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Obama considers fate of UK NASA hacker

PM asks for Obama's help during US visit

NASA hacker Gary McKinnon could be spared extradition to the US after Barack Obama told Prime Minister David Cameron he would try to find an 'appropriate solution' to the ongoing battle over where McKinnon will stand trial.

During his first official visit to the White House since becoming the UK Prime Minister, Cameron asked the US President to consider letting McKinnon serve his sentence in a UK prison.

"I'll be working very hard to make sure that these things are discussed between the two governments," Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live.

"If we can reach a settlement then all to the good. I don't want to make a prediction because there are many difficult issues that have to be worked through."

Cameron said McKinnon had been accused of a "very important and significant crime" in terms of hacking into vital databases.

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.

The US claims McKinnon's hacking activities 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.

First arrested in 2002, McKinnon, who is an Asperger's sufferer, has been fighting extradition to the US since 2005.

A judicial review into whether McKinnon should be extradited to the US was scheduled to begin at the High Court in May.

However, it was adjourned by the Home Office, which oversees criminal justice affairs, while the government reconsiders the extradition order.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw them - I'm absolutely thrilled. I think it is amazing that David Cameron was prepared to stand up and do this during such tremendously important meetings," McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp said after watching the exchange between Cameron and Obama.

"It shows he's not a lapdog and that he is prepared to stand up for British people."

See also: Gov may not be able to save NASA hacker

What do you think should happen to Gary McKinnon?


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