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The Curious Case of Gary McKinnon

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posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 03:46 PM
Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama met for discussions at The White House, the obligatory press conference followed. With numerous big issues to be discussed, such as the BP Oil Spill and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was surprising that a certain issue was raised (quite so publicly too), that is the issue of Gary McKinnon.

BBC Article

McKinnon has been accused of what one US prosecutor claims is the "biggest military computer hack of all time" and is currently awaiting extradition to the United States where he could spend the rest of his life in jail.

He was accused of hacking into 97 United States military and NASA computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002. McKinnon claims he was merely looking for evidence of free energy suppression and a cover-up of UFO's - subjects he believed the general public have a right to know about. He has never denied these charges, stating that he accessed open, unsecured machines with no passwords and no firewalls.

However, US authorities accused him of deleting critical files and US Naval logs, shutting down complete computer networks, copying data, account files and passwords onto his own computer and claim that the cost of correcting all of this damage was $800,000. McKinnon denies all of these charges.

For this case to be raised by Cameron in such a public way can only be good news for McKinnon and although Obama refused to talk in any depth about the issue, Cameron later hinted at the possibility of "some of the (sentence), if there is a prison sentence, being served in a British prison".

Many have claimed that the ferocity at which the US authorities have gone after McKinnon proves that he saw, or could potentially have seen, very sensitive information. It certainly seems that they have done everything in their considerable power to get McKinnon over to the US, with some sighting The Extradition Act 2003 as a prime example of this. Considered by some to be one-sided because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens and others for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK, and there being no reciprocal right.

But what did McKinnon see that was so scandalous?

In June 2006 Project Camelot did an impromptu interview with Gary, entitled Gary McKinnon : Hacking the Pentagon. In it he discussed the whens, whys, where's and hows of his story and made clear that the only reason the US authorities wanted him so badly was not because of the damage he had done but because of the information he might have seen.

The interview:

The transcript is available here. I have picked out the most relevant parts for those who don't wish to watch the video.

KC: OK. So what did you find out?

GM: You had the Earth's hemisphere taking up about 2/3 of the screen and then halfway between the top of the hemisphere and the bottom of the picture there was a classic sort of cigar-shaped object, but with golf-ball domes, geodesic domes, above, below, and this side [gesturing to the right], and I assume the other side as well. It had very slightly flattened cigar ends. No seams. No rivets. No telemetry antennae or anything like that. It looked... it just had a feeling of not being man-made. There was none of the signs of human manufacturing.

KC: So in essence it was a craft, is what you're saying?

GM: Yeah. At first when I saw the top half I thought: Bollocks, it's just a boring satellite picture. But as more of the thing was revealed, it was obvious it wasn't like any satellite I'd ever seen. I've been space-mad since I was about 14, so I've seen lots of pictures of satellites.

So McKinnon states that while investigating the claims made by Donna Hare (which can be seen here) he stumbled upon an image of a craft orbiting the earth, one which he deemed was not man made, or at least nothing that has been made public.

The interview goes on...

KC: Right. So, can you tell me what else you found? Because I know you have some information in regard to Non-Terrestrial Officers. Is that right?

GM: Yeah. There was an Excel spreadsheet and the title was "Non-Terrestrial Officers," and it had names, ranks... it wasn't a long list; it didn't fill the whole screen, I don't think.
GM: Yeah. I mean, that was the title "Non-Terrestrial Officers", and obviously it's not little green men. So I was thinking: What force is this? And that phrase is nowhere to be found on the web or in official Army documentation or anything. And the other thing was a list of ship-to-ship and fleet-to-fleet transfers - and bear in mind fleet-to-fleet, that means multiple ships - movement of materials. And these ships weren't, you know, US Navy ships. Again, I don't remember any of the names, but I remember at the time looking and trying to match up the names, and there wasn't anything that matched.

KC: So, now, this theoretically would have been pretty top secret information if indeed non-terrestrial is what it sounds to be, which is off-world, right?

GM: Yeah. I mean, I gleaned from that information... What I surmised is that an off-planet Space Marines is being formed.

This is the most documented piece if information regarding McKinnons case and it has been elaborated on by many theorists, without corroboration of course. By itself it really isn't that spectacular but it is hugely interesting. I suppose the importance you place on the phrase 'Non-Terrestrial Officers' is up to your own personal interpretation and beliefs on the issue, but at the moment it is all speculation.

