Thursday, April 05, 2007
UFO Hacker Loses Another Appeal
"We do not find any grounds of appeal against the decision.
"Mr McKinnon's conduct was intentional and calculated to influence and affect the U.S. government by intimidation and coercion.
"As a result of his conduct, damage was caused to computers by impairing their integrity, availability and operation of programs, systems, information and data on the computers, rendering them unreliable."
For more than a year he searched for evidence for the existence of UFOs and advanced technology by hacking into US military computer networks. His activities were not discovered until after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and it largely due to this context that the USA has been determined to take legal action against him.
Reaction to this latest legal decision has been rapid and mixed in the UFO community. On UFO Updates one contributer callously wrote:
"Dude is sooooo screwed!
"That'll be the title of the movie about McKinnon.
"When his butt hits the shores of this star spangled land he won't see the light of day again until Jesus comes back.
"There'll be more headshrinkers on him than paparazzi on Britney Spears.
"After they vacuum his brain and turn him into the newest version of Charlie McCarthy he'll be a good boy from then on.
"Watch to see if he'll panic and start telling more secrets to barter his way out of this.
"Let this be a lesson, do not mess with the U.S. Government."
A more sympathetic view was that:
"This is an absolute outrage!
"It could be competently argued that a current administration lets bona fide terrorists into this country fore and aft or North and South, but then interrupts that meager effort to
hazard and persecute comparative innocents!
"McKinnon's crime? He exposed a blithe governmental incompetence and a criminal disregard of our security... on the backs of billions of dollars allegedly spent to secure same!
McKinnon performed a service; they should let him go with a cash award and the thanks of a grateful nation!"
McKinnon's legal team had argued that his human rights were breached under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, it is alleged that the US authorities had claimed that they wanted to see him "fry" for his hacking crimes that caused nearly a million dollars worth of damage. He could face an undetermined length of imprisonment before any trial in the USA, and he would not be allowed to appeal or to spend any of his jail term in the UK.
McKinnon's fight against extradition has not come to an end as he plans to challenge the current ruling through the House of Lords.