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America Versus the UFO Hacker

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the keeping-promises dept.

Crime 452

Rob writes "Gary McKinnon, still suffering from Asperger's syndrome, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, has one last chance to avoid extradition from the UK to the US to face charges of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers in search of information on UFOs. Will the new UK government keep its word and help him avoid a savage punishment? The New Statesman has a survey of the history and McKinnon's prospects."

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452 comments

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First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501752)

From UFO!

Re:First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501992)

Undefined Fantastic Object?

Asperger's syndrome (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502102)

Asperger's syndrome is an attempt by Dr. Hans Asperger to worm his way into the history books by labeling people who are simply assholes with a fake mental illness. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it actually exist.

Asperger-monsters are the most self-centered, selfish pieces of shit on the planet. Devoid of empathy, social reasoning, social context, or self awareness, they are subhuman meat-calculators, who live to collect and catalogue items like barcodes and bottletops.

Such 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, Asperger's 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.

Aliens! (4, Interesting)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501764)

Just the fact that the US is pushing so hard for this makes people believe that the US government has UFOs and aliens.

Re:Aliens! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501840)

Like the US would have control over any aliens that stop by.

Re:Aliens! (4, Funny)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501856)

New Mexico has an Alien problem, Arizona will profile and interrogate any little green men, or Grays they find wandering around, and believe to be in the country illegally.

Re:Aliens! (4, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502030)

I'm not sure Arizona thought this through - the little buggers are expensive to deport.

Re:Aliens! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502288)

Why deport them? They taste like chicken.

Re:Aliens! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502104)

I thought it was the gray's who got that bill passed?

Re:Aliens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501864)

That is what they want you to believe.

Re:Aliens! (2, Interesting)

SplicerNYC (1782242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501934)

What the U.S. government probably has is 60+ years worth of wasting taxpayer dollars on black projects that went nowhere. I've come to believe that flying saucers were a cover story and false hysteria created by the government as a way to both deflect the truth and create a system where observers could be dismissed as kooks.

Re:Aliens! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501952)

I'd go with the "embarrassment/reprisal" hypothesis, myself.

The DoD's networks are supposed to be all secure and advanced and stuff. Getting hacked by a single sad-case foreign national, acting without support, makes them look pathetic.

When made to look pathetic, those with power generally seek reprisal against their enemies.

Frankly, the DoD was lucky to have been hacked by him. He is largely harmless, and watching how he got in was probably instructive, to some degree. They really ought to spend less time hounding him, and more time thinking about the fact that certain other hackers are much less harmless, and substantially less likely to be turned over for a stay in PMITA prison by their host governments...

Re:Aliens! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502440)

The DoD's networks are supposed to be all secure and advanced and stuff. Getting hacked by a single sad-case foreign national, acting without support, makes them look pathetic.

As far as we know from this story, the actual DoD networks _are_ secure and stuff. Sites in the *.mil domain are _not_ secure systems from the DoD point of view. The actual secure networks they use for classified material aren't even connected to the Internet that you know.

Re:Aliens! (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502044)

While the unfortunate truth is more likely that they simply wish to "discourage" others from looking into said servers without authorization.

The issue is the "... charges of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers in search of information on UFOs.".

His reasons don't matter. He didn't have authorization to access those resources. Period.

Re:Aliens! (0)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502186)

> His reasons don't matter
Exactly. "Reasons" are irrelevant. Around here what we look at are "motives".

Re:Aliens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502408)

His motives don't matter either. What he did was illegal period.

Re:Aliens! (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502192)

I argued this point the last time it came up and was modded down due to the excuses that were readily available:

"He has Aspergers"

"He wasn't trying to do anything criminal"
etc, etc.

I agree with you 100%. It doesn't matter what medical conditions he has, it doesn't matter WHY he was doing it, he hacked government servers.

That's the bottom line.

Re:Aliens! (2, Insightful)

LEMONedIScream (1111839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502336)

it doesn't matter WHY he was doing it, he hacked foreign government servers.

