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back to article McKinnon's mum applauds Obama extradition stance

The mother and attorney for Gary McKinnon voiced optimism about the prospects of blocking the accused NASA hacker's extradition to the US after President Barack Obama said he would respect the UK legal process. “We have proceeded through all the processes required under our extradition agreements,” Obama said during a press …

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Eh?

Sounds like our legal system has been nobbled then

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Huh?

Sorry, but when you see the following quote in the story...

"The comments appeared to contrast with a recent statement from US Attorney General Eric Holder in which he vowed to take all steps necessary to have McKinnon extradited and “held accountable for the crimes that he committed.”

"

You have to wonder what the author is thinking.

Both Obama's qoute and Holder's quote are in sync.

Holder is saying that they will do everything legally allowed under the law to get McKinnon to the US to face trial. Obama is saying that they've done that and that it's up to the UK Judicial system to decide McKinnon's fate.

It's a non story.

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I doubt it's a non story

if your Gary McKinnon (or his mum).

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Mushroom

@Lamont

Its a non-story. Essentially some reporter asked Obama a question about McKinnon. His response is that he's satisfied that they were doing everything within the law to get McKinnon extradited, its a valid extradition so he's waiting to see what the UK courts do. He says that the US will honor the UK court's decision. (Patent no brainer response.)

So now a reporter calls up McKinnon's mum and asks how she feels about Obama's comment that whatever the UK judges decide is the final answer? What do you think, she's going to say?

Its a non-issue. What is an issue is what the UK courts decide. Is an undiagnosed 'mental health' issue enough to stop extradition? Its an affirmative defense that has repercussions outside of this trial. That would be a story.

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Time to maybe drop a hint to Holder to cool it?

Pandering to the more aggressive members of your team is sometimes bad for the image of the company as a whole. I don't see any benefit to dragging McKinnon over here; it might make some dynamic junior prosecutor's career (they think) but its a waste of time and resources. We've got more important things to worry about.

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That's what he said in public.

But what did he say in private?

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Trial in the UK?

I don't understand why the Yanks haven't taken up the offer of a trial in the UK, It would give them a their day in court, the whole affair would be dealt with and everyone would start to forget how a number of US military systems were exposed to the Internet with woefully inadequate preparation. In any case, McKinnon was in the UK when he allegedly accessed committed various offences, so one might have thought that he would be subject to UK law, rather than that of the USA.

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Trial where ?

Well, let's see, I'm sure that the USA would immediately extradite any north american citizen found guilty of hacking into servers in, say, China, or Iran, wouldn't they?

No?

What a surprise...

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Big Brother

Ah, I see you're confused.

Hence, your idea/perception that a US trial would mean the airing of the inadequacies of the network security in open court. You've not been keeping up with the course of things in US courts it seems. Most of the federal judges have taken the position that whatever the executive branch says is to be accepted no questions asked.

The DOJ would simply tell the judge that as a matter of "national security" the details cannot even be revealed behind closed doors and under seal. This of course would make a fair trail unlikely, but fairness and justice have long since been rendered an unnecessary inconvenience in most US courts so they won't fuss too much over such details.

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Yeah right...

“It's now in the hands of the British legal system. We have confidence in the British legal system coming to a just conclusion, and so we will await resolution and we will be respectful of that process.”

Shall I translate that for you?

"We (the Americans) have submitted all the correct legal paperwork to the British government for the extradition, we now await the British government to follow the laid down rules and guidelines in our very one sided agreement, and chuck Gary on a plane as soon as they are satisfied the forms are correct".

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Go

RE: Yeah right...

you are correct, that is what he meant, but that isn't what he said, and if there is any possibility for her to use his words and stop the extradition then good on her really.

You know what he was implying, I know what he was implying, but if she can twist the meaning behind the words, to the right people at the right time, she might be able to get a politically acceptable climb down.

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Boffin

No Contradiction.

'The comments appeared to contrast with a recent statement from US Attorney General Eric Holder in which he vowed to take all steps necessary to have McKinnon extradited and “held accountable for the crimes that he committed.”'

No, they don't contradict -- if you understand US political shorthand.

Y'all* do know that it's in neither Holder's authority nor our interests to violate your sovereignty over this, don't you? So he couldn't do more than go through the proper channels, and Obama's statement simply confirms this.

On the one had, you have the AG vowing to do everything possible to bring someone to justice, which (a) is his job, and (b) sounds good to all of the knuckle-draggers over here.

On the other hand, you have the President vowing to respect UK sovereignty, which (a) makes a nice diplomatic sound bite, and (b) sounds good to all of the pacifists over here.

So essentially you get Holder looking more the bad guy than Obama (that's part of any appointee's job) either way this falls out, and the administration as a whole able to say "we tried" to whichever side loses out.

Of course with the rise of the Punditocracy over here, both sides will latch onto whichever statement they hate, so only those of us who can actually think will appreciate this move at all.

Fortunately for Obama, that's his target market.

