U.K. Hacker Gary McKinnon Wins Extradition Battle

UK Home Secretary Theresa May today announced that hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the United States.

“The Home Secretary acknowledged that McKinnon is accused of serious crimes, but noted — after careful consideration of all the legal and medical factors — he is not fit to stand trial,” writes IT PRO’s Khidr Suleman. “‘Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes. But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness. The legal question before me is now whether the extent of that illness is sufficient to preclude extradition,’ May told Parliament. “

“‘After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr. McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr. McKinnon’s human rights,’ said May,” writes Computerworld’s Mikael Ricknas.

“The Home Secretary also announced plans to introduce new rules which would give UK judges the power to decide whether an extradition suspect should be tried in a British court or abroad,” write The Independent’s Jerome Taylor and Terri Judd. “The so-called ‘forum bar’ would require separate legislation and is a direct challenge to Britain’s faith in America’s judicial decision.”

“46-year-old McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, has admitted hacking into United States military systems in late 2001 — but claims that he was hunting for evidence of UFOs, anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestial technology,” writes Sophos’ Graham Cluley. “The UK authorities will now decide if McKinnon should face charges in Britain.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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