There, fixed that for you! (Or should that really read "US" government servers?)

Still suffering ??? (3, Insightful)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501784)

Isn't that like saying still suffering from AIDS, Herpes, Diabetes, or Lou Gehrig's Disease?

Re:Still suffering ??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502308)

No because everything you list is a real disease.

Re:Still suffering ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502330)

Yes. Are your heartstrings tugged sufficiently?

dude looks like (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501786)

Dude looks like an alien himself...

He wnats to know.. (1, Funny)

MaerD (954222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501790)

He wnats the info because he's an alien trying to catch a ride home. I mean seriously, just look at the picture.. He's totally a grey in disguise!

More seriously, why not work out a deal where he won't be stuffed in supermax?

Re:He wnats to know.. (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501970)

Creepy. That appears to be the case!

This is why he has to be tried over here (5, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501814)

He embarassed people, and made 'threats'

From TFA
McKinnon was surprised at how easy it was to enter the US networks. There were no firewalls and many government staff did not even have passwords. He left notes as he went, pointing out security deficiencies. One said: "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."

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501854)

Sounds like he did the deed, but doesn't want to pay the consequences to me.

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502036)

This maybe true BUT the people who left these networks in such a terrible state should be tried for more serious crimes.

The US Govt should have given him a medal for exposing such terrible security on their systems. I'll bet they paid lots of taxpayer $$$ to $400 an hour so called Security consultants to setup systems like this?
These are the guys who should be in the dock.

In reality, I don't want him anywhere near a plane bound for the US UNTIL the US Govt ratified the extradition treaty with the UK. This would allow people to be extradited from the US to the UK on the same terms as he is being extradited the other way.
Oh silly me, it is probably unconstitutional. No evidence is needed to be presented to a Judge in the UK. The US Gov't just have tp promise that they have the evidence.
This clearly breaks 'dur process' laws in the US.
So until this mess is sorted out he should stay put!

Just my 2p worth on the matter.

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (2, Insightful)

soupd (1099379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502156)

I have no love for people who force their way in to IT systems but the utter lack of security and safeguards in sensitive US systems in relation to what he did does tend to look as though the repercussions are more relative to embarrassment than actual harm.

Obviously this is based on what the, highly biassed, media report, but having worked in IT a while, it's really not THAT hard to take minimum precautions to minimally secure systems and it looks as though key US Government organisations did not do this.

It really does look as though its a nuke the intruder response to somebody who walked in, without forcing entry, into somewhere they should not have been.

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (1)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502316)

It really does look as though its a nuke the intruder response to somebody who walked in, without forcing entry, into somewhere they should not have been.

IIRC he was originally offered a pretty sweet deal in return for information on how he did what he did and possibly some help securing things, and he basically responded by thumbing his nose at the US officials who made the offer. Which, predictably, resulted in them deciding to throw the book at him.

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502324)

The issue is more about whether there should be consequences for being so helpful.

Re:This is why he has to be tried over here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502364)

Perhaps because the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Besides, he should be praised for helping the USA government notice a major and dangerous threat to national cyber-security ...

Savage punishment? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501830)

Will the new UK government keep its word and help him avoid a savage punishment?

But the UK government is punishing Savage by banning him from entering the country.

NASA and the Pentagon?!? (4, Funny)

wbav (223901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501836)

Everyone knows it is the NSA that keeps that data. Just ask your friendly local NSA operative, is there alien life. I always get, "We decline to comment on that subject at this time. All hail Kang."

Re:NASA and the Pentagon?!? (4, Funny)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501898)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!

That always makes me suspicious (4, Insightful)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501838)

He suffers from anxiety, depression and panic attacks? Exactly what people claim when they are suing for ridiculous amounts of money. Utterly impossible to prove or disprove, and plenty of doctors will probably accept a nice fee to testify either way.

