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back to article Pink Floyd guitarist pays McKinnon's health bills

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has stepped in to pay for Gary McKinnon's psychiatric treatment. The support came after the Asperger's syndrome sufferer, who faces the threat of deportation to the US for hacking US military systems in 2001 and 2002, became a victim of budget cuts by the London NHS Trust, the Sunday Express …

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Anonymous Coward

Friends in low places no doubt

McKinnon likes attention. He'll get his share soon.

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where to begin......

read a bit about aspergers.

he dosent like the attention, prolly go into a tailspin having a conversation with more than 2 or 3 people at once.

frinds in low places DAVID GILMOUR???????

WTF?

I suppose you are more a NKOTB man (well t certainly looks like knob if you just glance)

McKinnon may have been more than a bit of an eejit, (clue; hes in to UFO's for christs sake) but the real EEjit here is the UTTER plonker who bought a bog standard pc and just plugged it into what is supposed to be a secure network. I mean, does your workplace IT policy allow that?

US GOV really need to set the controls for the heart of the sun, and do us all a favour.

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titletitletitletitletitletitle

"who bought a bog standard pc and just plugged it into what is supposed to be a secure network. I mean, does your workplace IT policy allow that?"

Well yeah it does actually oddly enough.

Speaking of UFO consipiracies what technology exactly do you think the DoD has access to?

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TOP BLOKE

nuff said

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I just wish..

That someone (with the authority to make it stick) simply said to the USAians 'if your security was up to scratch a hacker would not have been able to get very far - learn your lessons and stop looking externally for a scapegoat'

Even if McKinnon is found guilty and flung to the moon on a trebuchet for his sins it's not going to stop others from seeing how far they can get - there are two ways of stopping your secrets leaking out; stop them being secrets by telling everyone in the first place or making sure that your security is up to the job.

Anything else is bound to fail.

ttfn

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WTF?

Re: I just wish

> if your security was up to scratch a hacker would not have been able to get very far

That's like having a thief that broke into your house tell you "If you had a burglar alarm I wouldn't have been able to get very far and steal everything in your house".

Ease of theft does not excuse theft.

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It's more like

Someone walking in your unlocked front door and leaving you a note saying "I had a look in the fridge, your milk is bad, lock your door before you leave"

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Wrong!

@ BiIIG

The post directly below yours is far more accurate. My understanding of what happened in this case after reading a fair amount about it online is that McKinnon broke into unsecured systems using blank admin passwords. It is laughable to say the least. The real life equivalent of pushing open an unlocked door to a home. He then read or looked at the documents which that account had access to looking for and hoping to find UFO files. Again the real life equivalent to opening drawers and reading paper within them.

I truly fail to see the estimated damage as being an accurate figure. The only way it even comes close to adding up is if you factor in severance for all of the now jobless sys admins. But lets be honest that is just a ramification for not performing in a role which they are paid to know better. I see this case as nothing more than a minor breaking and entering. He should be treated the same way as a B&E intruder would.

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Black Helicopters

Wrong but Right

@L1feless, Pushing open and walking into an unlocked door to a home is called Illegal Entry. If someone opens the unlocked door to your car and sits inside, you can have them arrested. Whether you took anything or not is a separate issue.

Any company has information that has value. This is important - Knowledge of that information is not illegal, GAINING ACCESS, in and of itself, is illegal. That's the Law. The corporate term is "access restricted". What you intend to do with that information, or even if you did not see the information, is irrelevant. The ACCESS ITSELF is illegal. That's the Law.

The law is against Gary McKinnon. He had to have known that trying to break in to US Military computers carries penalties. And anyone with common sense has to know that it is absolutely not to the US Military's advantage to not prosecute Gary.

I actually know companies that have blank admin passwords, or the username & password is "System". The accounts are really honeypots with non-valuable data or fake control panels. The accounts are monitored and an alert is sent to security. The intrusion is traced and the intruder identified and punished. The security rational is that they want to catch the intruder when they do something simple and known, rather than risk them doing something sophisticated and causing real damage.

I will bet that some of the accounts Gary broke were honeypots. Of course, the US Military would never admit that. The US Military claims Gary deleted files that shut down 2,000 computers. Of course, there's no way to verify or deny that claim. But the real question is, How was Gary detected and arrested?

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Shine On indeed

Although obviously Syd Barrett was the original crazy diamond.

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It's all part of the Big Society

You see, it's fine to withdraw funding, because Pink Floyd will pick up the tab. We've got The Sex Pistols running our local library and George Michael's funding some public loos.

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Coat

Public Loos

Maybe George could sponsor the engaged cubicles and the Pistols do the ones that are vacant?

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Boffin

Just to clarify....

