Computer hacker Gary McKinnon may finally be heading to the United Statesto stand trial on charges of breaking into U.S.military and NASA computers.
McKinnon, who has fought extradition for seven years, was denied permission today by a court in the UK to take his battle against extradition to the British Supreme Court. In denying his latest move, the High Court may have exhausted McKinnon’s legal options in the UK, but according to the Associated Press, his lawyer said they may take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
“The legal team [is] now considering our position and we will exhaust every avenue to prevent Gary’s extradition,” McKinnon’s attorney, Karen Todner, reportedly said after the ruling.
McKinnon stands accused of hacking into computers at NASA as well as the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Department of Defense during 2001 and 2002.
McKinnon’s attorneys have claimed in the past that their client has Asperger’s Syndrome, and that his condition should be taken into account. In 2006, McKinnon described himself to Reuters as a computer nerd who became obsessed with finding out whether aliens existed and began hacking military computers in search of proof.
If convicted, McKinnon could face several decades in prison.
“The IT community has been very supportive of the McKinnon campaign and today’s news will shock many,” said Mark Harris, global director of SophosLabs, in a statement. “The consensus is that it is perhaps inappropriate to make an example of a UFO conspiracy theorist when serious crimes are still being carried out by financially motivated hackers, stealing identities, sending spam and creating botnets.”