Charges Dropped Against NASA Hacker
The UK's Director of Public Prosecutions says the prospects of a conviction were 'not high.'
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service has announced that it will not "commence a new criminal investigation" into the actions of Gary McKinnon, who is accused of accessing NASA computers more than a decade ago.
"McKinnon, who is still wanted for trial in the US, had his extradition halted by home secretary Theresa May three months ago," writes Computer Business Review's Steve Evans. "McKinnon has been fighting extradition to the US since 2002. He was accused of hacking into US government computers, but has always denied any malicious intent and claimed he was looking for information relating to UFO activity."
"Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said the chances of a successful conviction were 'not high.' ... In a statement, Mr Starmer said: 'The potential difficulties in bringing a case in England and Wales now should not be underestimated, not least the passage of time, the logistics of transferring sensitive evidence prepared for a court in the US to London for trial, the participation of US government witnesses in the trial and the need fully to comply with the duties of disclosure imposed on the CPS," BBC News reports.
"The decision, which is unlikely to go down well with the US authorities, appears to end the controversial 10-year-long saga of Gary McKinnon's fight," writes Sophos' Graham Cluley. "The 46-year-old hacker, who has been diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome, has had an impressive support group campaigning for him, with figures such as Sting, London Mayor Boris Johnson, former Beirut hostage Terry Waite, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, and Julie Christie amongst those who backed his fight against extradition."