Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hacker McKinnon To Be Extradited To US

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the also-a-headache-sufferer dept.

The Courts 571

Vainglorious Coward writes "When UK hacker and Asperger's sufferer Gray McKinnon lost the judicial review of his case it seemed likely that he would be extradited to the US to face charges of hacking almost a hundred systems causing $700,000 worth of damage. Today the UK home secretary rejected his last-ditch attempt to avoid extradition adding that 'his extradition to the United States must proceed forthwith.' McKinnon's relatives are expressing concerns for his health, with his lawyer going so far as to claim that extradition would make the 43-year-old's death 'virtually certain.'"

cancel ×

571 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Good grief! (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240422)

...and Asperger's sufferer...

This has NOTHING to do with this issue.

Re:Good grief! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240478)

with his lawyer going so far as to claim that extradition would make the 43-year-old's death 'virtually certain'.

So, international travel with "Asperge's" can cause death?

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SPARROW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240756)

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time !! Don't do it !!

Re:Good grief! (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240486)

Losers believe that having Asperger's Syndrome excuses all forms of social retardation, attention whoring and shitty self-absorbed bullshit, while also allowing them to lay claim to its supposed symptom of "higher than average levels of intelligence".

For these reasons, Aspers has greatly outstripped ADHD as the chic diagnosis of choice for pretty much every group of fucktards on the internet. It is no wonder then that all people with Assburgers are fugly.

Posting Dramatica articles is usually lame, but they're spot-on with that. Here's [blogspot.com] another famous Assperger's fuckup.

Re:Good grief! (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240536)

If I was his defense attorney, it sure the hell would.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240872)

Yes, because it worked well for Hans Reiser.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240572)

...and Asperger's sufferer...

This has NOTHING to do with this issue.

Er given that Aspergers is a form of autism thus making it inappropriate to extradite him, it actually has a lot to do with the issue. Have you ever met anyone on the autistic spectrum?

Re:Good grief! (1)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240606)

It's rarer to meet someone who's not in my experience.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240656)

Yes, and it has nothing to do with telling right from wrong or being responsible for criminal acts.

Re:Good grief! (-1, Troll)

AKMask (843456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240682)

Why would it be inappropriate to extradite him? The fuckwit caused massive amounts of damage, and committed what is unquestionably a criminal act, breaking in to the Pentagon computer network. If he had taken it a step farther and sold the information found in there lives could have been lost. He was intelligent enough not to do something leading to murder charges, so it's obvious he knew what he had already done was wrong and illegal. This contrasts nicely with copyright cases that are only a civil issue. It's easy to tell the people who want to reform internet law with those who want to do away with it altogether in threads like these.

Re:Good grief! (3, Insightful)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240772)

Why would it be inappropriate to prosecute him in Britain, where the crime actually took place?

Re:Good grief! (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240776)

What he did didn't cause much damage at all. The guy was an amateur whose only way to break into computers was guessing passwords. No tools, just guessing. Any account that he broke in had a password that was so weak it could be _guessed_. And since these accounts belonged to the US Army, the thing is embarrassing beyond belief to the US Army. His crime wasn't hacking into computers, his crime was embarrassing the US Army.

The "huge damages" he caused where the fact that the US Army had to change their ridiculous unsafe passwords to something safe. The US Army just cannot admit that an amateur looking for UFOs didn't hack into their computers, but just managed to _guess_ dozens of passwords. So they have to throw the book at him to safe face.

Re:Good grief! (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240958)

It's still trespass. The weak password defense is irrelevant.

Was he really looking for ufo stuff or just want t (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240962)

Was he really looking for ufo stuff or just wanted to brag about about getting into US army systems.

Part of this has to be to so the army does not look that bad and he may even get a deal maybe 10-15 years just to keep this out of court.

Or did he just find a setup trap that was meant to be that easy to get into like the child porn traps that are out there.

Was the systems setup that was as no payed for it to be setup right and they wanted to hit what even hacker to foot the bill for it.

