flipdewaf
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Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:00 pm

Gary McKinnons extradition to the US has been blocked by the UK home secratary, Theresa May.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19957138

McKinnon Admits to having hacked into US goverment computer systems claims to have been looking for evidence that the US Government were covering up UFO information.

McKinnon, 46, sufferes from Asperger's syndrome and it is said that if he were extradited to the US there is a strong chance he would try to take his own life and has therefore had his extradition blocked on human rights grounds.

What do you think? Should he have been extradited? Should the people being dragged over the coals be the ones who developed a computer system vulnerable to actions such as his?

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moo
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:22 pm

Quoting flipdewaf (Thread starter):
What do you think? Should he have been extradited?

Yes, he should have been extradited.

Quoting flipdewaf (Thread starter):
sufferes from Asperger's syndrome

So? Has anyone here actually heard him speak? I have, hes very articulate and quite "normal". His aspergers is just an excuse...

Quoting flipdewaf (Thread starter):
it is said that if he were extradited to the US there is a strong chance he would try to take his own life

Diddums, so if someone says "Im going to kill myself if Im extradited" then thats it. I wonder if Abu Hamza could have used that line...

Quoting flipdewaf (Thread starter):
Should the people being dragged over the coals be the ones who developed a computer system vulnerable to actions such as his?

Wtf? Seriously, wtf? So lets just forget the fact that this guy did something illegal, its all the "victims" fault for having an "insecure" system (some of the stuff McKinnon did to gain access was fairly sophisticated stuff)?

Why can't both be "dragged over the coals" for their own respective acts? Someone would have been seriously bollocked after the security audit that the McKinnon case would have triggered, but why should McKinnon not be prosecuted for hacking as well?
 
RussianJet
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Against the backdrop of unspeakably wicked foreign criminals being cllowed to stay in the UK on human rights grounds, there is no way he should be extradited. Apples and oranges? Maybe, but there is a loose point there. If he did wrong he should be tried here anyway, not sent to a country he has never set foot in.
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L-188
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:16 pm

Except his crimes where against computers and systems in the US.

The US is the correct jurisdiction.

I suspect there is an internal political reason my not doing the right thing, maybe a tie-in to that moron Assange
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ajd1992
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:44 pm

I think it's good he was kept here.

He committed the crime in the UK so that's where he should be charged and prosecuted, not a place where he's not even been.

I'm not saying what he did was right - it wasn't, not by a long stretch, but you can't just extradite people willynilly.
 
matth
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 4):
but you can't just extradite people willynilly.

It's not willy nilly - it was due to his offences being committed against America.
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GDB
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:51 pm

He should be punished, I think most agree on this.
But he faced up to 60 years in a US prison!

He was not a terrorist, just a dupe obsessed with UFO's.
That he, with minimal equipment, no formal training, could do what he did to the secure networks of a superpower really says more about the ineptitude of these responsible for cyber-security. (Were any of them even sacked?)

I cannot agree with Moo, he might be fairly articulate (he's been saying the same thing for 10 years) but you can sense he's not quite there in some respects.

A more sensible course for all concerned would have been for McKinnon to be extensively de-briefed by US cyber security people, in the UK, with the understanding he'll face any charges in the UK.
Frankly, the potential sentence from a US court smacked of vindictiveness, no justice system can be based only that that.
Such a heavy sentence might be, in the US, quite applicable to some hacker who did so as part of a terrorist network, but really, McKinnon? He's only ever been a danger to himself.

Maybe the Pentagon should be, in a sense, grateful that the total inadequacy of cyber security of vital networks, was attacked just by a UFO obsessed eccentric, not anyone with far darker intent.
Al Queda must have kicked themselves for missing that chance.

While naturally the US will be disappointed, bear in mind that the UK never got one IRA suspect on the run in the US, including those charged with murder, extradited to the UK.
US courts would not grant an extradition.
That would not have informed the decision of the UK Government with McKinnon but it's food for thought and maybe, provides some perspective.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:58 pm

The decision is absolutely correct and proper.

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
His aspergers is just an excuse...

An "excuse" he's suffered from his entire life? Unlike Abu Hamza's sudden health issues, nobody disputes McKinnon suffers with Aspergers. It doesn't excuse his crime, but is a perfectly valid reason why he shouldn't be extradited.

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
"Im going to kill myself if Im extradited" then thats it.

No, clearly not, and to claim so is disingenuous at best.

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
but why should McKinnon not be prosecuted for hacking as well?

He should be. In the country where he committed the offence.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):
The US is the correct jurisdiction.

