back to article McKinnon lawyers vow to take fight to US Supremes

Lawyers for Gary McKinnon have launched an impassioned attack on the UK justice system, following a decision to allow extradition proceedings against the Pentagon hacker to continue despite his recent diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome. Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie dismissed McKinnon's claims for judicial …


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  1. alain williams Silver badge

    He was stupid ...

    however his main ''crime'' was exposing the incompetence of US military system admins who were shown to be even more stupid by not doing the basics in protecting their computers.

    The USA does not like to be shown to be stupid[**] and is thus seeking revenge.

    [**] In spite of electing the previous president.

  2. Andus McCoatover
    Thumb Down


    McKinnon's lawyer, Karen Todner, complained that the United States has never provided evidence to prosecutors or McKinnon's legal team to support their extradition request -- and in fact, under Britain's Extradition Act of 2003, U.S. prosecutors are not required to.

    Nice. One-way street.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a different world

    The evidence against McKinnon would be presented to a UK judge. The UK judge would review the evidence and if it met the conditions for ORDINARY extradition he would approve it. The US would then try him in a court, and since this is an ORDINARY case he would receive an ORDINARY sentence. If he was too minor a criminal to be extradited they would seek prosecution in the UK.

    However, Blair introduced an expedited extradition, intended to extradite terrorists and murderers quickly. Which doesn't permit the UK to see the evidence. However it requires that the crime be serious enough to warrant the expedited process.

    So now all crimes, no matter how petty suddenly meet the expedited process conditions. Suddenly every petty offender from the UK is a MAJOR THREAT TO WORLD PEACE.

    And nobody can get a fair trail, because they have to be tried not as ORDINARY petty criminals but as MAJOR THREATS TO WORLD PEACE.

    So this treaty needs fixed, the US fixed this by adding a judicial check on the evidence when extraditing their people from the US to the UK, the UK needs to do the same.

    So the most likely outcome would be McKinnon with a suspended sentence in the UK because he logged in and took a look at a few computers causing considerable embarrasment to the pentagon.... but that is in a different world, where the UK is a nation state and has judicial protections and an elected leader.

  4. Dr. Mouse


    I have asked this before and would really like to understand the answer:

    Why is he being extradited?

    McKinnon was in the UK when the (alleged) offense took place. He did not travel to the US. "Hacking" is an offense in this country (quotes for obvious reasons). Therefore he committed an offense in this country. So why is he being extradited, when the "crime" was committed here?

    Where is the line drawn? I really do fail to understand. Maybe I am just being stupid, but if he can be extradited for this, does that mean we all have to make sure that everything we do on the 'net is legal in every country in the world, just in case the server we are connecting to is based in a country where what we are doing may be illegal? Or is it just American laws we need to learn, as they have taken on the role of judge, jury and executioner for the entire planet?

  5. kyndair

    dumb treaty

    Apparently the USA has to only state it has reasonable suspicion to get someone extradited from the UK.

    That's the same level as is required for a policeman to stop you if they suspect (but haven't seen/heard enough to arrest) that you're doing something naughty, even then they can't actually arrest you unless they can then confirm their suspicion (though a lot of the plod don't believe so any more).

    The UK on the other hand has to show probable cause to get a warrant.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here you see the problems

    "# Defining an extraditable offence as one punishable by a 12 month or longer sentence in both states."

    Suddenly all crimes are now major! Because that lets them use the easy extradition!

    "# Permitting the waiver of the rule of speciality. This will enable the prosecution of the extradited person for an offence for which he was not extradited"

    This is a snatcher clause. The claim can be completely bogus and the UK court never sees it. The US court never sees it either because the charge can be changed at any time!

    Hence any false claim can be made to snatch anyone from the UK and no court ever gets to prevent it.

  7. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Facts are stupid things.

    "McKinnon has repeatedly said he only broke into poorly secured systems to hunt for supposed evidence of knowledge about anti-gravity propulsion systems and alien technology harvested from crashed UFOs that was being hidden from the public by the US military."

