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"Computer nerd" hacker could face torture by US Government
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 13:02:05 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: EEkid () aol com
Date: April 18, 2006 12:52:41 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: "Computer nerd" hacker could face torture by US Government

It was published in the UK News.

http://www.lse.co.uk/uknews.asp? story=YT1224282O&news_headline=computer_nerd_hacker_could_face_torture_b y_us_government

In a message dated 4/18/2006 12:51:32 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, dave () farber net writes:
where was this published

On Apr 18, 2006, at 12:13 PM, EEkid () aol com wrote:

"Computer nerd" hacker could face torture by US Government
  (UK) - A self-taught British "computer nerd" who brought a vital US
naval base to its knees could be subjected to torture and detained
indefinitely if a "vengeful" US Government extradite him, a court has
heard.

Computer expert Gary McKinnon, 40, remotely-controlled 97 US army,
naval, airforce, NASA and defence department computers between Autumn
2001 and March 2002.

At his extradition hearing at Bow St Magistrates' Court, his lawyer
Edmund Lawson, said the US Government's request to try him there was
unjust.

He said: "You have to have regard to humanity. A forty-year-old
computer nerd who, with a twopenny-halfpenny computer, embarrassed
the United States by hacking into their sensitive computers.

"It's difficult to see any sense for why he is required to go back
there other than to extract administrative revenge because he exposed
their system as being as weak and helpless as they are.

"It is apparent that the US are seeking the extradition of Mr
McKinnon because they wish to impose a substantially greater sentence
than what he would be given in the UK."

Mr Lawson said despite an assurance from the US embassy in London he
would not be tried as a terror suspect - which could see him detained
indefinitely under controversial "military order number one"
legislation brought in after 9/11 - the US could not guarantee this
would not happen.

He said: "The President himself has the right to say who can be dealt
with under the order. The President has made it quite clear that he
is not going to promote discussion in the area to be hampered or
restricted by British or the US courts.

"The diplomatic note, which was produced later in the hearing, is
anonymous and unsigned and is neither effective or enforceable."

Mr McKinnon, who has just one O'Level, faces 20 counts of computer-
related crime. The hacker, of Wood Green, North London, was
interviewed by police in March 2002 and allegedly admitted his crimes.

Prominent human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith, who was with
clients in Guantanamo Bay two days ago, was called to the witness
stand by Mr Lawson.

He said he did not believe the US embassy's document bound President
Bush to not seek the indefinite imprisonment and torture of the
computer geek.

Mr Stafford-Smith said terror suspects faced the risk of "rendition"
whereby enemy combatants are flown to foreign countries where torture
is allowed.

He added: "Rendition has occurred in several places we know of. They
don't acknowledge it - certainly not when it is for the purposes of
torture."

When asked by Mr Lawson if rendition has been used for the purpose of
torturing his clients, he replied "sadly it was."

Mr McKinnon's mum Janice Sharpe, who has written a letter to the
court begging for her son not to be extradited, confirmed her only
child came from a poor but close-knit family.

She added: "It would be extremely difficult for us to visit him
because of the cost."

Mark Summers, for the US Government, denied he was seeking Mr
McKinnon's extradition for the purpose of obtaining a longer sentence.

He said: "There is simply no evidence to suggest that the reason for
extradition is dissatisfaction with UK sentencing laws.

"It is perfectly triable there. It's where the damage occurred. The
fact he is a UK national doesn't render him exceptional nor do his
family circumstances."

He said the US Government had pledged it would not try him as a
terror suspect and, despite President Bush having the final decision,
to do so would be a massive breach of trust.

He said: "Were it to occur, it would be a gross breach of faith. We
can be assured, it is an effective guarantee."

District Judge Nicholas Evans continued Mr McKinnon's conditional
bail and adjourned the case for a ruling on May 10 at 10am


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