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NASA Hacker Wins Right to Extradition Hearing 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-send-him-over dept.
E5Rebel writes "Gary McKinnon, the UK-based ex-systems administrator accused of conducting the biggest military hack of all time, has won the right to have his case against extradition to the U.S. heard by the House of Lords."
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NASA Hacker Wins Right to Extradition Hearing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:30PM (#20081145)
    I'm not even sure if the House of Lords [wikipedia.org] will even be interested in hearing the case.
  • Plea bargain (Score:5, Informative)

    by l33t.g33k (903780) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:31PM (#20081153) Homepage
    From TFA:

    They accused US investigators of trying to coerce McKinnon into accepting a secret plea bargain by threatening him with a long prison sentence if he did not collaborate.
    Hmmm... that's a strange thing to criticize... this is a pretty standard practice in US criminal law - cooperate, forfeit your right to a trial, and you get off easy.
    • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by _KiTA_ (241027) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:02PM (#20081343) Homepage
      Hmmm... that's a strange thing to criticize... this is a pretty standard practice in US criminal law - cooperate, forfeit your right to a trial, and you get off easy.

      Except, is that legal in the UK?

      I mean, yea, yeah, he's being tried in the US. But don't his rights as a UK citizen apply as well?
      • Rights? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:38PM (#20081553) Journal
        Here is where we get into some thorny issues. What are rights? Can someone has more rights in one country than another? Is whats fair here fair in in a different country. If we agree that there are differences in rights between people living in one country versus another, than how can we even talk about human rights abuses? I maintain that your rights are as the US constitution would state: God given, meaning in this context they are the same everywhere independent of any countries laws. To believe in universal rights, is to believe in universal wrongs. In this case, he should be tried for his alleged crimes as his potential treatment in the US would not violate his rights ( as they are unlikely to sentence him to the death penalty or Gitmo his ass).

        or can anybody defend moral relativism and still support Universal Human Rights? I'd be interested to hear the argument, to say the least.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I'm European and while visiting the US, I made a joke that went way over someones head. That person said that I couldn't say that, and I replied that the US had free speech... That person then replied that as a foreigner I had no rights in the US.

          Now, that person may have been joking, but it most certainly didn't look that way when she said that.... The scary thing is that right now, I'm pretty sure that is entirely true.

          • That person then replied that as a foreigner I had no rights in the US.

            That might technically be true (e.g. I don't know if you could be prevented from buying firearms solely because you aren't a U.S. citizen), but you still can't be (legitimately) arrested for something that isn't illegal. Even if you technically don't have constitutional rights, I don't think that any law enforcement would try anything for fear of a massive international uproar. Unless they can find a way to label you as a terrorist, of course. Then all bets are off.

            • I don't think that any law enforcement would try anything for fear of a massive international uproar.

              As if international uproar would stop the US in anything? Frankly?

              Unless they can find a way to label you as a terrorist, of course. Then all bets are off.

              You already gave the answer yourself. All bets are off, once there is a loophole within the system. Basic human rights can't be granted anymore... Human rights, are these silly rights I should have inherently...

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constit ution [wikipedia.org]

            That person was very wrong. The 14th amendment states that they have to apply equal protection to any person, it does not specify they have to be a citizen.
            • Frankly, I knew that that person was wrong (Just on common sense, because whatever I think of the US now, I have great respect for the brilliant minds behind the US Constitution). Alas I'm not the person that will lecture someone over their own Constitution, because it could bring me in bigger trouble than I already was. The real problem is that many Americans actually think that foreigners have no rights on their soil. This ignorance is extremely dangerous.

              Worst is, this was a College educated woman...

              • by pthor1231 (885423)
                Maybe you haven't been to some of our illustrious colleges here, but a lot of them do produce backwater rednecks.
          • by lawpoop (604919)
            It is true that only American citizens enjoy the rights and protections afforded by the US constitution. But you aren't totally out in the cold -- you are still protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the US is a signatory.
            • you are still protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the US is a signatory

              No. The UDHR is is a non-binding resolution of the UN. It was intended that the various governments around the world import its tenets into their own laws, but, so far as I know, the USA has always just muddled along with its own Bill of Rights.