    One of the major problems with public perception of this case is that so many people take this as an incontovertable truth and that because of this truth he should be acquitted. I always thought that the point of a trial was to establish truth, rather than simply take the word of the complainant or the defendant.

    I'm willing to bet that public perception would have been different had McKinnon been a conservative Muslim.

    @Dr. Mouse

    The crime was committed both here and in the US. Had the US authorites made a complaint to the police in the UK then perhaps he would have been tried in the UK. However that's not what they did, they applied for extradition on the basis that the crime was committed in the US.

    There are non-IT related precedents. Didn't the trial for the Lockerbie bombings take place under Scottish law because the explosion took place over Scotland? Even though it could have been argued that the crime took place where ever the bomb was placed aboard the plane.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Time to Run?

    Frankly if Gary really is this fantastically skilled cyber terrorist that the US authorities claim he is I am sure there are several countries that would be happy to give him political asylum and use his talents.

    Gary your country has forsaken you; it’s time to knock on the door of the Russian Embassy.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Once again..., bends over and spreads its ass wide open for Uncle Sham.


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Oh For God's Sake

    Regardless of whether he's guilty or not, whether he's tried in the US or the UK, will someone *please* get the media to pack it in with the Asperger Syndrome (AS) angle.

    If the media *must* insist on banging on about AS could they at least explain *why* it could be a factor and not give the impression that all Aspies are unable to tell right from wrong, will have a nervous breakdown at the drop of a hat and that we have no control of ourselves - what about being 'super smart' (ha, as if)?

    And we are *not* 'mentally ill' (which we are according to Radio 4)

  11. dreadful scathe
    Big Brother

    logic ?

    @dr.mouse : good points.

    According to the bbc ( :

    "The director of public prosecutions refused to order a UK trial, saying the bulk of the evidence was located in the US."

    So by that logic, the DPP would find it perfectly acceptable to send someone to <made-up-country> to face the death penalty for, say, posting on a web site in <made-up-country> a post that advocated a public display of support for Tibets freedom ?

  12. Oliver 7

    One among many examples!

    We all know, of course, that the Americans just do whatever the fuck they want and they have the thumb-screws to make most other countries comply. Everyone can see the injustice in this case, and others (e.g. the Nat West 3). Those with the power to intervene seem to be doing a good job of washing their hands of it and Blair's legacy continues to undermine what was once a passable form of democracy.

    There are countless other Nu-Lab examples of different shapes and form that collectively amount to an assault on civil liberties, human rights, due process, and legal integrity. Growing up in the '80s I wouldn't ever have believed that I'd prefer a Conservative government to Labour (to be clear I've never voted for either) but I'm at the point where that seems like a lesser evil!

  13. Anonymous John

    @ Please

    Because the victim or alleged victim is in the USA. And what he is alleged to have done is a crime in the UK.

    We wouldn't extradite an adulterer to Saudi Arabia for example.

  14. H 5
    Black Helicopters


    He is being prosecuted under the full extent of the law in order to be a deterrant to any other Hackers. Rather than accept that they were incompetant and improve their security, they will try to scare off any other would-be hackers by throwing the book at him.


  15. dave 151

    @ Please

    I'm going to be generous and assume you're not trolling, so here goes.

    The UK Gov. signed up to a treaty that allows the Good 'ol US of A to demand the extradition of anyone without first having to produce prima facia (spell?) evidence to a UK judge. i.e a yank rings our supreme leader and says "we want Dr. Mouse over here now 'cos hes a mother f*cking scumbag". Next thing you know the fine upstanding members of your local law enforcement organisation kick your door down (in full view of the TV crews who just happen to be passing), drag you out of your house, and try to stick you on a plane. As it stands at the moment you get a chance to appeal before they ship you off. Good luck.

    If the UK want to put a US citizen on trial here, evidence must be provided to a US judge who has the option to tell us to get stuffed, regardless of how strong we think the evidence is.