I'm not saying that he doesn't suffer from these, but hearing it makes me roll my eyes and wonder if it's not just a sympathy act.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501958)

I guess its just not PC to state that he is a complete raving lunatic who believes in aliens.

Not that you need to be a complete raving lunatic to believe in aliens mind you, but that is basically his defense.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (4, Interesting)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502060)

He suffers from anxiety, depression and panic attacks? Exactly what people claim when they are suing for ridiculous amounts of money. Utterly impossible to prove or disprove, and plenty of doctors will probably accept a nice fee to testify either way.

I'm not saying that he doesn't suffer from these, but hearing it makes me roll my eyes and wonder if it's not just a sympathy act.

As someone who suffers from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, I am glad you have educated me that there are people who are predisposed to believe that we are making it all up. Although I am well aware that people have problems accepting situations that have not happened to them personally, I will add this one to the list.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502254)

Calm down, buddy. He's not saying *YOU* are making it up, only that this guy *might* be (a reasonable suspicion, considering he has a very strong personal interest in making himself sound as mentally ill as possible, to avoid extradition).

Re:That always makes me suspicious (1)

mrmtampa (231295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502306)

But have you committed felonies as a result of your afflictions? And if you have, don't you think it would be in your own and the world's best interests to deal with that reality?

Re:That always makes me suspicious (2, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502094)

And "suffering" from Asperger's syndrome is really odd wording. I've got Asperger's syndrome myself, and while it makes my experience of the world somewhat different, it's no more a cause of suffering than most personality traits. The other problems he has could legitimately be described as a form of suffering; the experience of the world would be qualitatively worse than if you did not have them, but the same does not apply to Asperger's.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502410)

I've got Asperger's syndrome myself

Did you self-diagnose yourself? If you didn't, you are an idiot because there is no such thing as Asperger's. You should get your money back from your "psychiatrist". And I put that in quotes because psychiatrists are pretty much drug dealing mental hacks that have about as much business being called a doctor as a naturopath does.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502456)

Well nice to know you "suffer" from something that doesnt exist.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (1)

hannson (1369413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502458)

Isn't Asperger's syndrome somewhat like ADHD in that it can be seen in mild to extreme cases?

Re:That always makes me suspicious (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502118)

Anxiety has reasonably well studied chemical markers. We don't typically bother to test them; because people running to their shrink to lie about being anxious just isn't a huge problem(and, to the degree that it does happen, a lot of first line anxiolytics(lorazipam, diazapam, clonazapam, beer, etc. are cheap and not wildly harmful. Who cares if some people who want them get their hands on them?)

Panic attacks might be fakeable by a good actor(I don't know if manipulating your pulse and andrenaline levels is something they teach you in acting school; but I won't dismiss the notion out of hand); but, unless he is actually a master manipulator who has been fooling everybody for years, this guy is not a good actor.

Re:That always makes me suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502340)

*gasp* a shitty and shaky legal defense ... what has the world come to!!

Guy says he discovered evidence of UFOs (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501846)

in us govt resources. and govt is hiding this from public.

considering how rabidly, and relentlessly u.s. tries to get this guy and make an example out of him, i actually believe the guy. there are innumerable amount of hackers, some even china and russia sponsored, who have infiltrated u.s. govt sensitive resources in the last decade. yet, u.s. govt, including the extremist bush administration, have never created SO big a stampede like they did over this single random guy.

their rabidness makes people believe mc kinnon more.

Re:Guy says he discovered evidence of UFOs (3, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502002)

haven't you seen the x-files? the govt acts this way to make people believe in UFOs, when in reality, the truth is far stranger than flying metal discs and little green men.

x-files is not entertainment, it is the truth!

I want to believe!

Re:Guy says he discovered evidence of UFOs (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502018)

Face it: it this was really true they would have sent a wet-worker after him rather than prosecuting.

"UFO Hacker" (2, Funny)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501848)

Didn't Roland Emmerich already demonstrate in the 1996 US documentary Independence Day that UFO's can successfully be hacked by introducing a computer virus into the mothership?

