back to article Pink Floyd frontman backs McKinnon musical protest

A small group of protesters held a successful musical protest against attempts to extradite UFO enthusiast turned hacker Gary McKinnon to the US on Thursday. Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, organised the sing-in protest outside the US embassy on Thursday to coincide with President Barack Obama's visit to London for the G20 …


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  1. pctechxp
    Thumb Up

    Time to show the yanks whose boss

    Its time Brown grew a pair and told the Americans to take a hike over this ridiculous conviction.

    If you want to convict someone how about those thieving bamkers.

  2. Kia Foster
    Jobs Horns

    why are the US....

    being allowed to extradite a UK citizen to face trial and a farcically long sentence in USA when in return the US gives us absolutely 0 (zero) ?. So many thing have been fucked up by the Labour Govt that words fail me but this really is a grossly unfair thing that is happening to McKinnon and it should be stopped. If he did wrong then he should be sentenced here in the UK, not shipped off to some far flung place to be sentenced to 70 years for simply embarrassing them.

  3. Daniel Wilkie


    Seriously. He commited a crime, the systems were american therefore the crime was ostensibly on American soil, ergo he should be tried in America. Why hasn't he been extradited already dammit?

    I'm no fan of the yanks, or our seemingly one way extradition rules, but this twat has annoyed me so much now that I just want him gone. Can't they send in Sam Fisher or something, surely it falls under his jurisdiction?

  4. Lewis Benzie

    Trolls got the first three posts.

    McKinnon did commit a crime and it was ostensibly a crime on american soil. However given his condition the Americans should be forgoing the charges for access to his talents. Obviously McKinnon should be under house arrest etc.

  5. Justin Clements


    ...he had simply copped a plea a few years ago, then he'd already be a free man. he broke into computers, he knew he was breaking a federal law in another country, and can't bare to pay for his crimes.

  6. Richard Thomas

    Wrong song

    They should have done a rewrite of the old Special AKA classic. All together now:

    "Freeee-eeeee-ee Gary Mc-Kin-non"

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @Daniel Wilkie

    He committed a crime but the sentance he is likely to get there doesn't fit it. It seems as if the US govt has thrown their toys out of the pram more because their pants got pulled down as opposed to any actual damage done and time lost.

  8. pctechxp

    Not a troll,just fed up of yanks having their own way.

    Example, they refused to send over military personnel to help with a friendly fire incident when their trigger happy flyboys shot our soldiers, had it been the other way round the MoD would have been falling over themselves.

    Equally, if an American had hacked into UK systems, do you think s/he would be standing trial in the UK? I wouldn't put money on it.

  9. Hugh_Pym

    Extradition is imprisonment without trial

    He would have to be held in the US for his trail. He can't leave the contry and can't seek employment in the US as he has no citizenship or visa. What is the guy supposed to do for however many years they decide to make him wait. This amounts to imprisonment without trial.

    And as for the 'crime' he committed. Breaking and entering is a crime. Knocking on a door and finding it open is not. Only the red faced and vindictive US brass looking to hang on to their pensions would describe it such.

  10. Flugal


    And if it was an American in America looking through British systems he would be extradited to Britain??

    Er, no.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try him here, get it over with

    If they'd agreed to try him here he could have been extradited without all this mess by now but no, the politicians have to have their spectacle.

  12. James Pickett


    And if you downloaded some dodgy material from a Russian website, should you serve your term in Siberia? Perhaps you should... :-)

    The Pentagon should be offering McKinnon a job as security expert. They certainly appear to need one.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Lewis Benzie

    "However given his condition the Americans should be forgoing the charges for access to his talents."

    Now how many stories per week does The Register print about hacking crooks who claim to have gone white-hat getting caught in criminal activity? The bottom line is that, as you admit, the man knowingly broke the law. He's no different than a bank robber.

    Having said that, the FBI has a long track record of hiring ex-crooks with specific talents, after they get out of jail, to help them either deter crime or to catch similar criminals. Frank Abagnale Jr. is one of the more famous examples of this.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    "Breaking and entering is a crime. Knocking on a door and finding it open is not."

    Wrong! You get a big FAIL. If you enter your next door neighbor's house without the neighbor's permission, whether the door was locked or not only removes "breaking" from the list of charges. You have still committed illegal entry & trespass, which are crimes both in the US and in Britain. If you remove anything (even information), you can add burglary, theft or larceny, depending on the details.

  15. Pierre

    Crime? US? I think not.

    Why are clueless morons still pretending that he did anything in the US? Seriously, learn how networks work guys. If someone commited a crime in the US, it was the person giving him access to the machines there, i.e. the Pentagon's sysadmins. And, speaking about crime, what he did was a petty offense at the time, it was upgraded to full-blown Gitmo-waterboarding-worth terrorist crime *later*.

