Feeds

back to article Accused autistic hacker Ryan Cleary freed on bail

Ryan Cleary, the alleged hacker behind the attack on Soca's website, has been freed on bail. Cleary denies the charge. He is also accused of using denial of service attacks against websites run by copyright lobbyists the British Phonographic Industry and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The 19-year old …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

FAIL

Why make a big deal of a disability?

Why do you have to make a point about this persons disability? Autisim is not great for those that have the condition and not great for the people who have to care for autistic people. The media hype around this condition is not helping the majority of families with autistic family members. Shame on you.

1
9
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why make a big deal of a disability?

In this instance I think it counts as mitigation, actually.

8
1
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Why make a big deal of a disability?

And it's been brought up, so it's relevant, but no one's having a pop, OK?

While I'm here - hey, everyone! Let's see who can win a prize for not being a total dick in this thread.

11
0
Silver badge

Cleary's lawyer...

...was the one making a big deal of the Asperger's.

Obviously agoraphobia wasn't cutting it.

0
4

Re: Obviously agoraphobia wasn't cutting it

Agoraphobia is hardly grounds for an early release from remand

8
1
Silver badge

@Sarah Bee re prize

Well, first I'd like to know what the prize will be.

(I guess I just lost, didn't I?)

0
0

@Sarah Bee

"In this instance I think it counts as mitigation, actually."

Evidently it does... but it bloody well shouldn't.

I have *never* met a person with AS (and I have known many, myself included) who does not know the difference between right and wrong.

Even if he doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong, you can bet your damn life he knows that hacking is illegal.

Using a conveniently rapidly obtained AS diagnosis in mitigation against criminal charges is disgraceful. I say "conveniently rapidly" because it's worth pointing out that it usually takes months or even years for an adult to get a proper DX in the UK.

(let the thumbs-downing commence!)

6
1
Thumb Down

Just to be clear

While Asperger's Syndrome is on the autistic spectrum, it's factually incorrect to call him autistic.

4
4
Pint

Well ...

NAS disagree with you ...

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/autism-and-asperger-syndrome-an-introduction/what-is-asperger-syndrome.aspx

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Childcatcher

And so does the Mayo Clinic.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551

That being said...how else can we all vilify this poor waif...and STILL be eligible for Sara's prize?

0
0
Big Brother

@ AC 08:51

Asperger's isn't so bad. I have it myself, it needn't be life-affecting, and the consequent boosts in analytical ability and logical processing can be quite the boon. Innate social skills can and do take a hit, but rote learning and a healthy application of logic (even if most human beings aren't logical) really helps. And if you can't tie your own shoe-laces, slip-ons are incredibly useful.

But back to the point in question- why couldn't they have done this for Gary McKinnon? At least then those baying for his blood would see the public gesture of the tag, the house arrest/curfew and ban on internet access.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I have to wonder

From what I've seen, Aspergers seems very like one of those conditions that it is very easy to get yourself diagnosed with if you have a vested interest, like say not going to prison.

7
13
FAIL

@AC 09:21

Well, looks like you don't win any prizes for not being a dick.

11
5
Childcatcher

Re: I have to wonder

You're not the only one. My mother's a psychologist, originally working for the drug service in inner city Dublin (some great stories from that), but now as a child psychologist, mainly doing assessments. When Aspergers "hit the scene", suddenly she was saying anyone who was a little nerdy and asocial had it. She was seriously unimpressed when I described it as the "new black".

As far as I can see, the psych* professions love fitting people into boxes (metaphorical, that is), and they always jump at the chance to use the newly found one.

10
1
Silver badge
Boffin

Wrong!

You know why so many cracker types are diagnosed with aspergers? Because it tends to produce cracker types. The combination of high intelligence, obsessive knowledge-seeking and reduced social awareness are classic symptoms of both aspergers and the stereotypical computer nerd. An aspergers brain is thought to have certain structures doubled up, making them highly sensitive to external stimuli, which essentially forces them to retreat into the most controlled environment they can find - one that doesn't have "real" people in it.

However, like adhd and bipolar disorder in the 90s, it's become something of a self-diagnosed "solution" for people who want cover for acting like arsholes on the internet. About half of anon probably self-diagnoses as aspergic when most of them are just pricks. Tough problem to crack, but you can usually tell the fake from the real deal. Aspies are obsessive by nature, as obsessive focus on a single task or subject is the only way they can filter out unwanted stimuli. The way to tell an aspie from a prick on the internet is to observe their behaviour: if they bore easily and constantly move from subject to subject, they probably aren't an aspie.

Bearing in mine much of this is, of course, subjective and based on observations of my wife and associates who have been officially diagnosed with aspergers.

