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Theresa blocks US request

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moonbeam
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0 posted 10-17-2012 06:47 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

This has got to be good.

McKinnon broke into the Pentagon systems and god knows what else.  He should be thanked by the Americans and paid for what he did, not prosecuted by them for gawd's sake.

Fine, the ego's of some military types in the US have been bruised.  A young guy in a flat in London could smash their wonderful security systems. Tough!

They should stop crying, and looking for a pointless "revenge" against someone who actually helped them, and get on with the job of stopping it happening again.

~shakes head~ I sometimes wonder that the fate of probably the whole world is in the hands of these Pentagon goons.  Despair.  

As it happened: Gary McKinnon extradition decision

Key Points

    Home Secretary Theresa May has blocked the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US

    The home secretary says there was no doubt Mr McKinnon is 'seriously ill' and the extradition
warrant against him should be withdrawn

    Mr McKinnon's mother says she is 'ove
rwhelmed' and the decision is a victory 'for the little person'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19962844
Huan Yi
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1 posted 10-17-2012 12:17 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


McKinnon is accused of hacking into 97 United States military and NASA computers over a 13-month period between February 2001 and March 2002, at his girlfriend's aunt's house in London,[3] using the name 'Solo'.[2]
The US authorities claim he deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the US Army’s Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours. McKinnon also posted a notice on the military's website: "Your security is crap". After the September 11 attacks, he deleted weapons logs at the Earle Naval Weapons Station, rendering its network of 300 computers inoperable and paralyzing munitions supply deliveries for the US Navy's Atlantic Fleet. McKinnon is also accused of copying data, account files and passwords onto his own computer. US authorities claim the cost of tracking and correcting the problems he caused was over $700,000.[4]
While not admitting that it constituted evidence of destruction, McKinnon did admit leaving a threat on one computer:


US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days … It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year … I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels …

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon


.
moonbeam
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2 posted 10-17-2012 02:22 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Thanks for the facts Huan.  Yes, indeed he made them all look like half brained monkeys didn't he!

You don't however say what you think.

The more I read about this though the more ridiculous it seems to me that the US are wasting resources chasing a guy with Aspergers who managed to make the military computer security of the US look stupid.  And moreover, by their own admission, made them think it was a real terrorist threat.

You really have to wonder how intelligent and competent the USA top people really are, firstly to be powerless to stop this in the first place, and secondly to make such a song and dance about punishing the poor guy, when what they should have been doing was trying to ask nicely how the hell he managed to do it.

Less machismo and ego from the US military, and more brains and commonsense would be good!  Or the next thing we know, someone really dangerous will just walk into their playpen!

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3 posted 10-17-2012 04:13 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I don't understand why some people don't consider cybercrime to be as criminal as other crimes.
moonbeam
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4 posted 10-17-2012 04:50 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

If you invite a mentally abnormal person into your house to create mayhem then it's your own fault if he does.
Local Rebel
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5 posted 10-17-2012 05:46 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

That's a ridiculous analogy.
Huan Yi
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6 posted 10-17-2012 06:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


If someone were to get into the computerized traffic control system
of a city and create confusion at intersections leading to fatal
accidents . . .whose fault would that be?

How was he invited?
If despite deadbolt locks someone can break into a home and
kill all the residents are those residents at fault for inviting their murders?

Was Hitler invited into Poland by its weak defences
and thereby absolved?


Just curious; how mentally normal was the girlfriend,(you know, the woman I assume was
getting in bed with him)?  How about his employer?

"mentally abnormal"  Is that a get out of jail free card?  Just how much harm do you get to do
with that in your hand?


I served in Vietnam.  You know:  Bang Bang
Boom Boom.  Do I get to run amok?


.


[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (10-17-2012 07:28 PM).]

moonbeam
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7 posted 10-18-2012 10:56 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

The mental abnormality is a relatively unimportant, yet salient, issue.

The analogy, was perhaps inadequately and too sketchily drawn.  I'll come back on that when I have more time.