    OK, the alleged damages were caused in the US, so the US gub'mint might want to beg for a deal, but it is not deportation-worthy, especially *not* without prima-facie evidence.The, erm, crime was clearly and without doubt committed in the UK. Connecting to a distant machine doesn't magically bring you at the distant site (these nonsensical stories might prove a useful defense for anyone spending their time looking at eXXXtreme porn or nude simpson pics. "But the server is in Croatia, so I didn't commit any offense in the UK, your honor.". Can't wait to see that tried.)

  16. Roger Lancefield

    How about before we hand over Gary, you stop spewing pr0n and spam?

    The comments above make it sound as if our relationship with the US is a one-way street. Not so. Don't forget, we receive about 90% of the world's spam from the USA and, IIRC, the country is also responsible for a similar proportion of global Internet pornography output.

    I look forward to the day when the US government puts as much effort into convicting those responsible for filling millions of childrens' inboxes with hard-core pornography, as they have done in securing the extradition of a naughty, UFO-hunting nerd. How about it Yanks? instead of spending millions going after a symbolic geek in a futile attempt at saving face, how about putting more resource into tracking down those holding the firehoses that shower your allies with filth and garbage 24/7?

    Oh, and if we need any more perspective on Gary McKinnon's crimes and the "damage" he caused the US military, let's not forget this:

  17. Anonymous Coward


    You might want to learn something about the Law. If a bank accidentally credits money into your account that it should not have, and you go and withdraw that money, you have committed a crime. Does not matter that it's all the banks fault that money that was not yours ended up in your account. Works that way everywhere. Why? Because that is the way the laws were written just about everywhere. (Bankers have money & influence - everywhere.)

    If you access a computer system you did not have permission to access, in the US, Canada, EU & most of the world, the laws say you've committed a crime. Even if the access password was just the Enter key. Jurisdiction is always at the site of the crime for computer crimes, just as it is for mail fraud. Nothing new in therms of jurisdiction here that was not settled well over a hundred years ago. It's up to judges to decide extradition, including whether there is sufficient proof, whether the petitioner's legal system is sufficient to insure due process, etc.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Gary is a gentle musician

    Well, goodie for him.. That should serve him well while he's serving time.

    Let's review one more time for those not getting the picture:

    He broke into computers where he wasn't supposed to be.

    He admitted breaking in.

    His own government decided they couldn't try him on charges because the "crime" was committed on computers on foreign soil (with apparently nothing on the books to convict

    him of illegal computer entry at home?).

    The foreign government asked that he be extradited for trial and offered him a deal where any time would be served back in UK.

    He turned down the deal while his own government agreed to extradite.

    Now he's looking at having the book thrown at him for not taking the deal and publicly admitting to the crime.

    Extradite him. get it over and stop wasting everyone's time with this. If there are mitigating circumstances that should come out at trial. This is high enough profile it will be well covered and he will get as fair a trial as is most likely possible for this crime anywhere in the world.

    If the UK has no extradition treaty with other countries to return cross-border crims, why not?

  19. Daniel Wilkie

    @Every last one of you

    To be honest, if I had committed a crime under another countries law and got caught (key thing there ;)) then yes, I would expect to be charged by them. That's how I thought the whole thing worked.

    Of course I could be wrong, it's not my area of expertise.

    It's probably just the fact that I don't like the ginger scottish twat and I can't stand people baaawing just because they did something wrong and got caught. But mostly because I don't like him.

  20. Hugh_Pym
    Thumb Down

    @hugh_pym @AC

    I think you find you are the FAILTARD (tm) my friend. Trespass is not a crime in in this country (it may be in the land of the free, but here). You can wander about wherever you want to as long as you do no damage and nobody has specifically asked you not to.

    AFAIK illegal entry is connected with immigration. If you found a door open and wandered through it into a foreign country then, I agree, you may have committed a crime.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    "If you want to convict someone how about those thieving bamkers."

    They have imprisoned some thieving bamkers (sic) the "Natwest 3", who defrauded £5M and were extradited to America then convicted because they were caught bang to rights. Oops, that didn't fit in help your jingoistic rant, did it?

  22. Goat Jam

    London Rap Artist

    "John Smith"

    Erm, what happened to the Gangsta pseudonym? I thought it was mandatory that all rappers have ghetto gangsta names.

    Dear o dear, rappers these days . . .

    Mines the one with the "fiddy cent" CD in the pocket

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    US Intelligence? Hacking into that?

    Ummmmm if the stupid Americans are so on the ball, I mean this guy had no particularly malevolent intentions...

    Let me see - so what about all the other people WITH malevolent intentions?


    Yeah lets pick on him and kind of like ignore the rest.

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