back to article Cops target climate-sceptic bloggers in three countries

Police have targeted at least four climate bloggers in three countries, with constabulary taking computers and networking equipment from a science blogger in the UK. Roger Tattersall, aka "Tallbloke", a Digital Content Manager at the University of Leeds, posted that six police officers identifying themselves as being from …


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  1. SiempreTuna

    Wot No Denial?

    Surely if they'd just denied the existence of the disk drives everything would have been alright ..?

    So inconsistent!

  2. Tim Parker

    Norfolk Police LInk

    Thank you for the link to the Bishop Hill story - that was hilarious ! Sometimes you have to wonder if there's enough tin-foil in this lil'ol world of ours for some folk..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I never expected the Spanish Inquisition but Norfolk constabulary....

    Did they offer the 'perp' a comfy chair while he was being digitally raped?

    Well I've learnt my lesson.

    Ah now believe it's all true the conflicting evidence, the preposterous stuff with no science behind it.


    I believe everything the distinguished university of where the heck is it?, Professie's and heads of department of half bakery tells me.

    I believe in the great goddess Gaia and I'd like to offer David Cameron and Chris Huhne as (barely) human sacrifices.

    Yea brother go tell it on the mountain to your good looking sisters everywhere.... (had to get that Norfolk bit in!).


    1. Tim Parker

      Re : Well I never expected the Spanish Inquisition..

      "Ah now believe it's all true the conflicting evidence, the preposterous stuff with no science behind it."

      Errr... Fox News ?

    2. Aaron Em

      "Digitally raped"

      You might want to Google that phrase before you use it again; it already has a meaning, which is different from the one you're trying to give it, and I have to admit this makes reading your first sentence something of an exercise in incredulity.

  4. Martin 47

    Midnight? Why midnight and not a more reasonable hour of the day, I suppose midnight or the early hours of the morning could be considered OK if they suspect someone of being violent or armed etc but this smacks of the boys (and girls) in blue of wanting to cause maximum distress and punishment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Maybe he was out until elevenish and it took that long to get the warrant?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legalized theft

    The nasty thing about this is that those laptops will likely never be returned within their useful life.

    A close relative was investigated 2 years ago (read: the police showed up, acted like assholes, and stole the machines he used for his livelihood, on the basis of approximately zero evidence, which has yet to be presented in any way, shape or form).

    Those computers are still with the police.

    It turns out that the police in this country have the power to pretty much close down any freelancer working in tech at a whim, leaving no legal recourse, simply by stealing all their equipment. There is no need for them to return the equipment within any reasonable space of time, nor is there need for them to have any evidence stronger than that required for a search warrant.

    (Anon for the sake of my close relative.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Encrypt them with a deniable compartment. They'll need a court order. Make the judge order the return of the equipment after cloning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC re cloning

        You don't get evidence in a potential criminal prosecution back, until it's not needed any more. The prosecution in any case will need to show that the cloned image of the disks can be shown to be from the original disks. This means that if the defence object to the use of clones or the methodology, they can independently carry out the same clone procedure and use this in evidence.

        It's not a conspiracy, it's just fair play for both sides.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It's not fair play when they keep them for years, Do you happen to work for these guys or something?

    2. Taffy

      Legalized theft

      Why not have 2 computers, one backing the other up. One taken away, you're still in business.

  6. CarlC

    "climate-sceptic bloggers"

    There are on to a loser. Whether you believe in climate change or not there is definately a climate........

  7. Jeroen Braamhaar

    Small correction

    The notice was not served to Donna Laframboise's blog (nofrakkingconsensus) but to Jeff Id's (noconsensus)

  8. armorbear


    Thanks for sharing this post.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No comments?

    It's been a few hours ... no comments on ElReg?

    Oh, I see. People don't want to risk their computers and DSL router taken away from them for a couple of weeks for "investigation".

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Not sure why the router was relevant. Why not take his printer too?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But, but, but the router

        could contain traces of the routing which were obfuscated to protect the source....

        Where's the blubbering idiot icon when you need it?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data Protection?

    Fair enough fishing for evidence, I'd expect no better from the Police.

    It is interesting that none of these who's equipment has been stolen and whose data has now been copied/pirated have been accused of any crime.

    I don't suppose that there are any safeguards to ensure that non-relevant data is not retained and to hold the relevant Chief Constable liable if any of the victims data 'leaks' out as a result of this seizure?

  11. Raz

    Yep, it does not look good when the gov't is involved in harassing these guys.

  12. NomNomNom

    No joke. Some of them really do seem to believe Norfolk police are operating under the orders of climate scientists.

    How can you trust the data when it's lizard people all the way down?

  13. jai

    a bit slow?

    So, those likely to be targeted by the police, were told a week ago, and so had plenty of time to move and erase any suspicious files and run a 72 times zeros to the empty space on their drives before the rozzers turn up and half-inched their hardware.

    1. Toastan Buttar
      Thumb Down

      72 times zeroes???