The main point about the extradition however is that I suspect our Home Secretary has little faith in the US justice system not to effectively abuse it's authority in order to bolster the US military security position at the expense of an individual's human rights.

In other words, failing to secure their systems by legitimate software and hardware means, the US Military will seek to make an example of this "terrorist" (ffs) in order to deter others from testing their inadequate firewalls.

More later on the analogy.
Ron
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8 posted 10-18-2012 03:57 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And moreover, by their own admission, made them think it was a real terrorist threat.

It wasn't a terrorist threat, it was terrorist attack. And it should be dealt with accordingly. It stopped being anything benign the exact second files were deleted or corrupted.

No extradition? I wonder what Seal Team 6 is doing next week?

quote:
In other words, failing to secure their systems by legitimate software and hardware means, the US Military will seek to make an example of this "terrorist" (ffs) in order to deter others from testing their inadequate firewalls.

If I leave my front door wide open and you come in uninvited it is STILL breaking and entering. And if you trash the place, just because you can, it is still unconscionable, reprehensible, and deserving of suitably harsh punishment.
Essorant
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9 posted 10-18-2012 05:19 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

He did those things a decade ago and still hasn't been punished for them?
moonbeam
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10 posted 10-19-2012 04:12 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/17/gary-mckinnon-extradition-scepticism-us-justice

"In a broader context, though, the extradition order becomes more troubling and British skepticism understandable. This starts with the law governing the extradition process. A relic of the Blair government's complete capitulation to the Bush administration over the "war on terror", the treaty under which the US sought McKinnon's extradition is notably lacking in due process protections – even for British citizens accused of crimes while on British soil.

Not surprisingly, while sold as essential to combating terrorism, the broad latitude afforded by the treaty has been used to request the extradition of suspects who (like McKinnon) are not terrorist suspects. May's determination that the extradition order would violate the Human Rights Act of 1998 likely reflects a retrospective determination that the 2003 treaty did not adequately protect the interests of British citizens.

There are two additional reasons to be skeptical about the American government's request. First, it's hard to ignore the egregious double standards the US government has applied in cases broadly related to the "war on terror". The Obama administration has refused to prosecute any of the Bush administration's human rights abuses, while, on the other hand, it has very aggressively prosecuted whistleblowers. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that this will have made even allies less likely to take at face value criminal charges laid by the US government.

Even more problematic, and likely to be an increasing difficulty with regardt to American requests for extradition, is the extraordinarily punitive American criminal justice system. The scale of incarceration in the US makes it a massive outlier among liberal democracies, and this scandalous state of affairs has to affect every extradition decision. The British government cannot, in fact, reasonably be confident that the charges against McKinnon would be balanced against a fair consideration of his illness. McKinnon would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted, and it would never be wise to assume that the American criminal justice system won't issue a disproportionately harsh sentence.

The Cameron government's refusal to extradite McKinnon certainly reflects the idiosyncratic facts of his individual case. But it almost definitely also reflects the damage done to the reputation of the United States by a completely broken criminal justice system. It's impossible for even the staunchest of US allies to look the other way when faced with the misplaced priorities and brutal mass incarceration that characterize the American practice of criminal law.

The realities of domestic politics make meaningful reform of these injustices enormously difficult, so the international reputation of the US will continue to suffer. And there will be increasing numbers of cases in which countries refuse to extradite people to face charges in American courts"
Huan Yi
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11 posted 10-19-2012 04:38 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Oh please . . .

Simple question, where would The West
be without the US?  Who would be relied
on instead; France, Germany, England,
Sweden?


"a fair consideration of his illness"


That Get Out of Jail Free Card again.
Was he ill or just cool before he got caught?


.
moonbeam
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12 posted 10-19-2012 05:12 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Quite apart from the serious issues raised in the Guardian article quoted above, the replies in this thread from US citizens who I respect as rational, intelligent and articulate guys, just goes to show how out of touch many US officials and citizens are with the way people think in much of  the remainder of the world.  While 9/11 was a terrible disaster, it, above all else, appears to have sensitised US attitudes to “terrorism” to the point of irrationality and overreaction, and that’s not good.  

