Feeds

Sealand dismisses McKinnon asylum offer as 'rumour'

Sanctuary at sea plan sunk

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.