Re:"UFO Hacker" (5, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502122)

No, he proved that Apple products are so freakishly different that if an advanced alien computer tried to interface with one, it will blow up in frustration.

Little sympathy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501852)

I'm afraid that I have little sympathy for this guy. I do not think that breaking into computer systems is harmless play. If he'd actually gone to trial back when he was indicted, instead of fighting it for all these years, he's have gotten a minor sentence, very likely no prison time at all, and almost certainly would be out now.
I have no reason to believe these flamboyant claims that he's likely to be put away for a prison term of "seventy years;" this is bizarre hyperbole that has nothing to do with the way sentencing is actually done in the US.

Re:Little sympathy (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502424)

If he'd actually gone to trial back when he was indicted, instead of fighting it for all these years, he's have gotten a minor sentence, very likely no prison time at all, and almost certainly would be out now.

Well of course, the authorities don't like people fighting back against them and tend to kick them down extra hard if they manage to get them, to encourage others to take it lying down. Standing up to this standard bullying tactic is brave, and should be lauded regardless of whether you happen to agree with the crime in question.

Most hilarious summary ever (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501858)

Gary McKinnon's treatment at the hands of the bloodthirsty, subhuman U.S. government officials will be savage, just SAVAGE. Who will save this kind, generous, upstanding man of peace from the vicious fate he faces if this extradition is allowed to go through? See him quiver and tremble as he suffers the throes of Aspergers Syndrome! Can you not see how depressed and anxious the threat of prosecution is making him? What kind of monster would will such evil upon this defenseless man, who surly is guilty of nothing but a deep and heartfelt thirst for knowledge about our Grey brothers from the beyond?

Give me a break.

Re:Most hilarious summary ever (2, Insightful)

Kaemaril (266849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502048)

> What kind of monster would will such evil upon this defenseless man I'm not convinced he's the emotionally and mentally crippled guy the article is painting him to be, but the answer to the question "What kind of monster" is an easy one ... the American Justice System. It's been pretty monstrous for years.

Re:Most hilarious summary ever (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502356)

Even by Western developed world standards the U.S. justice system is hardly "monstrous." It may be one of the last Western countries to still have the death penalty and no one is defending the egregious misdeeds of the previous administration and their waterboarding of suspected terrorists. But to call is "monstrous" is ludicrous. At the most, this guy will face some time in a federal minimum security prison. It's not like anyone is breaking out rope to hang him.

Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (5, Insightful)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501872)

If he's convicted he gets to go to minimum security federal jail for probably 2-4 years. How is that savage punishment?

Aspergers is neither a cause of computer hacking nor an excuse for it. "Oh, a trial or jail will traumatize him" isn't a valid reason to not put someone on trial either in the US or in England.

This guy was misguided rather than intentionally malicious, but he misguided himself into a bunch of federal felonies. Aspergers doesn't change your ability to understand legal vs illegal acts.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502034)

Mod parent up. The only problem is that the US is trying to get him to pay a fortune for damages, as if he created the vulnerability as opposed to exposing it.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502198)

The only problem is that the US is trying to get him to pay a fortune for damages, as if he created the vulnerability as opposed to exposing it.

If you walk into a china shop and kick over all the shelves, smashing all the china, then turn around and tell the shop owner, "These shelves should have been secured better," I'm willing to bet a jury would find you liable for damages.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (3, Insightful)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502296)

Except the china was already broken. They fixed the vulnerability that was there before he found it, and now they're trying to get him to pay for it.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502450)

Except the china was already broken. They fixed the vulnerability that was there before he found it, and now they're trying to get him to pay for it.

Cleaning up after an intrusion involves much more than fixing the vulnerabilities used to enter.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502360)

Well said.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

agrif (960591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502476)

The only problem is that the US is trying to get him to pay a fortune for damages, as if he created the vulnerability as opposed to exposing it.

