Re: 10 years
I believe if tried by the CPS in the UK McKinnon could face the possibility of a life sentence. The accusations suggest he didn't just attack NASA he deliberately attacked US defence establishments.
I quote from http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/762.html -
4. Once the computers were accessible by Mr McKinnon, he deleted data including:
(1) Critical operating system files from nine computers, the deletion of which shut down the entire US Army's Military District of Washington network of over 2000 computers for 24 hours, significantly disrupting Governmental functions [charges 1 to 3]
(2) 2,455 user accounts on a US Army computer that controlled access to an Army computer network, causing those computers to reboot and become inoperable [charges 1 to 3]
(3) Critical Operating system files and logs from computers at US Naval Weapons Station Earle, one of which was used for monitoring the identity, location, physical condition, staffing and battle readiness of Navy ships. Deletion of these files rendered the Base's entire network of over 300 computers inoperable at a critical time immediately following 11 September 2001 and thereafter left the network vulnerable to other intruders [charges 8 to 10 and 11].
This is but paragraph 4 of quite a big document which details additional offences, and evidence obtained to support the extradition.
In summary the accusation is that Gary systematically gained access to and attacked US defense establishments. In doing so he left sufficient evidence that he had been there, and also downloaded files onto his own computer. Note US defense establishments, hence the request for his appearance in the US, and the stuff about NASA and UFO's is a cover story being promoted by his defense.
Now then what proof have you got that, his crime was trivial (as in crime of which he is accused and partially admitted), that he only 'looked' at files, that he only accessed NASA computers, and he was just looking for UFO's?