Where was the crime committed? What would the US do if he was Chinese or Cuban or Venezuelan?

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):
I suspect there is an internal political reason my not doing the right thing, maybe a tie-in to that moron Assange

What? This has zero to do with Assange, who will be extradited to Sweden if he ever leaves his bolt-hole. But I think you'll find, for once, Ms May has done the right thing.
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Gingersnap
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:03 pm

Good. He was on British soil when the crime was committed, and he should therefore remain here. We wouldn't have sent him to the likes of Egypt or Senegal if a similar crime was committed against then...so there is no reason to send him to the US.
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zckls04
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:51 pm

The asperger's is irrelevant- the time for that to be considered is during the trial, not the extradition.

The only question is one of jurisdiction, and I would have thought by now there would be some precedent for remotely committed crimes. Gut feel is that it would make most sense for him to be tried in the US.

Having said all that if the above is all true I'm glad the "wrong" decision was reached.
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moo
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
An "excuse" he's suffered from his entire life?

What does the length of time he suffers from the disorder have to do with anything? In this particular case, his disorder is being used as an excuse for his crimes...

Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
but is a perfectly valid reason why he shouldn't be extradited.

... and that is exactly what I am talking about. "He shouldn't be extradited because of his Aspergers...". Rubbish.

A good friend of my wifes is a top orthopedic surgeon in the NHS, and he has fairly severe aspergers. Aspergers doesn't mean these people can't function, it mainly means they have social issues.

McKinnon had the intelligence and ability to carry out a couple of fairly complex hacks - what he did was not the equivalent of typing "12345" as the password, or simply Googling for something. He planned, documented and carried out attacks against chosen targets.

So yes, the aspergers most certainly is being used as an excuse to not extradite him.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
No, clearly not, and to claim so is disingenuous at best.

Thats basically what they've said here - threaten to kill yourself and that must be strongly considered in your favour.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
He should be. In the country where he committed the offence.

He committed offences in both this country and the United States. The grounds for extradition were perfectly legal and proper - note that his extradition was *not* blocked on legal grounds.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
What would the US do if he was Chinese or Cuban or Venezuelan?

Excellent argument - bring several completely anti-US countries into the discussion and ask a stupid question.

What would the US do in those cases? Wait until the person of interest visits a friendly country and extradite them from there. Fairly obvious really.
 
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 10):
Quoting scbriml (Reply 7):
but is a perfectly valid reason why he shouldn't be extradited.

... and that is exactly what I am talking about. "He shouldn't be extradited because of his Aspergers...". Rubbish.

A good friend of my wifes is a top orthopedic surgeon in the NHS, and he has fairly severe aspergers. Aspergers doesn't mean these people can't function, it mainly means they have social issues.

Aspergers affects different people in different ways, in this case enough for it to have a bearing on the case.

I also don't believe that cybercrime should be punished on the victim's soil, he committed this act in the UK, he should be tried for it in the UK. What would have happened if he had hacked computers in the USA, the France, Germany, Japan.. I could go on but how can you deal with a crime that has global coverage, except with where the crime was committed.
 
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:35 pm

I'm just surprised that the US or UK secret anti-cybercrime units (such as they are) didn't hush this up and offer him a job........it appears he's better at their job than they are.........
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baldwin471
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:04 pm

Funny how all the US posters (So far) Think that he should be tried in the US, and all the UK posters (So far) think he should be tried in the UK. In the words of Karl Pilkington, "Weird 'innit"
 
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scbriml
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:12 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 10):
What does the length of time he suffers from the disorder have to do with anything? In this particular case, his disorder is being used as an excuse for his crimes...

I used it to illustrate the clear difference between a life-long condition and one which might develop as "an opportunity". I never said the condition excused his crime.

Quoting moo (Reply 10):
... and that is exactly what I am talking about. "He shouldn't be extradited because of his Aspergers...". Rubbish.

The Home Secretary, on advice from experts, blocked his extradition on medical grounds. The case has exceptional circumstances (her words).

Quoting moo (Reply 10):
Thats basically what they've said here - threaten to kill yourself and that must be strongly considered in your favour.

Then you've not listened to what has been said. This decision is specific to this exceptional case.

Quoting moo (Reply 10):
Excellent argument - bring several completely anti-US countries into the discussion and ask a stupid question.

Since when has China been "completely anti-US"? The point being, a lack of extradition treaty, but if you prefer, stupid.   

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 11):
he committed this act in the UK, he should be tried for it in the UK.

