British hacker Gary McKinnon, who is charged with breaking in to a number of NASA computers, has failed in his latest appeal against exradition to the United States.
He is accused of hacking into 97 US military and NASA computer during 2001 and 2002, deleting critical files, causing $700,000 worth of damage and rendering the infrastructure of a US Naval base inoperable after the September 11th attacks. At the time, none of these systems had a password system or firewall.
McKinnon maintains that he was looking for evidence of a cover-up regarding extra-terrestrial life. His family have been campaigning for him to be tried and sentenced here in the UK as he is a sufferer of Aspergers Syndrome.
Mr McKinnon is subject to automatic extradition with no evidence required, under the terms of a treaty signed between Britain and the United States following the 9/11 attacks.
“Gary was arrested in March 2002 before the extradition treaty came in to being, so how on earth is he subject to it?” McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp asked the Daily Record after his appeal was denied.
“Gary denied the damage, but admitted the computer use – without the damage, it wasn’t an extraditable offence. So what did the Americans do? They waited until 2005, when they could extradite him without a scrap of evidence.”