If you walk into a china shop and kick over all the shelves, smashing all the china, then turn around and tell the shop owner, "These shelves should have been secured better," I'm willing to bet a jury would find you liable for damages.

I'm going to shoehorn my correction into the china shop metaphor, because it's more fun that way.

It'd be like if the china shop owner was actually an FBI agent, and after he locked up he opened his laptop and started looking at all his super-secret FBI stuff. Then, some guy behind him says "ooh that's some neat secret info," and it turns out there's a second door with no lock that this guy just had to open. Then the FBI charges him with stealing information and for money to install a new lock.

The point is, there are damages to charge for in this case, like how this guy stole information. However, asking for money to secure a system that they didn't know was insecure before the break-in is dumb.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (3, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502212)

The only problem is that the US is trying to get him to pay a fortune for damages, as if he created the vulnerability as opposed to exposing it.

Any time a system is penetrated it is considered completely compromised. Addressed compromised systems demands significant damages because damage has been suffered. The simple act of gaining illegal access requires untold hours of logging, following endless procedures, rebuilding the system (usually at a temporary loss of services), ensuring compliance with current standards (which are far from brief), so on and so on. For every system he violated, shit loads of both dollars and man hours must be spent cleaning up afterwards. And this all ignores the general assessment which must follow to determine if additional, unknown systems might have been accessed and/or compromised. Basically, this is a really big fucking deal.

In short, this guy is not only a complete idiot, but he deserves serious jail time and a life time of fines. He did, after all, work hard to earn it. Since he definitely did earn it, I don't have a problem with the government handing it to him. Its what he wanted after all.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (2, Informative)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502338)

That doesn't change the fact that the system was vulnerable in the first place. Punish him for entering illegally but don't make him pay for repairs that should've been made anyway.

Savage punishment (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502130)

Prison (which depends on violence) qualifies as a savage punishment when the criminal is non-violent. I don't need a lawyer to tell me this. Human nature says so.

Did I just claim that over half of all US prison sentences are savage? You're damn right I did.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

spribyl (175893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502132)

> Aspergers doesn't change your ability to understand legal vs illegal acts.

This is not entirely true. Aspergers/Autistic spectrum disorder can affect the way you perceive and react to the world. On of Aspergers hallmarks is poor understanding and perception of what is right and wrong both socially and as a sub set the law(as a social contract). I don't now the particulars of this persons diagnosis but it is certainly within the realm of possibilities.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (2, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502366)

affect the way you perceive and react to the world.

That's true of social interaction. Legal comprehension in general is not affected. While he may not realize endlessly staring at a hot chick's tits is bad, especially when close enough to physically touch them. He understands breaking into computer systems absolutely is illegal. To boot, its extremely likely he has heard, been told, and read such actions are illegal.

Aspergers almost exclusively affects social cues and associated interactions. It does not affect comprehension or higher learning in general. If it did, its not likely he'd been able to master the skills he used to penetrate the networks. Bluntly, its all but impossible his disease is a significant factor here; aside from believing it was a good idea or that he wouldn't be caught.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502164)

I just hope his defense has a better argument than "We found a psychologist who says he has Aspergers." The "I'm a social retard, so please excuse my hacking" defense hasn't worked very well in the past.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (5, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502168)

If he's convicted he gets to go to minimum security federal jail for probably 2-4 years. How is that savage punishment?

Aspergers is neither a cause of computer hacking nor an excuse for it. "Oh, a trial or jail will traumatize him" isn't a valid reason to not put someone on trial either in the US or in England.

This guy was misguided rather than intentionally malicious, but he misguided himself into a bunch of federal felonies. Aspergers doesn't change your ability to understand legal vs illegal acts.

