time limits are complied with. However, the FOIA provides for intervention by the ICO where a public authority fails to administer its FOI responsibilities and in good faith. UEA has already been shown a yellow card. In the present adjudication the UEA has been found to have engaged in “data squatting”, just sitting on data with no plan to use it and no plan to make a plan to use it, simply hoarding it in the hope that some event beyond its control will render the data of some commercial value. If it continues as it has up to now UEA is tantamount to daring the ICO to intervene.

        • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

          Please show us the agreements made by Jones…

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

          So what has been accomplished.

          Plenty. You’ll see below.

          Neither McIntyre nor (possibly) J Jones want the data for any purpose
          The data has been 95% available at all times
          The data according to Mosher and many others shows correct response even with parts of it missing or additional sites added
          The full CRU data may become available.
          This data will show correct response.

          It’s untrue that McIntyre wanted the data for no purpose. And let’s not forget willis
          1. The issue of how CRU determined it’s UHI approach, what stations were used
          and how they were adjusted is an interesting issue. It will not change radiative
          physics. But for people like me who are interested in the details of things, the
          data source and HOW they handled it, are critical.
          2. In my case there is a higher point I wanted to make. Sharing data beats hiding data.
          People who disagree can expect to see legal paper sent their way. Data should be
          free and code should be open. I’ll exercise my rights to pursue those goals.
          3. the ICO found that 95% of the data was not “available” to the public. Stop lying.
          The standard they applied was sound. Anyone, and not just a programmer, should be
          able to get the data.
          4. If you agree that 95% of the data is good enough, then you agree that CRU is in
          violation of its guidelines which tell them to avoid using confidential data
          unless it is necessary.

          Many £100ks has been wasted with no real forwarding of GW knowledge
          A point has (or may have) been made in UK Law (which could be the reason for UEA taking it this far)and a new act of parliament has been tested.
          A scientist personal life has been taken to the edge.
          A University financial income may have been damaged.
          The sceptics will still not believe that the plots of temperature vs Time is valid.
          Much cost and no advancement of knowledge. i.e NOTHING

          1. The response to FOIA are limited to hundreds of pounds OR they can be denied on the
          basis of cost. There was no expenditure of 100Ks of pounds, stop lying.
          2. GW knowledge is the only valuable thing in life. The principles of openness
          and transparency are more important than that “knowledge” BUT FOR those
          principles, the knowledge is for nought.
          3. I’m sorry Phil brought this on himself. he followed Mann’s example. Bad Move.
          4. Denying data has done more to hurt the cause than any skeptic.
          5. The cost was little and loss of trust was huge. You have Jones to blame for that.

          Most here will say “it’s their fault – they should have released the data” but on the Met Office site there is still this statement:

          “Station data
          Most of the station data was given to us under conditions that don’t allow us to redistribute it; but the CLIMAT reports we use to update the data in near-real time have no such restriction. Summaries of these reports are available on this page.”

          The data is not for redistribution!!!!! Giving it to another scientist is wrong, but if this scientist says he will send it no further then the WMOs have lost very little money. Sending it to McIntyre, who will liberate the data and post it freely on the web means it will have no worth. – There is a difference.

          1. If most of the station data is non releaseable, how does that square with 95% of it being available?
          2. I’d like to see the terms and conditions
          3. The public interest in having access outweighs any imagined loss of income to NWSs
          4. I will speak for myself. I have been given access to data that is supposed to be Open.
          It is advertised as Open. But it required contacting the scientist to get it. That
          person gave me a password. I have the data. I honor that person’s request to not
          give the password out or to share the data with another party. If CRU and the NWS
          want to adopt a licence that allows the data to be distributed to requestors and
          which prevents redistribution, they are welcome to do that. I would and I imagine
          steve would honor those requests. I believe sharing should be easier, but if people
          can register to get the data, sign a agreement and not be charged, then that’s a
          step in the right direction. Simply, Jones organization instructed him in 2004 to
          avoid using confidential data, unless it was necessary. It was not, and is not
          necessary. he can stop the practice.

        • Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

          Re: steven mosher (Jun 29 17:26), EDIT: GW Knowledge is NOT the only important thing in life

  56. RayG
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    To what extent can this be read as a partial repudiation of the findings of the several “enquiries” into the CRU and UEA?

  57. Peter S
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    With all this to-ing and fro-ing it’s getting very difficult to keep up with the Jones’s.