    It's the unfairness of the treaty that is boiling piss, not just the fact that McKinnon is facing a legal arse kicking for showing how inept Pentagon sysdamins are.

  16. Gordon Edge

    Labour maladministration

    The US has failed to ratify its side of this treaty. We should therefore have withdrawn our ratification long ago. In my opinion this is maladministration by our government.

    There is absolutely no way that the US would extradite one of its citizens to face UK law - I suspect that would be the case even if they had kept their side of the bargain.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    There are NO borders on the Internet

    This case highlights the problem the Internet has now created - we have no International borders on the Internet.

    Did he hack "in" the UK? - probably not

    Did he hack "from" the UK? - he's admitted yes

    As someone has already pointed out, where are the lines drawn on a global service? It is now possible to commit a crime in one country and never be present in that country. And I don't mean like Anonymous John and his Saudi Arabia example.

    Think outside the box - from my back garden in the UK, I throw an egg at my neighbours property in the US. Unfortunately he steps out his house and it hits him on the head, and he sues. Where is the case heard? UK, because that's where I was when the egg was thrown, or US, because that's where he was when it accidentally hit him? Where did the actual offence take place?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some new pictures of unidentified objects

    Well, here are some "new" NASA pictures about unidentified objects:

  19. Mephistro

    @ There are NO borders on the Internet

    Well, if you were hit by an egg traveling at a good percentage of Earth's escape velocity you would probably sue too :)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    ...but this guy is a hacker.....end of

    The fact he is supposed to have asparagus syndrome, didnt compromise his inteligence enough when hacking into govenment networks.

    Everyone should be responsible for their actions, and coming up with the latest supposed illness to try and excuse what you've done, to try and get off scot-free, just isn't on !!

  21. The Vociferous Time Waster

    the law is an ass

    The law is and always should be a blunt tool which is wielded skilfully by judges and counsel. What I mean by this is that laws were written in such a way as to allow the judges to interpret it in the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Nu Labia didn't like this because the separation of power to the judiciary threatened Tony's plans to be president of the UK so they have gradually tightened up the letter of the law so that it prosecutes those who don't deserve it while still allowing lawyers for the scumbags to find a loophole in the letter of the law which forces a judge to go against the spirit of the law.

    Repeal all laws made in the last decade and let's start again eh?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Labour maladministration

    "The US has failed to ratify its side of this treaty."

    No they ratified it in 2006. The only difference was, they spotted the problem with the treaty and put in a judicial check of the evidence.

    i.e. they saw a flaw and fixed it.

    UK side still has the problem, but nobody seems to want to fix it.

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    an Alien View as is our Inalienable Right.

    "Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes ..."" ....

    Against whom or is he being persecuted/prosecuted by the Flawed System which granted him Access to DODgy Information Channels?

    "Whether or not he can appeal to the UK Supreme Court will be decided at a later date, Lord Justice Burnton said."

    A Denial would be a Personalised DDOS Attack against the CyberPerson/Virtual IDEntity that was Gary McKinnon. One imagines that he is a Changed and Better Man Today.

    Thus is the Victim you Seek, Disappeared, and therefore Extradition a Frivolous and Unnecessary Wasted Exercise Program.

    "He is being prosecuted under the full extent of the law in order to be a deterrant to any other Hackers." .... By H 5 Posted Friday 31st July 2009 13:35 GMT .... QuITe Obviously that is a Spectacular Failure, H 5, ergo would a prosecution on such grounds be vindictive and malicious.

  24. dreadful scathe
    Big Brother

    @ Grease Monkey

    " I always thought that the point of a trial was to establish truth, rather than simply take the word of the complainant or the defendant. "

    Well of course there should be a trial, but whats wrong with a trial in this country ? Has McKinnon even visited America before ?

    "I'm willing to bet that public perception would have been different had McKinnon been a conservative Muslim."

    There would a different public perception in a change to the entire circumstances?! Your point isn't very pointy.

