I'm no terrorist, says UK hacker

I'm no terrorist, says UK hacker
I'm no terrorist, says UK hacker 

3 April 2007

A Briton has denied being a "cyber terrorist" as he faces extradition to 
the US, accused of what was called the "biggest military computer hack 

Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon, of north London, is accused of gaining 
access to 97 US military and Nasa computers.

The High Court rejected his claim that the extradition, granted by the 
home secretary, breaches his human rights.

Mr McKinnon said labelling his hacking into US military systems as cyber 
terrorism was "blinking ridiculous".

"Prosecute to the max"

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's PM programme, he said today's legal ruling 
brought him a step closer to losing his liberty.

Earlier his lawyers had told the court that the 41 year-old had been 
subjected to "improper threats".

Mr McKinnon said; "I was told that if I didn't cross the pond like a 
good little boy then they (the US government) would prosecute me to the 

"I was also told by the New Jersey authorities that they'd like to see 
me fry."

He said he knew what he had done, but said American claims about the 
level of damage he had caused to government computers were "ridiculous."

No grounds for appeal

The $5,000 price tag the Pentagon and other branches of the US 
government had placed on his hacking enabled them to fast-track his 
extradition from Britain, he claimed.

Earlier his lawyers had argued that, if extradited, he would face an 
unknown length of time in pre-trial detention, with no likelihood of 

He would also face a long prison sentence - "in the region of 45 years"
- and may not be allowed to serve part of the sentence at home in the 
  UK, his lawyers had said.

But Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Goldring dismissed his legal 
challenge, saying they could not find any grounds for appeal.

Ben Cooper, for Mr McKinnon, said his client would now seek to make an 
appeal against his extradition at the House of Lords.

"We will certainly be applying for this court to certify a point of law 
of public importance and to grant leave," he said.

"This could lead to him spending the rest of his life in prison in the 
US, with repatriation to serve his sentence in his home country denied 
as punishment for contesting his extradition."

See sense

Mr McKinnon has never denied that he accessed the computer networks of a 
wide number of US military institutions between February 2001 and March 

Since his arrest in November 2002, he has maintained that he was 
motivated by curiosity.

"I'm facing 40 years because the US military systems have blank 
passwords and no firewalls," he said.

"I'm hoping the law may see some more sense than we've seen so far."

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