It's not very clear in the article, but Pink Floyd (and Gilmour in particular) have a great sympathy for those suffering mental illness due to the Floyd's founder member Syd Barrett's illness.

Syd was a genius.

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Joke

Sir

"Syd was a genius"

Yes, but he flew too close to the Sun - failed to learn from Icarus.

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Ummmm

Someone should just clarify that Asperger's Syndrome is not a mental illness and is in fact (like most Autistic spectrum disorders) a developmental problem which causes you to socially develop much slower than others. This causes problems at school but not in your forties.

Most people facing a jail sentence would be having some mental problems and regardless of how insecure the PCs were it is no excuse. If you door lock is cheap it doesn't excuse someone robbing your house. Throw him in jail in the UK and scrap the "treaty" with the US.

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What a marvellous assessment

Clearly you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

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Anonymous Coward

title

I have to disagree. I know considerable amount of people with varying degrees of asperger's syndrome (quite a few of these tend to also be bright maths/computer nerds). I find it highly likely that where most of us would have a passing curiosity as to whether NASA know about UFO's, McKinnon could have developed an intense compulsion to discover the truth, as a result of AS, and be single-mindedly focussed on his cause. As such, it could be argued that he not be held responsible for his actions in the same way as others.

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@David Simpson Grow out of Autism????

Autistic spectrum disorders do persist into adulthood. Just ask one of my friends who works in a residential care home for adults with Autism. His daily struggles with fully grown adults who have the emotional age and behaviour of small children but the strength of fully grown adults are a challenge I would not like to face.

Perhaps you should swap places and take some of the beatings he gets. It might knock some sense into you.

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Grenade

Ummmm v2.0

"a developmental problem which causes you to socially develop much slower than others. " .... David Simpson 1 Posted Monday 14th February 2011 15:55 GMT

Oh, is that so? And there was me thinking that it can also have one developing a lot quicker than is perceived as normal and progressing in an altogether different direction and/or environment.

PS Cyber space doesn't do locks so keep anything you want secret off ITs highways and byways. Capiche. How much simpler do you need it to be to guarantee secret security.

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@David Simpson 1

@David Simpson 1: "Someone should just clarify that Asperger's Syndrome is not a mental illness and is in fact (like most Autistic spectrum disorders) a developmental problem which causes you to socially develop much slower than others"

In reply to that above comment, I would very strongly argue Asperger's isn't even a developmental "problem". I don't see a problem, I see an opportunity, if only society would embrace that opportunity. Being and behaving different isn't a crime. Being so intensely interested in the details of something, when others look on blankly and shrug their shoulders isn't a crime. Being disinterested in the superficial and preferring to focus on the intensely complex details in life isn't a crime. But it is treated like a crime in all societies where the superficial people are held up as role models.

It takes a certain kind of person to spend 20, 30 even 40 years of their life, studying something with such intensity and attention to detail that others cannot even begin to see their interest in that subject. But then that person emerges from their detailed studies and they are often a world authority on the subjects they have been studying. These people change the world and they greatly contribute to science. But not all achieve their potential. Many suffer low self esteem due to how they are treated. (Note I refer specifically to Aspergers, not the whole Autistic spectrum (as I know some need help) but even some of the non-Asperger Autistics can achieve far more in life if only their low self esteem was greatly helped).

I must add that I hate what the US are doing to Gary McKinnon, but I also hate the side effects of his own defence team's moves to categorise Asperger's as some kind of reason to feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for him due to how the US has dragged him through years of court stress and continues to fail to accept its own blame in failing to protect its computers. I very much doubt the guy had any ill intent. Aspergers are usually idealistic in their world view. But don't drag down Aspergers, its frankly an insulting disservice to all Aspergers.

By the way, the superficial in society, if you haven't already guessed are the Histrionic Personality Disordered people (HPD) in society. The most aggressive self interested attention seekers combine HPD with NPD (Narcissistic personality disorder), resulting in someone who will ruthlessly put down anyone who stands out around them as different and anyone talking with any interest or authority on their interests is standing out and so showing up the HPD / NPD people as not knowing much and so these people will condemn the people who study deeply. The HPD want to regain the centre of attention and the NPD can't accept anyone being better than them at anything. (Therefore a HPD+NPD person is very bad news to be around).

As a result, Aspergers often suffer low self esteem due to this relentless barrage of frankly outright abuse. If only more of them could learn to accept being different isn't a crime and also learn to see through the vocal minority in society who seek to condemn others (for their own two faced gain). I should also note, its not just Aspergers who suffer this abuse, its everyone, its just Aspergers tend to stand out without trying and so they really suffer badly from it. (Through no fault of their own!).

