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Gary McKinnon Loses Extradition Appeal

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the still-working-the-angles dept.

The Courts 380

G0rAk writes "The BBC is reporting that hacker Gary McKinnon has lost his High Court appeal against extradition to the United States. The fight is not yet over yet: 'We will certainly be applying for this court to certify a point of law of public importance and to grant leave.' said his lawyer, referring to alleged threats by US authorities. One New Jersey prosecutor apparently has stated that that 'he would fry,' a statement that would be among issues raised when they take they appeal to the House of Lords."

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yet (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587009)

This fight is not yet over yet! We represent the Department of Justice Department!

Re:yet (2, Informative)

G0rAk (809217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587083)

I'm fairly sure that's not how I submitted it not.

Re:yet (3, Insightful)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587139)

Leave it to Zonk to ADD errors whilst editing.

New Jersey (3, Funny)

BigDaddyNyth (932952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587047)

One from New Jersey prosecutor apparently has stated that that 'he would fry'
I thought they wacked people in New Jersey

Re:New Jersey (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587085)

No longer. The Mob lost the contract for dispatching (convicted?) offenders. Yet another case where the state was unwilling to pay for quality work.

Re:New Jersey (2, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587127)

Only the Mob...I know it's hard to tell the difference between the Mob and their "opposite numbers" in the government. One of the tell tales is the Whack/Fry thing...If someone offends your wife, you whack him...if someone offends your sense of social stratification, you manufacture evidence and fry him.

Subtle difference, I know. But it's Jersey, whadda ya gonna do aboud id?

Re:New Jersey (3, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587803)

"...if someone offends your sense of social stratification, you manufacture evidence and fry him."

In this case, there was no manufactured evidence. Gary admitted the crimes, but tried to justify them with the age old crap of "curiosity". Curiosity with disregard for others is a pale excuse even for a minor, and no excuse for a grown adult like Gary. He didn't click a link on a web site thinking it was going to take him to Slashdot, only to be tricked into breaking into NASA's (and other government agencies') computers. He intentionally broke into their computers, knowing full well that it was illegal in both the U.S. and Britain, and weak security does not excuse that. He is guilty, and he has admitted that.

That said, the penalties in the U.S. for intentional unauthorized access where no damage was done are ridiculously harsh. At his age, the proposed punishment is a life sentence for relatively minor law violations. While I think extradition would otherwise be reasonable is this case, I also think the statements made by the New Jersey prosecutor indicate an absurdity of justice which are enough in my mind to allow him to be punished at home. Perhaps something along the lines of 180 days in the local jail and a few tens of thousands of pounds in fines -- enough to hurt and discourage him, but not so much as to ruin his life.

Re:New Jersey (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587359)

We do... it's called the New Jersey Turnpike.

Re:New Jersey (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587511)

no no no no thats where we bury them all ;-)

WTF?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587061)

Who is Gary McKinnon?
Why is Gary McKinnon more important than me?
Why should I care?

Re:WTF?? (2, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587115)

Who is Gary McKinnon?

Someone who has a very high opinion of himself. Some might say he has an overactive ego. Regardless, he did some naughty things and much to his surprise, his kiddy skillz weren't enough to keep him out of trouble. He's been whining ever since.

Yeah, I think that might cover it.

Re:WTF?? (4, Interesting)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587175)

You've a different read to the impression I've seen. He's someone who admits he has no high opinion of himself, some might say he has an overactive imagination, and his kiddie skillz were enough to get him in trouble because US military thought using Windows was a good idea (this is his legal defence line, anyway).

As you could tell if you read the article.

Re:WTF?? (4, Informative)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587393)

Indeed, he seems pretty down to Earth in this [guardian.co.uk] interview. Well, I say down to Earth...

"What was the most exciting thing you saw?" I ask.

"I found a list of officers' names," he claims, "under the heading 'Non-Terrestrial Officers'."

"Non-Terrestrial Officers?" I say.

"Yeah, I looked it up," says Gary, "and it's nowhere. It doesn't mean little green men. What I think it means is not earth-based. I found a list of 'fleet-to-fleet transfers', and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren't US navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet."

"The Americans have a secret spaceship?" I ask.

"That's what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe."

"Some kind of other Mir that nobody knows about?"

"I guess so," says Gary.

"What were the ship names?"

"I can't remember," says Gary. "I was smoking a lot of dope at the time. Not good for the intellect."

Re:WTF?? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587569)

Shhh! Don't let the Brits know about our secret off-planet spa......&(^^^)&&&&&&&*HG*&^(^*&^*&TT^%$$*

Look into this light:

|===(*)===|

Flash!

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Thanks,
MIB

Re:WTF?? (1)

OiToTheWorld (1014079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587595)

I'm not terribly familiar with the case, but from what I've read the guy just looked around and caused no damage. The US motivation for wanting to lock him up then probably has to do with what he's seen (after all, he was looking at highly classified documents), so there might be something to the secret spaceship theory after all...

