British UFO Hacker Loses Extradition Case

A British computer 'hacker' has lost a Law Lords appeal against being extradited to the US to stand trial for allegedily accessing top security information.

Gary McKinnon, a UFO enthusiast, faces charges in the United States for what is being described as a "series of cyber attacks" that stole passwords, compromised military networks and caused around $900,000 worth of computer damage.

Mr McKinnon's defence said that they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, to prevent his removal.

A statement from his solicitor, Karen Todner, said that McKinnon was "neither a terrorist nor a terrorist sympathiser".

"We believe that the British Government declined to prosecute him to enable the US authorities to make an example of him.

"The consequences he faces if extradited are both disproportionate and intolerable," she said.

Prosecutors maintain that Mr McKinnon "altered and deleted files" at a naval air station not long after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, "rendering critical systems inoperable".

It is alleged that between February 2001 and March 2002, he hacked into more than 90 US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defence computers, as well as 16 Nasa computers.

Mr McKinnon, who could face a long prison sentence in the US first lost his case at the High Court in 2006. He was arrested in 2002 but was not charged in the UK.

Mr McKinnon has admitted accessing computers in the US without authority but has said that he is merely a "computer nerd" whose motives where "harmless and innocent".

He said he did it because he wanted to find evidence that the US was concealing the existence of aliens.

The case could be treated as a terrorism case and could therefore carry a 60-year sentence in a maximum-security prison.

With UK cooperation, he would instead receive a lesser sentence of between 37 to 46 weeks and be repatriated to the UK, where he could be released on parole.

McKinnon was caught after some of the software used in the "attacks" was traced back to his girlfriend's email account.


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