UK hacker extradition appeal hearing starts

Lawyers began the appeals process for a British hacker facing extradition to the US after being charged with illegally accessing US government computers

Lawyers for a British computer hacker started an appeal in London High Court Tuesday to block their client's extradition to the U.S.

Gary McKinnon, of London, is accused of deleting data and illegally accessing information on 97 U.S. military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002. He's been charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

McKinnon, who did not show up in court, could face up to 60 years in prison, said his attorney, Edmund Lawson.

British authorities declined to prosecute McKinnon and the U.S. sought to extradite him. He challenged the extradition order in Bow Street Magistrates Court in May 2006. His attorney contended that since U.S. authorities allege McKinnon disrupted critical military networks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he could be held as an enemy combatant and subjected to inhuman treatment.

The judge rejected the argument, and the U.K. Home Secretary John Reid subsequently approved an extradition order.

The appeal hearing will continue Wednesday in London High Court.

U.S. authorities allege one of McKinnon's hacking sessions deleted files from computers at the U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, causing the shutdown of 300 computers at a critical time.

McKinnon freely admits to hacking but contends he never damaged the targeted computers and merely did research on UFOs. He used a program called "RemotelyAnywhere" to control other computers, accessing administrator accounts and gaining passwords, according to British court documents.

Most of his hacking occurred before office hours in the U.S. McKinnon's undoing came after he mistimed one of his probes, and a user cut McKinnon's connection after noticing the mouse pointer moving around on the screen.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?