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Of bullies, hackers and extradition...

My attention was drawn to news about Gary McKinnon, a British hacker who faces extradition charges to the U.S. for having pulled off the "biggest military computer hack of all time".

For those who haven’t heard about it, check out the following links
- US-DOJ indicts alleged British Hacker (ZDNet, Nov 12 2002)
- Game Over (Guardian UK, July 9 2005) (kinda long interview with Gary)
- Gary McKinnon: Scapegoat or Public Enemy? (ZDNet, July 15 2005)
- 'World's biggest hacker' fights extradition to US (Guardian UK, July 28 2005)

Things to ramble about:

1. oh so wide open?
This guy was able to waltz in to numerous systems that should have been impenetrable! Oh my… you know, one would think that IT personnel within military institutions should know, more than the average Joe Q Public, all about administrator access, blank passwords, etc. and preventing such hacking from being a reality. It is these incompetent administrators who should be tried and found guilty for enabling the “biggest military computer hack of all time” at NASA, the Pentagon, and numerous military bases!

2. what *did* he see?
He says he was motivated by wanting to find evidence of UFOs within the U.S. military system. He says he found some interesting things like a list of “non-terrestrial officers,” and what he interpreted as names of spaceships. Of course, he admitted he was high on pot most of the time, so I wonder how much of his recollection is accurate… I’m always game for conspiracy theories… after all, the U.S. government *has* been assisting certain firms with reverse-engineered technology from stuff found in the Roswell crash, and what about the whole ‘lone gunman’ official story? Too many secrets exist in every government…

3. it took them *how* long?
Most of the hacking activities happened in end-2001 & early-2002: McKinnon was actually arrested in 2002, but action against him was ‘discontinued’; then all of a sudden in 2005 the U.S. govt wants to extradite him?? Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that the US government has not signed the extradition treaty between USA & UK, so how come they are pushing for extradition?

Current status: case has been postponed to October 2005, to allow defense to prepare their case. Poor kid, wonder what’s gonna happen to him! Will he and his defense team be able to stand up against the U.S. bullies?

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