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July 31, 2009

McKinnon’s last chance before extradition for hacking

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by Alan Harten

The US authorities are asking for an extradition of Gary McKinnon to place him on trial for hacking into American military computers.

McKinnon has admitted that he was responsible for the hacking, but maintains that it was not with a malicious intent or that he is responsible for damages totaling up to $800,000 as the US claims.

He is currently challenging the refusals by the home sectary and director of public prosecutions to be tried in the UK, as he hails from North London.

If the 43 year old was found guilty of the charges he could face a maximum of 70 years in prison for accessing 97 different government computers that belong to high ranking governmental organizations from the US Navy to Nasa.

McKinnon claims that he only hacked into the computers looking for proof of suppressed UFO documents.

Last October the current Home Secretary Jacqui Smith ruled that his extradition would be allowed, and in February the Crown Prosecution Service stated they would not charge him in the UK.

Since then McKinnon has launched several unsuccessful appeals to the European Court of Human Rights and the House of Lords.

Currently he has an appeal pending in the High Court which is likely his last action before he is extradited.

His lawyers say that he should be tried at home due to his medical mental condition of Asperger’s Syndrome which could cause him to become suicidal if extradited.

Instead, they depict McKinnon as an eccentric older man who did not mean any harm nor see the huge consequences and impact of his actions.

Story link: McKinnon’s last chance before extradition for hacking


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