              Which, it should be noted, apply theoretically to everyone, everywhere. Though there are holes - even a US Citizen does not have a Right to buy a firearm outside

            • by crotherm (160925)

              It is true that only American citizens enjoy the rights and protections afforded by the US constitution. But you aren't totally out in the cold
              That is not true. The Constitution says what the Government can and cannot do, period. It does not mention status of a person. (accept for the now overturned stuff about slaves)

        • by rbanffy (584143)
          I would like to point out that as much as the Founding Fathers of the US may have believed, the rights granted by the US constitution do not extend beyond its borders. I would also like to add, that, as good as it is (and it is really good one, as far as constitutions go), the US constitution is not perfect and it is general perception it is currently being disrespected by law-enforcement and government officials in its so called "War on Terror".

          While I do not condone what Mr. McKinnon did, there are laws i
        • by oliderid (710055)

          That's why there are treaties and agreements between countries. The declaration of Human Rights is a treaty signed by various UN members. usually the national parliament is responsible to "apply" the treaty into the national laws.

          For Europe: There is also a European declaration of Human Rights signed by European council members.

          For the UN I don't know if you can defend your rights in a international justice court. But for the later, I do know that an European Court can protect your rights against national j
        • by camperslo (704715)
          ...how can we even talk about human rights abuses?

          You insensitive clod!

          You speak of universal rights, but don't even see the bigotry in narrowing rights abuses concerns to humans.
          Other life forms and machines have feelings too.

          Since there is much debate as to whether lawyers are a form of anti-matter or merely another type of subhuman, there is reason to question their being suitable to mediate this. If this guy has been probing around in machines in a bad way, maybe the machines should be the ones to find
        • by Mattsson (105422)
          There are international human rights that most countries adhere to. Those you always have with you unless you enter a country who do not recognize them.
          Local rights and laws apply only in the locality.
          It has nothing to do with people living in one country versus another. It has to do with your physical location at the present moment.
          If you're in the US, you have to follow US laws and are protected by US rights, regardless of your nationality.
          If you're in Egypt, you have to follow Egyptian laws and are prote
      • by CmdrGravy (645153)
        No it most definitley isn't. His rights as a UK citizen should ensure that he's not sent anywhere where he's subject to abuses like that.

        Considering that McKinnon actually committed his crimes in the UK I don't see any reason why he should be extradited to America, charge him and try him here by all means but tell the Yanks to butt out.
    • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:09PM (#20081385) Homepage Journal
      I once had a police offer tell me that, in the UK and Australia, such things are illegal. This is actually just holding the police to the same standard as the rest of society. In the US there's laws against "making deals" but they don't apply to the police (or the government's prosecutors). For example:

      519.030 Compounding a crime.
      (1) A person is guilty of compounding a crime when:
      (a) He solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit upon an agreement or
      understanding that he will refrain from initiating a prosecution for a crime; or
      (b) He confers, offers, or agrees to confer any benefit upon another person upon
      agreement or understanding that such other person will refrain from initiating
      a prosecution for a crime.
      (2) In any prosecution under this section, it is a defense that the benefit did not exceed
      an amount which the defendant reasonably believed to be due as restitution or
      indemnification for harm caused by the offense.
      (3) Compounding a crime is a Class A misdemeanor.
      So yeah, if I shoot you and say "I'll give you $10k to keep quiet" then I'm compounding a crime. If you accept then we're both compounding a crime.

      Most the time the deals made in the US are of the "plead guilty" variety, not the "talk and we won't prosecute" variety, so this particular law wouldn't apply, but you get the idea.
      • I'd mod you up if I had mod points. Thanks for the info, oh man with a Slashdot ID somewhat higher than mine!
      • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Interesting)

        by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:04AM (#20081705) Homepage
        Compounding a crime has nothing to do with plea bargaining. In almost all cases, the defendant could be considered to have committed several different crimes, with different penalties. A plea bargain is just a negotiation between the two sides as to which crime the defendant will plead guilty to and how great a penalty will be imposed.

        Immunity from prosecution in return for testimony comes closer, of course, but in that case, the benefit is to the public, not to the prosecutor personally.

        • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @06:07AM (#20083655) Journal
          I belive you have misread the GP, I think you missed the "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" parabole[sic?]. From an Aussie/UK point of view US prosecuters seem more interested in plea bargains than they say, a sound case against the person who is on trial. I understand deals are made to save money and court time in all three countries but that should not be the first concern of the DPP. Once "justice" has been seen to be done then the DPP can start haggling about the price tag.

