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Hacker gets new hope on extradition

Tuesday, Dec 1  2009 

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said he is considering granting computer hacker Gary McKinnon extra time to apply for a judicial review of his case. Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, faces up to 60 years in jail for breaking into American government systems after the September 11 terror attacks.

Mr Johnson, who decided the Government will not intervene in the case last week, told the Commons he was considering a request from Mr McKinnon’s legal team to extend the seven-day period they have to apply for a judicial review until December 17.

He conceded there were legitimate concerns over Mr McKinnon’s mental health, but said this did not prevent him from being extradited to the US to face the charges.

Mr Johnson said: “I am currently considering a request from Mr McKinnon’s lawyers for an extension of the seven-day time limit.”

He went on: “There are legitimate concerns over Mr McKinnon’s health and the United States authorities have provided assurances, which were before the High Court in July, that his needs will be met.”

He added it was clear there was “no real risk” that, if convicted, Mr McKinnon would serve any of his sentence in a “supermax” prison. Referring to the “perceived imbalance in UK/US extradition arrangements in respect of probable causes versus reasonable suspicion”, Mr Johnson added: “I am clear that no such imbalance exists.”

He also said that this issue was “academic” in Mr McKinnon’s case as he had already admitted much of the conduct of which he was accused.

Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon’s legal team have warned that if they are not granted a judicial review, then he could be extradited by Christmas.

Mr McKinnon has said he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he hacked into the computer systems and wants to be tried in the UK.

Source:   http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20091201/tuk-hacker-gets-new-hope-on-extradition-6323e80.html


Tuesday December 1,2009

The mother of one of the NatWest Three bankers jailed in the US has said computer hacker Gary McKinnon “will not survive the grave toll of extradition”.

Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, faces up to 60 years in jail for breaking into the American systems after the September 11 terror attacks.

Trish Godman MSP, whose son Gary Mulgrew was jailed for three years for fraud after being extradited to the US, said she was “deeply disappointed” Home Secretary Alan Johnson had decided the Government will not intervene in the case.

Ms Godman said: “I know only too well what Britons extradited to the US have to face.

“Everything I know about Gary McKinnon, and the particular vulnerability his Asperger’s gives him, tells me he will not survive the grave toll of extradition.

“I am deeply disappointed that my Westminster colleagues failed to intervene to halt Gary’s extradition.

“Governments should stand up for the most vulnerable of their citizens and in this case compassion should prevail. It cannot be beyond the realms of possibility to try him in the UK.”

Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon’s legal team is to apply for a judicial review within days, but have warned that if that was not granted then he could be extradited by Christmas.

He says he was looking for evidence of UFOs and wants to be tried in the UK.

Source:   http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/143369/Fears-for-hacker-facing-extradition

Hacker given extra week to challenge extradition

By Jack Doyle, Press Association

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lawyers for computer hacker Gary McKinnon were given an extra week today to launch a last-gasp legal challenge against his extradition.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson extended the deadline for solicitors to apply for judicial review of the decision not to stop the 43-year-old being sent to the US for trial.

But the ruling falls short of the request made by Mr McKinnon’s legal team, who wanted an additional seven days, until December 17. The deadline is now next Thursday, December 10.

A health report handed to Mr Johnson warned the Asperger syndrome sufferer would be a suicide risk if he is sent to the US for trial on charges of hacking into top secret military computers.

It urged him to halt the extradition on the grounds that it would breach human rights laws.

Mr Johnson rejected the application but his decision can be challenged through the courts.

A Home Office spokesman said: “At the request of Gary McKinnon’s solicitors, the Home Secretary has granted an extension of seven days in which to apply for judicial review.”

Source:   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hacker-given-extra-week-to-challenge-extradition-1832688.html

MP slams Home Secretary over Gary McKinnon extradition

Tuesday, 8 December, 2009
16:02 PM

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has slammed the Home Secretary’s decision to extradite an autistic man who is wanted in the US on computer hacking charges.

Mr Clappison spoke out after Alan Johnson decided he could NOT prevent Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon from being sent for trial in the US on the grounds that it would not breach his human rights.

The minister had been considering new evidence about Mr McKinnon’s mental health before he made his ruling last week.

His decision, however, has been criticised by a number of MPs, including Mr Clappison, who is a member of the influential Home Affairs Committee.

The committee’s chairman, Keith Vaz, had earlier written to Mr Johnson to advise him that he had legal scope to block Mr McKinnon’s extradition.

However, defending his decision in the House of Commons, the Home Secretary said blocking the extradition would have been “unlawful”.

But Mr Clappison, himself a former barrister, remains unimpressed.

He said: “As a member of the Home Affairs Committee, I’m very disappointed by the decision to extradite Gary McKinnon.

“Quite simply, I think the Home Secretary got it wrong.”

