Category Archive 'Tomsk'

07 Dec 2009

British Newspapers Blame Russian State Security for Climategate Leak

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The server holding the leaked emails was located here in Tomsk.

First, the Daily Mail expressed its own suspicions that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the KGB, was behind the Climategate email hacking.

Suspicions were growing last night that Russian security services were behind the leaking of the notorious British ‘Climategate’ emails which threaten to undermine tomorrow’s Copenhagen global warming summit.

An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has discovered that the explosive hacked emails from the University of East Anglia were leaked via a small web server in the formerly closed city of Tomsk in Siberia.

The leaks scandal has left the scientific community in disarray after claims that key climate change data was manipulated in the run-up to the climate change summit of world leaders. …

Russia – one of the world’s largest producers and users of oil and gas – has a vested interest in opposing sweeping new agreements to cut emissions, which will be discussed by world leaders in Copenhagen tomorrow.

Russia believes current rules are stacked against it, and has threatened to pull the plug on Copenhagen without concessions to Kremlin concerns.

The Mail on Sunday understands that the hundreds of hacked emails were released to the world via a tiny internet server in a red brick building in a snow-clad street in Tomsk.

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The Independent is quoting Jan Pascal van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), identifying the FSB as responsible.

The computer hack, said a senior member of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, was not an amateur job, but a highly sophisticated, politically motivated operation. And others went further. The guiding hand behind the leaks, the allegation went, was that of the Russian secret services. …

The FSB security services, descendants of the KGB, are believed to invest significant resources in hackers, and the Tomsk office has a record of issuing statements congratulating local students on hacks aimed at anti-Russian voices, deeming them “an expression of their position as citizens, and one worthy of respect”. The Kremlin has also been accused of running co-ordinated cyber attacks against websites in neighbouring countries such as Estonia, with which the Kremlin has frosty relations, although the allegations were never proved.

“It’s very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services,” Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, said in Copenhagen at the weekend. “It’s a carefully made selection of emails and documents that’s not random. This is 13 years of data, and it’s not a job of amateurs.”

The leaked emails, Professor van Ypersele said, will fuel scepticism about climate change and may make agreement harder at Copenhagen. So the mutterings have prompted the question: why would Russia have an interest in scuppering the Copenhagen talks?

This time, if it was indeed the FSB behind the leak, it could be part of a ploy to delay negotiations or win further concessions for Moscow. Russia, along with the United States, was accused of delaying Kyoto, and the signals coming from Moscow recently have continued to dismay environmental activists.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, the old saying remarks.

It is a delicious irony that economic self interest seems to have led the successors to the Soviet KGB to start playing on the side of the angels, exposing manipulation of scientific data, collusion at fraud, and concerted efforts to muzzle critics. The timing of the leak was clearly deliberate.


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