5
4

I think

I'm not sure, but I think I saw one report, possibly mistaken, that implied he was examined and diagnosed after he was arrested. I've got it for real but it's probably fairly easy to fake, like being tone deaf. And it's not an excuse.

1
0
Silver badge

@AC 09:34

AC 09:21 is correct.

Want free cash after suffering a minor rear end shunt in a car? Get whiplash.

Want extra time to complete an exam? Get dyslexia.

Want to get out of jail for killing 270 people in a certain Scottish town? Get a prognosis of only three months to live due to cancer.

Want an easy time after getting done for hacking? Get Asperger's.

Given that diagnosis will result in good things being bestowed upon the alleged sufferer, we should be a little bit more skeptical about the diagnosis.

Is the diagnosis correct? Is the alleged diagnosis actually as bad as the sufferer says, given they now have a vested interest in showing more severe symptoms?

7
8

Yes.

Like depression and OCD if you are a police dog handler.

1
1
Thumb Down

Another get out of jail card

Alzheimer's and insider dealing anyone?

0
0
Pint

Jesus. Christ.

"About half of anon probably self-diagnoses as aspergic when most of them are just pricks. Tough problem to crack, but you can usually tell the fake from the real deal."

Words fail me.

0
1
Boffin

Re: Wrong!

"You know why so many cracker types are diagnosed with aspergers? Because it tends to produce cracker types."

Well, sort of...

People with AS aren't completely insensitive to social information, and so a common coping strategy for people with undiagnosed AS is to select a restricted set of behaviors or interests that cause a minimum of negative feedback from others. If one is a white male from a middle-class or well-to-do family, the nerd is a pretty safe archetype.

If one isn't, then there are other safe configurations. But this then leads to underdiagnosis because of the AS == nerd popular stereotype. For instance, a large number of the missing girls with mild autism have recently been found hiding under the eating-disorder label, which is completely obvious in hindsight. After all, what is generally considered a safe area of obsession for girls?

(How do we know they were missing? While the overall rate of autism diagnosis in girls is much smaller than that for boys, severe autism is diagnosed at about the same rate in both genders.)

This isn't to say everyone retreats into the safe zones; there are a certain number of white male non-nerds with AS as well, which is another reason ditching the stereotype is good.

Since we're checking credentials, I can attest both practical experience (knowing people with genuine certified AS for a long time) and book-learning (if you're specializing into human-computer interaction, you need to learn how people work).

0
0
Boffin

Re: I thnk

"I've got it for real but it's probably fairly easy to fake, like being tone deaf."

I would think it's pretty hard, actually, given a competent psychologist. Some of the mental software that comes pre-loaded into non-autistic people is really, really hard to fight because it operates without the person even being consciously aware of it.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but perfecting it would probably eat up an awful lot of valuable hacking time.

0
0

it wont help him

hasn't done mckinnon any good, hes lost every appeal even with his aspergers, even though he admitted he did wrong and just wanted to be tried in the UK

this ryan kid is going down, for a long time, guilty or not the soca thing is irrelevant, you can bet the justice system will make an example of him as a deterrent to anyone else thinking of hosting IRC networks for criminal organisations.

You wouldn't open your home up as a safe haven for terrorists so why did he open up his pc as a safe haven for lulzsec?

2
5
Silver badge

It shouldn't help him either

Aspergers / agrophobia doesn't mean someone cannot tell right from wrong, nor does it mean the sufferer isn't an immature dick who thinks it funny to attack websites for the lulz.

2
2
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It shouldn't help him either

Did I forget to welcome all our eminent autism experts to this thread? What an appalling oversight on my part!

6
4
Silver badge

Sarah

The symptoms of aspergers are widely described. "Lack of moral compass" is not one of the main symptoms and most aspergers are extremely moral as one might expect. Mr Cleary would have to demonstrate that he couldn't tell right from wrong to use it as a defence which might be a tad hard if it transpired he used crypto, proxies, tor etc. at any point to cover his tracks. That sort of premeditation won't look good at all in his defence.

3
0

If we grant the point, morality isn't absolute.

If you're NA (apparently used in the Asperger's community to stand for "neurologically atypical", i.e. them, and to distinguish from NA ("not autistic")...er, yes), you may be ill equipped for violating the social code and therefore behaving in "safe" ways, but that doesn't make you ethical in an absolute sense, because there isn't one. You will just behave as you're brought up, and if that includes despising racial minorities or defrauding the welfare agency, that's what you'll do. It's also a stereotype situation that parents don't worry about what offspring is doing with the home computer, so no moral guidance applies there.

You may be also focussed on what you want to do and what you want to get without consideration for anyone else's wants which you don't fully understand anyway, but maybe that's just me?

