The Climategate curtain is opened a bit further courtesy of Patrick Courrielche at Big Journalism:
Few outside the climate skeptic circle have ever heard of Steven Mosher. An open-source software developer, statistical data analyst, and thought of as the spokesperson of the lukewarmer set, Mosher hasn’t made any of the mainstream media outlets covering the story of Climategate. But make no mistake about it – when it comes to dissemination of the story, Steven Mosher is to Climategate what Woodward and Bernstein were to Watergate. He was just the right person, with just the right influence, and just the right expertise to be at the heart of the promulgation of the files.
One could even argue that Mosher is one of the few people with the right assortment of circumstances, and associates, to understand the significance of the Climategate files and the technical expertise to post them on various locations using open proxies, a method hackers use to hide their identities while online. Given that the Climategate files came from computers with IP addresses in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, open proxies is most likely the technique used by the person who posted the files and links on ClimateAudit, RealClimate, and the Air Vent.
Several days before the Climategate files were made public, Mosher says he had been given the files from an undisclosed source. “[The] file came to me in the form of a CD, and I was asked by people to take a look at it and give my opinion whether it was a hoax or not.”
Mosher, having participated in submitting requests for data and code to the Climate Research Unit (CRU), was the perfect outsider to authenticate the files. Mosher also successfully lobbied NASA to release temperature data and code in 2007. With the file in hand, “I didn’t sleep,” he said, while embarking on reviewing the emails to check timelines against various historical events, as well as calling colleagues to check the Climategate emails against the actual emails they received.
Having felt that it was highly unlikely that it was a hoax, Mosher went one step further. “Prior to [the emails] being public, I got confirmation from sources inside CRU that the files I held were real.”
Read the rest (highly recommended) at Big Journalism.
From my vanatage point, it seems inevitable that we will soon find out who the whistleblower/hacker is – and the case seems to be building that it was likely a whistleblower.
Hat tip: Bishop Hill via Roger Pielke, Jr.
According to Steven McIntyre, it seems Mosher received the CD in question from Watts Up With That’s moderator, CTM (Charles The Moderator), who made a CD copy of the Climategate dossier that was left on/accessed from a held/unmoderated comment left on What’s Up With That around the same time that it was left on The Air Vent:
On the evening of November 17, at around the same time that links were placed at Jeff Id’s and Warren Meyer’s, the same comment with the same link was also sent to WUWT, a moderated site, where it caught the attention of moderator CTM, who notified Anthony right away. Both Anthony and CTM downloaded the dossier. Anthony was in Europe attending a conference and didn’t want to do anything until he was back in the States and pledged CTM not to disseminate the FTP link until he was back in the States. As a precaution, CTM made CD copies of the zipfile, giving one of the copies to Mosher, who began poring over the emails
Therefore, my insinuation that Mosher may know the identity of the whistleblower/hacker appears to be incorrect, and is probably a dead end.
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