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British hacker's US extradition will go-ahead

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British hacker's US extradition will go-ahead


The British government says it can do nothing to stop the extradition of a man wanted in the US for hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers.

The Home Office has turned down a request to block the move on medical grounds. Gary McKinnon was arrested in 2002 after US prosecutors charged him with illegally accessing top secret computer files. The US Army’s entire computer network had to be shut down for 24 hours in what the authorities described as “the biggest military hack of all time”. McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, caused systems damage estimated at a cost of a million dollars. The 43-year-old computer buff’s appeal centred on claims that extradition could have adverse consequences for his health. Gary’s mother says he has been suicidal and is living in terror of being sent for trial in the US, where, if convicted he could face a 60 year jail sentence. His lawyers are considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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