NASA hacker case adjourned over extradition fears

I was impressed - for once - with the British legal system when I heard at the weekend that a judge will not allow Gary McKinnon - who is charged with gaining unauthorised access to NASA's computer systems - will not be extradited unless the US government can guarantee he won't be subject to its anti-terrorism laws.

My first thoughts were that he might be carted off to Guantanamo Bay to rot or something like that, but I think that's very unlikely with the close relationship that the US and UK governments enjoy.

But at Bow Street Magistrate's court last week, McKinnon's lawyers argued he could be detained indefinitely by the US authorities under current anti-terrorism legislation.

McKinnon is charged with illegally accessed no less than 97 US government computers and causing $700,000 worth of damage, over a 12-month period starting in February 2001.

Media reports have recently claimed that McKinnon was accessing the computer systems because he was looking for evidence that the US had found extraterrestrial life. He has also publicly denied causing any damage to the computer systems involved.

The case seems to have reached stalemate, although another hearing has been set of mid-March. I wonder if the US government will back down on this one?...