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First Published Monday, 3 November 2008

Dan Aykroyd

MPs join fight to save McKinnon from US prison

Pentagon hacker ‘too vulnerable’ to survive hard time

MPs are being asked to support accused Pentagon hacker via a motion demanding he serves any jail time he might eventually receive in the UK, even if his long-running campaign to avoid extradition and trail in the US fails.

Lawyers for McKinnon claim his recent diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome ought to preclude his extradition to the US on hacking offences. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith rejected these arguments last month, triggering a judicial review of the decision.

Gary McKinnon at Infosec

Although it might be politically embarrassing to haul off the admitted hacker at this point there are currently no legal barriers to his extradition, following decisions by the House of Lords to reject his appeal and a decision by the European Court of Justice not to get involved. Since the US political establishment has bigger concerns than the fate of a UFO hunting hacker in the run-up to tomorrow’s presidential elections its unlikely that anything will happen in the immediate future.

Meanwhile McKinnon’s supporters in the Houses of Parliament are seeking to apply pressure on the Home Secretary via an early day motion calling for the UK government to seek assurances that McKinnon will be sent back to the UK to service his any sentence handed down by a US court.

David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate in London, Tory front bench spokesman on Justice and McKInnon’s MP, has sponsored the Early Day Motion. The motion asks the UK government to seek the same types of assurances as the Israeli and Dutch governments receive in cases where citizens from those countries with health problems are deported to the US.

Supporters of the motion (full text herereportedly include former Home Secretary David Blunkett. Other supporters include Chris Huhne, Lib Dem home affairs spokesman and Chris Mullin, former Foreign Office minister. via the Free Gary support blog)

Burrowes has also asked parliamentary authorities to schedule a debate on the extradition, an opportunity extended to defendants in the NatWest Three extradition case.

McKinnon faces seven charges of hacking into 97 US government, NASA and military systems during 2001 and 2002. He admits the attacks but argues he was only seeking evidence that the US government had suppressed knowledge about advanced technologies harvested from crashed UFOs and contacts with aliens. US authorities, on the other hand, have described the former sysadmin as the biggest military hacker ever.

Supporters of the London-based Scot have run a high-profile campaign against his extradition since 2005, arguing that justice would be better served by McKinnon’s trial in the UK. ®

Source:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/03/mckinnon_parliamentary_support/

Calls grow to save autistic Scots hacker from threat of US prison

Lucy Clarke, girlfriend of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, outside the Home Office yesterday. Picture: Getty
Published Date: 30 October 2008

PRESSURE is growing on the Home Secretary to step in and halt the extradition of a Scots-born autistic computer hacker who is facing up to 60 years in a US prison.

Shadow justice minister David Burrowes MP was today set to put down a motion in parliament calling on Jacqui Smith to review the medical records of Gary McKinnon who is only weeks away from being sent to the US.

Mr McKinnon’s supporters claim he was merely looking for information on his UFO hobby rather than being “the biggest military computer hacker of all time” as the US claims.

The supporters say the unemployed UFO obsessive, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, has become a recluse and is on suicide watch after becoming depressed while awaiting his looming extradition.

In the US he faces life in prison for using his dial-up modem to hack into computer systems at the Pentagon and at Nasa between 2001 and 2003.

The Glasgow-born 42-year-old went from being a cannabis-smoking hacker looking for conspiracy theories on UFOs to America’s most wanted cyber-terrorist after 9/11.

So far, an appeal to the House of Lords has been rejected and now Mr McKinnon’s legal team is waiting for a judgment on a judicial review which it has asked for in light of his recent diagnosis with Asperger’s.

A decision on the review is due imminently. Should this be turned down, he will have just ten days to pack his bags, possibly never to return.

Mr Burrowes, his MP, is demanding his extradition be halted until his condition has been more carefully assessed. Last night he said: “My concern is also over this extradition treaty where UK citizens are being plucked out of our country without evidence and facing the full force of the American law.”

The Home Secretary is also facing pressure to ensure Mr McKinnon is at least allowed to return to the UK on bail before the many months that could await him before a trial.

Mr Burrowes pointed out nationals of countries such as Israel and the Netherlands are allowed to serve their sentences at home, and asked why Mr McKinnon has to be sent to America.

A letter from Lord West, the Security Minister, received by Mr Burrowes yesterday showed the government had no plans to stand up to the US authority’s demands. “The starting point you will understand, is that the UK has important obligations in the area of extradition. It takes those obligations seriously,” Lord West wrote.

