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back to article McKinnon might get UK hacking trial after all

Accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon could be tried in UK and not extradited, according to Blighty's top legal adviser. A recent judicial review concluded that the much criticised and absurdly lengthy extradition proceedings against McKinnon were conducted fairly. But Dominic Grieve, the UK's Attorney General, said the review …

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Angel

A mother love.

I've got a lot of respect for Mrs McKinnon. While any mother would do what she can to protect her child, it can't have been easy over the last few years to fight a constant battle against this one sided extradition law. Well done to her.

Of course if it ever comes to sentencing (here or over there) I wonder if the judge will be lenient enough to take into consideration eight years of ear bashing from your mum as "time served".

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Anonymous Coward

"Extradition review not binding"

And it has taken ten years for someone to "discover" this? Something that the majority of fair minded and right-thinking people have known all along?

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It is not binding, but actual court judgements are. All court cases relating to Gary McKinnon so far say Gary should be sent to America to face trial. Regardless of what you think of Gary, that is a fact.

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Anonymous Coward

You are quite correct ...

... of course. But it is important for future cases. And it raises a flag over the assumption of automatic granting of extradition.

I didn't downvote you, by the way. Just in case you though it was me.

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Big Brother

Finally

Good news!

British citizens face justice in Britain. Hope to see this come to an end soon. The next big case will be...? Oh yeah, the wikileaks one. [cough, cough...]

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Bronze badge

"British citizens face justice in Britain."

Excuse me, but what were you reading? Nowhere does it say that in the story or in Grieve's statement. The matter of extradition is still very much a matter for the courts.

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Pint

Hard Time!

So if I come to your shop and compromise your systems (so that they have to be rebuilt costing time and money) all I need do is run back to the states and claim that I have Tourettes or a nasty STD then you can't extradite me because me Mum thinks it will be hard on me?! I'm going to book a flight to London, tip over a few banks and flee back to Virginia where I will claim that I have a horrible case of priapism and can't be extradited because it will be hard on me too! Sweet deal Bra!

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FAIL

Er... Close...

You wouldn't need to buy the flight, you just have to hack the banks from over yonder pond...

Though I think the banks might have a local representative that would sue the bejuicies out of you.

Try hacking MI5, that would do the trick.

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Unhappy

No, none of that complicated stuff...

You wouldn't be extradited from the USA because it doesn't happen... one way only.

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"You wouldn't be extradited from the USA because it doesn't happen... one way only."

Oh god, not another one! Check the history of the current treaty and you'll see that more extraditions have been granted from USA to UK in that period than the other way. But who am I to let facts get in the way of your ill informed BS?

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@Chiminea

Well exactly. The aspergers thing is just a distraction from the fact that if GM committed a crime, he did so in the UK, and should be tried in the UK.

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Stop

The Extradition Review is non binding, but years and years of court cases, in many different courts, have all said he should be sent to America to face trial. This particular man has not said 'Gary will be tried in the UK', he just hasn't explicitly said he will be tried in the US. I rather suspect Gary McKinnon supporters are going to be disappointed in the end.

If you want to be informed, do a Google for 'jack of kent gary mckinnon'.

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Pint

Taken to logical extremes then...

If I'm sitting on the famous White Cliffs O'Dover on a clear day with an incredibly powerful rifle and I shoot a Frenchman in the head then I shouldn't be extradited to France for murder?

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FAIL

Wrong example

Gary didn't kill anyone. He was a naughty boy who, according to what we've heard, got into some systems in the US which were not well secured looking for UFO evidence. Of course the manager looking after these systems would go and blame someone else for the excessive claimed cost of doing work which would have been needed to secure these systems in the first place wouldn't he ?

Are you really trying to tell us you can't tell the difference if you found someone who'd got through the front door in a secure establishment when the guard was asleep and goes looking inside offices for confidential files about UFOs and if he'd killed someone when there ?

Would you expect that kind of nutter who goes wondering around where unwanted to have to pay the cost for hiring a better team of security guards and changing all the locks ?

Sorry but this kind of offence doesn't justify keeping someone awaiting extradition for a decade. It might justify a couple of hundred hours community service. But that should have been decided here, where Gary was when the crime was committed, and not in the US.

If the US authorities involved in requesting his extradition hadn't been as clueless as our UK judges in allowing this ridiculous case to drag on so long, people in the UK who are aware of Gary's situation might be able to think slightly better of the fools involved in this on your side of the pond.

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Anonymous Coward

Ship the clown off to the U.S.

Time to hold Gary accountable for his crimes commited against the U.S. - in a U.S. court as is appropriate.

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Mushroom

Yeah, we'll get right on that just as soon as George W Bush presents himself for trial in Iraq.

If he can be punished under US law, then he's also protected by the US constitution, which says: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,"

Where did he commit the crime? That's where he should be tried.

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Anonymous Coward

Just as the USA in the case of IRA terrorists

There is nothing special, in this regard, about the USA. Such a principle as you espouse must be true for all countries vis-a-vis each other. The problems come when each country has a different standard of legal system (probably news to you, but the US standard is very variable and even within the USA is often seen to be far from meeting normal standards of impartial and fair justice and certainly differs greatly from that of the UK, including Scotland). In addition, just because it is against, say, a French or American law, does not mean it is against a British law or a criminal rather than a civil offence.

This kind of thing is usually condemned as one country trying to extend its reach into another. The fact is, whatever your opinion, the alleged offence, if it is an offence under British law, was committed in Britain. If, for instance, a person is alleged to have killed a foreign national in Britain, do you think he is tried in Britain or in the land of the foreign national?

