Home Secretary Theresa May says extradition would breach McKinnon's human rights.
The extradition of Gary McKinnon to the United States has been blocked. According to the BBC, Home Secretary Theresa May says there's no question that McKinnon is seriously ill and that the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn. According to May, whether or not McKinnon should face trial in the United Kingdom is now up to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.
"[McKinnon] has Asperger's syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness," the BBC quotes May as saying "The legal question before me is now whether the extent of that illness is sufficient to preclude extradition. After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights."
McKinnon is accused of scanning over 73,000 U.S. government computers (including NASA and Pentagon machines) and gaining access to 97 of them with his dial-up modem and some off-the-shelf software. He allegedly took over 2,000 computers offline at the U.S. Army Military District of Washington for 24 hours and disabled a network of 300 machines at a Naval weapons station in New Jersey. His antics cost the U.S. government a reported $700,000 in damages. McKinnon's hacking was, he claims, an effort to uncover X-Files type information regarding UFOs that he thought the government was trying to hide.
McKinnon has been battling extradition to the United States for a decade.