Mr McKinnon’s father, Glasgow scaffolder Charlie McKinnon, insisted his son was “no terrorist” but a lonely hacker who had cracked military systems using a dial-up modem. He said: “I have seen the computer he used. It is a piece of junk. It is incredible he was able to get into the American system with it.”

His mother, Janis Sharp, broke down in tears while speaking to The Scotsman. “Why is the UK the only country in the world where it allows its people to be picked up without prima facie evidence? Why would she (Jacqui Smith] not ask for bail?” Ms Sharp said.

“He has really withdrawn into himself. He was optimistic but what really shocked him was the House of Lords’ verdict.

He was a stupid boy but he is no cyber- terrorist.”

Ms Sharp has been swamped by support for her son however, not least from American comedy actor Dan Ackroyd and Scottish artist Peter Howson, both of whom suffer from Asperger’s.

Case comes as US gets tougher on tech ‘crime’

COMPUTER hackers face ever-stiffer sentences in America, as Washington tries to play catch up with technology “crime”.

Since 2002, hackers have faced up to life in prison if deemed to be acting “maliciously”.

The House of Representatives overwhelming passed the Cyber Security Enhancement Act in that year.

It also expanded police powers to conduct internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order.

Gary McKinnon is not the first British hacker to face the force of American law.

In 1997, Mathew Bevan was accused of breaking into US military systems. But he escaped without punishment when his case at Woolwich Crown Court was dropped after a long legal battle.

Questions have also been raised over why the UK is sending its citizens to the US for hearings on scant evidence.

Both the Israeli and Dutch governments have tried their computer hackers caught in US sites at home.

The US is currently trying to extradite one Israeli hacker, Ehud Tenenbaum, from Canada over allegations that he hacked into financial institutions. He escaped extradition in 1998 after hacking into the Pentagon.

Gerri Peev

The gifted child who became obsessed with investigating UFOs

GARY McKinnon was a gifted child. He started speaking in full sentences at ten months and was reading books by the age of three.

But his keen interest in computers and UFOs would eventually land him in trouble as a wanted criminal.

Born in Glasgow in 1966, he left Scotland as a six-year-old after his parents split up. His father, Charlie, still lives in Scotland while his mother is based in London. His stepfather, from Bonnybridge, sparked an interest in UFO’s, after he related a dream to the boy, in which he saw “huge ships” near his Stirlingshire home.

He owned his first computer when he was 14, but chose hairdressing as a career. At 15, he joined the British UFO Research Association, which further entrenched his firm belief in aliens.

Two years later, he went to see the film WarGames , in which a computer enthusiast’s skills lead him into trouble with the Pentagon. After hacking into Oxford University’s network, he managed to crack the US Space Command.

By November 2000, he was hooked, and quit his job and spent his time hacking from his North London flat.

His girlfriend at the time grew increasingly worried. He stopped washing and spent hours in front of his computer.

In November 2002 he was finally caught, after leaving notes on computers of military experts, and now faces charges of hacking into computers of the US army, navy, air force and defence department, and Nasa. He also faces claims that he obtained secret files that “could be useful to the enemy”.

American prosecutors say his hacking caused $700,000 (£430,000) in damage to government systems and that he deliberately set out to destroy files not long after the 9/11 attacks.

He insists he only wanted to look around, rather than damage any files.

He is now unemployed and banned from going on the internet.

Mr McKinnon was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act but no charges have been brought against him in the UK.

His online name was “Solo” and Mr McKinnon has described himself as a “bumbling computer nerd”.

Source: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Calls-grow-to-save-.4643340.jp

Hacker’s song hits Myspace charts

Tender tears of pity for downtrodden

Called Only a fool, and owing something to soulful house boys Cabaret Voltaire, the song reached number five in the myspace video chart within 48 hours of being posted.

In it, Gary gives us an idea how he has sustained his resolve through six years of court battles against an extradition order to face hacking charges in the US.

“Don’t stop don’t say it don’t matter,” he sings, “If it ain’t easy, try harder; Only a fool would let it go.” It is a heartfelt statement of solidarity for the lovelorn, the dejected, dispirited and lost people of the world.

Gary has himself struggled to keep his head up throughout his years fighting hacking charges that US prosecutors say should land him 70 years in prison. And was in the summer diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.

The US has labelled him a terrorist who shut down military computer networks. He has said he was a UFO enthusiast looking for evidence and didn’t do any harm. He did, however, leave messages on US government computers that taunted it for its warmongering foreign policy.