          It should be difficult to put a citizen in jail and impossible to seek state sponsored revenge through executions, but to an outsider (like me) it sometimes appears to be a dutch auction where they start at "life or death" and work down until the guy in the orange suit cracks. Not trying to be offensive here but do prosecuters in the US get a "job rating" based on some measure of "success"?
          • Oh,I knew what the poster was on about, I just wanted to point out that he was wrong about compounding a felony.

            As far as plea bargaining goes, you're right in part; it does work like a dutch auction. How else would you expect it to go?

            Remember, though, that unless the defendant is stupid enough to do without counsel, there's a lawyer present during negotiations to protect his interests and get him the best deal possible. It's not always a case of somebody cracking, often the lawyer doesn't expect to wi

        • In the dark ages, it was decided that too many people were wrongly convicted, so the only want to punish people was if they confessed. This seems like a good idea, but the implementation was such that people were tortured to extract confessions... However, everyone punished had confessed.

          Now, we make the series of laws increasing complex, so anyone can be convicted of 5-10 things, each carrying 1+ year as a sentence. Net effect, if the cops think that they have evidence that you committed a petty crime
          • The prosecutor piles on 5-15 charges, so that if convicted, you'd fact 25-50 years in prison, but offers you a "deal" of 1 year in prison to "plead guilty."


            This would be true if the sentences were to be served consecutively, but that almost never happens in the Real World. Multiple sentences are normally served concurrently, so that if you're found guilty of 25 different crimes, each with a 2 year term, you serve 2 years.

      • by gardyloo (512791)

        if I shoot you and say "I'll give you $10k to keep quiet" then I'm compounding a crime.
        Couldn't you just save $10k and possible prosecution by shooting me again?
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          The 10K isn't the good guys. It is from the bad guys wanting you to keep quiet about the crime you know about.

          Basically, I says that If you commit a crime to cover a crime up, which is what Paying you to keep your mouth shut about me being around those two dead bodies would be. But now you are part of a compound crime and could suffer more of a penalty then if you just took a bribe.
    • Re:Plea bargain (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the_womble (580291) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:23AM (#20081813) Homepage Journal

      Hmmm... that's a strange thing to criticize... this is a pretty standard practice in US criminal law - cooperate, forfeit your right to a trial, and you get off easy.

      Except that the rest of the world regards it as a loathsome practice designed to get someone in jail for something, even when there is a lack of conclusive evidence against them. It is getting criminal convictions through coercion rather than evidence.
      • by Ogive17 (691899)
        Plea bargains typically result in less punishment. It's almost a reward for not putting the courts/lawyers/jury through a trial.... When people know they are guilty and there is evidence to prove it, it's usually their best option.

        Sure there are probably cases when a defendant is "forced" into a plea agreement for something they were innocent of, but that would be a very small minority (no system is perfect).

        But any competant lawyer should have enough sense to not let their client get thrown under the
        • by db32 (862117)
          I have a huge problem with it and I have mentioned it previously. I simply don't understand this stupid wimpering about "its all about getting innocent people in jail". You are exactly right, any lawyer regardless of moral quality, who throws his innocent clients under busses like that will very quickly find himself without clients. It is a stupid complaint against the plea bargin system, HOWEVER, I still think it is an entirely unjust and corrupt system. FAR FAR FAR more often than an innocent person h
        • Because they've already done the crime and its magnitude is a fixed value. The sentence meted out should be mostly based on the magnitude of the crime, and only slightly modified for wether someone pleaded guilty or not (this has the side effect of not keeping actually innocent people inside for twice as long because they continue to protest their innocence). Most civilised justice systems are based on the principle of due process. By giving someone a reward for letting you skip the due process, you're imp
      • Just so I'm clear, in "the rest of the world" there appear to be the choices of go to trial or not. Here there appears to be an additional choice of "take a lesser plea, for the guarantee of a lesser sentence".

        Explain to me why that is "loathsome" as it's an additional choice, that is in no way mandatory, and deviates from "the rest of the world" by giving more options for a satisfactory resolution, not less.

        Explain to me what is "loathsome" about having the totally voluntary option of avoiding a serious s
    • by KillerCow (213458)

      From TFA:

      They accused US investigators of trying to coerce McKinnon into accepting a secret plea bargain by threatening him with a long prison sentence if he did not collaborate.

      Hmmm... that's a strange thing to criticize... this is a pretty standard practice in US criminal law - cooperate, forfeit your right to a trial, and you get off easy.

      Yep, ask Kevin Mitnick. Four and a half year in prison with no trial and no bail hearing. He only got out because he plead guilty. Welcome to the land of the free.

