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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Apr > Apr 23

This Much I Know

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 07:03:00 -0400
Fwd Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 07:03:00 -0400
Subject: This Much I Know

Source: The Observer - London, UK


Sunday April 22, 2007

This Much I Know
Gary McKinnon

Hacker, 41, London

Interview by Stephen Emms
The Observer

I was a man obsessed. I spent two and a half grand in dial-up
charges trying to get into the US military systems, eight hours
a day, every day, over the course of a year. At first it didn't
feel like addiction, but later I wouldn't even bother washing or
getting dressed.

Sometimes there were 70 other hackers from around the world
looking at the same screen as me. I used to check them out and
see IP addresses from Turkey, China, Holland, all over.

Change your password every month. Make it complicated but easy
to remember. When I scanned thousands of machines on one
particular military network, there were always a few hundred
with blank passwords, and once you're on one, you use 'trust' to
speak to another.

Towards the end I'd become sloppy. I'd have a six-pack and a few
spliffs, and was borderline megalomaniacal.

The US originally offered me a three- to four-year sentence if I
flew there of my own accord, but refused to put it in writing,
so when the new extradition law was finalised here they pounced.
My lawyers argue that I should face trial under British law.

I'd still like to make it as a singer-songwriter even though I'm

I was charged seven times, with 10 years' imprisonment on each.
The most serious accusation was 'bringing down the entire
military network of Washington'.

When I received the extradition threat it was like being eaten
from the inside out.

Hearing that the New Jersey Authorities want to see me 'fry' was
like having a 17-tonne hammer waiting to hit me on the head.

I fear going to prison for 60 years. I'm terrified of being
raped, and sitting there with paedophiles and murderers.

I think I'll rely on my friendliness to get on with people in
prison. I'd like to help illiterate prisoners write letters to
their families.

I believe in UFOs. They were my reason for hacking. As a kid my
stepdad would tell me stories of how he saw one in Bonnybridge,
near Falkirk, the UFO capital of the world.

I discovered names and ranks of non-terrestrial officers. They
were all very human-like - although I can't remember the details
as my hard drive was seized by the police.

I'm a techno-luddite now. I can't access my own email address.
Other people do it for me.

Be very scared of a mother protecting her child. After my arrest
my mum turned into Superwoman, lobbying MPs, writing letters.
She's disgusted by the fact that you can be handed over on a
plate to a foreign government.

I'm schizophrenic emotionally at the moment. The little boy
inside me is shit scared, but the adult side wants to take it on
and fight them.

My anti-authoritarian streak started to grow when, aged 16 and
working at a printer's, I quit after the boss came down one day
and said, 'Gary you must always stand up at work, never relax,
always pretend someone's watching you.' That awoke something in

My situation is a constant tension for me and my girlfriend
Lucy, we're both quite intense. Without this I'd be able to love
her properly. I'd like marriage and kids.

My advice to my younger self? Don't hack.

I despaired when I lost my appeal to the High Court, but my
final kernel of hope is a possible hearing in the House of
Lords. They're a very eclectic bunch. But if they choose not to
hear the case, then I'll be extradited within four weeks.

I would like to be remembered as the guy who won his court case.


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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