Having gone through the district, appeal and high courts in the UK, and been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, Gary’s legal team has appealed for a judicial review of his extradition.

A Parliamentary petition for Gary to serve his sentence in the UK if he is found guilty in a US court has received 20 signatures.

MP cries mercy for McKinnon

Jacqui Smith slammed by McKinnon lawyers

Contempt for hacker’s autism defence

Gary’s family and Friends speak out in the THE INQUIRER spodcast

McKinnon looks for legal loophole

Hacker’s mum squares up to US
McKinnon loses European appeal

Lords throw McKinnon to the dogs

Pentagon hacker in the hands of the Lords
Hackers attack Boris as Tories call for crackdown

Hacker Matthew Bevan vents his spleen on the INQ

Source:  http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/11/04/hacker-song-hits-myspace-charts

Myspace bans McKinnon as latest deadline looms

Top tune hacked

PENTAGON HACKER Gary McKinnon received a double blow yesterday when Myspace took down his music video and the UK’s High Court refused his application for a judicial review.

Gary’s music video, Only a Fool, had stormed the Myspace video charts, reaching number three the last time we checked, not three days after it was posted.

His application for a judicial review had sought to prevent his extradition on the grounds that it would be cruel to send him, as a sufferer of Asperger’s Syndrome, to a US jail. The government should secure him the right to serve time in a British prison if he was found guilty in a US court, said the application.

Janice Sharp, Gary’s Mum and lead campaigner, said that Myspace had removed his video because it was being used to promote his campaign.

She said the High Court had given Gary until 5 December to apply for an oral judicial review. The High Court’s refusal yesterday had been for a written review. This may be his last recourse.

Myspace was unable to explain what had happened to the video. But The INQUIRER understands that the video was pulled by someone in the US without explanation.

Source:  http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/11/07/myspace-law-courts-dump

Hacker hopes hit internet song will help to beat extradition rap

Published Date: 09 November 2008

HE IS the self-confessed computer nerd who faces 60 years in an American jail after hacking into the Pentagon’s computer system.

But now Gary McKinnon has become this year’s most unlikely pop star.

McKinnon’s online recording ‘Only A Fool’ has stormed into the MySpace charts, hitting the top five of most-watched videos alongside Christina Aguilera, the Pussycat Dolls and Rihanna. Campaigners hope the popularity of the song will help in their bid to halt the Scot’s extradition.

The 44-year-old Glaswegian, who suffers from a form of autism, faces life in a US prison for using his dial-up modem to hack into military computer systems at the Pentagon and Nasa between 2001 and 2003.

The amateur songwriter managed to gain entry to the most heavily protected data systems in the world while sitting in the bedroom of his north London flat.

He became America’s most wanted ‘cyber-terrorist’, was arrested by specialist UK police and faces being handed over to the US authorities.

McKinnon has always insisted he had no malicious intent and claimed he was motivated by his interest in conspiracy theories and a desire to find classified information about UFOs and aliens. He did, however, leave messages on US government computers that taunted it for its warmongering foreign policy.

Despite struggling from depression, McKinnon posted his self-penned track on MySpace and within 48 hours it had been viewed by more than 100,000 people – taking it to No.5 in the video charts.

McKinnon’s melancholy ballad is a tale of survival in the face of great adversity. The chorus features the lyrics: “Don’t stop, don’t say it don’t matter/If it ain’t easy try harder/Only a fool would let it go/Don’t stop, don’t sit and do nothing/If it ain’t easy say something/Only a fool would let it show.”

The equally downbeat video features youngsters trudging around a bleak inner-city location.

McKinnon was first arrested six years ago, but the Law Lords rejected his appeal against extradition in August. The UK Government has fully backed America’s attempt to bring the hacker across the Atlantic for trial.

The programmer, who wants to be tried in Britain, says he will be treated as a terrorist, with one US attorney stating authorities want him to “fry”.

Source:  http://news.scotsman.com/world/Hacker-hopes-hit–internet.4675449.jp

Justice should punt McKinnon

Published: Monday, November 10, 2008 at 2:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 10, 2008 at 2:32 p.m.

It’s good to see Obama transition team chief John Podesta taking aim at untangling the Bush catastrophe with executive orders, and let’s hope Executive Order 13292 (De Void 11/5/08) is at the top of the list.

Podesta’s advocacy of UFO declassification is generating considerable speculation about how far he can push it, but it’s doubtful President Clinton’s former chief of staff wants an early test. Which he may get if this Gary McKinnon thing keeps tottering towards America’s shores.

