NASA hacker Gary McKinnon to be Extradited to USA

October 09, 2009 Sophos Press Release

Supporters of Gary McKinnon on the internet campaigned for him not to be extradited.

9 October 09 - IT security and data protection firm Sophos has today responded to the news that NASA hacker Gary McKinnon has been refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against extradition to the USA to face trial. The long-awaited decision looks set to be unpopular with many IT professionals, with 71% of those polled by Sophos in July 2009* stating that they did not think McKinnon should be extradited.

McKinnon could now face up to 60 years imprisonment in a high-security prison.

"The IT community has been very supportive of the McKinnon campaign and today's news will shock many," said Mark Harris, global director of SophosLabs. "The consensus is that it is perhaps inappropriate to make an example of a UFO conspiracy theorist when serious crimes are still being carried out by financially-motivated hackers, stealing identities, sending spam and creating botnets."

McKinnon was arrested seven years ago after allegedly hacking into computers belonging to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA. The computer enthusiast from North London claims that he broke into the computer systems only to hunt for top secret information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and alien technology, which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.

* Sophos online survey, 550 respondents, June-July 2009