back to article McKinnon loses extradition fight

The European Court of Human Rights has refused to intervene in preventing the US extradition of accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon. The ruling by the seven judge court, made Thursday, kills off McKinnon's last hope to avoid extradition to the US to face charges of hacking into US military and NASA systems, following the …

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lets see here

before you do the crime, think about the time.

cha'mon.

whats he whinging for? crime commited, caught and detained, END OF.

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Flame

"McKinnon's fate now seems sealed"

So does Jacqui Smith and the government's.

I'm a Labour voter of nearly 30 years and this is the final straw. They have to go.

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Only way is ...

...to commit a crime in the UK that will get him a custodial sentence or at least a lengthy trial as that takes precedence over the septics.

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Alien

Perhaps...

His appeals would have been more successful had his lawyers not tried completely different grounds for appeal at each step. Surely that undermined their case somewhat? And now we have the issue of his suffering from Asperger's syndrome, surely if his lawyers really considered that a reason for him to be tried in the UK it should have been the basis of their appeals?

Straws and clutching.

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Jacqui Smith

Why *wouldn't* Jacqui Smith intervene? She's intervened in every-bloody-thing else happening in this country...

(having said that, considering the consequences when she 'intervenes' I'm not sure I'd particularly want her on my case)

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Silver badge

Asperger Syndrome

What the hell does that have to do with anything? Totally irrelevant to the case - what would have been relevant would have been to have a rant about how fecked up it is that this entire thing is even happening. There's no reason for my govt to be spending all this money on a geek looking for UFO stuff.

P.S. Asperger Syndrome is a silly, silly thing to mention in the article - you should be ashamed.

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Paris Hilton

Dragging And Screaming

Well, at least he's off on the dragging and screaming option....

Tis total balls though, the guy was in the UK at the time - the crime might have been on machines on US soil but still, the law changed since he committed the crime. Its a bit unfair to drag him to the US.

Hacking into US Military stuff is serious but honestly, if its that important it should be on a private network, not the internet... live and learn, if the same happened to a US company from a hacker in the UK I doubt the same rules would apply here.

Paris, because Gary may be visiting a prison near her shortly.

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Paris Hilton

Bye bye

He did the crime, now he should shut up and do the time.

Breaking into people's systems is a crime and if you're caught, then tough tities.

He broke into systems in the Strates, then he should be tried in the States.

Paris, because I'm sure she has a back door....

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Unhappy

Farewell Gary, we hardly knew ye

Now off to federal prison you go, destined for the brutal regieme of incarceration with a couple of hours of excersise a day and the ever-present threat of rape and serious violence.

Incidentally, John - the "pentagon hacker" subtitle in most of the McKinnon stories is hardly accurate - millitary interest machines, yes, but they were all in support roles (unclassified mailgates, desktops etc.). Hardly "War Games".

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don't do the crime if you can't do the time....

y'know if he flew out to the states and blew someone away he'd be dealt with stateside, even if it meant a death sentence. He clearly knew it was US government owned networks he was breaking into, so if he couldn't figure out he'd be prosecuted under US law (if those responsible could catch him at least) he must be dumber than he thinks.

I do feel that the punishment meted out is likely to be disproportionate, but it could all have been avoided. There are penalties here in the UK for intruding into networks. Even accepting the hmmmmm..... dubious sounding UFO story, what on earth made him think that his actions would have no consequences.

I'm sorry Mr McKinnon, but this is a truly epic fail on your part, and it is now time to pay the piper.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Asperger Syndrome

This is relevant to the case. McKinnon's own lawyer put this forward as a reason why he should be prosecuted in the UK.

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Pirate

Advice for Mr McKinnon...

Plead guilty as fast as possible and then kiss as much ass as you can, otherwise you're going to the big house until you're a pensioner :-(

Whilst I can't condone his actions, neither can I condone this Government's blatant USA brown-nosing by refusing to prosecute him over here.

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Coat

Well that's that then.......

I'll get your coat for you as it can get cold over there.....

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Unhappy

Special Relationship

Once again the "special relationship" works in the favour of the US - we do whatever they want us to and get nothing in return.

Disappointed that the ECHR has decided not to hear this case, sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

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IT Angle

A Lamb to the slaughter

Simply outrageous.... not a lt more I can say. While it is pretty obvious he commited an offence (and should face justice) the collusion shown by our Government (if you can call them that) is simply sickening.

The poor guy is likely to be hung out to dry, lets hope the trial becomes a thorn in the side of the incoming president he MAY then have a slim chance of a more leniant sentance.

How far will our ruling muppets go, wonder if we will see Phorm, BT et al facing charges for the same thing, somehow I doubt it.