Re:WTF?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587649)

Personally, I'm convinced that he was snared by a "honeypot" operation, which would explain the lax security and the "stuff" he uncovered. Assuming that wasn't all down to the pot.

Interesting comparison (5, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587099)

In the UK the CPS decided there wasn't enough evidence to bother pushing for a trial and prior to that he'd been warned he could get community service (help in charity shops, that sort of thing) but then the US manages to extradite him using an agreement they refuse to ratify and with threats of the electric chair being thrown at him (and not in a Balmer sort of way) before the trial even begins. Ye Gods.

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

G0rAk (809217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587201)

Indeed, and this is not the only example of this sort of thing as the Enron trio [bbc.co.uk] example shows. These men may have committed a crime in the UK against a UK company but the parent company was US and connected to Enron, therefore they must be tried in the US. And this as part of a (non-reciprocated) agreement for extradition designed for use with terror suspects. Yes, you have nothing to fear from our new draconian laws if you are not a terrorist. Or white collar criminal. Or dope-skewed cracker.

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587737)

Or just someone the US goverment wants to hire...

Fairly standard recruiting practice I'm sure for certain branches of the goverment...

Agent 1: I like that kids skills, lets hire him.
Agent 2: Yeah he looks ok

Kid: Screw you, I refuse to work for a corrupt establisment!!

Agent 1: Hmmm what have we got on him?
Agent 2: Not much, a misdemeanor they can't even be bothered to prosecute in his own country...
Agent 1: Perfect, dig out that pad of extradition forms and lets draft his new "employment contract"

Re:Interesting comparison (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587229)

Here we can look at that and say, "Psssh, effing New Jersey" but in a lot of places in Europe they absolutely believe that we would fry this joker for a non-violent crime.

Just fricking typical of what passes for "diplomacy" out of the states these days. They should just make him do a stint hacking for the government to pay for some of the (grossly overinflated) damage bills.

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587405)

Here we can look at that and say, "Psssh, effing New Jersey" but in a lot of places in Europe they absolutely believe that we would fry this joker for a non-violent crime.

Also going to prove what a wonderful job "The Sopranos" has done for New Jersey's image... I'm going to start a campaign to get the motto "The Garden State" changed to "The Whacking State" or "Don't F**k With Us".

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587503)

Meh, it was always that way underneath...I mean, I lived there for years, long enough to actually see why it was called "The Garden State" which never made any sense to me when I didn't live there...But there was always this undercurrent of "You gotta f**kin problem?"

To be fair, that's mostly North Jersey, but, unfortunately, that's the face Jersey shows to the world, so it's not surprising that they think all the state is like that.

Re:Interesting comparison (2, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587429)

with threats of the electric chair being thrown at him

Come, come... Surely, you do not honestly believe, there was such a threat thrown. The prosecutor's threat "to fry him" was, obviously in jest and no more death-threatening, than promises to "destroy competition" — made by sportsmen and businesses daily — are, for example.

Even if the prosecutor wanted, he would not be able to do it — although New Jersey has capital punishment on the books, it has not executed anyone since 1976 [deadlinethemovie.com] ... And not for lack of seriously violent crimes in the State — they are not going to execute a computer hacker, if they let murderers and rapists live.

Mr. McKinnon's lawyers are absolutely right to milk the Americans' "threats" for all they can (and more) to help their client — it is their job. But for you to seriously buy into that is rather foolish...

Re:Interesting comparison (2, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587847)

You have no issue with a prosecutor jesting in his official capacity as the one who suggests a sentence without penalty?

I guess you're okay with police officers and judges jesting in a similar matter. This are Serious Court and this is Serious Business, instead we have the "good guys" acting like kids on a playground.

Re:Interesting comparison (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587865)

And not for lack of seriously violent crimes in the State -- they are not going to execute a computer hacker, if they let murderers and rapists live.
Uh... not saying that Britain is perfect, but given some of the f****d-up, topsy-turvy values and morality we see coming out of the States at times, I certainly wouldn't take that for granted.

6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587189)


now iam not so sure,
while watching the Guantanamo debacle continue alongside CIA secret prisons and torture openly embraced by the country that seeks to convict Mr Mckinnon i would be worried about my Human Rights too, is such a thing as a "fair trial" even possible in USA anymore ?

Re:6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (0, Offtopic)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587347)

6 years ago i would of agreed with the court
You "would of" would you?

You can always tell people who don't read much. They spell things the way they hear them in conversation.

OT (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587893)

Inversely, you can always tell people who read alot, but don't consult the dictionary for pronounciation much. They occasionally mis-pronounce words that they may have read a hundred times - words like "eviscerate" and "apostle". Just an observation - not a criticism.

