There has been a lot of comment in the past on Gary McKinnon and his hacking into US military computers. Readers might understand that some of the comment in the UK has been about how he should have been tried over here, there's no need to extradite him and if America's military systems are such that they can be hacked so easily that's their problem.

Our legal system feels differently. He's going to stand trial in the US.

I have to admit, even as a UK subject, I think that's the right decision. Before any Brits get annoyed with me, let's take a step back: suppose he'd been an American hacking into our military computers, and the US Judiciary had said 'no problem, we're on it' - I can quite see how Americans would much rather deal with this in their own country, their own way. As the 44-page judgment says, the offences (assuming he's found guilty, and he's going over for a fair trial, nothing more) were committed against America, not us, so it's perfectly fair to ask for extradition.

What I find offensive are the arguments and counter-arguments that have appeared in the press, often unchallenged. He shouldn't go over to the US because he has Asperger's and is now getting chest pains, we hear. I'm sorry to hear it, but the thought that a nation as powerful and - even now - wealthy as the US isn't going to cope with someone who is unwell is simply insulting. The country is more than able to comprehend and cope with this. I'm not even American and I'm appalled by some of the comment that suggests that if he goes over there he won't get a fair trial, he'll be demonised, they'll get up a posse or something and run the varmint out of town at high noon - it's actually racism, nothing more. There is still a section of the British media, presumably reflecting our society as a whole, that thinks America just won't handle this as well as we would.

In fact the only valid point I can see in any of the objections is the idea that America should have had better security, so that a single individual couldn't infiltrate in this way (oh, and could all those people out there saying he was doing the US a favour by showing where their systems were weak please note that hacking into one computer or maybe two might have achieved that - 97 computers is a little excessive). There are technology lessons to be learned from this, but that doesn't necessarily make Mr. McKinnon's actions right.

I do understand the obsessive nature of Mr. McKinnon's condition. I have taken in that the National Autistic Association has become involved not as a pastime but because they genuinely believe they have an interest. I'm pleased to accept that McKinnon might well have had no malicious intent at all.

The idea that all of these notions will be ignored immediately he crosses the borders is what I find offensive.

8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by GuyClapperton

Outside, you! Seriously though, he's up for a trial and nothing more. This isn't a lynch mob, it's a request from a sophisticated nation of our allies who've detected a breach in their security emanating from our country. What's to disagree with?

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