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Alleged British Hacker Fears Guantanamo

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the rational-response dept.

661

Magnifico writes "The BBC is reporting that Gary McKinnon, a British man accused of breaking into the U.S. government computer networks, could end up at Guantanamo Bay. His lawyer is fighting his extradition to the United States arguing, 'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.'"

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661 comments

WHO CARES! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121157)

Who cares... if someone made me look weak and vulnerable I'd kick his ass too!

How would he like it.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121164)

"'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.'"

How would he like it if someone broke into his flat and snooped through all of his drawers? Oh. I'm sure he'd thank the burglar for exposing his security weaknesses for him, right? Just doing a service?

(Sorry, if you do a crime, don't whine about the time.)

Re:How would he like it.... (3, Insightful)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121201)

I don't think he's moaning about "doing the time" he's just complaining about being treated as a "terrorist" and all the fun that involves.

Jail time - fair enough. Guantanamo Bay, perhaps not...

Re:How would he like it.... (5, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121208)

Having a trial by jury, then being convicted by them, then going through sentencing, and then having the option of appeal..... that's one thing.

Getting shipped off sans due process to an offshore prison camp for an indeterminate sentence for something you weren't convicted of... that's something else entirely.

Re:How would he like it.... (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121217)

He's not whining about the time he would have to serve if found guilty in a federal court which followed due process. What he's complaining about is that current US anti-terror laws make it possible for him to be held indefinitely without trial.

The US has claimed he will be tried in federal court just like any other criminal, but the very idea that he COULD be held indefinitely without any sort of due process under the current law is troubling.

If other countries believe the US will refuse to allow due process in any case it can label "terrorism," they will be unwilling to extradite criminals to us, which is a net loss for the cause of criminal justice.

Re:How would he like it.... (1, Insightful)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121367)

No one believes that, not even his lawyers who are just trying to play this up to keep his client from facing the music

Re:How would he like it.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121434)

The fact is that it is possible, and the current US laws violate fundamental principles of human rights and justice. Nobody should be extradited to the US while they have the ability to deny a fair and open trial, just like nobody should be extradited to China or North Korea.

Re:How would he like it.... (3, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121438)

I believe it could happen to him. They would just have to label him a terrorist. I don't see anything far fetched about him going to Guantanamo and being held without trial.

Re:How would he like it.... (1, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121451)

I'm sure it will just end up being dealt with the way murder suspects are handled: the US will issue guarantees that he won't go to Gitmo. (With murder suspects, most civilised countries extradite to the US only on condition that if convicted, the suspect won't face the death penalty.)

Re:How would he like it.... (1)

radarjd (931774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121478)

The US has claimed he will be tried in federal court just like any other criminal, but the very idea that he COULD be held indefinitely without any sort of due process under the current law is troubling.

Agreed, it is troubling. That said, what is the chance that the administration would actually do this to a Briton caught in Britain? Something approaching zero, I'd say. There's little doubt to me that the law should be changed; this particular defendant, however, doesn't really have much to worry about.

We're talking about torture here, dumbass. (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121237)

Guantanamo is famous for tortures towards the prisoners. One thing is losing your freedom because you committed a crime. But towards an administrative crime (hacking), is it even logical that you get sent to one of the worst prisons in the world?

Let's not forget about the Iraqi soldiers tortured and humilliated.

Re:We're talking about torture here, dumbass. (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121319)

Sorry, I have to call bullshit on that one.
Unless you call three squares a day and 5 prayer breaks torture. OK, there has been some sleep depravation and one prisoner there did flush a Koran.

I think you are confusing Guantanimo and Abu Ghraib, and even then, panties on the head is hardly torture.

Besides, this guy's lawyer is talking out his ass. Guantanimo is where terrorists found on the battlefield go for interrogation. Not where Brittish computer hackers go torture.

Re:We're talking about torture here, dumbass. (1)

GoodOmens (904827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121385)

Thank you for stepping in and correcting this.

I just don't understand you people (1)

Enoch Lockwood (889602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121386)

So, Amnesty International [amnesty.org] (yes, the same organization that has fought both left and right wing military dictatorships) is lying?

What the fuck is wrong with you people? You don't understand what a disgrace our nation has become? Illegal wars, torture and soon pre-emptive nuclear attacks against a nation that has not attacked us. Fuck you.

Re:I just don't understand you people (1, Interesting)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121458)

Amnesty International has an anti-US slant in many cases:

"The unlawful detention of "enemy combatants" ": We follow the requirements of treaties regulating POWs, etc. These enemy combatants didn't follow the rules of war - hence no protection. Even the UN isn't complaining!

