The case of Gary McKinnon has attracted the attention of everyone from Sting to Stephen Fry, he's been discussed in the House of Lords, NASA, the FBI and if your favorite forum hasn't at least mentioned him there's a good chance you're imagining it. He combines information age politics, US foreign policy, the hunt for aliens, conspiracy theories and mental illness in the most perfect way possible, at least until Michael Bay makes a movie about a lovable handicapped kid accidentally inventing anti-gravity drives. (And no, we're not talking about 1985's "Explorers").
The details of the case are pretty simple: Scottish system administrator Gary McKinnon hacked into various NASA and US Military computers, poked around and left insulting messages. Now the US wants to extradite him and send him to jail for approximately infinity billion years, which is the kind of thing that happens when you piss them off. The big debate is whether the UK should allow him to be extradited.
The ideas of those against extradition are fairly clear: this is all kinds of freedom of information-ry rolled into one, combined with a fair amount of fear of the US being allowed to run around imprisoning anyone they want. Note that no-one's claiming Garry should be allowed to get away with it - they just say he should be tried and sentenced in the UK. What with him being a UK citizen, and committing the crime in the UK, and pretty much every other reason that would apply to any crime that didn't have a computer connection.
The case for is also pretty clear-cut: he did actually do it, and international legality issues aside you can't expect to hack into the largest military on the planet, leave threatening messages, and get away with it. It's been made very clear that they don't just want to catch him: they want to crucify him as an example of electronic "anti-terror" lows (boosted to the nth power by saying "Post-9/11" every time they talk about him). Which sucks, but he did commit a dumbass crime and get caught in a dumbass way (by his own admission forgetting that it's a different time in America and hacking a computer someone was using).
Another argument which attracts a lot of internet attention is his recent diagnosis with Aspergers syndrome (as claimed by 90% of people who don't have it but do act like assholes online). We aren't medical doctors; we'd only mention how the diagnosis took place three years into the legal battle to prevent extradition. Seven years after the original crime.
So what's the answer? We don't know - that's why we're asking you to tell us what your opinion is. Does the victim get to determine the punishment? Or should international borders be respected when prosecuting crimes which ignore them?
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