Skeptic blogger raided by the police because he was sent a link to the Climategate 2 release.

Yesterday, the home of the climate skeptic blogger Tallbloke, was legally invaded by six detectives from the Norfolk constabulary and the Metropolitan police. When they left, they took two laptops with them, stating that they would be returned after having their hard drives cloned. The previous day, the WordPress host of his site and the sites of two other skeptic bloggers was served with a data preservation order by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). This essentially gives the DoJ access to all data on commenters and visitors to those sites for the last 90 days.

The what can only be called nominal reason for this raid, was that a comment was left by the Climategate leaker (FOIA) on Tallbloke’s blog giving the location of the latest Climategate archive of emails for download. Given that his site is hosted in the USA, there can be no forensically relevant data on Tallbloke’s computers in the UK, so why do the big gangbusters raid on his place?

A simple question with a simple answer – intimidation and not too subtle either. Why six detectives trampling all over your home rather than the more usual two? Intimidation again.

Why was he raided and the other two bloggers left alone? The simple but tragically true answer is that civil liberties in the UK have been so abraded in the last fifteen years by creeping and abusive legislation, that they barely exist any more. The ordinary UK citizen no longer has much in the way of legal protection from the forces of the state. The same is not true in other nations of the developed world; most notably America.

Why the intimidation of skeptic bloggers? Easy, we’re the only channel FOIA has to disseminate their material. As long as we’re in the game, so is FOIA. It’s as brutally simple as that.

What can Tallbloke do? Not a lot really. I’m sure the raid was all legal and you’ll get your computers back in due course. In the meantime, keep blogging from your mobile phone. Incidentally, when you get your laptops back, you’ll have to treat them as totally compromised. Never again plug them back into the internet or any home network you might have.

What can we as blog writers do? Well, we can rally around Tallbloke and blog even harder. Whatever you need from us Tallbloke, you’ve got it. We can also start preparing ourselves for possible similar visits by the police. Time for us to put ourselves on DefCon 3. I’ve spent most of this day setting up private blogs which are clones of this site. Each one is hosted in a different country and if needed, I can create and activate them a lot faster than they can legally be shut down. Thanks for the warning Big Green.

The police are piggy in the middle in this situation but I’ve got to ask the question. Are you guys trying to earn your pay or is somebody using the old cattle prod on your butts? Well, I’ve got news for you and whoever did the prodding; you can raid away to your heart’s content but we’ll keep on blogging and now we’ll blog even harder because we know we’re under attack. You can maybe take out Tallbloke’s gaff but guess what? He’ll get back online in a while, even if that’s on a smart phone on the back of a motorbike and in the meantime, we’ll create ten more blogs in its place.

What can you as a reader and contributor to the blogosphere do? Easy. First off, drop in on his blog and leave a message of support. Tallbloke seems to have handled what can only have been an unpleasant experience in this runup to Christmas with equanimity and humour but let’s send a big loud public message back to those people behind that little visit. Hands off our bloggers. Do it now. Secondly, if you live in the UK, write a letter of protest to your local Member of Parliament.

What can the climategate whistleblower do? Well, your only delivery channel is now under direct threat so now might just about be the perfect time for a mini release to defend it. Let’s call it Climategate 2.5 and it contains a little selection of those highly political emails which were sent upwards to senior figures in government by Jones et al. Think of it as communication; a message.


Related articles by Pointman :

Some thoughts and some questions about the Climategate 2.0 release. 

Click for a list of other articles.

55 Responses to “Skeptic blogger raided by the police because he was sent a link to the Climategate 2 release.”
  1. Edward. says:

    They are worried Pointy, actually, very worried Pointman.

    As you have alluded to in a previous post, they are soiling their diapers in the DOJ in the States and in Britain [and no doubt the EU commission] because there are some more – yes, even more juicy revelations out there in the ‘ether’.

    Full support to you and to Tallbloke, this must be fought and the battle must be won – this is a blatant and clumsy attempt at censorship of truth telling and it’s dissemination – which it must be said was and still is – in the public interest, if only Joe Public knew – the MSM won’t touch this with a barge pole.

    We live in disgusting times.


    • amcoz says:

      My sentiments too, Ed.

      Do what you can P, stick it right up their @rse as those climate crooks must be getting nervous.


