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back to article Daily Mail launches McKinnon campaign

The Daily Mail has launched a high-profile campaign supporting Gary McKinnon's fight against extradition to the USA. The red-baiting, Romany-hating paper criticises US authorities for treating a "naive hacker" interested in uncovering evidence of extraterrestrial life on poorly-secured Pentagon systems as a dangerous cyber- …

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YAWN!

I don't care where its held, as longs as its done in secret and I never have to hear of this idiot again!

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Anonymous Coward

Wot! He's Still Here?

I thought they carted him of donkeys ago!

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Paris Hilton

Ahhhk... fffffp...

I'm at a loss! The Daily Mail are running a campaign I support? But, but, but, that's not right, I can't make dry witticisms or refer to the Daily Fail. It must be a trick!

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Military intelligence

I'm not in the habit of siding with the DM, but this time, I'll make an exception. If the Pentagon had any brains, it would offer him a job, but apparently it hasn't. Quelle surprise.

(Nor, of course, does our Home Office. But we knew that.)

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Welcome

Excuse me but...

... he did, did he not, commit various offences under the Misuse of Computers Act, and corresponding legislation on the other side of the pond?

He did, did he not, intrude into secret databases where he had no right to be?

He did, did he not, confess to having done this?

I'm a regular reader of the titless wonder in quesdtion, but I must disagree with its stand on this case. He has committed offences in the USA, despite being on British soil at the time, so it's to the USA he should be made to go to answer for it.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Excuse me but...

I will have to make myself a cup of tea and settle in for this scintillating discussion which I've only witnessed 32 times this year.

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British citizens on British soil are subject to British law *only*

> he did, did he not, commit various offences under the Misuse of Computers Act

While in Britain, yes.

> and corresponding legislation on the other side of the pond?

Irrelevant. British citizens are not subject to American law.

> He did, did he not, intrude into secret databases where he had no right to be?

Secret databases with absolutely no basic protection against intrusion. One wonders why on earth secret databases would be put onto the public internet with no protection. This was post 11/9 (2001 if you've forgotten) and not exactly before people in the industry should have been aware of simple security measures. The people responsible for the damages are the "secret databases" sys admins for not securing the systems.

> He did, did he not, confess to having done this?

Yes.

> I'm a regular reader of the titless wonder in quesdtion, but I must disagree with its stand on this case. He has committed offences in the USA, despite being on British soil at the time, so it's to the USA he should be made to go to answer for it.

So if you made a dirty phone call to a US citizen and they pressed charges, should you be extradited for that or tried locally?

Regardless of your answer to the above, it is my opinion that since he committed the offence on British soil he should therefore be tried in Britain. Let the US investigators come here to present their case. It is not purely Gary's fault this happened; his ISP allowed traffic out of the country; some US ISP allowed it in, and the allegedly "secret databases" didn't stop him either. A British Citizen breaking what would be American law if he were subject to it, which he is not, while not located in American jurisdiction, cannot be tried under that (American) law.

Otherwise we would have to deport all the gays to Iran, because it's an offence in Iran to be gay. Especially if any of our gays fancy Iranians.

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Flame

You're not excused

He did, did he not, intrude into secret databases where he had no right to be?

They can't have been very secret, or very secure. The fact that the US authorities insist on drawing attention to their failure to secure their systems seems mighty odd.

I'm beginning to think the Russians have it right - no extradition. Alleged miscreants are tried in Russia under Russian law.

...and having poured oil onto this particular fire, I'll sit back, grab a pan and cook myself some popcorn on the flames. I need something to eat while I enjoy the show.

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@Sarah Bee

.. well that is the joy of our recycled media world.

And for my tuppence.... extradite him, when the US finally sign the reciprical extradition treaty they have ignored for years... until then there is technically no legal framework under which an extradition can happen.

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Alien

Hero

The man is a hero. They are trying so hard to extradite him because he is so close to finding proof of what we all secretly know using our subconsious telepathic powers: Tupac killed Princess Diana using alien technology borrowed from the US government.

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Dead Vulture

Re: Excuse me but...

"I will have to make myself a cup of tea and settle in for this scintillating discussion which I've only witnessed 32 times this year."

Well, if you don't like your site doing a Mckinnon article every other week, imagine how we feel :(

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Anonymous Coward

Its all about embarassment

Gaz "hacks" disturbingly unprepared US computers - embarassment for US

Plod investigates but DPP takes no action

US invokes extradition act to make example of him, judiciary acquiese

Gaz pleads guilty but funny in the head,

Home Sec etc ignore issue

DM takes up issue as spineless gov signing one-sided treaties - embarassment for Brown

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Silver badge
Alien

The only

reason the daily wail is supporting this is to give more bad publicity to the government

If the tories were in power then the headline would read 'Evil hacker to be sent to the US to be jailed for 60 yrs and good riddance too"

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What the hell?