Re:6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (1)

G0rAk (809217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587377)

More to the point the UK is supposed to not extradite people to countries that employ torture or inhumane punishments, which include countries that execute people.

Re:6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587765)

More to the point the UK is supposed to not extradite people to countries that employ torture or inhumane punishments, which include countries that execute people.


Gimme a break. Do you really think that any court in America would give this punk the death penalty? This shows absolute ignorance of U.S. laws.

In the U.S. there are only two crimes for which you can get the death penalty: 1st Degree (pre-meditated) murder and treason. And treason has only been punished capitally a very few times in the entire history of the U.S., and most of those involved murder as well. And even in states that have capital punishment, in the vast majority of murder cases, prosecutors rarely go after the death penalty. Well, except for maybe Texas. ;)

Re:6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (1)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587863)

vote with your personal information: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/GaryMcKinnon/sign [pm.gov.uk] send blair an email to tell him what a gimp he's made out of the UK, nothing like the movie.!

Re:6 years ago i would of agreed with the court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587831)

Thankfully you and Jon Stewart aren't running things; the adults of the UK have chosen to remain among the admirable and forthright nations of the world.

Tsk... (-1, Troll)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587211)

Don't you know that the more difficult you make it for them, the higher they turn the voltage on the testicle-shocking machine? He's probably going to cause a blackout in Cuba when he finally arrives, what with their outdated electrical infrastructure and all...

Wow... (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587223)

Yeah, I can see why Brits would be upset. This would set a very nasty precedent. I didn't realize that even after all the lies about Iraq, etc, that we are *still* far enough into the U.K. that they'd bend over like this.

Re:Wow... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587295)

You missed that whole WW2, Hitler would have conquered The U.K. if not for the US thing is school didn't you?

Am I the only one... (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587225)

... who thinks this is actually a disgrace?

AFAIK, Gary McKinnon is a british citizen (check Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] for this). Why does the UK allow one of its citizen to be extradited to the USA? Why is he not judged and sentenced in the UK?

Does anyone think, for just a millisecond, that the USA would do the same? Extradite one of its own citizen to be tried in the UK?

Where on earth is the outrage? How come a sovereign country, like the UK, is extraditing one of its own citizen -- regardless of his crimes -- to another country to be tried there? This is ridiculous! Can anyone answer that question?

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587397)

No, you're not the only one. Bill Bailey [wikipedia.org] commented on a recent tour that the US was like the playground bully, with the UK as the little guy who stands behind him going 'Go on, beat him up'. The degree with which the 'special relationship' has made us the USA's lapdog makes me wish I was French - and that's baaaad.

Re:Am I the only one... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587797)

The degree with which the 'special relationship' has made us the USA's lapdog makes me wish I was French - and that's baaaad.


Well, judging from the UK's handling of the HMS Cornwall situation you are French.

Re:Am I the only one... (1, Informative)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587427)

Are you stupid or something? We extradite our own citizens like this. [scotsman.com] Only in Slashdot could something this ignorant be modded higher.

Re:Am I the only one... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587687)

from the article you cite:

"A FORMER US marine who sparked an international manhunt after allegedly abducting a 12-year-old British girl he had befriended on the internet was extradited to the UK from Germany yesterday."

he was arrested in germany, not extradited from the US.

stupid, indeed.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587843)

So? Your point? Other than the one on your head? The grandparent post was about the UK extraditing IN from another country, a citizen of another country. What, without the US connection, you don't care? OHH sorry I forgot this story is only about attacking the US. When the story or facts used in the conversation don't accomplish that, then those facts become an irrelevant footnote. What a damned joke, just as this whole article/story is. It makes no difference if a British man hacked into US government computers, or if a US citizen hacked into British military computers, or if Ren of Stimpyland hacked into the mud factory computers of Elbonia; if the hacker's government wants to play properly in the international arena, then they better damn well be prepared to help prosecute their citizen, when said citizen perpetrates such a crime. This is such a simple no-brainer, you'd THINK the average slashdottian could figure it out. No? This is my surprised face, see it here?

Re:Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587801)


Are you stupid or something? We extradite our own citizens like this. Only in Slashdot could something this ignorant be modded higher.


Evidently you are German, since the guy in the link was extradited from Germany.

Of course Germany gladly gave up the dude. He isn't German.

The point of the GP is that the US of f-ing A wouldn't allow one of its citizens to be extradited from territories it controls. (which, last I checked, doesn't include Frankfurt).

Re:Am I the only one... (2, Informative)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587875)

No? We just extradited the dog [usatoday.com] , dude! Point is that it happens all the time. We have something things called extradition treaties with other nations. The GP is an ignoramus.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587827)

That story was about an ex-marine extradited for allegedly abducting a 12 year old girl he had "befriended". This story is about a hacker who brought to light the lax security of a number of US Government computers, while looking for evidence of alien contact. It's not exactly apples and apples, is it?

