A few thoughts on the police action at Tallbloke’s house last night…
No I’m not going to repeat all the ranting, and huffing and puffing about freedom. There are enough people doing that. I’ve no comments, conspiracy theories or speculation about the contents of the emails already known and those potentially yet to come.
Some people have been asking what the police hope to gain by cloning Tallbloke’s hard drives when all the action took place on the cloud. Well several thoughts occur to me.
- They need to be seen to be doing something. This is something.
- Hitting out at skeptic bloggers, if you want to put it that way, is probably a popular move for them (thumbs up from the warmist side, including the MSM, politicians etc.).
- Closing lines of investigation which don’t lead anywhere is often as important as following up on real suspicions.
I think this last one is the key. Perhaps it is not what they hope to find on Tallbloke’s hard drives, but what they want to know/show is absent and rule out.
Some people have been sure from the beginning that the emails were leaked not hacked – an internal rather than external security breach. The terminology used has tended to fall by belief (skeptics – leak or /warmists – hack).
After reading a post last month by Pointman Why Climategate was not a hack I am thoroughly convinced it was a leak, or a least that there was an insider involved. (Highly recommended – “The intended audience is the general reader; no great knowledge of IT is assumed.”)
Pointman sets out a profile and outline of a classic hack…
Despite what Hollywood and the movies would have you believe, pulling off a successful external hack is far from easy. It requires skill, talent, detailed technical knowledge and above all, patience. Hackers come in three flavours; script kiddies, ascendants and what I like to call the Great Whites. […]
If the Climategate breach was a result of a hack, then it would have to have been done by a Great White. This outline analysis of a classical frontal assault on an organisation should make that point.
He explains what a hack entails (including a lot of patience and not inconsiderable good fortune) in fairly generic language (well I understood it) and concludes:
Anyone who thinks all of the above effort was expended to obtain apparently innocuous material from an obscure unit of an equally academically obscure university, needs an introduction to William of Occam’s razor.
The police (IMO) are looking for a leaker and clues from the person’s normal professional network. In any profession, you use what you know and who you know; you tread familiar paths, except when you wish to cover your tracks. The leaker may have ‘worked alone’, not actually conspiring with the network, but that does not mean ‘no contact’.
And what does this have to do with Tallbloke? Simple. They’re looking for evidence of collusion. In cloning the hard drives they’ll not be interested in the activity on the day but looking for any clues in the run up to the day when the link was left. Perhaps even activity in the run up to Climategate 1.0. That’s my (naive) view anyway.
Do they seriously believe they’ll find such links? No idea, but I’d guess if they can rule Roger out (and Jeff Id and Steve McIntyre) that’s progress. It may not get them any closer to finding FOIA, but it closes off some areas of effort, and that’s important in an investigation.
Six cops? Maybe it was ‘a show of force’. Or…
…maybe the police also watch too many Hollywood films (see right). Or…
….maybe they really believe that all sceptics are well funded by Big Oil and Roger would have £gazillions of the latest computer equipment instead of a pile of old stuff and a couple of laptops.