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First Published Monday, 12 January 2009

Gary McKinnon, the hacker accused of breaking into the Pentagon and Nasa, could be tried in Britain

Gary McKinnon, the hacker accused of breaking into the Pentagon and Nasa, could be tried in Britain Photo: PA

Previous Updates

http://aspie-editorial.blog-city.com/ongoing_updates_gary_mckinnon_extradition_judicial_review_.htm

From
January 12, 2009

Gary McKinnon signs confession to avoid hacking extradition


Computer hacker Gary McKinnon

(Dave Bebber/The Times)


Gary McKinnon denies that he damaged any computers while searching for evidence of alien encounters


A UFO enthusiast who hacked into US military computers looking for evidence that aliens have visited Earth today signed a written confession in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition.


Gary McKinnon, 42, from north London, faces a sentence of up to 80 years in prison if he is found guilty in an American court of hacking into and damaging 97 US Navy, Army, Nasa and Pentagon computers.


Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, has failed in numerous appeals against the extradition. His lawyer hopes that by handing a signed confession to the Crown Prosecution Service he could be tried in the UK.


Karen Todner, his lawyer, said he still denies causing damage to the computer equipment, which cost $800,000 (£532,500) according to the US authorities. He signed a statement offering to plead guilty under UK law to hacking into the computers in breach of the Misuse of Computers Act.


Ms Todner said she was awaiting a response from the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, but added she was hopeful prosecutors would accept the deal.


“They are different offences to what he was being extradited for, but it reflects his culpability for what he did,” she said.


A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman confirmed they had received the letter and were considering it.


The US military claims Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, left 300 computers at a US Navy weapons station unusable immediately after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001.


He is accused of hacking into 53 US Army computers and 26 US Navy computers, including those at US Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, which is responsible for replenishing munitions and supplies for the Atlantic fleet.


He is also accused of hacking into 16 Nasa computers, one US Department of Defence computer and one machine belonging to the US Air Force.


He was caught in 2002 as he tried to download a grainy black and white photograph which he believed was an alien spacecraft from a Nasa computer housed in the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.


He was easily traced by the authorities because he used a personal e-mail address.


If the case is heard in the US it is thought that he would receive a relatively light sentence and that, under a plea bargain offer, he would spend six to 12 months in a US jail before being returned to Britain to serve the rest of his time.


McKinnon says he was looking for UFO files and his supporters have said this was an obsession that went too far.


He has previously said: “What I did was illegal and wrong and I accept I should be punished. But I am not a member of al-Qaeda. I believe my case is being treated so seriously because they’re scared of what I’ve seen. I’m living in a surreal, nutter’s film.”


An application for permission for a judicial review of the proposed extradition is expected to be heard at the High Court in London on January 20.


Source:  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5503814.ece


Gary McKinnon’s mum tries to stop his extradition


Author:
Posted:
14:28 12 Jan 2009

Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon‘s mother has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions in a renewed effort to stop his extradition to the US and have him tried in the UK.


Karen Todner, McKinnon’s lawyer, has also asked the Crown Prosecution Service to try her client in the UK. Todner believes an admission of guilt signed by McKinnon and sent to the DPP entitles him to a British trial under the Computer Misuse Act.


>> Read the full letter: Gary McKinnon’s mother’s appeal to the DPP


McKinnon is wanted by the US to face charges that he hacked into Nasa and US defence computers and caused damage worth thousands of dollars. McKinnion admits the hacking, but denies causing damage.


Mckinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp told Keir Starmer that she wanted her son to receive equal treatment to that received by Aaron Caffrey, a 19-year-old whom the Americans wanted extradited for a denial of service attack on one of the US’s business harbours, Houston, on 20 September 2001.


“I am not asking for Gary to be excused I am merely asking that he can be tried in the UK on all of the charges already brought by the Americans and if need be, punished here,” Sharp wrote to Starmer.


“I am not requesting this merely for compassionate reasons but am asking on the basis of the right for my son Gary to receive equal treatment to Aaron Caffrey,” she said.


Demonstration outside Home Office to halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon


According to Sharp, the same CPS official dealt with both Caffrey’s and McKinnon’s cases. She said this person led Gary and his solicitor to understand at the time that he had been instructed from “the very top” to basically stand aside for America to prosecute Gary. “What we did not know at the time was that simultaneously the CPS was deciding to approve the prosecution of Aaron Caffrey in Southwark Crown Court,” she said.