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

rjshields (719665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587859)

Are you stupid or something? We extradite our own citizens like this.
Ignoring your vitriol, the story you link to states that he was extradited from *Germany*.

Only in Slashdot could something this ignorant be modded higher.
With any luck you'll be modded troll or flamebait.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

cs02rm0 (654673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587571)

Our entire nation is completely apathetic. I have no idea why, but it explains the record emmigration levels.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587701)

Our entire nation is completely apathetic. I have no idea why, but it explains the record emmigration levels.
The non apathetic one's have already gone or are packing their bags. The others are either chavs, chav wannabees (shudder) or just too stupid to care.
Almost every night, when I catch the bus home there's a mad woman who shouts and swears and threatens any young girls/women, often driving them to tears. She then gets on the bus and does the same to the drivers, telling them how crap they are to be a bus driver. No-one ever does a thing. Last week I had words with her and told her to stop bullying etc. Afterwards several people came over to thank me but of course, none of them were willing to actually do something, oh-no.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587593)

Are there laws against hacking a computer in another country in England?

The fact is, he committed a crime, and some portion of that crime took place on US soil. By convention, that allows for the US to extradite him, even if he never set foot here, himself.

That said, with the fucked up US prison system, I hope (for his sake) that he gets to stay in the UK.

to extradite or not to extradite (3, Insightful)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587233)

European countries (well, their governments) are ubelievably hypocritic in this regard. I think it's just because, time after time, they buckle to USA pressure. Not all that long ago, a EU-citizen was extradited to the USA, facing a possible deathsentence (acording to US laws). It is clearly stated, in many national laws, but also as an European law, that NO EU-citizens may be extradited to countruies which implement the death-sentence. Luckily, there are only a hanful of barbaric states left who do such a thing, such as china and N.-Korea, etc. Even fewer countries which claim to be democratic still practise it, such as...the USA.

But, what did they do? The govenments made a deal, where the USA 'promised' they wouldn't actually deal out the capital punishment to that citizen. That was *before* any sentence on guilt or lack thereof was made. Actually, this should anger americans as much, because this means their government arbitrarily decided to NOT treat a person who (alledgely) commited crimes on USA soil according to their own law, and that that EU-person got an illegal advantage which no ordinary US citizen gets.

For me, however, the anger comes at the fact they *did* extradite him to the USA, clearly in violation of the rules and laws of that country and the EU. If the USA wanted him so badly, they could abolish the death penalty. speaking of which, if I'm not mistaken, some more progressive non-bible-belt states in the USA already have forbidden such practises, as any civilised society would do. Or does it ultimately remain a federal decision? Maybe some US slashdotters can fill me in on this.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (2, Informative)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587417)

Actually, it is pretty widespread [wikipedia.org] in the US and hardly limited to the "Bible Belt". I also wouldn't call many of the states where the DP is no longer practiced "progressive". And if you check out the map here [wikipedia.org] you might find that there are a few more countries still holding on to the death penalty then you originally thought. It isn't just something used by those oppressive regimes.

(DP == Barbaric) is a theorem? (1)

phunctor (964194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587713)

That's the OP's fervent opinion, and he proves it to his complete satisfaction by heartfelt repetition. Works for him, I guess, but it's not persuasive outside of the choirbox.

--
phunctor
advocating for better rhetoric since 1967

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587425)

It is clearly stated, in many national laws, but also as an European law, that NO EU-citizens may be extradited to countruies which implement the death-sentence.

Actually, you've slightly mis-quoted the law(s). The extradition laws of most countries state that a suspect cannot be extradited if the court is seeking the death penalty. But that's easy enough to get around anyway:

1. Charge criminal with offense not punishable by death.
2. Criminal is extradited.
3. Prosecutor drops charges.
4. Prosecutor raises new charges and seeks death penalty.
5. ???
6. Fry the bastard.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587703)

No sane prosecutor is going to go around this. The damage done with respect to extradition treaties and relation aren't worth it for one person. Unless it is something like the one 9/11 hijacker who got away or something, it just wouldn't be worth it.

If anything, it would be a situation were life in prison was given and then some bizzar accident in prison took care of it. Jeffrey Dahmer found his fate in this way. A couple years after he was sentenced, he was beat to death by weight lifting bars in the shower at a prison gym. The official story is that he was alone but an inmate claims the guards watched and did nothing.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (5, Informative)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587499)

That would depend on which sovereign is trying the defendant. Some states have the death penalty, others have outlawed it. The FEDERAL government does have the death penalty.

Since in this case the crime is against the Department of Defense, it would be a federal crime, under federal jurisdiction.

However, hacking is not a capital offense under any jurisdiction, so far as I am aware. When the prosecutor said he would fry, it was a figure of speech.

