October 2006 Archives

The House of Commons has rejected the Lords' Amendments on the Extradition Act 2003 in the Police and Justice Bill in two votes today,

They rejected Lords' Amendment 36 by 320 Ayes to 263 Noes.

This would have taken the United States of America out of Schedule 2 of the Extradition Act, thereby reverting the US-UK extradition arrangements back to the 1973 Treaty, which is still in force, since the 2003 Treaty has still not yet been ratified, it is awaiting signature by President Bush, which we guess he will not do until after the mid-term Congressional elections in early November.

They rejected Lords' Amendment 81 by 313 Ayes to 272 Noes.

This would have provided for a UK Court to hearsome actual evidence (which does not mean the full evidence which would be presented at a trial) to determine the legal forum where a case is to be heard, in transnaional border cases. This would have rectified most of the problems about accusations without the chance to refute evidence before extradition proceeds e.g. in Gary McKinnon's case, the spurious amount of alleged financial damage which he is alleged to have committed, which we do not believe will stand up in court.

We await the publication of exactly which Labour party rebels there were, if any.

This is despite the former Home Office Minister and current Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee John Denham admitting that the 2003 Treaty was a rush job, and the Opposition pointing out how evil it is for this unfair Treaty to have been put into UK law, at least 3 years before it has been ratified by the US authorities.

Gary McKinnon's case was mentioned by Alan Simpson, the Labour MP for Nottingham South.

"It saddens me that in all our discussion there has not been a single reference to the very important starting point of this debate—the treatment of Gary McKinnon, who hacked into US computers and posted a note on a website saying that the US was guilty of state terrorism. He was arrested in the UK but was not charged—if he had been charged, he would probably have got community service. He faces extradition for an offence that may be punished with a prison sentence of up to 60 years. It is absolutely right that the Lords amendment should specifically give the right to a hearing in this country, in which the test will be whether extradition is in the interests of justice."


Other MPs mentioned the Babar Ahmad and the NatWest 3, the Morgan Crucible cases, and that of Mr. Crook etc.

Hopefully the House of Lords will restore some or all of the Amendments dealing with the unfair US-UK extradition process.

Gary McKinnon was mentioned in the House of Lords Report Stage debate on the Police and Justice Bill, on Tuesday 10th October 2006, regarding its dual use "jhacker tools" amendment to the Computer Misuse Act 1990,.

The Earl of Erroll said:

[...]

Will it work? It will not, I am afraid. It is one of those things that sounds good but will do nothing. What it will do is cause a lot of trouble to large companies that supply perfectly legitimate tools to help people to carry out remote maintenance or use remote access. It will not help parliamentary staff because if someone supplies the tools to them, whereby they can shadow you working on your own terminal in Parliament and thereby help you solve the problem that you just got trapped in, those sorts of tools might be forbidden under the supply rule.

The Home Office response to this is: "Well of course we won't chase the good guys. We won't go after them. We are only after the bad guys." The trouble with that is that it is all well until an enforcer trying to achieve some other aim threatens someone. I do not think that, as Parliament, we should be passing laws that give power to enforcement agencies to blackmail companies into doing other things for them because they know they can use something like this against them. It is too much of a blanket power.

Further, it is useful for penetration testing—for instance, people testing to see whether their company systems can be hacked. A typical example of this is phishing. Last week I was sitting next door to a chap called Gary McKinnon, who is the person the Americans are trying to extradite and put in jail for 60 years because he put post-it notes all over the Department of Defense systems. Five years ago he got into their systems because he thought it would be fun to see how good their passwords were. He ran a little program and discovered that a large number of people with Windows access had not bothered to use passwords. For the Department of Defense in America not to check that its stuff was moderately secure and that its senior people at least had passwords to prevent access is stupid. So he thought he would show them how stupid they were.

