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back to article Johnson refuses to intervene in McKinnon extradition

Gary McKinnon could be extradited to the US to face hacking charges before Christmas, after the Home Secretary declared he would not be intervening in the case. Alan Johnson had frozen extradition proceedings against 43 year old McKinnon - accused of hacking into the Pentagon's computers in 2002 - in the middle of last month. …

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Disgusting

Never did like Alan Johnson and really loath him now. A Minister of State doesn't have the discretion to block an extradition? In that case what are they for?

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oh

Sorry I've downvoted you. You imply that Ministers should be able to overrule the courts when they like, that's rather disturbing...

Sure it's not going to do Mr Johnson any favours in the court of public opinion but this is the right action to take.

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Law
Alien

*sigh*

Doesn't matter what camp you sit in, whether he's getting what he deserves, or he's a political scapegoat - I just can't help but feel really bad for the guy - I couldn't imagine being in limbo for nearly 8 years (if he was arrested in 2002?).

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Re *sigh*

Well that's because he's insisted on fighting it all this time. I don't understand why people keep saying the extradition treaty is unbalanced. It seems almost impossible to extradite anyone to the USA.

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Big Brother

All I can say...

...is that Johnson's one more reason for making birth control retroactive.

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Alien

The truth is out there

Did he discover the UFO files and do the Americans now want to silence him?

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Alien

The Truth is Out There

I read an interview with him way back in 2004 I think. Apparently he DID find UFO files and photo's. Of course, we've only got his word for that

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Anonymous Coward

Alan Johnson is

just a lying, gutless cnut.

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Shame on Alan Johnson.

Many MPs requested that Alan Johnson intervene in this. When he said that he had no power to, they came back with legal evidence that he was perfectly capable of doing so. Alan Johnson is a spineless toady whose crimes are vastly greater than some poor man who merely embarrassed the USA by showing how shit their computer security was. The man has spent eight years of his life with this hanging over him. That alone is punishment enough.

So here's to Strasbourg. I will personally reverse by previous cynicism about the EU and celebrate them if they actually save him from extradition. I hope they do.

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Alan Johnson considered the case?

My arse. He didn't so much as glance at it, except to rubber-stamp it "Property of the United States".

I thought Alan Johnson would be the next leader of the Labour party. Now I know he's a c***.

If he thought this would make him look like a strong politician, he's very wrong. It makes him look like an arrogant bully who's only subservience is to the White House.

People like him are what is forcing a Labour voter of 30 years to desert them at the next election. I don't recognise the Labour party any more, except as a lukewarm Tory party.

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With you

This is one of the final straws - I'll be handing in my party membership if Johnson becomes leader.

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FAIL

Just another abuse of anti-terrorism laws

It's just another in a long line of abuses of laws introduced to supposedly fight terrorism.

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Anonymous Coward

Re Prof Nutt

When Johnson said Nutt strayed from science into politics, he was really saying from fact into lying.

That is Johnson's job.

He is a conscientious worker!

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Paris Hilton

@sandman - exactly AND ...

A "Minister without Discretion" - are we talking Mandleson (again!).

Anyway if they really wanted to keep him here couldn't they just give him an encrypted flash drive and he'd be RIPE for detention....

Paris - cos she also knows about a lack of discretion.

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I'm not English, but...

...that Johnson guy sounds like a real prick.

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Grenade

Coward

We need to wipe Labour off the map at the next election. There's two other realistic parties to choose from!

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Anonymous Coward

Better course

The useful course of action is to vote liberal and force a hung house, then the tories and the liberals will be forced form a coalition. We might get some sense then!

Dumbo Joe Public will simply all vote Tory and we will replace one failed set with another useless bunch of toffs. I suppose the only consolation is that at least with the Tory party you know you going to get bent over the table and "sorted out", unlike Labour who do it on the quiet without you realising until it's too late!

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Go

Maybe, just maybe

some higher authority in the USA has finally decided to acknowledge the elephant in the room and poor Gary is to be the catalyst? It stands to be such an audaciously smart move I am almost loathe to telegraph it. Except Gary, like others before him, is reduced to the role of hapless pawn. But to play such arrogant, paranoid, officious, self-righteous ****s so well is the, admittedly long overdue, play of a true genius. There is a reason that common sense has not intervened, one that the factotums of silence overlooked in their ceaseless quest for control; they are the unwitting agents of their own impending redundancies. The world will be a very different place at the end of this.

