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Gary McKinnon will fight the ruling

Gary McKinnon, the alleged hacker who broke into secured government computers, will face extradition to the United States.  McKinnnon's attorney does not feel that McKinnon will be given a fair trial if charged in the United States -- which could lead to his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay according to the attorney.  The ruling should have occurred several months ago, but constant reassurance had to be issued by the US government that a fair trial would be given.  McKinnon's immediate fate now lies in the hands of British home secretary John Reid, who will make the final decision in the future.  The Independent reports:

Speaking after the hearing, Mr McKinnon portrayed himself as an amateur hacker who used a dial-up modem to access sensitive government networks from his bedroom.  Among the most serious charges are that he deleted system files and logs at US naval weapon station Earle in the immediate aftermath of the 11 September attacks, rendering the base's entire network of more than 300 computers inoperable. 

According to reports, McKinnon caused up to $900,000 in damages in 14 states between February 3001 and March 2002.  McKinnon's defense is that he hacked the government computers to prove the existence of interstellar aliens.

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Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By DallasTexas on 5/11/2006 9:38:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the 'amateur hacker' defense strategy will be about as effective as the 'amateur rapist' one. He should start looking at the bright side - Cuba has great weather and he might get into the pink underwear/bondage attire.

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By kaoken on 5/11/2006 10:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
"According to reports, McKinnon caused up to $900,000 in damages in 14 states between February 3001 and March 2002."

Holy shit, this guy probably found aliens after all, he's from the future!

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By Zurtex on 5/11/2006 10:04:03 AM , Rating: 3
The issue is that America hasn't exactly been following small things like 'human rights' too well. It's an easy legal argument in Britain at the moment that if extradited to America a person would get an unfair trail compared to Britain and 'fair trails' are strangely important in the British legal system, crazy.

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By Kilim on 5/11/2006 10:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
He would have a point if he was not going to a fair trial. I am sure he will get a fair trial, not a doubt in my mind. This entire case is just a stalling tactic and a scheme to get him out of what he did. He just does not want to be punished for what he did, simple as that. He just wants to play the victim and get sympathy from people who believe his line of crap about going to Guantanamo Bay.

By Burning Bridges on 5/11/2006 1:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
I call BS!

He has already served time for his crimes in the UK.

It is also funny how he is accused of having done so much damage. According to one estimate it would mean that he completely destroyed every machine he got onto, and that each of those machiens was worth $5000. Which is just silly.

I think he should serve time for what he has done, and that he must be punished, but I don't think it's right that he has to be punished twice, in effect, for one set of crimes.

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By TomZ on 5/11/2006 1:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
The damage is probably based on the value of the services that were not available, not the actual hardware cost of the machines.

By mindless1 on 5/11/2006 9:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
Key is to remember who and what he broke into. If it's the government, it could cost a few million just to have coffee machines for those rebooting a few systems.

By TomZ on 5/11/2006 12:21:28 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with Kilim - this guy's not going to Gitmo. That place is used for bad guys we pick up on the battlefield. I'm sure he will get a fair trial.

As an American, I am deeply concerned about Gitmo, but unfortunately, none of us know the real facts about that place and the folks that are being held there. So it is kind of hard to develop an informed opinion about it. But we'll be rid of our presedent soon enough (2008 elections), and the I'm sure it will be a high priority of the new administration to decide whether Gitmo stays or goes.

By NuroMancer on 5/11/2006 10:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
No wonder he could hack into senstive gov. computers with his dial up modem. Cause his dial up modem is from 3001!!! and so is he. Confirmed Time Travel at work here, must be why the US gov. wants him so much.

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By z3R0C00L on 5/11/2006 11:39:25 AM , Rating: 2
No, he shouldn't be charged.

And the damage he caused was there to begin with. He found ways to hack into the systems. Therefore they were not secure. So the US government had to pay people to patch these holes.. and this is where teh 900 Million number comes from (since we know the US Military subcontracts to companies who overcharge).

In other words he did your military a favor. I mean what if an actual terrorist had hacked into your network? He exposed flaws and was open about them helping oyu fix them. He doesn't deserve jail time.. he deserves a job at your department of homeland security.

By DallasTexas on 5/11/2006 12:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, but the old argument of "I'm doing you a favor by exposing your holes" doesn't hold any water (no punn).

The fact is, it's a crime to hack/tamper with the government computer systems. There simply is not way around it. In this country, it's - ya broke the law, ya go'in to jail. Not sure what nation you are from but I like to think this is still a nation of laws and I like to try to keep it that way.
Unfortuneately, our president is not quite on the same page at times (most times). Maybe if the offender would use the "God made me do it", he can might get away with it.