  
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FlyKev
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
Quoting flipdewaf (Thread starter):
sufferes from Asperger's syndrome

So? Has anyone here actually heard him speak? I have, hes very articulate and quite "normal". His aspergers is just an excuse...

I myself am an Aspie, and one of the curses it has given me (if you want to look at it like that) is a very precise and articulate way of talking; through my childhood and even now I get called a "snob" or a "ponce" because of the way I talk; so no you can't say he is using it as an excuse. Unless you know someone with or have Aspergers you will never understand what it is like to have it or what the effects can be.

Likely this guy really did not understand what he was doing and whilst yes he is guilty of a serious crime I fail to see why he needs to be carted across the Atlantic to face these charges when he can be tried here.

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Dano1977
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:12 am

My step daughter has quite bad aspergers.

Sometimes it's damn annoying, other times it is quite hilarious.

Her social skills are very lacking, and it comes across as if she is giving you a lecture and talking to you in a stern way, and when they talk about something they are passionate about... Try getting them to be quiet.

Going into strange new places where it's crowded can be testing, she will either just go into a shell and no do anything or enjoy it, or she will talk at people about the stuff she is interested in and not let other people get a word in edgways.

This evening we are at the dinner table, and she asks for a drink, I said its in the fridge. So she just sat there and asked again if she could have a drink, again I said it was in the fridge. Roll on a couple of minutes it twigged... It's in the fridge go and help yourself. Which she did.

Both myself and my partner do karate, so did the step daughter. One Saturday night we say to her we we are going to karate in the morning, she took that to mean that she was going. So Saturday night he barricaded herself in her room. Best thing to do is leave her. When she's hungry she will leave the room.

She's in the top 5% at school for science, I.T. and maths.

The point above is that, and I'm going to put it into harsh language. Not everybody with special needs or psychological conditions is a window licker, they don't need to be institutionalised or ride the special bus. They can function in society, but within there own boundaries. As for people hinting that it may be made up, faked or convenient to stop extradition, then shame on you.


As said by a previous poster, the USA should be kissing Gary McKinnons backside, for pointing out how easy it was to break into the computer system. He didn't steal any secrets or sell them to enemy states, he was just a very determined young man looking for the truth about about UFO's.

To have the full weight of supposed American justice pile down on to a guy with clear special needs, it's like using a nuclear bomb to crack a walnut.
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ajd1992
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:12 am

Quoting MattH (Reply 5):
It's not willy nilly - it was due to his offences being committed against America.

But he committed them IN THE UK. He's never even set foot in the US, so why try him there?

Like was mentioned above, he's not a hardcore terrorist, he's just some middle aged man who wanted to (allegedly) learn about UFOs and stuff. He wasn't planning on nuking the White House or blowing up the Pentagon.
 
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Dano1977
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:38 am

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 17):

I think the problem is...

Uncle Sam not knowing that there laws end at the territorial waters limit.
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Stealthz
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 17):
But he committed them IN THE UK. He's never even set foot in the US, so why try him there?
Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Uncle Sam not knowing that there laws end at the territorial waters limit.

Regardless the arguments about McKinnons health. yours and others arguments are moot or at least hypocritical.

The Scottish(UK) courts had no issue with extraditing, trying and imprisoning Abdel Baset al-Megrahi for his involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.
Granted one can argue the crimes differ in magnitude.. al-Megrahi, had not been in the UK when his crimes were committed... should he have been let go free??
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Braybuddy
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:35 pm

As a matter of curiosity, if he was a US citizen and living in the US and had hacked UK government computers, could/would he be extradited to the UK?
 
ajd1992
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:33 pm

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
I think the problem is...

Uncle Sam not knowing that there laws end at the territorial waters limit.

Exactly.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 19):
The Scottish(UK) courts had no issue with extraditing, trying and imprisoning Abdel Baset al-Megrahi for his involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.
Granted one can argue the crimes differ in magnitude.. al-Megrahi, had not been in the UK when his crimes were committed... should he have been let go free??

Err... he WAS set free. Not straight away, granted, but he ended up living another 2 years as a free man when he said he had 3 months, tops.

Not only that, he killed 270 people and incinerated half a town, Gary went noseying for info on UFOs. Not really on the same scale is it?
 
bueb0g
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:13 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
Diddums, so if someone says "Im going to kill myself if Im extradited" then thats it. I wonder if Abu Hamza could have used that line...

No, because multiple psychiatric experts testified that he was a suicide risk if he were to be moved to the US. That's why the decision was taken - at least, that's the excuse, and it's valid.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):

Except his crimes where against computers and systems in the US.

