Judge recommends extradition for UK hacker

Gary McKinnon, the UK's most notorious hacker, has come one step closer to a US trial after a judge suggested extradition today.

The fourty-something computer enthusiast spent two years browsing the US Military's most top secret data, searching for what he claims to be "supressed technology" - technology that is beneficial to the rest of the world that the US government refuse to release.

Mr McKinnon's solicitor, Karen Todner, said: "We're obviously very disappointed with the judgement that was given this morning. We're proposing to appeal this to the Secretary of State, and if we're still refused we will then appeal to the High Court for a decision to allow Gary to be tried here as a British citizen."

The debate over whether to extradite Mr McKinnon is a heated one. Despite committing the crimes in his native country, the cyber-criminal broke US laws and as such is likely to face possible jail and nearly $2m in fines in the US, if the UK hands him over.

The hacker maintains that his illegal activities were out of pure curiosity and not malice. The US government sees it differently however and claims he caused $700,000 worth of damage on his spree.

The final decision over whether the hacker will have to face a US court belongs with the UK's home secretary, John Reid.

View: BBC News - Profile: Gary McKinnon

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