If the crime happens "where the computers are"
... does that mean that I can watch pirated music and videos if they are hosted in a country with no copyright laws?
Does it mean I can (disgusting as I find the thought) watch child pornography if the computer is in a country with no pedophilia laws?
Or does the country where I'm sitting still matter?
What if there is a forum which you know is in a middle eastern country, and some Brit or American posts some anti-religious message on it? Should they be extradited to be executed (or whatever)
What if I criticize the Chinese government in this post, and don't realize that the Reg hosts their server in China? Have I committed a crime in China? Should I be extradited?
What if I hack into the microsoft webserver? I'm in Australia. I *assume* the webserver is in the US, but it's pretty likely that there is some sort of mirror server here in Oz. So if I pull down confidential information... if I get it from some cache, or mirror site here in Oz, did the crime happen here? If I get it from the US server the crime happened there? What if I tried to get it from the US server, but due to load-balancing trickery I got it from the Aus server? What if there was no Aus server, and due to load-balancing trickery I got it from the Azerbijan server without realizing? And what if the Azerbijanis just happen to have the death sentence for unauthorized access to information?
Hey, here's a fun one. One of the laws the Americans want to charge McKinnon with is something along the lines of "accessing confidential information that was protected" (regardless of how shoddily it was protected) and one of the pieces of information he discovered (and they want to charge him with) is discovering the IPs of various military computers. I downloaded the court documents, which has the IPs listed - but they are blacked out. I did "select all" "copy" "paste into notepad" - and there were the IPs, clear as day. I'd bypassed their military security. I could potentially be tried as a terrorist. Where should I be tried? I'd downloaded the pdf files, so... did that crime happen in Australia? But I downloaded them from a US webserver. So did the crime happen in the US? (It was legal to download. Just not to copy/paste) - what if I was viewing it through a web browser rather than downloading first? The file was still downloaded to my computer. So where did that crime happen?
The *ONLY* sensible way to judge where a crime happened is to use the location of the person doing the crime. Everything else is too ethereal, and the user doesn't always know what country the servers are in. Things are crimes in some countries and not others.
McKinnon broke the law. He broke a British law while in Britain, and should be charged in Britain. Especially when it's very clear that the US govt. intends to make a scapegoat of him.
Or would you Brits be happy with America's RIAA extraditing you to face trials for mp3 downloads?