Mr McKinnon’s lawyers are now seeking a judicial review of Mr Johnson’s decision.

Prosecutors in America allege Mr McKinnon, 43, caused nearly £500,000 worth of damage to military computers in 2001 and 2002.

Gary, who lives in North London, admits hacking but maintains he was looking for evidence of alien life.

His mother Janis Sharp, who lives in Brookmans Park, is seeking a judicial review into the decision.

Source:   http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/mp_slams_home_secretary_over_gary_mckinnon_extradition_1_34175

Gary McKinnon: lawyers to present fresh medical evidence in challenge to extradtion

Lawyers for Gary McKinnon will present fresh medical evidence at the High Court on Thursday in a bid to stop the extradition of the computer hacker to America to face trial.

By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor
Published: 7:00PM GMT 09 Dec 2009

The new evidence on Mr McKinnon’s health forms part of an application to seek a judicial review of the decision by Alan Johnson, the home secretary, to ignore earlier medical reports suggesting Mr McKinnon could kill himself if he is sent to the US.

Karen Todner, Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, said tMr McKinnon would be seeking judicial review at the High Court in London by 4pm on Thursday 10 December – an accelerated deadline for the judical review application set by Mr Johnson.

Copies of the fresh medical evidence, prepared by two experts, will also be sent to Mr Johnson.

The High Court is likely to spend the next few weeks deciding on whether to grant the application for judicial review.

If it refuses, the last legal refuge for Mr McKinnon will be the Supreme Court – on a point of law – or the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr McKinnon was given until Thursday 10 December to challenge legally a decision by Mr Johnson to ignore fresh medical evidence about Mr McKinnon’s autism.

Mr McKinnon, 43, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, is wanted to face trial in America on charges of hacking into networks at the Pentagon and Nasa. However, he insists he was searching for reports of UFO sightings.

Read in Full:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/6769496/Gary-McKinnon-will-not-survive-the-grave-toll-of-extradition-says-Natwest-Three-mother.html

Twice as many suspects are extradited to U.S. (is that fair to Gary McKinnon?)

By James Slack and Michael Seamark
Last updated at 3:22 AM on 10th December 2009

Twice as many people have been extradited to the U.S. from the UK in recent years than the other way round, it emerged last night.

The revelation will fuel concerns that Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon is the victim of an unfair extradition treaty between the two countries.

Gary is facing removal to the U.S. on charges of hacking into military computers although the crimes he is accused of were committed from his North London flat.

The extradition is being allowed by Home Secretary Alan Johnson despite fears that Gary may be left so distressed he takes his own life.

Ministers have always insisted the 2003 Extradition Act is fair and balanced. But figures slipped out by a Home Office minister last night under cover of the Pre-Budget Report show that between 2004 and 2008, 68 people were sent to the U.S. while only 34 people were sent to the UK.

This is despite the U.S. having a far larger population than Britain.

Gary’s mother Janis Sharp said last night: ‘If ever you wanted proof, here it is. This extradition treaty is completely and utterly one-sided.

‘All we want is equality with the Americans. But the Government refuses to do anything to right the imbalance. And my son is a victim of this dreadful treaty.’ Earlier this year, the Daily Mail revealed how the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against British citizens wanted by the Americans.

Courts in the UK are approving an astonishing 89 per cent of U.S. extradition requests.

Only seven in ten requests to the Americans by the British authorities are granted.

The Act was pushed through in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, ostensibly to fight the war on terror. But it has proved controversial.

Crucially, the U.S. can demand a Briton’s extradition without having to provide any evidence while Britain has to prove its case in a U.S. court.

Gary McKinnon: 11th hour medical report claims US prison would kill him

Gary McKinnon the Pentagon computer hacker, cannot survive the US prison system, medical assessments at the centre of a last-ditch legal bid to stay his extradition say.

By John Bingham
Published: 6:56PM GMT 10 Dec 2009

New psychiatric reports lodged in the High Court claim that Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, is now suicidal and will “almost inevitably” take his own life if sent for trial in America.

For the first time the papers include evidence from an American medical expert directly challenging assurances from the US government about how he would be treated.

Mr McKinnon’s lawyers submitted an application for a judicial review of Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary’s recent decision not to block his extradition on medical grounds at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday.

The move represents the last recourse to the British judicial system for the 43-year-old UFO enthusiast from north London.

But it ensures that he is certain to spend Christmas in Britain with his family and friends.

Even if his application is rushed through and rejected, he would then have 14 days to lodge a final plea to the European Court in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile Mr McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp, is planning an appeal to the Queen, asking her to put pressure on the Government behind-the-scenes over the extradition.

She is set to lead a march to Buckingham Palace next week and is urging people to send the Queen bouquets of flowers with messages of concern about the case.