Dubbed “The Nerd Who Knew Too Much” by Fleet Street, McKinnon is the 42-year-old British hacker who confessed to breaking into U.S. military and NASA computers seven years ago in search of secret UFO data. He didn’t strike the mother lode, but the Justice Department is about to haul him across the pond for wreaking an alleged million dollars in damages during his fishing expedition.

Since his arrest in 2002, McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and his defense team is hoping the British High Court will hear him out in an oral judicial review by Dec. 5. Otherwise, McKinnon’s headed for trial in the States.

Problem: Thanks to Gitmo, waterboarding, and assorted other upgrades to America’s definition of human rights, McKinnon has became a cause celebre in the UK. Supporters at FreeGary.org.uk have been pressing Parliament to tell Uncle Sam to bring the trial to England. Last week, a bipartisan group of MPs urged British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to freeze McKinnon’s extradition unless the U.S. agrees to return him home for any jail time he faces if convicted.

A hyperbolic American federal prosecutor’s labeling of McKinnon as “the biggest military computer hacker of all time” has apparently transformed the Glasgow native into a video martyr, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfO1G0Ozypwhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXHXM-82Wlc. According to The Inquirer in London, the latter became the third most-viewed clip on Myspace last week until it vanished: “The Inquirer understands that the video was pulled by someone in the U.S. without explanation.”

Wow. More conspiracy intrigue. How unusual.

This isn’t the fight a new administration committed to transparency really wants to pick, not now. A McKinnon trial in the U.S. could conceivably slip the bridle of cyber-vandalism and provoke a broader discussion about UFO secrecy. That’s not likely to happen, given the MSM’s endlessly comfortable whirlpool bath in talking-points Thorazine. Still, it’s not a chance that a guy like Podesta, given his vulnerability on UFOs, wants to take at this point.

If the Justice Department were smart, it’d punt the venue back to England. The cowboy days are over.

Source:  http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081110/BLOG32/811100261?Title=Justice_should_punt_McKinnon


Marillion to play gig for McKinnon

Tony Blair refuses help

PROG ROCK supergroup Marillion has agreed to play a benefit gig for Gary McKinnon as the Pentagon hacker’s legal team prepares a last ditch attempt to have his US extradition order quashed.

Meanwhile, a political campaign to persuade Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to reject the US extradition request has gained momentum, with a clutch of big hitters demanding she show humanitarian care when considering the fate of people with Asperger’s Syndrome, with which Gary was diagnosed in the summer.

Mark Kelly, keyboard player with Marillion, told the INQUIRER: “We’re definitely interested. I spoke to the band about it and said let’s put ourselves forward because its an important cause. They have agreed in principle. We just need to get some more details.

“I’ve always had an interest in computers and I read about Gary’s case a couple of years ago. I identified with him a bit – someone hacking into computers and it being a bit of harmless rummaging around. He was looking for evidence of UFOs – it’s not like he was a terrorist or anything,” he said. “I’m a bit of a computer geek – keyboard player in a band – it comes with the territory really. Not that I ever got into hacking systems, but I could imagine in my younger and more stupid days I would have done something like that if I had the technical capability and would have seen it as a bit of harmless fun, and would never have thought it would lead to something as serious as this,” he added.

“When I heard he was being extradited and was facing many years in prison and was being made an example of I thought, that’s a bit harsh. He should stand trial here, shouldn’t he?” said Kelly, who has someone with Asperger’s Syndrome in his own family.

Ross Hemsworth, host of the Glastonbury Radio show Now that’s Wierd was putting the gig together. “We sent emails out today to the Stones, to U2, to Bowie, just about everybody because its got the potential to be a Live Aid if we can get the support behind it,” he said, adding that he had not set a date.

That would depend on the availability of headline acts and finding an appropriate venue: “We are asking, with cap in hand, for the 02 (the Millennium Dome), or Wembley (the national football stadium), or various other venues.”

It is looking likely that McKinnon will spend Christmas with his family in London rather than in a US remand prison awaiting trial for charges of hacking military computer systems. His lawyers registered their intention to make an oral application for a judicial review with the High Court today. The application should be made before Christmas.

It will challenge Jacqui Smith’s refusal to allow Gary’s Asperger’s condition to influence her treatment of his extradition order. If the application is successful, renowned human rights lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC will make the application in the new year.

McKinnon’s written application for a judicial review was rejected by the High Court last month. Karen Todner, his solicitor, said Fitzgerald had more evidence of Gary’s condition and his likely treatment by the US authorities, but it was usual for an oral application to differ only in the form of its delivery – that is, a personal plea can have greater success.

