Britain Blocks Hacker's US Extradition on Human Rights Grounds

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Britain Blocks Hacker's US Extradition on Human Rights Grounds

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The man who allegedly hacked 97 government computers in his search for UFOs will not be extradited to the US.

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who allegedly committed what has been described as the biggest military computer hack of all time, will not be extradited to the US for trial. His extradition was blocked by British Home Secretary Theresa May on human rights grounds.

"I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights," said the Home Secretary in her official statement. "It will now be for the director of public prosecutions to decide whether Mr McKinnon has a case to answer in a UK court," she added.

McKinnon had been accused of hacking 97 US government machines between February 1st, 2001 and March 19th, 2002. Damage resulting from his hack, according to US prosecutors, left 300 machines at the US Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey, out of action just after the September 11th terror attacks. The same prosecutors also allege that the hacks brought down the US Army's Washington DC military district network - more than 2,000 machines - for 24 hours.

McKinnon has repeatedly denied causing damage, and claimed he was only seeking evidence that would prove the existence of UFOs. McKinnon suffers from depressive illness and Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that, McKinnon's family claimed, made him particularly vulnerable to harm if he had been sent to a US prison. McKinnon faced up to 60 years imprisonment, if convicted in a US court. The diplomatic wrangling over his case has kept McKinnon in legal limbo for over a decade.

This decision will please British Prime Minister Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Clegg, both of whom have spoken in support of McKinnon. It will be less warmly welcomed by US officials. Former White House counsel and lawyer David Rivkin has described the situation as "deplorable." Speaking about the argument that a US prison was not the best place for someone as defenseless as McKinnon, Rivkin said "under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with immunity and get away with it."

Source: Guardian

Image: rt.com

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Yes! Finally, that thing I was angry about has actually gone my way! Thank you Theresa May, for not pissing me off for once

Wait...the government made a correct decision?! And it only took them TWO YEARS!

Thyunda:
Yes! Finally, that thing I was angry about has actually gone my way! Thank you Theresa May, for not pissing me off for once

agreed. This is refreshing news to actually see someone not get extradited for once and tried by their own government.

i was genuinely pleased when I heard about this story this morning, the extradition agreements between England and America or ridiculous and this case was a damn just a damn shame, I remember being really riled up when I first heard it, and now I hope this holds up and that him and his family can finally have some peace from this for a while.

How many seconds after you read "UFO" did you start waiting to read insanity defense?
Not saying belief in UFO's is crazy, but this guy might be

What does that guy's face remind me of?

And did his hack really bring down the whole system, or was that just the army's panicked over reaction?

GAunderrated:

Thyunda:
Yes! Finally, that thing I was angry about has actually gone my way! Thank you Theresa May, for not pissing me off for once

agreed. This is refreshing news to actually see someone not get extradited for once and tried by their own government.

It also represents a departure from the ridiculously pro-American policies Tony Blair made famous. Our agreement was a joke, and we all know the US would have protected its citizens against us, so I am genuinely pleased we're standing up for our own and doing things OUR way.

DVS BSTrD:
What does that guy's face remind me of?

Benedict Cumberbatch

Not fond of the precedent this sets. "If I'm messed up enough I can commit whatever crimes I want in another country". At least make him stand trial first, they can sort out the terms of his imprisonment if he's found guilty. It's not like UK prisons would be all sunshine and rainbows, and I seriously doubt the US has absolutely no place to put prisoners with special needs.

Thyunda:

GAunderrated:

Thyunda:
Yes! Finally, that thing I was angry about has actually gone my way! Thank you Theresa May, for not pissing me off for once

agreed. This is refreshing news to actually see someone not get extradited for once and tried by their own government.

It also represents a departure from the ridiculously pro-American policies Tony Blair made famous. Our agreement was a joke, and we all know the US would have protected its citizens against us, so I am genuinely pleased we're standing up for our own and doing things OUR way.

You were just repaying us for all the times Eisenhower bent over backwards to kiss Britian's ass.

Tiamattt:
Not fond of the precedent this sets. "If I'm messed up enough I can commit whatever crimes I want in another country". At least make him stand trial first, they can sort out the terms of his imprisonment if he's found guilty. It's not like UK prisons would be all sunshine and rainbows, and I seriously doubt the US has absolutely no place to put prisoners with special needs.

