He was looking for hidden evidence of UFOs. That’s the claim of Gary McKinnon, the Brit accused of hacking into 97 US military computers. But the US government thinks of him as a terrorist, and claim he altered passwords and deleted files not long after 9/11 and left some critical systems inoperable, according to the BBC.
McKinnon, who did everything from his North London bedroom on a standard machine, admits the hacking but denies any sabotage. He’s been appealing his extradition to the US and yesterday lost before the Law Lords, the highest British court of appeal. He says he’ll now take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
In America, McKinnon claims, he faces a long jail sentence. In a statement his solicitors said:
"His case could have been properly dealt with by our own prosecuting authorities. We believe that the British government declined to prosecute him to enable the US government to make an example of him. American officials involved in this case have stated that they want to see him ‘fry’. The consequences he faces if extradited are both disproportionate and intolerable."
And McKinnon himself, though admitting remorse, feels things have been blown out of all proportion:
"I’m extremely sorry I did it, but I think the reaction is completely overstated. I should face a penalty in Britain and I’d gladly do my time here," he said.
"To go from, you know, perhaps a year or two in a British jail to 60 years in an American prison is ridiculous."
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