Gary McKinnon has been honest and upfront with authorities and the press from the very moment he was caught, holding his hands up to what he had done. But there is a belief amongst some that he is holding an ace up his sleeve, something that Gary refuses to discuss...

Is there some stuff that you haven't revealed to the press? For example, that you might have come across? You know, sort of your ace in the hole, some cards you're holding?

GM: If there was, I wouldn't tell you. [laughs]

KC: Oh, really. OK. OK. Fair enough. And there's a sense that if you have information, that it would be stowed somewhere safe. Because, look, people disappear every day, isn't that right?

GM: Uh huh.

KC: So hopefully you've protected yourself on some level.

GM: [pauses, thoughtful] I'm not going to disappear.

Apparently Peter Warren, an investigative journalist, was told that "It's not what he's done and what he's saying, it's where he's been and what he may have seen that he's not saying." This could explain why McKinnon has been pursued so doggedly by the US officials, they are afraid he will leak top secret information and although McKinnon states he isn't holding anything back (which is understandable) one must wonder if all is not as it seems.

Another interesting point is that McKinnon is sure he wasn't the only person looking at this sensitive information...

GM: I mean, the other connections that were there - Turkey, Holland, Germany, all across the world - you could see the IP addresses that connected to the machine and you could look it up and find out which country they're in and even which businesses own the IPs. And I don't know whether that was foreign governments. It could have been Al Qaeda. It could have been someone else just like me, just snooping around. Who knows?

Is seems possible that there could be others, just like Mckinnon, all over the world who have been privy to this top secret information - the fact that we have heard nothing could mean that they too were arrested (in a much more low key fashion) or maybe they are still hacking away now. Perhaps they were silenced...interminably.

McKinnon certainly believes that it is very possible that what he did could still be done today...

GM: Is it the Government Accounting Office over there? Or the General Accounting Office? They put out a report every year praising federal security in the critical national infrastructure. I read that every year, and every year it doesn't get any better. So I think... I'd stake a hefty amount of money that if I went and did that again today, you could probably do the same thing again. Yeah.

Which once again begs the question; Are there people still doing this today?

The obvious answer would be 'no', for we would have heard about them...wouldn't we?

With this being in the news recently I thought the case was worth dragging up again, so, what are your thoughts?

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 04:45 PM
Concerning the non-terrestrial officers:

1. Relating to the earth or its inhabitants
2. Relating to land as distinct from air or water
3. Belonging to the class of planets that are like the earth

Our minds typically go to strange places with this terminology, but could it not just as well indicate NASA officers, submarines, planes, space station personnel, and the like?

Not to say it's not what....we're all thinking.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 05:08 PM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting

Our minds typically go to strange places with this terminology, but could it not just as well indicate NASA officers, submarines, planes, space station personnel, and the like?

I suppose it could do. But I would ask if you could find me a reference to 'Non-Terrestrial Officers' anywhere in NASA,Navy or Air Force documentation. I certainly have never heard that term.

Also, (from the transcript):

And the other thing was a list of ship-to-ship and fleet-to-fleet transfers - and bear in mind fleet-to-fleet, that means multiple ships - movement of materials. And these ships weren't, you know, US Navy ships. Again, I don't remember any of the names, but I remember at the time looking and trying to match up the names, and there wasn't anything that matched.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 05:28 PM

But I would ask if you could find me a reference to 'Non-Terrestrial Officers' anywhere in NASA,Navy or Air Force documentation. I certainly have never heard that term.

Me either. You're right, it's very curious. Additionally, the description of the craft he gives doesn't sound like something we see around-- provided his description is accurate.

Curiouser and curiouser.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 06:16 PM

He has never denied these charges, stating that he accessed open, unsecured machines with no passwords and no firewalls.

Is it really hacking if you don't need to bypass firewalls or input passwords? Not saying that he wouldn't be a competent hacker if he wanted to be, just that maybe what he was doing wasn't hacking. Assuming that everyone with an Internet connection of some sort knows at least the basis of browsing the Internet 'privately'. From what I read, the government officials never actually accused him of breaking firewalls, or doing anything that would deem what he did to be illegal. If he accessed this 'open' information and it was truly 'open' then how can they charge him with anything.

On the other hand it's hard to believe that (assuming he did access sensitive information) the government would have for whatever reason left this information unsecured.