As a result of that Gary has got into hot water. I will not go into the merits of the case or whatever, but the department should have been using tools like this to ensure their own security was all right long before Gary got there. And so should we. However, it will make these things illegal and large groups, large banks and so on should be testing that their systems are secure. In fact Parliament should. But, under this provision, whoever supplies you with that tool to test that will be committing an offence. It is all very well to say, "They are the good guys, we won't prosecute them", but I do not think that is good enough. I have great trouble with laws that hand over powers to the enforcers and say, "It is at our discretion whether we are going to prosecute you".

I stand very strongly on that, having seen and heard of many incidents where people have been told that unless they comply with something else there is an obscure rule and they can throw the book at a company for something else. I know that there will be efforts made at the European level to reverse this provision if we pass it in this form. I was informed of that by some international companies.

I would prefer to see the amendment of the noble Earl, Lord Northesk, go through and remove the provision altogether. I do not think it will do any good. It is a waste of time. It will not allow you to do anything effective against enforcing what you want. However, I believe that the Minister will not allow that. Therefore, I would suggest that you should either say "more likely than not" if that is what you mean. I suggested last time using the word "primarily"; this time I suggest using "principally". We are looking at the objective of the people supplying or trying to sell these tools. If it is principally to sell it to the hacker community, I do not have a problem. In which case say so in the Bill. We know these things are likely to be used. If the Government mean that it is more likely than not, then they should say more likely than not.

[...]

The Third Reading debate, is scheduled for next Wednesday 18th October 2006, which will apart from the Computer Misuse Act amendments, also probably leave in the Lords' previous amendments regarding the Extradition Act 2003 and the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

No doubt the Labour Government will attempt to overturn these when the Bill returns to the House of Commons.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Write in support of Gary

If you feel strongly enough that Gary McKinnon should not be extradited to the USA, but should be tried here in Britain, then there are various people you can write to.

Firstly you can write to us here at info@freegary.org.uk. We will pass your messages of support on to Gary, and publicise this support to the media and to the politicians.

You can post anonymously here on this blog, but please be polite. Alternatively you can send us emails, but if you want a reply and the latest news, then you need to use a valid email address.

You can write to your Member of Parliament via WriteToThem

If your Member of Parliament has not already done so, then please ask them to sign

Early Day Motion 2388 sponsored by David Burrowes MP

(Previously, EDM 241 sponnsored by the then Conservative MP and now Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also gathered a large number of MP's signatures opposed to the unfair Extradition Act 2003 and the Extradition Treaty with the USA).

You can also write to David Blunkett Charles Clarke John Reid Jacqui Smith Alan Johnson Theresa May who is now the 6th Home Secretary who has had the responsibility for Gary McKinnon's extradition case:

You can send an email public.enquiries@ homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or a letter to:

Home Secretary
Rt Hon. Theresa May MP
c/o Direct Communications Unit
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Home Office Contact Us page

Write to US President Barack Obama

WhiteHouse.gov - the official website of the President of the Umited States of America, Barack Obama.

"President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. To send questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff, please use the form below:"

Contact the White House web message form.

Please use this form to remind them just how counterproductive, and damaging to US national interests, especially to their supposedly changed international reputation, putting Gary McKinnon on trial in the USA would be.

Extradition Watch

Extradition_Watch_logo_150.gif

Extradition Watch campaign to reform the Extradition Act 2003 by Liberty Human Rights .

You can download a PDF Paper Aeroplane and then photograph it, in support of Gary McKinnon

Donation via PayPal

Click on the PayPal Donations button above, to make a secure credit card or direct debit or PayPal account financial contribution to help support this FreeGary.org.uk blog website.

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Comments Policy

This blog operates a reasonably tolerant blog comments policy.

You are free to condemn Gary McKinnon's past stupidity, and to highlight the need for appropriate, proportionate criminal justice, all of which Gary accepts.

Please try to be polite (although you will not be banned simply for the odd expletive).

Do try to keep on topic

If you feel the need to publicise lots of URLs (especially without explanation), or lengthy articles, not directly related to Gary McKinnon's extradition case, then link to your own blog article, otherwise your comment will be filtered out as spam.

