Well, it’s official: The climate-data center at the center of the Climategate scandal breached the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, by refusing to hand over climate data. According to the Times Online,
The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.
The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.
The stolen e-mails, revealed on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, showed how the university’s Climatic Research Unit attempted to thwart requests for scientific data and other information, and suggest that senior figures at the university were involved in decisions to refuse the requests. It is not known who stole the e-mails.
Professor Phil Jones, the unit’s director, stood down while an inquiry took place. The ICO’s decision could make it difficult for him to resume his post.
Lately, Climategate has been out of the spotlight (but thank goodness for Glaciergate, Pachaurigate, Amazongate). This bothers me, so I wrote a piece about the lessons that we (and, particularly, policymakers) should take from the scandal. MasterResource ran it last week, if you wanna check it out.