"I'm a regular reader of the titless wonder in quesdtion, but I must disagree with its stand on this case. He has committed offences in the USA, despite being on British soil at the time, so it's to the USA he should be made to go to answer for it."

Wrong. He is a British Citizen. THe crime was committed in Britain, therefore he should be tried in Britain. If he ever set foot on American soil then they could arrest him over there if they wanted. But he should absolutely not be extradicted to facilitate that, especially as it's all about the US Govt trying to save face over their shambles of a security system on their military servers.

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@Sarah

How about watching a nice relaxing game of tennis? I believe there's some somewhare to be found...

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Bronze badge

@Blue eyed boy

That's hilarious all round. Thanks for playing!

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Boffin

Re Excuse me but... v2.0

By Blue eyed boy,

Nobody owns CyberSpace, which incidentally has No ZerodDay Native Rules, and it is naive and foolhardy to both store and use sensitive information there, for it is far too easily discovered and uncovered and abused and invariably secreted there for Obscene Personal and Perverting Private Gain?

In such a Paradigm is it Best to Share what you Know for a Greater Transparent Defence rather than do Battle with Yourselves for the Temporal and Temporary Illusion of an Offensive Disadvantage in the Great Game Delusion.

And I couldn't agree more, Sarah Bee, ..... "I will have to make myself a cup of tea and settle in for this scintillating discussion which I've only witnessed 32 times this year." ..... but then Man is such a Slow Witted and Clueless Tool, is he not? Both Ignorant and Arrogant to such an Extremely Damaged and Damaging Degree.

I Blame the BrainWashing. What say You?

A Simple Change of Programming in Media Applications would easily Fix and Better Educate the Great Unwashed Masses and Beta EduTain the Binary Hordes too. :-)

It is not as if IT is Hard to Do, for where and when there is AI Will is there Always an XXXXStreamly Convenient Way.

Is that Info. not known to the Planet and ITs Intelligence Services? Strewth, if that be the case are y'all still no more than Mad Maiden Savages and Virgins to Life and ITs Live Operational Virtual Environments.

Time for AIRadical Change, MeThinks.

Take me to urLeader, if you think you have one Capable of Universal Leadership.

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Anonymous Coward

This Government has......

as much spine as a jellyfish. Its no wonder we went to Iraq with such utter wankers in power as Labour and no surprise that Labour Prime Ministers bend over whenever they see a US President.

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Bronze badge

Just try him here. Tomorrow.

Sentence him to cessation of chocolate rations or a rampant wildebeeste, I don't care, just get it over with.

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Go

Whats Aspergers got to do with it?

So he's got high level Autism? So do 2 people I know. As do I to a lesser degree. And we all know that hacking the pentagon will be frowned apon. He did bad, got caught and now the US has asked they try him under US law. The UK (who I'd assume has an extradition treaty) have said yes (as you'd expect as they are our bestest friends) and now the daily fails upset.

All seems spot on to me.

Also "Aspergers victim", wtf can some one at the daily mail explain how your a victim of Aspergers. None of the people who know would even remotely consider themselves a victim.

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Silver badge
Big Brother

Lesson learnt...

... when you want to break in to a US military system, do it from a country that has no extradition treaties :-D

Would have been interesting to see what happened if he'd zombied a PC in Russia and did his thaaang remotely on that machine. Mind you, they'd probably just have kidnapped him and have him mysteriously appear on US soil and arrest him there.

Extradition is a difficult topic and I don't think it can be covered in a Twitter status, or even an el Reg comment (I realise the irony, yes) but there does need to be something in place. T'Internet is the only place this situation could happen (crime occurred in a country, perpetrated in another) - unless you lobbed a grenade over a border or summat.

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Megaphone

Stop kissing the septics behinds

Instead of keep sucking up to them for trident, why don't we just go and buy a load of cheap second hand missiles off the ruskies who are even more strapped for cash than we are.

It's the septics own fault for......

1) Using windows in military systems

2) allowing them to be accessible from the net

3) using passwords such as password

If only Wellington were alive he would give them a damn good thrashing before lunch and be home in time for tea.

Americans - a good reason for the Atlantic Ocean

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Grenade

@peat

You're confused. Let me break down the math:

story update + fresh comments = good

story update + stale, repeated comments = not good

See the difference?

What's that? Tired of McKinnon stories? Well, yes, I suppose the title of "Daily Mail launches McKinnon campaign" could be misleading and confusing... to some...

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Happy

More important matters....

@Sarah: I will have to make myself a cup of tea and settle in for this scintillating discussion which I've only witnessed 32 times this year

Darjeeling, Earl Grey or any teabag from Tescos?

milk or lemon?

one lump or two?

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Excuse me but...

You are completely missing the point.

Are the damages incurred accurate? Or are they simply the US government having to realise that they have to do their job and properly secure their systems - but to save face are pinning this act on their rogue hacker?