Now, in fact, this was just a somewhat fanatical hobbyist exploiting a weakness in a computer system. Nobody has published some detailed account of how the costs of the damage were calculated, nor of what this damage was. I should love to see you, after alleging someone has damaged your property, running to the police to lay an information about damage of £x without some detailed justification of your claim and calculations.

It is a fact of national independence, that people can behave within a country in ways that may be detrimental to another country. In Britain, every week I should think, somebody burns an American flag or damages some Chinese property in protest about Tibet or tries to damage the reputation of Israel or whatever. In many countries, these things are criminal offences. By your lights, that is enough for the perpetrator to be extradited even though, here, it is normal freedom of expression.

Or are you telling us that the USA is special because it is big, powerful and does not really execute people, inflict ridiculous punishments of hundreds of years of imprisonment, be almost openly corrupt with judges chosen for their political allegiances and notorious abuses at local court level. What kind of system gets prisoners, not yet found guilty, dressed in orange overalls and treated as guilty?

If McKinnon committed an offence under British law, by all means charge and try him here. If not, that is the end of the affair. Otherwise, there are an awful lot of intelligence agents, industrialists, journalists, protesters, writers etc. who should be being extradited to the USA, Russia, China, Iran .... I wait with baited breath for that Danish newspaper to report the extradition of its journalists to some Moslem country to be punished for publishing "blasphemous" cartoons, in contravention of Pakistani or Saudi Arabian or Turkish law.

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Anonymous Coward

Spasticus Autisticus

Let's get down to brass tacks. Extradition should only ever be used for:

1 murderers

2 dictators

3 murderous dictators

4 war criminals

5 grand larceny (e.g. a white collar criminal making off with £millions of pensioners savings)

6 terrorists

Most importantly they should be tried in the country they commited the crime from.

If I missed any [sensible] groups off the list - feel free to add to it.

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Anonymous Coward

Number 6

Terrorists. I think that is what they have been implying he sort of is. Because in their mind this is what amounts to an act of terror. This has been made even more clear lately with America saying they will treat all cyber-attacks (whatever their elastic definition of that is) as an act of war, now.

Paranoia, I agree. It also doesn't seem to separate or make a distinction between guys like McKinnon having a nosey (on what appears to have been a completely insecure network) from huge nation states actively jamming up your infrastructure with stuff like Stuxnet.

Good list by the way. I can't think of anything to constructively add to that.

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Bronze badge

Extradition is *supposed* to be used when someone, having committed a crime in one country, flees to another to escape justice. The idea that you can be extradited to a country where you have never actually set foot is - disturbing, to say the least.

The counter-argument is that the Internet makes it possible to extend your actions into other countries. But in practice that has been possible for a long time. About 1376, John Wycliffe published a book that spread ripples of revolution all across Europe - but even those (many) who wanted to prosecute him for it didn't try to ship him off to Rome for the purpose; they argued that he should be tried and punished in England.

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Big Brother

When a Dead Man Walking, does the Brain dispense Assisting Madness

Does the system want to risk the anonymous response and active explosive backlash against it which a revealing and/or even more revealing, secretive in camera, gratuitous prosecution would/could/can/will generate?

Doesn't the system already have more than enough failures and breakdowns on its plate and more than it will ever be able to handle and survive with present executive office admin?

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Anonymous Coward

Conspiracy theory *35315

Gary actually did find evidence of a massive coverup dating from 1947 (i.e. Roswell)

Which explains a lot, including his ridiculous restrictions such as being banned from owning or using anything with Internet access.

Hopefully if the "alien body" in Russia is proved to be genuine the USA will be caught with its proverbial underwear around its ankles which will finally prove the conspiracy theorists right all along.

As for the "Wow!" signal, this was genuine and NASA knew this since late 1977.

The reason they never detected it again is because every single radio telescope now has a notch filter fitted by the CIA or its cohorts to remove this exact (very narrow) band and replace it with random noise.

-AC/DC 6EQUJ5

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Silver badge

Is the UK a fascist police state whenever you are on another wavelength/of an alternate mindset?

"Which explains a lot, including his ridiculous restrictions such as being banned from owning or using anything with Internet access." ... AC Posted Friday 18th November 2011 12:02 GMT

That is tantamount to inhuman treatment and mental torture in Gary McKinnon's case and surely grounds for a prosecution and exemplary punitive compensation against those responsible.

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Unhappy

The nastiness towards Gary McKinnon beggars belief

Here is someone who has admitted that he did something wrong and the UK courts were not going to prosecute him in the first place. However the US Government have decided that they do want to prosecute him to make some kind of example of him.

Anyone who thinks that a Aspergers is an excuse does not have someone with Aspergers as a friend. I'm currently having my own battles with HMCTS to convince them that I am in fact disabled. It affects your comprehension of the world around you, including the understanding of what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. It makes you suited to certain jobs provided that employers are prepared to make allowances. (It shouldn't be the case that employers can sack you because "you would not fit in" because this is precisely the problem that those with Aspergers face).

Gary McKinnon should be tried here in the UK or not at all. On a proper application of the law he would be found not guilty anyway. Even for someone without Aspergers the offences would warrant an absolute discharge. I say that because although the US Government are claiming it's cost them x amount to secure their systems this is money they should have spent anyway. It's like me not fitting locks to my house, being burgled and expecting the burglar to pay for new locks.

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