back to article 'Domestic extremism' police called in on climate hack

Norfolk police investigating the "Climategate" hack have called in colleagues from the National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET), it has emerged. The unit was originally set up to investigate animal rights extremists. Recently it has been embroiled in controversy over police gathering intelligence about protestors, including …


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  1. LawLessLessLaw

    Leave off the nut job shit

    It's highly insulting

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Animal rights nut jobs?

      You're correct. "Barking mad" would probably be better.

  2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    "hack" that wasn't

    I don't understand why people continue to refer to this incident as a "hack" when it is blatantly obvious that it was an internal leak. A hacker wouldn't have been able to collate the necessary files in such a short time - and the files themselves are pretty much what was asked for in numerous foi requests. The released zip containing them was even named foi200- something. 9 I think. Anyway, the point is that refering to it as a hack feeds into bizarre daily mail-style conspiracies that it was the Russians or Chinese wot did it - when in reality both stand to gain massively from the current state of the agw debate. Why would they jeopardise potentially huge revenue streams that would simultaneously drain the west of wealth and power? the fact that it was initially released on realclimate and only later uploaded to a Russian FTP points to a researcher who may have been disgusted with the unscientific behaviour of his collegues, or may have been trying to score points in some sort of academic spat.

    Regardless, hack it most certainly was not.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      DM reader safety is paramount!

      Yeah we know, but when has the truth ever stopped plod from collaring someone, so that the middle-England, DM readers sleep a little more soundly at night?

      ( By DM reader, I mean undecided voter required by desperate Brown and cronies to cling on to power! )

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Yes, I agree that it was not hackers.

      The mails and documents released in the file were carefully hand-picked by someone who (1) knew what they were doing in that they picked data that was the most revealing and embarrassing to those involved, and (2) had plenty of time to hand-pick the best data.

      I saw a comment somewhere that Phil Jones left CRU early on Friday 13th November, and the data was leaked after that weekend...

      Also, security was not exactly CRU's forte, and data had previously been downloaded using anonymous FTP until the 'hole' was discovered and blocked...

      This points to a whistleblower who was most likely inside CRU, had some good level of IT knowledge and disliked the deception that was going on with 'sexing-up' the figures to make it look like 'runaway global warming' was happening and that it's all man's fault, rather than natural climate variability.

      That person also seemingly had ability to upload the data to the website, so probably had some form of admin rights, at least in terms of his/her ability to upload to that site, where it was quickly deleted by Gavin Schmidt once discovered.

      Use of the known Wordpress bug to reset the CMS' admin password has been floated as a possible idea. If it could be discovered which version of Wordpress was active at the time of the upload, that idea could be considered further or ruled out, which would give further possible investigation directions...

      1. David Beck
        Thumb Down

        Carefully Hand Picked?

        There were thousands of mails released. The only thing carefully hand picked at CRU was the data.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          re: Carefully Hand Picked?

          > There were thousands of mails released.

          No there weren't: 1073 in fact. And here they all are:

          > The only thing carefully hand picked at CRU was the data.

          In your own reality perhaps. 1073 emails over a period from 1996 until 2009 is not many. Look into your own in/out email box if you doubt that.

          So the emails picked had special relevance/interest, unless you believe they were picked randomly.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Even if the information was supplied by an insider, this doesn't mean that it wasn't a hack, something like 75% of hacks go on from within a company/organisation. It's far easier to hack from an internal system, becuase you've already got past the perimeter.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    > Hackers stole and published thousands of emails and other data from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) in November.

    Looks more likely to be a whistleblower who got pissed off with the 'climate fiddling', lies and politics:—the-ctm-story/

  4. Anonymous Coward


    > The unit was originally set up to investigate animal rights extremists. Recently it has been embroiled in controversy over police gathering intelligence about protestors, including environmentalists.

    The funny thing here is that environmentalists are probably the last people who would want to shine a light on doubts relating to man-made global warming, as has occurred with the climategate leak.

