Feeds

McKinnon earns Lords appeal

Pentagon hacker in legal victory

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker facing extradition over allegations he broke into US Military and NASA sites, has earned the right to take his case to the House of Lords.

The law Lords agreed to hear arguments that US authorities acted in an "oppressive" and "arbitrary" manner during plea bargaining negotiations, for example by allegedly threatening McKinnon over the loss of rights to serve part of his sentence in the UK unless he submitted to voluntary extradition.

The House of Lords was not bound to consider McKinnon's final appeal - for example it declined to hear the appeal of the NatWest Three bankers, so the Lords' decision is a significant fillip for McKinnon and his legal team.

"Gary McKinnon is delighted to learn of this important development," his barrister, Ben Cooper of Charter chambers, told The Guardian.

McKinnon is fighting against extradition to the US on hacking offences after losing an appeal in April. 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.

The former sys admin, who lives in London, admits he infiltrated computer systems without permission but disputes the seriousness US authorities attach to his attacks.

The 41-year-old has said he gained access to military networks - using a Perl script to search for default passwords - but describes himself as a bumbling amateur motivated by curiosity about evidence of UFOs rather than a cyberterrorist.

McKinnon and his team have consistently argued that he ought to be tried in the UK. No date has been set for the House of Lords hearing. In the meantime, McKinnon remains on bail. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.