McKinnon earns Lords appeal
Pentagon hacker in legal victory
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. ®
"What I am more interest in the fact that the gentlemen in question is guilty"
Is he now? Thats that sorted then! Confession/admission might not be the whole story!
"If you walked up to a house, tried the door knob and the door was unlocked, would it be legal for you to go inside and rummage around?"
Actually its a bit of a grey area, in as much as this is trespassing, locked doors mean breaking and entering. Different charges and sentences! Insurance companies won't pay out on theft claims if there was no breaking, just entering!
"so if i hire some in the UK by phone to kill some in the UK I should be tried in what ever country I made that phone call in right?"
That's right:- the killer in the UK would be tried for murder by a UK court, and you would be tried in a US court (in theory) for conspiracy to commit murder and/or soliciting an act of violence. Experience shows however, that if you claimed a political motivation, you'd never be tried.
Bliar's poodle act to His Master's voice has done as much harm to freedom & democracy for UK citizens as Dubya's done to US citizens
Vis a vis, the NatWest three should NEVER have been sent to the US, as the US will not extradite its citizens for "Non-violent financial crimes". I think that description could also very justifiably be applied to Gary's offence, in the absence of any evidence or even suspicion of deliberate espionage or sabotage.
The treaty MUST be put on hold ntil the US ratifies the treaty, and it applies EQUALLY to US citizens who have offended against the UK, and we are GUARANTEED their extradition in the same way as the US expects from us.
I'll clear the pigs for take-off....
No such thing as tresspass
Actually, in the UK, if you try a door handle and it opens you're welcome to go in and have a wonder around until somebody asks you to leave, so long as you don't break or steal anything. There is no law against trespassing, so you can't be prosecuted for it, as many farmers' signs used to threaten. (In some US states, however, you risk being shot on sight).
The analogy with hacking breaks down a bit though, as its hard to say at what point you move from pushing on an unlocked door, to smashing a window and climbing through. And it is hardly a fundamental right to go and rummage through a stranger's underwear draw.
If hackers want freedom of information, their energies might be better spent campaigning for it on a statutary basis. But then writing letters to the information commissioner is not as exciting as looking for UFOs at the Pentagon.