So try him in England, where he lives, and where he was when he allegedly committed the crimes... The US Government can afford to send an attorney (or state department representative) to speak on their behalf. He can be tried and convicted and punished in the UK. There is no reason to send him to the USA.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502204)

Ah yes, 2 to 4 years of prison rape. Doesn't sound so bad. The guy should have some kind of punishment coming, but Americans will never convince me that being sent to prison rape criminal school is in any some kind of justice.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502376)

You apparently missed the 'minimal security' prison part. This guy isn't going to be sent in with rapists and murderers.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502436)

And apparently you missed the part of the article that states that it would *not* be "minimal security"

If McKinnon is extradited, he could be given a 70-year sentence in a high-security prison (he would, as an overseas national, be considered a "flight risk", hence imprisonment with violent criminals rather than in an open prison).

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (2, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502250)

I'm a healthy adult and a trial and/or jail would traumatize me too, especially since I would know that it's going to be a show trial. Even if I were found not guilty of 90% of the counts, they'd still throw me in jail for ten years for 'failure to appear' or something because they got their asses handed to them in the security department.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502256)

"This guy was misguided rather than intentionally malicious"
Really? I wounder how many other people fit that category. Honestly he broke into government computers knowingly. It is a crime.
Truth is that he will probably get time served or less and be sent back home. He is in all reality a harmless nut case.
The issue is can the US and UK work out a way to deal with his punishment. You know if you do it again you will be put under the prison and some kind of probation?
That is the problem since he commuted a crime in the US while in the UK just how do you deal with it without him having to sit in the US?
I just don't see a US judge wanting to put this guy into a supermax for 70 years. It would cause issues with our relations with the UK and wouldn't really benefit anybody.

Re:Where do you get "savage punishment"??? (0, Flamebait)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502260)

Believe me, a number of people are wishing there was a mod: -1, criticizing cause celebe

He's got Asperger's, and he's a computer nerd with responsibility and boundary issues. We have only to find out that he lives in his Mom's basement and is a chronic masturbator and you pretty much have an iconic /.er. It's really no wonder that he finds sympathy here.

Aspergers and Prisons (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502348)

If the data is available, I would be interested in learning the death rate for people with asperger syndrome in prison facilities.
(Note: Not to excuse his actions of course)

Inmate: Hey newbie - what's your name?
Asperger Prisoner: #$@#%@! sir
(Prison Alarm)

minimum security federal jail (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502462)

He's not going to white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. He's going to federal POUND ME IN THE ASS prison.

Should they make a deal (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501874)

Why doesn't NASA and the Pent get him to help them secure there systems rather then prosecute him. Wouldn't the best measure of justice be to make him protect the computers he broke into and hence stop any future break-ins?

Re:Should they make a deal (3, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502068)

Just because someone may be good at breaking in, doesn't mean he knows how to secure the systems he is entering.

They need to use him for breaking into stuff, it's what he's good at apparently.

Re:Should they make a deal (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502352)

what are you talking about, in order to break in you need to know how to find the hole that lets you in so your going to know what to close / patch.

Even so if he just explain how he gets in that maybe someone at NASA or the Pent gets an idea to check a firewall or a router or a switch and figures out how to secure it. There is nothing that can hurt by finding out how he got in.

They are trying to lock up the wrong person (2, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501888)

It should be the people responsible for the military IT infrastructure facing court action. It's criminal that a defence system should be left so easily hackable that a lone nutter could access it.

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502046)

It should be the people responsible for the military IT infrastructure facing court action. It's criminal that a defence system should be left so easily hackable that a lone nutter could access it.

So, by your reasoning, a person that walks in to a person's house and starts shooting is not responsible because they should have locked the door?

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502378)

Nope - it's more someone walking into a heavily defended bunker and pointing to the military sitting in it, at the fact they let the massive armed door at their back wide open.

He did not used the most diplomatic way to make that statement, but that will not change the fact.

Unfortunately the military seem to have no sense of humor and want to beat him senseless just for pointing out this embarrassing mistake.

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (1)

ngc5194 (847747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502084)

Just because I don't lock my front door, it doesn't mean that your entering my house without permission suddenly isn't burglary. NASA's security may be crap, but that doesn't excuse the crime.

