Adrian Lamo, a man once hunted by the FBI for hacking the New York Times, who was institutionalised for Aspergers Syndrome claims that it is no defence for hacking.
Lamo, who was recently sectioned after he was discovered out of it by cops, was diagnosed as having the mild form of Autism. He said he never really knew about it until he was transferred to the Woodland Memorial Hospital near Sacramento, for nine days.
The staff evaluated him and gave him some medication and discharged him a couple of weeks ago.
Asperger’s is rapidly becoming the hacker’s defence against conviction.
In December, a defence psychiatrist concluded that credit card thief Albert Gonzalez exhibited behaviour consistent with Asperger’s. A government-appointed psychiatrist rejected the claim, and Gonzalez got 20 years. A Los Angeles computer intruder involved in a lucrative fraud scheme received a slightly reduced sentence because of his Asperger’s, which his lawyer argued made him vulnerable to manipulation by the ringleader in the scheme.
British hacker Gary McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 42, shortly after losing a legal challenge to an extradition order.
Lamo thinks while Asperger’s might explain his knack for slipping into corporate networks, Wired says that he scoffs at the notion that Asperger’s should mitigate the consequences of illegal behaviour.
He said that Asperger’s might help explain his success in hacking, but not his willingness to do it, he told Wired.
“If, in fact, the diagnosis is accurate, it had zip to do with my actions at that time,” he said.
Bad news for you Gary.