    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Agreed. There are 220,000 reasons why they are afraid. Also it implies they have either failed to crack the encryption OR they have cracked it and found something which makes them even more afraid.

      Meanwhile the global temperature is still trending downwards…


  2. Katabasis says:

    This is all too common here in the UK, as I know from personal experience:

    And then there are more high profile cases such as ex British diplomat Craig Murray having his site summarily shut down (which was done clumsily – the hosting company pulled the entire server which just happened to also included the site of London Mayor Boris Johnson….) and subjected to libel proceedings for daring to embarrass the great and the good.

    I agree complete with sentiments expressed by Dr. Richard North and Jo Nova on their respective blogs on this raid: us blogosphere types need to stick together and find ways to come to eachother’s support rapidly. In particular we need to find a way to get past the left-right divides. We managed it to some degree in support of Craig Murray a couple of years ago (with many of us repeating his supposedly libellous claims and distributing his book that Schillings wanted pulped) so it is possible. Problem is that too many on the left and right have divided over wikileaks and climategate respectively. We need to get over that as ultimately as far as I’m concerned we are fighting the same battle.


    • Edward. says:

      It is true, the left and right ‘thing’ needs to be dropped totally – the politicos encourage it because of; ‘divide and conquer’.

      Further, together we would be a formidable force – which truly worries the authorities – and I use that term [authorities] very loosely.


  3. Jack Wilder says:

    I think this is a good reminder to everyone blogging about sensitive issues: keep your computer clean, and don’t visit any dodgy sites. I imagine even something like the random section on 4chan could result in images you didn’t actually see being downloaded to your temp file, and then causing you no end of grief by malicious keepers of the peace.


    • Brian H says:

      But there should be a “Sauce for the goose” or “tu quoque” fairness standard. Random sweeps of working systems in the Uncivil Disservice or backrooms of the Plogstations would (and do) turn up large caches and viewing logs of pron, often really egregious stuff. The hypocrisy is not harmless; it tends to intensify the abuse of those outside the magic circles.


  4. Viv Evans says:

    Some commenters/bloggers hint that the powers-that-be in the USA may have actually cracked FOIA’s code, and that this (first) raid is the result.
    See comments at WUWT and here :

    It is also worth pointing out that, as Parliament broke up yesterday, Dec 14th – surely a coincidence, right? – it may be worthwhile to get a few MPs on board. Like Graham Stringer (the only one who was not taken in by the UEA whitewashes), or Douglas Carswell.

    What angers me is that Tallbloke has been doing some serious stuff on solar influence on climate, and that also is on the raided computers. Who knows into whose hands this will now fall.


  5. Pointman says:

    How’s this for a piece of libel? Tallbloke could make a pretty good out of court settlement for it.



  6. Billy Liar says:

    Viv Evans:

    The ‘authorities’ (in the US and UK) don’t need to crack FOIA’s code. They know what is in the emails – they are all on the UEA’s servers (or backups thereof).


    • Brian H says:

      They know what’s in the originals. What they don’t know is how much FOIA got his grubby hands on.


      • Pointman says:

        Given the sheer number of emails, my feeling is that FOIA would not read through the lot in situ, selecting certain ones (about 200,000 of them after all), rather they’d just copy them all and examine them at their leisure.

        The more interesting question about the originals is how many of the originals were actually left on the mail server by the time the Police and forensic IT consultants were called in? Perhaps I’m being a touch cynical here, but given the level of data hiding and evasiveness shown by both CG1 and CG2, possibly the server was laundered of any emails which showed legally indictable activity?

        Coming across such material would be actionable by law enforcement, regardless of whether it was uncovered investigating another offence.



      • Brian H says:

        As noted elsewhere, “purging” a modern network of all email copies is non-trivial. Often impossible. I gather, tho’, that the UK FOI law is intentionally crippled by the provision that any emails deleted by sender and recipient locally are “deemed” to not exist anywhere, and are inadmissable.

        Reminds me of the ‘My Fair Lady’ lyrics, Arthur wooing Genevere: “Those are the legal laws!” The rejoinder from Die Dreigroschenoper: “Doch die Verhältnisse, die sind nicht so!” (Roughly, reality ain’t quite like that!)