      No business (or govt body) claims to be able to recover even a one-time overwritten file on a hard drive.

      1. Tom 13
        Black Helicopters

        Given how long DoD short has been out there,

        if nobody could do it, they wouldn't still have it. So somebody can, but they won't say they can.

  14. pip25
    Thumb Down

    But of course

    As everyone knows, midnight is the perfect time to seize evidence while causing minimal distress to the owners who are yet to be charged with anything. </sarcasm>

  15. Big Al

    Yep, things are really hotting up for them now!

    Okay, okay, mine's the lightweight summer jacket...

  16. cocknee

    What a load of indignant guff

    it is normal to seize papers, computers and other items when investigating a crime. Police can't do it on a whim and therefore a warrant from a Magistrate or Judge is required. If a person is arrested, police can search for evidence pursuant to that arrest, either At the immediate location or another place authorised by an Inspector.

    In this case they appear to be investing a crime and therefore have obtained a warrant to look for it from suspects. As this is a computer based crime, they have taken the equipment that was potentially used to commit, aid or assist (even after the fact) the crime.

    If the Police are doing it without cause then there Will be legal redress. People are arrested and searched all the time, it's the way it works in the UK. At least in this case they seem to be returning the kit after cloning the data.

    As for doing it At midnight, this is often for operational reasons, eg when the person is most likely to be in etc. Better than first thing in the morning when they're going to work!

    1. Marshalltown
      Big Brother


      Humbug. Midnight is krystallnacht time. It's for scaring suspects and cowing bystanders. There's no sound justification for a computer crime "raid" at that time, other than being bad ass, especially since the subject was informed by the DI that he wasn't a "suspect." They hoped to encounter a confused, dopey individual awakened from sleep, who would lack sufficient alertness to understand what was going on. The idea was probably from the tech-weenie who wanted a "real raid" in his memoirs.

      1. Some Beggar

        Did you really just refer to Kristallnacht?

        Good grief.

        Denialist paranoia is obviously a bit silly but each to his own. We can't all be educated or scientists.

        But that? That's just downright fucking offensive.

        I mean ... you can't even fucking spell it.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          @Some Beggar

          There is virtually no justification in a civilised society for late-night/early morning raids for anything except situations where there is a *significant* risk of potentially lethal weapons being used by the occupant. Such raids are designed to unsettle the suspect, and to make it very clear to their neighbours that they have been raided (they are never quiet, and only someone with sleeping sickness could miss one).

          The parallels with Kristallnacht or the actions of the Soviet states are obvious, justified, and frightening.

          1. Some Beggar

            Kristallnacht was nazi Germany.

            Are you historically illiterate or are you just trying to go for a double-Godwin by comparing these raids to Stalin as well as Hitler? Either way, you're as big a clown as the original poster.

    2. John Angelico

      OT: "investing a crime"

      Wot? D'ye mean that crime could pay if they just invested, right?

  17. Greg J Preece


    Raid the place at midnight, I imagine so they don't have chance to dispose of evidence, but give them 6 months beforehand to delete and destroy whatever they like. Genius!

  18. Greg J Preece

    Oh, and routers? WTF are they stealing routers for? What's that gonna tell them? The uPNP settings for Unreal Tournament?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Router logs?

      1. Greg J Preece

        Do home routers even keep them?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slipping the Mick?

    So would keeping your data spread across multiple cloud services located in different countries be the moderne equivalent of slipping them the Mick?

  20. Jim Birch

    Onwards and Upwards...

    Ok, "Norfolk police are operating under the orders of climate scientists" now. I guess that was the next logical step in the Great Global Climate Conspiracy, a coordinated activity of tens of thousands of pseudo-scientists around the globe so cleverly camouflaged as real science that it can only be recognised by people who can't do basic statistics.

    I don't see a problem with that, how about you?

  21. Keep Refrigerated
    Big Brother

    So when are they going to arrest Phil Jones & Co...

    ...for breaking the law regarding FOIA requests? Oh that's, right the offence timed out before anyone lifted a finger.

    It's nice to know that the law is on your side if you think freedom of speech and whistleblowing are for fools.

  22. Steven Roper

    You WILL believe

    in the Climate Change Religion or you will be arrested and burned at the stake for heresy.

    For me, this means that climate change has ceased to be science and is now nothing more than a religious/political agenda and those who support it are no better than the Spanish Inquisition. Way to win support for the cause, idiots. I might have have entertained the possibility of anthropogenic climate change before, but this simply makes me oppose it now for no other reason than it's being forced on us.


    1. Spanners Silver badge

      I haven't given you a thumbs down

      Being an asshole and believing crap is your democratic right. Please go and deny the facts somewhere else.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge


        I haven't given you a thumbs down. Being an asshole and believing crap is your democratic right.

        Please go and deny the facts somewhere else.