Unfortunately, I'm increasingly of the opinion that it's not large enough to carry him through the next election.

* a lovely little contradiction, invented by our southern members. I don't use it very often, but sometimes it's the best way to set the proper tone.

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Boffin

Huh?

Don't they teach logic in the UK? Only in looney Britain would Obama & Holder's statements be interpreted as not being in complete agreement. The US will take all "necessary steps" as Holder claims, in the UK extradition process, and as Obama says, will be "will be respectful of that process". In other words, it's in the UK court system, the US will try it's best to have him extradited, and if the UK courts decide he should be extradited, the US will have him brought to the US and prosecute him. If the UK courts decide he should not be extradited, he'll be set free in the UK, and unless he's so stupid as to travel to the US (or it's territories or some other country that respects US warrants) on his own, the US will not be able to try to prosecute him.

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LMFAO!

You actually believe His Presidency, Obama The First?

Remember, this is the guy who said Britain was 'just another country', returned the bust of Churchill, gave Brown US region dvds, gave the Queen an iPod, threw Israel under a bus full of suicide bombers, allows TSA to molest children and grandmas', STILL has Manning locked in a hole, hides his past, bows to Saudis, starts yet another war in Libya, creates Obamacare and then lets his supporters opt out of it, and be sure to notice how he respects the rule of law - drones, invasions of sovereign countries etc...

The man is a bastard in the worst way and I can't wait until he's gone. Beware Britain! His Presidency is on his own side - no one else no matter how well he reads from TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States).

I personally hope that the ghosts of past US presidents fuck with him at night in the White House - could be the reason why you hardly ever see him there.

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Since you mentioned it..

"..the guy who said Britain was 'just another country" - it is.

["returned the bust of Churchill" - admittedly I don't know anything about that, so I won't comment]

"gave Brown US region dvds" - quick, call Interpol for this crime against humanity! Then show Brown how to make his DVD player multi-region.

"gave the Queen an iPod" - ..and?

"threw Israel under a bus full of suicide bombers" - ridiculous hyperbole, especially when you ask what Bush ever did to help the Middle East peace process.

"allows TSA to molest children and grandmas" - more hyperbole

"STILL has Manning locked in a hole" - you'd rather he was executed? Manning is being made an example of and rightly so, although I do disagree with the extremity of it. Still, it's not exactly setting up Guantanamo Bay is it? Who did that again?

"hides his past" - he does? He's written two biographies, exposed the fact that he has a part-Muslim background and still won the election, released his birth certificate - what more do you want?

"bows to Saudis" - what are you citing? And who are you citing as a better example? Do you remember when Blair asked for an investigation into BAE to be dropped?

"starts yet another war in Libya" - he did? Because I was under the impression that Cameron has had to cajole Obama into publicly supporting intervention in Libya at nearly every opportunity

"drones, invasions of sovereign countries etc..." - Far less than Bush has ever done. Oh and by the way, did anyone tell you that they got Bin Laden?

"The man is a bastard in the worst way" - You mean that? You really mean that? Worse than rapists? Worse than murderers? Worse than Manson? Worse than Bush? Worse than Nixon?

"His Presidency is on his own side - no one else no matter how well he reads from TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States)." Have you taken your medicine? Who elses presidency should he be acting on? And whether you consider it a good or a bad thing, Obama is one of the best orators the White House has ever seen, often writing his own speeches and not using a teleprompter.

"I personally hope that the ghosts of past US presidents fuck with him at night in the White House".. er? It's time for your pills now, anonymous coward.

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Anonymous Coward

@LMFAO!

Put your ass back on, calm down, take your meds.

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great representation

Obama "gave the Queen an iPod". She liked it so much she's getting an iPad now.

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"returned the bust of Churchill"

Apart from that being a gift to a *different* President, if you'd done a little more research you would have found that Obama's grandfather was in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising when Britain rejected the demands of that country's people for greater representation and land reform and Churchill ordered in the military who used repressive measures and torture (sound familiar) to try to put it down. Obama's grandfather was one of the victims of these measures.

So is it really any wonder that he doesn't want a reminder of that in his office?

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RE: LMFAO

Would you like some cake for your Tea Party?

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@LMFAO!

So in summary, no different to any of the others then?

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Unhappy

It's not McKinnon who should face charges but the incompetent people in NASA and the Pentagon ...

as it was their lax commitment to duty that enabled McKinnon to breach what is laughingly called 'security'.

It is time that defective piece of legislated by Blair & Blunket was amended so that Britain can put on trial all people accused of crimes committed in British jurisdiction - as do the French. Cameron has the responsibility, now, to secure justice for Brits.

Just imagine what the Chinese hackers can do if poor old Gary McKinnon can hack these computers!

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Read...

..."The Cuckoo's Egg" by Clifford Stoll.

They haven't learnt a thing!

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Black Helicopters

oBAMa

The Press's microphones don't seem to have been sensitive enough to record the muttered sentence that followed the President's quote: "We have proceeded through all the processes required under our extradition agreements. Now we send in the Navy SEALs."

