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back to article McKinnon family welcomes extradition treaty review

The coalition government's decision to review extradition law has been welcomed by family and supporters of Gary McKinnon, even though it's unlikely to have an immediate effect on his case. Home Secretary Teresa May announced plans to review the UK's extradition arrangements on Tuesday in response to long-running complaints that …

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Big Brother

Bonkers

If we're going to extradite anyone, it should be the moron that drafted and signed us up to this very one-sided deal with the US in the first place!

They should be brought to task to explain why the hell they thought it was a good idea.

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One sided is right

Whilst the USofA has ratified the treaty, the level of proof they need to grab anyone from the UK is non-existent whilst the UK must prove it has a case in a USofA court before any extradition, It is high-time our "ally" stopped treating us like the enemy and dealt with us on a fair basis.

What McKinnon is was wrong, no doubt on that, but he only managed it because in the 15-odd years the USofA has had to increase security since Clifford Stoll raised the alarm, they have done jack-shit.

We should, in this instance, try McKinnon in the UK, punish him here (if the cased is proven) and tell the USofA to shove it. Of course, maybe the USofA will just "extract" him covertly - they have form for not caring on the legalities of foreign countries or individual freedoms.

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Prima facie evidence

isn't really required where the accused has admitted guilt. I believe in this case McKinnon has admitted guilt. There is of course an argument about the extent of damage which he did, or did not cause,

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No titles here.

"even though it's unlikely to have an immediate effect on his case."

Don't see why not. If the law was brought in after he committed the crime and was arrested for it, yet they were still able to shoehorn it in and make it take effect retrospectively, then if the law is dropped or changed, surely that can also be applied retrospectively?

Steve.

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Crimes committed in another country

Given that burning the Koran would be a crime in many middle eastern countries, I wonder if the Americans would extradite Pastor Terry Jones to one of their allies in The War Against Terror (maybe Saudi Arabia) upon request.

As I understand it, the Americans have refused several offers for Gary McKinnon to be tried in the UK, despite the fact that he was in the UK when allegedly committing the crimes in question.

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Unhappy

for me, it's the retrospective part that sticks in my throat

Applying laws retrospectively is simply not fair and goes against natural justice.

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Boffin

for me, it's the retrospective part that sticks in my throat

Retrospective laws are also a violation of the US Constitution... except they're call ex post facto laws...

ex post facto [(eks pohst fak -toh)]

A descriptive term for an explanation or a law that is made up after an event and then applied to it: “The chairman's description of his plan sounds like an ex post facto attempt to justify an impulsive action.” Ex post facto is Latin for “from after the deed.”

(The American Heritage Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd edition)

Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution... (in part)

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Thus, it seems that since the treaty was adopted (supposedly) AFTER McKinnon did the dirty deed Uncle Sam is trying to extradite him for, the government is violating its own Constitution and laws... Has that argument been tried in the UK courts?

Anon because they ARE watching... going back into hiding.

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Extradite McKinnon

Problem is that McKinnon has admitted hacking into computer systems. There's your crime right there. How much damage he caused is a separate issue - and that's a matter to be presented in front of a judge and jury. But he's committed a crime and publicly admitted carrying it out. Oops.

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WTF?

Yes he did commit a crime

...but he committed that crime in the UK. Just because the computers he hacked happened to be in the US in neither here nor there. If the US authorities wish to present evidence to the UK prosecutors as to the scale of the damage and what he did then by all means do so, that's fair enough. However to expect him to face trial in the US for a British crime is completely ridiculous and totally wrong.

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Umm, admitting something, isn't evidence.

People should only be prosecuted when there's proof they've committed a crime.

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Happened before

McKinnon is hardly a super hacker, as a matter of fact his method was embarrassingly simple something the average script kiddie could do, however the problem is the US prosecutors is their tendency to hype the seriousness of the crime.

I remember an interview with Kevin Mitnik where he said the prosecutors alleged at his trial that he had the skills to launch nuclear weapons using just a mobile phone, and as a result he was banned from using mobile phones or computers for years afterwards, despite the fact the whole story was fanciful garbage (Apparently the prosecutors mentioned the movie "War Games" which shows the depth and professionalism of their research!).

We also have the case of the British woman on death row in Texas, the prosecution case for which defies belief.

American prosecutors seem to construct elaborate fantasies to convey the absolute worst image of the person concerned regardless of the facts.

Mr McKinnon may not be blameless but he doesn't deserve the shafting the American legal system will give him should he be extradited.

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