Mr McKinnon, originally from Glasgow, admits hacking into sensitive US military computer systems from his bedroom in the wake of the Sept 11 attacks in 2001.

The papers include three medical reports from Prof Jeremy Turk of St George’s Hospital, London, which conclude that suicide would be an “almost certain inevitability” should he be extradited.

There is also a report from Dr Andrew Levitas, a New Jersey psychiatrist, arguing that the US penal system does not have the facilities to treat his condition.

His family say he is now suffering severe depression and has become reserved and quiet since he was refused permission to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Speaking as she lodged the papers, Karen Todner, Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, said: “He is now suffering from severe depression and is suicidal.

“Included is an up-to-date medical report and a report from two leading authorities, one English one American, on the assurances that the American government has given in relation to Gary’s treatment should he be extradited.

“They are psychiatrists with experience of the prison system.

“He could not survive the American prison system in our view, they do not have the appropriate facilities to assist him.”

Source:   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/6782223/Gary-McKinnon-11th-hour-medical-report-claims-US-prison-would-kill-him.html

McKinnon supporters to protest

Published Date: 13 December 2009

SUPPORTERS of Gary McKinnon, the Scottish computer hacker fighting extradition to the United States, will gather outside the Home Office this week to stage a “peaceful protest” against the Home Secretary’s decision not to block his transfer.
Solicitors for McKinnon, 43, who has Asperger’s syndrome, have lodged papers with the High Court seeking a judicial review of Alan Johnson’s decision.

The protest, planned for Tuesday, aims to raise awareness of McKinnon’s plight, following a series of legal battles.

The Glaswegian is accused of breaking into US military systems, but claims he was seeking evidence of UFOs. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in jail.

Last month, Johnson told McKinnon’s family he could not block the extradition on medical grounds.

The latest legal submissions include an up-to-date medical report and two reports about the ability of the US prison service to deal with his circumstances.

Solicitor Karen Todner has said there was new evidence from psychiatrists with experience of prisons to support his claim that extradition would violate the European Convention on Human Rights.


NASA hacker takes case to High Court

By Dan Kaplan
Dec 14, 2009 11:12 AM

Appeals Home Secretary decision.

In an apparent last-ditch effort to avoid extradition to the US, accused NASA hacker Gary McKinnon is taking his case to the UK’s High Court.

Late last month, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said that after reviewing medical reports and court filings for McKinnon – who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism – he found no evidence of why the 43-year-old should avoid extradition.

As expected, McKinnon last week filed for a judicial review of the British minister’s decision, according to published reports. The home secretary now has 14 days to respond, or a High Court judge will review the case.

According to the BBC, these filings include an updated medical report and two reports relating to how American prisons would deal with his condition.

McKinnon, 43, is accused of hacking into 97 computers operated by the US government, including those of the Pentagon, Army, Air Force and NASA. American authorities have said his actions resulted in a shutdown of the Army’s Military District of Washington network, containing more than 2,000 computers and resulting in US$700,000 in damage.

See original article on scmagazineus.com

Secure Computing Magazine


‘Free Gary’ protest hits Home Office at noon

A protest against Gary McKinnon’s extradition will take place in front of the Home Office from 12 to 2pm today.

By Nicole Kobie, 15 Dec 2009 at 08:40

Supporters of Gary McKinnon are set to gather in front of the Home Office in London today, to protest his looming extradition to face hacking charges in the US.

The Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer admits hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers, but his supporters argue he should be tried in the UK, not the US.

A series of medical reports claiming he’s at risk of suicide if held in a US prison have not been enough to sway Home Secretary Alan Johnson to halt the extradition.

The protest was originally planned to take place in front of Buckingham Palace, as McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp believes the Queen could influence the decision – as the extradition treaty was of course given her approval before coming into force – or in the very least bring it to the attention of the right people.

Following a request from police, the protest has moved to the main Home Office location, Peel Building on Marsham Street in London between noon and 2pm, according to the Free Gary website.

On her Twitter feed, Sharp noted that MPs Keith Vaz, Nick Clegg and David Burrowes would be attending the protest.

For those that can’t attend but wish to show support, Sharp asked people to send flowers or notes to Buckingham Palace, and to email or call the Home Office.

She added via Twitter: “If people can even come to protest for a few minutes in their lunch break this will be a huge help.”

Source:   http://www.itpro.co.uk/618769/free-gary-protest-hits-home-office-at-noon

Don’t sell Gary out, McKinnon’s mum pleads with Queen

Ian Grant
Tuesday 15 December 2009 05:03

The Queen was today presented with a letter setting out how the royal prerogative had been used to shield parliament from the terms of an extradition treaty with the US, the same treaty now being used against self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon.

“I am sure the queen would not have knowingly sold out her own citizens,” Janis Sharp, McKinnon’s mother, told Computer Weekly.