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Spineless

How come the special relationship only ever works in one direction? IIRC, we asked for some US pilots to give evidence a while ago (when they'd killed some of our troops) and they wouldn't even attend court as witnesses.

Perhaps Gary McKinnon could get George Galloway to represent him in the US...

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Joke

Now if he was an MP,...

he could even have invaded another country and no-one would have been able to touch him!

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Stop

How can _WE_ appeal?

I think it's fair to say that the majority of el Reg readers are against McKinnon being extradited to the States.

To that end is anyone running any kind of campaign or petition to uk.gov?

I know it's probably too little too late but I think we have to do something.

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Stop

How convenient

That this all came to a head when Downing Street's petition site is on holiday.

Not that any petition ever gets listened to.

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Anonymous Coward

To all the crime / time idiots...

I think everyone agrees that he's guilty.

If you spent 5 minutes (generous, as I suspect your literacy skills are sub par) reading the article, you'd see that the debate is over the fitness of the punishment for the crime.

The argument is that being locked up in a 3rd world state at the whims of a not-too-bright dictator is a bit unfair for an idiot who found a bunch of ill-secured computers.

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Stop

To be honest...

I don't really care anything about this guy or the syndrome that he has "suddenly" developed in the hope of garnering some form of sympathy for his case. Whatever syndrome he allegedly had... or now has; it certainly did not inhibit his ability to break into multiple computer systems, at which ever way you look at - is illegal in this country, and most likely illegal in every country around the world. What he was looking for during these hacks is totally irrelevant I feel.

Should he be extradited? Probabaly not. But it will most likely happen as the UK "authorities" most likely want to get rid of this case ASAP so they can get back to squandering public money on pointless projects and to stop having to make decisions.

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Anonymous Coward

@Robert

"Tis total balls though, the guy was in the UK at the time - the crime might have been on machines on US soil but still, the law changed since he committed the crime. Its a bit unfair to drag him to the US."

Lets look at it from another angle shall we. Lets say somebody in a foreigh country plants a bomb on an airliner that explodes over the UK. Where should they be tried. In the country where they planted the bomb (which may or may not be supportive of their actions), in the UK or in the country where the plane was headed?

Complicated.

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Three crimes have been commited

One by Mr McKinnon for breaking into US military systems.

One by the US government for sloppy security practice which allowed Mr McKinnon to hack said systems.

One by the UK government for bending over and taking it up the ass from the US.

Ooops my mistake, buggery was legalised between consenting adults within England and Wales in 1967. So I guess only two crimes have been committed.

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Lee

@Skyraker

Surely the point should be that he has comitted a crime in the UK. Thats why he should be tried here.

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AC
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@How can _WE_ appeal?

"I think it's fair to say that the majority of el Reg readers are against McKinnon being extradited to the States."

I'm pleased to inform you that I fall into your assumed minority which will turn out to be a majority.

Either way cheerio to mckinnon, we wont miss you.

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@petition to uk.gov

Tell you what, why not have a poster campain or an intensive leaflet bombardment!!

Maybe some natty T-Shirts!!

N.B. The guy knew he was playing with fire. The fact that what he was so easy should have made him realise that someone would be so embarresed that there was zero chance of him NOT having the book thrown at him.

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Flame

The man is a huge tool !

I am FOR extraditing him.

He did commit the crime on US soil, that where the computers he hacked were.

Why is the IT community uniting behind this guy, he is an idiot ! He has also spent the last 5 years wasting tax money on legal aid defending something he admitted to doing ! He was offered a soft option of 6 months in minimum security US prision then being sent back to the UK to serve the rest. HE TURNED IT DOWN !

Asperger Syndrome does not give you the right to commit crime punishment free.

I hope they throw the book at him, hacking other peoples data is illegal, he certainly didn't do it by accident and he did it right after 9/11 HOW STUPID IS THIS GUY ?

If he'd hacked the home office and copied several thousand names and addresses of tax payers, the general public would be baying for blood.

Remember when you see TV pictures of him being dragged into a plane

HE IS A MASSIVE TOOL !

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@ Anonymous Coward

There was a petition previously - http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/GaryMcKinnon/

I would suggest writing to your MP instead and see if you can get them to ask a question in the house.

http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/commons/l/

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Flame

@AC

"this is the final straw. They have to go."

The FINAL straw?? FFs, fella! Where've you been hiding???

The final Straw was YEARS ago!!

This Labour supporter turned away about 2 years after Tony Blairius came to 'power'!

The dude did the crime, so he needs to do the crime. End of.

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Stop

@AC RE "@How can _WE_ appeal?"

"I'm pleased to inform you that I fall into your assumed minority which will turn out to be a majority."

