Monday, November 16, 2009

The Curious Case of Gary McKinnon

Hello there,
Family visiting has kept me busy for the past couple of days.  As usual when Aaron and Celina visit (my partner's younger brother & his ...partner), it has been extremely rewarding!  (I mean 'rewarding' in the sense that they are fun and engaging and Aaron shared some interesting knowledge about lucid dreaming, not to indicate anything laborious or unpleasant).

Now, if you are already familiar with the case of Gary McKinnon, you may want to skip this paragraph, as I will briefly introduce and summarize his case for those who are not familiar.  Gary McKinnon: skinny, odd-looking, nerdy, surprisingly eloquent, British stoner dude who is into computers and ufo's.  In the late 90's until 2002 (during the time of high alert) he hacked into various NASA and US Air Force databases, as well as the Pentagon, searching for hidden classified information on UFOs and "free energy."  To the embarrasment of the U.S. gov't, Gary used a purchased software program called "Remotely Anywhere," a slow dial-up modem, and his own email address.  Needless to say, he was caught, and now, the US is claiming damages of $800,000 and that Gary compromised sensitive data.  The US is planning to extradite Gary from England, to be tried "and fried" (so-to-speak) as a terrorist in the US for what one prosecutor called "the biggest military computer hack of all time."  Lawyers, citizens, and a few members of Parliament are fighting to keep his trial in the UK, but so far they have not been entirely successful.

Why this is important:
That Gary McKinnon not be extradited from the UK and treated as a terrorist is important for several reasons. 
First of all, if a self-confessed hacker nerd, obsessed with a supposed "ufo cover-up" stays up at night in his girlfriend's apartment looking for proof of ufos by guessing passwords (and happens to guess correctly several times), this is far from "terrorist" activity.  Something is seriously not right with this situation. As soon as he was arrested by British Police in 2002, Gary immediately confessed to everything that he did.  This is not even a sketchy, super-high-tech break in we're talking about; he literally just assumed (correctly) that not all of the personnel with security clearance would have changed their password from "password."  Using software called "Remotely Anywhere" on a very slow dial-up modem, which took forever to display even partial images, -he wasn't even able to save anything. 
Several times (in poor judgement, he confesses) he even left nerdy messages like "I am solo," and "your security is crap."  He says that it is impossible that he caused damages anywhere remotely (pun intended) close to $800,000.  (This comes from the 'supposed' 5K of damage for every computer he was on, -which is baloney- and is being used to warrant his extradition to the U.S.) The main cost would simply be to update the (complete lack of) security on the government's databases.  Frankly, the US should hire him to revise their computer security, or at least, thank him for pointing out their gross negligence.  A more detailed account of Gary's case is provided on The Black Vault's Encyclopedia site:

So why the severe punishment (60 years in prison)?  Is the US government simply making an example of him, or do they feel threatened in some other way?  Perhaps "they" are hiding something....  Could it be that Gary found something he was looking for?

Gary claims to have found two folders (before and after) of NASA satellite images that had been modified.  He saw images in which large shadows on Earth's surface had been "airbrushed" out, as well as an image of a huge cylindrical object in orbit that was clearly no man-made satellite of any kind. [...I'm listening...go on]

Another finding includes documents mentioning 'non-terrestrial officers' and space-based 'fleet-to-fleet transfers'.

Interestingly, when asked if he found any other evidence of extra-terrestrial activity, he politely stated that he could not confirm or deny. ...perhaps a bargaining chip?... (perhaps not)
You can hear more from Gary directly in the brief interview below!

Gary has stated that if anyone, or any government, is hiding information that would benefit humanity, that is wrong.  I, for one, agree completely.  Furthermore, the UK Computer Misuse Act of 1990 covers hacking into computers of foreign governments, so this should take precedence over the US-UK Extradition Treaty.  That would be 6 months of community service, or a maximum of 6 months in prison.  I repeat; he never even stole anyone's password, -the passwords were set to default!  Another note of concern is why he is being singled out, since during his 'explorations' he apparently found many other IP addresses that had accessed the databases, many of which originated from places like China.

To learn more about Gary McKinnon's case, or to find out what you can do to help, go to
Lastly, our talented friend Gary is also quite the musician.  Cool, huh?  I believe there is also a benefit compilation song featuring Chryssie Hynde of the Pretenders (awesome), called Chicago - Change the World. (original song by Graham Nash) 

> >>=NEWSFLASH=<< <
Apparently, today's launch of the space shuttle Atlantis was a success!  The shuttle is carrying several TONS of parts for the International Space Station (ISS).  I would tell you more, but surely you can look this up for yourself.  Goodbye for now.  Have a wonderful day, and keep your eyes to the skies (but don't crash or run into anything).

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