  7. Aussie says:

    This lowly non-scientist (but I do have an Economics degree) blogger will be at the ready to continue with the work. I blog this from the point of view of experience. My own personal experience tells me that the “climate change or rather globull warming” is one big scam. I think that seeing a glacier close up when it was almost 100F made a real impact upon me 🙂


  8. scud says:

    Wotcha P!

    Really a very baffling move by plod this. Whatever way you calculate it, ‘stupid’ appears as the answer.

    Just a thought…but given that the most up to date correspondence we’ve been treated to so far (dated) is 13/11/09…six days before the original broadside; given that we know FOIA to be smart, and endowed with the patience of a saint; given that we know he is not a ‘hacker’; given that we know his intentions are clear…to bust this crime against humanity. Is it possible I wonder, that he’s collating reactions from the original and now part 2 to be released along with all the other juiciness as a final episode in the trilogy?
    Part IIIs don’t usually work, but in this case I reckons it’s gonna break the box office record.

    ‘Power breakfast’ at the CRU (first 20 seconds only)…

    Oh yeah…loved this comment over at the Bish today by ‘Peter S’… “If he’d called himself ‘Shortbloke’ I wonder if only three officers would have turned up.”
    He he.

    Hope to see you in chat tomorrow bud…I’ve got some beers waiting in the fridge.


  9. scud says:

    Aaaaargh! Sorry P. Dunno why the vid has appeared rather than just a link….bit daft with this sort of thing.


  10. Pointman says:

    It gets better and better. Mann puts himself in the libel frame as well, courtesy of a retweet.



  11. scud says:

    Just stumbled upon this one P…

    cc: “Newton Martyn Mr (MAINT)”
    date: Fri Nov 6 15:24:06 2009
    from: Phil Jones
    subject: RE: Environment Agency announcement
    to: “Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)” , “Dunford Simon Mr (MAC)” , “Davies Trevor Prof (ENV)” , “Burgess Jacquelin Prof (ENV)”

    Dear All,
    I’ll be around, but as far as I can see there are no scientists speaking.
    I’ve no idea what they will be talking about. This seems just another pre-Copenhagen
    At 14:05 06/11/2009, Ogden Annie Ms (MAC) wrote:

    Dear all,
    If they are looking for something visual and they are expecting people to be doing
    things in labs rather than sitting at computers – I wonder if David Richardson’s lab
    might be appropriate – as we did for the David Cameron visit?

    Annie Ogden, Head of Communications,
    University of East Anglia,
    Norwich, NR4 7TJ.
    Tel:+44 ???

    Ha haar! ‘Quick blokes…the politicians are coming. Get yer white coats and rush down to Dave’s laboratory and make sure you look all sort of sciencey. I want dry ice…loads of dry ice, bubbling pots and those microscope thingys.’

    Anyways, what the hell was Cameron doing there? Learning a bit of the gibber I shouldn’t wonder, before he went and lost a sitter of an election.


  12. val majkus says:

    BTW Lord Monckton is asking for help

    … I have begun drafting a memorandum for the prosecuting authorities, together with all evidence necessary to establish not only the existence of numerous specific instances of scientific or economic fraud in relation to the official “global warming” storyline but also the connections between these instances, and the overall scheme of deception that the individual artifices appear calculated to reinforce. In each instance, the perpetrators of the fraud will be named and their roles described.

    Once the report has been completed, it will be reviewed carefully by experienced criminal lawyers in each of the national jurisdictions in which the perpetrators reside. The report will then be submitted to the prosecuting authorities in each jurisdiction, with a complaint lodged by lawyers acting for citizens of that jurisdiction against perpetrators there. No complaints can be lodged against the IPCC or the UNFCCC, for they are beyond any national jurisdiction. However, individual “scientists” can be brought to book in the countries where they normally reside.

    Here is how you can help. If you consider any specific aspect of “global warming” science to contain an element of fraud as defined and illustrated here, then please – in strictest confidence – get in touch and let me have as much detail as possible. Be specific. Name names. Give details. If you can, supply or point me to backup evidence.

    Since the information you will be supplying to me is in contemplation of criminal proceedings, it is privileged and no libel suit would succeed even in the unlikely event that the perpetrators discovered you had contacted me. Your details will be kept confidential, and will not appear in the report or be passed to any authorities.