  • question.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lordvalrole (886029) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:44PM (#20081251)
    How do they figure £475,000 worth of damage? I don't know much about the case (or really anything of it) but did he actually do harmful damage to the crap he hacked into...or is it potential damage? I can never trust half the money numbers people throw around these days.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Eravnrekaree (467752)
      If all he did was look, I think 475,000 is a really excessive. I beleive i did read that is pretty much he did, he wasnt interested in creating havoc but just having a look. It doesn't make it right and its not something i condone, but some of these penalties go beyond what seems reasonable. If he actually didnt cause any actual damage to the systems, perhaps community service might be more porportional to the crime it would seem to me.
      • Re:question.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:38PM (#20081555)
        But - if those systems were your responsibility - what would it take you to satisfy the people you report to that there was no damage? How many hours of review, extra archiving, and other admin chores would you face in the wake of known break in? Do you just take the cracker's word for it that he didn't alter anything, or do you have to spend lots of time checking that out, and probably get some third parties involved in auditing that look-see, just to be sure? None of that is free, and most of it's very expensive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by _Sprocket_ (42527)
          Also tack on the cost of equipment seized as evidence. There's been some changes in how things are handled recently. But back around the time period of this case, it wasn't uncommon for the FBI to lay claim to entire systems. If the budget-strapped lab was lucky, they got back everything but the hard drives. In at least one case I know of, a couple Unix workstations went away with the promise that they'd be back at the lab within the year. Anything that goes in to this prosecution-driven black hole nee
        • by Pentagram (40862)

          But - if those systems were your responsibility - what would it take you to satisfy the people you report to that there was no damage? How many hours of review, extra archiving, and other admin chores would you face in the wake of known break in?

          The security seems to have been so bad they have no idea how many other people have been poking around in their systems. It sounds like a security review was needed anyway.

          OK, the victim of a crime shouldn't be considered to be responsible for a crime just for no

      • He didn't just look, he placed back doors in that allowed him in whenever he wanted. That took man hours to check every single system. Whenever your hacked, you don't just look at one machine. You have to check every single machine on your network! How many machines do you think NASA owns! Plus, time to clean up the root kits he used. So I'm sure the price was high. Also he was a systems administrator, someone who is a position of trust. Personally, I'd give him the option of Saudi Arabian or Iranian law i
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:03PM (#20081355)
      He allegendly downloaded at 1266 files * $750 per file * approx 0.5 GBP per $ = approx GBP 475k
    • Telling them "I *might* have hacked your servers", even if you're computer illiterate, causes them to launch an investigation and tear apart their entire network looking for evidence which probably costs $200K in wages, vendor fees, consultants, etc. The remainder comes into play if they actually find something and have to take action.
       
    • by westlake (615356)
      How do they figure £475,000 worth of damage?

      a loon who was still employable as a system administrator hacks into a military network. inevitably triggering a very expensive audit and perhaps a rebuild of the net.

  • Tit for tat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:01PM (#20081337)
    Well, it needs saying so someone better had. Firstly the guy is an unhinged twunt who got high on too much weed and went looking for "UFO evidence".
    Ergo, he represents absolutely ZERO threat to the security of any group (unless of course you guys actually DO have those UFOs hidden :)

    So basically he's being punished because he embarrased a US institution that should know better about computer security.

    Secondly, we here in the UK are in a bit of pickle and wish this would go away. See, some crazy Russian murdered another Russian spy in London with some nasty radioactive poison. Pretty serious right? But if we want him to stand trial and be extradited from Russia then we'd have to give them an equally unpleasant mafia boss who is hiding in London that Putin wants. Stalemate. Both countries are hiding behind the skirt of "We don't extradite people to countries where they would face danger or unfair trial"

    Problem: The USA is a country that tortures prisoners and disappears people to secret prisons and we know this because the UN has condemned it as a human rights abuser. We have a serious crediblity problem if this guy goes to the USA.

    I see a deal.

    Let's say, we give this dangerous hacker to the USA and they promise he'll get a fair trial In return and we'll take George W Bush for the multiple war crimes he's indited with to the International Crimial Court at the Haugue (and promise he will get a fair trial) and let's call it quits huh?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      So basically he's being punished because he embarrased a US institution that should know better about computer security.

      You're wrong on this point. He's facing legal action because that's how the law works. He was caught during a time when NASA's practical concept of information security had more to do with handing over evidence to the FBI so they can go after the person than taking the technical steps required to make yourself a difficult target. Now he's facing down the slow grind of the law and trying every possible thing he can to avoid the crunch.

