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back to article McKinnon supporters plan Home Office demo

Friends and family of accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon are planning a protest outside the Home Office at 4pm on Tuesday (2 September). Last week the European Court of Human Rights declined to intervene in preventing McKinnon's extradition to the US on hacking offences. Following the earlier rejection of appeals in the …

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Could someone please

... tell me exactly which law McKinnon broke, and what the charge is. Thanks.

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Jon

I really dont get it

why people dont think he should be extradited.

He broke into military systems and now has to pay for the crime he committed.

So he committed the crime in the uk, but the crime was against the US and frankly NATO.

Also as far as I have understood, will he get a 3-4 years not some 20 years as some people seem to think

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Heart

@David Simpson&Raymond

"BECAUSE HE HAS NO DEFENSE."

Well actually, he does, and that too is the point. It may or may not be a valid defence, it is not my place to say, but he has a defence that should be tested under UK law (and not in the media) for all the reasons given by bogwoppit.

The day we start dismissing someone's defence out of hand because we happen to have made our own minds up about a person's guilt based solely on 3rd, 4th or 5th hand reporting is a day to worry.

To avoid that, we have a rule of law and due process. The law and due process has decided he committed no offence under UK law at the time. The unfairness lies in the one sided extradition treaty, agreed to as a knee-jerk reaction in that "something must be done - this is something, let's do it". Now we are left with a very unfair system which is all some of us are pointing out to those that aren't able to see for themselves that they too could be affected by it.

Some people still naively believe that if they have not done anything wrong, they have nothing to fear from the legal system, and that is not true and is becoming less true almost daily.

"Who cares if goes to jail for 20 years, that is the penalty in America and he knew it."

Well actually, I do, because it could be you or I next for some other offence that isn't a crime in the UK. Anyway, how do you KNOW he knew it? I know it is wrong but I certainly didn't know the penalty was 20 years.

On a lighter note, perhaps the Hollywood moguls who brought out "War Games" should be tried for making hacking seem like an acceptable thing to do? ;-)

Heart because I think we all need a little love and compassion....

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Jon

@Bogwoppit

"what McKinnon is accused of doing was illegal in the US but not in the UK"

hold on here, arent we part of NATO? So him breaking into military computers of an ally (NATO country), downloading information, surely is regarded as espionage.

As far as I know is esponiage a crime in all countries.

Are you saying we shouldn't uphold our bargain with NATO, and just let any wanker download our national security information.

Yes he was only downloading military documents as he thought they contain information about UFO.

He probably got a contact in some Arab country interested in UFO's as well which he was intended to share his findings with.

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Stop

FFS!

"He probably got a contact in some Arab country interested in UFO's as well which he was intended to share his findings with."

Well let him hang then eh? If it's probable, that's good enough for me. I think I remember the passing of the law that a person is guilty of treason if they probably have a contact in an Arab country. Wasn't it part of the anti terror legislation?

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@Nigerians and paedophiles

I referred to 419 as an example of an "international crime", Not one where was much chance of the scammer being arrested or extradited. Generally, I'd prefer the accused to be tried in the victim's country. The victim is entitled to see justice done.

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Make use of his skills

I don't want to get drawn into details of law regarding extradition other than to agree that all such one-sided arrangements are unfair. Once there it’s almost certain that he'll be found to be guilty and, by definition, completely and thoroughly buggered (not joking). If not, the Americans will have wasted a lot of time and money in the extradition process - but who cares about money? - not the US administration system that's for sure The 'egg on face' situation would cost a lot more. What confidence can anyone have that his defence will be at least as thorough as the prosectution's?

His experience and skills should be channelled into something productive like giving him a post as security advisor or similar. Give him a metaphorical screwdriver and some ‘locks’ to install. Or maybe even get a few schoolchildren to do the same job with him as their mentor.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this an April Fool?

Mckinnon in asking the UK Home Secretary to defend a UK citizen? One of those scummy potential terrorists? He really is a bit light up top isn't he?

The UK government would never, ever stoop so low as to defend a UK citizen. It's unthinkable. Now shut up, go indoors and pay your taxes, we've noted you as potential troublemakers.

If Mckinnon really wants to get away with it i'd suggest he preach death against other UK citizens. That is all that can save him now.

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@John and Jon

@John

"Generally, I'd prefer the accused to be tried in the victim's country"

Unfortunately, John, the majority of the free world disagrees with you. Most notably in the UK, whose system is founded upon the idea that UK law supercedes US law, just as in Nigeria it is Nigerian law that supercedes UK law.

@Jon

You're getting bogged down in the specifics of the case and in doing so are totally missing the point. We don't have any "bargain with NATO" to submit our citizens to prosecution under foreign laws. Sure, spying on the UK is against UK law, but the fact of the matter is that after McKinnon was arrested several years ago by the Met, prosecutors spent a long time looking at ways to try him, and determined that he had not committed a crime under UK law. Our legal process dealt with it. End of. You, I, NATO and the US may think the result was subjectively "wrong", but that was the law at the time (and it has since been fixed).

At the end of the day, allied countries recognise that you're not always going to get everything your own way. We co-operated and pursued McKinnon's criminal prosecution, which did not result in a conviction. We passed a new law to make sure it wouldn't happen again, but the US is behaving like a screaming baby, refusing to address our grievances (Gitmo, extradition for IRA financiers, military inquests, etc) whilst at the same time insisting that we break our own laws by handing over McKinnon.

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re: I really dont get it

well, why aren't the admins who did NOT secure these military machines being court martialed?

He didn't break in either. the door was open on a public server. You didn't log in here to read the messages, so you MUST have cracked a media website!

He hasn't done a crime. Breaking in is only a criminal matter when $5000 of damages are done in the attempt. Total losses caused by McKinnon? $0.

Did he break in? The US have given not even the UK government any evidence he did or what he took.

For all these reasons which are legal issues alone, he should not be deported to go to "PMITA prison" USA.

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Boffin

Re: Location of the crime

"The crime was committed on US soil"

The question isn't new. The law already has a way of resolving the question of the location of a crime. You can stand in one country, fire your gun and kill someone over the border in another country. Does the murder take place where you fired the gun or where the person dies?

It will depend on the definition of the crime. From the definition you can work out the location of the relevant events. I couldn't quickly find an online source, but I guess that murder occurs where the mortal wound occurs. But attempted murder where you pulled the trigger.

So the question in this instance is: does the crime take place where the commands are typed or where the victim's computer is located? Certainly the Computer Misuse Act can apply. But the victim didn't report the problem to the UK police.

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Bronze badge

title need.

Here's another example. Supposing someone burgles the house of a Saudi prince in Kensington. Should he then be extradited to Saudi Arabia, to face Sharia punishment there, or be prosecuted here as a common burglar?

Well the house would be owned by Saudi Consulates / Embassy . If I remember international law correctly that would make it Saudi soil .

So long get use to prosthetic arms .

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Thumb Down

@David Dimpson

Hacking is not illegal and you're an idiot for saying so. You clearly know absolutely nothing about network security and should just shut your mouth and stop spouting off about shit you're completely ignorant of.

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