Pentagon hacker's UK appeal moves forward

Law Lords approve Gary McKinnon's appeal to the House of Lords in '08

A trio of British judges has agreed that hacker Gary McKinnon can appeal his extradition order to the U.S. to the House of Lords.

McKinnon, 41, was charged in 2002 with multiple counts of breaking into U.S. military and government computer networks. However, he has remained free in Britain while he fights extradition to the U.S., where he would be tried in federal court. If convicted, McKinnon could face as many as 70 years in prison for hacking more than 100 networks, including ones belonging to NASA, the Pentagon, the U.S. Army and several private companies. In an interview with Reuters last year, McKinnon claimed he had broken into the networks during 2000 and 2001 in search of information about aliens and UFOs.

A three-judge panel of Law Lords ruled that McKinnon's appeal would be heard by Britain's highest court, the House of Lords. McKinnon's lawyers have argued against extradition, claiming that he should be tried in the U.K., where the crimes occurred, and because U.S. law prosecutors went after McKinnon "for the purpose of prosecuting him on account of his nationality or political opinions." At one point, McKinnon's solicitors of Kaim Todner said they feared their client might be sent to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. military prison and interrogation center at the Cuban naval base, if he was returned to the U.S.

McKinnon's case will be heard by the House of Lords sometime after the first of the year.

According to the charges brought against him in 2002, McKinnon's hacks caused more than US$900,000 in damage to various computer networks; in the case of one military network, administrators had to spend three days cleaning up after the breach.

McKinnon exploited unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows to break into the servers, authorities said at the time.

McKinnon's barrister, Ben Cooper of Charter Chambers, was not available for comment.

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.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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 x360

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 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?