Re:Good grief! (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240846)

Though I think the Asperger's defense is simply the latest fad for justifying bratty sociopathic behavior which was enabled and tolerated, I firmly believe that it is wrong to extradite him. He was looking for UFO's, for fuck's sake, and I don't see why the Brits couldn't just fine him up the wazoo and make him work for free while on house-arrest. They guy's a nut, but he's not dangerous.

And to say that if he "sold the information then lives could have been lost" is alarmist bullshit. Even military with mandatory OPSEC briefings and security clearances wouldn't believe that garbage (now, if we were at full-scale war with China or Russia then it'd be a different story altogether -- and c'mon, even the ACTA is being obscured on the grounds of "national security"). It's clear that they guy never intended to give our sekrits to terr'rists. The pentagon's just pissy that some nutcase exposed a goatse-esque security hole and now we want to make an example of him. Our government is behaving like a bunch of vengeful, steroid-addled, UFC-watching goons. Extradition is overkill in this particular case.

The aspie and the American government are in a cute little contest to see who can out-douche the other. I'm going to laugh if the aspie fights this and wins it.

Re:Good grief! (4, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240886)

Have you ever met anyone on the autistic spectrum?

I *lived* with someone with aspergers.

It taught me that someone can be a total and utter CUNT without actually being malicious about it.

NEVER AGAIN. Never a-fucking-gain would I want to live with someone with the aspergers affectation.

Re:Good grief! - Bend Over! (0, Troll)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240696)

...and Asperger's sufferer...

This has NOTHING to do with this issue.

This has nothing to do with the the issue whatsoever. The problem we have here is an extradiction treaty that is some what biased in the favour of the US that Tony Blair signed up to along with Bush at his private ranch in Texas IN PRIVATE as the IRAQ WAR inquiry is now following. Terror laws have been implented to erode every man, women and childrens' rights on this planet to live in peace. This guy was just a young enthusiastic individual IT guy interested in UFO's. All he wanted was to try and understand the TRUTH. It does not make him a terrorist, he had a thirst that needed quenching. Many scientists push the boundaries of convention to explore new worlds or organisms. It does not make this guy a terrorist, and in actual fact the NSA and DHS ought to be thankful he poked some holes in the systems. Now I could put up a few wargame "Real Time" Linux and BSD boxes to hack on a network, running other services, but $700,000.00 worth of damage is laughable beyond the extreme. I am taking he never pulled an rm-/rf *.* and obviously forensics have checked /var/logs have not been contaminated. Did these guys run ENCASE? If they did, any person working in intelligience knows Encase is not enough. In my own words of the X-Files (2O*x+d4782) Grid me.

Re:Good grief! - Bend Over! (1, Interesting)

AKMask (843456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240770)

He tried to quench that 'thirst' by breaking in to a highly sensitive military computer network directly or indirectly depended on by many people in harms way every day. Sounds a hell of a lot like it SHOULD fall under terrorism laws. Think of it this way, if he had bypassed and broken security in person, slipping in to the heart of an actual highly sensitive military base because he was 'curious' his motivation would hardly matter. I'm just glad the terrorism laws are being applied to someone who actually broke them rather then the usual trumped up charges.

Re:Good grief! - Bend Over! (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240814)

He didn't "break in to a highly sensitive military computer network". He leaned against the door and found it opened. If he actually got into any sensitive areas, then the ones that belong into court are the incompetent idiots who couldn't even keep an amateur with two much time on his hands out of their networks.

Re:Good grief! - Bend Over! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240854)

The fact that the old lady didn't put up much of a fight when the mugger took her purse doesn't make it less of a mugging. 'But she was so easy to rob, didn't put up any fight at all! Send her to jail since she's not taking any self defense classes!'

Re:Good grief! - Bend Over! (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240880)

Flash Forward.... /. .\

Re:Good grief! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240810)

Yeah, I mean, it's not like he killed his wife.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240826)

Yes it does, because his attourney tried to stop the extradition on medical grounds - i.e. he has assburgers. So, it wasn't an issue, then it became one because of a last-ditch effort on the part of his lawyer.

Re:Good grief! (0)

Junta (36770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240980)

Hey, Asperger's is very important. I should know because I have it, self-diagnosed.