Sharp was speaking at the protest outside the Home Office before delivering the letter to Buckingham Palace.

The letter was part of a protest organised by Save Gary campaigners against his extradition to the US. McKinnon faces charges that he hacked into and damaged US military IT systems in 2001. McKinnon admits the hack, but denies causing damage.

Among the MPs who lent their support to the protest were Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Home Office minister Keith Vaz, Chris Huhne, Kate Hoey, and Andrew Mackinlay.

In July, Mackinlay told parliament, “We talk about the extradition treaty between the US and the UK, but actually there is no such piece of legislation in the UK. These things are done under the royal prerogative. In contrast, the measures in question were endorsed in legislation in the US Congress two and a half years after we promulgated our side of the so-called bargain. There has clearly been a disparity from the beginning.”

Sharp said former home secretary Jack Straw had once called for the royal prerogative, an ancient law that permits the queen to declare war and conclude treaties among other things, to be struck off the statute book. It is now used only on the advice of the prime minister and cabinet.

NASA hacker McKinnon ‘will be treated fairly’

By Carrie-ann Skinner, PC Advisor UK
December 17, 2009 11:21 AM ET

The Home Secretary has revealed that NASA hacker Gary McKinnon will be “treated fairly” as a judge decides whether of not to extradite him to the US.

McKinnon, who has been accused of breaking into US military computers, including those belonging to NASA, in a bid to prove the US government had knowledge of UFOs in 2001, was told by the Home Secretary Alan Johnson last month that being extradited to the US to face trial would not breach his human rights.

However, McKinnon’s lawyers applied for a judicial review, claiming he suffers from of ”very severe depression” and is in danger of killing himself in preference to being extradited. Mckinnon also suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.

McKinnon’s fate now lies in the hands of a judge who will decide whether the case has grounds and if it should go to a full hearing. If this still fails to resolve the matter, it could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

Read in Full:  http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/121709-nasa-hacker-mckinnon-will-be.html


You probably don’t know who Gary McKinnon is, but to millions of people in Great Britain, he has become a cause celebre that has united elements of the political right, left and center and threatens to seriously damage the image of the United States abroad. It is front-page news in every British newspaper, but has barely made a dent in the compliant American media. But when I tell you who he is, you may say, “Oh, yeah,” because what he did in 2001 and 2002 made a splash in our news and in the monologues of late night comedians.

Gary McKinnon is the guy in England who, obsessed with finding information about UFOs and aliens, hacked into 97 NASA and Navy computers. Using simple technology, McKinnon found some of the Pentagon computers completely unprotected, and some with passwords left in place. He left messages warning of the poor security on the screens of computers to which he’d gained access.

The Pentagon claims that it had to spend over half a million dollars to fix things afterward, which is heatedly disputed by McKinnon and computer experts on both sides of the ocean (“beyond the realms of imagination” is how Scotland’s leading blogger puts it). What McKinnon did do was skim through classified memos and documents. Because he did not make copies or record what he saw, it’s up to us to believe or disbelieve what he says he saw. This includes alleged references to a vast, secret military space program, the withholding of secret energy technology and other things some feel no government has a right to suppress.

McKinnon openly admitted what he did. Three years went by. The U.K. and the U.S. implemented a new treaty agreement on the extradition of terror suspects, and our government formally requested McKinnon’s extradition. In the United States, he would face up to 70 years in maximum security prison.

If this was all part of some cable television show, our military would have hired him as a security expert. But it isn’t.

Read in Full: http://www.antonnews.com/columns/miller/4781-who-is-gary-mckinnon.html

Gary McKinnon’s mother blast ‘hypocrite’ Brown over appeals to save drug smuggler’s life

By Michael Seamark
Last updated at 3:28 AM on 07th January 2010

Gary McKinnon’s distraught mother yesterday accused Gordon Brown of hypocrisy over his treatment of British citizens facing punishment overseas.

Janis Sharp said it was bewildering that the Prime Minister tried to halt the execution of drug smuggler Akmal Shaikh, a father of five from London who was put to death in China last week.

At the same time, he was refusing to intervene to halt the removal of Gary to the U.S.  -  despite doctors warning the Asperger’s sufferer is likely to commit suicide if extradited.

Launching a New Year text petition on her 43-year-old son’s behalf, Janis said: ‘Gordon Brown wrung his hands over the execution of a mentally ill drugs carrier in China.

‘Yet he and his government remain complicit in the U.S. authorities’ hounding of my vulnerable son, despite knowing that for Gary, extradition amounts to nothing less than a death sentence, given his growing mental instability.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241213/Gary-mcKinnons-mother-blast-hypocrite-Brown-appeals-save-drug-smugglers-life.html#ixzz0bw2GahLa

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