  58. John M
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v474/n7353/full/474541a.html

    “Shot with its own gun”

    Nature is slowly…ever so slowly…coming around to recognizing the problems with the IPCC. UEA may be next?

    Nick and TFP may find themselves feeling a little lonely.

  59. walt man
    Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    steven mosher Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    “It’s untrue that McIntyre wanted the data for no purpose. “

    McIntyre admitted on this blog that he neither had the desire nor the time to analyse the data.

    1. The response to FOIA are limited to hundreds of pounds OR they can be denied on the
    basis of cost. There was no expenditure of 100Ks of pounds, stop lying.

    How much did the inquisitions cost.
    How many people have been sucked in to deal with with FOI.
    How many lawyers have been employed (it is a new Act not tested before in this situation)
    how many hours of researchers time is spent looking at defunct e-mails – how much is their time worth?
    How much did it cost sending Jones home for a few weeks?

    If the UK handled FOIs like the US or Canada where money has to change hands before a response is given, then there would be less FOIs in my opinion.

    Yours were not the only FOIs check the usual FOI site. How many private FOIs have been sent?
    how long does it take to sort this lot for just 1 Foi:
    Please supply copies of all emails (addresses, subject lines and
    main body) from or to Brandon Gough since 1st January 2009 that
    include one, or more than one, of the following words/phrases:

    ‘Common Purpose’, ‘PwC’, ‘KPMG’, ‘Charles Clarke’, ‘Climatic
    Research Unit’, ‘Penn State’, ‘Jones’, ‘Mann’, ‘CRU’, ‘police’,
    ‘Norfolk Constabulary’, ‘Chief Constable’, ‘special branch’, ‘Julia
    Middleton’, ‘David Bell’, ‘climategate’, ‘Monckton’, ‘cpexposed’,
    ‘stopcp’, ‘CP’

    • mpaul
      Posted Jun 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

      Walt Man, all of this could have been avoided had UEA simply complied with the law and with the Journal publication requirements from the outset. None of the past investigations nor any of the future investigations and litigation would be necessary had the UEA not gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid disclosure of public information.

    • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

      how long does it take to sort this lot for just 1 Foi:
      Please supply copies of all emails (addresses, subject lines and
      main body) from or to Brandon Gough since 1st January 2009 that
      include one, or more than one, of the following words/phrases:

      ‘Common Purpose’, ‘PwC’, ‘KPMG’, ‘Charles Clarke’, ‘Climatic
      Research Unit’, ‘Penn State’, ‘Jones’, ‘Mann’, ‘CRU’, ‘police’,
      ‘Norfolk Constabulary’, ‘Chief Constable’, ‘special branch’, ‘Julia
      Middleton’, ‘David Bell’, ‘climategate’, ‘Monckton’, ‘cpexposed’,‘stopcp’, ‘CP’
      The answer is about as long as it takes to copy and paste the search string into your favourite search tool.
      Ie about 5 seconds!

    • kim
      Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      Walt, you assume the purpose was that he analyze it rather than it be analyzed. The point of freeing data isn’t that it be freed to only one.

      I’m being presumptious about ‘purpose’, but you are being deliberately blinded to the point.
      ===========

  60. LearDog
    Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    Idk – maybe its just me – but I watch the contortions people like Nick go through to excuse the behavior of others – and I think ‘how is it that the CAGW types are so surprised at the reaction of Joe Public?’.

    I mean – the BS detectors are just flaming! ‘The data are available publically, but its our IP and we want to commercialize it even though we think it should be freely available…..

    C’mon man…..

  61. Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Yes, they got rapped on the knuckles for being tardy. The rest is just the wording of the decision. That’s how the process works. UEA is entitled to maintain a view pending a ruling from the ICO – it went against them.

    • kim
      Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

      Yes, Nick, entitled. And therein lies the problem. Should they have done so, entitled or not? The last refuge of a noble cause fool is his entitlement.
      ==============

    • Venter
      Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

      No they just did not get rapped. They got told off in no uncertain terms and were told that if they don;t toe the line from now they’re looking at contempt of court. That’s a massive smackdown. The ICO’s judgement and wording left no one in any doubt that he held in contempt the pathetic excuses laid out by UEA. So quit trying to polish a turd.

      • Richard Brearley
        Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

        Judicial decision making is much less emotional than the above few posts suggest and it is all the better for it.

