Gary McKinnon set about executing "the biggest military hack of all time" in the late 90's to uncover untold US government secrets about UFOs on Earth.
I refuse to believe that UFOs or aliens have visited, and will do so until I meet one in person. Life almost certainly exists elsewhere in the universe, but visiting earth? Well, any extra-terrestrial readers feel free to pop by, just please don't stick nasty probes in me.
Having said that, the BBC interview with Gary McKinnon
seems to have a certain poignancy about it. What he is saying sounds almost believable, even if his claims relate to some new-fangled military technology rather than extra-terrestrial reverse engineering as he claims.
All for the legal case, I have sympathy for both Gary and the US government.
I appreciate he was a fairly passive hacker, but if I found that someone had been inside one of the computer systems at work it would cause serious downtime and require major damage-limitation efforts. How would we know that he was just sniffing around? What's to say he hasn't altered key documents or installed key loggers? Who knows what might have been stolen? $5000 a machine sounds quite a modest repair bill to me.
However, 60 years in Guantanamo
does sound too steep. They are clearly setting an example (maybe rightly so?) but good grief 60 years?! It might also hint that his claims have some truth behind them; they want him out of the way.
If/when they do lock him up they'd be wise to set him to work as a security consultant. If they are failing to set administrator passwords as Gary claims, then they are inviting attention from hackers. Any number of script kiddies
and foreign governments could be sifting through their data at this very minute.
Security by obscurity doesn't work, and their ignorance and unset passwords makes them partly responsible. It should be US government heads rolling as well as Gary's.