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article imageAutistic Hacks US Military Defense Systems, Won't Be Extradited

By Carol Forsloff     Jan 25, 2009 in Crime
Gary McKinnon is autistic. He hacked into U.S. military systems in 2001 and 2002 and faced extradition to the U.S. and a lengthy prison term.
His doctors, however, believe that would have put him at risk for suicide.
The British press has given considerable play to Gary McKinnon’s case because it is unusual and has created some furor among medical experts and the community of autistics and their parents. It seems Gary McKinnon, abe 43, of Great Britain, who lives in a section of north London, could be given a life sentence in jail if he extradited and found guilty of sabotaging vital defense systems, which he did during the period 2002 – 2002 following the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.
McKinnon’s defense is that he was only looking for UFO’s when he hacked into military networks that included 53 US Army computers, 26 US Navy computers, 16 NASA computers, one computer for the US Department of Defense and one computer belonging to the U.S. Air Force. Some of these computers relate to the replenishment of munitions and supplies for entire military bases. The US military maintains McKinnon caused $880,000 worth of damage. He was traced when he tried to download a photograph from a NASA computer that he thought was from an alien spacecraft and was easily found because he had used his own email address.
McKinnon has been fighting extradition because he believes he would get a fairer trial in the UK than the United States. Several court battles and hearings have been undertaken to reconcile this matter.
On Friday, January 23 a judge in the case blocked McKinnon’s extradition to the United States, in spite of the fact that an earlier hearing had upheld the order to extradite him.
McKinnon is considered to have Asperbergers syndrome, which is a high functioning form of autism. Medical experts have been concerned about his mental health and that he might become suicidal if extradited. Numerous demonstrations have occurred relative to this case, and the decision on Friday now applauded. McKinnon will face the British courts for his offenses if not extradited, as seems to now be the case.
More about Autistic, Asperberger syndrome, Military defense systems
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