"Many of these detainees allege they have been subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In desperation, some detainees have attempted suicide. Others have gone on prolonged hunger strikes, being kept alive only through painful force feeding measures."

People can allege anything. I can allege North Korea is using microwaves beamed from a satellite to control my thoughts - that doesn't make it true. People attempt suicide for many reasons, including guilt. And if we didn't force feed people, we'd be accused of letting them starve to death.

Anything we do, or don't do, will get criticized, unless we let them all go and wait for another terrorist attack.

Amnesty International (5, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121419)

Sorry, I have to call bullshit on that one.
Unless you call three squares a day and 5 prayer breaks torture.


Sorry, but Amnesty International [amnesty.org] disagrees with you. OK, maybe I exaggerated, Guantanamo isn't one of the worst prisons in the world. It's one of the worst AMERICAN prisons in the world. According to Amnesty Intl, "Guantánamo Bay has become a symbol of injustice and abuse in the US administration's 'war on terror'. It must be closed down".

There, happy now?

Re:We're talking about torture here, dumbass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121362)

"One of the worst prisons in the world" My you are a naive little twit...North Korea, Turkish prisons or how about some hell hole in Africa?
Gitmo is soft-3 squares a day, qability to practice Islam, plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Not a bad place to be at all.

Re:We're talking about torture here, dumbass. (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121460)

I wouldn't call that a great place to be, whether it's in the tropics or Antarctica.

I mean, would you want to vacation there? Maybe touring Havana would be nice, but I wouldn't want to do the same in Gitmo. Somehow I don't picture the place as being like a nice resort.

The real story (5, Interesting)

acvh (120205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121243)

is that his actions are said to have caused $5000 of damage to each PC he connected to, which, coincidentally, is the threshold at which he can be sentenced to a year in prison, which, coincidentally, is the threshold at which he can be extradited.

The US government is gaming the system to get its hands on this guy. That's why it's news.

Funny thing is, I live a half mile from the base he is said to have "disabled" and this is the first I've heard of this story.

5 grand? (1)

popeguilty (961923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121302)

How do you cause five thousand dollars in damages without taking a chainsaw to the boxxen? Is the DoD buying from Alienware now?

Re:5 grand? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121377)

I used to work with a criminal attorney who said that prosecutors choose what charges they file as the opening move in plea bargain negotiations and that the charges are always always always exaggerated.

Re:5 grand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121426)

Data is worth far more than any piece of hardware. Plus, you have to have someone spend time purging and restoring the machine and data that is on it. $5k isn't out of the question. I think the guy should be turned over to the guys who maintain the place for 30 minutes in a private room with no reprocussions to anyone involved for whatever goes on in the room during that time.

Re:5 grand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121445)

How is letting them have a homosexual orgy going to solve anything?

Re:5 grand? (2, Insightful)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121484)

It's actually quite easy to have large amounts of damages in any large organization. The cost of the hardware is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Once the machine has been compromised, they need to take it down. There is a cost associated with downtime. There is the time needed to build a new system to provide the same services. There is the time needed to correct the security problems. (Some would argue that this was just development time that was previously deferred by management decisions.) All of this is time just associated with correcting the problem caused by the compromise.

After that is done, there will be a committee formed to investigate the causes of the compromise. This committee will probably spend hundreds of man-hours on discussing the problem. There will be policies enacted to make sure the scapegoat path of responsibility is more clearly defined in the future. The cost of implementing and communicating these policies can't be calculated, so an estimate may be used, such as: 2 hours * total number of people in the organization * average salary.

Sure, the root cause of the problem is that there were insecure systems. However, the organization will always argue that the security wasn't a problem until the attacker came along. This is how they come to the conclusion that all of the associated costs were caused by the attacker. Taking responsibility for deploying insecure systems and failing to maintain them is the kind of thing that will prevent someone from ever being promoted into a position of responsibility.

Re:How would he like it.... (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121258)

I seriously hope you arn't suggesting that you think it would be ok to indefinitly hold the burglar in your basement, exacting various forms of torture? If not, your analogy fails to be analogous. If you do, well...

Not liking the actions of others does not give you a carte blanche to exact punishment of your choice.

Re:How would he like it.... (0, Flamebait)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121384)

When Republicans end up being convicted for crimes against humanity (and don't worry, they will, sooner or later), I think it would be very pleasantly ironic for them to all be shipped off to Guantanamo, hopefully after we release it to Castro and pay him to run it as a prison with very strict "discipline."