You would be very wise to read the small print of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy applied by your Internet Service Provider, company or educational institution etc. and refrain from threats or libel (including unsubstantiated allegations without any real evidence) or expressions of hatred etc. against Gary, his family or supporters, or even against groups people or organisations in the United States of America or the United Kingdom etc.

Recent Comments

  • fg: UK prosecutors, cops ponder new probe into NASA hacker McKinnon read more
  • Blair wilkins: You have had a long and exhausting struggle and at read more
  • Elliott Cooper: Finally, the right decision and outcome. This country took its read more
  • MEL CATCHPOLE: THE BRITISH GOVERMENT SHOULD GIVE GARY A JOB NOT GET read more
  • Dave: fg A trial in the UK would not be fair read more
  • romany: I just want to say my brother has Asperger’s syndrome read more
  • fg: @ Dave - so why, in your view, should there read more
  • fg: No surprise that: DPP refuses to consent to private prosecution read more
  • Dave: They really need to hurry up and send him to read more
  • fg: As expected , an adjournment until later in the month. read more
  • Elle: The application and implementation of legislation is more a convenience read more
  • manuel rodriguez gularte: el señor mc kinnon tiene todo el derecho a saber read more
  • Elle Hart, Elec.Eng.Tech: Often these days I ponder the possibility that the US read more
  • william morgan: Before extraditing someone the following should apply: (1)relevant evidence against read more
  • fg: Photos of Janis Sharp and supporters at No.10 Downing Street: read more

Photos of Gary

Gary_McKinnon_150_min.jpg

Gary_McKinnon_Bow_Street_Magistrates_24_Nov_2005_600.jpg Gary McKinnon outside Bow Street Magistrates' Court, London, 24th November 2005

Bow_Street_Magistrates_Gary_McKinnon_24_Nov_2005_600.jpg Gary McKinnon outside Bow Street Magistrates' Court, London, 24th November 2005

Gary_McKinnon_Janis_Sharp_15Jan2009_150min.jpg Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the Doughty Street Chambers press conference 15 January 2009

Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the Doughty Street Chambers press conference 15 January 2009 (click the image for a larger version in a new window)

gary-janis-mayday_150.jpg Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the May Day Bank Holioday 2010 balloon release event event near the Houses of Parliament

Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the May Day Bank Holiday 2010 balloon release event event near the Houses of Parliament (click the image for a larger version in a new window)

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Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, <strong>without any prima facie evidence</strong> or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Thanks to Putfile.com for hosting one of these links locally on their servers. The over half a million hits this site took in 24 hours when they were linking directly, is welcome publicity, but was costing us a lot of bandwidth !

About this blog

This blog website is intended to support British citizen Gary McKinnon, who is facing "fast track" extradition to the USA (after over five six seven eight nine ten years since his initial arrest !). Gary was indicted by a US court in November 2002, accused of "hacking" into over 90 US Military computer systems from here in the UK. The unjust treatment of British citizens (and others) when facing the might of the US Military "justice" system, which practices detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and stands accused of making use of torture by allied regimes ("extraordinary rendition") is an ongoing scandal. It cannot be excused even by a "war on terror". It seems only just that Gary should face any charges in a British court, and to serve any sentence, if he is found guilty, in a British prison. N.B. With the good news that Gary will not now be extradited to the USA, this blog will continue to raise awareness of the issues raised by Gary's case and others who have suffered unjustly through the UK's one sided extradition arrangements with the USA and to a lesser extent, Europe.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

info@freegary.org.uk

Download our PGP Public Encryption Key, if you want to make use of it to send us anything confidential.

N.B. Gary McKinnon was "not allowed to use any computer connected to the internet", as part of his bail conditions.

Is anyone more likely to have any email accounts he dared to use, monitored by the UK and US authorities ?

If you are a tv or radio or print journalist, or a freelance writer or documentary film maker, wanting to interview Gary, please include some full contact details and a contact phone number, and we will pass on your request to Gary's family.

