UK will extradite hacker with autism to US to face trial for breaking into state computers


Originally published at:


It could seem like a boy who views the world and its rules much differently is getting punished because the state couldn’t figure out a secure system. That wouldn’t be it though…we here in the USA are all about justice right? The boy found holes they left open so he looked in. They should cover their holes better, perhaps ask him how they could do it better.


[quote=“iquitos46, post:2, topic:85562”]It could seem like a boy who views the world and its rules much differently is getting punished because the state couldn’t figure out a secure system.[/quote]It could seem like a lot of things, considering how little the vast majority of us will ever know about this case.


I agree completely, but the headline seems to suggest a person with “autism” should never face trial. It’s a disease of degrees, and I believe Asperger’s is on the low end of the spectrum. Am I wrong? I don’t think it will fly as a form of insanity defense.


Based on the headline I’m totally off the hook for my murderlexia.


On a tangent: Would the US extradite one of their citizens in the reverse case? I don’t think so.


US facilities are totally up to snuff. Just look at Chelsea Manning… just ignore the suicide attempt and hunger strike, and being in solitary.


I think the standard we are looking for is "fit to stand trial."
Is he competent and able to assist provided defense counsel in his own defense?
If no, then there is the grounds for appeal if correctly played.


(He is 31 years old)


Are we talking about the United States Prison Healthcare center…because I don’t believe she’s quite up to speed.


Thank You, yes a mistake on my part, chronologically he’s far from a boy. (sort of saw 13 not 31) Given what I know of our prison systems I’m not sure if I change my opinion though. Prisons provide pretty scant treatment for people who have either physical or mental challenges. If we are interested in deterring this kind of hacking I’m not sure the problem of Russian or Chinese will be addressed. State based hacking seems especially scary to me but I don’t know. If justice plays any role in this the extradition process alone would seem a lot to bear. Trial and prison might be over the top. Jorpho is much more insightful that I was when he mentioned how little we’re ever likely to know about the case…


The autism is relevant? An excuse? A defense? A talisman against prosecution?


Just about every institution in America is brutal to autistic people.

Many of us have allergies, noise sensitivities, strobe sensitivities, etc. What if the guards use him as a punching bag? What if the prison, like schools, is lit with strobing flourescent painlights? What if the food or the clothing triggers allergies? Being autistic definitely increases the risks there.

And the prison system is brutal to the prisoners.

So it’s a reasonable guess that the prison system will be brutal^2 to him.


Granted we have scant evidence, but given that he’s speaking to the press seemingly pretty well and reasonably eloquently I’d say he’s on the light side of Aspergers which is already the light side of autism. So I’d say he’s definitely competent.


I work with a number of neuroatypical individuals on the diagnosed spectrum. I’ve testified alongside some in front on my city’s board of directors:

There is nothing in general which precludes someone with autism or aspergers from being mentally competent and there are no details in this article to substantiate his incompetence.

I think you’d be on better footing were you to argue that nobody should be prosecuted for such crimes of information rather than insinuate that people with the disorder aren’t capable functioning humans with the ability to know right from wrong.


Except that doesn’t tell us anything about how much violence and pain he will suffer in the system.


I wonder if this case will turn out differently from this previous one:


That’s correct, Asperger’s is basically a very mild form of autism. A stereotypical nerd in media could often be classified as having it: clumsy, socially awkward (hard time with eye contact, etc.), but with no slowdown of mental development, possibly even an excess of it as another one of the symptoms is to have very narrow interests: you find something you like and you learn everything about it.

Obviously every case is different, but that’s a big chunk of textbook Asperger’s, to save you the click.


o_0 so a guy with Aspergers/Autism rapes or kills someone is he too fragile to enter the penal system?

How about one of those low security prisons like Madoff is in. I don’t see him doing too poorly. Not every prison is like Oz.

As to whether this person deserves to be locked up, I dunno. I don’t know what he did, exactly.


I think you meant “penal”.