That being said, if I were the U.K. I sure as hell wouldn't extradite one of my citizens to a country where due process and habeas corpus have recently been ruled to not apply to "enemy combatants," a designation which is applied to non-citizens solely at the discretion of the executive branch. Under our constitutional system of justice, he would not have anything to worry about as far as the death penalty -- but since he hacked the military, and the government could ignore the constitutional system of justice by uttering the magic words. . .

Well, that probably wouldn't happen. Probably.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (2, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587519)

>When the prosecutor said he would fry, it was a figure of speech.
Which I'm happy to believe but hardly professional behaviour by an official though is it?

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (5, Insightful)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587653)

Agreed. If you ask me, the defense department was made to look foolish (having machines so insecure that some stoned UFO nut was able to waltz right into them), and now the feds need to save face by portraying him as a scary and highly dangerous hacker, who has used his mad skillz to compromise our national security.

Asshats, one and all.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587699)

No, it's not precisely professional, but he probably thought the statement was non-literal enough to be understood as pure hyperbole. Or he was just speaking off the cuff, which is a fairly stupid thing for a lawyer to do.

For example, if he had said "We're going to throw the book at him" or "We're going to bring the hammer down", Americans would immediately understand these as metaphors for "We're going to punish him severely", since book-throwing and hammer-thwacking are recognizable figures of speech, not literal forms of punishment.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587769)

He's from New Jersey...I don't know of a better way to explain it. Anyone who works as a prosecutor in that state is bound to be such a hardass, just to deal with the locals...You don't get it unless you live there, but there are a lot of verbally aggressive people in that state, and that sort of language isn't viewed the same way it is in the rest of the US, or the world for that matter.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587697)

Just a heads-up: the UK doesn't follow due process very rigorously regarding IRA crimes.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587845)

Just a heads-up: the UK doesn't follow due process very rigorously regarding IRA crimes.
Such as?

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587825)

"Actually, this should anger americans as much, because this means their government arbitrarily decided to NOT treat a person who (alledgely) commited crimes on USA soil according to their own law, and that that EU-person got an illegal advantage which no ordinary US citizen gets."

That's as ordinary as plea-bargaining. In the real word situations are not ideal, and a little of something is better than nothing.
Given the choice between never punishing a criminal or getting a lesser sentence, it makes perfect sense.

"Even fewer countries which claim to be democratic still practise it, such as...the USA."

Many of us disagree with you about deleting criminals. We, democratically, support killing them and continue to vote for the death penalty.
We as voters know that when we vote for the death penalty we are asking the state to use it!

The criminals concerned are primitives that only understand fear, and often not that. They are without value, so we don't value them more than the example they make by dying. They chose to be worthless and forfeit social protection.

The elitist EU has a remarkable fascination with preserving the criminal trash in US prisons. My reaction is that everyone who bootlicks these vermin should volunteer to share cells with a few of them. It would be quite the social science project. Better yet, offer every US citizen facing the death penalty refugee status and a plane ticket, conditional on not returning to the US. Think these folks are blossoms of humanity tragically trampled by the Man? You take 'em.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587899)

My reaction is that everyone who bootlicks these vermin should volunteer to share cells with a few of them
Congratulations, you've just invented the next reality TV project.

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

praksys (246544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587909)

US prosecutors routinely make deals where the death penalty is taken off the table in return for testimony (against accomplices for example), information (about where other bodies might be buried for example), because they think it might be easier to get a conviction, or even because they think it would be a waste of money to pursue the death penalty in a particular case. So your claim that the US prosecutors were ignoring US law is incorrect. They have wide discretion when it comes to pursuing the death penalty.

EU countries are not supposed to allow extradition if the individual in question might face the death penalty. If the extraditing country agrees not to pursue the death penalty then this requirement is satisfied. Whether or not the death penalty is on the books has nothing to do with it. So your claim that EU countries are hypocritical or "buckling" to US pressure is also incorrect. The US and most EU countries have extradition treaties, and in such cases both sides are living up to their legal obligations.

BTW, if you count countries, then most democratic countries do not have the death penalty, but if you count population then most of the democratic world has the death penalty (the US, Japan, and India, alone make up more than 2/3s of the democratic world).

Re:to extradite or not to extradite (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587915)

Even fewer countries which claim to be democratic still practise it, such as...the USA.

For what it's worth, Japan does too.

For me, however, the anger comes at the fact they *did* extradite him to the USA, clearly in violation of the rules and laws of that country and the EU. If the USA wanted him so badly, they could abolish the death penalty. speaking of which, if I'm not mistaken, some more progressive non-bible-belt states in the USA already have forbidden such practises, as any civilised society would do. Or does it ultimately remain a federal decision? Maybe some US slashdotters can fill me in on this.

