Gary McKinnon should not escape punishment

Gary McKinnon is the man diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome who hacked into U.S. military and government networks. It seems many people think his Asperger’s should let him avoid punishment. My opinion matches closely with what convicted hacker Adrian Lamo (who also has Asperger’s) thinks: 

“Lamo thinks while Asperger’s might explain his knack for slipping into corporate networks, Wired says that he scoffs at the notion that Asperger’s should mitigate the consequences of illegal behaviour.

He said that Asperger’s might help explain his success in hacking, but not his willingness to do it, he told Wired.

“If, in fact, the diagnosis is accurate, it had zip to do with my actions at that time,” he said.”
(from TechEye )

I have a hard time believing Gary doesn’t know what he did was wrong (and illegal). Letting him get away with hacking means he will probably do it again or disregard other laws. People with Asperger’s are not stupid and are just as capable of being bad or criminals as neurotypicals. There’s also wonderful people too on the Autism spectrum; but we have to accept some are not. It’s not an isolated trend for Asperger’s to be used as a defense in everything from murder to theft. The legal system and government needs to send a clear message that Asperger’s is not a pass to ignore laws and commit crimes.

Brandy Wilson
I am a Christian with Asperger's Syndrome, Septo Optic Dysplasia, and Bipolar Disorder.
Brandy Wilson

shesmorethananumber

I am a Christian with Asperger's Syndrome, Septo Optic Dysplasia, and Bipolar Disorder.

0 thoughts on “Gary McKinnon should not escape punishment

  • August 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm
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    If you don’t find what you are looking for, then you don’t post anything though.  He knew better.  I know that data is analogous but still.  He said specific things.  That’s not what came out. 

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  • August 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm
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    he’s looking for what I’m looking for. 

    If they don’t make it public soon, there will be consequences because I’m going to start up. 

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  • August 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm
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    @wrybreadspread@xanga – yeah, he wanted to do something “cool.”  He’s immature for life.  That he can’t help, but if he isn’t running around stabbing people then he knows what wrong is and should get to go to his room now. 

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  • August 7, 2010 at 6:08 am
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    I could be totally in left field.  But I don’t see this as like the guy who does harm and can be let off the hook due to diminished intellectual capacity.  This isn’t even the case of a sociopathic (I think the therapists like to use the word ‘disassociative’ now) who has no inherent moral restraints but can control his urges to blend in (like the guy on TV “Dexter”)

    This is a case like those two sons of the billionare who killed their parents for the inheritance–back in the 1970’s.  They were entitled to it.  They were spoilt and cocky.  They thought themselves beyond ‘the rules’.  and they concocted the most amazing tale of being abused kids.

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  • August 5, 2010 at 3:49 am
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    Plenty of people with A.S. more than know right from wrong.  In fact, you can get many, including me, very upset if you don’t follow rules…tell the truth, drive no faster than the speed limit, obey traffic rules, put things back where you got them from, don’t touch what’s not yours without permission, etc.

    If one has a mind for systems, you’d think they’d understand the basics of the legal system and systems of ethics.

    Oh, I think he knew that what he was doing was wrong!  There’s no way he should be excused.  I don’t think he’s ignorant and ignorance is still no defense, regarding what’s legal and what’s not.

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  • August 5, 2010 at 1:40 am
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    if is mind was brilliant enough to hack a military system, he deserves punishment like any other person. By getting him out of the charges and jail for something that big, who is to say that it wont happen again? 

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  • August 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm
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    right – group

    wrong – group

    good – individual

    bad – individual

    If it’s good for the individual but wrong for the group, it’ll eventually be wrong for the individual.

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  • August 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm
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    No, I have issues, and they target me.  He’s special because autistic?  He had ability and knew. 

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  • August 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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    @CaptainZen – Amen to that. I mean this guy hacked the US like nothing. We should be thanking him for pointing out an obvious error.

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  • August 4, 2010 at 9:34 am
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    They’ll put him in minimal security for a year then barring any clearance issues, hire him.

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  • August 4, 2010 at 8:52 am
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    I do not think that mental illness is a valid excuse for crime.  Legal precedent says that it can be, but we should reevaluate that.  

