Feeds

Sealand dismisses McKinnon asylum offer as 'rumour'

Sanctuary at sea plan sunk

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker facing extradition over allegations he broke into US Military and NASA sites, will have to look elsewhere for salvation after the government of Sealand dismissed reports it was prepared to offer him asylum as "rumours".

Gary McKinnon at Infosec

Gary McKinnon at Infosec

A technician working for a hosting business operating from the former military platform off the coast of Suffolk turned "micronation", floated the idea to McKinnon and his supporters when the hacker appeared as a speaker at the Infosec conference in London last week. Postings on the Torrentfreak blog suggested Prince Michael Bates of Sealand was prepared to offer McKinnon bed and board on the 550 square metre platform.

But a representative for Sealand told El Reg that what started out as a suggestion by a worker was definitely not a runner, a move that presumably means US commandos on snatch-squad training can now stand down.

"Somebody lower down, who works on the platform, made the suggestion. The attitude of the government is that we're not going to get involved. It won't be issuing asylum to Gary McKinnon," he said, adding that a statement to that effect would be published on the principality's official site.

Since Sealand is recognised as part of the UK by other governments, it's tempting to think the idea was just a bit of light fun dreamt up in the pub at the end of a busy conference. Our man on Sealand denied it had floated the idea as a publicity exercise, maintaining it was above such things.

The Bates family has long claimed the former WWII fort - home of web hosting firm HavenCo - is an independent principality, a contention dismissed by legal experts.

Earlier this year, Swedish file sharing site The Pirate Bay mounted an unsuccessful campaign to purchase the self-proclaimed nation as a home for its torrents.

Meanwhile, McKinnon is continuing to fight against extradition to the US on hacking offences after losing an appeal last month. Only the Law Lords now stand between the Scot and a US trial for allegedly breaking into and damaging 97 US government computers between 2001 and 2002 and causing an estimated $700,000 worth of damage, in what US authorities have described as the "biggest military" computer hack ever. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
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
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.