UK Home Secretary Theresa May has blocked the extradition of Gary McKinnon, a Scottish hacker with Asperger's syndrome who the United States government has been pursuing for many years:
She said that after taking extensive legal advice “I have concluded that Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life.
“The decision to extradite Mr McKinnon would be incompatible with his human rights. I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr McKinnon.”
A United States adviser on cyber warfare called the country's approach to Gary McKinnon, a British man with Asperger's syndrome who successfully hacked into Pentagon computers, "ridiculous. And punitive." John Arquilla, a professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, says the government should hire people like McKinnon:
"There are other places in the world where these communities are embraced by official authority, and these are places that are becoming great cyber powers"
American officials have been trying to get Britain to send McKinnon to the US to face trial for several years, despite concerns that the extradition might cause him to kill himself.
Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is helping British hacker Gary McKinnon after he was refused funding for mental care, according to McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp:
McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, continues to fight extradition to the United States after hacking into Pentagon computers in 2001 and 2002 for information on UFOs. His doctors are concerned that McCkinnon will kill himself if forced to face trial in the US.
David Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett (who may have had autism) after this album.
Gilmour is famous for his philanthropic efforts, including work to honor Syd Barrett, the Pink Floyd founder he replaced, and who may himself have had some form of autism.
Statement from Janice Sharp, Gary McKinnon's mother.
One revelation from yesterday's Wikileaks dump reflects badly on the Obama administration's understanding of Asperger's Syndrome. Despite direct pleas from Gordon Brown, the United States insisted on extraditing Gary McKinnon, a hacker who has AS:
According to a secret cable from the Louis Susman, US ambassador in the UK, to Hilary Clinton, the Secretary of State, Mr Brown made his unsuccessful direct intervention in August 2009.
Susman wrote: "PM Brown, in a one-on-one meeting with the ambassador, proposed a deal: that McKinnon plead guilty, make a statement of contrition, but serve any sentence of incarceration in the UK.
Brown cited deep public concern that McKinnon, with his medical condition, would commit suicide or suffer injury if imprisoned in a US facility."
The ambassador says he raised Mr Brown's request in Washington with President Obama's newly appointed attorney general, Eric Holder. The plea, however, was unsuccessful.