  23. cocknee

    'kin child

    to say it's a lie is more stupid than saying the case is proven. There is mounds of evidence that seems to indicate a possible causal link between human industrial activity. If it's just a coincidence, it's a bloody big one. The rabid disbelief in climate change is the religion, the dogma, the doctrine of stupidity.

    It makes sense to err on the side of caution rather than being a flat-earther with a tin foil hat or like a spoiled child sulking in the corner. You're in the same camp as those bastards who smoke in their car with children present, as the nanny state told you it was bad so you'll do it anyway. As for that bastard from FOREST who said there's no proof it harmful, it's just bad manners.

    Anyway you missed the point. A crime has been alleged and police are pursuing an investigation. Apart from one rogue undercover officer the police aren't a bunch of hippies and not lackey's of the scientific conspirators. Just because you seem to think it was ok as you don't like who was hacked.

    Grow up

    1. Stef 4


      Firstly, "Tallbloke" was not a suspect, the police have admitted as such. Yet they took his computers and cloned his hard drives. Furthermore, they only took his two laptops and router (why the router). They left his SUN sparcs because they didn't know what to do with them. This is the biggest issue with the whole story. These police experts can only handle a windows laptop... if they have the password.

      Secondly, I love your "flat-earther" comments. How original. Once again the people that make those comments forget that it was the scientific consensus that thought the Earth was flat. Tin-foil hats? Seriously?

      Thirdly, the average climate skeptic has no doubt that the climate it changing, and that we are affecting it. What closed-minded flat-earthers such as yourself cannot grasp is that we object to the scaremongering and lies about how many hurricanes are caused by global warming (none), and how this year (and each and every year in the last 30 years) has seen a massive rise in the number of hurricanes and freak weather events etc (while the actual figures show them going down).

      You then make the "better safe than sorry" comment that has been repeated so often. I really don't think that it is better the spend the $trillions needed for the smallest change in CO2 emissions that are negated the moment China opens another coal plant.

      The money is much better spent preparing for the inevitable or research into alternative fuels. Wasting the money on yet another wind farm that only works for 30 seconds a day when the wind is in exactly the right direction and speed, and doesn't even break-even in it's energy footprint in its operational lifetime is not going to help us. It will bankrupt us however.

      But don't listen to me. You have your tin-foil hat on, to protect you from the conspiracies that anyone who thinks that maybe, just maybe, a little thought needs to go into things are actually being paid $millions by 'big-oil'.

      Presumably this 'big-oil' conspiracy are actually the lizard people that runt he planet?

      Grow up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Stef 4

        Where does it say that the police left the Sparc (and Pii 400) kit because they didn't know what to do with them? I can't see that anywhere. More likely they left it because, from tallbloke's blog, it sounds like it was a stack of machines which weren't actually powered up.

    2. Aaron Em

      "We're wrecking the planet and have to change everything"

      is erring on the side of *caution*?

  24. Aaron Em

    "Some Beggar" et al.: If you're so sure...

    ...why all the nastiness?

    1. Some Beggar

      What nastiness?

      I was replying to some clown whose idea of adult debate was to make a comparison to the 1930s pogroms against the Jews. I don't really care which conspiracy theories people buy into (unless they want to bore me with it at the pub). But when they sink to that kind of moronic level then I'm happy to waste thirty seconds of typing to call them a dick.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't be bothered to find the Niemoller quote right now

    so I'll just mention it.

  26. thehealer


    It's odd that the headline refers to bloggers in three countries being 'targetted' but only provides the details for one (UK) and cites that the "US Department of Justice Criminal Division had requested evidence"... does that mean the warrant was obtained and executed on behalf of the yanks? So much data appears to be missing from the story... oh pants, that'll probably make me a 'story denier' now.

  27. cocknee
    Thumb Down

    @Stef 4

    you need to get out and see the real world a bit more mate, too much time playing games and disliking Donna Noble. Your Daily Mail facts ls show you don't.

    Pathetic remarks about the Police only coping with Windoze would be funny if said as a joke. I'm all for taking the piss out of Keystone incompetence but you like everyone else only has part of the story. Just because someone wasn't arrested doesn't mean they're not a suspect. They're in evidence gathering phase At the moment. I can point out the finer points of PACE if you'd like.

    Flat earth was never scientific consensus. Quite the opposite in fact, perpetuated by thickies and religionists during European medieval times, Just as they used to shit out of the window and burn witches.

    The rabid denial of scientific theory (yep that's right, theory - not claiming it's proven) show's contempt for logic, intellect and any rational thinking.

    One of the leading sceptics is a fucking Tea Party nutter with a background in accountany. Such an expert.

    Grow up and smell the coffee.


    Turn Around Fair Play?

    If you can raid those who are commenting on one side, one would think it would be permissible to seize a few DOE computers. Just to see if they might show e-mails demanding that that only models that show climate change to be factual be published. The blokes who cry for freedom of speech the loudest are the ones working hardest to take away any last vestige of dissent from those not yet intimidated.

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