      And while you or I might be embarrassed if we were a NASA official, I

    • by rs79 (71822)
      Are you saying NASA's security is so bad a drug addled lunatic can break it?

      • by rbanffy (584143)
        I am not sure about drugs, but about lunacy... Seriously, the man needs to be hospitalized, not a imprisoned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kegon (766647)

      So basically he's being punished because he embarrased a US institution that should know better about computer security.

      You have got to be joking! He has only embarrassed himself, and now the joke is on him. Read this interview [bbc.co.uk]:

      • He scanned 65,000 machines in about "8 minutes" by "tying together other people's machines" using a 56k dial up connection
      • During a hacking escapade he chatted to an engineer who "saw" him, via WordPad
      • His connection was so slow he wrote a clever program that "turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering". Judd
      • Re:Tit for tat (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:00AM (#20081977) Homepage Journal

        * He scanned 65,000 machines in about "8 minutes" by "tying together other people's machines" using a 56k dial up connection
                * During a hacking escapade he chatted to an engineer who "saw" him, via WordPad
                * His connection was so slow he wrote a clever program that "turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering". Juddering ?! What kind of display was he using, a slide projector ?
                * He couldn't save any of the pictures he downloaded but despite the "juddering" low resolution "It was a picture of something
        that definitely wasn't man-made" and what with the slow connection, when he got cut off "I saw the guy's hand move across."
        C'mon, this guy is an utter joke, none of the above is plausible. If any of these claims were anywhere near true then he is a script kiddy at best. Mentally unstable more like.
        The first item sounds like a botnet. I've (legally) done the second item, over VNC. The third item sounds plausible if he turns the VNC bit depth way, way down. And, yes, the outcome would behave very much like a slide projector on a dial-up connection.

        As for the fourth item, I don't know why he didn't think to take a screenshot of his VNC window; That would have given him something to save. And I don't know what he was referring to by some guy's hand moving.

        All in all, it sounds like he used a botnet to find a PC running unprotected VNC, and connected to it with compression turned way up, and color depth turned way down. At some point, some poor guy noticed his computer acting up on his own, and chatted with the cracker by opening up a text editor and taking turns typing. All of this is very plausible.
    • Re:Tit for tat (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cycoj (1010923) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:27AM (#20082145)

      Secondly, we here in the UK are in a bit of pickle and wish this would go away. See, some crazy Russian murdered another Russian spy in London with some nasty radioactive poison. Pretty serious right? But if we want him to stand trial and be extradited from Russia then we'd have to give them an equally unpleasant mafia boss who is hiding in London that Putin wants. Stalemate. Both countries are hiding behind the skirt of "We don't extradite people to countries where they would face danger or unfair trial"
      Actually it is explicitly forbidden by the Russian constitution. I just read up on this, because I thought that almost all states don't extradite their own citizens (Germany has a similar "Artikel" in their constitution). Apparently it is a lot less common in common law countries. So the US, the UK ... do extradite their own citizens. So bottom line the UK are demanding that the Russians break their constitution.
      • by pjt33 (739471)
        The British ambassador recently stirred things up by pointing out that Russia doesn't abide by its own constitution internally, citing as examples that it

        states that economic activities aimed at monopolization are prohibited (Article 34); that people have the right to choose freely their place of residence in Russia, including in Moscow (Article 27); and that Duma deputies cannot engage in paid work (Article 97).
  • I read "Nasa Hacker" as a talented programmer employed by NASA. Isn't this place nerdy enough not to fall into calling crackers hackers?
    • by loteck (533317)

      We're apparently not even nerdy enough to properly capitalize NASA in the story headline.

      Be that as it may, I think I should be able to mod you down as "Bitching About Use of 'Hacker'". Give it up already.

    • by gbobeck (926553)

      Isn't this place nerdy enough not to fall into calling crackers hackers?

      I just call the guy an "Asshole". Makes everything so much easier.
    • Yeah, but since he's British it would have been calling him a "biscuit" which would have just gotten everybody confused.

      The original usage of "hacker" (circa late 1970s) was someone who was *unskilled* at programming. Hacking at a program meant making random changes with little understanding of the problem until something approaching the correct answer appeared (usually a futile approach).