        Ventner – the contempt of court warning appears as a matter of course on every ICO decision where it has found a breach and orders disclosure. It is not unique to the UEA decision and is nothing unusual at all. It cannot be taken as a criticism of UEA.

        The Decision Notice is not a telling off of UEA – it is a legal finding on the facts and on the basis of evidence provided.

        The ICO did not hold in contempt pathetic excuses. It found that exceptions that UEA sought to apply were not engaged, mainly because UEA did not provide information that persuaded it that they were – particularly on IP rights – it may be that UEA will need to go away and revisit its case in this regard – it is by no means certain that it might not do a better job next time and there might in fact be valid information and evidence that UEA could present in a future stab at these arguments that will succeed on another occasion.

        Nick – UEA is not really entitled to “hold a view” until a ruling from the ICO. It must be much more proactive than that. The Regulations are clear about the obligaions of those they cover, both public authorities and requesters of information. They are drafted very well and present a positive obligation to disclose save in exceptional circumstances. It really is a very well implemented scheme in my opinion. The available ICO guidance goes a very long way to informing parties how it expects the Regulations to apply and there are not many situations that would be met from a “day to day” perspective where one cannot see from that guidance exactly how one should proceed.

        UEA merely had a punt here. It continues to do so in other EIR requests. Its reasons for refusing requests that I have seen are routinely dismised by the ICO because UEA has not really followed the spirit or the requirements of the Regulations.

        In respect of unfinished/incomplete work and IP rights UEA’s submissions to the ICO and its reasons for refusals sent to requesters have very little so far to do with establishing the engagement of exceptions in the proper legal sense, but are essentially a list of UEA’s concerns about the possible consequences of disclosure. UEA’s comments about the prevailing public interest are so far badly reasoned. They inevitably consider and give significant weight to the possible motive of a requester (i.e. that someone wants their data to assess and analyse their work and how they produced it), rather than balancing genuine public interest considerations. Their assessment of the prevailing public interest is really not much more than an expression of UEA’s defensive stance to anyone who may want their information with a view to auditing it. None of these concerns are relevant under the Regulations. Motive is irrelevant (save in very limited cases concerning vexatious requests – in the legal sense, not in the “climate scientists are being harassed” sense).

        The fact is that FOI/EIR obligations have applied to UEA for a very long time. They are constant and ever present and information can be requested at any time. UEA for example complains that release of information might lead to scientists being less willing to undertake research or publish papers, yet these scientists have already for years been working in an environment where information could be requested at any time, and where information could be, and is being, requested and released.

        UEA, in my opinion, has been behind the game on FOI responsibilities for a long time and is just starting to educate itself about this overarching public right to information that it holds. Those that shout about harassment or otherwise complain about the burden on scientists in respect of FOI/EIR matters are missing the point entirely. The law is what it is until it is changed and the obligations under FOI/EIR are clear and by now very well established. It doesn’t matter a jot if a sleepy department at a small university has done a Sleeping Beauty in this respect and wakes up and starts shouting about how unfair it all is. No one that matters in judicial circles will care or listen.

        I think UEA will get better at dealing with FOI obligations and incorporating those into its way of working. The problem will come if it continues to refuse requests on grounds that have already been dismissed by the ICO in previous Decision Notices. That would be bad for UEA and so it will adapt because it will have to.

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

          Hi Richard

          I accept your points in the spirit they wee intended to. Your explanation is true and applies very well amongst reasonable people who made a genuine error and would be mortified to be caught in this situation who would hurriedly rush to correct their errors. That’s the real world scenario.

          However, in this case, seeing UEA and PJ’s behaviour for years, I’m unable to apply such benefit of doubt to that organisation and the individuals involved. Their intentions were malafide and they were basically caught telling porkies. They’ve not been able to substantiate any of their claims or excuses for avoiding FOI and in fact have provided so many conflicting responses wherein they have contradicted themselves many times. Steve and others have adequately documented their utterances and activities comprehensively.

          That has been obvious also for anyone concerned and the ICO’ss comments have been quite strong and disbelieving about UEA’s claims and status. I don’t think they would dare to appeal this but of course, who can say for certain? They have always showed a distinct disregard to facts and propriety in any of their dealings in this matter.

        • Richard Brearley
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

          Hi Venter,

          Your point is well made.

