Gary McKinnon, the hacker who infamously accessed US military and NASA computers in what he claims was his search for a UFO cover-up, has failed to convince the British Home Secretary that he should not be extradited to America.
According to Karen Todner, McKinnon’s solicitor, the UK authorities have turned down a second appeal by the 42-year-old hacker, who attempted to use his recent diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome as a reason for him not to be extradited.
McKinnon’s legal team are now urgently looking into whether they have any further avenues for avoiding his deportation.
McKinnon was arrested nearly seven years ago after allegedly hacking into computers belonging to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA. The so-called “NASA hacker” from North London has claimed that he only broke into the systems to uncover confidential information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestrial technology which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.
Earlier this year, McKinnon lost an appeal at the British House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights refused to hear his case.
To my mind, using the recent diagnosis of Asperger’s as a reason for greater leniency always felt a little like scraping the bottom of the barrel – but you can understand how desperate McKinnon, his family and his legal team must feel as they begin to exit the last chance saloon.
* Image source: clockwerx’s Flickr photostream (Creative Commons 2.0)