Gary McKinnon is to be sent by the UK government to the United States for trial, following the failure of his latest appeal against extradition.

McKinnon has a form of autism, which his legal team and doctors claim will lead to “disastrous consequences” for his health, including possible psychosis and suicide; if he is extradited.

McKinnon admits accessing the United States military computer network, though has always claimed this was to find proof of alien fuel technology.  Prosecutors claim his access caused close to a million dollars worth of damage; which has bee hotly contested by McKinnon’s legal team.

The 43 year old hacker faces up to 60 years in prison if found guilty.  His case has been championed by human rights groups and a number of celebrities, including; Bob Geldof, Chrissy Hynde and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

The Federal Trade Commission: Bloggers must declare freebies

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has finally acted to let consumers know that the reviews and testimonials they see on many blogs are only given, because the blogger is getting paid or ‘gifted.’  Although bloggers will still be able to accept money or goods for reviews and posts, they will soon be legally bound to let the reader know. Full FTC press release.

For blogs like this, that offer full disclosure, this means we finally get a level playing field; at least within the USA.  Readers expect bloggers to be able to run a financially successful blog, they just want sponsor information made available.  Sadly, many bloggers fail to disclose it.

The FTC and Twitter’s Controversial SUL

Will bloggers on this list NOW have to declare it in their Twitter-related posts?

This raises a question about the highly controversial way that Twitter has randomly ‘gifted’ certain bloggers with (literally) hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of traffic, via their Suggested User List or SUL.

I assume this means that blogs like, will now have to declare, in each post they write about Twitter, that Twitter gifted them a place on Twitter’s Suggested User List?  After all, in mashable’s case, this gift from Twitter has gained them ONE AND A HALF MILLION new followers since they joined it and (apparently) a huge surge in traffic.

For blogs like mashable, traffic equals money.  This massive increase in traffic dramatically increases their advertising income and as such, is of enormous financial benefit to them.

The irony is that the most trusted bloggers, are those who clearly disclose their advertisers or sponsors.  When Robert Scoble’s blog was sponsored by Seagate, he did not need to include a disclaimer in every post. He simply made it possible for every reader to identify what the business model behind his blog was.  If they were interested, readers could see that the blog’s sponsors was Seagate.  This did not stop the scobleizer blog becoming massively successful or people trusting what Robert wrote.  I don’t always agree with Robert, but I trust him.

Open and honest works great!

Blogging 101 is to give your readers what they want.  When it comes to news related content, people tell us time and time again that what they want is openness.  It really is that simple. If you are looking forward to translate this content, contact Translation Agencies UK