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Unix metadata: two Russians from Pilsen's twin city credited with ClimateGate

One-half of the evidence seems to suffer from a fatal mistake

In 2009, the e-mails and other data that had been exchanged between the people close enough to Phil Jones – and Michael Mann – were released and decent people all over the world were shocked by the total lack of morality among the top alarmist climatologists. They were conspiring to hijack the editorial process, distort the data, liquidate journals and referees, invent fallacious calculations to support predetermined conclusions, and more.

A less explosive second batch was released in 2011.

Yekaterinburg: the Ural Region underwent quite an impressive economic boom in the Putin years.

One of the huge consequences of the ClimateGate that we have never previously discussed – because it looked unimportant – was that ClimateGate was the event that turned a certain man named Donald J. Trump into a climate skeptic. Before these e-mails, he was recommending the world leaders to wrestle with the climate change! The ClimateGate has largely opened his eyes. He wasn't the only one.

Without the hero hackers of the ClimateGate, we could have already lived in a collapsing world without fossil fuels. If the ClimateGate hasn't killed the climate hysteria, it was very important in delaying the "action" by a decade. It has saved trillions of dollars and the hackers deserve at least a small fraction of those savings – as far as I know, it is outrageous if they haven't been turned into billionaires yet.

Now Iggy Ostanin, a Russian associate of Bellingcat, a U.K.-based Russophobic group, claims that the Unix timestamp and the registration data for a domain show that two guys with links to the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg must have been behind the hack.

The comparison of the "human time" and the "Unix time in seconds" indicates that the e-mails were sent from a timezone that is five hours from Greenwich. That's where Sverdlovsk, which is how the city of Boris Yeltzin was called during communism (after a communist mass killer responsible for murdering the aristocrats, now it's called after a female aristocrat), is located.

The only problem is that according to Steve McIntyre who knows these technical details about the metadata and who looked carefully, the correct sign is the opposite one which would indicate the senders were on the U.S. East Coast instead of Ural! ;-)

The other piece of evidence is the "original" registration data for a domain associated with the 2011 batch, It's a Russian domain. When we received the second batch, the e-mails of registrants were already made anonymous. However, Ostanin looked at some historical data of the domain and found out that the domain was first registered by two folks associated with the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg – currently named after Boris Yeltzin who grew to a VIP in the city.

In all English outlets different than TRF, the names are being hidden. Those of us who have no trouble to read Russian can find out the full names within 30 seconds, at least I did so. Well, I found this article and the claimed heroes are

* Ten-penna Brezhnevovich Fieldzhaev, a radioelectronics expert, and
* Deutsch Chernenkovich Antivelikov, an expert on metallurgy and gas emissions

I have scrambled the names a little bit so that stupid people won't be able to read them from my blog post immediately. To decode the code, you need to know the names of former Soviet leaders, U.S. coins, agricultural terminology in Slavic languages, names of large nations in German and English, and large-and-small adjectives in Slavic languages. ;-)

OK, just for being on the right domain, these two guys deserve to be praised. McIntyre's sign error complaint is serious but I don't see he has any counter-evidence concerning the domain registration data.

I know Yekaterinburg – named after Empress Catherine the Great now – rather well. It's Russia's fourth largest city – and the twin city of Czechia's fourth largest city, Pilsen. I've spent 2 weeks over there in Summer 1988. We were the teachers at a Camp of the Czech Language – which was a great exception because most of the camps were converting people to the Russian language. Instead, we could behave like the Czechoslovak Legion that eliminated tons of Bolsheviks and conquered 1/3 of Siberia in 1917-1918. We lived in kind families who were real communist believers at that time – you would have been unable to find this many orthodox communist families in Pilsen at that time – the atmosphere among the regular people was really different.

We also recorded some show for the regional TV station to teach Czech to the Russian kids. The most popular Czech guy was right-wing at that time – he became an apparatchik in Greenpeace CZ decades later. They took us to a factory and also to the nearby Europe-Asia border. We didn't have much to do for an hour or two, so I also jumped back and forth many times. So I have been to Asia more than 100 times. ;-) Igor Kornelyuk's Milyi was a pop music hit I heard very often there but I could only find it again some two years ago!

OK, Russians surely have some capacity to perform some hacks. The sign of the time zone seems to be probably wrong but a scenario like that is possible. If true, it is another example of the largely positive role that Russians are playing in the contemporary world. Of course, a less exciting resolution from the Russian viewpoint is that the ClimateGate 2009 was created by an American – and the U.S. timezone is right – while the less important ClimateGate 2011 was added by the Russians.

It seems puzzling to me that the Unix metadata experts have never analyzed the headers comprehensively.

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