RE: Excellent - I hear Cuba has nice weather
By TomZ on 5/11/2006 12:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, he shouldn't be charged.

So by that logic, if I don't lock all my doors and windows, any person has a right to invade my home? I don't see how that argument holds any weight.

By mindless1 on 5/11/2006 9:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
More like, if you don't put up a wall and locked gate around your property, you're not likely to have anyone who wanders onto your lawn being arrested instead of asked to leave. Only AFTER being told to leave and refusing would the trespasser typically be detained.

It's beside the point though, obviously enough he did commit a crime and there must be punishment enough to be a deterrent to others. Unfortunately for this fellow, he's likely to be made an example of and get a far worse punishment than other crimes the public deems as worse.

By Trisped on 5/11/2006 12:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
There are colleges which hack into systems to expose their flaws. These hackers don't delete important files or otherwise make the systems unusable, instead they send an email with how the exploit to the people in charge of the system security and let them take care of it. No harm, no foul.
What he did was malicious. He purposely destroyed data like a bumbling idiot as he slowly hacked into the system.
I mean what if an actual terrorist had hacked into your network?
Since the major disruptions occurred after 9/11 I wouldn't be surprised if he is charged with terrorism. Looking for aliens would make a nice cover story after you managed to bring down part of the US security network.

By Snuffalufagus on 5/11/2006 6:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
It's 900 thousand according to the article, not million.

"And the damage he caused was there to begin with. "
So the files he deleted were deleted before he got there? Doesn't make any sense.

Your overall logic is flawed and your post makes little sense. He didn't do anyone any favors, especially those of us who pay taxes to fund the military, the courts handling this case, the prison costs, etc...

By ryedizzel on 5/11/2006 5:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
"I'm sure the 'amateur hacker' defense strategy will be about as effective as the 'amateur rapist' one. He should start looking at the bright side - Cuba has great weather and he might get into the pink underwear/bondage attire."

Best quote I've heard all week. LOL.

By jonnybradley on 5/12/2006 5:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
There is an interview on the bbc website

It was record about a week ago, so before the latest hearing

I also see that Gary is into time travel, Feb 3001 ??

An Idiot
By Master Kenobi on 5/11/2006 9:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see what the big deal is, he deliberately and intentionally hacked into government computers. In the hacker world that is generally a no-no unless your trying to find something. The government, if nobody else, will be the ones to find you everytime, thats why you don't hack them.

Now that he got caught, he doesn't want to get extradited, fair trail or not, they are going to make an example out of him and put him away permanently. Frankly the guy is obviously an idiot, so he needs to just accept that he broke various laws, and he got caught, now he's got to pay the piper.

RE: An Idiot
By orezedoc on 5/11/2006 11:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
He says that he was looking for photographic evidence of alien spacecraft and advanced power technology - he is probably wanted so bad because he says that US Dept of Defence and NASA security was "a permanent tenancy of foreign hackers".

RE: An Idiot
By TomZ on 5/11/2006 12:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
example out of him and put him away permanently

I doubt it - he'll probably get a few years in jail, and then get out and take a job as a security analyst at some company. He's not going to do hard time for hacking into computers, and government prosecutors don't have any ability to make an example out of him. We have this concept of "due process" - prosecutors don't just get to decide his fate - he'll have his day in court and the judge and jury will decide.

RE: An Idiot
By Snuffalufagus on 5/11/2006 2:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
Most companies I know of will no longer hire anyone with a known history of hacking, the idea to reward malicious behavior isn't really supported as it was 5 years ago. Instead corporations want people prosecuted as it does a better job of creating security through deterrence.

RE: An Idiot
By mindless1 on 5/11/2006 9:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's what they'll say because it's politically correct to state it. In the end, hiring is a subjective process still, in the end the candidate mostly has to be the best one for the job.

RE: An Idiot
By Nekrik on 5/11/2006 10:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think a small startup would think that way, an established company won't want to risk the liability.

RE: An Idiot
By mindless1 on 5/12/2006 2:02:35 AM , Rating: 2
... or an established company has enough umbrella insurance to handle it. Which is the greater liability though, someone who knows enough to penetrate a system, being in a security field, or putting someone in your security position that doesn't know enough to hack it? If someone knows enough, where did they get the information and practice? Perhaps they just never got caught, or perhaps they're blowing smoke up your a _ _ .

