15 Oct 2012

NASA Hacker to Hear US Extradition Fate Tomorrow


NASA hacker Gary McKinnon will hear on Tuesday afternoon if his 10-year legal battle to avoid extradition from the UK to the US has been successful, according to zdnet.com. Home Secretary Theresa May is the one to reveal the news that may lead the London resident to an US court on charges of attacking military computers.

"My terror is that Gary would not last five minutes away from home," McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp said, as quoted by the BBC. She also expressed her concern about the reaction of her son if he is sent to the US. The 46-year-old has Asperger's syndrome, an autism disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction.

Medical recommendations changed from July, when experts described the risk of McKinnon’s suicide as "moderate." Recently, two Home Office-commissioned medical experts said the extradition carries a "significant risk of suicidal behavior.”

The US started to request the hacker’s extradition in 2005, arguing he caused $700,000 in damage with his cyber-attack on NASA and the American military systems. McKinnon had previously admitted to the hackings, but said he was just looking for evidence of UFOs, and didn’t mean any harm.

In the 10-year legal fight against extradition, the NASA hacker has also filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, and his case has driven the attention of several politicians.

"We hope that our elected government will uphold the promises they made whilst in opposition and will prevent Mr McKinnon's extradition to America," McKinnon's solicitor Karen Todner said.