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UK police say they won’t charge hacker

LONDON — British authorities opted Friday not to charge a computer hacker who waged a decade-long struggle to avoid trial in the United States for allegedly breaking into military computers.

Gary McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, was accused of one of the largest breaches of military networks, carried out soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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US officials have said McKinnon’s hacking shut down the US Army district responsible for protecting Washington, and caused about $900,000 worth of damage.

British prosecutors had to decide whether McKinnon, 46, should be tried here over alleged breaches of US military and NASA networks, after he successfully fought extradition to the United States. They said Friday the appropriate place for trial would have been the United States, and they were recommending police take no further action. That means no charges will be brought.

McKinnon has said he was scouring sensitive US computer networks in an attempt to uncover concealed evidence of extraterrestrial life.

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