February 2009 Archives

The Guardian reports

UK hacker faces US trial for breaking into defence department system

• Asperger's man fails in attempt to be prosecuted at home
• Mother accuses British government of lacking humanity

Duncan Campbell
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 February 2009 13.56 GMT

UK hacker faces US trial for breaking into defence department system

• Asperger's man fails in attempt to be prosecuted at home
• Mother accuses British government of lacking humanity

* Duncan Campbell
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 February 2009 13.56 GMT

The British computer hacker Gary McKinnon today lost his attempt to be tried for computer offences in the UK and now faces the imminent prospect of extradition to the US. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not prosecute McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, leaving the way open for his extradition.

The decision was condemned by McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, who has campaigned for her son, from north London, to be allowed to stand trial in the UK.

She said: "I'm heartbroken at the lack of compassion shown towards my desperately vulnerable son. Gary is a gentle man with Asperger's - not a dangerous terrorist."

The US is seeking his extradition because of his hacking, which it says included entering the computer systems of the US defence department and Nasa.

[...]

A final judicial review of the home secretary's decision to allow the extradition is due in the high court next month, but campaigners had been pinning their hopes on the new director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, intervening.

The CPS said the decision followed "a careful review of all available evidence including further material and admissions to offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which were submitted by Mr McKinnon's solicitors".

Alison Saunders, head of the CPS organised crime division, said: "We identified nine occasions where Mr McKinnon has admitted to activity which would amount to an offence under section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act (unauthorised access with intent). Although there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr McKinnon for these offences, the evidence we have does not come near to reflecting the criminality that is alleged by the American authorities."

She said McKinnon's hacking activities "were not random experiments in computer hacking, but a deliberate effort to breach US defence systems at a critical time which caused well-documented damage. They may have been conducted from Mr McKinnon's home computer - and in that sense there is a UK link - but the target and the damage were transatlantic."

[...]

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, could still intervene by insisting that McKinnon should be granted immediate bail in the US and be allowed to serve any sentence in the UK. So far, she has declined to do so.

McKinnon's mother added: "When will the UK stop hiding behind treaty obligations to the US and let humanity, common sense and decency prevail? Perhaps one day the realisation of these decisions will dawn.

"We've suffered an agonising seven years which has ruined the lives and health of my family. Somebody somewhere please wake up - and realise the extradition of even one vulnerable person cannot be a price worth paying to save the US government's embarrassment.

"Our last hope now lies with the judges hearing the judicial review."

The CPS said that when it first became aware of the case in 2002, it was clear that it was an "extremely complex inquiry and would require the examination of a large number of computers, the majority of which were situated in the US". The CPS therefore agreed to cede jurisdiction to US authorities.

So much for our hopes that the new Director of Public Prosecutions, and human rights legal expert Kier Starmer, might take the opportunity to see that proportionate justice is done, and to uphold British sovereignty in this case.

See also the Press Release from the Crown Prosecution Service

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (bailii.org) now has the text of the England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decision:

McKinnon v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 170 (Admin) (23 January 2009)

Neutral Citation Number: [2009] EWHC 170 (Admin)
CO/9914/2008

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
DIVISIONAL COURT

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London WC2A 2LL

23rd January 2009

B e f o r e :

LORD JUSTICE MAURICE KAY
MR JUSTICE SIMON
____________________

Between:

GARY MCKINNON Claimant
v
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT Defendant

This Oral Hearing rejected the legal submissions about the inhumane conditions of US Federal Supermax prison conditions, but it did consider the impact of the Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis..

It also explains what the Director of Public Prosecutions may or may not be doing at the moment - N.B. the mid-February estimate of a decision by the DPP has already been passed.

The Judges set a Judicial Review hearing date on the Asperger's Syndrome aspects, to be held some time after 16th March 2009.

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

twitter_logo_125.jpg

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.

free_babar_ahmad.jpg
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