    " The crime was committed both here and in the US. Had the US authorites made a complaint to the police in the UK then perhaps he would have been tried in the UK. However that's not what they did, they applied for extradition on the basis that the crime was committed in the US. "

    er... so you agree they were wrong? As you say the crime was also commited here, yet they didn't even notify the UK police. Sounds questionable to me.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "I am Solo. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels"

    Don't tell me he was looking for little green men - please - and don't use Asperger's as an excuse.

    As for the argument as to where he should actually be tried - that is the only valid question in this whole case.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gary can run but he can't hide

    Well, well, well... Gary has a reserved room in a U.S. prison. I'll bet his arse is really puckered about now. I doubt his fake arse-wipe syndrome will get him any sympathy in the U.S. Maybe Bubba will go easy on him? Perhaps when the dust settles, Gary will learn the consequences of hacking?

  27. SimpleUser

    It's been said before

    but once more: He did it, showed creative intelligence to commit a crime, so, wtf, sue him.

    The ony questions is where,in the US or the UK.

    That's all.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Length of sentance

    If assautl was one crime, that covered common assault at one end all the way through to attempted murder and murder at the other end, but the crime was "assault" and the judges took the severity into account when passing sentance you get to see the absurdity of it.

    This guy went up to a the biggest guy in the room, that someone had taped a "kick me" sign on their back. He kicked him in the nuts. Outch! Because the general assault crime could have 15 years in prison, he is going to be extradited. His crime might only be worth 9 months in the UK when the judge actually came to sentencing, but the extradition treaty effectively treats a slap on the back the same as attempted murder.

    This is what is happening here. The crime of misuse of computers covers the full enchulada, for dealing with serious criminals, right through to someone that used their work computer to look at a website that is forbidden under their acceptable use policy at work.

    This is what needs changing to prevent such abuses happing again in the future.

  29. Andy Barber

    Key, away...


    Struth the guy is a total twat, lock him up in the USA & they can pay for his internment. I don't want pay UK tax-payers to pay for his internment to a USA crime, that he has admitted to!

  30. James Pickett
    Big Brother


    "Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, argued he had no power to block McKinnon's extradition."

    Although his predecessor, her Wacquiness, apparently had the power to enable it. How asymmetric is that?

  31. Fat Freddy's Cat

    Where the alleged crime took place

    I go along with a previous poster who likened the case to the Lockerbie bombing... it seems pretty clear to me that although his arse was sat in UK, the actual servers etc he was hacking into were based in the USA and therefore it seems logical to me that the USA have the right to say he broke the law on their soil.

    It is immaterial that we have decided not to prosecute and does not prejudice the rights of the USA to take action as they see appropriate.

    Lockerbie bomb was loaded in Germany but blew up over Scotland - hence the crime can be construed to have occurred in Scotland, not just at the point of origin of the bomb.

    As for all the anti-US statements here - well all I can say is that when it comes to racism and xenophobia, we sure do appear to ignore the current climate of political correctness when it comes to Uncle Sam...


    for those likening the extradition to posting, say, comments on a saudi website which are blasphemous to Islam, and the UK immediately extraditing a person to face a death penalty... get a grip on reality, not sensationalist, non-sensical bollocks like a tabloid headline... try understanding firstly who we have extradition agreements with, and also actually how they operate.

    The guy admitted his crime - he is a prick being used by a bunch of anti-capitalist (read anti USA) hand wringers as a stooge in their latest USA-Bashing exercise. His latest 'Aspergers' stunt to me personally is an affront to those genuine sufferers of real illnesses... and yes, I don't believe he has anything other than the most mild form of "lonerism" that the loony-hand-wringers have now created a whole 'illness industry' out of.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Political Prisoner?

    Just a thought. Considering that the leader of the opposition (who by all accounts will be the next Prime Minister) is in support of Gary, and the current government (who by all accounts won't survive the next election) isn't in support of him. Doesn't this put his case on par with that of a political prisoner, which is illegal under EU law?

    The nu-labs want to fry him, the tories want to set him free. All his legal dept have to do is delay the extradition until the tories take over government, then he's in the clear.