I doubt it. With the exception of a few slow thinkers like yourself, most readers seem to agree that what he did was wrong, but crucially also understand that McKinnon is likely to face an unjust and disproportionate sentencing in the USA.

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Paris Hilton

@Lee

The computers he (allegedly) broke into were in the US. I think that's a pretty good definition of "where the (alleged) crime took place". If someone stood on the French side of the Rhein and shot someone on the German side, wouldn't they be tred in Germany?

That aside, I'm disappointed that his legal staff have got this far without trying the old "abused in childhood" defence.

Paris, because unauthorised entry really isn't her thing.

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Black Helicopters

Civil Disobedience anyone?

I watched Gandi again the other day... as long as we are willing to stand up for our rights en masse, then we are guaranteed keeping them. There will be a few who suffer greatly at the hands of our oppressors, but the grand majority will benefit.

Anyone else up for a national day of prayer and meditation? If the entire UK stops for a day, thats billions of our GDP gone, and the government would certainly notice that, after all, our debt is greater than our GDP! Maybe then they'd realise that WE ARE NOT IN AN AMERICAN JURISDICTION, AND HAVE NO DESIRE TO BE.

I'm extremely disappointed that the French (what with their EU presidency) didnt step up and block this.. but then again, they've all had the alien tech for a while, and it wouldnt do to let the knowledge go public.

I'd go AC, but there's no point. The police already filmed me for exercising my democratic right ("evidence gathering" - evidence of what?) to go out and publically protest the rather illegal and expensive war in iraq that our government happily piled us into. They probably have a big thick file of my El Reg posts, and I bet that they get a picture of me in my nice new Black Helicopters tee shirt FROM a Black Helicopter before i manage to get one of me in said tee shirt with one of them in the background.... ooh, and I dont doubt the letters to my MP about Phorm will be stashed in there too.

Mine's the one with the cutout front to proudly display the aforementioned black helicopters tee shirt.

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Anonymous Coward

USA Bully Boy Tatics

The UK just has no backbone, that grubby little country committed crimes against UK property, remember the Boston Tea Party.

I think we should posthumously extradite their founding fathers, try them and bury or cremate on English soil. We should also demand that common criminals not appear on monies exchanged on the global market. Declare the bill of independence an illegal document, and take back the Americas again wrongfully stolen from us.

That's the American attitude, at the end of the day he accessed a few unsecured American computers whilst he was in the UK, so bring charges in the UK.

Oh, and we really should be going after the Americans who funded the IRA terrorists, they cost actual lives and directly supported terrorism, they are still around today, so yeah let's have a tit for tat you can take our computer cwacker, and we will have those who funded the killing of innocent British lives.

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Anonymous Coward

@Lee was Re:@Skyraker

No, he committed the crime from the UK, but committed the crime in the US.

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The US the new USSR

This should have been tried in a UK court as the crime was committed in the UK. A reasonable sentence for the crime would be somewhere in the region of 6-12 months, possibly suspended. In the words of Albert Pierrepoint (UK hangman):

"I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people"

US Justice = Goulag

The people who should be going to the Goulag should be the US military computer system administrators and designers for criminal negligence with respect to security.

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petty nationalism

In these days of hacking, hijacking aircraft, internet betting, or offshore banks, the world is so small that national boundaries aren't relevant. Yet there is disagreement on what an extraditable (i.e. serious) crime is.

What's needed are some first steps in international justice. The Hague or Guantanamo spring to mind: too bad the Hague ducked the question.

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This is not about where the crime was committed

There is no doubt that this crime was perpetrated against US systems, irrespective of the perpetrators physical location (amazing thing, the interweb - It allows you to affect actions thousands of miles away).

The US legislates that such access is illegal, irrespective of the location of the perpetrator (c.f. Sir Ivor Jennings quote that parliament can legislate to ban smoking on the streets of Paris if it so wishes - such is supreme sovereignty). It is that the UK and the USA to agree bilaterally to extradite individuals to the respective jurisdiction, which lends weight to that legislation.

The issue is not whether he committed a crime, but that he is being extradited with (as far as I know) no presentation of prima facie evidence, on the basis of a unilaterally biased extradition treaty, to a state that has time and again demonstrated a lack of integrity in it's legal process whenever the terrorism card is played.

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Boffin

Aspergers?

I await the "Reiser is innocent" crowd to latch onto this one. Yawn.

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Erm.....

Excuse me, but the guy broke the law.

Extradition is then left to the courts to decide within the restrictions and interpretations of the law of the land and it's international obligations.

If he didn't want to be extradited he shouldn't have commited the crime. He is no different from any other person who breaks into some-ones house or business.

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Silver badge

So who gets jurisdiction?