Some may be skeptical, but I'm an asshole who thinks he's smart, what other possible cause for that is there other than Asperger's?

Seriously for a moment, my skepticism meter goes off the charts when I hear anyone claim to be afflicted by Asperger's. An excuse for being a self-absorbed jerk while simultaneously implying high intelligence with vague diagnostic criteria? Talk about begging everyone to be diagnosed with something. Haven't seen something this widespread since ADHD in children...

Re:Good grief! (4, Informative)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240988)

[that he is an Asperger's sufferer] has NOTHING to do with this issue.

Except that his condition was the central issue in his judicial review [ibtimes.com] so it has plenty to do with this. I was initially going to write "alleged Asperger's sufferer" - would that have made you happier?

So this is how the US treats mentally ill people? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240434)

I hope you are proud of yourselves.

$700k of damages, my arse. They couldn't even secure their own networks against a UFO nut. FAIL. Sort out your own problems instead, like paying proper money to hire people who can secure networks, don't go looking to blame someone when the inevitable happens.

Re:So this is how the US treats mentally ill peopl (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240742)

I hope you are proud of yourselves.

$700k of damages, my arse. They couldn't even secure their own networks against a UFO nut. FAIL. Sort out your own problems instead, like paying proper money to hire people who can secure networks, don't go looking to blame someone when the inevitable happens.

The US just enforced an African debt of $20,000,000.00 on Liberia, yes that is how ruthless the US are with African 3rd world countries. Greed no water people dying in Liberia.

Hypocrisy (4, Insightful)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240462)

The crime took place on British soil. Why is he being extradited?

Or, if you want to take the view that the servers were on US soil, why have people posting to US servers been prosecuted in Britain for hate speech? You can't have it both ways.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240476)

Because unfortunately our government overlords are attached to the rear of your government overlords.

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240560)

I am sorry but I don't believe that anyone seriously puts hate speech in the same basket as hacking into the pentagon.

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240604)

Hypocrisy is totally on the other side -- UK won't dispense justice to a Brit who commits a crime abroad, even if there is a sentence. Instead, the convict will be pardoned ahead of the next local election, and their justice minister will claim "new" "evidence", or a mercy release due to some scary rare disease or something.

For recent examples of British justice see the case of the football fan who knocked out a guy with a stone in some European backwater country, got a lengthy prison sentence, got sent home to serve it out in a UK prison and was promptly pardoned because of pressure from the local "community". For the weird disease, has the Lockerbie bomber died recently? He had weeks to live some months ago, IIRC.

The British asshole should have thought about his medical condition before he hacked into those servers, no?

Re:Hypocrisy (2, Informative)

vectorious (1307695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240788)

That person had a manifestly unfair trial, someone else actually admitted to the crime in question (BBC link) [bbc.co.uk] and thus the pardon was not hypocrisy by any stretch, just proof that a fair trial abroad is hard to get (true of foreigners in the UK as much as Brits abroad).

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241004)

Ya, rly. According to your own link, the new "evidence" is hearsay from family members about someone who "confessed". That is rock solid proof that British "justice" for crimes, committed by Brits abroad is a joke, and that the asshole cracker should be sent to the US for a trial.

Re:Hypocrisy (2, Informative)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240658)

Because he admits to hacking into computer systems in the USA. So why shouldn't he be extradited?

Re:Hypocrisy (2, Insightful)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240718)

He wasn't in the US when the offences took place, so why would he be considered subject to US law?

Why hasn't he been prosecuted in Britain?

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240802)

IANAL, but if I had to guess, it has to do with the terms of service. Even unauthorized use is bound by the ToS, and most ToSes define which jurisdiction's laws apply and where any legal proceedings would occur.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240866)

LOL! Terms of service are a civil contract.

I can just imagine someone hacking into a web site, seeing the terms of service, and saying to himself "OK, I won't use the website to post defamatory comments, I'll just steal all the credit card data instead ... let me check, nope, that's not against the ToS, I'm good."

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240724)

The same reason America refused to extradite IRA members known to have blown up innocent children with their bombing campaigns?

