Britain won't extradite hacker to US

2012-10-16 15:46

London - British hacker Gary McKinnon, an Asperger's sufferer who broke into US military computers, will not be extradited to the United States following a ten-year legal fight, Britain said on Tuesday.

"Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes, but there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill," interior minister Theresa May told parliament.

She said extradition would breach McKinnon's human rights by posing a high risk that he might attempt to commit suicide.

McKinnon, aged 46, was arrested in London in 2002 for breaking into dozens of Pentagon and Nasa computers, leaving 300 machines at a naval air station immobilised just after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.

He has never denied the hacking, claiming he was looking for classified US documents on UFOs.

His supporters said he could have faced up to 60 years in a US jail for the breaches, which the US says caused $800 000 worth of damage.

The hacker, who has become a symbol of the campaign to revamp Britain's extradition deal with the United States, lost appeals in Britain's House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights during his decade-long fight.

He was diagnosed with Asperger's, a form of autism, in 2007, after an autism expert watched him in a television interview and contacted McKinnon's lawyer.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-16 16:03

    Hey what is the big deal? Have the idiots not yet heard of fire walls?

      Noxville - 2012-12-02 23:56

      What's funny is that he made a simple script that looked for computers on the networks where the admin passwords were defaults.

  • shirlee.grobler - 2012-10-16 16:03

    That is wonderful news!! there is some fairness in the world after all.

  • gieljam.gomtor - 2012-10-16 16:11

    but I'm almost sure they would if he was a hooker.

  • anthea.lagrange - 2012-10-16 16:28

    Does that mean they wil hang onto Shrien Dewani for ten years and then say, shame but the poor chap is dreadfully ill?

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-10-16 16:47

    He did them a favor highlighting that their systems were too weak.

  • jeevadotnet - 2012-10-16 16:51

    This guy did nothing destructive on the network. He did it purely for educational and knowledge purposes. They are trying to do the same to him as what happened to Kevin Mitnick 20 years ago. Trying to BS the public into believe that a white-hat hacker is on par with to that of terrorists. Just so that they can pass crappy bills like SOPA through congress.

      Noxville - 2012-12-03 00:10

      Kevin Mitnick hacked many systems and stole lots of proprietary source code, made thousands of dollars of phone calls for free, and even accessed private voicemail of many investigators and random individuals. The reason he is not still in prison today is because the laws surrounding computers were so murky back then that they could only end up prosecuting nailing him for varying kinds of fraud. This is a completely separate issue to Gary McKinnon. Solo definitely broke the law (under both UK and US law). It's quite obvious that he gained access to places he shouldn't, and your claim that he 'did nothing destructive' is not only fallacious, but also not a reasonable justification for his actions. He gained access to military computers. He defaced their websites. He deleted stuff off their computers. This is quite clearly 'destructive'. The thing that makes this case so different is that he is actually legitimately sick. If he didn't have Aspergers then there'd be no stopping his extradition, he'd probably be in prison in the States already. The entire reason his extradition was blocked was because he posed a suicide risk - not because the UK (or anyone) believes he is innocent of the crimes.

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-10-16 18:00

    The British legal system has completely lost its marbles.

  • john.breakfacet - 2012-10-16 19:16

    And Assange? Frickin' hippo tits.

  • pietie.vantonder.9 - 2012-10-16 22:05

    wonder if he found anything? hmmmm

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