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  • August 4, 2010 at 12:22 am
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    I agree. Asperger’s has nothing to do with this man’s actions. Not everything an aspie does is the result of Asperger’s syndrome. That’s like saying, if a man is left-handed and shoots someone, it’s because of his left-handedness. “His left hand shot the trigger, so there must be a corrolation.” It’s ridiculous. Being an aspie may have helped Gary study code more easily, but it didn’t make him use that skill to commit crime.

    If Gary McKinnon were to get off the hook because of his diagnosis, it would just send a really negative and false message to people about what Asperger’s syndrome is. It’s not such a crippling condition that it renders people out of control and unaware of their actions. If anything, aspies are too in control and too aware of their actions. But these people seem to treat it like it’s an insanity. That’s insulting.

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  • August 4, 2010 at 12:12 am
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    I see no where in the diagnosis of autism that it hinders your ability to determine right from wrong.  honestly if i was autistic I think I would be insulted at that implication.   in addition the DSM clearly states that no disorder may be used to excuse illegal actions, so no psychologist worth their weight is going to get up in a court of law and say that he should be excused

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  • August 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm
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    @keystspf@xanga – 

    So, are you saying that people overseas are free to shoot missiles into US cities just because they’re not currently under our jurisdiction?
    Also, if you want to get specific, this guy accessed servers which are located within the country, so the crime technically did take place here. 

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  • August 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm
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    yeah i agree with you and think they should throw the book at him, like that little punk who hacked into sarah palin’s email thing awhile back. 

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  • August 1, 2010 at 4:46 am
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    As far as I am aware, Gary freely admits that what he did was wrong.  He is prepared to take his punishment, the problem is the stress of forcing him to go through extradition to the USA was too much for him. 

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  • July 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm
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    Mike, one, I actually am ON the autism spectrum (officially Asperger’s), and know plenty about it. I went to a technology school for high school and fixed computers in middle school for fun. I’ve had more than one “friend” that was into the far more questionable activity of hacking. I’m aware of what hacking is, thank you.

    And no, it’s not okay to get into people’s (or government’s) networks just because it’s “easy”. By that logic, it’s fine if I got into somebody’s wifi just because I can.

    If you would actually read my blog or bother to talk to me, you wouldn’t make *your* assumption I know nothing about Asperger’s either.

    I’m not insulted because you disagree with me, I’m offended because you’re assuming I don’t know anything I’m talking about.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 7:25 am
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    Reading this post, just makes me realise how cynical people can be, and without even doing any decent research.   completely generalised and containing no facts about Aspergers. To not even bother to mention that Aspergers Syndrome is a spectrum form of Autism, and certainly cannot apply across the board to   all sufferers. Aspergers is the cause of Gary McKinnons  focus on UFO’s  and does not in any way make him more susceptible to criminal activity. Also you’re wrong to call this case hacking,  There is plenty of information on the subject of hacking, so please read it.

     If a so called secure system is left open, as in this case  user name “user  Password “password.Why are the US surprised someone walked in.Gary Mckinnon is British  and never been to the US. The US will not extradite their citizens, but have a treaty with Britain whereby they don’t need to produce evidence.In Britain our entire legal system is based on innocent until proved guiltyA British court has already ruled that  any evidence held by the US was heresay.I see these kind of articles all the time on Twitter, so please bother to do some research or learn how to use Google.  

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  • July 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm
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    @CaptainZen – LOL… I kinda agree… US laws don’t exactly apply to those who don’t live in the US. If he’s not a US citizen, then what right does the US have to go after him?

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  • July 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm
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    He must always try to be tried in the UK. His aspergers aside, he did the Americans a favor by showing them how easy it was to get in their networks. Punishment for having a ball checking for hidden news on extraterrestrials? What a nonsense. He has been punished enough, give him a job in a anti virus and hacker security company.Shame on the US web masters who must blame some one who got through their open doors.

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  • July 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm
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    I agree as well.  Having asperger’s or autism should not even be a factor in the case.  In fact, I just read in my law books that having a mental (or physical) disorder does not excuse a person from undergoing a physical or mental exam if one is necessary in the court case.

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  • July 29, 2010 at 11:27 am
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    I completely agree with you.  I don’t even think his Asperger’s should even be an issue in this case.  Most likely, it is his lawyers stretching for a way to get him off for the crime.

    Reply

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