Gary McKinnon offers Search Engine Optimisation

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Gary McKinnon is now offering low cost Search Engine Optimisation services

SmallSEO.co.uk

@Gary_SmallSEO

Follow Gary's mother on Twitter

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Gary McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp is indefatigable in support of her son, and is now using Twitter to help to keep friends and supporters informed. You can follow her "tweets" at:

https://twitter.com/JanisSharp/

https://tweetstorm4gary.wordpress.com/ #TweetsStorm's in support of Gary Mckinnon.

Media Links and Videos

Links to media interviews and video clips about Gary McKinnon's extradition case, featuring Gary, his mother Janis Sharpe and other supporters, can be found at:

http://www.londontv.net/latestnews.htm

Petitions in support of Gary McKinnon and others

Several people have expressed interest in "signing a petition" in support of Gary's plight.

N.B. the anti-road pricing / snooping petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website achieved 1,791,942 signatures, but this was rubbished and ignored by the Labour Government under Tony Blair, so do not expect too much of what will inevitably be much smaller petitions in support of Gary McKinnon.

This PledgeBank Pledge (not quite the same as a traditional petition), resulted in lots of people actua;lly taking the time and trouble to write to the then Home Secretary John Reid - so many that the Home Office stopped sending back indfividual replies.

http://www.pledgebank.com/FreeGary

This Pledge closed on 8th June 2006, and attracted 745 pledge signatures.


People have petitoned the Prime Minister (Tony Blair):

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ GaryMcKinnon/

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the extradition to the US of accused hacker Gary McKinnon.

This petition closed on 27 August 2007 with 876 Signatures.


There is a petition on a web petitons site, which is open for signature:

Stop the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the United States

We the undersigned urge Gordon Brown and the UK Government to consider the evidence and if appropriate prosecute Gary McKinnon, an Asperger Syndrome sufferer, in UK courts rather than allow him to be extradited to the US for offences relating to accessing US Government computers in 2001.


There is another current No 10 Downing Street website Petition to the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown):

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/US-extradition/

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Scrap the US/UK extradition treaty


Another Petiton (August 2009): Sign up 4 Gary McKinnon:

We, the undersigned, call on the Prime Minster Of the UK and Alan Johnson and the UK Government, for Gary to be tried in the UK- FREE GARY.

Petition to Stop the Gary McKinnon extradition to the United States (November 24th 2009)

We the undersigned urge Gordon Brown and the UK Government to consider the evidence and if appropriate prosecute Gary McKinnon, an Asperger Syndrome sufferer, in UK courts rather than allow him to be extradited to the US for offences relating to accessing US Government computers in 2001.

Blog Links

Spy Blog - Privacy and Civil Liberties commentary and campaigns

Rat's Blog - The Reverend Rat comments on London street life and technology

Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

Legal Links

Kaim Todner - solicitors

November 2002 Grand Jury Indictment (.pdf)

November 2002 Grand Jury Indictment with all the "censored" IP addresses revealed by "cut and paste".

Virginia Indictment - November 2002 Department of Justice press release

New Jersey Indictment - November 2002 Department of Justice press release

New Jersey indictment - full text

Military Commission Order No. 1 (.pdf) - signed by President George W. Bush, March 21st 2002.

Extradition Act 2003

Computer Misuse Act 1990

Read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office official online  and printed copies of the unbalanced USA - UK Extradition Treaty - it even uses American English words and spellings e.g "offenses" and "authorize" ! Extradition Treaty between the UK and the United States of America with Exchange of Notes Presented to Parliament: June 2007 (.pdf)

Statewatch's analysis of the civil rights defects in the UK-US Extradition treaty

Oral Evidence on UK-US Extradition Treaty given to the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs on 22nd November 2005 given by Senior District Judge Tim Workman; Ms Sally Ireland, Senior Legal Officer, JUSTICE; Andy Burnham MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office

International Extradition Blog - by McNabb Associates a law firm that specialises in international extradition cases.