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FAIL

Maybe

it would of been a good idea if Gary didn't hack into the military computers right after 9/11.

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Headmaster

It's Have FFS

It would HAVE been a good idea. Not Would OF. Please FFS people, it isn't a difficult language

And another thing while I'm at it:

Lose - To misplace something

Loose - Something which is not tight

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Those in glass houses...

Hey man, your english isn't perfect either - couple of erroneous capitalisations there, and no full stops in sight.

Practice what you preach, grammar bully!

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And another thing.....

You forgot to add starting a sentence with a conjunction.

Yes, I know.........

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Megaphone

Hello

Sorry für die schlechte Grammatik Mr Grammar Nazi

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Unhappy

Spineless pathetic knut

Why the haste? There are more deserving cases that should, be at the front of the queue. I note that Abu Hamza still hasn't been handed over to receive the full might of American 'justice' nearly two years after Jacqui Smith (then home secretary, remember her?) approved his extradition. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7233671.stm

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@ h4rm0ny

'So here's to Strasbourg. I will personally reverse by previous cynicism about the EU and celebrate them if they actually save him from extradition. I hope they do.'

You're getting your European courts mixed up.

An complaint of any violation of human rights legislation (the UK's Human Rights Act is a watered-down version of the European Convention of Human Rights) would be heard by to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The ECHR is authorised by the 47 nation Council of Europe and nothing to do with the European Union.

Judgments of the ECHR are NOT automatically binding on member states - the judges can issue an advisory ruling which member states are obliged to consider to see if their domestic law is accordance with their obligations under the Convention.

Aspects of EC Law (no it's not called EU Law) are resolved by the European Union's court which is called the European Court of Justice and sits in Luxembourg. Most of its business is interpretation of aspects of the various EU treaties. For the record, judgments of the ECJ are binding on members of the EU.

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@Jason Yau

It would HAVE been a good idea.

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Anonymous Coward

UK Nation has failed

and vote of no confidence withstanding, the option to secede is always there.

Faced with the prospect of years in a Yankee Nazi jail, or to break from the UK well I know what I would do in a heartbeat. So, the US could invade, well better to go down taking out a few of them for one of you. And, who knows they might not invade, though the US and its people has shown itself to be a violent aggressor with expansionist policies, and along with the UK has an abysmal human rights record.

And who knows if Gary was to openly secede it may start a trend, being a UK citizen strikes me as a pretty raw deal, breaking from the slave and corruption nation may be wise for a lot of folks, after all there are 65 billion reasons why, at the moment.

We have the technology where someone can feed, shelter, clothe and entertain themselves quite easily, all you need is access to water, some arable land, a bit of seed and some stock.

Well, here is your chance Gary of the clan McKinnon you can take responsibility for your own life, you might find there are also quite a few who may support you decision.

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FAIL

"No discretion" says Home Sec

More like no gonads!

Failmiester.

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Im a merkin

But I am with you blighties on this one. Total bullshit and I have been following this (not 100% but enough) that hes a scapegoat. Im a firm believer that he should be punished for what he did regardless of the reason but not like this.

8 years....well not only has he lost that but what ever time he spends in prison as well.

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The Office of CyberIntelAIgent Security would just be obliged and duty bound to say ...

"Johnson has decided that the extradition would not contravene McKinnon's human rights, and he had no "general discretion" to intervene in the case."

Methinks the Assault against his Free Will Opposition to the Hand Over would warrant a Mr Christian Bounty, in a Popular Swell Shell Intervention, Homely Secretary.

McKinnon Say No. He Say Yes. They say Why, for it contravenes McKinnons human rights to Protest at Errors of Judgement in Supreme Natural Justice in further contravention of Higher Laws in the Common Sense of Man in the Virtual Machinery Age.

Progress then is Drivered by AIRemote Robots Pioneering NIRobotIQ Pure Logic Circuits .....for Media to Present as the Future deliverable Now to sweep away the Past and Begin the Global ReBuild Again ...and with Global Operating Devices Help, what cannot be done, with AI Broad Band Casting Global Mind Mine Memes into XSSXXXXStream CyberIntelAIgents .