The US is the correct jurisdiction.

Nope. Crime was committed here, so he will be tried and will serve here. Extradition is intended to move people who have fled a country where they committed a crime back to their origin, it is NOT meant to be used as a mechanism for the US to pluck any person they want from any country around the world, for any crime 'committed against the US' and put them on trial. Imagine if Pakistan tried to extradite a US national for blaspheming against Mohammed... I doubt the USA would be too happy! Obviously I took that to an extreme, but it illustrates the point.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 9):

The asperger's is irrelevant- the time for that to be considered is during the trial, not the extradition.

The aspergers is totally relevant, several experts testified that he would be a serious suicide risk if he was extradited.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 20):
As a matter of curiosity, if he was a US citizen and living in the US and had hacked UK government computers, could/would he be extradited to the UK?

Of course not... and that's a major reason as to why the decision was reached; while the excuse used by May is a valid one, it is just an excuse. The real reason is the entire country is sick and tired of our nationals being extradited to the big bully across the pond.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:47 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 20):
As a matter of curiosity, if he was a US citizen and living in the US and had hacked UK government computers, could/would he be extradited to the UK?

Fat chance of that ever happening. I have a Norwegian colleague who's American wife had an affair with another American she worked with, when my colleague was at a trade show she upped and left Norway with her boyfriend and both children, the children were born in Norway and were not US citizens. He's been trying for two years to get the children back, he has the law on his side, but the US authorities won't play ball.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:23 pm

Quoting baldwin471 (Reply 13):
Funny how all the US posters (So far) Think that he should be tried in the US, and all the UK posters (So far) think he should be tried in the UK. In the words of Karl Pilkington, "Weird 'innit"

In the words of Victoria Lloyd, "not really".

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Uncle Sam not knowing that there laws end at the territorial waters limit.

I think the law may be a little more complex than that. What if I do my hacking from international waters? What if the crime I commit isn't a crime in the "source" country but is in the "destination" country? There is a philosophical point about where the crime was committed if it is done remotely. I expect there is some legal precedent, but it's irrelevant here since, as others have mentioned, the extradition was not blocked on legal grounds. Maybe one of our lawyer posters can comment on the legal ramifications of "remote" crimes.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 22):
The aspergers is totally relevant, several experts testified that he would be a serious suicide risk if he was extradited.

And if somebody commits a crime, do we let them out if they are a suicide risk?

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 22):
The real reason is the entire country is sick and tired of our nationals being extradited to the big bully across the pond.

Oh grow up. It goes the other way you know. Between 2004 and 2011 there were 130 requests by the US for extradition from the UK, compared with 54 requests from the UK to the US. A total of seven US requests were refused by the UK, compared with none of the UK's requests by the US.

Wah! They're bullying us!  
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Hywel
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:37 pm

The extradition treaty has always been a one way street and it is about time we stood up to a government, led by Obama, who hate us. Obama's first move was to remove the statue of Winston Churchill from the White House. The USA made us pay back every penny of lend lease right up until 2005, which crippled us while Germany were given financial support by the USA to rebuild their economy.

I have little time for the USA huffing and puffing about our stance on extradition when you consider that IRA terrorists were not extradited to the UK, as they were accorded political status in the USA. By that reckoning alone Gary McKinnon is similarly political and should not be extradited.

[Edited 2012-10-17 09:38:20]
 
bueb0g
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:43 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 24):
And if somebody commits a crime, do we let them out if they are a suicide risk?

This isn't about not charging him, this is about not extraditing him. How is that this hard to grasp? He will likely still be charged - here. Where he committed the crime. If he's convicted he'll probably be given a sentence in the order of 5 years (which is a lot more proportional than the 60 - 70 years he could face in the US).

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 24):
Oh grow up. It goes the other way you know. Between 2004 and 2011 there were 130 requests by the US for extradition from the UK, compared with 54 requests from the UK to the US. A total of seven US requests were refused by the UK, compared with none of the UK's requests by the US.

Wah! They're bullying us!  

Firstly, I wasn't saying that the US is a bully in my view, rather that is the rational behind the decision, and that is certainly the public mood. Secondly, unless you got your figures mixed up, they do not help your case; so the USA made 3 times as many extradition requests, to a country whose population is 5 times less than requests were made in the opposite way? Doesn't exactly sabotage the "bully" claim, does it? Plus, virtually all of the UK requests were due to crimes that had been committed in the UK, where the perpetrators then fled to the US. THAT is what extradition is meant to facilitate. Many of the extradition requests going the other way were due to crimes committed in the UK but "against" the US, whatever that means, or actions that were not even crimes in the UK but were in the US, or for cases that would be much fairer if they were heard in the UK.
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zckls04
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
Firstly, I wasn't saying that the US is a bully in my view, rather that is the rationale behind the decision, and that is certainly the public mood.