If they complain, we'll say, "Hey, at least you bastards got a fucking trial."

Re:How would he like it.... (1)

distilledprodigy (946341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121444)

Keep drinking that punch man... keep drinking it.

Re:How would he like it.... (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121417)

How would he like it if someone broke into his flat and snooped through all of his drawers? Oh. I'm sure he'd thank the burglar for exposing his security weaknesses for him, right? Just doing a service?

That's not the issue, and I'm sorry I ran out of mod points... It's fairly clear at this point that he did commit the crime, but no criminal of any caliber deserves to be held or imprisoned without trial. Guantanamo is one of the world's breeding grounds of civil rights violations. The US wants to toss him in a cell and forget about him. If I were him, I would run far, far away.

I disagree with 'the bay' as much as anyone (3, Insightful)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121166)

And am not exactly a fan of the Us Government, but you've got to be a bit of an idiot to 'test weaknesses'/hack the Us government's property. they're not gonna take it lying down are they?

Re:I disagree with 'the bay' as much as anyone (3, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121247)

This sounds like a defense attorney hyping up any possible cause to get extradition denied. There was only an "unsigned and anonymous note" (allegedly) from the US embassy stating that he might be subject the executive order under which Guantanamo Bay operates, there's no substantive reason to believe that he'd actually go there.

Re:I disagree with 'the bay' as much as anyone (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121255)

No, it's probably not the best idea. But it's no reason to make him disappear to a shady psuedo-legal prison in Cuba, is it? Since when did we engage in running gulags? Gitmo (and all the other secret prisons around the world that we run, because there's pretty good evidence for that too.)

Good times in Gitmo (-1, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121269)

The Al Qaidas down at Gitmo are gonna make this guy their girlfriend.

Re:I disagree with 'the bay' as much as anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121297)

While I agree full heartedly, It's interesting how you can be penalised for actions you took in one country, by another country. It's a bit different than a criminal that murdered and then fled the country. Is there such an agreement between the UK and the US?

It's worse in Luxembourg (0, Troll)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121339)

20 years ago, some still unknown perpetrator [weforum.org] had fun blowing up various stuff, preferably electrical masts.

Police and Secret Service never found the culprit. However, to most, it is obvious that they are not really trying.

20 years after (i.e. now), one TV and radio station is doing a retrospective of the events back then. And, lo and behold, "new" witnesses crawl out of the woodwork, testifying on air how they saw the suspect the day before one of the bombings, near the place of attack, in a car full of appropriate equipment. And testifying also how they were pressured by police and secret service into silence.

Government and police act scandalized and feign to be interested in the testimony. They even set up an e-mail address [mailto] to which the public may submit other testimonies, if there are.

Predictably, the email address gets hax0red.

And now suddenly, police and secret service are all up in arms, and want to find the culprit. Non, not the bomber. The hax0r who had the gall to humiliate the police and secret service by typing in the obvious password for that account, and succeed! Major ISPs were raided. They took that new investigation much more seriously than the investigation into the bombings 20 years ago.

A couple of weeks later, some boy-scouts and ex-boyscouts took it upon themselves to moon [goatse.ca] their boyscout chieftain (... who also happens to be an investigator of the Luxembourgish spying agency ...). You can't imagine the flurry of activity that followed that heinous threat against national security!

Conclusion: terrorize the country during an entire year with your bombs => walk free!
moon an spy-service agent => go to jail!

Re:I disagree with 'the bay' as much as anyone (4, Insightful)

elliotCarte (703667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121381)

And am not exactly a fan of the Us Government, but you've got to be a bit of an idiot to 'test weaknesses'/hack the Us government's property. they're not gonna take it lying down are they?

I agree with parent completely. I mean, whether or not you agree with the US's tendencies to be (overly) vengeful, you're still an idiot to ignore those tendencies when deciding whether or not to 'piss them off', no? This holds true for other governments, terrorists, etc. as well. Like the US or not you're still an idiot to intentionally piss them off. Now, don't tell me the guy didn't think this would upset those responsible for the US gov. networks that he allegedly hacked. Please! What did he expect?

If you poke a grizly bear in the ribs with a stick is it a fair response for the bear to tear your head off? No, that's not fitting to the offense at all, but if you know the bear will react that way and you poke the bear in the ribs anyway... that's just stupid. The US enjoys power driven at least in part by fear. If they overlook offenses against them that fear goes away. Do you think the US is going to send that message and give up that power? No, they like being feared and the power that goes with it.