Technically, the precedence this sets is "If it is deemed that being extradited would put the accused at risk for ending their life due to mental disorders and diagnosed depression, maybe extradition isn't such a good idea."

Well, there's also the fact that extraditions are done on a case-by-case basis, and don't rely on precedents.

Fine, try him in the UK then. So long as we're not mistakenly under the assumption that you can hack Pentagon computers and get off with absolutely no repercussions just because you have a disorder.

DVS BSTrD:

Thyunda:

GAunderrated:

agreed. This is refreshing news to actually see someone not get extradited for once and tried by their own government.

It also represents a departure from the ridiculously pro-American policies Tony Blair made famous. Our agreement was a joke, and we all know the US would have protected its citizens against us, so I am genuinely pleased we're standing up for our own and doing things OUR way.

You were just repaying us for all the times Eisenhower bent over backwards to kiss Britain's ass.

Let's not start bringing the past into this otherwise a couple of Guardian contributors might start apologising for the Empire.

Karloff:
Rivkin said "under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with immunity and get away with it."

God forbid people with physical or mental problems who commit victim-less crimes get help, just toss them in prison where they can be preyed on. Heck, why waste time on prison. Just kill them all and let God sort them out, right?

The irony of the Conservative Home Secretary relying on Human Rights legislature to stop someone from being extradited is incredible.

If only the Chancellor had the same respect for Employee Rights. Then this government might actually do something positive.

thebobmaster:

Tiamattt:
Not fond of the precedent this sets. "If I'm messed up enough I can commit whatever crimes I want in another country". At least make him stand trial first, they can sort out the terms of his imprisonment if he's found guilty. It's not like UK prisons would be all sunshine and rainbows, and I seriously doubt the US has absolutely no place to put prisoners with special needs.

Technically, the precedence this sets is "If it is deemed that being extradited would put the accused at risk for ending their life due to mental disorders and diagnosed depression, maybe extradition isn't such a good idea."

Well, there's also the fact that extraditions are done on a case-by-case basis, and don't rely on precedents.

That's nice to hear at least, although it wouldn't surprise me to hear future cases of people trying to/avoiding extradition that way. I think I'm just annoyed after so many years after the fact he hasn't had stand trial in any court.(not counting the extradition hearings he no doubt had to go to)

scotth266:
Fine, try him in the UK then. So long as we're not mistakenly under the assumption that you can hack Pentagon computers and get off with absolutely no repercussions just because you have a disorder.

Or just this, he put it much better then I did that's for sure.

Good for the UK, trying to extradite a guy for proving that the US shouldn't use norton to block hackers from getting into government computers is just plain stupid

*captcha "too salty", my thoughts on the flying dutchman from in and out

DVS BSTrD:
What does that guy's face remind me of?

And did his hack really bring down the whole system, or was that just the army's panicked over reaction?

It would not surprise me in the slightest given how slap-dash my own office's network is. Gain access to the network, poke around on a few servers, turn off a couple DNS servers instead of logging off and suddenly you've got a very widespread network problem and a bunch of IT folks trying to figure out what the hell just happened and trying to fix things on their end before figuring out that they need to head over to the server farm to turn things back on by hand. I could easily see that scenario playing out and keeping the network fried for a full day.

Tiamattt:

thebobmaster:

Tiamattt:
Not fond of the precedent this sets. "If I'm messed up enough I can commit whatever crimes I want in another country". At least make him stand trial first, they can sort out the terms of his imprisonment if he's found guilty. It's not like UK prisons would be all sunshine and rainbows, and I seriously doubt the US has absolutely no place to put prisoners with special needs.

Technically, the precedence this sets is "If it is deemed that being extradited would put the accused at risk for ending their life due to mental disorders and diagnosed depression, maybe extradition isn't such a good idea."

Well, there's also the fact that extraditions are done on a case-by-case basis, and don't rely on precedents.

That's nice to hear at least, although it wouldn't surprise me to hear future cases of people trying to/avoiding extradition that way. I think I'm just annoyed after so many years after the fact he hasn't had stand trial in any court.(not counting the extradition hearings he no doubt had to go to)

scotth266:
Fine, try him in the UK then. So long as we're not mistakenly under the assumption that you can hack Pentagon computers and get off with absolutely no repercussions just because you have a disorder.

