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The Story of Gary McKinnon, a British hacker Looking For UFO’s!

Gary McKinnon, a British hacker, was accused of breaking into 97 U.S. government computers between February 2001 and March 2002. He left messages on every system administrator’s desktop, claiming that the security system was “crap.” He was arrested in North London and sentenced to 60 years in prison. McKinnon’s mother, Janis, described him as naive yet intelligent, and his computer skills were deemed “unremarkable” when he worked at a computer firm.

Despite his alleged actions, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service did not intend to prosecute him, but the Americans did. They planned to extradite him to the United States. His mother, Janis, reacted with alarm, stating that “Extradite!” The hacks occurred between 2001 and 2002, when British authorities required evidence to justify extradition, which the U.S. never produced. However, the rules changed in 2003 when a new treaty came into effect, and evidence was no longer required. Washington officially requested Gary’s extradition in October 2004, after the new extradition treaty kicked in.

Applying the 2003 extradition treaty retroactively was controversial, and Gary was terrified that he would be hauled before an American military tribunal or sent to Guantanamo. Two years later, the new Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, declined to halt the extradition process, and the British Supreme Court refused to hear Gary’s appeal. Janis’ strategy to save her son involved keeping his case in the spotlight, persuading him to do an interview with major British TV network ITV.

Gary had Asperger’s syndrome, and was diagnosed with the disorder in 2008, leading to concerns about his mental health and the potential for extradition. His legal team argued that his motivation for hacking was a quest for the truth about UFOs. Gary claimed to have accessed a file with the names and ranks of non-terrestrial officers, though they were deleted from his hard drive. Janis, who had been up against UK government advisers and the US government, studied extradition law and found that knowledge is power.

Despite facing opposition from the UK government and the US government, Janis continued to fight for her son’s rights. She organized protests, met the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and ran as a member of parliament to bring attention to his plight. Janis also gained the support of celebrities, including David Gilmour and Trudie Styler, and won over prominent politicians.

In May 2010, Home Secretary Theresa May paused the proposed extradition in order to consider the medical evidence in light of Gary’s Asperger’s diagnosis. Janis’s determination and determination to save her son’s life were instrumental in bringing attention to his case and ensuring his safety.

In July 2010, Prime Minister Cameron and then President Obama discussed the case of Gary McKinnon, accused of serious crimes with Asperger’s syndrome and depressive illness. Janis, a woman who had been running an Olympic marathon, called for her son’s life back. On October 16, 2012, Theresa May announced her decision to withdraw the extradition order against McKinnon.

The case resulted in new rules that allow British judges to block extradition requests if they believe the suspect should be tried in the UK. At the end of 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not prosecute Gary domestically, as it did not have evidence that it felt would lead to a conviction. However, Gary’s legal counsel strongly advised him against ever leaving England or Wales, as the U.S. could have him arrested and extradited. This meant he could never visit Scotland, where he was born and where his father still lives.

Despite these restrictions, Janis expressed relief and gratitude: “Nonetheless, Gary is free, and for that we are eternally grateful.” Gary now runs a search engine optimization company in Leicester, about 100 miles north of London, and has also started writing and recording music again.

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