The Appeal Court Judgement issued on 3rd April 2007 is now online via the BAILII database

The House of Lords Judgment - 30th July 2008:

McKinnon (Appellant) v Government of the United States of America (Respondents) and another

Gary McKinnon's statement to the Director of Public Prosecutions, January 2009, published by Computer Weekly: US took 39 months to demand McKinnon's extradition.

McKinnon v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 170 (Admin) (23 January 2009) - Oral Hearing which allowed a Judicial review on the Asperger's Syndrome aspects of the case, to be held some time after 16th March 2009

Computer Weekly have published Crown Prosecution Service Review Note 3, which explains some of the reasons why the CPS found insufficient evidence to prosecute Gary in the UK, including some inadmissable hearsay, and doubts that some of the alleged computer foresnic evidence was up to the ACPO guidlines for ensuring an untampered chain of evidence, and doubts about the unproven amount of alleged financial damage being claimed.

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute have published the text of the two combined Judicial Review Judgments made against Gary McKinnon which were handed down on Friday 31st July 2009:

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr. Justice Wilkie's refusal to allow Gary McKinnon's case to be certified to go up to the Supreme Court on appeal,handed down on Friday 9th October 2009.

McKinnon, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Home Affairs [2009] EWHC 2449 (Admin) (09 October 2009) URL: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2009/2449.html Cite as: [2009] EWHC 2449 (Admin)

Other Links

London 2600 - open monthly meeting which discusses IT Security and Technology etc., from both sides of the fence.

Egypt 2600 - just like London 2600, but in Egypt, also interested in the Gary McKinnon's case.

School of the Americas Watch - information on the notorious "School of the Americas" renamed to the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The Disclosure Project serious research about possible UFOs

Wikipedia entry for Gary McKinnon - has links to several media interviews etc.

Scottish Human Rights website inspired by thinking about Gary McKinnon's case, and realising that similar things could so easily happen to you. The law in Scotland is somewhat different from the rest of the United Kingdom.

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Free Babar Ahmad - another British (Muslim) IT worker, also facing extradition to the USA, also at risk of a Military Tribunal.

FriendsExtradited.org - campaign support for the Enron / NatWest 3 bankers - David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew facing extradition extradited to the USA for alleged crimes committed in the UK.

Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland - an Irish Republican politician arrested in Belfast, also facing extradition to the USA for alleged crimes committed in the UK or in Russia.

www.notoextradition.co.uk - petiton Labour MPs to support the amendments to the Extradition Act 2003 passed by the House of Lords to the Police and Justice Bill, when it comes before the House of Commons at Report Stage on the 9th and 10th of October 2006. About 50 Labour MPs are required, as all of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and most of the other minor Opposition parties are committed to support these amendments.

Howes Family Extradition Fight - amother extraordinary extradition case to the USA.

Financial appeal to sue the UK Government - Ross Hemsworth, an online radio presenter of paranormal and UFO investigations, is trying to taise £5000 to initiate legal proceedings, with the help of top human rights law firm Bindmans LLP, against the Home Secretary, to "challenge the government's refusal to review the unjust and one-sided extradition treaty with the USA."

www.garymckinnon.tk - support website for Gary McKinnon by Ed Johnson.

Gary the musician

Gary McKinnon is, amongst other things, a musician and songwriter.

You can download a couple of his songs from the low budget film Lunar Girl which was produced in 2001.

The video from this film of Only Fool, still available on YouTube, was very popular on MySpace, until it got censored.

How not to research a thesis on Gary McKinnon

This blog tries to be helpful to journalists, documenatry film makers, book researchers etc. who are researching the background of the Gary McKinnon extradition story.

For those academic thesis supervisors using search engines or academic plagiarism detection tools, here is an example of how not to "research" a thesis or dissertation about the Gary McKinnon extradition case.

See the comments by "Eye4Lies" in the comments on starting at House of Lords Judgment against Gary McKinnon now online and again at European Court of Human Rights to hear Gary McKinnon's application against extradition to the USA on 28th August 2008