0
0
Trollface

I've just done a bit of Daily Mail-level analysis

Based on a sample of two (and no-one's quite sure about Kevin Mitnick), all aspies are dangerous hackers and should be interned.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"Internment? Hang 'em all, I say"

This is precisely why the "oh dearz I've been a bad boy but I'm an Aspie so plz let me off" thing does the real Aspergers/ASD community a great deal of harm.

My son is a genuine, professionally-diagnosed, conscientious and hardworking member of society working in an IT-related job that requires extreme attention to data privacy. Every time another skiddy plays the Aspie card, he wonders how much longer it will be until he gets sacked as a security risk.

Pro-tip for all the pretend Aspies out there: the vast majority of real Aspergers sufferers have an extreme, almost pathological desire to not break the law. They are also as incapable of lying as Spock.

6
1
FAIL

Spock lied when it was the logical choice

Anyway, your use of "the vast majority" directly implies that you know that there are a minority who behave in a different way to your son.

Just because your son is in the majority, you can't assume that all Aspies will behave like him. Every case is different.

0
0

Spock

Spock was fully capable of lying. He just mostly chose not to as it would not make logical sense to do so.

See for example the city on the edge of forever and this side of paradise.

0
0
Silver badge

"Vast majority"

"Anyway, your use of "the vast majority" directly implies that you know that there are a minority who behave in a different way to your son."

As there is with any condition. The vast majority of diabetics are lawful citizens. That doesn't mean you can't find diabetics in prison for murder. Does it mean diabetes make one predisposed to murder? Does it make it a valid defence for said murder?

1
0

Maybe AC0958 meant Dr Benjamin Spock

And "The Menagerie", "Amok Time", "The Enterprise Incident"...

I saw someone on TV once who had memorised all the star dates. Well, there only are 79 episodes.

You wouldn't be amazed how little of this I'm having to look up. I owe to "TV Tropes", the Great Thief of Time, the information that you're first told Vulcans can't lie in "The Enterprise Incident", whilst being shown that one (half-)Vulcan is having a jolly good try at it. "Vulcan death grip" - go kiss a tribble.

Now, Benjamin Spock... evidently he spearheaded a movement away from the "Laconian" school of thought on baby and child care and towards actually liking the little beggars. I believe I recall he was latterly reported as regretting his part in bringing about Baby Boomers, or something like that.

0
0

Aspy

His Mum/him/his Solicitors made a big point of it as a means to somehow absolve him of all blame or at least have him treated more leniently i.e. he can't "cope" with being jailed / extradited.

Sounds like there's no attempt to deny guilt just attempts to mitigate the punishment.

2
0
FAIL

Get real

Most autistic people are very disabled - many need 24 hour care. Lets stop making it a great thing to have.

2
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Terrorist?

He's just a kid who hosted an IRC server. Branding him a "terrorist" is sensationalist hysteria, putting it mildly.

In fact the entire group he's (very loosely) associated with is not exactly Al-Qaeda, they're just a bunch of techno-anarchists exposing apathetic security and corrupt governments/corporations.

Frankly I think those they attacked are less morally defensible than the attackers. AFAIAC their actions are no more reprehensible than that of the French Resistance during WWII, or any other dissident/resistance movement. I suppose that makes ME a "terrorist" too, by some McCarthyistic standards.

5
4
Silver badge

Errrrr...

"AFAIAC their actions are no more reprehensible than that of the French Resistance during WWII..."

Uh, do you actually know anything about World War II?

0
1
FAIL

no more reprehensible

The French Resistance (almost certainly not as a whole, but enough for the following arguement to be valid) used to go around murdering French women who willingly engaged in relationships with and/or got pregnant by German armed forces. So youre suggesting that the misdeeds of lulzsec and co are around that level?

So either youre saying that its ok to kill women and children, or youre saying thats how bad lulzsec is. Which one?

0
3
Anonymous Coward

@Homer 1

Th French resistance thing? You are aware that the sole raison d'etre of the various French resistance movements was to stockpile weapons and ammunition whilst waiting for the allies to defeat the Nazis so that they (the French) could get on with the important business of fighting each other to determine who would rule after liberation.

However, to address the points you so very nearly made: (1) once we accept vigilantism as a valid means of enforcing law and order we have effectively abandoned law and order and (2) the differentiation between freedom fighter and terrorist is determined by two factors: who we like and who wins - anti-government protester in London throws a fire extinguisher at the police = nasty criminal and should be sent to prison, anti-government protester in Libya fires BFG at police = brave freedom fighter.

2
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Homer 1

Branding him a "terrorist" would be sensationalist hysteria, if anybody actually was branding him a terrorist. 'Silly boy' would appear to be a reasonable opinion.

0
0
Joke

@Lee

If the protesters in Libya have BFGs we have more to worry about than some little hacking organisation. DO WE EVEN HAVE A PLASMA CANNON? Da na da naa da na da nanana da na da naa da na da naaaa

0
0
Silver badge

It's the level of involvement that matters

"He's just a kid who hosted an IRC server. Branding him a "terrorist" is sensationalist hysteria, putting it mildly."

