Gary McKinnon, a British hacker who is accused of hacking into secret military and NASA computers has lost his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to the United States.
Gary McKinnon is alleged to have illegally accessed computers belonging to the Pentagon, NASA and the U.S. Army and Navy in 2001 and 2002. The US wants to try the 43-year-old for what it claims to be "the biggest military computer hack of all time". McKinnon has lost series of appeals varying from the European Court of Human Rights right up to appealing directly to the British Home Secretary. It will now be decided whether the appeal can be heard at the UK Supreme Court.
McKinnon is appealing against being extradited to the US to be tried for the charges. His lawyers argue the extradition is un-necessary and avoidable. McKinnon suffers from asperger's syndrome and had argued this should be taken into consideration against his extradition.
McKinnon first began his hacking into US Army and Navy computers between 2001 and 2002. During this time it is argued by McKinnon's defense that he was only trying to find information on UFO discoveries. If extradited to the US he could face up to 70 years in prison. US prosecutors claim he has caused $800,000 worth of damage from his hacking attempts.
Calling out to Obama
Speaking outside the High Court this morning, his mother, Janis Sharp, said ""Obama wouldn't have this. He doesn't want the first guy extradited for computer misuse to be a guy with Asperger's, a UFO guy. He wouldn't want this. I'm just praying, please hear us, Obama, because I know you would do the right thing," she added.
It's likely that this was the last appeal for McKinnon, he has appealed unsuccessfully to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights. Unless the UK government or Barrack Obama step in then it's likely that McKinnon will be tried in the US.