Threat Management

Hacker Gary McKinnon loses appeal, U.S. extradition looms


Gary McKinnon, the alleged NASA hacker, has failed in his last ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to have his extradition to the United States quashed.

Barring a last-minute intervention, he will be extradited within two weeks.

According to the BBC, McKinnon is reported to be “distraught” at the news and his lawyer Karen Todner said this had been her client's "last chance" and appealed to the British Home Secretary to intervene.

Todner told the BBC that, "Gary is absolutely devastated by the decision. He and his family are distraught. They are completely beside themselves. He is terrified by the prospect of going to America."

She also said she would ask for the case to be tried in Britain.

U.S. authorities have accused McKinnon of hacking into and damaging a number of U.S. military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002. McKinnon has always maintained that his motive was only to find evidence of extraterrestrial activity that was held on the U.S. computers.

In a related point, McKinnon is said to have been recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism-like disorder.

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