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240726)

An amazing thing called "jurisdiction", you should look into it.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240972)

The funny thing about jurisdiction is that traditionally it is based on where the crime took place. Nowadays it seems to be a matter of convenience.

Fuck Muahamad (1, Flamebait)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240734)

I guess I should be extradited to Saudi Arabia since that message can be read from there.

Re:Fuck Muahamad (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240806)

I guess I should be extradited to Saudi Arabia since that message can be read from there.

Probably not prosecutable in Saudi Arabia as crime since you posted it on a U.S. server. Bet you got a fatwah on your ass, though.

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240668)

The Italians should use some extraordinary rendition on this Brit and then trade him for those CIA guys they convicted.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240728)

It's often the case that the most stringent standard is applied against the individual. So you can be prosecuted for being a breaking US federal law while being outside the USA and not a citizen of the USA and yet not have a say in what the law is in the USA. Then you get denied the benefit of the law in the USA - eg posting so called hate speech on the USA server while in the UK.

If the basis of law is consent of the governed and one who is governed never has a chance to give their consent it makes the whole concept of the 'rule of law' a farce. (I think if you are being extradited ot the USA for a crime not committed in the USA you should be able to vote while awaiting trial and given all the rights of a citizen.)

And of course if you are foreigner trying to visit the USA, then you can be treated like shit and deported. No right to work - crap all. So when the government wants to treat you like someone who belongs in the USA they can and when they want to treat you like an alien they can.

You also have to ask by what right does country x have to prosecute person 'a' for an action taken in country y. The person was not in the jurisdiction of country x when the crime was committed.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240750)

Moral of the story: Governments will prosecute what they think they can win when they think they can win where they think they can win. The US will probably seek to extradite UK citizens who screw up US servers and vice versa. This is partly due to the fact that jurisdiction in the digital age is an absolute bitch; maybe in 10 years the laws will have caught up to the late 90s.

Prosecuting hate speech, however, is likely to be a British phenomenon, and they're likely to be very...british about it. I highly recommend a constitution with amendments protecting free speech in the future.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

Lordnerdzrool (884216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240794)

Because it was a crime against US soil. The reported damages were made on US soil. When you commit a crime on X's soil, you should be prosecuted by X, if you are to be at all.

Hate speech is different for the reason being it damages regardless of nationality of the server. It isn't a crime against a server, rather, an attack against a class of people.

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240910)

That makes no sense to me at all. What would be wrong with prosecuting him in Britain?

Consider the consequences of this policy: to obey the law, you have to first figure out where each and every computer you communicate with is physically located. Then you have to look up the laws of that nation; heck, that should only take a few years per computer.

It would probably be easier just to cut your internet connection and go live in a cave. :-)

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

stuckinphp (1598797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240934)

Because they were posting from UK computers?

How the fuck did this get modded up as insightful.

The gist of what he said:
The crime took place on British soil with servers in the US. Why is he being extradited?
Or if you want to take the other view, why have people posting on british soil on servers in the US been prosecuted in Britain for hate speech.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241032)

Well, what's your opinion? If I'm sitting on a computer in the UK, communicating with a computer in the US, should I be subject to the jurisdiction of UK law or US law?

If the former, then I can't be extradited. If the latter, I can't be charged with something that isn't a crime in the US. Seems to me the UK and US governments want to have it both ways, and that's hypocrisy.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240938)

The crime took place on British soil. Why is he being extradited?

Or, if you want to take the view that the servers were on US soil, why have people posting to US servers been prosecuted in Britain for hate speech? You can't have it both ways.

Actually you can have it three ways, just google "cia kidnapping italy"

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241042)

That's slightly different, I think. It's a spy's job to break the law, and naturally their home nation isn't going to extradite them.

Would Britain extradite James Bond? :-)

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

xenoglossy (877946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240984)

Jurisdiction is a well defined concept. A court will decide if it has jurisdiction, if so it will hear it. If the US Court he lands in finds no reason to believe it has jurisdiction then it will be dropped by said court. In this case it is pretty unlikely given that the offense can be seen to have happened in the US. You would have to find some pretty convincing case law to convince the court it has no jurisdiction. Same could be said in reverse. Nothing to see here.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241000)

It's not hypocritical. It's contradictory... lots of people mix these up.

