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The alleged hacker reportedly caused more than $700,000 damage to US computers

Gary McKinnon, a British hacker accused of breaking into secured government computers, will be extradited to the United States.  He will face charges in the US District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.  The decision was made several months later than expected because officials in the UK needed to be reassured that McKinnon will be offered a fair trial.  In fact, the US government has assured the UK that McKinnon will not be forced to serve his sentence at Guantanamo Bay, would not have to face a military tribunal and will sometime be eligible for parole. 

Critics of the decision are claiming that McKinnon is being made a scapegoat due to the US government's lack of security on its own networks.  Ever since being arrested in late 2002, he has never denied illegally gaining access to US military institution computers.  An appeal of the District Judge and Secretary of State's decision is expected in the next several days. 

British Home Secretary John Reid will have until Tuesday, July 18, to overturn the decision.  If convicted, McKinnon faces a 70-year jail sentence and fines up to $1.75 million.





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