Police Close Climategate Hacking/Leaking Investigation


How high do you want it to be?

Three years ago someone hacked or leaked a cache of embarrassing emails and other documents from climate researchers associated with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Angiia. The leaked documents exposed less-than-scientifically-objective efforts by like-minded researchers to avoid compliance with freedom-of-information inquiries and to prevent rival researchers who were less-than-convinced of imminent climate catastrophe from getting published in scientific journals. Dubbed "Climategate," the leaks revealed a seemy side of climate reaserch to the public. Now the BBC is reporting:

A police inquiry into the "ClimateGate" affair did not identify any suspects and cost more than £84,000 in expenses and overtime, police have said.

Norfolk Police announced on Tuesday they had stopped a probe into the theft of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

They have now revealed the "complex" inquiry spread to "most continents", but has not identified a suspect.

Under law, police have until November to bring criminal proceedings….

Under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, police had a three-year time limit in which to investigate the offence.

Senior investigating officer Det Ch Supt Julian Gregory said, regardless of this legislation, police would have ended the investigation because they had no "real prospect of finding the culprit".

Police said the theft was "sophisticated and orchestrated" and the offender had used a method common in unlawful activity of creating a false trail and using proxy servers throughout the world….

[Gregory] said there was no evidence the offence was committed by a government, an individual or an organisation with commercial interests.

The chief fallout from this fiasco, as I noted back in 2009: 

In their zeal to marginalize and stifle their critics, this insular band of climate researchers has damaged the very science they sought to defend. We all now are the losers.

Unfortunately, that remains true.