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Accused Pentagon Hacker Loses Extradition Appeal

   
1:32 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Accused Pentagon Hacker Loses Extradition Appeal [theregister.co.uk]
Accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon has lost his appeal in the House of Lords against extradition to the USA, but his lawyers have vowed to take the fight on to the European Court of Human Rights.
5:05 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The appeal to Europe will be made on two grounds: the use of threats made by US authorities during the plea bargaining process
I didn't see any threats mentioned in that article; just a matter-of-fact statement of his options.

and the concern that McKinnon may yet be subject to a military tribunal rather than a civil court if he is extradited to the US.
How is that a human rights issue? He's not an American citizen and he committed a crime against the government. That doesn't sound to me like he's entitled to our civil court system.
5:14 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I heard this on the news on the way home. He thought he'd have it easy, saying something along the lines of:

He wouldn't have minded a year or two in a British prison, but facing 60 years in a US jail was unreasonable.

Well, he should have thought of that before he decided to hack into the most powerful government in the world. You can be sure he won't get an Xbox and plasma TV in the states!

5:17 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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facing 60 years in a US jail was unreasonable

I don't think he is facing more than 5-7 years there, in fact if he pleaded guilty in the first place he'd probably serve 2-3 years max (most likely in the UK) and be out by now.

What annoyins me most is the huge UK taxpayer money wasted by this guy trying to resist clear and shut casee.

8:25 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Whoever's in charge of their computer system is the one who should be in jail for neglect of duty. Just how come some geek in a bedroom can crack the most powerful system on the planet. Seems like he did them a favour to me. A congressional medal of honour should be on the cards not jail time. Remember it could have been Al Qaida that came knocking instead of just some UFO fantasist.
6:56 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What annoyins me most is the huge UK taxpayer money wasted

Hmmm. I'd rather they spent it booting this guy out than wasting it on some other crappy stuff like protecting criminals like him instead! (anti-Europe rant over for time being)

Back to topic though...

Seems like he did them a favour to me

I believe there is some official hacking event where guys like this hack various systems, then send the companies involved the results. This is doing them a favour as the whole point of the exercise is to test their security systems and alert them to flaws.

Hacking into places with intent to steal confidential information doesn't help anyone. If some guy hacked a bank and stole your card numbers, would you thank him? Didn't think so.

12:04 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hacker loses extradition appeal - BBC [news.bbc.co.uk]

His solicitor Karen Todner said this had been her client's "last chance" and appealed to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to intervene.

"He is absolutely devastated by the decision," she said. "He and his family are distraught."

"They are completely beside themselves. He is terrified by the prospect of going to America."

So he's bright enough to be 'terrified', but not bright enough to have seen it coming before he hacked multiple US installations?

I've never been happy about the 'uneven' extradition treaty, that favours US extraditions over UK requests - but I really find it hard to sympathize with a guy who's only defense seems to be "I'm stupid".

He's been poorly advised. If he's said 'I'm guilty, but I think I should be tried in the UK', he'd have had loads of support, especially after the failed attempt by the Natwest/Enron guys to resist extradition.

12:18 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Both the UK and the US government actually pay highly skilled people to break into the networks of foreign governments. When they succeed they take sensitive information and use it directly to the disadvantage of the victim's government. Until they stop this state sponsored government hacking, they have no moral authority to prosecute people who do it back to them. (Moral authority may not have the force of law, but to me it's far more important).
Edit reason: grammar

[edited by: vincevincevince at 12:45 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2008]

12:40 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Re: Moral Authority of US/UK Govs

Possibly they would have more worldwide support for the condemnation of Russia over Georgia had they not 'liberated' Iraq.

While I'm here, extradition treaty is a farce in that UK citizens have virtually no defence against it, and UK government has no teeth to extradite US citizens.

Hacker is an idiot. Its not like the risks of hacking US Government institutions is not well know.

I'm a happy chappy today ;)

1:50 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think that state sponsored spying may be morally suspect, though few would argue that it's always existed and always will; but I have fewer qualms about that than criminal spying for their own profit at taxpayers expense, and I have little time for idiot spying, with no gain (except 'proving that aliens exist'), and potentially huge taxpayer losses, plus (in this case, for example) damaging a nations ability to protect itself from terrorists just after 9-11.

There is no moral certainty in this world, only individual opinions. In getting my vote, state sponsored spying leads by several furlongs over terrorists, organized crime and idiots. YMMV.

2:29 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Both the UK and the US government actually pay highly skilled people to break into the networks of foreign governments. When they succeed they take sensitive information and use it directly to the disadvantage of the victim's government. Until they stop this state sponsored government hacking, they have no moral authority to prosecute people who do it back to them.

You're overlooking one of the main purposes of government, which is to provide national defense for its citizens. The government-sponsored hacking you're talking about is part of that. A curious guy with a hacking script isn't.
2:31 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Protecting the world from the threat of alien invasion being kept secret by the US government...
There's more than one way to look at any issue. You are probably right that one is more justified than the other; but the fact that both need justification puts them in the same camp.
2:39 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sure; but cancer and toothache are in the same camp, as are burglary and murder.

It's a tough old world, but absolutist positions don't make it any easier. Unless you are holed up in the Black Hills with a hunting rifle, a Bowie knife and a trusted dawg, there's really no point in agonizing over government spying. It's a fact of life for most of us, however we choose to vote. But all the other forms of spying *can* be dealt with, though not all as easily as the idiots. :)

[edited by: Quadrille at 2:54 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2008]

1:49 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I just came across an article about this I hadn't seen before. It's old (July 31), but it had the following rather interesting quote by McKinnon:

Prosecutors accuse him of deliberately trying to intimidate the US government by tearing through their networks. They pointed to a note written by McKinnon - and left on an Army computer - attacking US foreign policy as "akin to government-sponsored terrorism."

"It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year," he wrote. "I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels."

Emphasis mine. So much for just chasing UFO's. The guy was deliberately causing harm for political reasons, and knew he was doing it. I'd say that's fairly just cause for extradition.

 

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