McKinnon lawyers push for UK trial

Joker played in attempt to avoid US extradition

Got Tips? 72 Reg comments

Lawyers for alleged Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon have written to UK prosecutors seeking a trial in Britain, in a move designed to frustrate attempts to extradite the UFO enthusiast for trial in the US.

The Crown Prosecution Service is evaluating a request from McKinnon's solicitors offering a guilty plea in a UK trial for offences against the Misuse of Computers Act, the UK's computer hacking law. The Guardian reports any prosecution and punishment in Britain would make extradition to the US unlikely.

McKinnon and his supporters have fought a long-running campaign to avoid his extradition to the US. The Scot, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, has the support of autism charities.

A judicial review of the Home Secretary's decision to disregard his recent diagnosis in pressing ahead with McKinnon's extradition is scheduled for 20 January.

The failure of McKinnon's extradition appeal to the House of Lords and a related petition to the European Court of Human Rights last year meant that the Scot's legal options had seemingly shrunk to an oral review of the Home Secretary's decision before a judge. The possibility of a UK prosecution is therefore something of a wildcard.

McKinnon faces a seven-count US indictment alleging that he broke into 97 US government, NASA and military systems during 2001 and 2002. The London-based Scot admitted his action when he was arrested and taken in for questioning by officers from the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in 2002. According to McKinnon, British officers who questioned him spoke of lenient treatment and a UK trial if he pleaded guilty to hacking offences. US attempts to extradite McKinnon only commenced in 2005.

Prosecutors in the US allege that McKinnon caused damages in excess of $700,000 in running the "biggest military hack ever". McKinnon admits breaking into systems in his hunt for evidence that the US military had harvested advanced technology from crashed UFOs, but denies doing any damage. ®

Sponsored: How to simplify data protection on Amazon Web Services

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

Microsoft store opening

What are those Windows 10 PCs running? Several flavours from 2019, by the looks of things

Microsoft tries its best to forget 2018's sh!tshow as Surface Go finds its feet
Vintage PC with floppy drive, dot matrix printer and old school desk phone, steaming coffee: a still life. photo by Shutterstock

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

It’s 64-bit or nothing for PC-makers from now on. And face it, this isn't the year of Linux on the desktop
Cardboard 3D glasses

NASA dons red and blue cardboard 3D glasses to drive Curiosity rover because its GPUs are stuck in the office

Can: Send rover to Mars and operate it from home. Can't: Remote in to mission PCs or replicate them in the cloud
Red alert light

It's 2020 and hackers are still hijacking Windows PCs by exploiting font parser security holes. No patch, either

Spreading in the wild, no vaccine, people told to distance themselves from dodgy sources... sounds familiar
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Millions of Windows Dell PCs need patching: Give-me-admin security gremlin found lurking in bundled support tool

Updated Can't spell SupportAssist without 'ass' and 'u' – other makers may be hit, too
office clean

Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs

Updated UK's National Health Service given free access during the crisis
lock

Windows Defender update: So secure, it wouldn't let Secure-Boot Windows PCs, er, boot

Updated Others still can't even get that far
The Start menu in Windows 95

It's 2019, and Windows PCs can be pwned via a shortcut file, a webpage, an evil RDP server...

Patch Tuesday Microsoft joins Adobe and SAP in cleaning up security bugs, two of which are under active attack

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020