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Hacker Loses Extradition Fight 2007-04-04

Posted by clype in Glasgow, Intolerance.
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A British man has lost his High Court fight against Extradition to the USA for allegedly carrying out the ‘biggest military computer hack of all time’.

Glasgow-born Gary Mckinnon, of north London, is accused of gaining access to 97 US American military and NASA computers.

Home Secretary Mr.John Reid granted the USA’s request to Extradite him for Trial.

At The High Court in London, his lawyers argued the 41-year-old had been subjected to ‘improper threats’ and the move would breach his ‘human rights’.

His lawyers had argued that, if extradited, he would face an unknown length of time in pre-trial detention, with no likelihood of bail.

He would also face a long prison sentence — ‘in the region of 45 years’ — and may not be allowed to serve part of the sentence at home in the UK, his lawyers had said.

But, on Tuesday, Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr.Justice Goldring dismissed his legal challenge, saying they could not find any grounds for appeal.

Mr.Ben Cooper, said his client, Mr.Mckinnon, would now seek to make an Appeal against his Extradition at ‘The House of Lords’.

Alleged threats by US American authorities, including one from New Jersey prosecutors that ‘he would fry‘, would be among issues raised, Mr.Cooper said.

‘We will certainly be applying for this court to certify a point of law of public importance and to grant leave,’ he said.

Mr.Mckinnon had been suffering from ill health during recent court hearings, he added.

Mr.Mckinnon has never denied that he accessed the computer networks of a wide number of USA military institutions between 2001-02 and 2002-03.

Arrested in 2002-11, he has always maintained that he was motivated by curiosity and that he only managed to get into the networks because of lax security.

UK computer enthusiast alleged to have hacked string of USA government systems

‘Nasa hacker’ Mr.Gary Mckinnon is to be extradited to the US to face trial.

The computer enthusiast from North London has been defending himself against the order in the UK Court of Appeal, after Home Secretary John Reid determined in 2006 that the Extradition should go ahead.

Mr.Mckinnon will now be Tried in the USA on charges of breaking into and damaging USA government computers.

He claims that he broke into the networks only to uncover confidential information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestrial technology which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.

‘The US government is taking a hard line on cyber-crime, and will not tolerate anyone trying to compromise its own computers,’ said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

‘Mckinnon really should have considered this before he went UFO hunting,’

‘This decision will doubtless send shockwaves through the hacking community but — irrespective of Mckinnon’s motivations — hacking is illegal in the UK and the US, and it’s high time people started thinking twice before engaging in such activities.’

Community service or a fine a better sentence, survey claims

Fewer than half of IT professionals questioned in an online survey want ‘NASA hacker’ Gary Mckinnon jailed for hacking.

  • A poll carried out by security company ‘Sophos‘ found that 48 per cent feel that jail is the most appropriate sentence if Mr.Mckinnon is found guilty, while 42 per cent suggested community service and 10 per cent a fine.

Mr.Mckinnon looks set to be extradited to the USA to face trial for allegedly hacking into computers belonging to the USA Army, USA Air Force, USA Department of Defense and NASA, having lost his appeal to remain in the UK earlier this week.

The closely contested poll echoes a previous ‘Sophos’ survey back in 2006-06 regarding whether or not Mr.Mckinnon should be Extradited, which saw a close split between respondents: 48 per cent were in favour and 52 per cent against.

‘The IT community can’t seem to agree about what would be an appropriate punishment in this case, quite possibly because it’s still unclear about how much damage Gary Mckinnon is alleged to have caused, as well as the motivations behind the alleged crime,’ said Mr.Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at ‘Sophos’.

‘Irrespective of where he is Tried, let’s hope that if Mckinnon is found guilty, it will be based on reliable evidence, and that he will be sentenced appropriately for the offences he is alleged to have committed.’

A British man arrested for allegedly carrying out the ‘biggest military computer hack of all time’ has been released on bail by magistrates.

Mr.Gary Mckinnon, accused of hacking into 53 USA military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, appeared before ‘Bow Street’ magistrates in London.

The 39-year-old, of Wood Green, north London, will be back in court for an extradition hearing on 2005-07-27.

His lawyer said he would contest extradition to the USA ‘vigorously’. She told reporters:

‘Of particular concern to him is the treatment of other British nationals under the American judicial system which inspires little confidence.

‘We believe that as a British national, he should be tried here in our courts by a British jury and not in the US.’

Mr.Mckinnon, an unemployed computer systems administrator, is known on the Internet as ‘Solo’.

He is accused of hacking into computer networks operated by NASA, the USA Army, USA Navy, USA Department of Defence and the USA Air Force.

One of the networks belonged to ‘The Pentagon’.

The USA estimates the costs of tracking and correcting the problems he allegedly caused were around 570 000.00 GBP.

If he is extradited and found guilty, Mr.Mckinnon faces a long sentence in the USA.

The Briton was indicted in 2002 by a federal grand jury on eight counts of computer-related crimes in 14 different states.

It claimed that he hacked into an army computer at Fort Myer, Virginia, obtained administrator privileges and transmitted codes, information and commands.

He is accused of then deleting around 1 300 user accounts.

The indictment alleged Mr.Mckinnon also deleted ‘critical system files’ on the computer, copied a file containing usernames and encrypted passwords for the computer and installed tools to gain unauthorised access to other computers.

At the time of the indictment Mr.Paul Mcnulty, the USA Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said:

‘Mr.Mckinnon is charged with the biggest military computer hack of all time.’

Mr.Mckinnon’s solicitor, Ms.Karen Todner, estimates he could face a maximum 70-year jail sentence if convicted in the USA.

She says he does not deny infiltrating US American systems but says his motivation was to try to prove the existence of UFOs and to expose security failures.

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