          As for PJ, I look at his utterances in the same way that you do. But they are, for me, explained by the arrogance one often notes from people who think they know more than they do or think they are more important than they really are. His intentions are clear to us all, obviously, but my point is that when the FOI/EIR matters get going PJ isnt really even a bit part player. Yes he had an impact on who data might have been released to for a while but that was transitory and I would bet my mortgage that now no-one at UEA seeks him out on this and he now has no involvement whatsoever in FOI matters. There is no doubt that PJ was entirely ignorant in respect of FOI/EIR but then it is no surprise to me that he was – and maybe that’s the fault of those who should have trained him and made UEA employees at all levels aware of their FOI responsibilities. For sure his remarks demonstrate something about him personally, but in the context of actual FOI matters his remarks are peripheral at best and just “puff”. They may have delayed the “reckoning” for a few years, but that’s all and his hand is no longer anywhere near the tiller of the good ship UEA FOI.

          UEA on the other hand has followed, as far as I can see, an agenda that resists release of information on any basis, seeking against the odds to ensure that people like Mr M don’t get it. As Nick Stokes has intimated they are entitled to do this and I don’t necessarily vehemently disagree with him. But what is becoming clear is that this is just not a sustainable approach and although I know from many years of experience that “the wheels turn slowly”, they do turn, and Professor J Jones’ case is indeed a turning point in my opinion.

          Fact is that UEA, as one would expect it to do, bearing in mind where it is coming from, has so far played the percentages. There will undoubtedly be a percentage of requesters who will fall away at the first refusal. More still will fall away after their internal appeals are unsuccessful. More still will not escalate requests to the ICO. More still will not appeal any ICO decision to the High Court, and so it goes on. This is not unusual and by the time you get to the top there are very few people left still arguing.

          My point is that this process is now well underway and it is finite in terms of how long it lasts before UEA definitively knows where it stands and we all do too.

          Regards,

          RB

        • Venter
          Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

          Hi Richard,

          Thanks for your reply. I understand your points and they are valid if the behaviour of UEA and PJ were above board. Where I differ is that any entitlement of UEA or PJ to stonewall enquiries is legitimate if they put up legitimate points and tel the truth. That did not happen. Both Jones and the UEA have lied repeatedly about their reasons for not sharing data and actively conspired with malafide intentions for the refusal. That in my book is not something anyone or any organisation is entitled to.

          Where exactly they lied have been adequately documented by Steve McIntyre, Willis Eschenbach, Steve Mosher, David Holland and a host of others.

          Moment somebody starts lying, all bets are off and they lose any benefit of doubt or entitlement.

        • John Crane
          Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

          Richard

          “There is no doubt that PJ was entirely ignorant in respect of FOI/EIR…”

          Who was it that said, in effect, “if they find out the UK has a FOIA I will….”?

        • KnR
          Posted Jul 6, 2011 at 4:37 AM | Permalink

          Lets us remember that Phil Jones planed to avoid FOI requests before he got any and that in one case he asked for data relating to an FOI to be deleted. It was not ignorance but malice that lies behind the approach CRU took to the FOI .

        • Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

          Richard,
          Thanks for that balanced appraisal.

    • Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

      this is great news for common sense.
      I hope that the collective statistical analysis excellence of this forum (and others) is able to add to and improve on P Jones’ and colleagues’ data analysis.

  62. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Jun 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Congrats, Steve and Willis!

  63. Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    US readers may prefer to get their story from the Washington Post. Sadly Don is still not mentioned, though his existence is hinted at.

    • JEM
      Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

      A better article than what we’ve seen in much of the press, of course what is now the incident that ‘rocked the climate-science world’ was for them at the time a supposed act of theft they barely felt worth noticing, and it’s got the usual misstatements regarding the outcome of the Muir Russell, Oxburgh, etc. ‘investigations’.

  64. Seth P
    Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Does anybody know what percentage of the 99.999999999999% of scientists that make up the “consensus” on CAGW are based on the interpretation of this data set?

    It seems that every time I try to learn about a controversial issue, no matter where I start, it always tracks back to one persons “comment” or in this case “paper”. This “CAGW” is presented is a life or death issue and the only thing I keep finding, no matter how far I dig back or where I start is Mann et. al and this temperature reconstruction.

    Anybody with common sense starts out tackling this problem by asking themselves, how can it be so hard to look at a thermometer and find out if it is getting warmer? The second question is, if the temperature is going up, is this exceptional?