POUND HIM IN THE ASSHOLE (1)

Dragoonkain (704719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121169)

Osama

Bad news for him, I think. (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121173)

Seems like if you're shipped there, you're automatically guilty, and if you're automatically guilty, you have to stay there until you stop being guilty. Is this one of those cases using the new extradition system, whereby the US doesn't have to show any evidence to the UK - it just has to say "Hand him over", and he gets sent?
Still, just label him a terrorist, even though he claims he's nothing more than a script kiddie, and then people aren't allowed to say no.

Interesting... (4, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121175)

At an earlier hearing his lawyers suggested his actions were not malicious - he had been trying to expose lax computer security and access what he believed was withheld information about UFOs.
Did he find any?

Re:Interesting... (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121416)

There was another /. article about this guy a while back, about the fact that the US wanted him. There was an interview. I don't remember very well, but I think he said he was disappointed (also I imagine I'd remember if he'd said he'd found something).

Yay! (1, Funny)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121179)

I'm excited for this well balanced and thought out discussion that is sure to follow!

Re:Yay! (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121277)

I'm excited for this well balanced and thought out discussion that is sure to follow!
I think "balanced" is overrated. If "balanced" means that there should be about as much arguments for either side, then many things _shouldn't_ be discussed in a balanced fashion. If it's obvious that one side is right and the other is wrong (nothing said about the current topic), what's the point of presenting them as if they were equally reasonable?

At least he gets a trial... (4, Insightful)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121182)

That's more than most of the prisoners at Guantanamo get.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (-1, Flamebait)

Xochil (542406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121203)

Armed militants captured on the field of battle don't merit a trial.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121273)

No, but they also do not deserve Gitmo Bay. They are POWs as they are soldiers. They may not belong to a single nation, but they are still POWs and as such, Geneva Convention should apply. Sadly, GWB was a total coward and his children will almost certainly never be in war, so he has nothing to fear for future reprisal.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121289)

Armed militants captured on the field of battle don't merit a trial.



But they should merit treatment according to the Geneva convention, basic human rights and all that jazz.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (0)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121330)

How? Just to shoot this meme down, how do you apply the Geneva convention (with it's rules about all participants being in uniform, which these guys were not) especially it's clause that you have to let everyone go when the war is over (when there isn't even a basic political structure to capitulate on Al Qaeda's part?) in this circumstance.

I am as much of a fan as Geneva as anyone else, yet I have yet to see an admission from anyone who doesn't like the current approach how to make Geneva work.

As for the rest, it's just his lawyer waving the "US is evil" flag. There is no chance this guy would go to cuba, if you read up on it, they already have a note from the US embassy saying as much.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121481)

with it's rules about all participants being in uniform, which these guys were not

They don't have to be in uniform. It also covers ad-hoc inhabitants who carry arms openly and respect the principles of war, and civilians with a support role.

If they do not fit these criteria, then there is still no justification for holding them without trial, since they are clearly war criminals, and they should be tried as such.

Furthermore, if there is any doubt aboiut whether they are lawful combatants, they should be treated as such until a tribunal has found otherwise.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121491)

Either Al Qaeda is an entity that the US is at war with, in which case they are POWs, or it is a criminal organization, in which case they are criminals.

You can't say "they are neither, so we can treat them how we like". They are either POWs or criminals, and should be treated as such.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121471)

Technically, no. To qualify for the Geneva Conventions as a PoW you have to have "a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance"; i.e. a uniform. That's kinda the whole crux of this: if they were wearing uniforms we'd know that they were bad guys and we wouldn't be putting innocent people in jail.

Innocent people do get stuck in uniforms; that's why the Geneva Conventions call for such polite treatment of prisoners. Go to war without uniforms and you're responsible for the death of a lot of civilians on your own side, because your enemy can't tell the lawful combatants from innocent bystanders.

This is lawyering and sophistry. Uniforms or no, it's monstrous for a country that that thinks of itself as civilized to be torturing people years after any possible intelligence value has been sucked out. (And many people would say it's monstrous long before that point.)

So I'm not defending Guantanamo Bay; I think it's a disgusting indicator of how far we've sunk, not to mention a PR nightmare. But I just want to throw in my $.02 about how bitter I am about all of the bad press that the US gets about the accidental deaths of civilians. We'd much rather kill only the terrorists, but that's impossible, and we look like monsters for it.

Sadly, my complaint would be more valid if our policies didn't make us monsters anyway.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121293)

Huh? And who is an armed militant and who's not? Who decides that?

