Firstly, the guy has Asperger's, which gives an explanation for his actions. It doesn't necessarily excuse them, but it explains them somewhat.
Next, he committed the crime in the UK, he broke UK laws. The CMA. He should be tried in the UK as such.
Finally, the supposed 'damage' done is nonsense. The only damage he did was to the image of the US govt and its departments. Them having to secure their networks is their own fault, not his.
I say he should be tried in the UK, and his crimes be British ones, not US ones.
Something else interesting to note is that a hacker in the USA was found guilty of a complex fraud recently and was given 55 months prison. The damage caused by the fraud runs up into the millions. His sentence was reduced because he has asperger's.
If that case is used as an example, McKinnon should only face a short term anyway! But the likelihood is that the US govt want to say that in the current climate, hacking into govt networks is terrorism and want to make an example of him.
Whatever happens, his prison sentence should be served over here.
He's not a master hacker, all he did was rdp into the server and used 'administrator' with no password.
these 'military' systems had no firewall and were not properly maintained (if they were not honeytraps). The argument that he caused so much damage was that the military then had to get in specialists to re-image and secure the computers.
This article doesn't make sense to me... I understand that you can rdp computers over the internet, but I don't get how he got through with a blank password? Even if the US government had grossly incompetent technicians witch as much as I'd like do believe... I doubt. By default you can not rdp into a computer that has a blank admin password.
The "blank password" option
A blank password (no password at all) on your account is more secure than a weak password such as "1234". Criminals can easily guess a simplistic password, but on computers using Windows XP, an account without a password cannot be accessed remotely by means such as a network or the Internet.
What really gets me is that his lawyers said that it would be against his Human Rights to be extradited as he wouldn't get a fair trial in the USA, but this was thrown out. Yet Abu Hamza's lawyers said the same thing and he is still in this country along with quite a few other 'dubious' types.
And don't get me started on the Anglo-American Extradition treaty, which was set up for anti-terror reasons......the Americans have used it many times, including to get some British bankers to the US to stand trial for fraud, they didn't use the normal extradition procedures as there wasn't enough evidence! Yet when the UK tried to use it the US refused the request on National Security grounds. Not exactly what I'd call a two way thing.
What's always confused me, is the US easily have the money and resources available to make their networks physically separate from the world wide web, so why don't they do it?
They do for some of their stuff. Some (many?) DoD staff have 2 computers - one allows connection to the rest of the world etc; the other is used for secure working and is completely disconnected from the internet and only connects to a secure network.
I'd guess the trouble is that they have to talk to mere mortals like us so some of their computers have to be connected to the internet. They may have nothing that's sensitive there but it doesn't stop people trying to break in. You can't easily put up a sign saying "nothing to see here, move along please" and even if you did, people would just assume that something was hidden there and would try to get in so they could find out :-)
Two crimes were committed in 2 different countries. The origin of the crime and destination can mean that it gets terribly messy about who has the right to put the accused to trial and then punish them. Plenty of examples around of people being tried abroad and then shipped back to Blighty to serve their time.
The one-way extradition makes it even messier ... but a crimes were committed. There are circumstances around them that are mitigating factors, but unless he goes for non compos mentis then he has to accept his responsibility for his actions (and if he does claim it then he gets banged away, but this time in an institute to 'care' for him ... still a restriction of his freedom compared to what he is used to!)
The whole case is too high profile for him *not* to get a fair trial in the states now, and if it is over there then this gives many UK politicians a chance to influence things in the States (including ole Gordo!) so of course the UK Govt has not completely blocked it.
The cynics amongst us might see this as a chance to force the change in the one-way extradition law.
As for the US systems being insecure ... yeah ... lots of them are or were and the NSA started issuing guidance in the late 90s to address this, but the lack of staff able to do it meant it was slow going and was not done systematically. US Departments A, B & C don't want yet another department telling them what to do and how to do things ... it is a politics thing.
Perhaps Obama is not fighting this as this is a chance to get a federal judge to prod some US Govt buttock and make changes?
Personally ... don't fight the extradition but then hammer them when you get over there ... the only problem will be funds for the defence case, accomodation, media splurge, etc ...