Saving Gary McKinnon (eBook)

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  • 92,280 Words
  • 352 Pages

The ordinary lives of Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis changed dramatically one morning in 2002 when police interviewed Gary about hacking into US government computers. Three years later, on 7 June 2005, he was arrested. Extradition seemed certain and so, fearing that Gary would take his own life rather than be taken away, Janis began her extraordinary battle. Facing up to sixty years' incarceration, Gary was vilified by the authorities, who described his actions as 'the biggest military computer hack of all time'. The truth was rather less dramatic - Gary was searching for signs of UFOs. When he discovered that thousands of NASA and Pentagon computers had no passwords or firewalls he started to leave notes warning that their security was deeply flawed. It was only in 2008 after a TV interview that an expert in autism phoned Gary's solicitors and said he was sure that Gary was suffering from Asperger's syndrome. The stakes were now even higher. The US judiciary had all the might of the world's greatest power. But it had not reckoned on Gary's mother. This is the story of how one woman squared up not only to the Pentagon but also to the British judicial and political systems. It is a book about a mother who took on the world and won.

The ordinary lives of Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis changed dramatically one morning in 2002 when police interviewed Gary about hacking into US government computers. Three years later, on 7 June 2005, he was arrested. Extradition seemed certain and so, fearing that Gary would take his own life rather than be taken away, Janis began her extraordinary battle. Facing up to sixty years' incarceration, Gary was vilified by the authorities, who described his actions as 'the biggest military computer hack of all time'. The truth was rather less dramatic - Gary was searching for signs of UFOs. When he discovered that thousands of NASA and Pentagon computers had no passwords or firewalls he started to leave notes warning that their security was deeply flawed. It was only in 2008 after a TV interview that an expert in autism phoned Gary's solicitors and said he was sure that Gary was suffering from Asperger's syndrome. The stakes were now even higher. The US judiciary had all the might of the world's greatest power. But it had not reckoned on Gary's mother. This is the story of how one woman squared up not only to the Pentagon but also to the British judicial and political systems. It is a book about a mother who took on the world and won.


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