Caffrey, who admitted he was a member of a white hat hacking group, admitted the attack came from his computer, but said it was due to a Trojan that ran without his knowledge. A forensic examination of Caffrey’s computer showed no evidence of the Trojan. Caffrey was tried in the UK and acquitted because the jury was not convinced he had hacked the port’s computers.


Sharp said the Home Secretary (Jack Straw) had previously turned down extradition requests for former Chilean dictator leader Augusto Pinochet, and alleged IRA terrorist Roisin McAliskey on health grounds. He had also tried to negotiate the release of Michael Shields from Bulgaria, who had been convicted for attempted murderer.


“(Jack Straw) should feel it only fair to allow a gentle person like Gary to be tried in the UK as Gary has no criminal record and has never hurt anyone and his crime was merely his obsessive behaviour caused by Asperger Syndrome,” Sharp said.


Source:   http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/01/12/234178/gary-mckinnons-mum-tries-to-stop-his-extradition.htm


NAS –  Media  Statement – Gary McKinnon


14 January 2008



Statement on NAS involvement in the case of Gary McKinnon, a man with Asperger syndrome who is appealing against extradition to the United States, where he will face charges of hacking into US government computer systems.


The National Autistic Society’s chief executive Mark Lever said: “We are calling for urgent action to prevent this extradition and allow Gary McKinnon to stand trial in the UK. We believe that the extradition, and a possible maximum security prison sentence, would be inappropriate and very damaging for anyone affected by Asperger syndrome.”


Mr. McKinnon has applied for Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s decision to order his extradition to the USA. The hearing will take place in the High Court on 20th January 2009. The NAS has already written to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging her to take Mr. McKinnon’s Asperger syndrome into account and we are now providing a written statement to the court expressing our concern that his diagnosis be taken into consideration in his application for judicial review.


The evidence we plan to submit explains the nature of Asperger syndrome and the fact that diagnosis in adults is often late, as in Mr. McKinnon’s case. In addition, we have included information explaining that people with Asperger syndrome may be particularly vulnerable because of their difficulties with social awareness and communication, and may be susceptible to additional mental health problems as a result of their disability.


As Mr. McKinnon was only diagnosed in August 2008, his Asperger syndrome was not taken into account in earlier legal proceedings dating back to his arrest in March 2002. The NAS strongly believes this new information needs to be taken into consideration before any decision is made about his extradition.


Asperger syndrome is a form of autism – a serious, lifelong and disabling condition which effects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. Without the right support it can have a profound effect on individuals and families. As autism is a spectrum condition, no two people are affected in the same way.


Take action for Gary McKinnon by following this link.


Source:   http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2074&a=18512


From
January 15, 2009

CPS considers last attempt at halting Gary McKinnon extradition


Gary McKinnon

(Andy Rain/EPA)


Gary McKinnon has not denied he hacked into Pentagon computers

The head of the Crown Prosecution Service is considering a request to try Gary McKinnon in the UK, delivering one last, legal lifeline to the Briton accused of the biggest hacking operation in American military history.


With just five days left until a final decision is made on his controversial extradition to the US, Keir Starmer QC will examine whether Mr McKinnon should instead be prosecuted on a lesser charge in the British courts.


Pressure is mounting to halt the extradition of Mr McKinnon, who has not denied hacking into a high-security network of American Navy, Army, Nasa and Pentagon computers.


Mr McKinnon, 42, from Wood Green, north London, insists he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he broke into the sensitive military networks in 2001 and 2002.


He says his behaviour was the result of Asperger’s Syndrome, which was only diagnosed in August last year.


If extradited, he faces up to 70 years in a high-security prison.


Today, Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor at the University of Cambridge and one of the leading experts in Asperger’s Syndrome, said Mr McKinnon was a vulnerable adult, who was acting through “social naivete” rather than criminal intent.


Mr Baron-Cohen told a press conference: “There are questions about whether he should be imprisoned at all because someone with Asperger’s Syndrome will find it very difficult to tolerate a prison environment.