    The chain of logic only gets to step 2 before it all falls apart with the entire basis for CAGW resting almost solely on the data in question. Thats where I got stuck with only a few hours trying to educate myself on the problem. I quickly found myself sorting out this “hockey stick” thing.

    If untold billions of dollars are being spent and life as we know it becoming more restricted and expensive on the basis of a small amount of research, why is it almost impossible to check?

    If someone wants to pass a law telling me I have to demolish my house and move to a community farm or all life is in peril and won’t show me how they reached this conclusion, what do they expect?

    I read all of this back and forth about whether or not the UEA has to release this information and I feel like a crazy person. The fact that someone is going to tell me, to the nearest half of a degree what the average temperature was 2000 years ago when nobody seems to know for certain what it was ten years ago is absurd, and to claim a rise of a fraction of a degree will doom us all, and then not show me how they got to that conclusion is absurd.

    I have no scientific background, much like the majority of the population, so it scares me when I read comments from people like Nick who don’t seem interested in finding out who among these “superior” scientists is feeding us sound advice.

    I’m sorry, but this “data” should be posted online and available to ANYBODY who wants to download it. I’m sorry, but what, is the UEA and the CRU going to put out their version of the “Farmers Almanac”? Come on with this commercial interest angle.

    I apologize for the length of this post, but this line of argument is dangerous when you consider how much rests on this data set. It has gone way past the point of affecting MY personal everyday life, regulations and what not. This seems like the world’s largest chain of errors that can only be corrected at its start.

    Am I way off about this?

    • kim
      Posted Jul 1, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

      Nope, you’re eloquent. Thanks.
      ============

  65. Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    UEA have now released the data files I requested:

    Prof. Jones,

    Further to the Decision Notice of the Information Commissioner of 23 June 2011 in this matter, attached please find the information you requested on 24 July 2009 and a cover letter to the release. I trust that this will be to your satisfaction.

    Yours sincerely, Dave Palmer

    As they have not sought to impose any conditions in sending this material to me I have made it available on my webpage (note that Dataset A is rather large – almost 7MB – and only worthwhile downloading if you are genuinely interested).

  66. Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    I have just spoken to Richard Black of the BBC; I assume they will be running a story on this. I have been quite outspoken on the importance of archiving data and methods, and will be interested to see how he reports this.

    • Richard T. Fowler
      Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

      Jonathan,

      “I assume they will be running a story on this.”

      Excellent news (I hope)!

      Congratulations, and thank you greatly for your efforts.

      Steve, thanks for staying on top of the story. Where would we be without you?

      RTF

    • Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

      The file they released to you is actually a subset (in the same format) of the full CRUTEM3 set (except Poland) which they have made available here. I’ve put some visualising aids and station summary info on my site.

  67. Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    The BBC article is now online. I have been quoted accurately, though other bits of the article are a bit odd. It was clear when I was talking to him that he was very anxious for me to say that this release meant that I now had complete confidence in CRU, an assurance which I did not of course give. So the article is probably better than I expected.

    • Posted Jul 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

      Jonathon Jones wrote:

      I have been quoted accurately, though other bits of the article are a bit odd. It was clear when I was talking to him that he was very anxious for me to say that this release meant that I now had complete confidence in CRU

      I’m sure he was! Perhaps your failure to “comply” was why he went off in search of (what I would call) one of the “odd bits” [Black is quoting UEA's Trevor Davies]:

      “This particular ruling might have unintended and potentially damaging consequences for international collaboration,” he said.

      “We regret having to release data from Trinidad and Tobago against that state’s express wish; but we want to place beyond all doubt our determination to be open with our data and to comply with the ICO’s instruction.” [emphasis added -hro]

      Seems to me that “international collaboration” should be the least of their concerns in the “unintended and potentially damaging consequences” department. One that occurs to me – assuming that Davies means what he says about their “determination to be open” (a somewhat dubious assumption, I agree) – would be their current attempts to continue finding excuses for witholding Osborn’s data.

      But I really do like the fact that Black gave you the last word, Prof. Jones. Although it’s possible that Black’s choosing to give you this particular set of last words may lead to some rather unhappy campers deep in the heart of CRU:

      “And this process will carry on until the climate science community starts behaving like proper scientists.”

      Very well said, sir!