Nonsense. Everybody deserves a trial.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (5, Insightful)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121299)

Armed militants captured on the field of battle don't merit a trial.
Really? Does that apply for both sides in a conflict, or just the ones you consider to be your opponents?

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121304)

There are no battles raging in Spain, Germany, etc. at this moment.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (4, Insightful)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121361)

What about say a taxi driver who drives a 100 or so miles to drop a guy off in an area, is then picked up because he is a stranger in said area and handed over to the US troops saying he is a member of the taliban, the troops who give a $5000 reward for capturing him.

Meanwhile this guy spends a year or so in a camp in Afganistan, survive a train ride of hell (where many die), only to be shipped off to gitmo for 9 months to live in a cage and only then being released back to his country never once being charged of anything or going to trial.

Of course hes the lucky one. There was another reported incident of a person being held for two years. When returning home to find because no one knew where he was he had no job, no home and his family were poor.

And there have been over 200 such people let go from that camp and there are still many more in that camp under the same conditions not to mention children.

But as Bush says "They are there because they are bad people". We also won't have to worry when they finally get approval for the death chamber because any mistakes can be removed.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (4, Informative)

Niten (201835) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121413)

The problem is that the people held at Guantanamo Bay weren't simply captured on "the field of battle". According to information released under court order last month, fewer than half of the detainees were actually captured in battle against US forces. The majority were turned over by Pakistan, often for a cash bounty.

Few of these "combatants" are even accused of having fought; most simply lived in a house or worked for a charity associated with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. And you would propose that we have the right to indefinitely detain these people, held only on the grounds of a suspicion, without a fair trial? What, again, are these freedoms and principles that we are fighting so hard to defend in this "war on terror"?

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121440)

Armed militants captured on the field of battle don't merit a trial.

Except that a significant population of Gitmo, in fact a majority, were not captured on the battlefield but due to roundups, checkpoints and curfews and based on "human intelligence" sources. That is a neighbour farmer coveting one's field, or for the "reward" money, or better yet, both! A double whammy: you get rid of your hated neighbour and get his stuff + the US idiots pay you = what is there not to like?

This of course has been known for a while, as only a tiny percentage is even brought in front of the (utterly illegal and immoral) military trials, where the standard of evidence is laughable. And yet even there there is not enough of it to "try" them. Furthermore, many were released, and that is when we found out that they were taxi cab drivers and the like who happened to be driving a client too close to some imaginary US "security" zone (rendering both the taximan and his fare "terrorists").

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121464)

Really? Care to elaborate? Are you saying that what they allegedly did - none of which have been proven in a court of law - is worse than anything else - like murdering and raping children - for which people do get a proper trial, and that there is no chance that the military have imprisoned the wrong people?

Your premise seems to be that because these people have been imprisoned, they are guilty, but without a trial we have no way of knowing why they are there and whether or not someone had a political agenda or other reasons for putting them there, or simply did shoddy work.

Without offering these people a fair trial, you are no better than what you think they are.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121216)

Uhm... If you actually read the article, you'd have notice that they have not given a guarantee of a federal trial. Thus he could be sent to Guantanamo without one.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121253)

Technically, I believe they are prisoners of war. As such, I don't believe they are entitled to a trial at this point.

Whether or not I agree with that is irrelevant, but I believe that is the legal reasoning.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121292)

Technically, I believe they are prisoners of war.

No they aren't. If they were prisoners of war, then the Geneva Convention would apply. If they were prisoners of war, they would have been released once the war ended (are we still at war with Afghanistan? Didn't think so...)

They're 'unlawful combatants', a new classification invented by the Americans which is roughly synonymous with 'unpersons'.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121344)

We are still at war in Afghanistan, we still have people there and are still fighting "insurgents."

Re:At least he gets a trial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121301)

How many WWII POWs were given trials before they were interned into those evil American "concentration camps"?

You should be complaining about those poor German and Japanese prsioners, and how badly tortured they were.

We should have been nicer to the prisoners; you know, like the Japanese were to our soldiers.

Oh, and Hate America First.

If you would bother to look at your history books, POWs rarely are given court trials before internment.

Re:At least he gets a trial... (1)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121331)

Not so much a trial just an extradition hearing under the new treaty (negotiated between George and Tony and with no reciprocity in relation to the extradition by the UK of US nationals - because when America says jump we say "Yes sir. How high?") which prevents the UK courts from considering the merits.

His complaint is that he won't get a fair trial in the states and just be dumped in Guantanamo.

Interesting Lawyerly Quote (2, Insightful)

C-Diddy (755183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121185)

His lawyer is fighting his extradition to the United States arguing, 'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.
This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.