    Come on legal team, come up with something that will ensure he doesn't get deported until after the next election. It could be anything, fake death perhaps?

  33. CypherDragon

    @dreadful scathe

    ""I'm willing to bet that public perception would have been different had McKinnon been a conservative Muslim."

    There would a different public perception in a change to the entire circumstances?! Your point isn't very pointy."

    So how would him being a conservative Muslim be a "change to the entire circumstances"? I don't see how his religious beliefs or ethnicity have any bearing on this issue at all.

    Or are you one of those that believes that Muslim == Terrorist, thus invalidating your entire post?

    To be more on-topic, while I may disagree with the one-way nature of the treaty and believe that judicial oversight should be a requirement on *both* sides of the pond, 4 years worth of appeals is enough. He has confessed to a crime, and should have his day in court. I would say that his own confession would serve as valid evidence even if the treaty was equal in both manners.

    Remember, he has never denied accessing the Pentagon's computers...quite the opposite in fact. Regardless of what he claims he was looking for, he accessed a private computer network without permission or warrant. If you leave the door open to your house, and someone walks in and looks around, are they not still on the hook for trespassing? I will admit ignorance of UK law in this case and IANAL, but in the US the person can be prosecuted for trespassing at the minimum...

  34. Wortel

    This is still going on?

    Imbeciles. 7 years on, the man is still here and gains more support by the day, and still they want to play their wargames. Uncle Sam needs to wash the dirt out of his eyes and ears.

  35. Just Thinking

    1000 passwords

    I heard on the news he is accused of stealing 1000 passwords. That implies that the passwords were stored somewhere in plain (or decipherable) text. Isn't it basic security practice to never store passwords anywhere (just a salted one way hash instead)?

    I also heard that some of the computers he "hacked" had blank passwords.

    Are they the passwords he is accused of stealing? Did they find them in a zero length text file on his hard drive?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we should.....

    just kidnap gary off the street and make him disapear.....

    to a very safe house (thats not in or near the USA, or where the fashionable colour is orange)

    note to self.....

    [remember not to let him near a computer again, incase he blows his cover by poping off to read his bugged email accounts!]

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cry baby, cry but it won't help.

    Gary is going to cry like a baby but no one really cares as he is an admitted criminal who will now be punished for his crimes. Maybe he will find those space aliens while he is in a U.S. prison. When you screw with the bull you get the horns.

  38. lpopman

    Those misunderstanding imbeciles.....

    To the various twunts who seem to think that asperger's is a made up condition...

    Come and pay me a visit when I have a meltdown, and then tell me it's made up after your visit to hospital ;)

    As to Gary being extradited, I agree he should do time for his offences, but in a UK prison. Asperger's would definitely get him killed in the US penal system.

    The extradition treaty is flawed, we need to fix the UK end, so that evidence needs to be shown before extradition.


    Lee (Self confessed Aspie)

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Looks like

    I'm the only person who read the headline and thought

    Ooh-a love, my baby love, ooh hoo how I need ya

  40. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @dreadful scathe

    ""I'm willing to bet that public perception would have been different had McKinnon been a conservative Muslim."

    There would a different public perception in a change to the entire circumstances?! Your point isn't very pointy."

    In what way would his being a conservative Muslim change the entire circumstance? The very fact that you think that it would proves my point. The only way to make any sort of sense from your post (and it's difficult) is to draw the conclusion that you assume a conservative Muslim would only do what McKinnon did if s/he was up to some serious naughtiness. Why? IF you believe that McKinnon is a poor innocent nerd who only wanted to research supposed UFO tech, why do you believe a conservative muslim could not do the same?

    Change the entire circumstance? My arse. What the fuck has religion got to do with it? Unless of course you're a Faily Fail reader, in which case you are obviously completely in the right. You can always tell the Fail readers, but you can't tell them much.

  41. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Spot on. This idea that people with Asperger's can't possibly be expected to know right from wrong is ridiculous - and counterproductive. Who's going to employ someone who admits to AS now?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Why the fuss?

