Gary McKinnon loses extradition appeal

It was sad to see Gary McKinnon in the news again this week, and for all the wrong reasons.

As many readers will be aware, the long-running saga against the self-confessed hacker from North London continued this week when he lost his appeal against extradition for alleged hacks against various government computers in the US.

It now looks almost certain that McKinnon will be flown to the US to appear in court for his alleged crimes.

McKinnon appeared in court earlier this week to appeal last year's order from Home Secretary John Reid that the extradition should go ahead.

The former Scots emigree is alleged to have hacked into various computers belonging to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA.

As reported previously, he claimed to have gained unauthorised access in order to download confidential information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestrial technology which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.

According to Graham Cluley (fx: doffs hat in presence of IT security royalty -Ed), Sophos' senior technology consultant, the US Government is taking a hard line towards cybercrime, and will not tolerate anyone trying to compromise its own computers.

"McKinnon really should have considered this before he went UFO hunting," he said, adding that the decision will send shockwaves through the hacking community.

Cluley went on to say that, irrespective of McKinnon's motivations, computing hacking is illegal in both the UK and the US, and it is high time people started thinking twice before engaging in such activities.

Strong words Mr C and a tad over-harsh IMHO, as I think you'll find that Gary McKinnon is actually a white hat hacker.

There are far more serious hackers at large, many of them operating on the fringe of terrorism and on the payroll of criminals...