Or just this, he put it much better then I did that's for sure.

I agree he should stand trial. But the point of extradition is to try them in the country the crime was committed. Holding a trial before the extradition would mess that up. On top of that, different countries have different penalties for the same crimes often, so he'd have to stand trial, be found guilty, and then wait who knows how long for them to decide which country he is going to be imprisoned in, then figure out a sentence based on that.

scotth266:
Fine, try him in the UK then. So long as we're not mistakenly under the assumption that you can hack Pentagon computers and get off with absolutely no repercussions just because you have a disorder.

Yeah, those UFO files could be used against America to steal freedom or something.

Maybe even copy the Big Mac secret sauce.

They should hire the guy if he managed to break into the fucking Pentagon.

Either that, or their system is fucking awful.

DVS BSTrD:
What does that guy's face remind me of?

And did his hack really bring down the whole system, or was that just the army's panicked over reaction?

reminds me of this kid all grown up:

image

while good on him, i think they do have a point where playing the mental/emotional disorder card is kind of...a cop out, not that he doesn't, just saying it's tough to judge.

still, glad he will be tried in the UK and not here.

BlackStar42:
Wait...the government made a correct decision?! And it only took them TWO YEARS!

I don't know. Judging from the photograph, he looks like an evil genius. 60 years in prison might have been the only way to assure the freedom of all mankind.

Sylveria:

Karloff:
Rivkin said "under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with immunity and get away with it."

God forbid people with physical or mental problems who commit victim-less crimes get help, just toss them in prison where they can be preyed on. Heck, why waste time on prison. Just kill them all and let God sort them out, right?

Fascinating idea! A Modest Proposal, as it were.

thebobmaster:

I agree he should stand trial. But the point of extradition is to try them in the country the crime was committed. Holding a trial before the extradition would mess that up. On top of that, different countries have different penalties for the same crimes often, so he'd have to stand trial, be found guilty, and then wait who knows how long for them to decide which country he is going to be imprisoned in, then figure out a sentence based on that.

While that does sound like a massive pain in the ass, it really doesn't sound all that much worse then someone sitting around for 10 years after his alleged crime before someone finally figures out whether not to put him on trial, which I sure will just add on to the waiting time. Least with the trial there's a possibility of his being declared not guilty thus avoiding all the needless waiting.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The irony of the Conservative Home Secretary relying on Human Rights legislature to stop someone from being extradited is incredible.

If only the Chancellor had the same respect for Employee Rights. Then this government might actually do something positive.

Ahahaha, no, that would be silly. Employee rights are for poor people, similar to welfare in that regard, and the NHS/education (what with those dirty poor people being unable to afford to get such things privately) so naturally we need to cut those. Remember, we're all in this together!

OT: Fucking finally. It's just sad that it took such extremes as potential suicide for our government to rule that handing over one of our citizens just because the US demanded it would be a very bad thing. I wonder if it will set any kind of precedent or if we'll just roll over next time this happens?

It's funny: I actually support extradition SOLELY when it is crimes committed against other people and not crimes committed against a government, especially victimless crimes like this one.

Which makes this ruling good news in my book.

Extradition is not something that should be done just because the other country says so, and should, in my opinion, only be used in strong cases like murder, not for something stupid like hacking some computers *from another country.*

I'm confused, the guy hacks into the Pentagon, and because he MAY kill himself if extradited due to his disorder that extradition is denied, and the main response is "Good, the government finally made the right decision"? How is this a good thing?

Perhaps I'm just too ignorant on the history of this, but I don't see why him avoiding extradition is supposed to be a good thing, especially considering the argument used to deny it. I don't foresee good things coming out of this precedent. Can someone clear this for me?

Considering we can hold people without cause for any reason with trial anymore at the whim of government, good call britian.

Don't mentally ill people already not go to jail due to their mental illness? Aren't they sent to mental health institutions? I don't see what this guy is complaining about.

As for weather he's to blame for those PCs going down or not, that's something we can't really know one way or the other. What we can know is that hacking the US military seems as less of a wrong than hosting pirated content or websites, since I remember someone of British origin actually being extradited to the US on those grounds.