      Cheers,
      Dave
      • by DikSeaCup (767041)
        Which is also why (and I think this is fairly common in the vernacular) to use the term "hack" as applied to coding to mean something along the lines of "A code tidbit that uses a kind of brute force or inelegant (and possibly buggy) solution to a problem because the 'proper' methods are unknown (due to inexperience) or aren't working for some reason (which makes one feel like they've been banging their head against concrete)."

        I did some unrealscript coding recently where the function calls to correct a b

    • Lol. (Score:3, Informative)

      by msimm (580077)
      I can see from your member number how you would have missed that discussion. I think everyone finally got tired of pointing it out. The editors and much of the newer members fit, lets say, a wider interpretation of the profile you might expect. Slashdot has gotten big. It's still fun, but don't expect it to be too rootsy. More like techsploitation. Like The Register, only without the witty write-ups but much funnier comments (trolls, idiots as well as the good ones).

      Still, usually a good laugh to be found
    • Indeed, and whatever happened to "horseless carriage"? Bring that back, dammit!
       
  • Wins Right? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    For some reason, I thought rights were something you have, not something you earn.
  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage AT praecantator DOT com> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:47PM (#20081603) Homepage
    Since the rest of the world has nothing but respect for the integrity of our justice system and rule of law, the Lords should honor our extradition request and send him on presently.

    (...and if not, we'll just grab him and stash him someplace, forever.)

  • The Law Lords (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:48PM (#20081609)
    is not the same thing as the House of Lords. The Law Lords is the highest court in the British Commonwealth.
  • Plea Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:26AM (#20081829) Homepage Journal
    I thought it was because the UK doesn't have a Plea bargain agreement system, it would break UK law.
    So the US basically said accept our plea or end up in prison for life. I think thats where the human rights issue also comes in.

    One of the biggest problems with US law is the plea bargain system, thats why the laws are so horrible, it makes people want to bargain instead of going to court. Its not to punish people, its to keep everyone out of jury trials.

    Hell, if everyone went to a trial for everything, could you imagine the crippling effect it would have on the courts? Everyone citizen would have to pull multiple jury trails to keep up with it.
    • A young relative of mine was assaulted, and a plea bargain is what saved this poor girl from having to testify in excruciating detail about what that monster did to her. It's easy to sit in an armchair and pontificate about how (fill in the blank) is the reason (fill in the blank) is so broken though isn't it?

      The problem is in application and accountability and a citizenry that's mostly asleep at the wheel, not in the existence of plea bargaining per se.
  • I bet the only reason this is happening is because the Lords think he found somthing out & they want to know what that is.

    Let us in & we'll make sure you stay here, type stuff.
  • extradition (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cycoj (1010923)
    I'm surprised that this is even possible. Germanys constitution forbids the extradition of German citizens I actually thought it was the same for the UK. Well guess I was wrong.
    • The UK only under certain conditions. e.g there is no possibility of the death penality for the crimes committed.
    • by pjt33 (739471)
      I must say I'm surprised at the countries which prohibit extradition of their citizens whatever the circumstances. It seems to give their citizens carte blanche to commit crime so long as they travel to do it - unless they have mechanisms set up to try them at home for crimes committed abroad, where the witnesses and investigating police are located abroad.
  • Poodle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by giorgosts (920092) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:07AM (#20082429)
    Britain is America's poodle. This guy, for all intends and purposes, has to be tried in the UK, by the British system. Does the USA extradite American nationals to the UK? Do they extradite them e.g. to Italy, where several CIA agents have been sentenced (in absentia) for conspiracy?
    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      Does the USA extradite American nationals to the UK?

      Yes, they do. Now sit down and shut the fuck up.
  • Gary McKinnon, the UK-based ex-systems administrator accused of conducting the biggest military hack of all time...
    I would think... maybe... Titan Rain might trump McKinnon's efforts. But hey - I know there's a long tradition in journalism. The subject of your "hacker" article is always a wunderkin uber-hacker responsible for the absolute pinnacle in hacking history. Always.
  • They used the same image with the same default admin password on all the machines. How he was caught. He then used a remote desktop app to control the machines and wrote msgs in notpad to the admin. He says there were lots of people on at the same time as him. The machines contained nothing but low level logistic and stock records. Besides which Gary was smoking so much dope at the time that he forgot what he saw.

    "The Americans have a secret spaceship?" I ask.

    "That's what this trickle of evidence has
  • Anyone else than me who started [freesklyarov.org] thinking [wikipedia.org] of Dmitri Sklyarov [eff.org] after reading this story?

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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