As far as I know, it was my very good friend Sean Gabb who first posited a theory about who may be responsible for the hacking of the CRU e-mails that have now formed the basis of ‘Climategate’:
In short, I believe the Russians are behind this. It may be that all those megabytes of data were stolen by a computer hacker. There may be any number of people who are up to such hacking in the technical sense. But this seems to have been an integrated operation. Having the technical skills to get access to a computer archive is not the same as knowing where to look in that archive and what to look for. Nor is it the same as knowing what to do with it.
But the Russians had means and opportunity to do the job. Perhaps their security services are no longer as efficient and as well-funded as in Soviet times. But they are still there. Their mission is no longer to win the Cold War. But making life easier for Mr Putin and his friends is a large mission in itself.
I have no idea whether or not there is any truth in this. Certainly the Russian state has plenty of motivation but then so do a host of others. Sean offers very little in the way of evidence because there is very little in the way of evidence.
But, interestingly, there are some tufts of corroboration emerging:
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.
Have they merely read and then embellished Sean’s article I wonder? Or is there some flickering fire to accompany this smoke? The evidence is, at best, circumstantial.
But what if it does turn out to have been the former KGB? Would it not be an irony of historic proportions that an organisation formerly devoted to establishing a global tyrrany has thrown a big hammer-and-sickle into the works of their would-be successors? And, not just ironic, but also just.
Because if the warm-mongers get their way, then it is not the powerful and the well-connected that need fear their zealotry. The Al Gores and Zac Goldsmiths of the world can afford to bask in the green glow of personal glory, safe in the knowledge that their opulent lifestyles will not be compromised by so much a sterling silver napkin ring. They will soar (both literally and metaphorically) above it all. No, it is the Average Joe/Jane who will be forced to endure the austerity that their new overlords will demand. It is those who struggle to make ends meet who will be told that the planet can no longer afford their humble family saloon or their two weeks a year in the Algarve. It is the little people who will be stepped upon because they can be stepped upon.
Maybe, one day, we will know the true identity of the e-mail hackers. Or maybe we will never know. But I do sort of hope that it does turn out to be some guy called Yvgeny, acting on orders from the Kremlin, tapping away in a windowless room in a drab building on a military base in Krasnoyarsk because then, we will be able to say: congratulations, tovarisch! You have, at long last, established yourself as a Hero of the Proletariat.