Re:Interesting Lawyerly Quote (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121357)

This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.

Except in here, the "victim" is the most powerful state in the worl, with the worst information security in the world. Did you recall that a few days ago an airport had to be shut down because they didn't patch their WINDOWS systems correctly and got infected?

Or how about the FBI not having enough e-mail accounts? I could compare this hacker incident with a spy or thief entering a fortress thru the backdoor by simply turning the knob.

Helpless Joe Users running windows on their homes, I can understand them being hacked. But a government agency, I'm sorry, that's too much to ask. Can you explain how BILLIONS (not millions, BILLIONS) were invested in weapons for invading IRAQ, and not having enough budget to secure a couple of machines AT HOME?

Finally, the guy's an independent hacker, not a Jihad bomber. And they want to judge him for terrorism. That's just ridiculous.

Re:Interesting Lawyerly Quote (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121370)

This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.
OK, they were the victim here. On the other hand, isn't it incredibly embarrasing to be the victim of this kind? I mean, if you're the big giant in the game, and a little kid comes and pokes you with a needle (which is of course criminal), you shouldn't pop like a balloon, should you. :-) Heh, that's embarrasing.

On the third hand (what? oh, you earthlings are so narrow-minded!), building such a secure system may be considered über-human, while not being a ballon isn't.

Re:Interesting Lawyerly Quote (2, Insightful)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121401)

This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.

Which is perfectly fine in English law, to a certain degree.

He will NOT be held indefinitely at Guantanamo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121189)

He will be held indefinitely at Area 51 for attempting to expose the grand UFO conspiracy. He will also be forced to work on the alien's computers which make Oblivion look like Pong.

Not Guantanamo (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121196)

After reading the article, I think he's more likely to end up at Area 51.

Re:Not Guantanamo (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121347)

Unless they link him to Al Kayduh and his Band of Jihadies, I think all Mr. McKinnon has to worry about is a fair trial where the jury decides he's a loon and sends him away to the Place with the Padded Rooms.

Plead insanity (4, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121204)

he had been trying to expose lax computer security and access what he believed was withheld information about UFOs.

Uh... OK. He should plead insanity.

Re:Plead insanity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121305)

He should plead insanity.

Well, technically, if you're insane, you cannot claim you're insane. Why would anyone listen to you (telling them you're insane), if you are, in fact, insane?

On the other hand, if you're sane enough to claim you're insane, then you're sane enough to stand trial.

Aliens (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121209)

At an earlier hearing his lawyers suggested his actions were not malicious - he had been trying to expose lax computer security and access what he believed was withheld information about UFOs.
As a defense, he is claiming "The aliens made me do it."

A few points from his interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121225)

After watching this on the bbc news, a few points stick out:
1) The US can request extradition, but US residents are protected by the constitution
2) The damage to the computers seems exaggerated.
3) He assumed he would be tried under UK law, thus worse case, 2 years behind bars.

If anyone wants to expand on the points above, I'd appreciated it.

Overkill (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121241)

This guy was a hacker, not some Jihadist killing people or flying planes into buildings. Throw him in a regular prison and move on.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Overkill (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121275)

RTFA. The U.S. wants to try him in Federal Court. His lawyer is arguing that the U.S. might send him to Gitmo.

Basically, this is simply a sleazy lawyer red herring.

Apparently you bought into it.

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121311)

This guy was a hacker, not some Jihadist killing people or flying planes into buildings. Throw him in a regular prison and move on.

The point of the article is that he is trying to fight extradition to the US because he fears that he won't be "thrown into a regular prison". The US is saying that they don't have any plans to do anything other than that. Though obviously the crux of the issue is whether there is a high enough probability that the US will go ahead and throw him in Guantanomo anyway. Your comment only makes sense if the US said that he was definitely going there. He's using the threat of going there as a way of avoiding the extradition.

Extradition (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121259)

Us Brits consider the idea of being extradited to the USA's rape prisons, Gitmo or no Gitmo, to be about on a level as you Yanks regard being extradited to an Iranian prison.

Isn't there something about "cruel and unusual punishment" in your constitution? And the sad thing is that this story is likely to get you guys making rape jokes instead of realising how shitty your country has become. You were once a great nation and you are throwing it all away.

And no, I have no sympathy for this stupid script kiddy kook. But, as Dostoyevsky once wrote, "the degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons".

Keep in mind.... (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121264)

That this is he lawyer talking. His lawyer is going to say whatever it takes to keep him there.

