UK hacker loses appeal

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon loses his appeal, faces extradition to US

The British hacker facing extradition to the US for breaking into the computer systems of the Pentagon and NASA has lost his appeal with the European Court of Human Rights.

Gary McKinnon (42) was hoping to be tried in the UK where the alleged offences took place. The Glaswegian now faces immediate extradition for trial.

McKinnon lost an appeal in the House of Lords last month and applied to the European court for temporary relief on August 12. After yesterday's verdict, that relief will no longer apply.

Biggest hacker of all

Described in the US as the biggest military hacker of all time, McKinnon committed the alleged offences between 1999-2002 successfully cracking into almost 100 military systems causing £380,000 of damage and leaving disparaging messages about their security.

He has previously declined a deal with the US authorities in which he would receive a shorter sentence in return for a guilty appeal. He now faces up to 60 years in prison although the sentence is likely to be much shorter.

McKinnon's lawyers are now appealing to the home secretary to allow their client to be tried in the UK as he has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

McKinnon denies his activities were a threat to US security and claims he was then motivated by a belief that the computer systems contained information about UFOs that was being concealed from the public.