British hacker might face extradition to Guantanamo

Written by Ryan Garside

April 14, 2006 | 15:32

Tags: #britain #british #court #extradition #guantanamo #hacker #lawyers #us

Companies: #government #nasa

A British hacker who is currently being accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage to American Security networks, including the Pentagon and NASA, now fears that he could be extradited and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay under new US anti-terror laws.

Gary McKinnon, a self described “bumbling nerd”, is currently being accused of hacking into computers in 14 different states between 2001-2002. He claims that he intended nothing malicious and wanted to uncover alien spacecraft and technology that he believed the American government was hiding. Speaking in a BBC interview last year Mckinnon said this:

"It wasn't just an interest in little green men and flying saucers, I believe that there are spacecraft, or there have been craft, flying around that the public doesn't know about."

The London born hacker now faces a fight to keep himself in Britain, where he will probably face a four year jail sentence, as opposed to a possible seventy year sentence in the US. Defence lawyers fear that due to the timing of McKinnon's cyber-attacks, the government will link his handywork to the 9/11 attacks. Indeed the US government is claiming that the hacker's actions made critical military systems inoperable shortly after the terrorist attack, which seems like a massive co-incidence.

McKinnon, who claims that his actions have shown the US simple flaws in their Microsoft-based security systems (didn't ya just know it?), seems deeply regretful of his actions. He says that as his obsession with discovering evidence of aliens grew he lost his job, his girlfriend and his friends. Describing the lead up to his arrest McKinnon had this to say:

"I think I almost wanted to be caught, because it was ruining me. I had this classic thing of wanting to be caught so there would be an end to it."

Unfortunately the hacker was unable to provide evidence of an 'alien cover-up', claiming that pictures of the otherworldly craft were too large to download (obviously still stuck on 56k then).

However, all is not lost for McKinnon and many on the internet have started reading the 'Free Gary McKinnon' web-blog which you can view here.

What are your views on the case?, should McKinnon be tried in the US or Britain? Is he a massive threat to national security, or a talented chap with a complete lack of common sense? Let us know your thoughts and views over in the News discussion forum.
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