“If we are denied permission that’s the end of the road,” she said, ” Although we’ve seen the end of the road before.”

A Parliamentary petition started by David Burrowes, Gary’s MP, has attracted the signatures of 62 politicians. Big hitters who have added their names include Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat’s shadow justice secretary, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee and Labour MP for Leicester East, Clare Short, the campaigning Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, John Pugh, the Liberal Democrat shadow Treasury minister, and Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Libdems.

Gary’s campaigners emailed all MPs with a description of the reasons why his Asperger’s condition would make him too vulnerable for extradition to face imprisonment in a US jail. They also requested the support of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. His office refused.

Source:  http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/11/14/marillion-play-gig-mckinnon

Cruel and unusual punishment

Extraditing conspiracy-theorist hacker Gary McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with a form of autism, is inhumane

Last week, the computer hacker Gary McKinnon was given a Thursday deadline to apply for an oral judicial review, which is the last legal challenge that could stop his extradition to the United States.

As he runs out of time and chances, it seems to me and others from across the political spectrum that we should look again at the fundamental case for extradition. There are strong arguments for allowing McKinnon to stand trial in the UK and serve any sentence in this country.

The London-based hacker, who is alleged to have broken through Pentagon and Nasa security, has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a fact that was not available and hence not taken into account by either the district judge or the High Court when they reached their decisions in favour of his extradition.

Sarah Ludford, McKinnon’s constituency MEP, and I have written to the home secretary Jacqui Smith urging her to use her discretion to agree or refuse an extradition request.

The news that Gary McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome should surely justify a more humanitarian approach. According to the Asperger’s Syndrome Foundation, the condition is characterised by difficulties with social interaction and communication. A pattern of behaviour includes a lack of empathy, impaired imagination, difficulty in making friends, intense absorption in a special interest and often problems with motor coordination.

It can often result in frustration, anger, depression and a lack of self-esteem. In these circumstances, it would be oppressive to extradite him without – at the very least – undertakings from the US authorities as to his treatment.

The two-and-a-half year gap between McKinnon’s arrest and the US extradition request also raises serious questions about the plea-bargaining process that took place in the intervening period. McKinnon could have done what the US wanted and pleaded guilty and waived his statutory extradition rights in exchange for a more lenient sentence and repatriation for sentence.

The result of this voluntary surrender might have been a three to four-year sentence for non-terrorist offences and speedy repatriation to the UK. However, McKinnon chose to exercise his right to resist extradition. As a result, he is faced with a possible 45-60 year prison sentence without parole for terrorism and no repatriation. He has effectively been blackmailed by the US authorities to plead guilty.

Having exercised these rights, the US authorities are now categorising McKinnon’s behaviour as (cyber-)terrorism. There is a real risk of him being detained, both pre-trial and in the event of a conviction, for a long time in a “Supermax” high-security prison. Such detention is hardly suitable for a computer hacker with no previous criminal history and whose potential as a future risk must be seriously questioned.

These coercive tactics must surely be contrary to the tenets of any fair legal system, and amount to an abuse of extradition. The High Court rightly described the threat of withholding repatriation if McKinnon refused to surrender as “anathema”, and viewed the way the US authorities conducted plea bargaining with McKinnon in London with “distaste”.

This coercive plea bargaining is an abuse of our judicial process. At the very least, Jacqui Smith should seek clarification from the US authorities as to the availability of pretrial bail for McKinnon. If she had real confidence in British justice she would go further and demand that McKinnon stand trial in this country and, if convicted, serve any term of detention in a British prison.

This issue, however, is not just about Gary McKinnon. No extraditions of British citizens should be granted until the forum amendments of the Police & Justice Act are enacted, which would allow McKinnon and others to be tried over here. The government could have enacted these provisions in November 2007 but still shows no sign of bringing them into force.

Express assurances should also be obtained from requesting countries of immediate post-trial/sentencing repatriation to the UK. This is in accordance with the principles of the European Treaty on transfer of prisoners (to which the US is a signatory). Jacqui Smith must not let our special relationship with the US override the best interests of justice.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/12/mckinnon-hacker

Friday 21 November 2008, 3:40 PM


Marillion sought for McKinnon concert

Posted by Colin Barker

A rock concert to benefit self-confessed hacker, Gary McKinnon, is being pitched by the man who runs Glastonbury Radio, who is hoping to recruit bands like Marillion.