Going to the "bomb in the plane" scenario (we all know where this comes from, so I'll skip it). Suppose a person from one jurisdiction plants a lethal device in a second jurisdiction, the device activates in a third jurisdiction and happens to kill a person from a fourth jurisdiction, and there is no overarching jurisdiction covering all three at once...who gets to try the bastard? Jurisdiction 1 (the perpetrator's home), jurisdiction 2 (the place where the delayed action began), jurisdiction 3 (the place where the delayed action ended), or jurisdiction 4 (the victim's home)? Is there a precedent for such cases?

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Paris Hilton

poor bloke

@ crime/ timers i agree but the point is he's gonna get delt with far more harshly than he ever could have accounted for.

my guess is though that he'll only do a small amount of time in the US in some nasty jail then he'll be transfered back to a comfy cell here in the UK with playstation do a couple of years and probably get a degree

next stop cushy IT security job?

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Gates Halo

Charges

In some fashion his trial will be tied to a terrorist plot and an attempt to subvert the US military, etc.... It's a GitMo he be goin'. He might get a trial... maybe.

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Stop

Quelle surprise?

Hacking is illegal.

He knew they were US DoD networks.

There should be no surprise in this ruling or the succession of previous ones which he has tried to overturn.

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Unhappy

No sympathy

The silly bugger hacked Yankee military computers (even if they were shockingly insecure) and got caught. He was offered a short stay in a Club Fed pen before being sent back to Britain. He turned it down.

Well, now he's gonna get the book thrown at him. Expect a very long stay in a really serious pen, laddie. You should have taken the plea.

Idiot.

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Pirate

@ AC & "Straws and clutching"

Absolutely agree! Throw away the key!

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Extradite the loser...

The guy is a TOTAL liar, and anyone that can't see that is frankly a twat. Looking for UFO information on not one but many US military computers? Right after 9/11? Yeah, THAT'S really likely - because we all thought that UFOs hit the twin towers, right?

No, he was out to confound the US government, and ended up wasting a whole lot of taxpayer money (that's yours and mine, btw) in both the US and the UK. Stop having sympathy - our governments could have bought each of us reading this a new automobile for what Kinnon has cost us taxpayers. How ANYONE can feel sorry for him, in the slightest, is beyond me. He's a tool, and frankly those that feel sorry for him (at their own financial expense!) are tools too.

And I repeat someone else's point above - he was offered 6-months in the US/remainder of time in the UK deal 5 years ago...he turned it down, and has made we the taxpayers pay another 5 years of legal fees prosecuting him. Funny, I think my kids could have used that money better, maybe on their schools...

Send him down a deep, dark hole somewhere for a long time.

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Why have some commenters here turned off their brain?

On the bright side, we will now be able to see clearly how the US press will censor reporting about the case. Hopefully some of the retired US military crowd will finally have some guts and use the opportunity to spill the beans.

It's kind of hard for me to understand the self-righteous comments of some of the (supposedly British) guys here -- wearing blinders, missing spine, hitting in their pants and not knowing how to spell system buster either, besides having strong pre-programmed but absolutely uninformed opinions... Sorry, got somewhat carried away...

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Alert

Wrong Thinking.

1. Where he sat when doing the crime is - must be - irrelevant. Failure to extradite him when the crime is an attack on government computers in another state would set a scary standard. Why not extradite him if his attacks were not government sponsored?

2. All this talk of disproportionate punishment in the states is wrong. I'm not certain where you get your info, but our criminals are treated better than many citizens of third world countries. It's not like he'll get bread and water and the guards will beat him or anything - And he didn't commit a violent crime, so even if they don't give him a break for being a foreigner (they will), he'll be out relatively quickly.

3. Maybe I missed the point (as a US reader), but it was the European court that stopped his appeal, so why the grousing about Labor? If it was a UK court that would make sense to me. Just trying to understand that bit.

4. It utterly surprises me that so many people are willing to come to the cause of a criminal. There are so many needy people out there, go try to help homeless or cancer sufferers or veterans and let the criminal serve his punishment.

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Anonymous Coward

the guy was an idiot

He did it. He's said he did it.

He broke into another nations machines (even if they were woefully secured), and dicked about.

He was offered 2 years in a minimum security prison then returned to the UK, but decided to be a tit, and now he's going to get punished for being a tit, twice.

Why would anyone stand up for the guy? He must of had some shocking defence if they did anything other then "just take the damn plea you f------g idiot!"

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Paris Hilton

to all the "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" posts

He didn't DO a crime. The crime he DID do was charged to him and dropped for lack of evidence.

Should we export Paris Hilton to Saudi Arabia to be stoned to death for showing her bits off? After all, that's illegal there and the internet is a public place (which is why you keep telling us we have no expectation of privacy wrt our ISP's) that extends all the way to Saudi.

Burn the witch!

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