    >Apparently the USA has to only state it has reasonable suspicion to get someone extradited from the UK.

    Rather over-stating the case, evidence is required - and anyway he confessed to all the charges in detail when he thought he was being prosecuted under UK law - including that he'd left messages he left on systems saying he would continue breaking into systens until the US left Iraq etc - which makes of mockery of the aspie who only looking for UFOs angle the media are picking up on.

    Only matter of dispute is the amount of damage he caused - or free of hyperbole, the costs incurred in examining the systems for potential damage - and I suppose how long he should be sent to prison - a year or two seems about right to me and he can serve the sentence in the UK even if he's convicted in a US court.

  43. Lyndon Barry


    of any truth to the Asperger's angle, the fact is that the guy allegedly committed a crime against US property, therefore the Yanks are fully entitled to try him in their court of law. It's exactly the same as if I launched a missile from my backyard here against Washington.

    This should have been sorted out 5 years ago. Chances are, if he's THAT good, he'll end up doing no jail time and working for a branch of the Federal Government's cyber crimes departments (FBI/NSA whatever). And if he's not that good, (he got caught after all), then he'll be fined, get a short stay in a minimum security prison and it will be all over. Unfortunately, his mummy is telling everyone who will listen that he's off to Gitmo and she'll never see him again.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Shame Uk shame

    Your entire country should be up in arms about this pathetic protection of one of its citizens.

    As for the posters defending such actions, you are weak scum bags.

    There is no way this extradition is justified. The entire extradition treaty should be cancelled and replaced with one with appropriate protections such as UK judicial review of evidence.

    Thanks god I emigrated years ago from the UK, the remaining folk are just bending over and taking whatever the Nu labor does to them with out a whimper.

  45. Steve Roper


    To all of you in the UK on your official induction as the 51st state of the USA. Don't forget to replace your Union Jacks with the Stars 'n' Bars now your status as an independent state has ended. Since you now fall under the purview of US law, those of you who are lawyers (or pretensions to be such) will need to chuck out your copies of Blackstone and brush up on the US legal system. At least you now have an excuse to get rid of Brown and his cronies and appoint a single Congressman and Senator instead!

  46. Ian 54

    the lawyers are at it again...

    so, according to the lawyers, both qualified and those who think they are because the read the Sun, he shouldn't be extradited because the treaty is imbalanced - the US doesn't have to show evidence. So what??? HE'S ADMITTED DOING IT! what more evidence do we need?

    send him to our US overmasters immediately, save the no doubt huge legal aid bill for something more worthwhile, like supporting the first person to get arrested for not showing a constable an ID card.

    "let's shoot all the lawyers, shoot them tonight"*

    *please note, use of this quotation in an ironical sense does not constitute any conspiracy or incitement to actual crime (especially in the US). Please do not shoot any lawyers. If you so desire, feel free to hug a lawyer. In fact, feel free to hug them really, really hard...

  47. Zap

    Isn't being disabled enough

    I run a drop in centre for people with Aspergers Syndrome, I only wish some of the fools behind this decision (both in the US and the UK), had come along and got to know of few of them or similar people before making starting the extradition process.

    They would meet people that may be highly intelligent but completely naïve; Aspergers is a social communications disorder. What does that mean? Well first off it means that they do not understand social rule like speaking out of turn, what may or may not be appropriate, how to read facial signals. On the communications side they are usually very lonely because they do not know how to initiate a conversation, they can learn some techniques but they don’t really know what to expect in return or how to respond to it.

    Aspergers is at the high end of the autistic spectrum, the word spectrum is used because it affects all of the seven senses and every person affected has a differing degree of disability within each sensory area. They may be hyper or hypo sensitive to certain type of light, sound, smell, vibration, taste as well as being affected by balance and location.

    YES is it a disability, it is very hard for people to understand it and so there are many people out there who are undiagnosed. I have met several who were not diagnosed till in their late forties / early fifties and each says it was a relief because they always felt different from “neurotypical” people (NT’s).

