Asperger's Syndrome and hacking !

  Dragon_Heart 22:56 04 Aug 2009

Gary Mckinnon is in the news almost daily.

During 2001 & 2002 he admits hacking into 97 US government computers, including those of NASA and the Pentagon, looking " for proof that US intelligence had found an 'alien' craft run on clean fuel ".

Gary Mckinnon has Asperger's Syndrome - a form of autism, and the legal team fighting his extradition to the US say his Asperger's Syndrome means the stress of extradition could result in psychosis and suicide.

Like Nick Hornby, Emma Noble and Keith Duffy we have a child with Autism and he's a 'natural' with the PC !

Autism is what's called a 'spectrum' disorder. Some with the condition do not appear affected by it yet others have very clear mental and physical issues. Some class Asperger's Syndrome as a 'mild' form of autism ( wrongly in my opinion ).

Did Gary Mckinnon break international law ? Allegedly yes

Was he aware of the illegal nature of his actions ? Probably

Was he aware of the personal consequences of his actions ? Probably BUT would not have taken them into account and he considered it was the US intelligence who were acting illegally by withholding information.

Should his extradition go ahead ? NO !

Why do I say this ?

The US authorities were clearly embarrassed that someone had been able to hack their 'secure' systems and more so because it was a UK citizen.

During the time of the hack's the US were on heightened security due to the attacks on the Twin Towers ( with it's own conspiracy theories ) but Gary Mckinnon possibly would not have taken this into account. Not because he did not care for the lives lost but possibly because, due to his condition, he simply would not have considered it.

Gary Mckinnon should be tried in the UK for the hacks and any sentence served in the UK. Any trial in the US would be a show trial.

The problem is it will not serve as a deterrent for other hackers not to do it. Even Gary Mckinnon may try it again. Many with Asperger's Syndrome have very definite views and are almost impossible to turn.

My advice to the UK government ? Forget the expenses scandal, promises of reforms etc. .......... get some public respect back and tell the US to 'go away'.

  Forum Editor 23:02 04 Aug 2009

click here

Another thread on the subject has been running for the past three days, and has 63 responses running onto 4 pages. Most viewpoints have been expressed, and I don't think we need to go over the same ground again so soon.

  Autoschediastic 23:38 04 Aug 2009

FE how come you havent RED flagged it then.? i thought you would of done.?

  Dragon_Heart 00:00 05 Aug 2009

I was aware of the other post but found the 'weekend' FE comments somewhat short sighted and dare I say it bias.

My post was to give a parent of an autistic child's view of the proceedings.

  Forum Editor 00:15 05 Aug 2009

if you found my weekend comments to be biased and/or short-sighted you should have said so in the proper place - in the thread where I posted my views.

Being the parent of an autistic child doesn't give you an increased insight into the specifics of another person's case, and I would remind you that for six of the seven years between McKinnon's arrest and the end of 2008 he hadn't even been diagnosed as an Asperger's sufferer. I completely acknowledge your first-hand experience as a parent of your child, but I'm afraid you don't have any better experience of Gary Mckinnon's autism, or of his state of mind and personality than I do. We can both only form opinions based on what we've read and heard.

What is happening in his case is the result of a long and convoluted series of investigation and discussion, terminating in a 42 page report by two eminent high court judges with the benefit of lots of expert medical advice. They concluded that there is no reason why Gary shouldn't face trial in America. That's the only issue by the way - the issue of where he stands trial - he's already confirmed his guilt, and the fact that he's quite prepared to face the music. He just doesn't want it to be in America.

  Dragon_Heart 00:44 05 Aug 2009

There is NO test for autism or cure ! Many families know their loved ones have a 'problem' but do not always advertise or peruse the fact.

The original post was turning into a name calling session, hence my fresh post.

Why doesn't he want it to be in America ? Will he get a fair trial or a show trial.

How do the US intend to provide documented facts of damage on systems within the national security network ?

We have a 'special relationship' with the US do they not trust us ?

If he does go to trial in the US I can see the US being made a target for hackers who support him.

True I do not know him personally but I know a little, from 1st hand experience, how the mind works. It's different !

  Forum Editor 01:21 05 Aug 2009

McKinnon admits his guilt, but he didn't commit a crime in this country, he committed lots of them in America. If an American Aspergers sufferer hacked into one of our ISP servers, and caused two thousand people to go without any internet or email access for three days do you think we might want him to be tried in a British court, or would we be happy for him to stay in America, and be tried there? I think I could write the Sun and Daily Mail headlines myself on that one.

This is a clear-cut legal issue, but the media have actively created and encouraged a sense of outrage because of McKinnon's alleged mental state - his mother is virtually promising his suicide if he goes.

  Armchair 09:39 05 Aug 2009

He should be extradited, and if found guilty, should serve his sentence in an American prison (so it won't cost us), imo.

  lofty29 14:54 05 Aug 2009

As I think I made clear on the other thread, I am completely in accord with FE on this matter, and in addition find it very strange that the so called condition that this man is suffering from took so long to come to light, it always seems strange to me how often after someone has commited a serious criminal offence a "condition comes to light as an excuse to prevent that person from suffering the full force of the law.

  spuds 15:04 05 Aug 2009

" prevent that person from suffering the full force of the law". Which is perhaps correct, depending of course which country the laws or agreements apply.

No point in having agreements, when a country wants to use these agreement to suit their own course!.

  JanetO 09:54 06 Aug 2009

What is interesting is that when it comes down to wealth the rich have a tendency to get off more lightly than us plebs.

Anyone remember the case of Earnest Saunders (of the Guinness fraud scandal) in the 80's. He was sent to prison, surprising found to have Alzheimers (an incurable disease), released then made a miraculous recovery.

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