Tag Archives: freegary

a tale of two hackers – part 2

Last week I had a bit of a go at the founder of Wikileaks, and I feel a bit of clarification may be needed. I’m not against whistle blowing, although I did once come a cropper doing just that myself, but last week I was drawing a parallel between those who seem to want to elevate Mr Assange to sainthood and the case of Gary McKinnon.

My issue with Julian Assange is that knowledge is power and needs to be used with care. I frequently am rude here about politicians, but there is a responsibility issue at hand and politicians have a difficult job, more so the further up the ivory tower they get. My beef with them is often about how ill prepared they are to wield the knowledge and power that they have.

There are times when the people (whoever they may be) have a right to know things and there are times when they don’t. That decision has to be made by someone. Now we are all human and fallible, but when we are entrusted with those decisions we have to do our best to do the right thing.

The problem I have with Wikileaks is that I don’t see any sign of accountability, let alone responsibility. Mr Assange and his supporters are happy enough to attack The System, but look what happens when things get rough; it’s that same System that they look to to protect them.

It takes courage to wield knowledge and power. I don’t see a lot of that in Mr Assange, and nor do I see it in the way that the US government is behaving towards Gary McKinnon. Maybe there is an irony there.

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a tale of two hackers – the campaign to #freegary goes on

One the one hand we have an individual who is being lauded by the lovies and hailed as a hero by certain elements of the community. A man who has pleaded guilty to charges of hacking and has placed the lives of many at risk by publishing information that he and his supporters claim that we, the public, have a right to know about, regardless of the fact that there are nasty people around who can use what he is making public to their own twisted advantage.

And then we have a gentle soul who managed to break through the layers of security and hack into places he also had no right to be in, but did nothing malicious once there, simply had a poke around for interests purely of his own. The only publicity that has come from his actions has been brought to our attention by those whose security he breached.

One is seemlingly pretty safe and is being protected by laws in the UK and the other is, once again, seemingly on the brink of being handed over to the US where he is unlikely to get anything like a fair hearing.

I find it obscene that it is the second of these chaps that is facing being handed over, despite him being one of us, a UK national, whereas the first one, not a UK national, is the one that we are protecting.

I know that the charges they each face are different, but why are we not protecting Gary McKinnon? Julian Assange, in my opinion, is a very dangerous man who has little regard for the safety and security of others, and has done what he has done in the full knowledge of its implications for others, whereas Gary is a harmless person with a recognised medical condition who did not set out to damage anyone, and nor did he.

Julian Assange has placed the lives of many at risk; Gary McKinnon showed that there was a flaw in security that needed to be addressed. I think that the former deserves all he might get and the latter deserves a medal.

Now I read that Nick Clegg is backing away from his apparent commitment to Gary. Regardless of his gaffe earlier in the week about fogetting he was in charge, if the Lib-Dems are serious about government then let’s see some strong commitment. If the junior partners in this coalition can’t show some backbone then David Cameron should demonstrate how to lead and simply tell President Obama to give up on Gary McKinnon, end of story.

There are things in life worth standing up for and this is one of them. I shall continue to campaign for his freedom and I hope that you will join the fight.

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