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Government The Courts Security United Kingdom United States Your Rights Online

10-Year Gary McKinnon Case To End This Year 72

judgecorp writes "The ten-year legal quagmire surrounding Gary McKinnon, who hacked into U.S. military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, must end this year, a British High Court Judge has ordered. McKinnon has been appealing against extradition to the U.S., and two medical experts must report in 28 days on his mental state, ruling whether he would be a suicide risk if deported. This ruling could short-circuit an extradition appeal hearing in July."
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10-Year Gary McKinnon Case To End This Year

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  • Re:Who? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raedeon ( 1246638 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:10PM (#38870897) Homepage
    Lots of people 'give a shit', myself included. Go back to Reddit or 4chan with the rest of your kind (trolls)
  • Re:Who? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slick7 ( 1703596 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:20PM (#38871031)

    Lots of people 'give a shit', myself included. Go back to Reddit or 4chan with the rest of your kind (trolls)

    I give a shit. - J Assange

  • Re:Lame Excuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:42PM (#38871341)

    and just what is "justice"?

    Can a country like the US even claim the moral high ground on "justice" anymore?

    America has over the past 10+ years detailed persons without trials, executed it's citizens, subjected it's population to invasive searches, and worked to curtail free speech, free expression, and peaceful lawful assembly.

    No sir, I submit to you that this man cannot get "justice" in America, and I think it would be better if more counties stood up to the United States and blocked extraditions. As a mater of principle, countries should not seek to enforce their laws on persons who are not their citizens or in their physical territory.

  • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dark$ide ( 732508 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @08:01PM (#38871575) Journal

    Maximum sentence 70 years, so no, not necessarily.

    The UK has a reciprocal agreement with the USA. He could be convicted in the US but then be deported to serve time in a UK prison.

    The fact that the NSA, CIA, FBI and DoD had open modems connected to the PSTN doesn't seem to bear any significance in this. Why aren't there some US folks being proscecuted for leaving the door wide open? Why aren't there any courts martial for the DoD folks who didn't stop this security breach?

    Some poor kid with a computer and a modem and a random dialer gets the blame for all the ills of this US national security breach is a travesty. That's before we consider the desperately bad unilateral extradition agreement that my lovely Labour Gov't (Bliar and that clown Brown) signed up to (for "anti-terrorist reasons).

  • Re:Lame Excuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Falconhell ( 1289630 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @08:16PM (#38871721) Journal

    Exactly right sir, the arrogance of the US is incredible. He should not be extradited to a country with such an applaing prison system and downright uncicivilsed legal system that has the death penalty, and has repeatedly been found to have executed innocent people.

  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @09:02PM (#38872133) Homepage Journal

    No, he allegedly hacked into unsecured military systems, using default passwords. He didn't tamper with secure files, he allegedly tampered with unsecured files.

    Nobody is saying he doesn't need to face justice, but when the knee jerk reaction of Americans is exactly what you posted, then it's unlikely he would actually get a fair trial on your side of the Atlantic.

    He's a UK citizen, accused of misusing a computer in the UK. There is no justification for not allowing him a UK trial, and no justification for leaving this hanging over him (and his family) for a whole decade.

  • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @09:27PM (#38872427) Journal

    A) Because they didn't "leave the door wide open."
    B) You may as well argue that people who don't lock their front door should be charged with a crime because someone steals from them. Because, that is exactly what you are doing.
    C) Walking in and taking things is still a CRIME.
    D) 35 is not "Some poor kid with a computer and a modem and a random dialer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @09:45PM (#38872645)


    He 'logged in' to unsecured military systems which were deemed to be secured. Yes, he did knowingly access systems which he was not allowed to, however the 'hacking' that took place was merely the use of default common credentials usernames and passwords.

    Overblown on his technical ability front? Absolutely! We still have yet to hear what happened to the 'system administrators', or contractors, tasked with managing those machines. Other than the Million dollar price tag they supposedly shelled out to 'secure' something that was improperly managed.

