Threat Management

NASA hacker wins two-week reprieve

A European court has intervened in Gary McKinnon's extradition to the United States.

The British hacker has been given a temporary reprieve, but still faces extradition later this month.

Last month, the so-called NASA hacker lost his battle against extradition in the House of Lords. If convicted of the charges brought against him by U.S. authorities, McKinnon could face up to 70 years in jail.

McKinnon will remain in the U.K. until at least Aug. 28 when his case will be examined by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

According to a statement on a site maintained by McKinnon's supporters,, the ECHR will examine the case at its next meeting.

A U.S. court indicted McKinnon, 42, in November 2002, when it was alleged that he accessed more than 90 computers belonging to NASA and the Pentagon, causing damage costing around $900,000.

McKinnon, a self-proclaimed “computer nerd” claimed he was searching for information on UFOs when he illegally accessed NASA and Pentagon systems.

McKinnon claims that the existence of UFOs is kept secret by a process of ridicule.

"Yet, some of the world's greatest problems could be solved," he told SC Magazine in 2007. "The oil-based economy would be out the window."


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