UK will not extradite hacker McKinnon to U.S. because of health concerns
Gary McKinnon pictured at a press conference in London, on January 15, 2009.
October 16th, 2012
07:43 AM ET

UK will not extradite hacker McKinnon to U.S. because of health concerns

A man accused of hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers will not be extradited from the United Kingdom to the Unites States because of health concerns, Home Secretary Theresa May said on Tuesday.

Gary McKinnon has admitted to breaking into computers  - but says he did so to find out if the U.S. government was covering up the existence of UFOs.

McKinnon's lawyer, Karen Todner, has fought extradition on human rights grounds because McKinnon has Asperger syndrome.

May said McKinnon's Asperger syndrome and depressive illness meant "there is such a high risk of him ending his own life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights."

The U.S. government says McKinnon accessed 97 computers from his home in London for a year starting in March 2001, and costing the government about $1 million.

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soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    I think his "illness" seems kind of convenient.
    Maybe we should hold back on cooperating with the UK in a few areas.

    October 16, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      The US already does hold back on cooperating with the UK on many areas. We started the friction, not them.

      October 16, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    I know some will beat me up for saying this, but I seriously doubt this young man has one thing wrong with him. He may be depressed because they finally figured out who did it. That's no reaso not to cooperate with a friendly country.

    October 16, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ianellisauthor

      And your qualification for making this assessment is?

      The fact that the mighty US had its computers hacked says much more about your systems than it does about whether he should be extradited.

      October 16, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Leesa

      The problem with Asperger's is that the person who has it looks "normal". Our son has it and he is a normal looking 15 year old. You would never know something is off with him until you tried to interact with him. We have been closely following this case and I am pleased with the outcome. This kid is not a terrorist he is not a danger to the US. He is just young man with a problem that I would not wish on my worst enemy.

      October 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tala

    No, he has been accessing US computers from his house since 2001 and none was the wiser? NASA and Pentagon??! How can thes high profile and very sensitive intelligence agencies not know before now that they were being hacked?? His health excuse shouldn't even matter

    October 16, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. bananaman1122

    Gary McKinnon has Aspergers. A whole range of medical opinion was sought. What reason do you have to doubt that he does not have this medical condition apart from your own prejudice? You certainly haven't presented any. It is perfectly reasonable to refuse extradition requests where concerns exist about the validity of the request. You won't get Richard O-Dwyer either because the crime he is accused of was to host links to copyrighted material on a server not located in the US. Don't get all upset because other nations don't always bend to the US's will.

    October 16, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Brad

    Bad luck ol chaps.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Anonymous

    He found UFO evidence

    October 16, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Xenu

    I think Tom Cruise and Scientology says there is no such thing as mental illness. It's the ghost of space aliens (space thetans) that are stirring up our minds.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. DPM

    ...also – don't read this article as 'He's getting away with it' – this merely means he will be tried in the U.K. While I'm sure a life sentence is not on the cards, don't for a moment think that this guy will be getting the easy life. He's already effectively served 10 years of hell.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Your Honor

    I have a medical condition, your honor. So it's against the law for me to face my accusers.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Your Honor

    He found the same Microsoft NSA key hackers have been exploiting for years.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Portland tony

    There are some bad people out there, as well as experts who guarantee our government 's computer security. The friggin' government should be looking for them rather than spend a couple of $ million prosecuting an Asperger Syndrome sufferer.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. @Anonymous 9:06AM

    No. He did not find UFO evidence. He found IFO evidence.(www.laesieworks.com)
    Over 40 trillion dollars worth of underground military bases were built during the Cold War era. Each recieves congressional funding, and consume massive amounts of electricity for many decades.
    Some of these installations have their own powerplants, and US CITIZENS aren't aware of what their tax dollars are being used to build.
    Russia also has trillions of dollars worth of underground facilities, and their citizens aren't allowed to know either.
    "For reasons of national security"

    October 16, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. justice

    No matter your medical condition, if you violate the law, you get prosecuted.
    Now, a jury might go a little easier on you, but if you play you must pay. No matter what.

    October 16, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. justice (exception to)

    There is at least one exception to this rule. If you have brain damage and raype someone, rather than going to prison, you go to a State Hospital. Hospital staff allow mental patients to raype one another...patients are allowed to live whatever lifestyle their damaged brain wants.
    Some State Hospitals are being sued for "warehousing criminals", a term used to describe the above. Many of the criminals in our State Hospitals should rightly be in prison.

    October 16, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Baloney!!!

      Maybe in the hospital you're in let's that happen, but that is far from the norm and a total and complete lie.
      Mental hospitals do not allow this behavior, and I am afraid that your patent fabrications are going to prevent someone from seeking help they actually need. Stop with the biased baloney!

      October 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Portland tony

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" so we can lock em up for terrorism.

    October 16, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
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