British hacker loses battle against extradition to United States

Lauri Love may be coming to the United States, but I wouldn’t count on it being any time soon. For those of you who may have missed the original story, Love is the “hacktivist” who frequently pushes the theme Bring Down All The Regimes and loves to dig through the internet for sensitive data. Back in 2013 he was identified and accused of being the perpetrator of a year long hacking scheme which hit the U.S. Army, NASA and our missile defense systems, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. You’d think that a citizen of a country with whom we have that special relationship would turn over such a person in short order, but that hasn’t been the case. Love’s attorneys and his many supporters in the British public have been fighting extradition tooth and claw. They don’t seem to be claiming that he’s innocent (which would be a losing argument to begin with), but rather that an American prison would be too harsh for his delicate condition. Still, Love is one step closer to that awful fate now, having lost his latest court battle to stay in his home country. (Guardian)

Lauri Love, the student accused of hacking into the computer systems of the US missile defence agency, Nasa and the Federal Reserve, has lost his appeal against extradition to America.

Judge Nina Tempia said the 31-year-old, who has Asperger syndrome, could be cared for by “medical facilities in the United States prison estate” and implied that he should answer the “extremely serious charges” in the country where the damage was inflicted.

Love, who lives with his parents in Newmarket, Suffolk, was granted permission to appeal against Friday’s ruling and given bail pending further legal action. The battle over his fate could eventually reach the European court of human rights in Strasbourg and last several years.

There were gasps in the courtroom as Tempia read out her ruling, which followed a full case hearing in June. Love’s supporters, who stormed out of Westminster magistrates court in London shouting “kangaroo court”, fear he could face up to 99 years in a US jail if convicted on all counts.

Love is obviously a popular figure in his own country. The fact that he suffers from Asperger syndrome only adds to the sympathy he benefits from. But the argument that somehow our penal system is less well equipped to provide him with care than the British system is a rather hollow one at best. And would he ever even enter the British prison system to put that to the test? The Brits have had years to take action against him but nothing has been done.

Love’s home was initially raided by National Crime Agency officers in October 2013. Asked why it had not prosecuted Love in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act, the National Crime Agency confirmed that it had never sent a full file of evidence on Love to the Crown Prosecution Service.

So no action is being taken by our allies to bring Love to justice and, as I said at the top, he still has time to appeal this ruling at home. That process could go all the way to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg, which means it would be years on end before any action is possible. The next time we’re in negotiations with the Brits over anything related to the vast ocean of support they receive from us, perhaps this case could be brought up as part of the process.


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