Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Tracking the Hacking

The defence of human liberty can affect us all. The Extradition Act of 2003 was passed into law to fight the “war on terror” post 9/11. But one wonders how Gary McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism), can be described as a terrorist.

Lord Jones of Birmingham, a former Government minister has attacked Britain’s "lopsided" extradition arrangements with the United States. He has called on the Government to change the rules "the lopsided, biased extradition arrangements between the USA and the UK".

The Extradition Act 2003 requires the US only to show "reasonable suspicion" that the intended subject committed a crime before they can be removed from Britain, a lower threshold than British authorities must show in order to bring an American to trial.
The High Court is expected to rule on whether to grant judicial reviews of aspects of the Government's decision to extradite Gary McKinnon. The courts have seen details of numerous embarrassing intrusions by hackers into some of the US military's most sensitive systems.

A list of violated military agencies is detailed in a document published by Computer Weekly. The document demonstrates how vulnerable US military computer systems were to attack before and after 11 September 2001.

Mckinnon's lawyers used the CPS' 'Review Note 3' to support their argument in the High Court that US evidence against McKinnon is too weak to secure a prosecution in this country and unlikely even to uphold allegations against McKinnon in the US.

Mckinnon has Asperger's syndrome – a type of autism that makes him shy and prone to obsessive behaviour – his supporters are concerned that his condition would probably deteriorate were he to be taken away from his family. His condition means he would sometimes combines a compulsive need to follow any mission to its conclusion with an almost complete inability to envisage any negative outcome.

Leah Hardy writing in the Daily Mail says "As a mother and a voter, I feel nothing but loathing and contempt for those cowardly, two-faced Labour MPs who signed up to this newspaper's campaign for Gary McKinnon, then, faced with pressure from their own party, caved in and voted to sacrifice him - and any other UK citizen the U.S. happens to take a dislike to - for their own craven ambitions."

I was fascinated by the book "Born On A Blue Day". It gave an insight into the mind of a person with Asperger's.

It is very distressing to read how Gary McKinnon has been abandoned by his own country. Here we have yet another wrong decision by our current government.
I is also very interesting to read how relatively easy it has been to break into these supposed secure systems, which is perhaps another lesson that our government should pay attention to.

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