When we have someone as balanced as Ron suggesting that this guy was a terrorist perpetrating a terrorist attack, in other words, in all seriousness believing that there was an intent to cause harm to the US government and citizens then something is very out of kilter.

The analogy I used above, was of course simplistic.  Expanded, it would go something like:

****

Imagine a rich powerful family in a splendid house with all mod cons, living across the street from the little guys in their adequate but insignificant dwellings.  The rich family, deter really bad guys from entering the neighbourhood with their mere presence and power, but they sure as hell make sure that they let the little guys across the street know that it’s their presence that protects them.  

Most days the rich powerful family drive out in their big cars and helicopters and on the way out make darned sure to let the little guys know just how big and powerful they are.  Every opportunity, boasting that they are the greatest family in town, the wealthiest, the most powerful, and most of that they are untouchable, above the laws of the town, and immune to harm or attack because of their immense power and tight security.  

This goes on for years, and while the little guys are kinda grateful to be under the protection of the big powerful family, they begin to resent the boastfulness, the refusal to show any humility, the fact that even when some members of the big family try to hold out an olive branch by say, shaking the hand of one of the little guys, the other members of the big family taunt their weak member for showing kindness to inferiors.

Time passes and the big family gets bigger and, the bigger and more powerful it gets the more paranoid it becomes.  Rewards in the big family are big, but so are punishments.  Everything is big big big, the family lose touch with balance, and the realities of the rest of the town.  They become more paranoid more insular and more boastful of their power and security.

One day, a kid from the little guys’ families spots an open grating in big family’s cellar window.  He crawls through; delighted he’s managed to penetrate the much vaunted security of the big guys!  Inside, he finds all sorts of interesting treasures, and in a fit of pique and jealousy, for all the taunts and boasting suffered over the years, he goes berserk and has a grand smash up party.

Caught red handed!  He scampers back to the little guys place and hides.  Try as they might the big family can’t get the little family to hand the kid over to them for punishment.  Sure, they say, he broke the law, but come on guys, you kinda asked for it.  The big guys don’t see it that way at all.  The kid made them look fools, he smashed mom’s best pair of heels, he broke the door alarm, he made the big guys look VULNERABLE.  They totally need to prove that people who do that to them get harsh treatment.  

They give the kid’s actions a frightening name.  “Terrorism” they call it!  It’s a terrorist attack they yell.  Hand him over for punishment.

But the little guys stand firm.  And who can blame them.  For the big guys themselves are little more than kids.  Well intentioned kids, but kids nevertheless with big guns and big egos, capable of harming themselves and others more than they understand.

The spokesman for the little guys sends a message to the big family.  “When you yourselves grow up you may have our kid, and you may judge him.”

The big family sulk and fizz for a few days, and then the big guy in the big family with the biggest gun and the biggest ego, whispers, half ashamed seeing as it’s a kid they are talking about, “I wonder what Seal Team 6 are doing this evening?”

****

The actions of McKinnon were wrong.  Whether they were intentionally destructive I very seriously doubt given the illness he has (which my wife’s nephew also has).   Showing intent beyond any reasonable doubt is normally a requirement of a successful criminal prosecution of this nature.

To suggest that this was even a crime at this stage, let alone a terrorist attack!!,  is plainly wrong, and is fairly typical of the cowboyish prejudging nature of the US judicial system on occasions.  Not to mention the US media and some of it’s more hot blooded public servants.

No doubt the British legal system, to which McKinnon is apparently happy to surrender himself, will take a more balanced and rational approach to the matter.
moonbeam
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13 posted 10-19-2012 05:16 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:< Oh please . . .

Simple question, where would The West
be without the US?  Who would be relied
on instead; France, Germany, England,
Sweden?


See, there’s the whole problem in a “simple question”!

