Is Gary McKinnon The Original Julian Assange?
GARY McKinnon is not Julian Assange. Up the road from Westminster, Assange and his grandstanding celebrity pals was getting mobbed by the media. On Westminster Bridge, Janis Sharp held aloft a card signed by politicians and well wishers for her son, computer hacker Gary McKinnon.
The US military and politicos want him to stand trial for hacking into top secret military computers and, allegedly, messing with files. If he is found guilty for seven charges, he could be sent down for 70 years. Mr McKinnon is 44.
Why does the US want him? To make an example of him? Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, north London, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. He was not a threat. He says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.
He says he wanted to find evidence that the US has had access to alien machines. He wanted the world to know about it. He wanted transparency.
He spoke about “The Disclosure Project” that “they are some very credible, relied-upon people, all saying yes, there is UFO technology, there’s anti-gravity, there’s free energy, and it’s extraterrestrial in origin and [they’ve] captured spacecraft and reverse engineered it”
The US says McKinnon hacked into 16 Nasa computers, as well as computer systems operated by the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense. He did this between February 2001 and March 2002.
“I found out that the US military use Windows. And having realised this, I assumed it would probably be an easy hack if they hadn’t secured it properly.“
In 2005, the US began moves to extradite Mr McKinnon. The hacker fought it. He lost in the high Court. In 2008, the House of Lords said he had lost. He appealed again. In July 2009 he lost again at the High Court.
What next for Gary McKinnon?
Gary McKinnon is driven away in a prison van after he was granted bail over allegations that he hacked into the US military computer system causing damage worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. The 39-year-old British man faces extradition to the United States over claims that he accessed 97 government computers over a one-year period.