But what if while on route from one secure government computer to another, the sensitive information passed through an unsecured computer or server? That would leave the information open for anyone with the knowledge to intercept the information. Usually information being passed through multiple stops, if you will, is encrypted. And in most cases breaking an encryption can be deemed illegal. Look at this way, there are roads all over the world, think of the roads as the information super highway, along these roads are billions of cars, the files, if there is a car traveling on the road from point A to point B and someone intercepts the car in between point A and point B and kidnaps the driver even though the door is locked, that is breaking numerous laws. But it's also still illegal to kidnap the driver if the doors are unlocked...right?

I am really looking forward to seeing how this case proceeds. I usually support someone giving the general public classified information because I believe the government doesn't have the right to hide things from us, but until I learn some more about this case I can't decide...

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 06:40 PM
The UFO issue is real, some may be craft made by governments
here on earth as experiments, some may be repaired wrecked
craft, etc etc.

The reason I say this with such assurance is as a RADAR tech I tracked
something that moved faster than my RADAR could track it, it went
faster than the slew rate and that was MACH 5 the year was 1988.

Later in life a documentary on NBC confirmed my feelings and
it has been a closed case for me ever since.

Google Video Link

Watch the film in full and make your own choice.

[edit on 27-7-2010 by Ex_MislTech]

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by fasteronfire

Well, McKinnon did not consider himself a hacker...

GM: I never did consider myself a hacker at the time. Also, basically all I was doing was, because it was an administrator level account, let's not forget, with full control of the local machine with a blank password. So it was almost like logging on.

And he later describes what he was doing (which he doesn't consider as hacking)...

GM: Yes. I mean, I would have been surprised if there wasn't anyone else, because it wasn't even really a "hack" to get into. It was large-scale fishing with blank passwords. And some of these places, you know, were pretty special places; they were places you wouldn't think wouldn't have firewalls or blank passwords.

As for the charges against him, McKinnon explains them here...

I did obtain unauthorized access to these systems. But they're piling on these ridiculous damage claims. And I've since found out that for it to be worth a year in prison in America for an extradition case, it has to be worth at least $5,000 damage, because it comes under cybercrime.

So as if by magic, lo and behold, every machine I was on I'm accused of causing exactly $5,000 worth of damage. It's patently untrue.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:14 PM
It apears the us navy once had a secret space programme
that ran along side NASA.dont forget the shuttle was a DOD
craft 1st to put there payloads into orbit and a public show 2nd.

An old ATS member who resides over at "the living moon" ZORGON
now he has pretty much ALL the info on the non terestrial officers.

you may want to pop over to his site, it is very revealing and
has a wealth of info on the navy's secret space missions and
who some of these oficers are.

some of the info ZORGON U2U'd me was really mind blowing
stuff all backed up with sources.some of the links were MIL. sites
so very sensative stuff at times.

he is the man when it comes
to this case and it's implications of what garry saw.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by LiveForever8

I guess I could have done a little more research before posting

Thanks for the clarity LiveForever8

Constructive criticism is always appreciated

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:58 PM
I've always had the feeling that the US left doors open to allow people like Gary into their networks, just to come after them at a later date and put the terrors up anyone else who ever had thoughts of "hacking." I don't doubt GM for a second. He has been thoroughly transparant in his side of the story to date, unlike the strange coincidences of the US government, the $5,000 per machine damage charges being a prime example.

I can only hope that the extradition will be dropped. Maybe he will be used as a bargaining chip by the US.

[edit on 27/7/2010 by invetro]

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by invetro

That's a very interesting way to look at things.
It wouldn't surprise me at all for the government to do something that shady and underhanded.

We all know that 96% of the time the government gets what the government wants. Even if that means lying, cheating, stealing, exploiting, etc.

posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 08:37 AM
reply to post by invetro

Good point, I had the same thoughts.

By leaving certain 'corridors' open they could direct hackers through the system, allowing people like McKinnon to see only what they wanted them to see, and by doing so they turn the hacker into an unwilling dis-information artist.

It's very possible.

Then, like you say, they come down heavy on the 'hackers' making scapegoats out of them - thus deterring any serious hackers who might have the potential to do some serious damage to the secrets the system may hold.

posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by LiveForever8

invetro does bring up a good point that
MAY be a possibility but i think the true
story of the lack of secure password
protection was just that. through the staff
not being botherd or caring about even
having a password to remember.

maybe so each member of staff could
jump on to each others computer to
retrieve info if needed.just plain lazy.

interesting theory non the less.

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