    Don’t be coy. It is all too easy to fall for the line now being ever-more-anxiously peddled by some of the more notorious fraudsters – that science cannot thrive in an atmosphere where scientists who publish honest research in good faith can find themselves having to answer charges in a criminal court.

    so … over to us


  13. Mack I Avelli says:

    You’re dead right, the purpose of the exercise was intimidation of bloggers and its great to see your defiant attitude. As a fan of Les Mis it sounds like “Who will join in our Crusade, who will be strong and stand with me.” As discussed in earlier posts, the establishment know who the leaker is and what’s in the encrypted emails, they have access to them all. Their actions confirm there must be dynamite for them in the emails. Their primary goal will be to get the encryption code before they deal with FOIA.” The blood of the marytrs will water the meadows of France.” Plan B is to discredit or silence by intimidation or any other means sympathetic bloggers. As much as I hate to disclose it, I am an Australian Solicitor and it seems a shame that Tallbloke did not get legal advice before cooperating with his Visitors. He has said they have told him that he is not a suspect and as such they would be unlikely to have had any warrants to seize his computers and he also had a right to remain silent. I fear what may have been put on his computers. It could take him out of the game for a couple of years and bankrupt him trying to prove the illegal stuff they supposedly discovered was not put there by him.
    Probably the visit to Tallbloke maybe the first of many. Pointman if you or any of the other sceptic bloggers get such a visit there are sympathetic sceptic lawyers out there that you should seek assistance from. Exercise your right to remain silent.
    It is getting rough and dirty now but always rememember the refrain from Les Mis;
    “Do you hear the people sing,singing the songs of angry men. It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.” So hang in there we’re starting to win as shown by their desperate actions.


    • Bruce says:

      “Their primary goal will be to get the encryption code before they deal with FOIA”

      Not so. The problem they have is the classic deadman switch problem. BUT if they get the leaker into custody then they can turn this about by offering a deal – “do not release the key and you’ll get off lightly (but if the key ever comes out we’ll put you in an unlit cell for 50 years)”.

      This only works if they get the leaker before the key gets out. But it does imply that you’re absolutely right, the content of the encrypted stuff must be extremely painful for someone. Dr Mann’s contortions over the Cuccinelli FOI adds some spice to this idea.

      I love conspiracy theories. Unfortunately sometimes they are true. Although here there’s also a fair bit going for the theory that the DoJ and Norfolk boys are just being a bit slow.


    • Brian H says:

      My problem with that logic is: if they already “know” what’s in the encrypted emails, why do they “need” the p/w?? They can’t block its release, or use, whether they know it or not.


  14. Otter says:

    You are now added to my readlist and, if you don’t mind, the link will be added to my ‘clmiate change resource page’ *g* You shall stand alongside JoNova, Mr Watts, James Delingpole and of Course, Tallbloke, among many other Skeptic (need better word!) sites.

    Here’s hoping this little earthquake sparks a Massive tsunami back upon those who targeted Tallbloke.


    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome to the blog Otter. I think the way people have rallied around Tallbloke has been very encouraging, most especially as some people have crossed the debating floor to protect some principles of free speech and to express disapproval of some of the internet commentary on the incident. Enjoy yourself here.



  15. jk says:

    You mistake the intimidation. It’s actually misdirection. Residence is bugged. Landline is tapped if it wasn’t already. Car has a tracker now. Can a person keep track of 6 folks? no. Obviously comps will come back compromised as has been said. Worm, Trojan, and Keylogger, with the addition of being bugged and gps receiver probably. If they were near any of your wardrobe…well it’s just one more way to get info. Paranoid? yes. Reason to be? yes.

    This was their way in the door. Consider external hard drives if you haven’t already. Less info is safer if you consider the rise in mobile phones and embedded apps. Good luck all.


  16. Nullius in Verba says:

    Are all your hard drives and backups encrypted? If it’s the sort of thing you’re worried about, then something like TrueCrypt (to pick an example at random) may be of interest to you.

    Even if you’re not bothered by the dysfunctionaries of the state, it’s still a consideration for simple theft. Laptops and computers are attractive targets for thieves, and I expect they will have a poke around to see if there’s anything interesting before wiping/reselling.


