The British hacker who broke into thousands of Pentagon and U.S. government computers may soon be extradited to the U.S. Britain's top court, the British House of Lords, refused to block the extradition Wednesday, according to an AP report. U.S. officials say he broke into military networks, stole passwords and caused untold damage. McKinnon says he was just a wannabe Mulder looking for hidden evidence of alien contact. McKinnnon's lawyer said he will next appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
"The consequences he faces if extradited are both disproportionate and intolerable and we will be making an immediate application to the European court to prevent his removal," Karen Todner said after McKinnon's appeal was rejected. "We believe that the British government declined to prosecute him to enable the U.S. government to make an example of him."Here's one excerpt of the government indictment against McKinnon:
McKinnon’s series of computer network intrusions had a profound effect on Naval Weapons Station Earle’s (NWS Earle) ability to accomplish its mission in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to U.S. Attorney Christie. The entire network of 300 computers at NWS Earle, located in Colts Neck, N.J., was effectively shut down for an entire week ... For another three weeks afterward, military personnel and government civilian employees at NWSE were only able to send and receive internal e-mail. It was only approximately a month after McKinnon’s last intrusion into the network that NWS Earle was able to automatically route Naval message traffic and access the Internet ... This was a grave intrusion into a vital military computer system at a time when we, as a nation, had to summon all of our defenses against further attack, Christie said.A website set up to "free Gary McKinnon" opposes extradition on the grounds that US justice is anything but.
The unjust treatment of British citizens (and others) when facing the might of the US Military "justice" system, which practices detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and stands accused of making use of torture by allied regimes ("extraordinary rendition") is an ongoing scandal. It cannot be excused even by a "war on terror". It seems only just that Gary should face any charges in a British court, and to serve any sentence, if he is found guilty, in a British prison.