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  (Source: Wired's Threat Level)
Hacker cites human rights concerns over possible military treatment, unfair plea bargain

UK Hacker Gary McKinnon is set for extradition to the United States, after a last-resort appellate committee at the UK’s House of Lords denied his attempts to appeal Wednesday. He is now taking his case to the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

McKinnon is wanted in the United States for allegedly hacking into Pentagon and military computers between 2001 and 2002, where it is claimed he was searching for evidence of a UFO cover-up by the U.S. government. As a byproduct of his escapades, U.S. authorities accuse McKinnon of tampering with military log files – some of which were used to assess the battle readiness of U.S. Navy ships – and deleting critical information which, in one case, knocked more than 2000 U.S. Army computers offline in Washington, DC.

In one case, McKinnon even left authorities a calling card in the form of a note, which read:

“US foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days ... It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year ... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels...”

The Law Lords’ opinion of USA v. McKinnon notes that McKinnon “admitted responsibility” to his crimes with UK authorities after his arrest in 2002, and evidence mounting against him across the pond indicates that he has little chance of walking away with a not-guilty plea in the United States. To that end, U.S. authorities offered McKinnon a plea deal: if McKinnon plead guilty and came to the United States willingly, he’d endure a lenient, 6-12 month sentence at a minimum security prison in the U.S., followed by repatriation to the UK and most likely supervised or paroled release.

McKinnon has repeatedly turned down this offer, however, and instead spent the last six years fighting the U.S. government’s extradition request. The sentence he now faces is decidedly more severe: at least 8-10 years in a medium- or high-security U.S. prison, and have little opportunity for parole or repatriation to the UK.

In his defense, McKinnon said the U.S. plea-bargaining process – a technique foreign to UK courts – was a violation of his human rights: the only way to seek punishment in his own country, he argued, was to give in to the U.S. plea-bargain and surrender willingly – a process that would have him automatically admitting guilt and, according to his supporters, opting out of a fair trial.

McKinnon’s defense has also expressed fears of special-category, Guantanamo-style military treatment, should he be extradited to the United States.

His supporters note that the Law Lords’ opinion, agreed on unanimously by the court, was written by ex-Intelligence Services Commissioner Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Haywood, automatically slanting his opinion in favor a cultural “partnership” mentality with the U.S.



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What a novel approach
By fishbits on 8/1/2008 11:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
More criminals should take this approach. "I refuse to be punished for my crimes because the punishment won't be to my liking, and I decided the victim doesn't get the protection of existing laws."

Just once I'd like to see one of these l33t h4xx0rz man-up when he gets caught. Hope he does do 10 in high-sec, and every week a copy of the turned down 6-12 month low-sec offer is delivered to him.




RE: What a novel approach
By Aloonatic on 8/1/2008 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
Seems to work for Islamic terrorists from time to time.

They argue that they cannot be deported from the UK because they could face the death penalty.

The US official that was reported to have said that he should fry could play into his hands, especially if he takes it to the European court.

You never know how those crazy guys are going to rule.

When it comes to law and order in the UK things are rather odd. It wouldn't surprise me that prisoners will soon be released because the simple act of being in prison is a breach of their human rights, or their cells aren't fit for them as theirs not enough power sockets to plug in their plasma TV, satellite TV decoder, xBox, playstation, blueRay player etc etc etc...


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