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Please keep up at the back

>> If you door lock is cheap it doesn't excuse someone robbing your house.

A better analogy would be you leaving your front AND back doors AND all the windows wide open - and then calling the police when someone steps inside to see what colour you've painted the hallway AND DOESN'T TOUCH OR STEAL ANYTHING.

And then to justify calling the police, you blame the leaking roof, the dripping tap, the iffy TV, etc on the visitor.

And good on David Gilmour, I can fully understand him understanding the problems of mental illness.

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@David Simpson

Mr. Simpson, I think perhaps you need a little clarification on Asperger's Syndrome. Although it is considered an autistic spectrum disorder, and many consider it to simply be high-functioning autism, there are many things that are generally accepted as differentiating it from other forms of autism. It's way too complex to go into everything now, but I will directly address your main issue.

You say it's "a developmental problem which causes you to socially develop much slower than others", however one of the main ways in which Asperger's differers is that it is characterised "by no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or general delay in language" - American Psychiatric Association (2000). Yes it is true that people with AS have impairment in social interactions, however it is not correct to say that they simply develop more slowly. "Social impairment is lifelong" - American Psychiatric Association (2000).

This particular case seems to hinge around McKinnon's ability to cope with jail and the stress of extradition to the USA. This seems a valid fear as "Individuals with AS appear to have normal life expectancy, but have an increased prevalence of comorbid psychiatric conditions, such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder that may significantly affect prognosis" - Woodbury-Smith MR, Volkmar FR (January 2009).

I could go on. Please try to have a vague idea of what you are talking about before you start typing. It's the complete lack of understanding that you and others like you display that makes the life of those with autistic spectrum disorders, and those of their families so hard.

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whereas...

being a toal and utter fuckwit, like yourself is good for all ages

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@MinionZero

>>The most aggressive self interested attention seekers combine HPD with NPD<<

You mean like pointy-haired bosses + marketing droids = politicians?

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titletitletitletitletitletitle, re: title

"it could be argued that he not be held responsible for his actions in the same way as others"

Because he has AS? Are we really arguing AS people don't know the difference between right and wrong - because that would mean you're right he shouldn't go to prison - he should be locked up in a secure mental facility of some description.

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re: streaky

"Are we really arguing AS people don't know the difference between right and wrong"

No - we're arguing that AS people are given to obsessive study which can incline them to be so focused on pursuing their line of study that they don't really register the bigger picture when transgressing boundaries most other people would be wary of.

If you can't tolerate and accommodate peoples myriad imperfections/idiosyncrasies, you'll be perpetually disappointed. Or a Nazi. And as pointed out above, this particular failing is also an asset - if harnessed in, say, the pursuit of science. Give him a job, I say.

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Boffin

Positive Disintegration

This reminds me of Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration, describing the process by which some people move on from being integrated with the non-thinking mainstream.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"His daily struggles with fully grown adults who have the emotional age and behaviour of small children but the strength of fully grown adults are a challenge I would not like to face."

Does he work with senior management or something?

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Paris Hilton

re: re: me

"arguing that AS people are given to obsessive study which can incline them to be so focused on pursuing their line of study that they don't really register the bigger picture when transgressing boundaries most other people would be wary of"

Right, but they understand law and consequences, right? So what's the problem exactly?

If he'd be suicidal isn't this why we have suicide watch anyway?

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WTF?

Next in line: Shine On Your Crazy Stepson

To truly be free you need to rid your immediate area of any perceived or actual mental challenges, and then your family. Especially before TV gets involved!

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Big Brother

Global Police State

Gary's current predicament needs all the media attention it can get cus if the USA can extradite him then we all should worry about cropping up on the wrong list, being extradited without any judicial process, as it stood before Gary's appeal, rendered to Egypt, eek sry that may not be the USA's no1 torture destination now, kept in secret prisons, tortured to death then the USA pronounce the death as suicide!

The USA really needs to check the right people here, the matter is their security was weak so thats the venders fault, if you dig a little deeper you'll probable find many top CIA, FBI, governors & senators have financial gains from the company used!

what he did was hack in and put "9/11 was an inside job" & "Iraq was an illegal war" so a little embarrassment caused for the USA but no real damage, imagine if a real terrorist had access, like the USA government!!!!

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Hmmm

So Theresa May is reviewing medical evidence that he might save him from extradition, while her government withdraws funding for his treatment? Love that Big Society...

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@David Simpson

Someone should just clarify that...

"This causes problems at school but not in your forties."

...is total bollocks. Go forth and read ...

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Oooo-kay.

Ah, according to a specialist, MacKinnon is having some problems related to being an asspie, and therefore it might be possible to convince someone or other to intervene and quash his extradition to the US.

