Tag Archives: gary mckinnon

Tim Farron MP writes… This week could have been very different

Last weekend was the fifth anniversary of the day that Gordon Brown changed his mind at the last minute and didn’t call the widely anticipated 2007 autumn General Election. Given the remainder of his tenure it is easy for many of us to forget that following his succession to No. 10 Downing St, Gordon Brown did received a popularity bounce. Brown was 10% ahead in the polls, David Cameron was floundering following a difficult period as opposition leader, and of course the banking collapse of 2008 had not yet happened.

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Clegg on McKinnon: “A day for celebrating”

Nick Clegg has just emailed Liberal Democrat members about today’s announcement that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US:

In opposition, we were unequivocal: Gary McKinnon should not be extradited. I said at the time that he was too vulnerable to be uprooted from his friends and family and sent across the Atlantic, and if there was a case to answer it should be here in the UK.

So today I am absolutely delighted by the Home Secretary’s

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Opinion: Abu Hamza isn’t Gary McKinnon but we should still be concerned about his extradition

The extradition of Abu Hamza and 4 other men to the US seems to have given almost universal pleasure and there is no doubt that he seems an extraordinarily unpleasant man, with a long criminal record and deeply repellent views.

But it is in just these sorts of cases that a Liberal needs to be careful and not just go with popular opinion. When you look at what crimes he and the other men involved are accused of it is impossible not to be concerned. It is, interestingly enough, quite difficult to find exactly what they are accused of; the best summary I have found is here.

Posted in Europe / International, News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Clegg orders fresh review of extradition laws headed by Ming

It’s two-and-a-half years since Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader publicly stood up on behalf of Gary McKinnon, a computer hacker wanted to by the US authorities under controversial extradition laws:

The Americans are hell-bent on extradition and making an example of him. He was told if he sat back, pleaded guilty and said nothing about his extradition, he could end up doing a shorter sentence in a British prison. But because he exercised his basic right to challenge his extradition, he’s now classed as a terrorist. … No fewer than three Labour home secretaries have played their part in

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Opinion: Why Nick Clegg is probably right not to meet Gary McKinnon’s mother

A quick search on my own blog for “Gary McKinnon” will show that I have written several times, at some length, on the reasons why I believe that he should not be extradited to the US. I believe that to do so to such a vulnerable person would be a disproportionate action which would seriously and adversely affect his health. For an Asperger’s sufferer, change can be really difficult to deal with. The National Autistic Society website states that routine and familiarity are key elements in living with their condition.

In my view, it would …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 48 Comments

Computer hacking in the news

The welcome:

The Home Office is to announce a review of extradition arrangements, including those with the US and EU countries following high-profile rows over the way they are operating.

The main impetus has been the row with Washington over the Gary McKinnon affair, in which the 43-year-old has been accused of hacking into US computer systems.

But the review will also look at the operation of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

And the downright bizarre:

Geographically mixed-up Algerian hackers made themselves look rather silly by defacing the website of an English stately home instead of Belvoir Fortress in Israel, their intended target.

Cyber-jihadis from

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Why vote Liberal Democrat? Book review

If you go to Amazon searching for “Why vote Liberal Democrat?”, edited by Danny Alexander and just published  by Biteback, you may be surprised to find yourself being presented instead with a book of the same title from 1997, written by William Wallace. The new book is misfiled by Amazon under the title “Why vote Lib Dem?” but actually the 1997 volume provides an interesting contrast with the 2010 version.

The 2010 book is one of a series, covering also Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Plaid and the Greens. All the others are single person authored books (with the exception of …

Posted in Books, General Election and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

Chris Huhne tackles Alan Johnson on Gary McKinnon’s extradition

Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne today tackled Alan Johnson on his decision not to block the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger’s, to the USA. (LDV has previously covered the story here). Their exchange in the Commons today is recorded below, and you can read the whole Hansard debate here:

Chris Huhne (Eastleigh) (LD): The Home Secretary is, in my view, a very brave man to hold out his judgment of the medical condition—and of the worsening of the medical condition—of Gary McKinnon against such overwhelming evidence as we have heard from the hon.

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Daily View 2×2: 27 November 2009

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Hacker Gary McKinnon to appeal after extradition blow
The BBC reports that Gary McKinnon’s lawyers are to make a “last-ditch” attempt to prevent his extradition to the US. They are issuing judicial review proceedings next week after Home Secretary alan Johnson decided not to block his extradition on medical grounds.

Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon, 43, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is accused of breaking into US military computers. He says he was seeking UFO evidence.

Now of Wood Green, London, he faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

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Huhne slams “shameful” Johnson over McKinnon extradition: “stop being an American poodle and start being a British bulldog”

Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne has slammed the decision of Labour’s Alan Johnson to refuse to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon – the self-confessed computer hacker with Asperger’s – to the US on medical grounds.

It is appalling that this Government places a higher value on a deeply unfair extradition agreement than it does on the welfare of a British citizen. Alan Johnson has shamefully turned down the opportunity to demonstrate his faith in British justice and save a vulnerable man from a lifetime in prison or worse.

“The Home Secretary must now step in and ensure that

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Better late than never

Some positive news today in the fight for justice for Gary McKinnon, the Asperger’s sufferer and alleged computer hacker who is facing extradition to the USA, a fate which it is believed could jeopardise his health:

The Home Secretary confirmed today that he had “stopped the clock” on proceedings to extradite the British alleged hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States. Alan Johnson told MPs that he was examining new medical evidence in the case, and would allow Mr McKinnon’s lawyers more time to consider medical reports and make legal representations.

Mr McKinnon, from North London, is wanted by US prosecutors

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[email protected]… Nick Clegg: If they drag McKinnon to America, he will never come back

Over at the Daily Mail, Nick Clegg mounts an impassioned attack against the decision to allow Gary McKinnon – the man with Asperger’s Syndrome who has admitted to being an amateur computer-hacker – to be extradited to the USA. Here’s an excerpt:

If he boards the plane to the U.S., it is almost certain he will never set foot on British soil again, doomed to pass out the rest of his days in shackles on a foreign shore. This is nothing short of a disgrace – and yet there is still one tiny glimmer of hope. Even now the courts have

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 31 July 2009

Welcome to this, the final summer edition of LDV’s Daily View – the feature will return again at the beginning of September, as will the various members of the LDV editorial collective.

2 Big Stories

Treasury select committee slams Government’s “largely cosmetic” banking reform plans

Here’s what the BBC has to say:

The government’s plans for reforming the regulation of banks are “largely cosmetic” and “lack clarity”, MPs in the Treasury Select Committee say.

In its report on the banking crisis, the committee says that responsibility for strategic decisions and action remains “a muddle”. The report also says that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) “failed spectacularly” in supervising banks.

More importantly, here’s what Vince has to say:

This report rightly underlines the need for high quality and transparent regulation if we are to create a stable financial system. We must not create a regulatory system that just deals with the current crisis but one which is fit for all the challenges ahead.

“The cross party report also exposes the sheer folly of George Osborne’s proposal to hand all power back to the Bank of England. While it is true that breaking up the banks will be complex, it is also necessary. A bank which is too big to fail is simply too big.

“The secrecy in which the White Paper was created shows the extent of the deteriorating relations between the Bank of England and the Government and does not bode well for the future.”

Gary MaKinnon loses US extradition court battle

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[email protected]: Nick Clegg – This vulnerable man has been hung out to dry by a government desperate to appease America

Over at the Daily Mail, Nick Clegg picks up Lib Dem colleague Lord (Alex) Carlile’s support for Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon, who faces health-threatening extradition to the US to face charges of computer hacking. Here’s an excerpt:

Despite what the U.S. authorities say, Gary McKinnon is no cyber-terrorist. He is a computer whiz with a serious medical condition. That is not to say he isn’t a criminal. His hacking into American military computers and leaving messages was foolish and illegal. No one, not even his supporters, are suggesting that his crimes go unpunished. … But Gary McKinnon has been hung

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Simon Hughes challenges Home Secretary over McKinnon extradition

Yesterday’s LDV highlighted an article by Lib Dem peer Lord (Alex) Carlile, urging that alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon not be extradited to the USA to face charges – it is feared Mr McKinnon’s health could significantly deteriorate as a result of his Asperger’s condition. Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes used the opportunity of topical questions to the Home Secretary yesterday to ask Alan Johnson direct if he would intervene to prevent Mr McKinnon’s extradition.

Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): Will the Home Secretary act now to deal with growing anger in my constituency and around

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