Friday, July 31, 2009

A Briton wanted in the U.S. to break into NASA and Pentagon networks in "the biggest military hack of all time" lost an appeal against his extradition on Friday that a U.S. court more likely.
British hacker loses U.S. extradition appeal
Gary Mckinnon, 43, has fought a three-year battle to avoid extradition, including visits to the European Court of Human Rights, but he seems to have exhausted its capacity as Britain's High Court against his appeal last Friday.

The Court rejected arguments by Mckinnon's lawyers that the extradition Mckinnon, who recently was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, will have disastrous consequences for his health, including possible psychosis and suicide.

The judges also rejected his claim for a judicial review of the case. Lawyers had challenged a refusal by Britain's chief prosecutor to allow Mckinnon being prosecuted in the United Kingdom that would have avoided the need for extradition.

"For the reasons set out in the ruling that the claim against the State and the prosecution dismissed," Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said the award, according to Press Association.

Mckinnon which lawyers describe him as a "UFO eccentric" who used the Internet to search for alien life, is accused of causing the U.S. army in the entire network of more than 2,000 machines in Washington to be closed in 24 hours the American authorities called "the biggest military hack of all time."

He was arrested in 2002 after U.S. prosecutors charged him with illegally accessing computers, including systems for the Pentagon and NASA, and causing $ 700,000 worth of damage.

Mckinnon told Reuters in 2006 that he was only a computer Nerds who wanted to find out whether aliens really existed and became obsessed Trawling through large military data for any evidence that they may be out there.

He had used his own computer with a 56K modem at his London home without password protection and other managed to evade any security measures the U.S. military had adopted.

If he is sentenced by a U.S. court, Mckinnon could face up to 70 years in prison.

Members of the British media and family and friends have held a major campaign to try to prevent Mckinnon's extradition. His mother was angry at the recent defeat.

"It is a shame and should be very embarrassing, Janis Sharp told reporters outside court." This is from the Bush era, there is a hold-over from the Bush era. "
Source: reuters.com

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