Hacker’s mother stands against Jack Straw in UK election

Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp
The mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon has announced that she will stand against Justice Secretary Jack Straw in the upcoming British parliamentary elections.

Janis Sharp, who has campaigned tirelessly for her son who faces extradition to the USA after being accused of hacking into military computer systems, says that she blames Straw for eroding civil liberties and allowing Britain’s extradition treaty with the United States to go ahead.

By standing in Straw’s Blackburn constituency Sharp hopes to raise awareness of the plight of her son, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

McKinnon’s troubles started when he broke into the computer systems in order, he claims, to hunt for top secret information about anti-gravity propulsion systems and alien technology, which he believed the authorities were hiding from the public.

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

US authorities, meanwhile, alleged that McKinnon – known by the handle ‘Solo’ – caused nearly a million dollars worth of damage, shutting down systems responsible for the tracking the location of naval ships, and protecting Washington DC.

In a television interview, Janis Sharp explains why she is standing against John Straw in the UK elections:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEazZZla3MU&hl=en_GB&fs=1&]

In 2009, a Sophos poll of 550 IT professionals found that 71% believed that McKinnon should not be extradited to the USA:

Clearly McKinnon’s case is worth considering if so many of those tasked with normally protecting computers from hackers are so supportive of his fight against extradition.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.