UK to decide on NASA hacker extradition by Oct. 16

If Gary McKinnon's extradition is approved, the case will proceed to the High Court in November

The U.K.'s Home Office will decide by Oct. 16 whether to block the extradition to the U.S. of Gary McKinnon, who has admitted to hacking into U.S. government computers, McKinnon's attorney said on Thursday.

McKinnon, 46, of north London, was indicted in 2002 at the U.S. District Court in Virginia for hacking into 97 military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002.

McKinnon's extradition, though approved by the British government in 2006, has been delayed by years of court reviews and legal maneuvering. His case stirred controversy over the fairness of the extradition treaty between the U.S. and U.K., although a legal review completed last October found it was not slanted against British defendants.

In 2010, Home Secretary Theresa May adjourned a judicial review of McKinnon's case that had been due to take place in the High Court. Since then, the U.K. government has been conducting an inquiry into McKinnon's medical record. He suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a neurological disorder related to autism characterized by deficiencies in social interaction, as well as depression.

If his extradition is approved the case will proceed to the U.K. High Court, which has scheduled hearings for Nov. 28 and 29, according to Karen Todner, McKinnon's lawyer.

McKinnon has admitted to hacking the computers but asked that his prosecution be conducted in the U.K. The Crown Prosecution Service has declined to prosecute, contending the U.S. wants jurisdiction and that most of the evidence is held by the U.S.

McKinnon, who went by the name "Solo," contends he was merely searching for proof that UFOs exist and that he didn't harm the systems he is accused of hacking. He used a program called "RemotelyAnywhere," a remote access tool, to access computers, many of which were protected by only default passwords.

The U.S. military alleges that McKinnon deleted critical files from its computers, causing up to US$800,000 in damages, and hampered its efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?