In November 2009, the University of East Anglia, located in Norwich, England, was hacked and thousands of emails were stolen. Global warming deniers then manipulated the stolen emails to claim that global warming was a hoax and that scientists around the world were falsifying data and hiding evidence that climate change wasn’t taking place. To this day, these claims are being made even though several government investigations in both England and the U.S. cleared the scientists. Independent investigations also found no wrongdoing by the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) or anyone else who communicated with them.
News Corporation, commonly referred to as News Corp, led all media outlets in providing negative coverage against the scientists and sucked numerous climate change advocates into the controversy even though there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
Controlled by Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. is the world’s second-largest media conglomerate. U.S. based companies controlled by Murdoch include the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, Barron’s, the HarperCollins book publishing company, 20th Century Fox, and Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox News). In addition to his U.S. holdings, Murdoch controls media companies in Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the UK. Holdings in the UK include The Sun and The Times. Murdoch’s News of the World was closed in July as a direct result of the phone hacking scandal.
THE OTHER SCANDAL: NEWS CORP PHONE HACKING
There has been a lot of media coverage about the involvement of News Corp workers and executives at News of the World in phone hacking British politicians, celebrities and crime victims. It has been reported that hacking was still taking place in 2011. Hacking of News Corp business rivals has also been alleged.
England’s Guardian newspaper reported that police evidence shows that the illegal activity involved 4,332 names or partial names; 2,978 numbers or partial numbers for mobile phones; 30 audio tapes which appear to contain an unspecified number of recordings of voicemail messages; and 91 pin codes of a kind which are needed to access mobile phone messages. In addition to crime victims, members of the royal household, the military, the police and the government were hacked. News Corp employees have been implicated in the pay off of British police officers. Scotland Yard’s two top officials resigned over the scandal. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative-led government have faced increasing questions about their very cozy relationship with Murdoch’s media empire.
In the U.S., the FBI has opened an inquiry into whether 9/11 victims or their families were also hacking targets of News Corp.
NEIL WALLIS AND CLIMATEGATE
In October 2009, a one-man company run by Neil Wallis, received a £1,000-a-day contract from the Metropolitan Police Service, aka Scotland Yard, to provide PR services. Wallis formed the company just one month before starting. Wallis was given complete access to confidential police investigative information on both the phone and climate change hacking investigations. It has been revealed that Wallis, News of the World executive editor until late 2009, provided details about the two investigations to News Corp. and in doing so harmed the investigation. Specifically, Wallis kept Murdoch’s organization apprized of what and whom the police were investigating. At News of the World, Wallis had been put in charge of managing hacking activities. Wallis worked directly under then-editor Andy Coulson, who later became chief spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested for involvement in the hacking in July. While employed by Scotland Yard, Wallis sought to diminish media coverage of the scandal.
During the hacking investigation, Wallis was also an adviser to the Conservative Party in the run-up to the 2010 general election. He worked for the Tory Party and current Prime Minister David Cameron. In a strange development, Wallis, who was still secretly working for News Corp, was also hired by climate change scientists to defend them in the area of public relations. It has been reported that the scientists received very bad advice from Wallis.
Wallis was arrested in July in connection with hacking allegations.
Wallis and his Climategate involvement start at 3 minutes and 40 seconds.