The BBC is set to make a feature-length drama, The People v Gary McKinnon, based on the real-life events surrounding the “biggest military computer hack of all time” as described by US authorities, Deadline exclusively reported.
The man behind the keyboard, McKinnon, was a Scot who hacked into NASA and Pentagon's military systems. He avoided extradition to the US.
Doctor Who and Wallander writer Peter Harness wrote the script. Lucky Number Slevin director Paul McGuigan is said to direct.
The Guardian said that The People v Gary McKinnon is a feature film. However, Deadline reported that it will be a single, 90-minute drama for BBC TV. Production will start next spring. Casting will be in the coming months. The BBC hasn't clarified the details yet.
McKinnon was able to gain access to American military systems in 2001 from his London apartment. He said that he did it to look for information on UFOs.
In 2002, he was arrested, and with his mother Janis Sharp's support, fought against extradition. Ten years later, they succeeded. Their defense was based on the fact that McKinnon could be a risk to his own life as he had Asperger's syndrome.
He was able to hack into these supposedly secure systems because the agencies used the Windows operating system. McKinnon left messages for the authorities, with one that said, “Your security system is crap.”
The drama is based on McKinnon's mother's book, Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story. According to the Guardian, McKinnon currently lives in Leicester and runs a small SEO company.