I do find it odd that Uncle Sam's Alien Control Secrets are available online to Computers and Various Devices Plugged into the EtherNet Capturing All Base MetaData and they would draw public attention to the fact with the prosecution/persecution.

What are the Military doing anyway, bugging the Internet and hogging Bandwidth. Cyberspace has no cupboards for storage of secrets or stockpiling of weapons. Virtually Every Day is a Real ZerodDay Bonanza when in a Perfect Frame of Mind [with Deeply Mined Information and Highly Intelligent Analysis]

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Black Helicopters

@Maybe

And maybe Gary saw things of which he didn't appreciate the significance.

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The good thing about Alan Johnson

Is that he has managed to unite all sides of this debate. They all think he is a spineless, witless, self-serving douchebag.

I wouldn't hold out much hope for Alan Johnson saving McKinnon. Private eye recently documented another extradition case in his own constituency where he campaigned to stop extradition when he was just a regular MP, and washed his hands of the poor dude's fate when home sec. In that case the person had suffered torture, and then was sent back to almost certain death.

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Big Brother

Washington

Bet there were angry phone calls from the pentagon to downing street when Johnson stepped in. Again we take this lying down...

Seriously, there must be something else at play here to get this going, otherwise any sane British leader would tell the colonies to p**s off.

Wouldnt be surprised if McKinnon gets 'randomly shanked' in jail or something.

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Anonymous Coward

Extraditing Cyber war criminals to Neuremberg

I told you he'd get one of is cronies to say Aspergas is not grounds for not extraditing, then he'd claim his hands are tied and has to extradite.

However this is not true. He is SUPPOSED to check the conditions for the treaty have been met. He is SUPPOSED to refuse to extradite if they haven't been met, and he is SUPPOSED to protect Brits from misuse of this treaty.

This is what he's refusing to do. The damages claim is hugely inflated in order to be above the minimum threshold of the treaty. The treaty cannot be used.

I think it may be connected to this: (The cyber war mongering from the US General, putting pressure on him to extradite these serious cyber war criminals by equating script kiddies to an army at war with the US)!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/26/24th_cyber_pinned_down/

This is why courts should have this role, not politicians. They're too quick to sacrifice one person in exchange for some political deal, or to get them out of a tricky situation.

And Alan Johnson seems particular slimey in this. He keeps misdirecting to try to take the heat off himself...

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!! FFS !!

McKinnon was a nob for doing the hacky thing but it's plainly obvious that the UK Gov is an openly (brazenly even) corrupt organisation working only to serve its 'members' needs at the expense of the electorate.

When you get Sithlord Mandelson having a free luxury holiday on David Geffen and then copyright policy suddenly U-turns it's about as blatant as you can get without an actual video of Mandy & Geffen chortling together over Kristal & Belgua in a ball pit of $1000 bills.

Oh and Alan... SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY mate.

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American Crime

The real crime was that US Defence computers were capable of being hacked at this level. As for extradition, we could consider that when the Americans explain why they permitted collections for the IRA in the bars and streets. And why they failed to extradite convicted terrorists. The axis of evil, perhaps?

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Anonymous Coward

Statute of limitations?

Not knowing anything about US law, I wonder when (or if) the statute of limitation will apply to this - offence was committed on 2002, that's 7 years ago, which is quite a while.

Shoot be down in flames by pointing out the myriad of ways this doesn't apply here - as I said , I know nothing about US law.

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Is it hacking?

I heard that many of the files that he looked through were on computers that were connected to the internet but that were not password protected or behind a fire-wall. If that's the case then does hacking now include cases where people look at pages or files that are on the internet but for which no disclaimer is made to suggest that the author makes tham available for general viewing?

Perhaps it only counts when you look in the U.S. American military computer systems. That means that while the negligence of the U.S. American military computer systems administrators persists all computer users must try not to access their systems or they will be extradited.

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Black Helicopters

Politically expedience, nothing more...

Interesting how the Glasgow-born hacker's extradition is put on hold right before the Glasgow North by-election, and resumes almost immediately afterwards...

Nothing at all suspicious there, now move along, or you might suddenly look "a bit too tall in a public place"....

