Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stolen Climate Change Information - Legal vs Ethical

Leaked Emails Fuel Climate-Change Firestorm

A hacker has stole thousands of emails and files from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. Some of the pirated info was posted to a Russian server and linked to on a topic related blog. However, that seems to be the lesser of the news. The emails and documents that were hacked apparently contain information that suggest many scientists are working together to keep certain facts about global warning quiet. One email states that the scientists should hide the numbers indicating a colling climate. The research center claims the emails are taken out of context and that no such scheming has been going on. This attack took place just a month before the United Nations Climate Change Conference and is sure to affect thoughts are what should be done -if anything- to counter global warming.


This presents an ethical dilemma for me to this about. On one hand, hacking such files is illegal. On the other, scientists with a major say in climate change may be lying about their findings which is unethical. Both are doing something wrong. My view is, that hacker should not have broken the law no matter his reasons. Still, these emails and documents should have found their way to the public in another way, perhaps a whistle-blower. It is not fun to think that other organization doing research on important global matters could also be falsely reporting information.

This is a good example of disinformation at its worst and hopefully measures will be taken to ensure this will not be able to happen again.
"Leaked Emails Fuel Climate-Change Firestorm" by Katherine Noyes -TechNewsWorld 11/23/09


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