Data Havens and UFO Hacking

This probably dates me but is too good to pass up. The once-upon-a-time data haven of Sealand has offered political asylum to the guy who hacked into NASA and DoD computers in search of UFO information.

From Personal Computer World (UK)

North Sea ‘state’ offers McKinnon asylum

Sealand may not be enough to save ‘most prolific hacker’ from extradition
Emil Larsen, Personal Computer World 26 Apr 2007

Gary Mckinnon, who faces extradition to the US for allegedly hacking into military computers, has been offered asylum by the self-styled breakaway state of Sealand, it was claimed at the Infosec security conference today.

The “state”, a World War II fort known as Roughs Tower in the North Sea just north of the Thames, was declared an independent principality in 1967 by a former major called Paddy Roy Bates. He dubbed himself Prince Roy.

Mckinnon sat on a ‘hackers panel’ at Infosec to debate new changes to the Computer Misuse Act. The claim about Sealand was made by one of his fellow panellists, a “security analyst” identified only as Mark.

Mckinnon, described by American prosecutors as the most prolific hacker of all time, spoke only twice, first to introduce himself and then when asked if companies often overstate the value of damage done by hackers.

Mckinnon said they did. He added the US could only have extradited him from the UK, if it could show his the offense was “worth a year in prison in both countries”.

He added that to merit that sentence the damage had to amount to $5,000 dollars. The damage he was accused of causing came to exactly that so US military were “obviously not shopping in PC World”.

McKinnon’s lawyers have said they plan an appeal to the House of Lords against Home Secretary John Reid’s granting of a US request to extradite McKinnon.

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