Extradition review could hurt UK hacker's case

A review has concluded that the extradition treaty between the U.S. and U.K. is not more favorable to U.S. defendants

A U.K. hacker fighting extradition to the U.S. may have lost one avenue for argument after an independent review panel concluded the U.K.-U.S. extradition treaty is not slanted against U.K. defendants.

The 488-page review, released on Tuesday, found that the U.K. and U.S. legal systems are similar, with no difference in justifying an arrest, known in the U.S. as "probable cause" and in the U.K. as "reasonable suspicion."

"In the case of extradition requests submitted by the United States to the United Kingdom, the information within the request will satisfy both the probable cause and the reasonable suspicion tests," the panel found.

The review might dampen long-running arguments that the treaty, which went into effect in 2004, is unfair to British subjects. The argument gained more traction with the case of Gary McKinnon, a Londoner who has been charged in the U.S. with computer crimes but has been fighting an extradition order approved by the British government in 2006.

McKinnon was indicted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2002 for hacking into 97 military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002.

The hacking, which McKinnon has publicly admitted to, has been characterized as mischievous, but the U.S. government contends he shut down critical military networks following the 2001 terrorist attacks. McKinnon has said he was merely searching for proof of the existence UFOs and didn't cause harm. He remains free on bail but cannot use the Internet.

In May 2010 following the U.K. general elections, Home Secretary Theresa May adjourned a judicial review of McKinnon's case that was due to take place in the High Court in order to review his case.

That review continues, with the Home Office considering whether to block McKinnon's extradition because he has Asperger's syndrome, a neurological disorder related to autism characterized by deficiencies in social interaction.

McKinnon has long said he would prefer to be prosecuted in the U.K., but the Crown Prosecution Service has turned down the case because the U.S. has jurisdiction and most of the witnesses are in the U.S.

McKinnon's case has gone to the highest levels of the U.K. and U.S. governments. During a visit to the U.K. in May, U.S. President Barack Obama said the case is in the hands of the British legal system. In July 2010, Obama said he would not intervene in the case, as by tradition U.S. presidents do not get involved in extradition issues.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Tags securitygovernmenthome office

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

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

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.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?