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Thursday, December 8, 2011

US Pursued Hackers So Save Face

Extradition legislation seems to draw the ire of those Members of the Parliament who voted for a motion to review the present laws. The matter is that it was claimed that American attempts to ship Asperger’s-suffering hacker Gary McKinnon to an American prison are motivated by saving face.

A number of MPs took a unanimous decision to review the extradition law set forth in the 2003 Extradition Treaty. The list of those includes even the ex-Home Secretary David Blunkett. The MPs recently argued and indicated in the Joint Committee on Human Rights report that the present rules between the United Kingdom and the United States in particular aren’t really equally balanced.

Enfield MP David Burrowes explained that there have been a lot of cases where situations similar to that of McKinnon did result in imprisonment in the United Kingdom. For example, another young UK citizen with Asperger’s, Aaron Caffrey, was blamed a decade ago for “the biggest computer hack to hit the US”, but last time they didn’t send him to the United States. David Burrowes admitted that he wasn’t extradited to the US, but was tried in the United Kingdom and found not guilty. In addition, the MP also pointed to another individual who was claimed to harm more than the KGB and labelled the #1 threat to American security. That person was also prosecuted in the United Kingdom and fined around $2,000. Finally, a good example was the case of Andrew Harvey and Jordan Bradley, accused of $5.5 billion worth of damage, who ended up with receiving 6 and 3 months’ imprisonment accordingly.

Since there are so many clear cases showing the disparity between the current McKinnon case and others, David Burrowes questioned why he has to await extradition for a 10th year with a lengthy sentence ahead of him in the US. The MP explained what exactly was the underlying essential factor in this case. The ambassador of the United States, when responding to questions about why the hacker was being pursued so relentlessly, admitted that it actually was a case of saving face in response to the mockery.

The MP also pointed out that McKinnon’s case shares interesting similarities next to Julian Assange’s ongoing fight against extradition. The latter has been relentlessly hounded throughout the globe, and this week appealed to fight a ruling to extradite him to Sweden. Anyway, even if America is trying to protect itself against global terrorism, it’s bizarre that McKinnon appeared in the cross hairs – he definitely wasn’t operating an Al Qaeda cell from his bedroom. 

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