I'll bite. I'm a pro death penalty kind of guy living in a state with captial punishment. I don't see abolition of the death penalty ever happening here. Maybe fewer states will have it, but I don't think it will ever go away. The blunt truth, which you probably won't like to hear, is that the EU is notorious for its rather weak ideas of punishment. Good grief man, Italy seems to be convinced that victims are to blame for what criminals do as Italy can't release people soon enough from jail. The EU extradites people to the US because they generally know that their own laws are too weak to lock up the really bad people, so they send them us to do their dirty work for them. I love Europe, I really do, and I don't have a problem per se if they are opposed to the death penalty, but you guys really need to get tough with killers and lock them up for life instead of putting them in jail for 5 years and feeling sorry for them. Even Japan is pretty weak compared to the US. I remember a few years ago when some US servicemen got "very long sentences" for raping a Japanese woman, ranging from 5 to 7 years. Crap man, here in the US we can lock you up for LIFE for doing that.

We don't really care all that much when we have to make deals about "no capital punishment" to get people extradited here. At least if WE lock them up, they stay locked up. They don't get out on work release or similar nonsense after a few years because the system felt sorry for the poor little criminal. If there was ever a country that probably could use capital punishment, I would vote for Brazil. Their weak "we can't punish anyone for long no matter what" legal system, which is a direct result of the abuses of the military dictatorship in the past, has completely failed the country.

The moral of the story... (4, Insightful)

DragonPup (302885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587241)

Don't try to gain unauthorized access into the freaking Department of Defense network, and then basically admit to it.

For a smart guy, he's rather stupid.

End justifying the means? (3, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587261)

From TFA
...has always maintained that he was motivated by curiosity and that he only managed to get into the networks because of lax security.

So by that rationale, if I can kick in your front door to get into your house, is it your fault for not having a better door lock/frame?

Re:End justifying the means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587335)

No, by the same rationale, if you left your door slightly ajar, its not his fault for pulling it open the rest of the way and walking straight in just in order to look around.

Re:End justifying the means? (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587581)

So you there would still be entering someones house, which I still think is break and enter, and mischief, not to mention trespassing.

Especially if you left your drivers license there.

It doesn't matter what kind of lock is on the door.

In your country, its ok for the owner of the house to shoot you. If you're in there.

Re:End justifying the means? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587773)

break and enter
If you can just wander in without force, it's not B&E

trespassing
Only if they can prove you had intent to cause damage/trouble. Bizarrly, in theory, you can walk in to a strangers house and stand there quite legally. Better yet, if you hurt yourself in their house, you can sue them.
This is one area where I'm more of the American persuasion. If someone is in your house and you don't want them there, you should be entitled to use lots of force to get them out.

Re:End justifying the means? (5, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587415)

So by that rationale, if I can kick in your front door to get into your house, is it your fault for not having a better door lock/frame?

I still don't get it . . . Maybe you could use a car analogy.

Re:End justifying the means? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587545)

So by that rationale, if you lock you car door, but leave the window open a crack and I ue that to steal your car, is it your fault for not rolling up your window?

There, I think that does it ;)

Re:End justifying the means? (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587565)

I still don't get it . . . Maybe you could use a car analogy.


Sure. If you park your car in a poorly lit parking lot/deck with no security and leave the top down with the key in the ignition and the stereo blaring with a giant sign on the windshield that says "Please steal me" and....

ah, forget it.

Re:End justifying the means? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587469)

No, he's saying he found your key under the mat and let himself in to have a look around, believing you're hiding secret spaceship technology somewhere in your house that you're not sharing with the rest of the world. The man is a loon, pure and simple; I suspect the Brits will be more than happy to extradite him, simply to be rid of him.

Go To Jail, Do not Pass Go (2, Interesting)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587263)

maintained that he was motivated by curiosity
Hmmm... .I wonder how easy it is to get into...(insert anything here).

B.S. The guy is a hacker who purposely broke into a system he was not supposed to be in. He knew it. He knew it was improper and illegal.

It's no different that getting into bank accounts, credit card accounts, school records, etc.

If you excuse him, then no one can bitch and moan about hackers and vulnerabilities in Windows, OS X, Linux, or anything else.

If we are serious about computer security and viruses, and everything else, this guy must go to trial and probably go to jail.
l.

How about Sony then? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587443)

Who is going to jail for the Sony rootkit/trojan incident?

Or is it one rule for Sony (remember their rootkit thing) and one rule for wacko people looking for UFOs?

Re:How about Sony then? (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587681)

Perhaps someone at Sony should go to jail. Certianly, the corporation should be fined big time. I"m talking in amounts large enough to get the attention of stock holders. That way, they would perhaps look at a change in management that would be serious about privacy and security.

Re:How about Sony then? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587907)

A) No one at Sony is going to jail for the rootkit thing. To answer the original question, yes, there is one set of rules for Sony and the like, and a set for the guy who is the subject of the article. There are several other sets as well.

2) Even if A were not true the change you propose would not come about. Sony would just lobby for specific rules to protect the same behavior in the future.