When will they go after the REAL criminals? (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240470)

The Italian islamo-communist freedom-hating hacker pedophile terrorists who spy on my lunch with javascript-based nanoprobes and "linux"?

Are his taxes certain also? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240472)

I was pretty sure he wasn't immortal even before this....

OTOH, given the pommeling due process has taken in the US lately, maybe this guy's lawyer is on to something. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sovereignty (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240492)

Has just gone out the window. Lowest common denominator laws win.

No, most powerful state wins.... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240556)

Lowest common denominator laws win.

No, most powerful sovereign state wins. USA gets to tell pretty well anybody (apart from maybe Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea) when they want somebody brought over the USA to stand trial under US law. How often does the US let other countries take its citizens away to stand trial under their laws? Can't imagine US citizens being shipped to the EU very often, not even thinking of less developed countries.

Re:No, most powerful state wins.... (2, Insightful)

gzunk (242371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240674)

And I don't care if I lose karma over this, but that stinks to high heaven.

Oh, and the United States NEVER extradites its citizens. Big Bully Rules OK.

Most EU countries won't extradite their citizens (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240758)

At least not France nor Germany, although it's slightly different within EU countries (or at least Schengen) because it wouldn't be an extradition, and member countries have similar standards -- the US certainly doesn't. McKinnon would hardly get more than a suspended sentence here.

Re:No, most powerful state wins.... (2, Informative)

The Slashdot 8Ball (1491493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240876)

The Home Office received 95 extradition requests from the US between 1 January 2004 and 31 July 2009; 47 of these have taken place, with 36 ongoing, five withdrawn by the US and seven refused by UK authorities. The UK has made 42 extradition requests to the US during the same period; 27 of these have taken place, with 12 ongoing, three withdrawn by the UK and none refused.

Shamelessly lifted from the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] , one of the UK's better papers, in a column written by Sir Alan West, a minister in the Home Office.

So out of the resolved, non-withdrawn requests, the USA's requests are granted 47/54 times, whilst the UK's are granted 27/27 times.

Can anyone find a US source to verify these numbers?

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241010)

They are called treaties. I suggest a library. Of course, there are exceptions, such as the Afghanistan ruling government's refusal to hand over Al-Qaeda members wanted by the United States. This led to the the States invading that country and overthrowing its government.

Death? (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240506)

Virtual death? Yes, I suppose he would be dead, so to speak, on the internet.

Re:Death? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240526)

He has already been banned from internet use in the UK for a long time.

Re:Death? (4, Informative)

Chad Birch (1222564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240598)

The article itself makes it clear in the very first sentence that his relatives expect him to commit suicide before he can be extradited. The slashdot summary would rather imply that the evil America would be killing him.

UK citizen? (1)

WowTIP (112922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240512)

I have not read much on this case, from skimming his wikipedia page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon [wikipedia.org] ...it seems he is a UK citizen, right? Why would the UK extradite a citizen to the US? If it were the other way around I think an extradition would be very unlikely.

Re:UK citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240548)

Is there a country with no extradition treaties?
I would like to seriously haX0r some US servers.

Here is a map of US extradition treaties to get you started:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/United_States_extradition_treaties_countries.PNG [wikimedia.org]

Re:UK citizen? (2, Interesting)

WowTIP (112922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240790)

Yes, but it seems to be a one way street? Remember the US air force pilot that killed 20 people when cutting the cables of a cable car in Italy, some years ago?

Iirc they wanted him extradited to Italy, but that was a no go. He was tried in the US and the jury found him "not guilty".

Re:UK citizen? (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240562)

I have not read much on this case, from skimming his wikipedia page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon [wikipedia.org] ...it seems he is a UK citizen, right? Why would the UK extradite a citizen to the US? If it were the other way around I think an extradition would be very unlikely.