I think terrorist is the wrong word here but if he is an accomplice and possibly even an active participant then why should he be absolved of wrongdoing?

If you let some crims plan their blags in your parlour room, so to speak then you're going to get done as an accessory. His only defence is if his IRC hosted hundreds of legit rooms and could claim to be a carrier rather than a participant. If it turns out his IRC was hosting a handful of chats related to hacking, what's his defence then?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"He just hosted an IRC server"

@Homer 1, I'm not sure why you keep repeating that all Ryan did was host an IRC server.

The allegations are that he was actively involved in DDoS attacks and there are many more allegations and unconfirmed chat logs which go back years, seemingly supporting the allegations.

You're the only one who keeps saying "All he did was host an IRC server". But who knows, you could be right and the hundreds/thousands of people who've written about Ryan and his alleged crimes over the years could all be wrong.

We'll see what the courts decide.

0
0
Facepalm

Being a dick

I have a son with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and whilst he is not a classic Kanner type - he is still not high-functioning.

Aspergers is high functioning ASD and there is a world of difference between that and where my son lies AND then another world between where my son is and where people with low-functioning ASD are.

It is sometimes disingenuous to label every part of the spectrum as "Autism," as the range is so vast.

It is a strange coincidence that he only gets diagnosed now. I suspect that it was a private diagnosis.

From personal experience a full NHS diagnosis takes up to a year and involves many people: Paediatrician, Speech and Language, Ocupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, teachers and psychologists.

1
1

Count's to 10...

Ok - let's go through it one more time.

(1)The "he only hosted an irc server" is a misquote from lulzsec. They actually said he wasn't a member and only hosted one of their irc servers. They had nothing to say about anything else he may have done. What he's charged with is playing silly buggers with a botnet, not being a member of lulzsec.

(2) The guy's had "issues" since he was small. Diagnosis of the sort of disorders we talking about is a bit hit and miss (see last week's New Scientist article "Bipolar Kids") and we could reasonably argue about what label to pin on him but you don't end up at an EBD school if you're playing with a full deck. Unless you all think he was planning his future defence aged 5.

(3) <Monty Python Brigadier Mode>Finally if convicted most people get a suspended sentence, a fine and community service. Cries of "Hang the bastard" and "help, help he's being oppressed" are just silly.</MPBM>

2
0
Joke

"playing silly buggers with a botnet"

Exactly, and he claimed to own a big one many times (so I am told).

If I was him I'd be claiming insanity to get the sentence reduced. You'd be mad not to. Er . . .

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

IT Angle

Trying not to be a Dick, Mistress Bee.

Though it may not seem like it to some, this is a genuine question:

Why is it that our profession attracts so many people suffering from various disorders, or is that in itself a stereotype? Does the nature of some of our work reinforce certain behaviours that others would find unacceptable, or does it accept the and welcome issues that arise because of the skill and quality of work undertaken? Is our profession representative of the populace or is it that we are more aware of those around us in our daily work?

If there are indeed relatively more people on the Autistic Spectrum who find the darker side of our profession attractive, how can we (the collective we), help them to turn their skills and experiences to the benefit of humanity rather than to self destruction?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@AC 11:45

Professions attract different types. Why am I in networking and not say, a shop assistant, or actor, or musician or policeman or doctor or whatever? Well that is an important question.

In my case I tended towards IT for a number of reasons, it was the late 80s and everyone thought being a programmer would be a path to easy riches, I wanted a career rather than a job, I wanted to be paid well, I wanted to do something "interesting", I didn't want to have to put in the work needed to become a doctor or chemical engineer or architect or similar and I didn't want a job where I would be dealing with members of the public to any degree. I then ended up in networks because I was shite at programming but good at infrastructure and problem solving.

On the face of it, many IT related functions can be characterised as requiring high levels of analysis, accuracy, quality and logical problem solving whilst simultaneously requiring relatively low levels of interpersonal interaction - this fits very damn well in with people suffering with milder forms of Asperger's type conditions.

I don't think it is IT that reinforces those behaviours as much as those behaviours are either beneficial or non-detrimental to working in many IT related fields - look at teaching (say), it is beneficial to like children to be a teacher but I can't see a few years in an inner-city comprehensive school making anyone like children more than when they started the job.

Why should we (as an IT profession) be responsible for skiddies turning bad? That is as absurd as blaming the gun manufacturers for people committing spree killings or blaming Playboy for rapists. As a society we need a better system of identifying and then supporting people with behavioural problems (and appropriate punishments for transgressors) - but that is something the justice, medical and social care professions need to address really.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.