Feeds

Extradition appeal due in weeks, says McKinnon

Pentagon hacker could face Guantanamo Bay

High performance access to file storage

Gary McKinnon expects that his appeal against extradition to the US could be heard in a matter of weeks. McKinnon told weekly technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio that he expected his appeal to be heard in December or January.

McKinnon is the hacker who broke into the US military and NASA computer systems in 2001 and 2002, where he claims he saw evidence of alien life. McKinnon broke into the systems using just a dial up connection and default passwords.

"I should get my appeal pretty soon, I should think it will be this month or next month," McKinnon said, noting that the person in front of him in the pipeline for extradition cases has just lost his appeal.

Should McKinnon lose his appeal the only thing that could stop him being deported would be the granting of permission to appeal to the House of Lords. He says that the case of the last people to request that, the NatWest Three, does not fill him with confidence.

"If I don't win the appeal then I can apply for leave to appeal to the House of Lords but that is not an automatic right," he said. "The NatWest Three applied for leave to appeal to the House of Lords and were refused and everyone was gobsmacked because they are hardly petty criminals, it was a big important case."

McKinnon has admitted the offences of which he is accused and says he would happily stand trial in the UK, the country in which he says the crimes were committed. He objects, though, to what he sees as the politically-motivated attempts to extradite him, and the UK Government's compliance with the US process.

While he was told he would face community service for the crimes in the UK because he did not appear to have caused damage, the US is claiming that he caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage. The prosecutor there has said he could face 70 years in jail and McKinnon's lawyers have even said he could end up at prison camp Guantanamo Bay.

McKinnon has always maintained that his breaking into the computer systems was not only benign, given that he was searching for alien life and not military secrets, but also that it was easy.

His opinion of US government security has not changed. "Every year they appraise federal and military installation security and every year it gets worse and worse," he said. "It's not the leading concern, profit is the motive and continuing operation is the motive. Safety and security always come last because they are the highest cost outlay."

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.