    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome Nullius. If you really want to keep something secret, never put it on anything electronic. Very hard to hack a sheet of paper …



      • Nullius in Verba says:

        Paper is relatively easy to hack. Breaking and entering is a far easier prospect than breaking 256-bit AES. How would you propose to hide a filing cabinet when the police come knocking?

        Paper can be seized or stolen – never write anything down.
        Spoken words can be bugged or overheard – if you do not want a thing heard, do not say it.
        Friends and partners can betray you, or be broken – trust no one.
        Safes can be cracked, locks can be picked, bolts and chains can be cut, strong walls can be demolished. An Englishman’s home is his castle, and as vulnerable to violence as all the other castles that fell of old.

        Security is never absolute. Don’t ever believe that it is, but don’t demand that it is either.


      • Nullius in Verba says:

        Oh, and thanks for the welcome.


  17. John says:

    Pointman – I recently read you comments on FOIA’s personality.
    I had come to the same conclusion. (comments on WUWT and Jeff Id)
    CG1 was a warning – innocent in a sense to stop the BS. They knew what else FOIA had and that FOIA released enough to damage the cause and team members that were the most arrogant but not bring down entire organization.
    CG2 was a response to the arrogance and was meant to be more of a cluster bomb. FOIA was careful to implicate the orginal team in much greater detail, publications, NGO’s and governments but in the latter groups (other than the team) FOIA was limited in what was released.
    No doubt this was more than a shot across the bow like the first was meant to be. This was a direct hit with a cluster bomb only not all of the bombs have gone off yet.
    I suspect FOIA is giving the governments of the world one last chance (a cease and desist order).
    They know what FOIA has. Canada dropping out, Russia and Japan agreeing. Could we be seeing the beginnings of what FOIA goal was? The EU and now Australia have the Carbon trading scams that have to work out of the financial systems and know doubt the economies were relying heavily on these made up market so it will take longer.
    I would like to see the rest of those sooner rather the later but I think FOIA is trying to carefully minmize what could be truly explosive.
    I suspect FOIA knows the danger and is trying to give them an out.
    My hypothosis


    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome to the blog John.

      I think FOIA is walking a delicate line between showing the grubby underbelly of the climate science establishment and survival. I think they’ll wait and watch to see what effect CG2 will have.

      Around the world, the tide is turning against climate alarmism and apart from the EU and Australia, most countries have dropped the craze because they’re all in economic intensive care. The EU movement towards a United States of Europe looks to be in ruins and at the next election, Gillard’s ALP party is going to get eviscerated.

      Absurdities tend to get corrected, painful though that process might be.



  18. Col. of Blackburn says:

    We Australians will not be dictated to by rogue governments, remember the Eureka Stockade!


  19. Pointman says:

    If I were Greg Laden, I’d start signing over my assets to the Missus …



  20. val majkus says:

    WUWT has a post up by Tallman’s lawyer
    Donations to a legal fund are being sought
    Tallman’s lawyer Stephen Wilde says possible causes of action include

    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    “But, what courses of legal action are possible? If you can post more info on that, it would be helpful.”

    i) Potential libel claims against Laden and Mann and any others who might be found to have stated, suggested or implied that there was criminality on the part of Tallbloke.

    ii) Potential malfeasance by the persons responsible for the obtaining of the Warrant in the form deemed appropriate (but actually wholly inappropriate) and for the heavy handed treatment of Tallbloke who would always have been prepared to assist voluntarily.

    iii) Various damages claims under UK law for distress, inconvenience, invasion of privacy and damage to property.

    iv) Possible injunctive relief preventing examination, copying, cloning or any unauthorised use of Tallbloke’s private data.

    v) Requests for immediate return of Tallbloke’s property and rectification of damage done during the process.

    vi) Investigations into the sequence of events that led to this farrago and the identities of the person or persons responsible.

    Other possibilities may come to mind in due course.

    see more at


  21. Grumpy Old Man says:

    For those in UK. Tallbloke’s case has similarities with the Damien Green Affair, when an MP had his Parliamentary office searched because he was being a pest to the then Labour government. If you are lucky enough to have a coalition MP, you might consider reminding them of the affair in your letters.


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