Feeds

'Pentagon hacker' wants to see Bush's John Hancock

Nothing less will do

Seven Steps to Software Security

Alleged Pentagon Hacker Gary McKinnon was told in court today that the US Embassy would write a letter to help him avoid the full wrath of presidential anti-terror laws, if he were extradited for prosecution.

McKinnon (aka Solo) was facing extradition proceedings in Bow Street Magistrates Court this morning so that he could be tried in US courts for allegedly hacking into 97 US military and NASA computers, disabling the Washington computer network, and leaving a message that read: "US foreign policy is akin to government sponsored terrorism these days... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels".

The case was adjourned until March 14.

Karen Todner, representing McKinnon for Kaim Todner Solicitors, told El Reg that without the president's signature, the letter would be worthless, because only the president could waive a privileged presidential power.

Todner fears that an extradition without presidential assurances to the contrary, could see Solo face solitary confinement in Guantanemo Bay or 30 years imprisonment under the president's special powers, Military Commission Order #1.

If McKinnon's extradition is refused, he could still face up to three years in prison under the Misuse of Computers Act.

The prosecution has stated that he is not being treated as a terrorist, but has also made their case on his intention to "endanger the public safety" by "causing harm to the US government".

Todner said the prosecution had promised a "diplomatic note" from the US Embassy providing the assurances she wanted.

"We say that's not sufficient because the only person who can decide is the president, so it must come from the president himself," she said.

The case was adjourned while the court awaits the conclusion of another extradition case - that of the three former NatWest investment bankers who are up for extradition over an alleged Enron-linked fraud.

The defences in all cases are arguing that the extradition treaty between the US and UK is lopsided because the US has not signed up to its obligations, but is expecting full co-operation in its turn.

The US Embassy refused to comment. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.