Pentagon hacker tries one more time to avoid extradition

A British systems administrator who hacked into U.S. military computers will have another chance to make his case why he shouldn't be extradited to the U.S.

A British systems administrator who hacked into U.S. military computers in 2001 and 2002 will have another chance to make his case of why he shouldn't be extradited to the U.S.

A High Court judge will decide on Jan. 20 whether another court should review Gary McKinnon's case again, said Karen Todner, his attorney. If the judge approves the request, a further hearing would be scheduled later next year in the High Court, Todner said.

McKinnon, of London, was indicted in November 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on charges related to illegally accessing and damaging U.S. government computers. McKinnon maintains he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The U.K. government approved his extradition in 2006, but McKinnon filed several appeals in U.K. courts, losing them all. The European Court of Human Rights rejected another appeal in August.

That ruling appeared to clear the way for McKinnon to be sent to the U.S. But McKinnon applied once again for a written review of the case, which was rejected. However, McKinnon could still ask for an oral review, which will occur on Jan. 20. McKinnon's extradition order has since been put on hold pending the latest challenge, Todner said.

If the judge rejects the review, McKinnon could appeal once again to the European Court of Human Rights but on new grounds, she said.

McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by obsessive behavior and deficiencies in social interaction. The condition means McKinnon may have an argument that if he is extradited, found guilty and sentenced, he should be allowed to serve his sentence in the U.K.

On Oct. 30, 80 members of Parliament signed an early-day motion urging that the U.K. government get assurances from the U.S. that McKinnon could serve his sentence in the U.K. due to his medical state.

The soft-spoken McKinnon has admitted to his hacking but said he did not believe it caused damage. The U.S. government alleges it cost at least $US700,000 and caused the shutdown of critical military networks shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

McKinnon has not been incarcerated as his case traversed the courts. He's not supposed to have contact with computers and has said he has struggled to find gainful employment because of the publicity around the case.

He does have a band of supporters, however, who asked the U.K. government not to extradite him and held small rallies outside the U.S. embassy in London. Those supporters are planning another demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy on Friday, according to a blog chronicling McKinnon's plight.

The demonstrators plan to give a letter to the embassy asking President-elect Barack Obama to intervene once he takes office on Jan. 20.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?