“If, as I believe, the crime was committed through naivety and through an obsession – in this case with computers and trying to find information – without any intent to deceive, without any attempt to hide what he was doing, we should be thinking about this as the activity of somebody with a disability rather than a criminal activity.”


Professor Baron-Cohen also said Mr McKinnon’s behaviour was typical of people with Asperger’s Syndrome.


“It can bring a sort of tunnel vision so that in their pursuit of the truth they are blind to the potential social consequences for them or for other people,” he said.


The Crown Prosecution Service today confirmed it is considering a request from McKinnon’s lawyers in which they have said their client would plead guilty to an offence under the Misuse of Computers Act.


His lawyers have asked to adjourn the judicial review, due to take place at the High Court on Monday, pending Mr Starmer’s decision, which is expected to be made within four weeks.


Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, Karen Todner, said: “If this fails, it will be likely that Gary will be on a plane within days with no guarantee he will ever return. This is the end of the road.”


Mr McKinnon, a former hairdresser and systems analyst, who is now unemployed, told The Times: “I can only think as far ahead as the next legal step. I don’t want to think about the rest.


“I am very controlled, which is probably not a good thing, but inside the fires of hell are burning. It’s not a good place to be.


“I’m on beta-blockers at the moment and I’m extremely stressed.”


He conceded that after losing every appeal, he was now running out of options.


James Welsh, of the civil rights group, Liberty, said the computer hacker had been the victim of an “unfair imbalance” in Britain’s extradition agreement with the US, which does not require the US government to provide any evidence of alleged crimes.


He urged politicians to “remedy this obvious and glaring defect” in the legislation.


The US military alleges that Mr McKinnon caused $800,000 worth (£532,500) of damage and shut down 300 computers at a US Navy weapons station, in the wake of the September 11 2001 terror attacks.


He is also accused of hacking into 16 Nasa computers, one US Department of Defence computer and one machine belonging to the US Air Force.


Mr McKinnon, who was operating from a bedroom in north London, was caught in 2002 as he allegedly tried to download a grainy black and white photograph which he believed was an alien spacecraft from a Nasa computer housed in the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.


He was easily traced by the authorities because he used his own email address.


Source:   http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5526034.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1


Computer hacker in plea for Bush pardon


Published Date: 16 January 2009

SUPPORTERS of the Scottish computer hacker Gary McKinnon have urged George Bush, the US president, to pardon him as one of his final acts before leaving office.
McKinnon is only days away from finding out whether he will be extradited to the United States. The High Court judgment will be delivered on Tuesday, the same day as the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president.


But McKinnon’s lawyers hope Mr Bush will carry out a last act of clemency. It is common for outgoing presidents to pardon some people when they leave office, and McKinnon hopes his name will be on Mr Bush’s list.

At a news conference in London yesterday, his solicitor, Karen Todner, said she had written to David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, asking him to appeal to Mr Bush to pardon her client. The 42-year-old has Asperger’s syndrome, and autism campaigners fear for his future if he is extradited to the US to face charges.


McKinnon hacked into US military computers from his North London home, but the UK’s extradition treaty means he can be sent to the US to face punishment there. He could face up to 60 years in prison.

He has asked to be charged under the Computer Misuse Act in Britain, where he believes would get a fairer trial.


11th hour lifeline for computer hacker

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk
16 January 2009

COMPUTER hacker and former Crouch End resident Gary McKinnon has been given an 11th hour just days before a final decision on his extradition is made.


Mr McKinnon, 42 and a former Highgate Wood pupil, is currently awaiting extradition after being accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage when he allegedly hacked into US security systems from his Hillfield Avenue home in 2002.


His lawyers received a letter from the director of public prosecutions (DPP) yesterday stating it would take up to four weeks to deliberate over Mr McKinnon’s signed confession.


Last month, Mr McKinnon, who faces up to 60 years in an American prison, signed a formal confession pleading guilty to computer misuse, in an attempt to have him tried in this country.


On Tuesday (January 20), he faces an oral application for a judicial review at the High Court, where his lawyers now plan to delay the extradition until after the DPP has come to a decision.


“If that fails, we really have come to the end of the line,” Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, Karen Todner, said. “Gary would then be extradited within the next 10 days.”


