Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 12:33 UK

Computer hacker: Your Comments

You have suggested to the BBC on Twitter that we debate whether it is fair for Gary McKinnon, who is accused of hacking into US military networks, to be extradited to stand trial in the US. Here are some of your thoughts.


An autistic young man obsessed with aliens hacking into the US defence computers should teach the Americans that they don't have a safe system! If he could do it, so could a terrorist. A sixty year prison sentence won't make America any safer. Try Gary here and don't let him be their whipping boy for their own failure.
Beverley Cuddy, Chobham, Surrey, UK

I'm utterly disgusted over the whole debacle
Paul, Merseyside

I myself have two sons with Asperger's Syndrome. The idea of someone with Asperger's being extradited to stand trial in the US is totally abhorrent to me. Gary McKinnon intended no harm when hacking into the US computers. He was merely following his obsession with UFOs and to charge him with terrorist offences is just ridiculous beyond words. At the time he was interviewed his diagnosis was not known; indeed he was only diagnosed after being observed in TV interviews last year. He was consequently afforded none of the rights that should have been available to him during interview as a vulnerable person. The leading UK expert on Asperger's has confirmed the diagnosis. How can the government even contemplate allowing someone suffering from autism to be extradited and to face a possible sixty years in a US prison? Especially when the US are using a one-sided extradition treaty to do so! It simply must not be allowed to happen.
Anne Greensmith, London, UK

He deserves what he gets. He caused damage after a terrorist attack, where you commit the crime you deserve to be punished by the country's laws! Human rights is a joke anyway! Just because he is British, it doesn't mean anything!
J, Gloucestershire, UK

I certainly don't believe it to be fair to extradite Gary McKinnon to the US. He is a British citizen and should be tried by a British court, the current extradition treaty is one sided and is a threat to all of us. Even David Blunkett is supporting Gary's case and he's the minister that signed the treaty in 2003. The Daily Mail has taken the lead with its online petition, Gary has the support of many politicians and celebrities but now needs the public to make the government listen. This extradition treaty with the US is wrong and for the protection of all citizens it must be changed.
Mike Garrick, Bournemouth, UK

Putting aside the seriousness of his alleged offences, I do not think he should stand trial in the US. He has a debilitating medical condition that ought to invalidate any verdict reached in such a trial. My brother-in-law has Asperger's Syndrome, he is a gifted computer programmer but he is unable to cope with normal everyday tasks. He eats and sleeps irregularly. He can't follow a normal conversation and has no real understanding of society. Mr McKinnon is autistic so needs help not persecution.
Ezzy Elliott, London, UK

Personally I'm utterly disgusted over the whole debacle. It makes you wonder if he touched on controversial files (read conspiracy theory proof) and that's part of the zealous pursuit of him. It's not about guilt (he's admitted to it) it's all about cheap political shots and it absolutely stinks! There's some 500,000 autistic people in the UK, that's a few million affected parents, relatives, carers etc. A few million voters. Be sure you all remember this come the general elections next year!
Paul, St Helens, Merseyside, UK

There is no way this man should be extradited. He is not a terrorist. He has admitted what he did and he should be tried in the UK. I could say so much more but I think his mum has said it all really. How could a country that prides itself on its human rights record be so callous as to agree to extradite a vulnerable man with a learning disability to a country that still has the death penalty!
Jen Johnson, Leicester, UK


Extradition to the US is unfair and totally inappropriate in this case. I am disgusted that the government played party politics in yesterday's vote.
David Gilray, Cádiz, Spain

It is entirely unfair, he should be tried in Britain
Phil, France

There must be something really dodgy going on if the government thinks he cannot stand trial in the UK - do the Americans want a scalp whatever the cost?
Thomas, Normandy, France

Gary McKinnon should receive British justice, and health care, in the UK. Not only is the extradition treaty lopsided in favour of American judicial caprice, it violates British law in the first instance: the right to trial by ones peers. And to compound such injustice, this ridiculous treaty arrangement is being applied to someone, who for all intents and purposes, is not mentally competent. People who suffer from autism live in a different perceptual universe. Gary McKinnon is one of these people. This entire process is a cautionary tale for all British citizens. If the law can come after the most humble among us, where will it stop? Gary McKinnon is everyman. This treaty must be scrapped, and this poor fellow should be tried and treated in the UK.
Oxblood Ruffin, Munich, Germany

It is entirely unfair - he should be tried in Britain. This law should have been revised yesterday - it was an absolute disgrace for Labour "rebels" who said they were against the extradition law to cow-tow and toe to the party line at the last moment. Utterly spineless of them to betray your beliefs under whips' pressure.
Phil Graham, Alençon, Normandy, France

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