Ross Hemsworth is putting together the concert, he says, to draw attention to the plight of McKinnon and others who are scheduled for extradition to the US without having committed any offence any serious crime in the UK.

The concert, to be called ‘Rock Against Injustice’, is being staged at very short notice by Hemsworth, who says he plans to stage it within the month.

The concert does appear to be at a formative stage. When we asked to talk to someone who had said they would appear, Hemsworth put us in touch with Mark Kelly, who plays keyboards with Marillion.

“I don’t know what is happening there,” Kelly told ZDNet UK. “Sure, I am interested in getting involved but I haven’t heard anything since I said I was interested.”

Kelly, Hemsworth and McKinnon do have an interest in common. When he was first threatened with extradition by the US authorities, McKinnon said that while it was true he had hacked into secret US web sites at NASA and elsewhere, his activities were innocent, as he was looking for UFOs.

Hemsworth maintains that he is trying to recruit a diverse range of rock starts to do the concert including Sting, Mark Knopfler, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Dave Gilmour, Peter Gabriel and others.

The event, while drawing attention to McKinnon, is also intended to raise money for the charity to help those with Asperger’s syndrome. McKinnon has been diagnosed as suffering from Asperger’s.

Source:   http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10009799o-2000331827b,00.htm

PM speaks out on Nasa hacker plight

A boost for UK sentence hopes?

By Colin Barker

Published: 21 November 2008 09:04 GMT

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spoken publicly for the first time on the future of Gary McKinnon, who is facing extradition to the US on hacking charges.

During Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield, Southgate asked: “Will the Prime Minister ensure that extradition arrangements are changed so that UK citizens such as… Gary McKinnon, are not routinely extradited, despite having Asperger’s syndrome?” McKinnon is one of Burrowes’s constituents.

Brown did not answer the question directly but instead pointed out that the “UK and the US are signatories to the Council of Europe convention on the transfer of sentenced persons, which enables a person found guilty in the United States of America to serve their sentence in the UK”.

This is the first time Brown has spoken publicly about the case of McKinnon, who currently faces extradition to the US on charges of hacking 97 US military computers. He faces up to 70 years in prison if found guilty by a US court and, as it stands, would serve his sentence in the US.

McKinnon has said he hopes that, in the event he is extradited to the US, he would be allowed to return almost immediately to the UK to serve any sentence. He is currently waiting to make his latest appeal against extradition, which is due to be heard on 5 December.

McKinnon’s chances of serving his sentence in the UK were strengthened earlier this month when a cross-party group of MPs, including Burrowes, petitioned the Prime Minister to guarantee that McKinnon would serve any sentence in the UK.

McKinnon was diagnosed in September with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autistic spectrum. In his parliamentary answer, Brown did not refer to McKinnon’s condition.

Original article: PM comment boosts McKinnon’s UK-sentence hopes from ZDNet UK

Source:   http://management.silicon.com/government/0,39024677,39349367,00.htm

PM needs to help hacker Gary McKinnon, says MP

Prime Minister Gordon Brown needs to intervene to ensure Gary McKinnon is not jailed in the US, says David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate.

McKinnon faces imminent extradition to the US to face trial for allegedly hacking more than 73,000 US military computers.

Burrowes is leading a campaign by several politicians to halt McKinnon’s extradition unless the US allows him to serve any sentence in Britain.

David Blunkett, former home secretary, is among supporters who have called for McKinnon to be repatriated immediately because the hacker has Asperger’s syndrome.

This week Burrowes asked during Prime Ministers’ questions if the PM will ensure UK citizens such as McKinnon are not routinely extradited.

Brown responded by saying the UK and the US are signatories to the Council of Europe convention on the transfer of sentenced persons, which enables a person found guilty in the US to serve their sentence in the UK.

Burrowes said, “I am pleased that the possibility of repatriation has been acknowledged by the Prime Minister and I will continue to press for this to become a reality.”

McKinnon expects a decision early in December on a request for judicial review of the case by the High Court.

His lawyers filed the request in October after the Home Office rejected an appeal for the extradition to be set aside on health grounds.

McKinnon has admitted that he gained illegal entry to US military computers between 1999 and 2003, but he has denied the alleged extent of his incursions or that he caused damage.

Source:   http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/11/21/233508/pm-needs-to-help-hacker-gary-mckinnon-says-mp.ht

2 Responses to “Ongoing Updates: Dan Aykroyd, Peter Howson, Politicians Rally Behind Gary McKinnon/”Only A Fool” Music Video”

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