I honestly don't understand why so many people think he shouldn't be extradited. The way most extradition treaties work is if you commit a crime in or against a country with which you have an extradition treaty, and if that crime is also a crime in your home country, then you are extradited. I think Britain has hacking laws, so this seems fairly clear cut. Why do so many people have a problem with extraditing him? Is it because you think hacking shouldn't be a crime, or what?

Re:UK citizen? (4, Insightful)

David Horn (772985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240662)

People have an issue with this because if convicted in America he will face the rest of his life (however long or short it may be) languishing in a high security American prison. In the UK we do at least give the majority of our prisoners the chance of rehabilitation.

The above comment disregarding the fact that a US jury is almost certainly likely to be biased against a foreigner; his inability to qualify for any capable legal aid; and an unfamiliarity with the US legal system seems to me an excellent reason to allow him to be tried at home. I imagine that they're also looking to try him under a terrorism-related charge, which is patently not what he set out to achieve.

However, this is now boiling down to a deeper issue of a massive disparity between the number of people extradited from the UK to the USA and vice-versa. I daresay the bulk of this is due to the fact that we do in fact harbour more potential terrorists, but at least some part of it is due to a government that just rolls over and takes it up the arse.

Re:UK citizen? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240698)

If I go to country X and commit A crime I would expect to be processed through the local justice system. If I skip the country before I am caught I would expect to be extradited back. That is what extradition was designed for.

This guy knowingly committed a crime on a system in the US while in the UK so I can see that there is an argument for extraditing him to the US, even though he may never have been to that country.

But it is easy to raise corner cases when dealing with networks. People have been accused of hacking when they used common exploits like rewriting URLs to bypass security. To take an extreme example: could I be extradited from Australia to Saudi Arabia for fixing a borken URL when buying a product on line from a system hosted in Saudi? What if I didn't know where the site was hosted and didn't know the laws there?

Re:UK citizen? (0)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240708)

I am against it, not because I don't think hacking is a crime, but because those seeking to extradite him are not thinking.. Exactly what is to be gained here ? ... All that will be accomplished is to spend more money trying him, and housing him in prison.. and all this could be done in the UK, on their dime, with tax money paid by their citizens.. As to getting back the 700k, you have just as much chance of getting it by suing him there... We have enough criminals in prison here.. we don't need to import them.

Re:UK citizen? (1)

gzunk (242371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240752)

I suppose because the UK laws are quite proportionate - i.e. 3 to 5 years in Jail for what he did, however because he embaressed the US authorities they're threatening 25 years to life.

What he did was illegal in the UK, so what should happen is that he's prosecuted in the UK (since he did the crime here, he just modified US servers through "indirect action" of electrons...)

But that's not what the US wants, and we all know, what the US wants, the US gets.

Re:UK citizen? (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240780)

+1 Informative. While the UK-US extradition treaty is somewhat biased in favour of the US, this is precisely why is being extradited. He's never denied commiting the crime, and frankly given what has been revealled about the incompetence of the US agencies involved I'm surprised that they still want all that dirty laundry aired in what will almost certainly be a media circus.

The reason the waters are so muddy is because some of McKinnon's supporters have made Aspergers out to be something that it is not; a get out of jail free card of some kind. Contrary to what some of McKinnon's supporters might think, it does not in any way make it conceivable that McKinnon did not know right from wrong or understand the potential consequences of his actions. The only thing is does is mean that he has some legitimate medical and psychological requirements that the US must be able to meet before the extradition can proceed, and since those are pretty easy to meet then, barring intervention from the EU, it's a done deal.

Personally, I think McKinnon's defense team royally screwed up. Once he had admitted his guilt and the Asperger's diagnosis was made, they should have used that to press for a trial in the UK, against UK laws and sentencing guidelines, with any sentence also being served in the UK. Both sides could have said that justice had been done, and McKinnon would have got off with a slap on the wrist and at worst a short sentence in a minimum security prison with time off for good behaviour, and quite possibly at the weekends as well. All this would have been over years ago, and he'd have probably made a small fortune out of selling his story to the tabloids and publishing an auto-biography by now.