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502274)

Depends who you ask - try to claim on insurance after leaving the door unlocked and I think you'll find they won't pay, blaming the deed on you not taking due care..

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502126)

You could do both, of course.

<analogy type="automotive">Many places, it's illegal to leave the keys in your car -- but that doesn't let joyriders off the hook if you do it anyway.</analogy>

But the fact is, general incompetence is simply not criminal. You'd have to show that they at least knowingly and perhaps willfully left it open to prosecute an actual crime (I don't know what crimes we'd be discussing, exactly, so I don't know which). Could be grounds for disciplinary action (probably happened already) and for civil suit, though.

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502216)

Blaming the victim isn't justice.

Jailing the criminal is.

Re:They are trying to lock up the wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502350)

Hardly.

Justice is causing the person at fault to compensate through service what damages may have been caused. Eye for an eye, the whole world goes blind. Have the person who damaged the eye compensate for the lost eye, society gains benefit.

Penitenturies used to be about isolating someone so that they could think about whatever wrongs they had done others warrented putting him in there, contemplate why it was wrong and thus emerge and return to society better able to improve it. Just imprisoning someone for the sake of getting them off of the street is hardly justice. Rehabilitation is.

Savage punishment? (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501914)

Which will be what? Imprisonment? Well, that's too bad. Don't break into our computers, and you won't have that problem.

Guantanamo? That's a different matter.

Or is the allegation that US prisons are, in and of themselves, cruel and unusual punishment?

Re:Savage punishment? (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501998)

I believe the extradition is what his lawyers are trying to say would cause him 'problems'.

$800,000 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501932)

"His actions, according to US officials, caused networks to shut down, damaged computers and incurred costs of $800,000."

And I wonder how much they've spent on the power play of extraditing him instead of trying him in a British court?

Savage Punishment? What is he expecting, death? (-1, Offtopic)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501950)

Death by Shnoo Shnoo!?!?

Political payback (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501954)

It's political payback for McKinnon giving the pompous U.S. government and military a well-deserved black eye.

Citizenship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502116)

Easy fix to this: he just needs to claim Israeli citizenship and he can do whatever the hell he wants without repercussion.

It's you that make me hate him (1, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502152)

If I'd never heard of McKinnon, and someone told me the whole story start to finish, I'm pretty sure that I'd say "just try him in Britain--you're wasting more money extraditing him than the crime is worth."

But all I've learned about MacKinnon I've learned from /., where an Aspie cracker is a demigod, and a Rorschach blot for the average /. reader to project all his lunatic fears of a fascist/socialist/totalitarian US gov't. It's like with Hans Reiser, who couldn't possibly be guilty, he's just misunderstood--right up to the point where Reiser led police to the body and said "that's where I dumped the ex-wife that I stabbed to death."

So: Fry MacKinnon, just to hear the howls of outraged geeks everywhere who imagine that they're a persecuted minority.

Re:It's you that make me hate him (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502310)

Yeah, and its people like you who are the entire reason why we aren't going to serve up one of our citizens on a plate to you crazies. Everyone knows exactly what US prisons are like. The crime was committed here, so he should serve time here, simple as that. And the sooner they review the extradition treaty the government has with the US, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

wasn't it jeff goldblum (0, Redundant)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502158)

I thought it was Jeff Goldblum that hacked the UFO.

Who cares what diseases or afflictions he has? (0, Redundant)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502320)

"Gary McKinnon, still suffering from Asperger's syndrome, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, has one last chance to avoid extradition from the UK to the US to face charges of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers in search of information on UFOs."

I'm sorry, what relevance does his Aspergers, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or ingrown toenails have to do with anything? He broke into government systems repeatedly, end of story.

He won't get extradited (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502354)

All he has to do is complain it's against his fucking Human Rights(TM) since there's a chance that he might be tortured in the US and he'll be let off the hook...

Fuck him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502388)

Assburger's is just a disease some nerd looked up on the Internet one day to use as an excuse for his asshole behaviour.

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