Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Extradition Case

Reading : Local Paper, Another Green World Blog, Guardian, Independent and BBC news websites, Morning Star.
Listening: The Beautiful South.
Viewing: BBC News.

Today saw a court in London rule in the Gary McKinnon extradition case. McKinnon is a UK hacker who penetrated the lax security of US military computer systems in search of information on alternative energy systems, UFOs and other "leftfield" info. The US want to extradite him to stand trial in America with a possible sentence of up to 70 years in jail, saying he caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage, but without specifying clearly what this damage was. The BBC report it thus
Regardless of his defence and peoples views on hacking, McKinnon's case raises all sorts of issues about extradition and US double standards. It also raises questions about the security of the world's most powerful military machine, given that McKinnon self-describes himself as not an expert hacker. The media largely scoffs at McKinnon's stated reasons for his hacks, but why are the US authorities taking this issue so seriously and hyping it so much when they did not pursue similar cases in the past so vigorously? Could he have found some info about undisclosed new technologies, or as he suggests, undisclosed space programmes? These claims are a little spoilt by his failure to present any recovered evidence, and the association of such ideas with the New Age/Nexus/rightist conspiracy milieu, but that is not to say that there is nothing to his assertions. Whatever, in the age of "extraordinary renditions", Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act this case arouses concerned interest in the UK, and McKinnon's supporters aim to fight on
The website they have set up has lots of interesting stuff.

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