Thursday, 23 July 2009

McKinnon – CPS review of evidence: Computer Misuse Act etc

As is well known, British man Gary McKinnon (who has Asperger’s Syndrome) is being extradited to the USA under the Extradition Act 2003 for hacking into US military computers (NASA, Pentagon) some years ago.

The Director of Public Prosecutions said there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute him for offences under UK criminal law (so no public interest test needed to be considered).

Computer Weekly have published a copy of an internal UK Crown Prosecution Service document, Review Note 3 - 26 February 2009, which:

  1. outlines how Mr McKinnon broke into computers (using NT Info [I think it’s this one] and Remotely Anywhere)
  2. reviews the case against him and the position under UK law based on the the law as it was at 2001 / 2002, when the acts in question took place:
    1. Computer Misuse Act 1990 – s.1 unauthorised access and related s.2; s.3 unauthorised modification to computer
    2. s.12 Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990
    3. Code for Crown Prosecutors (current version)
    4. Guidance for handling criminal cases with concurrent jurisdiction between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Public weight seems to be behind Mr McKinnon.

The extradition law has been challenged unsuccessfully by the Conservatives, and famous musicians have even recorded a song with him, Chicago – Change the World, to support him and Asperger / autism related charities (Dave Gilmour, Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde; song by Graham Nash, who gave permission for the re-recording, lyrics by Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp).

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.