  68. Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Nick for the link. UEA didn’t have the courtesy to send me a copy of the press release announcing the wider release, so I initially wasn’t aware of it, and parts of Richard Black’s questioning now make slightly more sense in retrospect. And as Hilary says, Black did give me the last word. Though I should note that my statement that “this process will carry on” was an observation about likely behaviour of other people in the future, not a threat about my own plans.

    You should be aware that as part of the appeal process I had already agreed that I would accept UEA witholding any data for which they could produce explicit confidentiality requirements. Thus if UEA had simply sent me dataset A without the data from Trinidad and Tobago, plus dataset B in its entirety, then I would have been happy and would have stopped my request at that stage. Fortunately they didn’t choose this route, and now almost all the data (and I can’t imagine Poland holding out for long) is available for everyone.

    • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

      Jonathan Jones
      So you agree that if the data was not CRUs to give then it should not have been released?

      From the end of the enquiries CRU/Met have said they were contacting all the countries in the data set to get permission to release the data. The would seem to have at last finished trying and 3 countries explicitly refused. Does this not show that CRU/MET were not lying. The data was not theirs to release!

      People seem to think that Trin/Tob request was correct to over-ride. Should they in future not provide data because their release ban was overridden is this not a loss to the data set? Should those who did not reply but still had their hard won data released without permission act like trin/tob then yet more holes in the data. Is this a good thing?

      Will this release change the figures for GW?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

      one point about the supposed “confidentiality” agreements that is underdiscussed relative to IPCC. If there were real confidentiality agreements (which I obviously doubt), IPCC could easily have made a recommendation to its constituent governments that they make the information publicly available via CRU or elsewhere. Jones obviously would have worked against such a recommendation, whereas an objective third party would almost certainly have included such a recommendation (certainly by AR3 or AR4). One more argument against assessors with conflicts of interest/bias.

      • j ferguson
        Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

        One might also ask what the market for the Trinidad and Tobago datasets might be?

      • TW
        Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

        Nice argument. Imagine a situation that has not occurred. Imagine that Jones would make an unethical decision. Conclude that Jones is unethical. Voila!

      • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

        McIntyre
        This just gets worse!!!!

        supposed “confidentiality”
        If there were real; doubt
        Jones obviously would have worked

        How on earth can you then make this conclusion from so many conditional statements?

        One more argument against assessors with conflicts of interest/bias.

        Just ONE absolute statement would be amazing if it emerged from your keyboard!!!

  69. Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    walt man, that’s for the ICO to decide, not me, and their decision seemed pretty clear to me.

    • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

      Jonathan Jones
      “that’s for the ICO to decide, not me, and their decision seemed pretty clear to me”

      You seem to suggest that T&T and Poland held back would have been acceptable.
      This implies that you think that the confidentiality of some sources was correct.

      McIntyre
      “one point about the supposed “confidentiality” agreements that is underdiscussed relative to IPCC”

      There were confidentiality agreements confirmed by the response from T&T and Poland (Norway and others?). There is no “supposed” about it. The agreements may have been verbal as was suggested years ago. I suppose you do not believe in such stuff! Remember this was done years ago when misrepresenting-by-internet was not happening and proof of such gentleman’s agreements was not necessary.
      Any way agreements have presumably now been obtained in writing that allows dissemination of the data (as was the stated intent of CRU/Met after the hearings.)

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

        One point that gets lost in this. In order to “explain” why he could send data to Peter Webster (and to Scott Rutherford), Phil Jones untruthfully said that there were confidentiality agreements that prevented distribution of the data to “non-academics”. There weren’t any such agreements. Jones was able to produce only 4 agreements, none of which were on point to that issue. Nor were Poland and T/T among the 4 agreements that were in place.

        That Poland and T&T later failed to consent when asked does not prove that there was an antecedent confidentiality agreement.

        If there were ‘gentleman’s agreements”, then Jones had violated these agreements in the past by delivering the “confidential data” to his funding agent, the US Department of Energy who placed it online in 1991 without complaint by Jones or the countries. Jones placed data online himself in 1996. These actions show that either there were no confidentiality agreements or that Jones had repeatedly violated the agreements in the past without complaint.

        If you believe that Jones violated the confidentiality agreements, then you should file a misconduct complaint with UEA for Jones’ violation of the agreements.

