Science, Tech & Environment

British hacker facing extradition

In 2001 and 2002, McKinnon broke into nearly 100 Pentagon and NASA computers and he's never denied that. He says he was obsessed with a moral crusade and he believed and believes that the US government was withholding information about new energy technologies from alien spacecrafts and he wanted to bring that info to light. Last year he talked about how easy it was to find US government computers that didn't have passwords. The US government claims that McKinnon's actions shut down sensitive networks and caused nearly 1 million dollars in damages. US officials have been fighting to have McKinnon extradited and McKinnon has made multiple appeals to no avail. But why would the US government go after a low-level hacker who has no criminal or terrorist intent? This analyst says timing played a role and the US was embarrassed that this happened in the wake of 9/11. This analyst says there's a great deal of alarm in Washington about hackers and cyber-security. Many feel, however, that McKinnon has done a public service by highlighting how many US government computers weren't using passwords. For his part, McKinnon admits he did something wrong but he feels US officials are overreacting. McKinnon's lawyers have filed one last appeal before the European Court of Human Rights and if that fails, McKinnon will have to stand trial in the US.

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