  5. amanfromearth
    Big Brother


    "a good background in climate change issues in relation to criminal investigations"

    Isn't it comforting to know that the plod has experts in any minute area of possible investigation?

    Either that or they're talking boll**cks again. I know which one my bet is on.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now disagreeing with the view of human induced climate change (personally I don't care either way - climate change is inevitable) or the way the climate believers want to see it dealt with (wasting money trying to prevent the inevitable (retarding development and progress) instead of preparing for it) means that you are a dangerous extremist and you must be controlled.

    1. Bassey

      Re: Heh

      "Now disagreeing with the view of human induced climate change means that you are a dangerous extremist and you must be controlled"

      Now, you see, here is the problem with not bothering to read beyond the headline. It actually states (and I'll save you the effort - it is Friday) that, although this is clearly NOT a case of extremism they were brought in because they had expertise in computer forensics. Okay? Obviously we don't want to throw anything in the way of your paranoid sense of victimisation but you may need to try looking elsewhere on this particular occasion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I like this game

        "It actually states (and I'll save you the effort - it is Friday) that, although this is clearly NOT a case of extremism"

        Awww seems you have selective reading,

        "Whilst it is not strictly domestic extremism"

        But baww more it amuses me.

  7. cynic 2
    Big Brother


    Ah. ACPO. So the investigation is being done by an outfit that was set up to be immune to FOI requests. Now isn't that comforting?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, you must mean ACPO Ltd

      Why on earth would it need a limted company status unless, oh wait...

  8. Anonymous Coward

    5 miles!

    Dont want the plebs knowing that Global warming is a myth when so much money is being spent on adverts telling us to drive 5 miles less a week. Does the Govt think people just randomly drive around each week or should I park 1/2 mile further away from work 5 days a week? Useless pricks.

    1. Apocalypse Later

      They have found another way... stop us driving. Simply restrict supplies of road grit and winter will cut miles from everyone's driving. No need for expensive adverts, road pricing or regulation, and Gordon doesn't have to take the blame.

  9. Stuart 22

    Usof Police Time

    This is an internal University IT issue. They have the IT expertise to sort it. If they can't trust their IT people to do that then that is a greater problem they should be addressing.

    As for the police - everybody who has a public server is under constant attack by real criminal hackers (not socially motivated whistleblowers). Do the police try and stop crime and protect citizens, the economy and free speech - or just concentrate on people privately enjoying naughty pix or putting dodgy (but their own) poetry online?

  10. JohnG Silver badge

    Limited resources?

    We keep getting told that there are insufficient resources for the surveillance of domestic terrorists and that this is why bombers remain undetected up to the time of their action. Despite this, a group responsible for tracking domestic extremism, apparently bored with their assigned role, now have sufficient resources to chase down a disgruntled non-terrorist who leaked a load of unclassified emails concerning public;y funded research.

  11. Douglas Lowe

    "hack" vs "leak"

    I'm greatly amused by those who insist that this was a leak rather than a hack. It doesn't matter one jot how the emails and data was released - it's the contents by which the CRU centre will either be vindicated or damned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It does matter, quite a bit in fact

      By calling it a hack the CRU are able to deflect interest away from the contents of the documents themselves and onto speculation about the criminality of their release. Further, calling it a hack means they can at least attempt to get around whistle-blower protection legislation, by accusing the leakers of being "hackers". It muddies the waters sufficiently to scare a lot of people away from reviewing the documents lets they be accused of participating in a crime.

      1. Douglas Lowe


        1) The majority of the articles about the CRU hack/leak on sites like have addressed issues raised by the contents of the documents, not focused on the method of release. The only people I see speculating about the nature of the release are denialists - who are the very people I'd have thought would have been going through the documents with a fine tooth-comb rather than obsessing over the mechanics of the release.

