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Sealand Refuses P2P Network, But Offers Asylum To Hackers

The tiny island nation of Sealand that has proclaimed itself an independent state and is lying in the North Sea to the north of river Thames is more likely vulnerable to computer hackers rather than to software pirates.

Perhaps the reference to "pirate" is the reason why Michael Bates, Prince and heir of Sealand, refused an offer from the administrators to acquire the 'peer to peer' network called ThePirateBay. Or perhaps since Bates has approached Hollywood to film a book he has written and because all well-known Hollywood titles are free on ThePirateBay for downloads, running a file-sharing network would not be the right gesture.

Although it is difficult to accept file sharers because of the issue of copyright violation, Sealand has least problem to be a refuge to hackers. For the same reason, Sealand has welcomed Gary McKinnon, a citizen of Britain who's on trial in the United States. News.softpedia published this in news on April 30, 2007.

However, speaking before the hacking board in London, McKinnon said that the U.S. government's claims to damages were overestimated and it was using the claim as an extradition instrument.

According to McKinnon, the U.S. government overstated the damages. To extradite a person, the cost of the crime requires proving the value to a minimum of U.S. $5,000 or proving a minimum of one-year jail term, he said. Itnews reported this on April 30, 2007.

McKinnon has still not said if he will take asylum in Sealand but his legal professionals are trying for an appeal against extradition.

The IT people don't seem to be in unison about what punishment was befitting in McKinnon's case. This could be because it's not yet clear what extent of damages McKinnon has caused. It is also unclear what motivations pushed McKinnon to the alleged offense, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Irrespective of the place of trial, one hopes if McKinnon is convicted the judgment will be on the basis of reliable evidence and that there will be appropriate sentence for McKinnon, Cluley added. News.softpedia published this in news on April 30, 2007.

Related article: SilentBanker Trojan Returns with Secret Modous Operandi

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