    The idiot stamp goes to everyone involved in this. McKinnon, the supposed System Admins, NASA and the US Military, DOJ, and UK legal system. Add on the GAO for not investigating why the systems weren't up to par in the first place, after they discovered someone compromised their systems.

  • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:59AM (#38874299)

    If he did as he admitted to doing, he did commit a crime in the US. It doesn't matter where you were sitting when you did it.

    It very much does. The fact that the US considers the *consequences* of his UK computations a crime on US soil is not relevant, as he was under UK jurisdiction during the entire period when it occurred.

    I don't believe that it is a good idea to think along the lines you suggest. It means plain and simply that a person sitting in one country becomes subject to the laws of all countries.

    For example, the US has a fairly strong tradition of free speech laws, but Iran doesn't. If a person in Ohio posts some negative comments about the prophet Mohammed, this person is (by your reasoning) committing a crime in Iran as soon as the comment passes through one of their local servers. So according to this reasoning, he/she should be handed over to be tried there on suspicion, forthwith.

    There is a correct way out, and it involves trial in the UK. The US prosecutor should simply travel to the UK, and drag McKinnon through the British court system. If there is any relevant evidence, it should be brought along, and handed over as evidence to the Crown. If McKinnon is found guilty, he can be sentenced in the UK under UK law, and serve his time.

    That is the only way to prevent the pathological (and in fact, highly contradictory) situation where an internet user is subject to the laws of every single country in the world simultaneously.

  • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @04:15AM (#38874769) Journal
    Yes they did. Not to be an arrogant asshole but that's literally 80'ies security, people dialing in to networks and poking around. Whomever was responsible for setting up those networks had to know about the concept of wardialing or they'd be completely incompetent. Any system that can be broken into using a war dialer/port scanner and an appropriate brute-force program is insecure. We all know what happens to a server with an internet-visible SSH daemon that password-auths guessable username/password combinations, right?

    And the door analogy breaks down quite fast, because most doors/locks AFAIK isn't designed to protect against actual burglary - real burglars mostly just smash a window or drill the lock open, or so I've read.

    As for what he did, if the guards of a military base suddenly waltzes off for hookers and blow and some random nut looking for UFO's wanders in and peeks about the hangars before getting caught, would this even be an issue? Or would it just be laughed off?
  • Re:Lame Excuse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <<mojo> <at> <world3.net>> on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @08:53AM (#38876007) Homepage Journal

    Hopefully the EU will ban all extraditions to the US where there is a chance that the accused may be killed or imprisoned inhumanely (Guantanimo, lack of medical treatment, average US jail etc.)

    Sending someone somewhere you know they will be mistreated is as bad as doing it yourself.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @08:56AM (#38876019)

    Not at all, if he isn't extradited he'll face trial in the UK.

    The only caveat however is that this has been dragging on so long that I suspect even if found guilty in the UK now any judge will say he has suffered punishment enough and probably not make him spend even a minute in jail. If they do I think that's a pretty fair assessment - the mental anguish something like this must cause being dragged out over 10 years is pretty awful.

  • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @09:01AM (#38876049)

    "A) Because they didn't "leave the door wide open.""

    There's no better definition of wide open on the internet than a public facing computer with blank, or no password. If you think this isn't wide open, then please, for the love of god, don't ever get a job in IT, or if you have one, kindly vacate it immediately.

    "B) You may as well argue that people who don't lock their front door should be charged with a crime because someone steals from them. Because, that is exactly what you are doing."

    No you may as well not, because people who don't lock their front door aren't being paid by the tax payer to look after national security. It's a question of competence, and leaving defence network computers open on the public internet can be firmly filed under gross negligence.

    "C) Walking in and taking things is still a CRIME."

    Well he didn't take anything - it was all still there when he left, but yes you're right, walking in is still a crime. Not the sort any sane person would expect you to get extradited to a foreign country to serve 70 years in prison over though.

    "D) 35 is not "Some poor kid with a computer and a modem and a random dialer."

    Yes you're right, but he's not fully mentally healthy like a typical adult either, the truth is thus somewhere in between.

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