Re:Go To Jail, Do not Pass Go (1)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587615)

It's not about excusing him, it's about not sending him to a barbaric country where he will be tortured, held indefinitely without a fair trial, and possibly executed. It's bad enough that he'll never have a normal life now. Why not let the poor geezer stay in England and serve his time there? He's already sorry for what he did. He doesn't really know anything. He didn't steal highly classified information.

If we are serious about computer security and viruses, and everything else, this guy must go to trial and probably go to jail.

If we are serious about computer security, then we should get serious about computer security already!

Re:Go To Jail, Do not Pass Go (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587771)

If *they* were serious about security they wouldn't have left default admin settings on hundreds of machines. Gary talks of seeing many people from round the world doing the same thing he was as the security was so bad. He only had a 56k modem, hardly the connection of choice for an uber-hacker.

This case I believe is a disgrace.

This is crazy (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587265)

I can't believe they managed to extradite him. Blowing it up into 'the biggest millatary hack ever' seems a bit over the top. From what I read he scanned for default passwords and installed publically available trojans while leaving a clear trail back to himself.

He is both incompetant and a bit crazy (he was looking for UFO evidence...) Why go to all this trouble to lock him up?

Re:This is crazy (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587437)

As an example to other people who think that they are so special and precious that your/my/anyone elses computer they fancy is fair game.
"Why go to all this trouble to lock him up?"
There are some people who don't "get" this, so we step on a few to send a message.

If he were a burglar who just wanted to look around and fiddle with the premises, he'd still go down for breaking and entering.

Re:This is crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587441)

He found UFO stuff.

Sad (1)

Bralkein (685733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587289)

This guy has clearly committed a crime, and I certainly think that there ought to be some repercussions regarding that. Nonetheless, I can't help but feel that he's being treated very unfairly. The guy is crazy, as evidenced by the fact that he was actually cracking the machines to look for complete conspiracy theory stuff; he wanted to find information about UFOs, anti-gravity technology and "free energy". In addition, he cracked the machines using a simple perl script to find machines with blank or default passwords, which demonstrates that he's not some elite danger-to-society hacker genius.

I think it's awfully sad that this guy is going to be shipped off to a foreign prison for 45 years, for what honestly seems to be a matter of US pride.

No Surprise Really (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587341)

This is no surprise really. Sadly, Britain has become another state of the US and a bitch that bends over at every available opportunity when the US government asks, and people like Blair and John Reid have been happy to go along with it. The favours are not returned, needless to say (witness the current Iran hostage problem).

The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) have even stated that there is insufficient evidence to go ahead with a prosecution, but as soon as the US steps in (using some very murky agreement related to terrorism the last I looked) the seas (or should I say, the legs) part. If there are grounds for deportation then fine, but sadly, if this guy had sneezed he would have been on the next plane if the US asked.

As a British person I find all this humiliating to see, and quite frankly, treacherous now. I'm not having a go at the US or Americans here. This is a British problem, and one related to standing up for itself, self respect and knowing what its own self interests are. The US are merely looking out for theirs.

Re:No Surprise Really (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587505)

the seas (or should I say, the legs) part

A more appropriate analogy would be the ass-cheeks part...

Re:No Surprise Really (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587917)

I, for one, welcome our new overseas governing overlords !

Blame the messenger (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587355)

Yes, he's guilty. No, busting him won't solve the larger problem. American prosecutors seek to deter criminals by coming down hard on a test case, but the biggest threat to them is probably foreign espionage. American hackers are more interested in Second Life and World of Warcraft accounts than busting into their government's networks.

frist stopp! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18587411)

Curiosity Killed Gary (5, Insightful)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587435)

I've been watching this story for some time now. As an American living in Europe, and as a forensic psychiatrist, I really feel sorry for this guy. I know how they treat prisoners at home as I've worked with them, and I know how they treat them over here as I work with them now. If he gets shipped over to the States, he will have his human rights violated. Being a high-profile prisoner, they'll never let him serve any part of his prison term in the UK and his family will never be able to visit him. Basically, he'll never see the light of day again. With all the threats made against Gary, especially what this idiot in New Jersey said, and with all of his supporters, I don't see why he hasn't won his fight against extradition. It must have to do with politics. America has to be putting significant pressure on the British government to make this one go their way. We, unfortunately, would never see these reasons reported in any newspaper thus we can only speculate.

He's never said that he didn't do what he's accused of, and he's always said that he only did it out of curiosity. He didn't even steal anything, let alone national secrets. It's really a shame that he didn't pick a target somewhere within Europe to satisfy his curiosity. They would have been a little more lenient and his subsequent time in prison could actually be bearable. After all, why should he go to prison? He's already very sorry that he did such a thing, he's beginning to fall ill because of the immense stress and feeling of impending doom of getting extradited, and prison is not only about punishment, it's about rehabilitation.

