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NASA hacker's mother stands for Parliament

Janice Sharp takes on Jack Straw in Blackburn

The mother of NASA hacker Gary McKinnon is standing for Parliament as an independent candidate in Blackburn, Lancashire, in a bid to prevent the "erosion of civil liberties".

Janice Sharp, who lives in Hertfordshire, will be standing against Labour's Jack Straw, who is the current Minister for Justice.

"Jack Straw led us to believe the extradition treaty would only be used for terrorists, but it is not being used for this," Sharp told the BBC.

"Once these things are brought in, we don't know where they will go next. It's very frightening."

While Sharp revealed it was unlikely she would win, she said she felt "civil liberties need a voice".

McKinnon, is accused of breaking into US military computers, including those belonging to NASA, in a bid to prove the US government had knowledge of UFOs in 2001.

First arrested in 2002, McKinnon has been fighting extradition to the US since 2005.

A judicial review is set for May 25 and 26 and will examine Home Secretary Alan Johnson's decision that he cannot intervene in the extradition process.

The US claims McKinnon's hacking activies caused $700,000 (£433,000) worth of damage. He's also accused of stealing 950 passwords, deleting files at a naval base in New Jersey and rendering the military computer networks used following September 11 useless.

"The fact that the Gary McKinnon extradition case has exceeded the lifetime of this current Parliament is a scandal which belies any promises of swift or fair justice, made by this Labour government," the Free Gary blog said in a story about Sharp's plans.

See also: NASA hacker gets another reprive

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