“Who would be relied on?”

And being relied on, as the US undoubtedly is, gives the US the “right” to a different set of rules and behaviour?  Perhaps it does.

But as long as it does, the US will have to get used to this kind of reaction from the remainder of the world.
Ron
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14 posted 10-19-2012 10:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The big family sulk and fizz for a few days, and then the big guy in the big family with the biggest gun and the biggest ego, whispers, half ashamed seeing as it’s a kid they are talking about, “I wonder what Seal Team 6 are doing this evening?”

It was a joke, Moon. But as with most humor, it was not without a grain of truth. I have absolutely no doubt there were people in Pakistan who felt the same way about Bin Laden that you apparently feel about McKinnon. Yes, of course, I recognize the difference in degree. It is a huge, huge difference. But there is no difference in kind. Both Bin Laden and McKinnon are criminals seeking to escape justice.

When countries willingly harbor criminals they would be fools to think there won't be repercussions. No, I'm not really suggesting we should send Seal Team 6 to punish them. On the other hand, I think there might be those who would be slightly less willing to send Seal Team 6 to help them, either. When one International agreement can be ignored, all such agreements are immediately brought into question.

It doesn't matter if you want to label McKinnon a terrorist, a criminal, or a poor misguided youth. He broke the law. It's really not any more complicated than that.


moonbeam
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15 posted 10-20-2012 04:03 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

“It was a joke, Moon.”

Coming from you Ron of course it was.  But, as you rightly surmise, America ain’t run by enlightened Rons (more than a grain in what you say).

“He broke the law. It's really not any more complicated than that.”

Yes, it seems that he broke a law.  But, as always if you’ve read your Rumpole, it is a lot more complicated.  

That’s part of the problem here; the step from someone apparently breaking certain US laws, to their being locked away for 60 years, is a good deal smaller in the US than in practically every other liberal democracy.
Huan Yi
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16 posted 10-20-2012 03:52 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Yes, it seems that he broke a law.  But, as always if you’ve read your Rumpole, it is a lot more complicated."  


No it isn't.


"But as long as it does, the US will have to get used to this kind of reaction from the remainder of the world."


And the same in return.


.
Balladeer
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17 posted 10-20-2012 06:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

And the same in return.


yes.
Lady Goodman
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18 posted 10-21-2012 08:06 PM       View Profile for Lady Goodman   Email Lady Goodman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Goodman

An interesting topic. (And an interesting topic for me is when the replies are every bit as valid and revealing as the initial point of view)

Not that any would care, but it brought to mind some reading I'd done by Thomas Szasz:

"Lawmakers do not discover prohibited rules of conduct, calledcrimes, they create them. Killing is not a crime; only unlawfulkilling is—for example, murder. Similarly, psychiatrists do notdiscover (mis)behaviors, called mental diseases, they create them.Killing is not a mental disease; only killing defined as due to mentalillness is; schizophrenia thus “causes” hetero-homicide (not called“murder”) and bipolar illness “causes” auto-homicide (called“suicide”).My point is that psychiatrists, who create diagnoses of mentaldiseases by giving disease names to personal (mis)conduct,function as legislators, not as scientists."

To be read in full context:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/18764881/Szasz-Thomas-Mental-Illnes-is-Still-a-Myth

Now, as to what I think? The action was a crime, and should and would be prosecuted by the laws of the United States. I believe that the situation begs an answer to a related question of "Does 'might' make right?"

A question that will continue to surface as the world population continues to interplay via the internet socially, and resultingly, even as potentially deadly mishaps at times, legally trespassing laws that were previously confined to material borders.
moonbeam
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19 posted 10-22-2012 06:03 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:

No it isn't.



Perhaps he should be put on trial, if there is convincing evidence of a crime.  But purely on the evidence of this thread it seems fairly certain that he’s already been convicted, with no mitigating circumstances allowed, and with a potential penalty far in excess of that that would be likely to be imposed elsewhere.  A large part of my problems with the US justice system and media (and by extension some citizens) is the propensity for even quite intelligent people to rush to judgement when they perceive their country is being disrespected or belittled in any way.


quote:


And the same in return.

