UK hacker Gary McKinnon wins extradition battle

McKinnon won't be extradited to the US because of the risk to his health that extradition poses

Gary McKinnon, indicted in 2002 on charges of hacking into U.S. government computers, will not be extradited to the U.S., the U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said on Tuesday.

The risk to McKinnon's health posed by extradition to the U.S. was simply too great, according to May.

McKinnon has fought a decade-long battle in the U.K. courts to avoid against extradition to the U.S., seeking instead to face trial in the U.K. He has Asperger's syndrome and is at high risk for suicide, according to statement issued Monday by his attorney Karen Todner.

Psychiatrists appointed by the Home Secretary have confirmed part of that diagnosis, saying: "We can not offer reassurance that McKinnon would not attempt to, or be successful in, harming or killing himself if he is arrested or extradited," Todner's statement said.

Although McKinnon has publicly admitted to hacking, he has maintained that he was merely searching for proof of the existence of UFOs and that he did not harm the computers he accessed. He also pointed out weaknesses in the systems, such as the use of default passwords.

However, according to the indictment, McKinnon is accused of deleting critical files and causing up to US$800,000 in damages, and also hampering U.S. military efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Computerworld Australia group on Linkedin. The group is open to IT Directors, IT Managers, Infrastructure Managers, Network Managers, Security Managers, Communications Managers.

Comments are now closed.
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Whitepapers
All whitepapers

Telcos seek to strengthen NBN Co wholesale restrictions

READ THIS ARTICLE
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]
Sign up now to get free exclusive access to reports, research and invitation only events.

Computerworld newsletter

Join the most dedicated community for IT managers, leaders and professionals in Australia