May 10, 2006 5:27 AM PDT

Alleged NASA hacker loses extradition ruling

Accused hacker Gary McKinnon has lost a crucial battle in his fight to avoid prosecution in the United States after a British judge ordered his extradition to America.

Judge Nicholas Evans, sitting at Bow Street Magistrates' Court, ruled on Wednesday morning that McKinnon must face U.S. courts.

McKinnon, who lives in London, is accused of hacking into 53 U.S. government computers, including some used by NASA, and causing $700,000 worth of damage.

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnnon

Evans rejected the defense arguments that McKinnon would not face a fair trial in the U.S. or that he risked being treated as a terrorist suspect.

The two countries "have had extradition arrangements in place for over 150 years. I have no reason to believe that McKinnon will not receive fair treatment," Evans said.

McKinnon was instructed that he must prepare himself to be flown to America on May 17. However, he is likely to appeal the decision.

The final decision on whether McKinnon should be sent to the U.S. for trial rests with Home Secretary John Reid.

McKinnon has admitted accessing U.S. government networks but denies causing any damage. He has claimed that he was looking for, and found, evidence of UFOs and secret military technology.

Speaking outside the court, McKinnon indicated he was not hopeful about his future.

"Virginia (where his case will be heard) is famously conservative. I am practically hung and quartered there already," he said.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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20 comments

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stupid brit
Haha, what did he think would happen? stupid brit.
Posted by Darkada (8 comments )
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What are you, 12?
"Haha, stupid brit" - That's the best you can come up with? What are you twelve? You truly demonstrait the ingorance of lower class america.
Posted by jabbotts (492 comments )
Link Flag
hacking is a crime
Hackers should be proscuted to the full extent of the law..This guy broke into govt. NASA computers. He will get a fair trial in the US but this is a federal crime so he should face a federal court..
Posted by dreed1 (2 comments )
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hacking is a crime
Hackers should be proscuted to the full extent of the law..This guy broke into govt. NASA computers. He will get a fair trial in the US but this is a federal crime so he should face a federal court..
Posted by dreed1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hacking is a crime but...
Yes, hacking is usually a crime but ask yourself this question.
Why was it that a garden-variety hacker was able to penetrate a
so-called secured government computer or computers?

It seems to me that, somewhere, there is a government
computer manager who should be on trial for criminal
incompetence. Remember this, it is incumbent upon those who
manage government computers to keep them secure from
outside mischief-makers because, as everyone knows, they are
targets of hackers.
Posted by Johnet123 (12 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
But something should also be done about the government staff that can't secure their computers enough to keep out a "bumbling computer nerd".

If this bozo could break in, just think what a competitent hacker could do.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
national security
Perhaps our government needs to increase it's CCIPS (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) funding a bit? I guess we can add our government to the long list of security breach statistics that cost our economy millions every year: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.essentialsecurity.com/educationalfacts.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.essentialsecurity.com/educationalfacts.htm</a>
Posted by 209979377489953107664053243186 (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
national security
Perhaps our government needs to increase it's CCIPS (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) funding a bit? I guess we can add our government to the long list of security breach statistics that cost our economy billions every year: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.essentialsecurity.com/educationalfacts.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.essentialsecurity.com/educationalfacts.htm</a>
Posted by 209979377489953107664053243186 (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
America
Thank-you, but we are not the colonies anymore.

When referring to America please refer to one of the three countries in "north america" if that is what you are referring to or relate to one of the other countries in America ( ie. central or south america).
Colonial ignorance is not tolerated anymore.
Posted by glen.a (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What is the real issue?
If there is a problem with this its not the hacker, or the inept computer administration. Its the fact the american government hides such sensitive information from its own people.

Sure hovertanks are a matter of military inteligence and they should be kept confidential for safety reasons.

But if this info regarding lifeforms from outer space is correct. It throws yet more socially changing facts in our faces. The real question we should be asking is not "who" or "when" but "what" and "how long".

This man did a brave thing, a stupid thing maybe. But he has just sought to discover the facts thats have been in everyones mind for the last century.
Posted by godpuppet (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
what an a-hole judge!
great UK! give away ur citizens, who cares, right? Let your citizens be under laws of every countries, send them away everywhere they are sued, good idea!
Posted by cocos2000 (37 comments )
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