I'm not advocating the hiring of those convicted of crimes OVER those that havent been, that would indeed be a misguided way of selecting employees, but rather, in the end it is the actual abilities that count. If a company is only looking to hire saints, they may need to interview at a church.

RE: An Idiot
By Nekrik on 5/12/2006 3:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
I can't disagree that it doesn't happen, but I think there are more companies concerned about getting sued because they have an employee that screwed with something they sould not have. Their employment and access to sensitive data they have recieved from the employing company makes these candidates less appealing now days. Some companies want research candidates who can develop new pro-active anti-methods, not re-active methods to already known attacks.

Not trying to be confrontational, just another angle I see more frequently now. I do agree that there probably companies that promote one idea publicly but practice another.

By Wwhat on 5/11/2006 9:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
Every place where people can respond to this hacker story and where you see americans respond make it clear that indeed he as expected has not a snowball's chance in hell to get even a remotely fair deal in the US.
So even those not convinced by all the examples in the past should see the light by now and realise this.
But do the bush henchmen in europe care? no they don't, but the population is getting sick and tired of it I can tell you.

RE: sure
By Nekrik on 5/11/2006 10:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like everyone who comments on it being 'unfair' assumes that if he's convicted in the US then it's an unfair trial. Most of the comments made by those thinkiong he deserves prison time are due to his already made admittance to accessing the machines, which is a crime, and if he did it, then yes, he should get convicted. That's not an unfair sentence, that the system (here and in other contries). If he actually deleted military files then he needs to be locked away for a while, if he's too stupid to realize the significance of his actions then they should put him away longer as he's a danger to everyone if left to his own stupidity.

RE: sure
By Wwhat on 5/11/2006 10:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
It is a crime in the freaking US and the US is NOT the world, besides it's clear that he's just a nut that actually looked for evidence of extraterestials and it's also clear that if he gets in it was poor security and their admins should be punished not the hacker, and as for a million damage, GET FREAKING REAL.
Besides, the whole point is that crime or no crime if you cannot get a fair trial in an increasingly corrupt country then your government should not deliver you over to those corrupt people.
What if iran declared it a crime to be american? should american be be chained and sent to iran? would they get a fair trial? they WOULD be guilty would they not?

RE: sure
By Nekrik on 5/11/2006 11:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
Your views are too narrow and simple minded.

God forbid that any entity be held to abiding the laws of another place when they perform actions that affect the foreign locale.

RE: sure
By mindless1 on 5/12/2006 2:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
That argument is ridiculous.

Do you really want to be held to laws some 3rd world countries have? For starters, you aren't allowed to access this 'site. You might have your hands cut off by now too. No, you are bound by the laws of your own country, not another, unless you do something to a country that has enough clout to cause your own gov. to turn you over to them.

RE: sure
By orezedoc on 5/12/2006 4:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
True - he is not being taken to court because of nationality.
Book sales should be great;-)

RE: sure
By jonnybradley on 5/12/2006 6:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
Just one question, these files that were del where they not on back up? how long would the system have to be down to cause $1m of damage.

I am a Brit and I think he should face trial for what he's done (although I would also shack his hand if I meet him!) I just hope the US can deliver him a fair trial and explain where this $1m figure came from

RE: sure
By Wwhat on 5/12/2006 8:14:00 AM , Rating: 2
That is my point, sure people should be discouraged from hacking into systems, and sure you can have a system were you arrest people cross-border from civilised democratic nations when they commit certain crossborder crimes, but the whole hysteria in america, the whole nonsical claim of 9000000 damage, the whole 'OMG A MILITARY COMPUTER, THE HOLIEST OF HOLY OBJECTS' idiocy, the 'string him up' scream and the recent past showing that america has lost it and is no longer sane and balanced and fair makes the idea of delivering him to the US at this point untenable.
As the previous poster pointed out, any important or halfway decent system makes backups, and he deleted logs showing his presence, who cares about logs and how can they do 900K damage? that is just BS and shows the unfairness.
And even if the US somehow set a system up in such a way that a hacker could do 900K damage just by deleting some logs then that hacker is NOT responsible for the poor and insane setup at the military. At least not in any half-way sane country

Do the crime, do the time
By KCjoker on 5/11/2006 5:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt he goes to Gitmo but he should have thought of that before he did the illegal act. I hope he gets the maximum prison sentence. BTW if some in America is caught doing the same to Britain's government I'd want them to get the maximum prison sentence too.

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