Aspergers diagnosis could keep 'NASA hacker' out of US prison

Summary:"NASA hacker" Gary McKinnon's recent diagnosis of Asperger syndrome – a kind of autism with a high incidence among computer programmers – may yet keep him out of American prisons. Several members of Parliament have signed onto a motion calling for McKinnon not to be extradited to the U.S. because of his condition.

"NASA hacker" Gary McKinnon's recent diagnosis of Asperger syndrome – a kind of autism with a high incidence among computer programmers – may yet keep him out of American prisons.

Several members of Parliament have signed onto a motion calling for McKinnon not to be extradited to the U.S. because of his condition, ZDNet UK reports.

Introduced by McKinnon's MP, shadow justice minister David Burrowes, the motion calls on the Home Secretary to refuse extradition until the U.S. agrees to allow McKinnon to serve any sentence in Britain.

This House… urges the home secretary not to permit the extradition to the United States of Mr Gary McKinnon of Palmers Green, London, an Asperger's syndrome sufferer charged with computer misuse in the United States, until such time as she receives express assurances from the US Administration that in the event of his being found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment that administration agrees to the immediate repatriation of Mr McKinnon post trial to serve any such sentence in the United Kingdom
The charges against McKinnon stem from his activities starting shortly after 9/11, in which, the U.S. charges, he hacked into 96 Defense Dept. computers, effectively shut down the naval weapons center responsible for the Atlantic Fleet, and broke into some 73,000 government computers. From my 2005 post on the case:
McKinnon accessed 53 US army computers, 26 US navy computers, 16 NASA computers, one US defence department computer and one US air force computer. He is also accused of deleting files which shut down the entire US army’s military district of Washington’s network of more than 2,000 computers for 24 hours "significantly disrupting governmental function".

Topics: Security, Hardware

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