        2) Nobody's come forward claiming to be the internal "whistleblower" on this issue. Unless that happens then there's no relevance of the whistle-blower protection legislation to this case, because there's nobody claiming it's protection.

        3) The only people who participated in a criminal act here are the hackers - nobody else reading these documents is going to get into trouble, nor am I aware of anybody seriously suggesting that people reading these documents will be prosecuted.

        As far as I see it, the only reason for denialists to obsess over the method of release is the fact that there's no smoking gun which proves that climate scientists having been engaged in a deliberate scam to make up evidence of global warming. It's the disappointment that their world view has not been vindicated by these documents which makes them clutch at the slim possibility that this is from a whistleblower not an outside hacker.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Attempts like yours to use terms like 'denialist' against scientifically-minded sceptics of the phenomenon we call Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or 'man-made global warming' is quite laughable.

          People like yourself seem to forget that: (1) scepticism is one of the cornerstones of science and (2) some of the people referenced by the leaked CRU Climategate emails have been caught trying to suppress people with theories that question the CO2 / AGW theory. Even to the point that Jones has been shown to say that he would rather delete data/emails than provide it under a Freedom of Information request. What kind of scientist would do that?

          The importance of the Climategate leaks cannot be underestimated as it has provided needed focus on the fact that the science needs to become more transparent, which it will undoubtedly do as a result of ongoing legal processes -- e.g. DOE preserve docs notice:

          Relating to the people caught up in this scandal, and to use words which some people seem delighted to use: 'if they have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear'

          Hide the decline -- oops!

          1. Douglas Lowe

            Well, as I said in the first place...

  's the content of the documents which matter, not the method of release.

            There's issues raised by the documents which do need, and are being, investigated; such as the comments made by Prof Jones on FOI.

            However I've yet to see anything come out of these documents which calls into question the validity of the research done at CRU, or the theory behind MMGW.

            Please note this isn't a request for links to analysis of single lines of 'dodgy' code taken out of completely out of context - I've see plenty of those already, and none have turned out to have any relevance to anything.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Here comes the Sun...

              ...the contents of the leaked data shows persistent and determined acts of suppression on the behalf of the cabal of climategate scientists who couldn't handle other people challenging their science so their solution was to (1) delete data and emails, (2) use ridiculously small statistically insignificant data set sizes of tree ring data (Yamal: 12 trees) to show 'evidence' of increased temperatures, (3) block any papers by un-favoured AGW-dissenting science from reaching scientific journals.

              Hopefully, that alone will be enough to remove these unscientific bullies from their posts. The next step is to make the whole process transparent to prevent these practices from re-occurring.

              Now, validity of research done by CRU, and what they haven't researched in sufficient detail...

              ...for the case against AGW, you need to look at satellite data from researchers like Professor Richard Lindzen which shows that (1) satellite data, which was only possible to record since about 1979 shows much less warming of the upper troposphere than the temperatures on the ground due to the Urban Heat Island Effect & cherry-picked data from ground based temperature monitoring stations, a lot of 'cooler' stations from the old Soviet days no longer being used, used stations being in areas of increasing urban development, near airports, air conditioner ducts, moved around due to encroaching development etc...

              Also, CO2 as a greenhouse gas seems to have had an artificially high value attributed to the climate models, so no surprises when the models spit out panic scenarios -- garbage in, garbage out. Check Lindzen's latest papers at GRL for details.

              And CO2 rises normally follow temperature rises with a lag of around 800 years or so -- check info from people like Professor Ian Clark, amongst others.

              The answer to the question of what drives 'man made global warming' will almost certainly be found to be natural climate variability, and driven by the Sun. People are getting in a flap about small *real* changes in temperature and predicting doom scenarios using models based on unknown forcing values for things like CO2 -- now *that* is funny. Looking at temps over a tiny time period and then panicking is just a joke.

