Brit hacker loses fight against extradition

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who broke into US Defense and NASA computer systems in search of evidence of UFOs, has lost his battle against extradition.

It was 2002 when the police came round to McKinnon’s house to nick him.  Now 6 years later,  on 30 July, the House of Lords agreed he should be sent to America to face trial and possible imprisonment.

Initially, McKinnon thought he would be tried in the UK and might get, at most, 3 or 4 years in prison. But then the US authorities decided they wanted to try him in an American court with charges that could a sentence of 70 years.

The Americans claim that McKinnom was intent on sabotage and that he did $700,000 worth of damage to US computer systems.  McKinnon refutes this – he says he had no malicious intent and was just trying to find the “truth” about America’s dealings with extraterrestrials.

The Americans have been hyping up the case, claiming that his hacking activities damaged defense systems in September 2001 – during the 9-11 crisis.  They’d have us believe that McKinnon is an online terrorist.  And they want to punish him accordingly.

Of course it’s no surprise that the UK government supports the USA’s desire to put him on trial in a US court.  But it is worrying to know that the UK authorities has no problem with sending a British citizen to another country to face a possible 70 years in jail.  McKinnon could have been tried in a UK court… so why wasn’t he?  Why is everyone so keen to ship him abroad?

I’ll tell you why: it’s because the UK government loves the USA.  A perverse love.

Remember when there was all that hullaballoo about “extraordinary rendition” (aka kidnapping)?  The UK government had absolutely no problem believing the lies told by the USA about how no rendition flights came anywhere near British territory.  It’s since been proven that these illegal flights often used to land in the UK territory of Diego Garcia to refuel.  And rendition planes frequently overflew the UK despite US assurances this never happened.

And now the UK is actively helping with a rendition.  They are to render McKinnon to the Americans, to do with as they will.

8 Responses to Brit hacker loses fight against extradition

  1. THE RANGER says:

    i dont balieve anyone can argue with that

  2. Stushie says:

    He’s getting what he deserves. if he had done it to Britain’s National Security, he would have been charged with high treason, which would bring an automatic life sentence – 55 years ago he would have been hung.

  3. pacer521 says:

    anyone who can do that should be recruited by the cia. If the guy is that good, he should be recruited over to the good side.

    pacer521
    http://culturedecoded.wordpress.com/

  4. Erik says:

    I think somone once said “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

  5. Joe says:

    If you cant do something nice, don’t do anything at all…

  6. I’m not especially well up on this case, but as I understand it, this guy isn’t a super-clever hacker. He very easily got into systems that were criminally insecure. I understand that whilst there, he claims to have noticed signs of many others also hacking into these systems – probably with far more professional and malicious intent.

    The real problem isn’t that this particular person broke in, but that such supposedly “critical” systems were (are?) left wide-open to even casual hacking. If this guy can get it, it’s hard to imagine that real terrorists and hostile powers can’t and don’t.

    I can’t see the justice in throwing the book at this amateur, out of all proportion to the real damage done (as opposed to the embarrassment caused and the cost of making these systems as secure as they should have been in the first place). But obviously it’s far easier than admitting to poor security and reprimanding or prosecuting those responsible.

    Just one more aspect of “security theatre” – this is clearly more about politics than justice.

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