How convenient!

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Dear Teresa, Madam Home Secretary, .....

"Ah, according to a specialist, MacKinnon is having some problems related to being an asspie, and therefore it might be possible to convince someone or other to intervene and quash his extradition to the US.

How convenient!" .... Turtle Posted Monday 14th February 2011 21:49 GMT

Stateside is it quite common to have prosecutions halted for any number of dodgy or enlightening reasons, although in the case of Mr Stanford is it probably because arms of the state are involved in nefarious activity which they would much prefer to remain unknown/undiscovered, presumably because it is still an ongoing and lucrative modus operandi. .......... http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2011/01/allen_stanfords_ponzi_trial_on.php

Considering the information made available in that Miami New Times piece, is extradition to America surely likely to be lead to inhuman treatment.

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The Fragile State

Concerns about the UFO-hunting hacker's fragile mental state?

How's about the fragile state of British Sovereignty?

Anyways, good for Gilmour.

Always knew there was a reason to actually buy some albums.

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"Mental Health Causes!"

That someone is willing to put funding into such a cause has to be applauded.

"Gilmour, a long-time supporter of mental health causes"

Not a very popular cause but I am sure everyone who reads this knows someone with "mental health issues".

My brother is a mental health nurse and I have to say I took the easy way out and work in IT. Better pay and a lot less s**t!

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Anonymous Coward

As for me...

I say, 'Fair play to Gilmour'.

I would however like to suggest that it's about time that the UK government and the general British hoi polloi said a nice big, 'Go f*ck yourself' to the US administration.

Sorry, just felt like getting that off my chest ;o)

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...and as for me...

I believe that is what has been said by successive UK Govs - but diplomatically. After all it is unlikely that the US administration is uniformly stupid and there's no gain in haranguing people who agree with you .

Thumbs up for Gilmour.

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"This causes problems at school but not in your forties"

I haven't hacked into the US .gov or anyone else. I don't even have a parking ticket to my name. But I am almost friendless, relationship less and jobless, with eleven year's work history to my name at the age of 46 - the latter despite a master's degree in ee and cs.

Would "David Simpson 1" like to swap my life for his? If not then he should close his mouth and open his mind: http://tinyurl.com/nationalautisticsociety

(AC in case prospective future employers see this and ignore the good bits)

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titular obsession

AC - "I haven't hacked into the US .gov or anyone else. I don't even have a parking ticket to my name. But I am almost friendless, relationship less and jobless, with eleven year's work history to my name at the age of 46"

I'm with you there, man. At almost the age of 40, and an AS sufferer, all of the above apply with the exeption of about 7 yrs work experience. Can't work with a crowd around me as I feel overwhelmed, and if I work alone, I get distracted quickly. * sighs *

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This is completely wrong

David Gilmour is helping out in one high profile case and while it will obviously be of comfort to McKinnon and his mother it will do nothing to help the millions of others with mental disorders.

The burden of care for those in need is with the state, that is what national insurance contributions are for.

As long as private individuals fund necessary care gthen overnments of all flavours will continue to wash their collective hands of further responsibility. If a treatment is truely needed it should be available on the NHS to everybody.

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@Chris

Meanwhile, back in the real world this government is hell bent on sacrificing EVERYTHING to say 'we got the nations finances in order'.

Dont blame Gilmour or 'private individuals' for their altruism making a mess of things, blame the Tories for their half arsed attempt to save a few bob. They will of course also set their Tory capitalist sights on privatising the NHS by pulling funding and asking GPs to go look for sservices on the free market.

Dave Gilmour is a legend.

Dave Cameron is a twat.

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Re: @Chris

Which real world are you talking about? The one that saw vast improvements in the NHS over the last ten years?

I don't blame David Gilmour nor anyone else for helping those they wish to. However, I do blame all governments for putting those in need of medical care in such a situation where they need to rely on the charity of others, especially when the money for the care needed has already been taken out of our pockets.

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Alien

Diamond Kite

Some observations:

1) Let us not forget that David Gilmour was instrumental in bringing Kate Bush to the attention of a grateful world. For that alone, he deserves more than a nod of recognition.

2) Gilmour's son, however, is a very naughty boy.

3) Cliff Stoll was writing about the pitiful state of US military computer security in the 1980s (The Cuckoo's Egg is a cracking good read). It seems not much has improved since then.

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"aspergers" Isn't the point

Anyone in the UK accused of a crime such as this, should be tried in the UK!

Deport suspect terrorist probably.

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Gratuitous Python reference

"Gilmour's son, however, is a very naughty boy."

Not the Messiah, then...

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Old Mckinnon, Mckinnony.

Where does he live then?

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