The public mood in England is a very poor informer of policy decisions, as evidenced by the Daily Mail.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
This isn't about not charging him, this is about not extraditing him. How is that this hard to grasp?

It isn't- I was comparing one thing to a different thing!

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
Where he committed the crime.

Debatable, as in previous post.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
If he's convicted he'll probably be given a sentence in the order of 5 years (which is a lot more proportional than the 60 - 70 years he could face in the US).

But it's supposition on your part to suggest that he will face anything approaching that term, or that his defense is entirely valid since he hasn't yet been tried.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
Secondly, unless you got your figures mixed up, they do not help your case; so the USA made 3 times as many extradition requests, to a country whose population is 5 times less than requests were made in the opposite way?

No misunderstanding if you look up the term "request". The figures show that the UK refused some extradition requests, proving they have the power to do so. Therefore one must assume the US has similar powers, and chose not to do so. Thus the claim of "bullying" is rather invalidated, wouldn't you say?
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Aesma
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:32 pm

Well I don't think he should get more than a slap on the wrists (along with a thank you for pointing out our vulnerabilities) so clearly he shouldn't be extradited, the reasons used for that to happen I don't really care about.
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GDB
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RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:27 pm

Quoting Hywel (Reply 25):
The extradition treaty has always been a one way street and it is about time we stood up to a government, led by Obama, who hate us. Obama's first move was to remove the statue of Winston Churchill from the White House. The USA made us pay back every penny of lend lease right up until 2005, which crippled us while Germany were given financial support by the USA to rebuild their economy.

It's only one way due to how the UK government drafted the 2003 Act.

I don't see any 'hate' for us in, as likely often happens, a new US President makes some changes to the White House, they probably changed some wallpaper and furniture too. Besides, you'd expect a bust of a great US leader to take pride of place, not a foreign one. The Churchill bust was put there by GW Bush.
Plus, you do know Michelle Obama and the kids have, on a private recreational visit to London, stayed at Buckingham Palace after an invite from the Queen?

And the UK was the biggest recipient of post war Marshall Aid, not West Germany.

To the topic, my own view is that McKinnon should serve a short sentence in a low security UK prison and be banned for life, from accessing the Internet.
I know that in the 10 years since the events, the way we access the net has changed, burgeoned, that McKinnon could just ask someone else to log on for him, but this is about preventing him from hacking again, which I assume is still best done at a PC with plenty of time on your hands.
Though you seriously doubt he's ever going to do it again anyway.
 
Quokkas
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:51 pm

RE: Gary McKinnon To Stay In The UK

Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:09 am

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Uncle Sam not knowing that there laws end at the territorial waters limit.

Except that the UK does have an extradition treaty that does allow for the US to request the extradition of a person who commits a crime against the US, its citizens or property and have them stand trial in the US. The treaty is enshrined in the UK's Extradition Act. Prior to the most recent assessment of McKinnon's condition, the British Courts and the European Human Rights Commission had all ruled that there is no obstacle, in law, to the extradition .

The fact of the matter (and agreed to by McKinnon himself) is that he did break into and damage assets (altering and deleting files) held in the US.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 26):
THAT is what extradition is meant to facilitate.

A lot can be read into numbers that have little to do with any perceptions of "bullying". It could simply be that the US Attorneys are more proactive in pursuing cases while their British counterparts put things in the "too hard" basket for either lack of funds or believing a case is less likely to be successfully concluded.

As to what extradition is meant to facilitate, surely that is up to the treaty agreed by the parties involved. What was to have stopped the UK insisting on a similar condition? The US would hardly have refused if they wanted the treaty signed.

What I find interesting is that the Home Secretary is now proposing changes to the law so that the final decision is left to the Courts, not the Minister, and that there should be a forum bar. Under this proposal a person would not be extradited if the matter can be heard in the UK. The Home Secretary has further indicated that it is now up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether to lay charges in the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service previously having refused to do so.

A lot has been made of the possibility that McKinnon could have faced up to sixty years in prison. Was there any confirmed indication at any stage that US prosecutors would demand the maximum penalty?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
along with a thank you for pointing out our vulnerabilities

And if somebody breaks into your house or car you will no doubt thank them for alerting you to the need for better locks and an alarm system.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza

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