Meanwhile, the leading authority on autism has defended Mr McKinnon in a plea to prevent his extradition.


At a special press conference on Thursday, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who diagnosed Mr McKinnon with Asperger’s syndrome in August, pledged his support to the UFO enthusiast.


“We should be thinking of this as the activity of someone with a disability, not a criminal activity,” he said. “There are questions as to whether he should be imprisoned at all. Someone was Asperger’s would find it very difficult to deal with it.


“He believed that what he was doing was right.


Source:   http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/content/camden/hamhigh/news/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=Newshamhigh&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newshamhigh&itemid=WeED16%20Jan%202009%2011%3A13%3A54%3A240


McKinnon extradition on hold until February


Tom Espiner and David Meyer ZDNet.co.uk

Published: 20 Jan 2009 11:58 GMT


Gary McKinnon’s potential extradition to the US for hacking military systems is on hold for the next few weeks, McKinnon’s lawyer has told ZDNet UK.


On Tuesday, McKinnon appeared at the High Court in London for an oral hearing about his extradition. McKinnon has always admitted hacking into Nasa and Pentagon systems — a crime for which he could face up to 70 years in prison if he were found guilty by a US court — but denies causing damage to the extent claimed by the US.


Late last December, McKinnon sent a confession to Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), in the hope he might be tried in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act, rather than in the US.


Before the hearing, McKinnon’s solicitor Karen Todner told ZDNet UK that the home secretary’s counsel had promised her the Home Office would stay the extradition until the DPP had issued his decision.


“The counsel for the home secretary has undertaken not to extradite Gary pending a decision from the DPP,” Todner said. The DPP said a week ago he would make a decision within four weeks, so that decision is expected in mid-February.


McKinnon, speaking to ZDNet UK before the hearing, described himself as “nervous”. He was, however, jubilant at the news of the delayed extradition.


“It’s brilliant news — they’re delaying the whole thing until we’ve got the DPP’s decision,” McKinnon said. “It’s such a relief.”


McKinnon added that he and his team would also apply for a judicial review of the home secretary’s October rejection of his appeal against extradition. McKinnon’s lawyers had argued that he should not be extradited on the grounds he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autistic spectrum, but the Home Office rejected the appeal, claiming the diagnosis did not provide sufficient grounds for overturning the extradition order.


Source:   http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39597073,00.htm


Hacker ‘faces suicide risk if extradited to US,’ High Court hears


(Tuesday 20 January 2009)

A BRITISH computer expert accused of hacking into US military networks would be at real risk of psychosis or suicide if extradited to the US, the High Court was told on Tuesday.


Gary McKinnon faces a lifetime in jail if he is found guilty in the US of sabotaging vital defence systems after the September 11 terror attacks.


But his supporters say that he acted through “naivety” as a result of his Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and should not be considered a criminal.


Edward Fitzgerald QC, appearing for Mr McKinnon, told the High Court that his medical condition was likely to give rise to psychosis or suicide if he were removed to the US, far away from his family, and that he should be allowed to stand trial in Britain.


The QC said: “The very fact of extradition will endanger his health.”


Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Simon, sitting in London, are being asked to grant the hacker permission to seek judicial review of the Home Secretary’s extradition decision.


Government lawyers are claiming that the decision to extradite does not infringe either Article 3 or Mr McKinnon’s Article 8 rights under the European convention to private and family life.


Source:

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/britain/hacker_faces_suicide_risk_if_extradited_to_us_high_court_hears


Autistic hackers can be extradited, says UK


Appeal for common humanity resisted

Wednesday, 21 January 2009, 20:55


PENTAGON HACKER Gary McKinnon’s autistic anguish is not painful enough to stop his extradition and confinement in a notorious US prison, the British government told the High Court yesterday.


Gary’s legal team asked the High Court to consider how his autism could turn a foreign trial and sentence into a terrifying ordeal that could make him go mad and even take his own life. The briefs argued Gary should face his hacking charges in a British court and serve any resulting prison sentence in his home country. The court was asked to review the Home Secretary’s decision in October to dismiss this question.


Hugo Keith QC, acting on behalf of UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, argued that Gary had survived a near four-year legal battle that had taken him through the local courts, High Court and House of Lords, so he ought to be able to cope with life in a US jail.