Re:Curiosity Killed Gary (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587525)

After all, why should he go to prison? He's already very sorry that he did such a thing

Hahahahahahahahahahah.

Hahahahahahahahahahah.

Thank you so very much for that. I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time. What a great joke...

Oh, you weren't kidding, were you.

Re:Curiosity Killed Gary (1)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587869)

You took that completely out of context. It's a legitimate, non-rhetorical question. I don't see you making any attempt to answer it nor do I see you formulating an intelligent response. In Europe, generally speaking, prison is more about rehabilitation than penalising. Since you didn't understand the question, let me rephrase it: How should Gary be rehabilitated and does he need it?

The bottom line is that Gary is British, not American, and the last I checked, is not subject to being extradited to any country where they treat prisoners inhumanely. Do you find that funny, too? How would you feel if someone from your country was extradited to the UK?

Re:Curiosity Killed Gary (1)

flickwipe (954150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587669)

The punishment for the first crime (death by chair) should prevent any further misdemeanors.

Re:Curiosity Killed Gary (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587671)

He's already very sorry that he did such a thing

Oh, well, why didn't anyone say so?! Case dismissed!

More information on ... (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587585)

Free Gary McKinnon (blog) [freegary.org.uk]

From the blog:

About this blog

This blog website is intended to support British citizen Gary McKinnon, who is facing "fast track" extradition to the USA (after over three four years since his initial arrest !).

Gary was indicted by a US court in November 2002, accused of "hacking" into over 90 US Military computer systems from here in the UK.

The unjust treatment of British citizens (and others) when facing the might of the US Military "justice" sysem, which practices detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and stands accused of making use of torture by allied regimes ("extraordinary rendition") is an ongoing scandal. It cannot be excused even by a "war on terror".

It seems only just that Gary should face any charges in a British court, and to serve any sentence, if he is found guilty, in a British prison.


Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia entry for McKinnon [wikipedia.org] Synopsis:

Gary McKinnon, also known as Solo, (born in Glasgow in 1966) is a British hacker accused by the United States of perpetrating the "biggest military computer hack of all time." Following legal hearings in the UK it was decided in July 2006 that he should be extradited to the United States. In February 2007 his lawyers argued against this ruling in an appeal to the High Court in London [1], which was turned down on April 3 [2].


Interview [guardian.co.uk] (Saturday July 9, 2005)

From what I just read, he just looks like a typical nerd who is good at hacking systems.

I think that once again, the judge didn't realize how this represents a violation of human rights and the plaintiffs should bring more proofs of their accusations before to proceed, I am no pro-terrorist, but it is not because you are the army that you should have the right to bring people outside of civil courts (remember Guantanamo Bay and people who were falsely accused, remember the so-called WMD that we never found), unless you have real reasons to conclude that he is a threat and did sell/use information he collected.

It is much more of an infamy to use such reasons to bring him outside of a civil court using the deaths of the 9/11 than to let him go.

Though, I would be totally fine with a prison sentence ... and of course, I would be also totally fine with this decision if the army can bring proofs that he misused this information.

Grammar fix... (1)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587651)

Yet the fight is yet not yet over yet.
There, that's better, don't you not think?

Death penalty for script kiddies? (1)

fbonnet (756003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587657)

It's about time! /sarcasm

Seriously, would the UK bend over like this if the People's Republic of China or Singapore asked them to? Maybe it's really the 51th state after all.

Security consultant (3, Insightful)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587755)

Wikipedia says The US estimates claim the costs of tracking and correcting the problems he allegedly caused were around 700,000 USD. It then goes on to say that he hacked the government websites with a Perl script, and found default passwords on their "secure" network. Good think McKinnon found them before China did. (Or did he?)

Maybe they should treat him as a $700K security consultant.

Why don't they just hire him? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587781)

IF he didn't pilfer and sell any secrets (a big IF, i'm not that familiar with his case), then the US should just hire him. If he pilfered and tried to resell secrets, then let him rot in jail. But otherwise, he's kind of like that Abagnale guy from "Catch me if you Can," the check forger: why let him rot in prison, when his hacks have proven to be useful in hardeing your security? Employ the dude. Put his skillset to useful work.

Look at it this way Mr. Pentagon bureacrat: would you rather this British dork hack your computers pointlessly? Or a real enemy of the United States? He's already helped you, he has further value to you.

As a US citizen, I thank the guy for helping to harden my country's military information infrastructure, even though my government is too myopic to admit that this guy has helped us in a roundabout way, and has further value, if it can get over it's idiotic approach to computer security.

Cripes, we're talking about the MILITARY: moles, spies, double crosses, the whole sorry history of military information is full of this sort of thing. And as any aficionado of military history will tell you, many times has crucial battles been won by using to your advantage people or things that on the surface appear detrimental, but can be coopted to serve for you.
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