I guess there's no money being lost when people hack the military and take down thousands of machines in the process while looking for ET.

Eternal_Lament:
I'm confused, the guy hacks into the Pentagon, and because he MAY kill himself if extradited due to his disorder that extradition is denied, and the main response is "Good, the government finally made the right decision"? How is this a good thing?

Perhaps I'm just too ignorant on the history of this, but I don't see why him avoiding extradition is supposed to be a good thing, especially considering the argument used to deny it. I don't foresee good things coming out of this precedent. Can someone clear this for me?

Because extradition in this country is a case-by-case thing not a precedent thing, we don't like shipping our citizens out to foreign countries if we can help it, and certainly don't like setting up rules to streamline it.

Also, many people in the rest of the world look at the American prison system as a kind of horror story that you scare children with at night. A normal non-American would have problems in such a harsh system, let alone somebody with a form of autism AND depression.

People didn't want to see him shipped off because we viewed it as a death sentence sending him to the US for what was a misguided, but not malicious action. The problem the UK in specific has with it is how unfair the extradition process is, the US can get basically anybody they want from the UK for pretty much no reason, but the US hardly ever accepts an extradition request because of the 4th Amendment or something.

BLOODY SCOTLAND.

First they free Megrahi, NOW THIS.

USA USA USA

The US prison system is broken. People go in and come out Drug addicts and even bigger Criminals than before. Military prisons are inhuman and suspects, Bradly Manning for example, have been tortured and humiliated while being held without trial for years. Never mind if it's one of the various for profit prisons. The court system is skewed by profit incentive, partisan politics and racial bias. All countries should deny extradition requests from the US until they promise to begin upholding their own laws on the subject of basic human rights and liberties.

Dreiko:
Don't mentally ill people already not go to jail due to their mental illness? Aren't they sent to mental health institutions? I don't see what this guy is complaining about.

As for weather he's to blame for those PCs going down or not, that's something we can't really know one way or the other. What we can know is that hacking the US military seems as less of a wrong than hosting pirated content or websites, since I remember someone of British origin actually being extradited to the US on those grounds.

I guess there's no money being lost when people hack the military and take down thousands of machines in the process while looking for ET.

Richard O'Dwyer, went to my university, I don't believe he has been yet. Basically he setup a site 'linking' to pirated content. The thing about that is the US has no grounds to prosecute him. Under UK law he did nothing illegal, the server wasn't on US soil, and they're trying to get him extradited under the pretense of it being a .com domain, which is horse crap, because that domain does not solely belong to America in this day and age.

As far as I understand, the order has been approved that he can be, but he is obviously going against it every step. Frankly I don't think he should be. Though it does annoy me that people fighting for his case are trying to make him out to be completely innocent, which he blatantly is not, he setup a site that obviously linked to pirated material, we just don't have the laws to cope with that, and apparently we would rather extradite our own citizen for crimes committed in a completely different country, than write new laws or terms.

Eternal_Lament:
I'm confused, the guy hacks into the Pentagon, and because he MAY kill himself if extradited due to his disorder that extradition is denied, and the main response is "Good, the government finally made the right decision"? How is this a good thing?

Perhaps I'm just too ignorant on the history of this, but I don't see why him avoiding extradition is supposed to be a good thing, especially considering the argument used to deny it. I don't foresee good things coming out of this precedent. Can someone clear this for me?

Because in the past half a decade there's been growing resentment in the UK towards our government for bending over and taking it every time the US comes calling.

This guy could have done just about anything short of murder and people would be happy the government finally grew some balls and said no.

Have a quick read of these article, it pretty much sums up most peoples opinions regarding the matter:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/27/uk-us-extradition-treaty-unfair

Pilkingtube:
Snip

But that doesn't really make sense in this case. True, it's unlikely the guy meant harm to the degree that may have happened, but that still doesn't address the issue that he did indeed hack the system with intent. I can appreciate that a country doesn't want to send off one of their own, but I'm not fond of a situation where one has immunity from the country they directly attacked/hacked. The argument that his disorder should be taken into account worries me, because this could have drastic implications for any possibility of him standing trial in Britain. I guess all of this just rubs me the wrong way the same that extraditing him would rub those in Britain the wrong way.

captcha: up or down. Up! Wait, no, down! Damn, why do I always go up?

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