Sympathy For The Hacker

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

It seems that in all the reporting on the trumped-up Climategate "scandal," one key fact often goes overlooked: the genesis of the whole affair was an act of theft.

The distorted and misinterpreted emails that formed the basis for Climategate were stolen, hacked from the University of East Anglia's servers. It was an act of criminality, and law enforcement agencies are actively pursuing the parties responsible.

Climate "skeptic" Chris Horner, however, is incensed that the police are trying to apprehend the as-yet unknown perpetrator(s), and considers the investigation "an abuse of the police power."

Horner penned an op-ed for the Examiner today alleging that "the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, is working with United Kingdom police to pursue the leaker of the 2009 and 2011 'Climategate' emails." Sticking to variations of the term "leaked," Horner all but excuses the hacker's actions, arguing that the stolen emails were public records:

The leaked records derailed "cap-and-trade" legislation in the U.S. and, internationally, as well as talks for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The emails and computer code were produced with taxpayer funds and held on taxpayer-owned computers both in the US and the UK, and all were subject to the UK Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and state FOIA laws.

They also were being unlawfully withheld in both the UK (by the University of East Anglia) and the U.S. (Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including stonewalling me for two years, and three other requesters for longer).

More to the point, Horner casts the "leaker" as the real victim, as opposed to the scientists who had their privacy invaded, property stolen, and reputations wrongly besmirched:

To review: The UK police and the US DOJ, Criminal Division, are pursuing a leaker of public records subject to one or more FOIA, records that were unlawfully withheld under those laws, which leaks indicate apparent civil violations (tortious interference by seeking dismissal of certain "skeptics"), and raising reasonable questions of fraud against taxpayers.

And they are pursuing the leaker.

Yes. They are pursuing the "leaker." Because the "leaker" is actually a criminal. And it speaks to the twisted pathology of climate science deniers that they'll condone, even defend, this sort of behavior.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Washington Examiner
Chris Horner
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