The lengthy legal battle had caused Gary anxiety and depression. But the symptoms hadn’t been bad enough for his lawyers to bring them up when Gary was fighting his extradition in the courts, said Keith. So why should it be any different now that Asperger’s, the catalyst, had been identified?


Expert evidence had warned that, if Gary were extradited and put through a foreign judicial process, away from his supporting family, his Aspergic vulnerabilities would be tested perilously more heavily than they were by his UK court battles.


Edward Fitzgerald QC, acting for Gary, appealed to the Home Secretary’s “common humanity” in considering Gary’s case. He argued that the Extradition Act 2003 allowed her to act humanely, and the European Convention of Human Rights compelled her to.


The court heard how the Extradition Act contained a provision for someone’s mental health to stop their extradition. But the Act had been designed to stop the government interfering in the extradition process, so only the courts could stop Gary’s extradition on these grounds. The Home Secretary did have the power to intervene, but only in limited circumstances: the Extradition Act was also designed to make people’s removal from their home country more efficient.


Humane or not humane
This exasperated Fitzgerald, the famed human rights layer: “What would you do with someone who discovered they had cancer or schizophrenia after the conclusion of the judicial process of an extradition?” he asked the judge. If the Home Secretary couldn’t intervene, then who could?


The case appeared to hinge therefore on whether the Home Secretary was obliged to stay Gary ‘s extradition under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Her decisions must pass the human rights test. But her position was that it wasn’t inhumane to let Gary the Aspergic be taken from his home country.


Fitzgerald argued that Gary was destined to face up to 60 years in a US supermax prison that had been criticised as inhumane by human rights bodies. Combined with his autism, this would breach Article 3 of the ECHR, which states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”


Moreover, removing someone with Asperger’s from their home country and incarcerating them in a foreign prison would breach Article 8 of the ECHR, which obliges prosecutors to respect people’s right to a private and family life.


“If exposure to potentially inhuman conditions and mental deterioration is avoidable by trial in this country, then that is a highly relevant factor to the assessment of inhumanity under Article 3 and disproportionality under Article 8,” Fitzgerald said.


Keith said there was not enough evidence to say Gary would serve time in a supermax prison, nor that he would be treated inhumanely if he did. The US was a civilised country. It might not have signed international human rights treaties, but its prisoners were given the right to complain about their conditions.


Is he or isn’t he?
Had Gary been a Muslim terrorist he might have had reason to fear mistreatment in a supermax, said Keith. Had he been a home-grown US terrorist like Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Eric Rudolph, the Olympic bomber or Terry Nichols who conspired with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber, then he might be guaranteed to serve supermax time. There was some debate about whether the US wants to try Gary as a terrorist at all. Though it did want to have him for damaging military computer systems “for ideological reasons”.


Neither did the Home Secretary think she had a right to protect Gary’s Article 8 right to a private and family life, because the US gave their prisoners psychiatric care. This, it was implied, would compensate for any additional hardships he might suffer as an autistic in a foreign jail. And the US courts were anyway civilised enough to see that Gary’s Asperger’s was taken into account.


But the Home Secretary hadn’t even bothered to get assurances from the US that Gary would get the support he needed: that he would be given bail, kept in humane prison conditions, and repatriated to serve most of his time in a UK prison. In this she had neglected her duty and her “common humanity”, said Fitzgerald. The Home Secretary thought she didn’t need to get any such assurances unless there was a real risk to Gary’s human rights. But had she considered this question properly?


These were all interesting points, but it all boiled down to whether removing an Aspergic from their home country to face a long sentence in a foreign jail would be cruel, and illegally so. Why put someone with Asperger’s through such an ordeal when it was possible to prosecute them in their home country? The judge will rule on the matter on Friday.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Hacker wins court review decision


Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon says he was looking for classified documents on UFOs

British hacker Gary McKinnon has won permission from the High Court to apply for a judicial review against his extradition to the United States.


The 42-year-old from London, who was diagnosed last August as having Asperger’s Syndrome, has admitted hacking into US military computers.


His lawyers had said Mr McKinnon was at risk of suicide if he were extradited.


Lawyers for the home secretary had argued against the review, saying the risk to Mr McKinnon’s health was low.