He wouldn't get that much for MURDER (0)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240832)

in the EU. In the US he risks over 10 years in jail for hacking crappy computers. That's what you'd get around here for murder (except for the worst types I guess)

To those retards who will say "you do the crime you do the time": a basic tenet of the rule of law is that nobody is supposed to ignore the law. Corollary is that you can't be supposed to know the laws of all the fucking countries on the internet when you haven't even set foor there. Here he would hardly get more than a suspended sentence for that harmless thing he did. In the US he risks over 10 years.

What if I post an anti-communist rant on a Chinese server? Or advocate for atheism on a Saudi one? Do I deserve a flogging? This all thing is a major injustice. That some people don't see that makes me mad.

Re:UK citizen? (2, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240920)

I honestly don't understand why so many people think he shouldn't be extradited. The way most extradition treaties work is if you commit a crime in or against a country with which you have an extradition treaty, and if that crime is also a crime in your home country, then you are extradited.

In German law, there are the following requirements:
1. It must be a crime according to German law. (Check)
2. It must happened in the country that asks for extradition. (Check. The hacking would be assumed to happen where it took effect, that is in the USA).
3. There must be a guarantee for a fair trial (Definitely not. He'll do time not for hacking, but for embarrassing the US military).
4. No cruel or unusual punishment (50 years for hacking would be considered both cruel and unusual).
5. No extradition if the extradition itself is worse than a reasonable punishment. (There is a strong argument for that)

Looks like very good reasons to not extradite. Of course in the UK there is this "special relationship" between Tony Blair and George Bush which overrides everything else.

So let's just forget about a fair trial! (4, Insightful)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240528)

If you don't live in the USA you hardly stand much a chance of getting fair trial if you are extradited. Firstly you need money for a private attorney if you want a real shot at a fair trial (public defenders are a joke most of the time; innocent people go to jail all the time - just look at he innocence project). And you are not allowed to work while you are awaiting trail in the USA further guaranteeing you getting screwed over. You are not familiar with the legal system - again another nail in the coffin of obtaining a fair trial. And consider that you don't know anyone to turn to for advice. And then you have to consider cultural factors - a jury in the USA is going to be less sympathetic to a foreigner.

Of course in this case its even worse - what he did would be a lesser crime in the UK. Why someone should subject to a foreign countries laws while doing something that is not in that foreign county amazes me. We don't give foreigners the vote so why should they be subject to our laws when not in our country. Let him be subject to British laws and let the British system deal with him (ie for his hacking).

He also has Asperger's Syndrome and this form of autism could really be a stress factor leading to suicude. A trial in a foreign country is no small deal. The whole thing stinks.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (1)

PotatoSan (1350933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240648)

Why would the threat of him committing suicide matter for his extradition?

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (0)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240740)

Well if the stress of extradition would lead to suicide then obviously he should not be extradited. It's an issue of human rights.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (2, Insightful)

AKMask (843456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240812)

That's crap. The stress doesn't 'cause' him to do that, he chooses to if thats what he wants to do. It's the same trick a 4 year old tries when they threaten to hold their breath till you give them what they want. He needs to grow up.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240960)

So anybody can get out of a crime committed on foregin soil by threatening to commit suicide?

What is wrong with you?

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240928)

I hope you will know it yourself...

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (1)

rainsford (803085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240706)

He DID commit a crime in a foreign country. He hacked into US computers located on US soil. The fact that the Internet makes it easier to attack a foreign entity from your own country shouldn't matter. We wouldn't be having this discussion if this guy had managed to build a missile and hit the Pentagon from the UK.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (4, Insightful)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240838)

In your example, the actual crime would be launching the missile, which happened where? Britain. In the real case, the crime was sending malicious instructions to a computer, which happened where? Britain.

In both cases, the appropriate action would be to prosecute in Britain. You know, where the crime took place.

Have you ever made a comment on a web site that could offend a religious group? Better hope the server wasn't located in Ireland, because that's illegal there, and you could be extradited. Ever criticised the Chinese government? Better hope the server wasn't located in China. And so on.

Basically, this sets a really, really bad precedent.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (1)

stuckinphp (1598797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240974)

Mod this guy up insightful. The other tard was a tard.