              The CRU crew along with Dr Mann have been pushing their manufactured and discredited Hockey Stick temperature graph into the UN IPCC reports. This graph is a joke again as it has attempted to ignore the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age by ironing them out and then showing some massive meteoric rise recently.

              The Sun is the main driver of climate change and CO2 appears to be minor in effect compared to solar effects, solar wind, cosmic rays, clouds. See research from Henrik Svensmark and especially also the CERN CLOUD experiment for the leading edge of research in these areas. See this brilliant video by Professor Jasper Kirkby from the CERN CLOUD experiment explaining these concepts using the latest research results:


              Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Let's be clear on our language and definitions. A denialist is someone who refuses to accept climate change. Now, scientifically speaking this is nonsense. The climate has been changing ever since the planet was formed. A sceptic on the other hand is someone who withholds their judgement on an issue until the weight of evidence overwhelmingly supports a theory. From what I understand, scepticism is built into science. be sceptical of human-influenced climate change is a valid scientific position. Anyone who believes that climate change is man-made has fallen into the faith trap. There is certainly a lot of evidence that supports both sides of the debate, and with this fudging of data by people who call themselves scientists, well, some of the evidence in favour of human-influenced climate change can be called into question.

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            confusing terms now?

            In the parlance of the debate, a "denialist" is someone who refuses to accept the AGW hypothesis (not theory - it is, by and large, not falsifiable so it doesn't qualify). Nobody on the sceptical side and very few people on the "warmist" side (See I can throw epithets as well!) believes that the climate never changes - though you might think that the AGW promoters do believe it based on their characterisation of the last few thousand years and their talk about climate stability and equilibrium.

            From my position all the "fudging" seems to take place on the pro side. Just this week, FOI requested material from NASA has demonstrated that their climate researchers have pretty much adulterated their data to meaningless, replacing actual temperature data with grid-averaged data points that have no relation to actual temperature data. And, it's fairly easy to demonstrate that the temperature data itself is suspect, with very few long-term records of any reliability. The entire AGW hypothesis is based on little more than wishful thinking and stubborn refusal to accept that the idea might be wrong.

            Now, a moment before I said that AGW isn't falsifiable. This isn't strictly true, there is a single falsification available. In the IPCC AR4 section 9 there is a description of various expected temperature profiles expected to appear in the troposphere depending on what particular mechanisms are affecting modelled changes. The models, without fail, show an easily verifiable hotspot in the troposphere., This is called a unique effect of AGW, and its presence is definitive proof. If the hotspot isn't there, the warming isn't man made. And, you know what? No hot spot.

            And @Douglas Lowe

            Yes, really. How did the BBC cover the reported release? At as much distance as they could for as little time as possible. They initially refused to report on the issue at all, and then reported it only as a criminal act. As far as I'm aware their coverage of the actual content of the documents and e-mails has been near enough to minimal as to be non-existent and for most of their coverage they simply repeated the CRU's line that it was a "hack" and that the content didn't matter, without actually reporting what that content was. Other major news reporters have also refused to cover the issue, initially for fear of falling foul of the law and later because the debate has been turned away from the content toward the alleged criminal intent of the release.

  12. Apocalypse Later

    Late again

    Government efforts to shoot the messenger consistently fail simply because they are too slow. What we need is an elite unit set up to identify these people and eliminate them BEFORE the message is delivered. But don't worry, they are working on it.

  13. Graham Marsden

    NDET - Run by ACPO

    That's the same ACPO which is a private company and is not answerable to anyone and doesn't have to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests who are now, it seems, running their own private investigatory group who report only to them about "Domestic Extremists", a nice vague, open-ended term...

    Why not just call themselves the Secret Police...?

  14. Spleen


    Energy corporates don't want demonstrators ringing their offices whining about pollution. And energy corporates don't want the carbon trading scam, which will see the public paying them billions and billions of pounds to not heat their homes, endangered by reality. Hardly surprising that in their efforts to track down the whistleblower, chuck him in a cell and make an HIV-infected example of him, they've hit the usual number on their speed-dial labelled "Obliging Plod".

