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RareDenver's avatar

Gary McKinnon's extradition to the USA on computer hacking charges has been blocked by the UK's Home Secretary. Any thoughts on this from the Fluther community?

Asked by RareDenver (13038 points ) October 16th, 2012

If you are not familiar with the case, McKinnon has admitted to hacking into US military computer systems. He says he was attempting to prove the US was hiding evidence of UFO’s. He was arrested in 2002 after the US had alleged he had tried to bring vital defence computer systems down. He has since been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. This has started a wider debate in the UK in relation to the UK/US extradition treaty in that many believe it to favour the US.

Gary McKinnon – Wikipedia

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13 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Maybe he’s also a paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theorist that gets messages from his dead aunt Lulus teddy bear. So what?
Regardless of his mental health he needs to suffer the consequences of his actions. I don’t think favortism applies, a person should be punished for whatever they have done, wherever they have done it, in the order the crimes were perpetrated.

flutherother's avatar

McKinnon hacked into US military computers big time and I can see why the US authorities have been trying to have him extradited. I am in the UK and I have no problem with the extradition treaty but you have to look at each case individually. I think the right decision was made in this case.

McKinnon is a simple minded genius. He is a brilliant computer hacker but very unworldly and naive in other ways, he does have Aspergers after all. It would be merely cruel to him and his family to lock him up in a Supermax. It wouldn’t serve any good purpose. In a way he did the US a favour by highlighting the deficiencies in their computer security.

ucme's avatar

We got rid of Capn Hook at least.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I think the more worrying aspect has to be that someone was able to hack into the computers using software bought at a computer shop and discovered that most of it did not even have password protection. It also has to be pointed out that he did not try to hide his tracks and even used his own normal email address.

People like this guy should be used by their respective government so that the really bad guys who will want to cause a lot of trouble find it harder to get in. Locking him up in supermax for up to 60 years would help nobody.

flutherother's avatar

@ucme I believe the US authorities have confiscated the hook

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@flutherother I hope they give Hamza a pair of those big foam hands like Mickey Mouse at Disneyworld instead

ucme's avatar

He should be cast in the next Pirates of the Caribbean film, no need for make-up.

Coloma's avatar

I think @TheProfoundPorcupine has a brilliant idea in that! Yes, why let those “skills” be wasted?

ragingloli's avatar

I am against extraditing people to countries that openly operate torture camps.

jerv's avatar

Given the US’ record of violating the Eighth Amendment rights of it’s own citizens, and their treatment of Kevin Mitnick, on top of a whole pile of other issues, I feel that it’s a good thing extradition was blocked.

@Coloma In that case, you must support the execution of mentally handicapped people who are utterly incapable of telling right from wrong, and trying children as adults for all offenses. Little 3-year-old Jimmy just got a year in prison for nicking a candy bar. Nice.
Don’t get me wrong, there should be consequences, but I find your statement callously ignorant at best.

tinyfaery's avatar

Does anybody really give a fuck?

zenvelo's avatar

@jerv Talk about stretching to make a point. Aspergers is not a mental deficiency and it is not a mental illness that causes paranoia. It is a social interaction problem that is a mild form of autism. people with Aspergers know right from wrong.

And people who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled are not just free to go or given a hall pass when they cause danger or injury to others. They get separated from society just as a criminal. So why do you have a problem trying to punish or segregate someone who may have caused damage because of his hacking?

jerv's avatar

@zenvelo I am well aware of that; I know right from wrong, Q.E.D. Or maybe you forgot who you are talking to? Us Aspies tend to have other issues as well (anxiety and depression being the most common), and being on the spectrum does not preclude the possibility of also having other issues that do qualify. I think it safe to assume that conspiracy theorists may or may not be attached to reality; it’s a valid enough question that I will not automagically assume he is sane.

But my main issue in this case is that I doubt he would get humane treatment regardless. Note that Kevin Mitnick wasn’t even charged for the first few years of his imprisonment, bringing the attention of Amnesty International. And a little place called Guantanamo is not out of the question if they so desire.

I have no issue with those who do wrong suffering consequences commensurate with the damage done and their mental state, but I do not trust the US to do any justice in this case! They have a horrible track record, and that is the main reason the extradition was blocked.

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