Under 50% of IT professionals want McKinnon jailed

Research from Sophos claims to show that just 48 per cent of IT professionals want Gary McKinnon, the self-styled NASA hacker, banged up in a US jail for his alleged crimes.

The poll found that 48 per cent of respondents feel that jail is the most appropriate sentence for McKinnon, should he be found guilty, with 42 per cent suggesting a sentence of community service, and just 10 per cent answering that he should be fined.

According to Sophos, the poll echoes a previous survey back in July of 2006 over his extradition, which saw a near 50/50 split between respondents - 48 per cent were in favour of extradition, whilst 52 per cent were not.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley (fx: bows in the presence of an IT security veteran -Ed) said that the IT community can't seem to agree about what would be an appropriate punishment in this case.

This is possibly due, he said, to the fact that is unclear about how much damage McKinnon is alleged to have caused, as well as the motivations behind the alleged crime.

"Irrespective of where he is tried, let's hope that if McKinnon is found guilty, it will be based on reliable evidence, and that he will be sentenced appropriately for the offences he is alleged to have committed," he said.

Good Lord Mr C - do I detect a softening of your previously rigid stance against Mr McKinnon?. Some mistake surely...