  15. Daniel Wilkie

    That's right

    It wasn't the obvious somebody inside CRU pissed off with bad science. It was the corporations.

    Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance the CRU, and then CRU goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, theyre all corporation-y... and they make money. And that's bad.

    With apologies to Team America

  16. the old rang

    Who's on First?

    The real question is, which of the three SHOULD be investigated.

    The hackers (they are "White Hats" for finding the East Angila corruption)

    The East Anglia 'alleged' criminals, the ones who took government funding, UN Funding, and other fundings to perpetrate a fraud to create trillions of dollars of theft, waste and loss of buisiness,lives and give corrupted government aid and comfort...

    Or their cohorts that called in the NDET

    It is important not to misdirect government resources further in the stupidity (East Anglia's actions)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds good

    I like the sound of this 'domestic extremism unit' . Next time her indoors is too lazy to put the kettle on or says she has a headache I'm giving them a call.

  18. heyrick Silver badge

    Well well well...

    We'll all be talking more about the method of release rather than the contents of the documents themselves. Nice ploy, but hasn't this inept government pulled that one a dozen times already?

  19. Richard Barnes

    For those who haven't come across it.....

    ..... there's some more background on this at the Bishop Hill blog ( entries for about a week ago.

  20. Robert E A Harvey
    Big Brother


    When I was alive ACPO was an acronym for Assosciation of Chief Police Officers.

    So now we have investigations being run by a trades union for placemen and timeservers?

    What's next? The Grand Lodge organising fraud enquiries?

    I'm sorry, but I expect policing to be done by County forces, Scotland Yard, or perhaps MI5. Not the Masters of Foxhounds Association, or th Angler's federation.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Who does all this secrecy serve exactly?

    When I did university research, I used to take files off the computer, put the data on to overhead transparencies and take them to public events like conferences. Heck, I even went so far as to put them up on a big screen and talk everyone through them.

    I don't ever remember having to get permission from anyone to use the computer data. The attitude was always that scientific results were there to be shared and scrutinised by ones peers. If I'd happened to put a copy of my research data on to someone else's computer, no-one would have batted an eye. In fact, I was often asked for data by other researchers and I'd simply send it to them. No permission required, no questions asked.

    Now I know the CRU data contained emails, that were always treated differently, but the only reason this "hack" was necessary was because of repeated refusals to release data and code.

    So when did it all change in science? Or are climate researchers not real scientists at all?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Who does all this secrecy serve exactly?

      Ideas which are known to rely on shaky science need to be protected from unauthorized eyes.

      Allegedly, one has to follow the money: Al Gore, Pachauri, TERI etc, and related new green energy companies.

      Demonize coal, say temperature rises are all man's fault, class CO2 as a pollutant so a CO2 tax can be imposed, make money on all the new green energy technology, take a 'handling fee' on raised CO2 taxes, make money from carbon trading - the next economic bubble and crash?

      The fact that increased CO2 increases crop yields seems to have been forgotten. And land once used for growing food now used for biofuel production puts food prices up: higher food prices -> more food profit.

      Allegedly man-made global warming is big business, employing many, many people, not just the AGW scientists 'proving' that CO2 is the cause of increases in temperature.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    APCO can't find a doughnut in a copshop

    NETCU/ACPO are the laughing stock of animal right activists,environmentalists, human right activists and the likes, the actually have lower intelligence rate then the average policeman, and the vast majority of cases they bring to court end up being thrown out, and compensation is paid to the defendants. one of my favorite cases is this guy who is spending the next 2 years in prison for stealing a chicken (valued at 15p by the farmer)! and this is one of their pride and joy. I'm surprised they even know how to turn on a computer, let alone catch hackers, good luck to them.

    They are an insult to the intelligence community and the word intelligence

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