        • PaulM
          Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

          Yes, and of course it was this bogus claim about non-academics that led to academics Jonathan Jones and Don Keiller following up Steve’s request. You can see Jonathan’s comment near the top of the July 24 2009 CA thread “CRU Refuses Data Once Again”. It is interesting that the possibility of this happening did not seem to occur to CRU.

          Now that this story is (I hope) over, it would be great if somebody had the time to go through its history and write it up, documenting the sequence of requests, excuses and appeals as a coherent story. Well, maybe ‘coherent’ is not the right word. Any volunteers?

        • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: PaulM (Jul 28 16:43),
          An odd priority. I thought that after all the fuss, someone might actually want to look at the data.

        • Bernie
          Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

          Nick:
          While true, it is like celebrating scoring a three-pointer when you are trailing by 40 points in the last 2 minutes of a game.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

          Nick, speaking for myself, I wanted to see the data back when I asked for it, I’m currently busy on other topics. However, I anticipate returning to the topic at some time in the future.

          I hope that you agree that CRU’s past conduct – letting their pals have the data and not letting critics have it – is not acceptable scientific behavior. But I guess that you won’t because of omerta.

          And what about CRU lying about not being in possession of tree ring measurement data? Is that okay with you too? More omerta, Nick?

        • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          My consistent belief has been that Phil Jones resisted publication of the data because he had obtained it for stated purposes (preparation of a global index etc) which did not embrace publication, and he knew that was a sensitive issue with some of his suppliers. That is perfectly acceptable scientific behaviour.

          In these situations, sharing with other academics is always a grey area. No-one expected him to prepare the indices solo. But sending to PW was probably overstepping. He probably thought it would do no harm. He was wrong. People make mistakes. It doesn’t mean everything has to be thrown overboard.

          As to tree-rings, I’ll follow your laudable policy of trying to stay on topic.

          Steve: I didn’t expect you to change your policy of omerta. However, as usual, you fail to answer the question. The issue with Jones is not just sending it to Webster. I also asked about Jones sending the data to the US Department of Energy and publishing it on his website in 1996. Are those “grey” areas? Nick, you never answer a straight question. It makes discussions with you very annoying.

          Either (1) Jones’ sending the data to the US Department of Energy was a breach of confidentiality and/or (2) Jones publishing the data online in 1996 was a breach of confidentiality or there were no binding confidentiality agreements.

          Doesn’t mean that Jones has to be “thrown overboard”. However, unless the conduct is confronted, little changes, as appears to be the case here.

        • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

          Of course he never said anything about the sensitivity of suppliers when asked for data prior to any FOI. He simply said he didn’t want to.

          What good is a “global index” if no one but a small clique can verify it?

        • Posted Jul 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

          Well, what good is a global index if you can’t get MO’s to supply the data? Someone has to make it work. That someone, here, was Phil Jones.

        • Tom Gray
          Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

          =============

          Well, what good is a global index if you can’t get MO’s to supply the data? Someone has to make it work. That someone, here, was Phil Jones.

          ==============

          Given that this is an issue of global importance and perhaps of critical global importance, don’t you find it disturbing that the generation of a global index was done so caually. One researcher in his office with bits of paper.

          Given that the IPCC has a mandate from the world governments on a crtical world issue, doesn’t this very casual organization give you pause.

          snip – please refrain from this sort of extra editorializing

        • Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

          “Given that this is an issue of global importance and perhaps of critical global importance, don’t you find it disturbing that the generation of a global index was done so caually. One researcher in his office with bits of paper. “
          Well, that’s not Phil Jones’ fault. A global index was lacking. He went out and got the data together, and produced one of the best, with indeed few resources. Then everyone jumps on him.

          Yes, sure, more resources would be appropriate. Maybe a dedicated institution. Write to your MP or congressman.

        • Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

          Nick, you completely avoided my question by posing an irrelevant one.

          Jones had plenty of resources at his disposal, but he chose to shut them out and keep his ball for himself.

        • Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

          Re: Nick Stokes (Jul 28 19:19), The people making the request and appeal here were doing so primarily as a matter of principle, not because they wanted to look at the data.

          Whether the data released is of interest remains to be seen. Maybe I am being dim, but it is still not clear to me whether this is raw or adjusted data. The new CRU page seems to imply that it is the original data, despite CRU’s statement back in August 2009 that they lost or discarded the original data because it was so difficult to keep data in the 1980s. The Met office data is identical but for the insertion of a decimal point and their FAQ says that it is a mix of raw and ‘value-added’ adjusted data and they don’t know which has been adjusted.

