Saturday, 1 August 2009

How to hack into military computers

Gary McKinnon couldn’t face court today. Is he ill? Well he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism but I am sure that I wouldn’t feel well if I had been charged with hacking into American military computers. Although he looks well he was diagnosed after talking about his crimes on TV.

Mr McKinnon tells us he was looking for evidence of UFOs and I think this is plausible but that is the sort of thing that is decided by courts. Should the court be American or English? The DPP say that the bulk of the evidence is in America so that is where the trial should take place. Should he be extradited? I can’t think of a good reason to stop extradition although it is easier to extradite to the USA than it is to Britain. If doctors say he is unwell and cannot travel that’s another matter but are we really saying that if you have Asperger’s then you don’t face trial. Are we saying that justice will not be done in America?

There are three factors that I would highlight from this case. Firstly it looks like it is far too easy to hack into military computers. Secondly extradition agreements should not show bias. It should be just as easy or just as difficult to move suspects in both directions. Finally, if you want some really good military intelligence then start employing staff with Asperger’s.

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