Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, aka “Solo”, continues his decade-long fight against extradition to the US in the High Court today.

The US Government says he committed the “biggest military computer hack of all time” by breaking into US Army, Air Force, Navy, NASA and Department of Defence computers between 2001 and 2002. If extradited, he could spend 60 years in jail and be liable for up to $2 million in fines.

But McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, says he was a “computer nerd” looking for evidence of UFOs, and was convinced that the US military secretly reverse-engineered an anti-gravity propulsion system recovered from alien spacecraft.

The McKinnon case involves the controversial Extradition Act 2003, which allows the US, among others, to request extradition without providing evidence.

Read more: There is something fundamentally wrong with outsourcing our criminal justice system”David Bermingham, one of the NatWest (Enron) Three extradited to the US for wire fraud, in The Times

Magazine Rack | paedophilia crusade, Anonymous, placebos & LinkedIn’s strategy

Ariel Sabar on why John Wojnowski has stood outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years, on Washingtonian

Quinn Norton on how Anonymous picks targets, in Wired

George Anders on LinkedIn’s strategy, in Forbes

On Discover Magazine, Howard Brody asks when it’s ethical for doctors to take advantage of the placebo effect

Compiled by @TomasRuta

Magazine Rack | Anonymous, Edvard Munch, Guadalajara & the Saudis

Steve Fishman profiles one of the leading figures behind Anonymous in New York Magazine

AS Byatt on the upcoming Edvard Munch exhibition at Tate Modern in The Guardian

In The New Yorker, William Finnegan on the cosy relationship between organized crime and State in Guadalajara

The Economist on the challenges faced by the Saudi regime

Compiled by @TomasRuta

The reason e-mail scams are so unconvincing | Daniel Finkelstein

Have you ever wondered why such a large proportion of scam e-mails are really bad?

So much of the time they are poorly written, with spelling errors and terrible English. And they ask the recipient to believe they are genuine, even though the structure and content of the request (“my dad was the head of the Nigerian secret service and I want to deposit his bequest in your bank account”) is both unbelievable and familiar.

Surely with a tiny bit of effort the scams could be improved and get a better response?

This link provides a plausible explanation for why this doesn’t happen.

The senders want to be sure those who respond are genuinely good targets. A really bad scam e-mail ensures a low level of false positives.

Quite convincing.

Twitter: @Dannythefink

Too smart to be stung by an e-mail scam? Read more

Loading posts...