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Niccolo Machiavelli

I was looking for a quote by Niccolo Machiavelli on how a prince should honor a treaty and found this

"Politics have no relation to morals. "

However this one sums up how a country should view a treaty

"Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses; they last while they last."

Charles de Gaulle

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FAIL

51st State

With the Iraq inquiry ramping up it's perfect timing for Johnson to show, once again, that New Labour has made this country "America's bitch".

McKinnon has admitted that he 'broke into' computers he shouldn't have but that's different to admitting he's done damage on the huge scale America is claiming but has provided no evidence of. No tested evidence of any damage has been shown, but I'm sure the US will want to hang him out to dry for a very high profile and utterly embarrassing failure to secure their systems. He'll be punished for America's incompetence and failure and those responsible for that should be in the dock, not McKinnon. Lucky for them; they got themselves a scapegoat and our Government is pleased to oblige.

Legally, Johnson is probably right - having gleefully handed our sovereignty to the US of A, made ourselves subservient to their every whim, McKinnon is just a victim of that but I bet Johnson would soon find a reason extradition could be prevented if it were a government minister facing extradition.

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Black Helicopters

Is it deliberate?

Only a few short months ago, Johnson was being promoted as a possible future PM. Is he being told to repeatedly make a complete arse of himself in order to ensure that he doesn't confuse things for the next coronation*?

* - I refer, of course, to the fact that the current PM wasn't voted into his (currently uncomfortable) position.

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Grenade

Re: *Maybe*

That should be "would *have*"... Why so many people fail to get this is beyond me.

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WTF?

Oh My God

This is horrible!

In the 90s a couple of swedish guys hacked NASA and the CIA and the US wanted them too.

But here we dont send our citizens to some crazy lifetime sentence abroad.

You truly have spineless politicians over there in the UK.

F-ing tragedy!

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Grenade

London, USA.

Seriously - why don't the Brits just swap the Union Jack for the Stars 'n' Stripes, and be done with the pretense of being an independent nation?

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Flame

Hmm

The treaty is totally one sided. The USA can demand anyone be taken from the UK and they do not have to show evidence of any crime or anything. Even if the person's actions are not a crime under UK law, they can still be taken. It's legalised kidnap.

The UK, in contrast, must show evidence and effectively prove their case in the USA before the USA will even consider extradtion and even then they can refuse. The UK can not refuse ANY request from the USA.*

If it totally one sided and quite why signing it was not considered an act of treason is beyond me.

McKinnon is an idiot (Asperger's or no). He deliberately attacked and penetrated computers in the USA. The fact that they were poorly secured does not changed the fact that McKinnon committed a crime. I rather doubt he did any damage and for the electronic equivalent of shacking a look loose and shouting "Coo-ee! Anyone home?" he should be give...oh, 3 months at a local open prison?

The even bigger idiots are the USA military who obviously have no learnt ANYTHING since Clifford Stoll's time (go look him up kids) and seem more intent on denial and shooting the messenger than anything else.

Yes, McKinnon is guily (he has admitted to it).

Yes, he should serve time.

No, he should not be extraditied.

No, he should not be made the scapegoat for the USA's negligence.

We should never have signed this treaty.

Our MPs (our supposed "servants") have let the nation down again and are a bunch od self-serving assholes (almost without exception).

*And if you think this is bad, read up on European Arrest Warrants. The UK can be forced to deport you to any EU country for any reason and without any proof. That means you can be deported to an EU state that engages in abuse of witness and has dubious legal process (e.g. Greece).

Once again, our MPs are too concerned about the gravy train and boosting their expenses claims to give two shits about the UK public.

The Germans, by contrast, have some balls and have told the EU where they can go shove EAWs.

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WTF?

No Discretion?

These morons have the "discretion" to invade entire countries at the cost of countless lives entirely at a whim.

Of course Johnson maybe took some merkin heat after Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi got released from stitch-up by MacAskill and needs to mollify the knuckle-draggers in Washington somewhat.

If McKinnon comes to harm, I'd want that spineless, lying bastard Johnson's head on a platter even more than I do now.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course you have discretion...

Of course you have discretion, Mr Johnson - in fact you just exercised it.

The Yanks said "Jump!" and you got to decide how high....

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Two facts

Johnson is a spineless twat.

Hackers are scum.

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