Acquiring data: by hook or by crook

The Reference Frame describes how somebody got sufficiently frustrated by the reluctance of a prominent climate center to release data that had been used for reports of gloom and doom that they stole it. Hacked: Hadley CRU FOI2009 Files. What really takes the cake for some is the correspondence.

By the way, “FOI” in the file name stands for “Freedom Of Information”, a bill in the U.S. The e-mails are full of Phil Jones’ and other tricks how to circumvent the FOIA legislation: search for “FOIA”.

James Empty Blog has the typical AGW proponent’s response to this affair.

I was mildly amused to see that Wattatwat doesn’t even know the difference between the Hadley Centre and CRU – the answer is about 300 miles, according to Google.

There is likely to be a whole lot more of this sort of snark, this sort of minimalizing, this sort of response to the revelations in the stolen data. There is no excuse for stealing the data, especially the correspondence, but there is no real defense for keeping the data under wraps or for the willful misconduct revealed in the correspondence, either.

So there are multiple issues here. One is the security of computer systems. Another the theft of data on computer systems. Another the proper publication of raw data used in reports and studies. Another is the use of government funds for research. Then there is the public inspection and transparency issue. After all that, we get to observe the defensive behaviors of folks caught with their pants down and how they deal with themselves when confronted with their own questionable behavior.

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