UK hacker Gary McKinnon wins extradition battle

McKinnon won't be extradited to the US because of the risk to his health that extradition poses

Gary McKinnon, indicted in 2002 on charges of hacking into U.S. government computers, will not be extradited to the U.S., the U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said on Tuesday.

The risk to McKinnon's health posed by extradition to the U.S. was simply too great, according to May.

McKinnon has fought a decade-long battle in the U.K. courts to avoid against extradition to the U.S., seeking instead to face trial in the U.K. He has Asperger's syndrome and is at high risk for suicide, according to statement issued Monday by his attorney Karen Todner.

Psychiatrists appointed by the Home Secretary have confirmed part of that diagnosis, saying: "We can not offer reassurance that McKinnon would not attempt to, or be successful in, harming or killing himself if he is arrested or extradited," Todner's statement said.

Although McKinnon has publicly admitted to hacking, he has maintained that he was merely searching for proof of the existence of UFOs and that he did not harm the computers he accessed. He also pointed out weaknesses in the systems, such as the use of default passwords.

However, according to the indictment, McKinnon is accused of deleting critical files and causing up to US$800,000 in damages, and also hampering U.S. military efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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.

Mikael Ricknäs

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?