IT world split on whether Gary McKinnon should be extradited

While we’re waiting for news on Gary McKinnon’s appeal at the House of Lords, I thought it would be interesting to review what people who work in IT (and thus, normally busy themselves with defending their networks from hackers) think a good outcome would be.

Two years ago we ran an online poll*, where 52% said that McKinnon should not be extradited, while 48% said it was correct for him to face a US court.

Should Gary McKinnon be extradited to the USA?

Yes, he should be extradited
No, he should not

It is clear that a significant proportion of people sympathise with McKinnon’s plight, perhaps because his motivation appears to have been curiousity rather than making money for himself. Certainly that makes him stand out from the crowd when it comes to the typical cybercriminal we encounter today.

If the House of Lords does grant McKinnon’s wish and he avoids extradition, it may be interpreted as Great Britain thumbing its nose at the US authorities. Of course, even under that scenario, it’s possible that McKinnon may still face a trial in the UK.

If McKinnon loses his appeal though, my guess is that his next port of call will be the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

* Sophos online survey, 565 respondents.

Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that this poll is not scientific and is provided for information purposes only. Sophos makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the results other than that they reflect the choices of the users who participated.