February 14, 2006 11:49 AM PST

Alleged NASA hacker faces extradition hearing

The British man charged with hacking into a series of computers belonging to the U.S. government began the next stage in his fight against extradition to the United States.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition on charges of hacking and causing damage to U.S. defense sites. If found guilty, he could face 60 years in prison.

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon

When the U.S. request for extradition was first made, McKinnon admitted that the prospect of facing court in the U.S. "terrified him." Beginning Tuesday he faces a hearing scheduled to last three days to see if he will remain a free man.

McKinnon was arrested in June of last year on charges of computer fraud, and claims that he had illegally accessed 97 U.S. government computers. In July, McKinnon said that his actions were prompted by an interest in the U.S. space program and the search for extraterrestrial life.

The U.S. prosecution team alleges that McKinnon hacked into sensitive equipment over a one-year period from February 2002 and caused $700,000 worth of damage. McKinnon, though, denies causing serious damage.

Although McKinnon was arrested in the U.K. shortly after his alleged hacking activities were first exposed, he was released under caution. Since being charged by the U.S. authorities, he has been banned from using the Internet.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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3 comments

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ironic in some ways
ironic in some ways, an individual, hacked government computers, caused far less damage, than that caused the infamous sony's hide-a-rootkit xcp software to government and corporate networks and private computers worldwide, and the company concerned gets to pay less than one cent in the dollar reparations, a slap on the wrist with a limp strand of spaghetti! yet the feds take no action against corporations who cheat, in any shape or form!

further it has shown no remorse over past illegal activities of it's various sub corporate entities and is actively seeking ways to continue with such illegal ways , sell questionable rebrands with built in pre planned obsolesence and faults, requiring additional user expenses to repair or replace and/or replace existing user friendly products which kill all fair use rights !

ah, the irony of it all!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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He claims he found data on UFO's
He found names of extraterrestrial ships and officers. This
is strange how now after hes talking, they want him in jail
forever!
Posted by Sircomx (8 comments )
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UFO Claims? Your Source?
Do you have a source for this info? There's no point in stating this without a source!
Posted by JoJo Pumpkin (18 comments )
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