[b]British computer hacker loses appeal over US extradition[/b]

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[b]British computer hacker loses appeal over US extradition[/b]

Post  boi botak on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:40 pm

British computer hacker loses appeal over US extradition

A British man accused of hacking into the computer systems of the US military and NASA on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to face trial.

Gary McKinnon, 42, tried to prevent his transfer to the United States to be tried over what has been described as the "biggest military hack of all time" by taking his case to Britain's highest court, the House of Lords.

But five judges unanimously rejected the appeal, paving the way for the unemployed UFO enthusiast to be extradited to the US, where he could be jailed for up to 70 years if convicted of sabotaging vital US defence systems.

McKinnon, from north London, was not in court to hear the ruling, but a statement read by his lawyers afterwards denied that he was either "a terrorist (or) a terrorist sympathiser".

"His case could have been properly dealt with by our own prosecuting authorities," they said.

"Instead, we believe that the British government declined to prosecute him to enable the US government to make an example of him. American officials involved in this case have stated that they want to see him 'fry'.

"The consequences he faces if extradited are both disproportionate and intolerable and we will be making an immediate application to the European Court to prevent his removal."

McKinnon was never charged in Britain, despite admitting that he hacked into the sensitive computer systems in the United States from a bedroom in a house belonging to the aunt of his girlfriend between 2001 and 2002.

His legal team had argued he could be sent to the US detention camp for suspected extremists at Guantanamo Bay on Cuba, despite his insistence that he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

An extradition request from the US authorities was granted here in 2006. McKinnon appealed and lost last year, then took a further appeal against that ruling to the Lords.

McKinnon has never denied electronically "breaking in" to the computer networks of a number of US military institutions, but claimed he was motivated by curiosity and was "amazed" at the ease with which he could gain access.

His supporters maintain that he is being made a "scapegoat" for shortcomings in security on US military networks and have mounted an Internet campaign for him to be freed, or at least tried in Britain.

The US authorities allege he stole 950 passwords and deleted files at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in New Jersey, which is responsible for replenishing munitions and supplies for the Atlantic Fleet.

He is also accused of gaining access to 53 US Army computers, including those used for national defence and security; 26 US Navy computers at Earle; 16 NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) computers; and one US Defence Department machine.

The deletion led to the US Army's Military District of Washington network of more than 2,000 computers being shut down for 24 hours, with repairs said to have cost some 450,000 pounds (571,000 euros, 891,000 dollars).

McKinnon admitted leaving a message on a US Army computer system, reading: "US foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days...

"It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels."

But he denied US charges that he acted intentionally to disrupt security and influence Washington "by intimidation and coercion".

Review

Yay!!my first article and post..Finally...vat yar u van mee to du(indian essence ah)

This article can be used to compare the benefits and the problems of technology,a platform on which our world revolves.
I believe he should be extradicted. Although he claims he hacked the system just for curiosity and excitement at the ease he could get in, he did manipulate some files.
Furthermore, I also believe that a more stern punishment could be given to be served as a deterrent for others not to follow suit.
Most importantly, US has to wake up as many ,like McKinnon, can be a threat to the US officials to step up their security of their system.

On the other hand,not to rule out his talent, I think Mckinnon is smart as he was able to hack into the US system with ease. So instead of extradicting him, I believe the US security system should employ him as their head of security as he is really a very capable person of that position
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boi botak

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Post  SK-II on Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:42 pm

I feel that this article can be also used for the topic of war and terrorism. It tell us that if such a British man can easily hack into the US military data base, then our fight against terrorism is a lost cause. It is also very useful to use this article on crime and punishment as this British guy may be punished differently from the others. Furthermore, this British man is also a IT expert which can be used by the government be it the British government or the American government, just like what esmah said.I also feel that US military should employ more people to make their data base more secured.
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