    The other aspect of Aspergers is that they think in a robotic way, they thrive on routine and rules, but their innate ability to spot inconsistency in NT’s mean that they quickly see when we break our own rules. They can become fixated on any subject, for Gary it was UFO’s but along the way he may well have become fixated on computers and or the military. If he watched a film like Wargames it is likely that he would come away thinking that it was perfectly acceptable to hack into a Government computer as long as the underlying reason was not malicious and or there was a important (to him) purpose. At the same time, frustrated by a lack of response he might well escalate his behaviour, especially if he was trying to notify them of the lack of security in their systems.

    The core of the disability is anxiety, when things don’t go as expected (rules or routine) or if they have a sensory issue they may react in an unpredictable manner. To observers this may be shocking as they may become repetitive, start shouting or just panic. To them it is as if the whole world has fallen from under them so it is difficult to bring them “back down to earth”. During this anxiety attacks it is extremely hard to reason with them, the easiest way (if possible) is to give them what they need and then prepare them for such change. Otherwise they may just need time (potentially many hours) to come to terms with the change or issue that has upset them.

    In our enlightened society, would we punish a blind person for inadvertently breaking the law because they could not see? Of course not! When you know and understand this disability as I do you realise just how unfair and inappropriate this whole saga is.

    If you want to peep through the window into the world of Aspergers you might have a look at the Aspies for freedom forums ironically they argue that Gary should not be treated any differently but this just highlights the fact that they do not understand some aspects morality (a social skill).

    The fact that Gary left notes on US systems saying things like “It’s Gary again, you guys have still not plugged the back doors to this system”, shows that he was not malicious and had no comprehension of the wrong that he was doing.

    Ironically GCHQ employs people on the autistic spectrum like Gary because of their incredible ability to unravel codes and for their amazing attention to detail that we mere mortal NT’s miss. This often involves creating a special working environment with no phones or florescent lights and dealing with any individual issues.

    I see little point in mounting appeal after appeal to go against the law because that is all judges can deal with, we need to appeal to the people behind the decision to extradite him and that means directly to Barack Obama who has thus far shown himself to be quite a sensible US President.

    Diagnosis of Autism and Aspergers is currently running at a rate of close to 1 in 100, so chances are someone you know is affected. I always think that there is a little bit of autism in all of us, sadly we continue to misunderstand and malign because we do not take the time to understand.

    In the UK we already have our own shameful Aspergers tragedy, the case of Piers Bolduc who was wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to Broadmoor for over 14 years. Don’t let them make another such mistake, please write to Barack Obama directly via the white house website (see link below) and ask him to intervene on Gary’s behalf.

    For further information about Autism and Aspergers Syndrome visit the National Autistic Society website at

    If you want to understand how vulnerable someone like Gary would be in any corrective institution then go read “send in the idiots” by Kamran Nazeer.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to get REAL

    Regardless if McKinnon magically just developed AS, he knew full well what he was doing years ago when he hacked the U.S. computers. He made bad choices and he's being held accountable for his bad choices like any other criminal. Using AS as an excuse is not going to work when all the evidence is presented to the jury. Gary is a liar and an admitted hacker who is going to be punished for his crimes like any other lowlife dirtbag criminal. Denial doesn't change reality or the law. Supporting this criminal shows how easily some people can be duped.

  49. Zap

    Clearly you have no idea what REAL is

    Gary did not magically develop AS, it can be detected from about 3 years old, but most parents miss it. These days schools look for the signs (children not having interest in playing with other, using and taking everything very literally, becoming anxious about change of routine or expected events, obession for perfection in everyday tasks).

    AS was documented just after the war but did not get onto DSM until the early nineties, so even if someone did suspect something, there was no means to diagnose it officially. To call Gary a liar when you don't even know him weakens anything you say. As for him admitting anything, to be honest I doubt he understand the full impact of anything he say, he is a vulnerable adult.

    I can see why you want to remain an anonymous coward, it is about the only accurate part of your post.

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