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Pirate Party speaks out on Gary McKinnon extradition block

Leader of the UK’s Pirate Party, Loz Kaye, has been speaking out about the extradition of hacker Gary McKinnon, after it was blocked yesterday by home secretary Theresa May. As you might imagine, he’s pleased.

“Today’s decision is welcome, if long overdue. It’s frankly a scandal that Gary McKinnon has been left waiting for more than a decade. This case has not made the US, or the UK, safer. It has however torn a family apart, and I hope Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp can start to rebuild their lives,” begins his official statement.

Considering the hacks perpetrated by Mr McKinnon happened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks back in 2001, it does seem surprising that it has continued this long. In-fact up until the decision was made yesterday, it seemed likely that despite all the elapsed time, he would end up being extradited after all. Theresa May prevailed in the end however, blocking the deportation on Human Rights Grounds. It was suggested that Mr McKinnon, who is considered to be on the autistic-spectrum, could end up taking his own life if sent to the US.

Wargames
I know it's nearly 30 years old, but hacking military systems always makes me think of Wargames

Mr Kaye continued his statement by pointing out that quite often, hackers that don’t maliciously affect systems they break into, are given jobs at those same companies and organisations: “If anything the US government should be thanking Gary – in the computer security industry, hackers who make their attacks public are seen as a blessing, as they expose vulnerabilities which can then be fixed.”

McKinnon maintains that when he hacked the 97 US military systems back in 2001, he was just looking for information on UFOs.

KitGuru Says: So do you guys agree with Mr Kaye? Or do you feel like McKinnon should have been extradited to answer for his crimes? If  he had been sent abroad and convicted, he could have ended up facing 60 years in jail.

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