Re:So let's just forget about a fair trial! (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240978)

If I post a topless pic of Halle Berry on a server that happens to be in Saudi Arabia, does that mean they can have me extradited from the US and behead me?

fkp Taco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240558)

share, this 83ws

Votes (1, Troll)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240578)

Let's face it, he's a nerd / geek, so expendable as there are no votes in it for this government that likes to extradite TO the USA, but cannot get any wanted terrorist suspects extradited FROM the USA. That's the beauty of the extradition treaty THIS corrupt British government has, it's one way, they are a spineless government who rolls over for anyone these days, not giving a crap bout their own. The Americans never got the extradition treaty through their government machinery, they are laughing.

Awesome job! (4, Informative)

Chad Birch (1222564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240582)

His name is Gary, not Gray. Stellar editing as always, slashdot staff.

Re:Awesome job! (4, Informative)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240930)

Embarrassingly, that mispell is actually mine - I noticed it microseconds after I clicked the submit button. The staff here are notoriously not editors in any meaningful sense of the word, but in this case it was entirely my mistake.

Re:Awesome job! (3, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240992)

His name is Gary, not Gray. Stellar editing as always, slashdot staff.

If it helps, I think that for most, proper editing on Slashdot may be a gray area, while for others it's certainly grey. I don't know who Stellar is.

Extradition to countries that practice torture? (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240608)

I though there was a UN convention that prohibited extradition to countries that practice torture or won't give a person due process. Given the US recent track record on torture and the probability that he will be tried in a military court it should be fairly easy to get his extradition cancelled. But then again, the US and the UK are not all that much different and if closer together would probably become a single country. Maybe he should appeal to the EU court for the protection of Human Rights in Geneva and he probably will. This dude will be in prison for a very long time.

$700,000 (5, Insightful)

leathered (780018) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240654)

That figure is the alleged cost of upgrading the security of these systems after the attack, not the result of any 'damage' that he may have caused. I'm not in any way condoning what he has done and Asperger's is no excuse but the desktops that he accessed were often Internet facing with blank or weak administrator passwords, seems to me like there should be some sysadmins on trial with him for gross negligence.

My analogy (no car sorry) would be that it's like a robbed bank having to spend $700,000 on a vault after realising that keeping the money in wooden boxes in the back yard is inadequate.

Re:$700,000 (1)

xenoglossy (877946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241006)

So very true...

Re:$700,000 (2, Informative)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241022)

That figure is the alleged cost of upgrading the security of these systems after the attack, not the result of any 'damage' that he may have caused

I think you're probably right that this represents a subsequent upgrade. Note that the article linked from the earlier slashdot piece actually claims he caused almost a billion dollars worth of damage [ibtimes.com] !

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240660)

...if he was doing something against the law...

Open Doors in the Third World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30240848)

My son asked me over this me how can a third world country extradite a British citizen ? i then had to explain America is not a third world country although he and his friends firmly believe it is, makes me wonder if the USA is being increasingly viewed in a different light ......

Better not say anything about China then... (1)

Hairy1 (180056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240892)

Imagine if there were an extradition treaty with China. Suddenly people in the US and UK who spoke out about human rights, which is totally legal in those countries, could be extradited for breaking Chinese law.

My question is quite simple: If this individual is a British person, living in England, never going to the US, how can the US Government ever have the right to prosecute him? Sounds like he broke British law, and should be charged there. It sets a very dangerous president.

Perhaps Iraq could pass a law against torture and extradite former President Bush for his crimes.

If it were me... (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240918)

...If it were me, I wouldn't be being extradited: at the first hint of trouble, off to Venezuela - whatever a pit Venezuela is, it's not even a fraction as bad as US "pound me in the ass" prison. And Venezuela hates the United States and would never extradite.

Is he immortal? (5, Funny)

duffetta (660874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240990)

Isn't his death already virtually certain?

The UK needs to grow a pair (1, Flamebait)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241018)

A real country with hair on it's chest wouldn't extradite any of it's citizens for something like this. Put him to trial yourself instead of giving the Americans a political blowjob. Tony Blair isn't in office any longer, you can stop kissing USofA's ass now.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>