Trust me, Guantanimo is not where they send Brittish computer hackers.

Re:Keep in mind.... (1)

aslate (675607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121355)

That may be true, but seeing as he was trying to get access to military systems there is still quite a good possibility some absurd anti-terror legislations could be activated and he could get shipped to Guantanimo Bay.

I'm not certain about this, but i'm sure there's something about the UK not being allowed to extradite prisoners to a country where they face the possibility of the death penalty, detention in Guantanimo may fall under various clauses related to that (Imprisonment indefinately without trial, etc).

Re:Keep in mind.... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121359)

Trust me, Guantanimo is not where they send Brittish computer hackers.

No, just British businessmen they kidnapped in the Gambia. The conspiracy theory on that one keeps getting deeper, btw: looks like al-Rawi was sold out to the Yanks by MI5...

Re:Keep in mind.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121391)

"Trust me"

Right, that's what the world should be based on now, "Truse me".

"Trust me" usually translates to "You're fu**ed".

Bah, seems biased..... (3, Interesting)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121281)

You commit a crime, you get punished. He may end up in a US prison (which seems common-sense, since f I commited a fairly major crime in the UK, I'd expect to be in prison there, not here) , but I have my doubts they would send him to Guantanamo, especially since the US did not hint at it.... This revenge stuff is bs. True, he exposed a lot of vunlerability, but if they don't punish him hard, many more will try thinking they can get away with a slap on the wrist. This is just politics warped in the opposite direction. There have been times when people against the Patriot act and other Bush decisions have seemed as bad if not more obnoxious and ignorant then some of the hard-core Bush followers. I don't mean to troll, but it sounds like this article is written by someone wrapped up in the anti-Bush attitude. Balance is hard to find. It's much easier to just choose a side and let them give you a bias then to continue to think on your own, joining a side momentarily when you agree.

You're kidding me (1)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121287)

Slashdot wrote about that guy before. http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/08/137 249&tid=172 [slashdot.org] Read this comment by FunWithHeadlines (644929): http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=152037&cid= 12757667 [slashdot.org] Apperantly this "great hacker" used available win32 tools to scan for unpatched windows boxes.

"It is alleged that he used software available on the internet to scan tens of thousands of computers on US military networks from his home PC, looking for machines that might be exposed due to flaws in the Windows operating system.

Many of the computers he broke into were protected by easy-to-guess passwords, investigators said. In some cases, McKinnon allegedly shut down the computer systems he invaded. "

WHAT?! He's just a script kiddie??! All this fuss over some guy port scanning Windows boxes??

He has a good case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121310)

The current administration has shown that it is more than willing to ignore people's civil rights. What they're doing in Cuba is precisely the same as the Nazis did. They put people in foreign countries where German law didn't apply. American law doesn't protect the prisoners in Cuba. We aren't exterminating the prisoners so it's not nearly as bad but it is still bad. George Bush should be impeached.

Anyway, there is good reason to believe that this prisoner will be mistreated if extradited. If I were the judge, I wouldn't extradite him without a written guarantee that he would be kept in the US where he would be protected by US law.

He asked for it. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121313)

I guess he should have thought about where he would end up before he decided to hack into these systems.

He'll be popular in Guantanamo.. (0, Troll)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121314)

He can offer free hacking classes to the other inmates as a way to pass time and help educate the poor underprivileged islamic terrorists currently residing there so they can go on to live a more 'productive' life after their release.. unless the aliens get him first.. ;)

Re:He'll be popular in Guantanamo.. (1)

pedalman (958492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121476)

"He can offer free hacking classes to the other inmates as a way to pass time"
In return, they can offer hacksawing classes to him. Then he can escape and run from the aliens that are chasing him.

He's just trying to get anti-Gitmo ppl on his side (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121324)

This seems like a straightforward extradition. He is not an enemy combatant caught on a battlefield. As such, there is next to no reason to think you'll see him in Cuba.

If they wanted him down in Gitmo they would grab him in the middle of the night and fly him there. They would not go through the normal legal system for civilians.

His lawyer should know this. He is only trying to get people who dislike holding enemy combatants in Gitmo on his side for something completely unrelated. Well played, but no one should buy the schtick.

Some friendly advice to Gary (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121332)

Gary, to use an old, American saying I'd recommend "getting the fuck out of Dodge" before it's too late. You'd probably be safe in France.

Britain should ignore US extradition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121334)

As the US doesn't always let Britain extradite criminals, Britain should not let this guy leave the UK.
Plus if they cannot guarantee a fair trial then he should never leave the UK.

