House of Lords to rule on appeal of “NASA hacker” Gary McKinnon

In under an hour, the House of Lords is expected to start presenting its judgement on the curious case of Gary McKinnon.

McKinnon, the so-called “NASA hacker” from North London, was arrested six and a half years ago after allegedly hacking into computers belonging to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA.

The 42-year-old self-confessed computer enthusiast claims that he broke into the networks only to uncover confidential information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestrial technology which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.

The British Home Secretary determined in 2006 that McKinnon’s extradition to the United States should go ahead, allowing him to be tried on charges of breaking into and damaging US Government computers.

McKinnon has been leading a high profile campaign since his arrest to avoid extradition, demanding that the US authorities provide evidence of his supposed crimes and damage caused to the UK court, and claiming that he could be sent to Guantanamo Bay. His campaign has been supported by many others in the hacking community.

McKinnon claimed in a BBC interview broadcast two years ago that he broke into military PCs which were not protected properly with passwords. If that’s the case then it’s hardly appropriate to give McKinnon the “superhacker” handle that some in the media have dubbed him.

We’ll be sure to update you on any developments.

Picture credit: NASA