Anne McClain is an american 40 years old astronaut highly decorated and nominee to become the first woman to walk on the Moon. However in the last weeks she became famous for a totally different story. It is always an unique primacy globally important, but completly different. We are talking about the case that sees her involved in the charging of informatic and banking hacking, which happened right while she was onboard of the ISS. Both if she will be accused or not the case must be studied in the minimum details and it will serve to understand how to act in the future, because the one of which we are talking about it is the first space crime in the human history.
The hacking charge
To better understand the event we have to do some steps back: by starting to know the protagonists of the story. They are, like we said, the astronaut Anne McClain and her ex wife: Summer Worden, ex 007 of the american aviation.
They get married in the 2014, but in the 2018 the problems arrived. McClain accused the wife of violence, the case was then dismissed but the controversy, inevitably, finished with the divorce. From there a hard fight started between lawyers and courts, especially for their son.
During the story McClain went on the ISS, for a six months long mission. And it is right there that the case passed the edges of the planet Earth.
It seems, infact, that Summer Worden discovered that the ex wife was controlling her bank account and so she asked to the bank to check from which computers she was entering. Unbelievably they found out that between them there was some really special servers, the ones onboard of the ISS.
Worden denounced the McClain for identity theft and improper acces to her personal bank account. It was like that that really fast the event became a media case which will go down in history as the first space crime.
The first space crime
It could be, so, the first case of space cyber crime. But, even if the McClain will be exonerated and will come clean, the case doesn’t have any previous and it is really important to start to understand how to act in the future, maybe for more relevant cases.
Meanwhile the astronaut defends herself, by claiming that there isn’t nothing true about the declarations of her ex wife. “We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunatelly in the media”.
McClain came back on the Earth the last June, after 204 days in orbit. And it is better to remember her for other stories. During the last mission, for example, she might partecipate to the first space walk fully in pink. Walk which unfortunatelly wasn’t made. And at the moment she is the candidate number one for the next moon walk.
Whose is the case?
Firstly, currently, they don’t even know how to start the case, because the ISS don’t flying any flag. The personal case between the two women involves now the whole world, or at least the five space agencies that cooperate in the station: United States, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada. The case must be, so, treated in the same way as the crimes occurred in the international waters.
“Only because it is in the space doesn’t mean that it isn’t subject to law”.
In the future, anyway, the space will be ever more crowded and so this is the perfect case to start to study specific laws.
For example, the case lets arise many doubts about an hypothetical space ius soli and ius sanguinis. On the ISS it’s born any children for now, but due to the intention to start long time missions and, even, to the first colonies, the topic should be faced as soon as possible.
And what do we have to say about the space tourism? Already from the next year it will start the first touristic travels and, even if they will be only few minutes long, they will involved at least 400 people per year. We can’t send tourists in a place with no rules.
It seems, so, that the first space crime occurred right in the perfect moment. Is it possible that witout a real crime no one thought before to the problem? A space legislative bug that risked to become without any doubt much more serious than a case between ex spouses.
This post is also available in: Italiano