Fresh challenge


Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Simon ruled that Mr McKinnon’s case “merits substantive consideration” and granted him leave to launch a fresh challenge at the court in London.


His lawyers had previously told the High Court that if he were removed from his family and sent to the US, his condition was likely to give rise to psychosis or suicide.


The condition was not taken into consideration by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith last October when she permitted the extradition.


However, her lawyers said she acted within her powers.


The judges said that although Ms Smith’s decision might be found to be “unassailable”, Mr McKinnon had an arguable case that should be tested in court.


We have always been outraged by the Home Office’s decision to have him extradited to stand trial in a foreign land where he would face an out-of-proportion sentence for what is essentially a crime of eccentricity
Janis Sharp

Mr McKinnon, who is from Wood Green, has always admitted hacking into the computer systems in 2001-2 -which the US government says caused damage costing $800,000 (£550,000).


He hacked into 97 government computers belonging to organisations including the US Navy and Nasa.


He was caught as he tried to download a grainy black and white photograph which he believed was an alien spacecraft from a Nasa computer housed in the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.


He was easily traced by the authorities because he used his own email address.


He has always said that he had no malicious intent but was looking for classified documents on UFOs which he believed the US authorities had suppressed.


He has signed a statement accepting that his hacking constituted an offence under the UK’s Computer Misuse Act 1990.


Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp relayed the news to her son after the hearing.


She said: “We are overjoyed that the British courts have shown sense and compassion by allowing our son Gary, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, this judicial review.


“We have always been outraged by the Home Office’s decision to have him extradited to stand trial in a foreign land where he would face an out-of-proportion sentence for what is essentially a crime of eccentricity.””


Gary McKinnon and Janis Sharp

Mr McKinnon and his mother Janis say he should be tried in the UK

Mr McKinnon has said he believes he will get a fairer trial in the UK and that he found the situation stressful.


“I am very controlled, which is probably not a good thing, but inside the fires of hell are burning.


“It’s not a good place to be,” he said.


Those with Asperger’s Syndrome commonly become obsessed with certain activities and interests and have a level of “social naivety” when it comes to evaluating the consequences of their actions.


Prof Simon Baron-Cohen, who diagnosed Mr McKinnon with the condition, has said of the hacker’s actions: “We should be thinking about this as the activity of somebody with a disability rather than a criminal activity.”


Mr McKinnon’s legal team have sent a request to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer, asking for him to face trial in the UK rather than the US.


The home secretary has agreed to postpone Mr McKinnon’s extradition until the DPP gives his response to the case in four weeks.


If the DPP is persuaded to try Mr McKinnon in the UK, the hacker would face a three to four year sentence, rather than a potential 70 years in US courts.


Mr McKinnon’s full application for judicial review is likely to be heard after 16 March, by which time the DPP is expected to have made his decision.


NAS

Take action for Gary McKinnon


Gary McKinnon, a man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in August 2008, is due to be extradited to the United States to face trial for allegedly hacking into US defence computer systems.


On Friday 23rd January, the High Court granted permission to apply for a judicial review against the decision to extradite Gary. The National Autistic Society has been particularly concerned about Gary’s case and provided evidence in the legal proceedings expressing its concern that Gary’s Asperger syndrome be taken in to account in deciding whether to grant judicial review. In particular, The National Autistic Society provided evidence relating to the nature of Asperger syndrome, the behaviours associated with it, and late diagnosis. The National Autistic Society is pleased that in line with the evidence it submitted, the Court acknowledged that Gary had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome late and that it seemed that late diagnosis was not uncommon.


The judicial review hearing is likely to be listed in March.


Although this is a great step forward for Gary, there is no guarantee that the hearing in March will succeed and we still need as many supporters to carry out our campaigner action now, urging the Attorney General to reconsider her decision not prosecute Gary in the UK.


Please take a moment to email the Attorney General now


You can also read our media statement on the case and find out more details about it below.


Related resources


Relevant areas/articles elsewhere on this website Media statement: Gary McKinnon

‘Gobsmacked’ Scot wins right to challenge extradition ruling


computer hacker could commit suicide if moved to us, say lawyers


Published: 24/01/2009


Scottish computer hacker Gary McKinnon said he was “gobsmacked” yesterday after winning the right to launch a fresh High Court challenge against moves to extradite him to America.


