Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Obama, Cameron discuss NASA hacker Gary McKinnon case

US President to consider 'way through' McKinnon extradition case

Article comments

Barack Obama and David Cameron met for talks at the White House yesterday, with the US President suggesting there may be a better "way through" for the case of hacker Gary McKinnon.

Following the meeting, Cameron also spoke on the matter, telling BBC Radio Five Live that the government has discussed the possibility of some of the sentence - if McKinnon were tried and found guilty - being served "in a British prison".

McKinnon, whose extradition was approved in 2006, has yet to face trial in the US. He was indicted by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2002 for hacking into 97 military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002.

His lawyers argue that his diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, which is related to autism, make it highly unfair for him to be tried in the US where he could face a lengthy sentence in a maximum security prison.

McKinnon, who went by the name "Solo," contends he was merely searching for proof of the existence UFOs and did not harm the systems he is accused of hacking. The US military alleges that McKinnon deleted critical files from its computers, which hampered its efforts after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

US presidents do no normally involve themselves in extradition matters, Obama has said. But yesterday he vowed that US legal officials would be in touch with British counterparts in order to see if they could find an "appropriate solution".

"I trust that this will get resolved in a way that underscores the seriousness of the issue, but also underscores the fact that we work together and we can find an appropriate solution," Obama said, according to a transcript.

Cameron, who voiced support for McKinnon's case last year along with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, said discussions with the US are ongoing and that he did not want to prejudice the case.

"We completely understand that Gary McKinnon stands accused of a very important and significant crime in terms of hacking into vital databases," Cameron said. "And nobody denies that is an important crime that has to be considered. But I have had conversations with the US ambassador, as well as raising it today with the President, about this issue, and I hope a way through can be found."

McKinnon's case has raised questions about the US-UK extradition treaty, which some argue is lopsided and makes it easier for the US to gain custody of suspects than for the UK.

In May, Home Secretary Theresa May adjourned a judicial review of McKinnon's case due to take place in the High Court. The Home Office is still reviewing McKinnon's case, a spokesman said on Wednesday.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *