Saturday, 8 August 2009

Was the truth out there?

A real life story that is beginning to resemble a conspiracy thriller: Gary McKinnon is to be extradited for trial in the U.S. after allegedly hacking into various government computers to find evidence of UFOs. Mr. McKinnon was first arrested in 2002 but there have been a series of cases and appeals since - and further appeals are still possible.

I don't want to call for a particular outcome from the trial - I feel I don't know the facts well enough, and also don't believe in trial by media. However I do want to express the wish that he has access to a fair trial wherever it takes place, and if it is the case that he has Asperger's syndrome, as has been reported, that this is taken into account and the trial is carried out in a way that does not place him at a disadvantage.

McKinnon has stated in a BBC interview that he was able to access military computers as many still had their default password settings. He has also appeared on a discussion panel at an Infosec conference - you might remember, that's the organization that carried out surveys giving out free pens to London commuters in return for their passwords - the most common was "password" in 2002 but this had changed to the much safer "admin" by 2003.

Mr. McKinnon seems to have stirred up a real hornet's nest within the Vast Machine: I can't help wondering, what did he find?

Asperger's syndrome is also a theme of this upcoming film which I might just go and see:

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