And what in return? A petulant hissy fit every time the US doesn’t get its own way because the rest of the world thinks differently?

As Karen, so succinctly hinted: might is not right.
moonbeam
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20 posted 10-22-2012 06:16 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
Not that any would care, but it brought to mind some reading I'd done by Thomas Szasz:

"Lawmakers do not discover prohibited rules of conduct, calledcrimes, they create them. Killing is not a crime; only unlawfulkilling is—for example, murder. Similarly, psychiatrists do notdiscover (mis)behaviors, called mental diseases, they create them.Killing is not a mental disease; only killing defined as due to mentalillness is; schizophrenia thus “causes” hetero-homicide (not called“murder”) and bipolar illness “causes” auto-homicide (called“suicide”).My point is that psychiatrists, who create diagnoses of mentaldiseases by giving disease names to personal (mis)conduct,function as legislators, not as scientists."

To be read in full context: http://www.scribd.com/doc/18764881/Szasz-Thomas-Mental-Illnes-is-Still-a-Myth

Now, as to what I think? The action was a crime, and should and would be prosecuted by the laws of the United States. I believe that the situation begs an answer to a related question of "Does 'might' make right?"

A question that will continue to surface as the world population continues to interplay via the internet socially, and resultingly, even as potentially deadly mishaps at times, legally trespassing laws that were previously confined to material borders.

Yes you are right Karen, interesting article too, if a bit extreme.  I am no lover of psychiatrists believe me. I see two close up examples of so called mental illness in my family: a sister in law who fakes memory loss and depression in order to get sympathy and manipulate people, no to mention a larger divorce settlement; and a nephew, by marriage, who since he was 4 years old has had sever Asperger-like symptoms. I have no hesitation in condemning the former, but saying that the latter should no be judged by “ordinary” standards in his conduct.

In the present instance of McKinnon imo it’s a straightforward case of the UK not trusting the US to give him a fair trial, and not accepting that the potential sentence would be fair. And, for once, standing firm on moral grounds.

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21 posted 10-22-2012 02:36 PM       View Profile for Lady Goodman   Email Lady Goodman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Goodman

Um, slight correction.

Karen did not propose a position, she simply asked the question if might makes right?

Because Karen knows that the answer is one of those there slippery slopes and is very well aware that the definition of "might" can be defined in terms of say, brute muscle,  economics, intelligence, or even devastating retaliation. Nod. Much to think about when you factor all that in...

The Szasz articile is a bit extreme, but I think he takes an extreme stance and makes a rational case. If you read further, you'll note that he makes no defense of criminals using psychiatric diagnoses either--he states a strong case and obvious need for social order.

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22 posted 10-22-2012 03:25 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Has he been trialed by the law of his own country?   Or is it legal to hack into other countries' security in the UK?
Ron
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quote:
But purely on the evidence of this thread it seems fairly certain that he’s already been convicted, with no mitigating circumstances allowed, and with a potential penalty far in excess of that that would be likely to be imposed elsewhere.

Moon, you should at least try to put a few periods between your contradictions.

I would be the first to agree we can't convict a man without a trial. In the same vein, however, neither mitigating circumstances nor penalties can be decided in the absence of a trial. You accuse us of prejudging, but that is EXACTLY what you and your government are doing. You have both judged the man's guilt and decided what penance he should be asked to pay. Then you decided that your (pre)judgment should supercede what you "think" the judgment of the courts will be.

The law is the law. You can either uphold it or seek to change it. What cannot be allowed, except at the risk of anarchy, is for people to think they can pick and choose which laws they will abide and which they will ignore.


Huan Yi
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24 posted 10-22-2012 06:34 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


'What cannot be allowed, except at the risk of anarchy, is for people to think they can pick and choose which laws they will abide and which they will ignore."


Like the President?


.

 
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