I've never been to the Caribbean... (2, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121352)

...And according to Gonzalez, Rush, and the folks at Fox News, Gitmo is Club Med with anchor fence.

I have been to London, where I enjoyed the five or six minutes of sunshine each morning before rolling right into the remaining daylight hours of grey skies, grey ground, and grey air, begging and hoping for merciful sunset so you could see some color from the electric lights.

Shouldn't he be grateful?

Getting the public on his side. (1)

AMindLost (967567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121360)

"......could end up at Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer has claimed."

Sounds like his lawyer is just trying to get the public and politicians on his side before the trial. There are only vague references in the article that he could be possibly, maybe sent to Guantanamo. If the US authorities have given their word in public in a foreign country that he will not be sent there, I think it would be a PR disaster to go back on it.

Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121465)

If the US authorities have given their word in public in a foreign country that he will not be sent there, I think it would be a PR disaster to go back on it.

Oh, like the current administration gives a rat's ass about PR, except where they risk offending the bible-thumping red-staters who keep voting them into office.

Updated Chewbacca Defense (3, Funny)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121366)

U.S Gov: "We want to extradite this guy and try him for hacking our computers."

Sleazy Lawyer: "They have a grudge against my client and want to hold him indefinately."

USG: "We want to try him for the crimes he committed."

SL: "They want to put him Gitmo forever without a trail!"

USG: "Johnnie Cochran called. He wants his defense stragety back."

Re:Updated Chewbacca Defense (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121474)

In an adversarial system the lawyer's job is to do what he or she can, within the bounds of the law, to protect their client. How is this "sleazy"?

He'll find out soon enough about probing (0, Flamebait)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121406)

He better rethink about going to Guantanamo Bay. Because where he's heading he'll truely understand what anal probing means in the gernal population of standard prisons. Big Hal isn't an alien and this isn't a mothership.

G'itmo is too good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121407)

If he went there, he is unlikely to be bent over a table because of all the security.

Send him to Rikers and lets see how long he stays anal-retentive.

Disproportionate (5, Interesting)

golodh (893453) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121430)

I think that he has reason to believe that he would not face justice but the equivalent of gang-justice if he were extradited.

Guantanamo Bay was called into being to exploit a juridical loophole in order to hold people without accusation, without legal representation, and without trial for as long as the authorities need to either build a case against them or to clear them. The reason this was done was to get at people considered to be the equivalent of enemy combatants but without a state that you could hold responsible, without a "home front" which would moderate their actions, and which on balance were considered potentially far too dangerous to let walk around free. In other words: for real terrorists who threaten real lives. Not for teens who make a hobby of breaking into poorly protected computers.

What we see now is that laws are stretched a bit to mark anyone from overseas who breaks into a defense computer as a "terrorist" and hence eligible for "terrorist" treatment. Which includes e.g. a lack of legal representation and a 20 year prison sentence (if he's lucky) or a 60 year one if he's unlucky. Which in this case is of course totally out of proportion.

What worries me most is the cries of "he commited a crime and thence should not whine about the time". Nice copy, but more than a bit barbaric when you come to think of it. Punishment should be proportionate to the offense, and people's rights (e.g. to legal counsel and reasonable sentences) should not be set aside simply because the administration currently in power happens to feel like it.

If we seriously consider 20 years of prison as just punishment for the electronic equivalent of breaking and entering on federal property, then why not adopt "Islamic" laws such as cutting of hands for petty theft and stoning for adultery? Those laws were made in and for a medieval society. Don't tell me that the US of A is becoming the appropriate setting for that kind of law.

Faith? (3, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121472)

Does it bother anyone else that the US said:
Mark Summers, representing the US government, said there was no precedent to suggest the US would breach its promises, and the court should take on "faith" the undertaking.
but I don't see anywhere where they 'promise' to try him in federal court - they have given him 'assurances' but no 'guarantee'. Sorry, as soon as somebody says "take my word for it but I won't write it down", you know damb well they have no intention of keeping their precious word.

Lawyer Tricks (1)

Jumbo Jimbo (828571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121490)

Magnifico writes "The BBC is reporting that Gary McKinnon, a British man accused of breaking into the U.S. government computer networks, could end up at Guantanamo Bay

I think they aren't reporting that he could end up there, just that his lawyer says he could end up there - a small but important difference.

The lawyer is trying legal wrangling to help his client avoid extradition, and it may be something that could never happen but if there is no law preventing it (or more likely a giant fuzzy grey area) the it's probably just a tactic to stall / avoid the extradition.

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