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Unhappy

Wishful thinking?

Obama's statement sounds to me like "We've been through all the steps to extradite him and are confident that the British legal system will do the 'right' thing (and extradite him to us)". Doesn't sound like any kind of invitation not to extradite him to me.

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Sorted!

"McKinnon's fate is in the hands of Home Secretary Theresa May...."

Say no more.... No doubt she will bend over backwards in her efforts...

...and Mr. McKinnon will soon be bending over the other way.

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Aunty Terry

The Home Secretary will make a statement - as soon as she's ready for the cameras.

I distrust people who seem to care more for thier appearance than the people they should be caring for. (No I'm not sexist - it works for all genders)

She is a pin-up girl for the Daily Mail audience.

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Anonymous Coward

Great timing

"President Barack Obama said he would respect the UK legal process"

... and the UK legal process says they'll collaborate with the US on cybercrime:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/25/uk_ratifies_cybercrime_convention/

So Gary, window or aisle seat?

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Black Helicopters

The US has another approach of course....

They won't tell us,

They'll sneak in using black helicopters,

They'll SEAL the deal and disappear.

Then they can argue about it afterwards.

In some ways it's like gun-boat diplomacy. In other ways it isn't.

ttfn

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Many years on

From what I recall, Ferrari sold an F1 car at auction and wouldnt let the buyer officially take the car from them until 1 year later because their "technology" is effectively secure for 1 year, after which it is considered old? Wouldnt this be the case with NASA technology as well? If so... the amount of time for which he has been detained now and in court is ridiculous

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Coat

Err no

NASA technology is actually pretty old, especially the Software. I have some NASA software (they let me have it as part of my reasearch, I hasten to add). For the techies reading it is in Fortran. This Solar System ephemerides stuff, and yes, there is a C version available, but that is the direct output of a Fortran to C translator.

I make it circa 1985 technology.

Posted anonymously because, whilst this is old techm I still want access to it!

Mines the one with the "relearn an old programming language" in the pocket

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Anonymous Coward

@Err no

Nothing wrong with Fortran. With elliptical orbits, rotating planets and gravity to work with, Fortran is the correct tool for the job.

Now let's just hope they manage to stick with either imperial or metric values, and don't mix them up again - even Fortran can't handle that!

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Anonymous Coward

Obama...

...couldn't say anything else without being updiplomatic. It's bordering on a meaningless statement in fact. Concluding that this is a 'good sign' with regard to GM's extradition is daft.

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WTF?

Where'd you get that icon?

Do you have licence for it?

(We wants one)

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Anonymous Coward

Nope

Haven't a clue where it came from. Is it a new thing for ACs who don't choose an icon?

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Anonymous Coward

V for

very nice mask?

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Mask...

It's the mask used by Anonymous... As for if it's automatic or enforced, I don't know... If this post has a mask, then yes. If it has a thumbs up, then no.

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Indeed...

Everyone calls it the V for vendetta mask, but if you read the book, the mask worn is described as a Guy Fawkes mask.

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WTF?

Just plain wrong

The idea that McKinnon could get 60 years in prison for hacking is insanity. People murder and get out after 15 years yet this guy could do four times that for being inquisitive. I think people, we need to be asking ourselves some serious questions here. What is the US state/Nasa trying to protect so badly that they are willing to fight so hard to keep this man from ever walking the street again to tell his tale. I suspect this is nothing to do with making an example of him as hackers before him have done far less time in prison. The whole thing stinks and I for one do not want a special relationship with the US, you can keep it so f*** off home Obama.

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@ An ominous cow herd

China & Iran may of been one thing but they wont even even allow extradition to the UK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003

And I even agree with them on this stance, but why the UK government would think it alright escapes me?

I wouldnt agree with it even if it was a mutual agreement, but as it stands its little more than a d@#kslap across the face of the British people.

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Which would be OK

If the UK legal system weren't in the hands of the USA legal system...

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Just calm down Guys (and Guys, nice mask.)

I think what our president is saying is that we will not send in Seal Team 6 to get this hacker. I mean you fellows are our friends just like Pac. . . never mind. In any case our President has not gone after the f**king nut jobs that think he is a "gol dern muslin and black at that." so why think he is going to drop a helicopter assault team on your a** for no good reason.

This will very, very probably not happen.

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Don't worry

Seal Team 6 are currently busy, they've a prior booking at Mr Assange's residence

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Anonymous Coward

@Tim #3

There's no need for Seal Team 6.

Assange has pissed off so many people that it would be cheaper and easier if the CIA just outsourced the wet work to former KGB agents.

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How times change...

"The comments appeared to contrast with a recent statement from US Attorney General Eric Holder in which he vowed to take all steps necessary to have McKinnon extradited and “held accountable for the crimes that he committed.”

Words like that from M Thatcher were used by the US as a reason not to extradite an possible terrorist on the grounds that he wouldnt get a free trial....

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