Lawyers for Mr McKinnon, 42, originally from Glasgow, said he would be at real risk of psychosis and suicide if extradited to face charges of hacking into US military networks.


Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Simon, sitting at the High Court in London, ruled the claim that his forced removal could infringe his human rights merited “substantive consideration”.


The judges granted him permission to seek judicial review of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s decision last October that extradition should go ahead.


He faces a lifetime in jail if he is found guilty in the US of sabotaging vital defence systems after the September 11 terror attacks.


Supporters say he acted through “naivety” as a result of Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism.


Mr McKinnon, who lives in London, said of yesterday’s ruling: “I am gobsmacked. I am really, really pleased that there has been light at the end of the tunnel within our own legal system.”


His case was rejected by a district judge, the High Court and then, in July last year, by the House of Lords. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg also refused to intervene.


Yesterday Lord Justice Maurice Kay said it was some four weeks after the law lords’ ruling that Mr McKinnon was first diagnosed as suffering from Asperger’s syndrome.


Edward Fitzgerald QC, appearing for Mr McKinnon, argued that the home secretary had failed to give adequate consideration to expert evidence, including that from Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading expert on Asperger’s syndrome, that extradition, in Mr McKinnon’s case, could endanger his health and lead to suicide.


Hugo Keith, appearing for the home secretary, argued the home secretary had acted within her powers and her reasoning on Article 3 was “unassailable”.


But the judges granted leave for a judicial review hearing.


Mr McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp, said she was “overjoyed” that the British courts “have shown sense and compassion”.


Computer expert Mr McKinnon has signed a statement accepting that his hacking constituted an offence under the UK’s Computer Misuse Act 1990. He insists he was only looking for evidence of UFOs when he hacked into the US military networks in 2001 and 2002.


But the US military alleges that he caused £550,000 ($800,000) of damage and left 300 computers at a US Navy weapons station unusable immediately after the September 11, 2001 atrocities.


Source:   http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1045565?UserKey=


Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is supporting McKinnon’s case

Boris Johnson opposes McKinnon extradition


London mayor urges Obama to call off seven-year witch hunt


Written by Phil Muncaster


London mayor Boris Johnson has called on US president Barack Obama to call off his government’s seven-year quest to extradite Nasa hacker Gary McKinnon.


In his column in The Daily Telegraph, Johnson called the move “neocon lunacy”, and said that the 43-year old Londoner who hacked into Pentagon and Nasa systems is no threat to American security.


“The British government is obviously too feeble to help Mr McKinnon and, even though the courts last week granted him another review, it is plain that the matter will simply drag preposterously and expensively on,” wrote Johnson.


“It is time for the commander-in-chief to tell the US military to stop being so utterly wet, dry their eyes, and invest in some passwords that are slightly more difficult to crack.”


Johnson also argued that the “legal nightmare” could continue indefinitely at taxpayers’ expense if Obama does not step in.


McKinnon, who could face 70 years in a maximum security jail if extradited and found guilty, has not denied hacking into the military systems, but has always maintained that he was motivated only by a desire to find evidence of extra-terrestrial life.


The case against him was postponed last week while Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, reviews the case.


McKinnon’s lawyers are hoping that he can be tried under the UK’s Computer Misuse Act, and wants his Asperger’s diagnosis to be taken into consideration.


Source:   http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2235190/mayor-johnson-mckinnon-should


1. peggy hadden left…

Monday, 4 May 2009 6:11 pm

Why is it so difficult to find current information of Gary M.? I heard that all of his appeals were denied and that he was positively being deported to the US. Have never found another word about him. So, is he here? Where? When is his trial? Where? Can Pres O give him a reprieve? Quite a few months ago there was a petition to sign,online, for the US to drop charges and the UK handle this. I tried to sign and got another one of those Systrm Error msgs. He was looking for UFO evidence and was able to hack NASA. You would think they have brains enough to be able to block hackers. Wouldn’t you?


2. Julie left…

Monday, 4 May 2009 7:56 pm

Hi Peggy – Gary is currently awaiting a judicial review of the extradition order by the U.K.’s High Court of Justice. It’s scheduled for June 9-10th in London. Will keep you posted.

Support Blog: http://freegary.org.uk/



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