          Steve: I actually did want to look at the data at the time that I originally requested it. In other cases, where I’ve asked for data, I’ve looked at it closely and written on the data in detail. Unfortunately, in this case, I’m working on other things now, but hope to return to the topic at some time in the future.

        • Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

          PaulM
          Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 3:45 AM
          ….
          Whether the data released is of interest remains to be seen. Maybe I am being dim, but it is still not clear to me whether this is raw or adjusted data.

          This is precisely one of the reasons the newly data is of interest — we had no way of knowing until now what, if any, adjustments Jones made to the data, or if these made sense. We know from Willis’s 2007 FOI, or example, that “Columbus OH” is one of the CRU stations, and we can see from the coordinates that CRU uses the airport, CMH for Columbus Metropolitan Hanger, back when it was an airfield out in the country. This isn’t a USHCN station, but it’s been the official “Columbus” station since 1948, so the raw numbers would be easy to find. But CMH has grown in proportion to the aviation industry since 1948, and so has urbanized a lot relative to nearby USHCN stations. Now we can see whether and how CRU has taken this urbanization into account.

          We might also be able to figure out what, if anything, CRU was using for “Columbus” before 1948. In 1900 there was no airfield at all, but the official “Columbus” temperatures were taken downtown on a sequence of different office building rooftops until the 1948 move to CMH. If CRU uses these, how does it account for the moves? Again, how does the end result compare to nearby USHCN stations? Only a few USHCN stations are ideally sited, but from the SurfaceStations project, we can see now see which are truly awful (Urbana) and which are reasonable to use (Anthony gives Wooster and Circleville low scores because of nearby buildings, but you could do a lot worse than these).

          I don’t have time to do the above comparison in the near future, but if a few dozen CA readers (or even climatologists, heaven forbid) around the world did similar comparisons for the CRU stations in their own locality, we’d start to have an idea how valid or biased the global index is. Given that 8 of the 10 CRU stations in Ohio are urban airports, versus 0 out of 26 USHCN stations, I’ve suspected that a lot of the warming CRU shows since 1950 just reflects the growth of aviation since then.

          (There 10 CRU stations in OH only if one counts Cincinnati as being in OH — as air travelers know, it’s really in KY!)

        • Posted Jul 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

          Sorry Steve, I wasn’t clear, I was referring to Jonathan Jones and Don Keiller not you.

        • J Bowers
          Posted Nov 18, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

          PaulM — “The new CRU page seems to imply that it is the original data, despite CRU’s statement back in August 2009 that they lost or discarded the original data because it was so difficult to keep data in the 1980s.”

          Phil Jones has been working to get the original data released by the NSMs who obviously won’t have thrown anything out, so it’s no surprise or inconsistency. Poland refused IIRC.

          Steve: Not exactly. What Jones had done was to merge different station records into one record without keeping track of when the splice took place. I’ve traced this in some Kenya data, but not posted on it. It’s like GISS dset1 without dset0. it’s not necessarily true that original NMSs have kept their data. Apparently some historical data is preserved at the Met Office, which fortunately and unlike CRU appears to honor the importance of archives.

7 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Steve McIntyre posted this breaking story: Breaking news: Today probably marks the closing chapter of the longstanding FOI request for CRUTEM station data. The UK Information Commissioner (ICO) has rendered a decision (see here) on Jonathon Jones’ appeal of the UEA’s refusal to provide Prof Jones with the CRUTEM station data that they had previously provided to Georgia Tech. The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia. [...]

  2. [...] Read More Here [...]

  3. By News CRU Forced to Hand over CRUTEM Data on Jun 28, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    [...] [...]

  4. [...] Today, the Office of the Information Commissioner has ordered the CRU to release the requested CRUtem data to Jonathan Jones, a notable victory for common sense and open science. Steve MacIntyre has the details here: http://climateaudit.org/2011/06/27/ico-orders-uea-to-produce-crutem-station-data/#more-13981 [...]

  5. By Eye on Britain (2) on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    [...] More HERE [...]

  6. [...] comments at CA, Jonathan Jones mentioned the existence of a related ICO ruling on the following request which was refused (pdf): [...]

  7. [...] From Steve McIntyre: Jun 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM     http://climateaudit.org/2011/06/27/ico-orders-uea-to-produce-crutem-station-data/ [...]

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