And more importantly, where are the news announcements of the people in charge of these IT systems also being put on trial? due to their incompetence?

I'm all for McKinnon going to trial in the States, as long as the very people in charge of securing these systems are also put on trial.

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Big Brother

i feel so dirty

i find my self rather agreeing with the position taken by the daily mail.

and like someone above i agree with the russian model. no extratition full stop unless of course the americans will ship over anyone we want for questioning like those chaps who kept blowing up the wrong tanks by mistake

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Boffin

Forgot about title

The whole point of being a citizen of a nation is so you're safe from the other crazy countries. If I sent a blasphemous email to someone in Saudi Arabia, would that mean I commited a capital crime there? Of course not! I may have blasphemed (which was technically a crime here until recently) but if I was to be tried it would be in the UK. Same thing if I scam money from someone in Nigeria. I'll get punished, but not in Nigeria.

The US is just embarrassed, but that shouldn't mean we have to offer some kind of sacrifice to appease them.

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Flame

He's...

Harder to shift then a Labour MP; I wonder if he's hoping for a future career in Politics?

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Happy

But do the Daily Mail know he smokes pot?

They'd soon change their minds... and send the drug-crazed loony away......

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Linux

When shower time comes ....

He hacked the US Military ... what the hell does the Daily Mail expect? Look on the bright side ... by the time he gets out he'll be great at picking up the soap.

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Enough already!

I'm so damn sick of this. I don't care what happens to him, but I don't want to hear about it anymore.

@James Pickett -- "If the Pentagon had any brains, it would offer him a job, but apparently it hasn't." You're absolutely correct. We all know that the very best employees are those who have a known criminal history. I mean, if you can't trust a criminal, who CAN you trust? Yes, I would most definitely hire someone who purposely broke into my system, and pay him to protect my system from intruders. It's not as if he would cause more problems from the inside once granted access. No, that would never happen.

@AC re "You're not excused" -- "I'm beginning to think the Russians have it right - no extradition. Alleged miscreants are tried in Russia under Russian law." Right on! In fact, I think EVERY country should support that policy. Oh bugger. I really do hate to play the terrorism card, but under that policy, Osama Bin Laden would be judged in his own country, where his crimes against the US and elsewhere are not illegal. Therefore, according to said policy, he committed no crime. Hmm, might need to rethink your policy.

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Black Helicopters

Law Enforcement Hams things Up (Again)

>He did, did he not, intrude into secret databases where he had no right to be?

Err, no. All computers than manage secret data are not allowed near the Internet. They're quite keen on enforcing this. McKinnon may be naughty, may be silly, may be both but "a danger to national security", I don't think so.

What you've got here is a battle of wills. McKennon is nothing, he's just the collateral damage. Don't encourage these types, you may be next.

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Megaphone

Being socially inept is no excuse

If being a socially inept computer nerd means you have Asperger's Syndrome, then I guess I also have it. However even I know hacking the Pentagon is a damn stupid idea.

The fact is he broke British and American law and he should be locked up. Seeing as the Americans are the only ones interested in locking the stupid bastard up, they should be allowed to lock him up. Preferably somewhere where we would never hear about the annoying twit again.

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Anonymous Coward

One has to wonder...

...what information did he cast his eyes upon that has made the Americans pursue him so aggressively?

It must be pretty Top Secret stuff, considering they put it on a server that was connected to the internet and secured it with the DEFAULT passwords.

I bet more than a few peopel have tried logging into the Pentagon with the default passwords, though. It's not hacking, it's curiousity.

Besides, we all know that the hugely inflated 'cost' of his 'hacking' was the cost required to put right what was wrong in the first place. Or is it a case of "if he hadn't hacked us we wouldn't have needed proper security"?

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Black Helicopters

Why did they wait?

It does look suspiciously like the UK authorities were leaned on *not* to prosecute until the one-sided extradition legislation came into force.

So now he can be extradited because the Merkins want to (we have to prove probable cause to get one of them over here) and the old get-out of saying 'he's already been tried' won't count.

Sounds very fishy to me whether it is in the Daily Mail or not.

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Silver badge
Heart

@ Sarah

> cup of tea

Well, as it happens I just got my mitts on a rather nice flowery Darjeeling oolong "fresh" from this spring, it's a direct import too, so if you feel like it we could share a cup... unless you're more in the mood for a -rather dryer- pu-er from the 2000 vintage, or a more honey-tasting white tea? That's if your obvious Japanes roots let you dring anything else than a good Sencha (of which I have a couple very good kinds). In any case, the kettle is on the oven. I repeat, the kettle is on the oven.

Oh, and we'll obviously avoid talking about Gary McKinnon, who is obviously quite a lame composer (even though it's probably *not* a good reason to extradite him. The UK is not Canada!).

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