The other day I reported that fellow blogger Tallbloke had had two computers and a router seized by the Norfolk police, as part of the investigation into the Climategate e-mail hack. He was not named as a suspect, just a tenuous link in an evidence chain. There was intense concern among skeptic bloggers over the impact on his reputation and free speech rights.
Developments since my last post:
Tallbloke has retained the services of a lawyer and has begun collecting donations for a legal defense fund, focusing not necessarily on answering charges by the police (there are none and police have said he is not a suspect) but rather possible libel action against certain hot-tempered individuals in the blogosphere.
Funds have flowed in, including 750 British pounds from Steve McIntyre. But they may not be needed. Warmist blogger Greg Laden has recently amended a rather notorious post he made on the matter, saying that he would prefer to avoid a libel complaint, that he stands for free speech, and would like to see vigorous debate on the climate issue. (Last post I quoted a commenter from Laden’s blog who had a different view.)
The BBC is also taking an interest, asking in a piece that aired today if this sort of search and seizure is technically necessary (since the relevant servers are in America, not in Tallbloke’s house) or if perhaps the raid was merely a kind of heavy-handed public theater to give the appearance of doing something.
For his part, Tallbloke (Roger Tattersall) now says that despite ‘tears of fear and frustration,’ and being vilified and harassed, he thinks perhaps the worst is over. He added that “I’m humbled and honoured to be the ‘man of the moment’” in the fight for free speech.
I don’t know whether my posts on the subject are going to carry much weight, but we’re with you, Roger. Carry on.