Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Klatt's Clunkers 8: Bernard Klatt comes close

Below and to the right is a long exerpt from Bernard Klatt's testimony of Feb. 8, 2007 (Richard Warman & the CHRC v. Marc Lemire, T1073/5405 vol. 9, pp. 1636-8) .

Bernard KlattIn it, Klatt, who had been summoned to testify as a technology expert, is discussing the phenomenon that we had identified in the last post: that is, in the logs of Sept. 5, 2003, the traffic associated with 90sAREover's visit sometimes appears as and sometimes as Indeed, in the three minutes following his notorious racist denunciation of Senator Anne Cools, the IP changes four times.

Klatt is unable to explain the phenomenon.

There are several troubling aspects of this. First, of course, is the fact that he he's not sure what is going on: one expects better of an "expert". Second, it is troubling that the shifting IPs (which is material to the identification that he's making) is a matter that was raised not by Klatt himself, but the Chair of Tribunal. He makes no allusion to it at all in his discussion of the Cools' post in his affidavit (paragraphs 34-41, here). His answer to the chair, however, reveals that this is something that he'd noticed before: "That one is interesting" (line 21 of p. 1636). Not interesting enough, apparently, that he should actually explain it in his testimony.

Most importantly, however, is that is a bit troubling how close Klatt came to the truth. At p. 1636, lines 22-23, for example, he recognizes that might be a web-cache, which he repeats at p. 1638, lines 3-4, as "very likely". The correct answer, as we have seen, is that both these IPs are web-caches and that the shifting from one to the other is part of Rogers' practice of load balancing.  And the idea that he might suppose that (which had a hostname of wc04.mtnk.rnc.net.cable.rogers.com) was a web-cache, but not guess that (with hostname wc09.mtnk.rnc.net.cable.rogers.com) was also one is a bit baffling. He was so close!

One expects better than "close", however, from an expert. We want them to be right. Mistakes in expert testimony can ruin lives. In this case, the erroneous testimony has damaged the reputation of an innocent man and exposed those who have repeated Klatt's errors to financial harm.

Other posts in the Klatt's clunkers series: