UK Home Secretary Agrees To Turn Over Accused Hacker Lauri Love To US Government

from the solitary-confinement-of-foreign-soil:-so-very-healing dept

Accused hacker Lauri Love is headed to the United States to face prosecution, thanks to an order signed by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. The Home Office felt that — after “all things” were “considered” — the best place for an Asberger’s sufferer with suicidal tendencies is the US prison system, most likely segregated from the general population.

The 31-year-old activist, who has Asperger syndrome, lost his legal challenge to avoid extradition in September, and on Monday the Home Office said the necessary order allowing his removal had been signed after Rudd “carefully considered all relevant matters”.

The Home Office said Love “has been charged with various computer hacking offences which included targeting US military and federal government agencies”.

It didn’t have to go this way. A UK court did find the US government’s desire to extradite and prosecute understandable and explained away all the arguments Love raised against being forced to leave the country. In the court’s estimation, the US prison system is more than capable of meeting Love’s particular “needs.” Apparently, the court has never read anything at all about the federal prison system. Maybe it feels throwing suicidal people into solitary confinement is just a part of the recovery process.

Over 100 members of Parliament signed a letter urging President Obama to drop the extradition. They noted former Home Secretary Theresa May — no one’s idea of a people’s champion — stiff-armed the US’s attempt to extract another hacker (Gary McKinnon) for basically the same allegations.

The group also wanted to know why it was so necessary to go this route. The UK court system is perfectly capable of handling the process without having to send someone with multiple mental health issues halfway around the world.

“We would like to ask, why then is the United States insistent on Mr Love’s extradition, despite the UK having a proven track record of appropriately sentencing and rehabilitating individuals who have committed computer-hacking offences against the US?”

The answer is “because” and “if you like our surveillance partnerships, you’ll do as you’re asked.” Theresa May pushed back against the US government’s demands, but that was pre-Snowden. Now, everyone’s favorite secret surveillance programs aren’t so secret anymore and are facing numerous legal challenges. No one agency can do it all. The Five Eyes partnership is more important than ever because it allows participating countries to route legislative changes and court rulings.

That probably fed into Rudd’s decision. Another factor may have been the ongoing hysteria over all things cyber. The US government is routinely hacked and this recent election opened the doors to fears that foreign powers could disrupt the oh-so-sacred election process. Anyone hacking into anything government-related is going to face the full force of as many federal prosecutors the DOJ can spare, so this should certainly go well for Love.

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Comments on “UK Home Secretary Agrees To Turn Over Accused Hacker Lauri Love To US Government”

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78 Comments
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And how better to get hackers working for you but to remind them they are trapped in prison indefinitely, but if you hack this and that for us perhaps we can let you have a cell with a window, maybe a backdoor into a bank might get us to turn the lights off at night so you can sleep, getting us a deeper tunnel into UK systems… we’ve got this fluffy pillow.

timmaguire42 says:

And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

His crimes were against the United States so that is where he should be tried. Having a totally real and not mostly made up syndrome doesn’t normally give one a license to break the law. Lots of people get “suicidal” when faced with punishment for their crimes, there’s nothing unique there either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

I’m going to have to agree with you. If someone uses a far reaching tool like a computer to commit a crime in another country, then why shouldn’t he face the music in that country? Now with that said; If it’s legal in one and not the other, then well, perhaps he has some standing. You would need to look at each case individually of course.

But in this case, he knew he was breaking the law when he did what he did. He needs to suffer the consequences if he’s found guilty. I agree we need to fix our prison systems, people shouldn’t be put in solitary indefinitely, that’s not right. But at the same time, he should have considered the consequences BEFORE he broke the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

He shouldn’t face the music in that country if that country does not respect human rights. You acknowledge yourself the issue with throwing people in solitary, which I scarcely need to remind anyone is widely regarded as torture. We do not, or rather should not, ever extradite anyone to a country with such practices. The crimes committed should not even come into consideration.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

Except that the US is a rogue state that practices cruel and unusual punishments, has the largest prison population in the world and has a uniquely awful plea bargaining system that basically denies justice to anyone sent there – especially for this type of crime.

Even the DAILY MAIL disagrees with you!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3940392/Twisted-justice-Left-s-pin-Assange-evades-extradition-grotesque-sending-young-Briton-Asperger-s-face-99-years-jail.html

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

“Except that the US is a rogue state that practices cruel and unusual punishments, has the largest prison population in the world and has a uniquely awful plea bargaining system that basically denies justice to anyone sent there – especially for this type of crime.”

Then people should really stop breaking into their fucking computers right? I think knowing all that, I would probably not fuck with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

“Knowing that, the UK government should protect its citizens against them.”

They are protecting their citizens. If someone in the U.S. attacks a computer system in the U.K., then the U.K. in turn could drag their silly ass over and put them on trial. Extradition works both ways. They are protecting their citizens by making it illegal for U.S. hackers to attack U.K. systems.

Or did you mean protect them from the repercussions of their actions?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

This is standard fare actually. Most people assume guilt and the government is all too willing to take advantage of that fact and immediately confronting people with the phrase “Do you have an alibi… blah blah blah”

This was the part where America USED to be different from the rest of the world. The American government was instituted to protect our rights, but like the UK, the US government instead now just dictates what rights you have. The Citizens endure it without much complaint too.

Far too many people have forgotten and many of the millennials were never even taught by either their so call ‘teachers’ I call them glorified babysitters or even explained to by their worthless fucking parents.

Most people have not only been misinformed, they are actively discouraged from discovering the truth, because that truth if fully realized would shatter the current society.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

By that logic, yes.

But only by that logic. And given how the anti-terrorist legislation has become a catch-all for dealing with anyone the US government doesn’t like, why shouldn’t that sword swing both ways?

That said, the US government is doing the exact same thing to us on this side of the Pond. And it’s illegal but Five Eyes blah blah national security blah blah terrorism boogeyman, etc.

I’m sick of the hypocrisy. Since Jamie Love is a vulnerable person he should be put on trial over here and if found guilty imprisoned or subject to a court order over here. I’d personally recommend house arrest with no access to the internet for X number of years. That way justice is served without making anyone look downright evil.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

“Maybe their computers should not be so easy to break into that it practically amounts to entrapment”

So it’s the victim’s fault for making it to easy? I imagine there are plenty of rapists in jail that think the same way.

“maybe his own government should defend its citizens against agressive foreign governments.”

That “agressive foreign government” wouldn’t have had a reason to go after him if he wouldn’t have attacked their computer systems would they? Who’s fault is that exactly?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

The US government is a bully.
One property of bullies is that they try to play the victim.

Generally speaking to be a victim you have to be the weaker party. Exactly who on this planet is strong enough to make the US government into a victim?

(This does not mean that individual americans cannot be victims – of curse they can – and it is then the job of a stronger party, the US government, to defend them. However the US government cannot really be a victim. What has happened here is that it deliberately made itself weak in order to catch out people so it could bully them.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

You need to be taking this type of thing up with your representatives. The U.S. is simply exercising their right, under treaty with the U.K., to bring a criminal to justice. It appears that the accused was provided hearings and due process however it’s received in the U.K. That the U.S. isn’t trying to snatch him out of the country with a drone or anything. I also have to assume the U.K. entered into this extradition agreement freely. Being upset with the U.S. for exercising the use of a treaty doesn’t make sense to me.

Groaker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

There is a bit of difference between rape and hacking. I assume that anywhere that I can get on the net is a legal place to be. Not unlike taking a photograph from a sidewalk.

After all, this is the definition that the FBI uses. How can we treat a human more harshly?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

“There is a bit of difference between rape and hacking.”

Agreed. But the logic is sound. You can’t blame the victim for making something too easy.

” I assume that anywhere that I can get on the net is a legal place to be.”

I assume that if you leave your front door open, I can take what I want? I assume because the bank accidentally deposits 100K into my account it’s mine? I assume because you leave your keys in your car, its free for the taking?

In what world does any of this make sense?

“Not unlike taking a photograph from a sidewalk. “

No that’s not the same at all. More like walking into someone’s house because the door is open, and taking a pictures of their private information.

Has this place gone mad today?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

You were the one calling everyone mad.

And your rape analogy was extremely weak and isn’t "logically sound". State actors don’t generally go in for rape. They do however think it’s perfectly fine to go around hacking into computers. Getting all bent out of shape when citizens do it is hypocritical. And then threatening someone with a 99 year prison sentence is pure evil.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

“And your rape analogy was extremely weak and isn’t “logically sound”.”

In your opinion, which you are indeed entitled too. However I disagree; It is not right and proper to say a victim, even a victim of computer crimes, is making it too easy for the lawbreaker.

“They do however think it’s perfectly fine to go around hacking into computers. Getting all bent out of shape when citizens do it is hypocritical.”

So because they can hack computers, everyone should be able to hack computers? If the police can run a red light, then everyone should be able to run a red light? If the army can have tanks, then everyone should be able to have tanks?

Do you even realize how childish your argument is?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Fail on many fronts

Just wrong. Logic is beyond opinion; you ought to know that. And you cast the first stone regarding abuse, which you failed to address.

Also, you didn’t address your ridiculous rape analogy.

And this… So because they can hack computers, everyone should be able to hack computers? Whaaa??? This makes zero sense. You really need to read posts and think on what you are posting.

Childish? Pro tip: forsake the beer…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

Big issue (in my view) is US can make extradition request to UK, which UK meekly complies with, WITHOUT any evidence

Secondly, the possible jail terms far longer in US than UK.

Thirdly, US scenario of go to jail for years > average lifespan or plead guilty and we give you a short sentence encourages people to plead guilty (even if they think they are innocent) to avoid risk of rotting in jail if jury finds against them

Finally, from what I have read not super sophisticated hacks, so the govt agencies affected should be culpable for dismal security practices

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

I suggest you read the treaty.

“Big issue (in my view) is US can make extradition request to UK, which UK meekly complies with, WITHOUT any evidence”

“In fact, in practice, all extradition requests between the U.S. and UK must meet the evidentiary standards required in both countries. Each country is also always required to present enough evidence to meet our domestic standards – either “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” – before prosecutors can issue an arrest warrant and request an extradition from the other side.”

“Secondly, the possible jail terms far longer in US than UK.”

That’s something to consider before you break the law no?

“Finally, from what I have read not super sophisticated hacks, so the govt agencies affected should be culpable for dismal security practices”

Blaming the victim again.. just sad.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/the-u-s-uk-extradition-treaty/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-us-uk-extradition-relationship/

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

Yes – and in fact there should be a convention that you are tried in the location where you physically were when the crime was committed.

After all, if the US an UK are suffiently in tune to have an extradition treaty then why can’t the US trust the UK to try such a case?

Doesn’t sound like much of a “special relationship” to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

They don’t cave in every case. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly the opposite of that.

“The United States has not denied a single extradition request from the UK under the treaty; the UK has denied 10 requests from the U.S. since the treaty took effect.”

https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/the-u-s-uk-extradition-treaty/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-us-uk-extradition-relationship/#collapse3

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And is that the standard for not facing prosecution now?

Citation? If it’s “mostly made up,” who said that and what are his or her qualifications for doing so?

I’m sick and tired of seeing vulnerable people being abused and neglected by a system that can now pretend it has no obligations towards them because it “doesn’t believe in” their condition.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“So as a UK user, does this mean that Thailand has the right to have me extradited for insulting their stupid fucking King despite the fact I have just broken one of their laws, but never set foot there.”

Not really apples to apples is it? Lets make a true comparison. If you were a UK user, and the UK had an extradition treaty with Thailand, and you broke into one of their computer systems and posted an insult to their stupid fucking King; Then yes, you could be sent to Thailand to stand trial.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think that is an interesting thought.

If you insulted the Thailand King utilizing servers located in Thailand vs servers located in your own country, would that make a difference?

If your country allows such King insulting speech, does that make a difference?

Is breaking into electronic systems the same as breaking into the building that holds them? Should they be considered the same from a jurisdictional viewpoint?

I wish I had answers to these questions but honestly I’m not sure how to feel about any of this but I do think that criminal intent should play a huge role in making such decisions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“If you insulted the Thailand King utilizing servers located in Thailand vs servers located in your own country, would that make a difference?”

Usually extradition treaties stipulate that whatever qualifies for extradition must be a crime in BOTH countries. So if it was illegal in the U.K. AND Thailand to insult their king, then yes, they could be extradited.

“If your country allows such King insulting speech, does that make a difference?”

It sure does. Again, the act must be a crime in BOTH countries to qualify.

Chuck says:

Somewhat off point, but...

I do realize it’s not the main focus of the article but I just had to say this anyway…

The oh-so-sacred elections? You mean the ones where one candidate wins the popular vote by more than a million votes, and the OTHER candidate becomes President, and this happens BY DESIGN?

Yeah, god forbid anyone try to tamper with THAT wonderful, perfectly functioning example of democracy in action.

Normally this is the part where I’d say “and yes, I’d say this if the electoral college had shafted Trump too” but the problem is this has happened twice in the past 20 years and BOTH TIMES it was my team, the Democrats, that got royally f**ked by this. The simple truth of the matter is that the system IS rigged. It’s just that it’s rigged in a manner to give rural, sparsely populated counties an unfair influence over the outcome of the election. i.e. rigged in favor of Trump supporters, and Republicans in general, NOT rigged against them.

You guys wanna un-rig the system, I’m all for that. If you do, you’ll never win another national election again, but that’s fine by me.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Somewhat off point, but...

Normally this is the part where I’d say "and yes, I’d say this if the electoral college had shafted Trump too" but the problem is this has happened twice in the past 20 years and BOTH TIMES it was my team, the Democrats, that got royally f**ked by this. The simple truth of the matter is that the system IS rigged. It’s just that it’s rigged in a manner to give rural, sparsely populated counties an unfair influence over the outcome of the election. i.e. rigged in favor of Trump supporters, and Republicans in general, NOT rigged against them.

No that isn’t the problem – after all Trump could easily have won the popular vote too – and then you wouldn’t have a complaint. No the problem is the winner takes all culture of politics by which elected governments ignore the wishes of the 49%. (or event he 51%)
This really started to get worse with Margaret Thatcher in the UK.

Even with a popular vote referendum you are not safe. The UK didn’t vote for any particular Brexit outcome – they voted (narrowly) against the remain option. It is certain that whatever deal we end up with will be less popular than remaining in the EU.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Somewhat off point, but...

Addendum.

AN early US president, John Adams, said

Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

The problem is that the US public is now so divided that whichever side wins behaves as if they got a unanimous vote.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Somewhat off point, but...

oh boo hoo!

I used to think the Electorial College was a bad idea too, until I read up on history and the reason the founders directly stated that a president by popular vote is a bad idea.

But people like you cannot be reasoned with anyways so have fun with that for the next 4 years! Since you and so many others are completely ignorant about these things, you might be able to gather a large enough flock of sheep to change it.

Chuck says:

Re: Re: Somewhat off point, but...

Ignorant? Oh please do enlighten me, AC.

The founders decided on a representative republic over a pure democracy for one very simple reason – the year was 1776 and neither the internet, nor the television, nor the telephone, nor the telegraph, nor electricity had yet been invented. The majority of the country was illiterate and all communication was done in writing and on horseback. In short, it was impractical to have a popular vote count. In most places, the delegate, usually either a pastor or mayor, would take a show of hands to count the vote, then ride to their state capital for what was usually a several-day trip and turn in his vote. The state capitals, in turn, would all send riders to the other 12 states, and each total the vote independently, thus choosing the president.

The electoral college was invented because communication happened at the speed of horse. That is no longer the case.

That said, there ARE writings from many of the founding fathers suggesting that georgia and south carolina insisted upon the system because they were more rural than the northern states, and feared that a popular vote would give the more densely populated northern states more influence in the elections than them.

And that’s the whole damn point – THEY SHOULD HAVE MORE INFLUENCE THAN THEM. The vote is supposed to represent the will of the people. There is no reason for the vote to balance the will of rural, republican-leaning people with urban, democrat-leaning people. None whatsoever. If republicans want to win elections, they should have to convince 51% of the actual people to vote for them, and since more than 51% of the people are, in actuality, either liberal-leaning or outright democrats, that’ll be a hard sell.

But that doesn’t mean that we should arbitrarily tilt the election based on geography.

That said, it’s still mostly the horses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Somewhat off point, but...

Let me thank you for posting this. Often times a lot of people will not respond to others because they did not like the person they are responding to or consider a troll.

But I often make a response for the people I don’t think of that may be involved in the conversation, so it is nice to learn every once in a while that that someone appreciated something from a conversation they may not be involved with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Somewhat off point, but...

Yes, you are hugely ignorant so here is some enlightenment.

And NO the internet does not change the fundamental truths spoken here.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/49810-i-do-not-say-that-democracy-has-been-more-pernicious
“I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.”

~John Adams

Government is a disease, a malignant disease that is instituted among men to “protect” our rights. Not change, them, fight them, or decide when and where they apply!

And just as the Declaration of Independence says.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Democracy and Popular Vote is just mob rule!

Chuck says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Somewhat off point, but...

So, to clarify, you aren’t saying that a single word I wrote is wrong, but I’m ignorant because I consider that a government of any form is required to stave off anarchy, that anarchy is actually bad, and that, given that I accept that as fact, I consider democracy to be better than monarchy or any other form of government yet tried.

So…I’m ignorant because I don’t want anarchy.

Well, at least you have citations. I mean you’re still wrong, but hey, good effort.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bounced to the courts

I think the point here is that it is not the Home Secretary’s job to make a final decision (after all the Home Secretary is a political appointee). That’s why the Home Secretary is not allowed to consider the implications for the health of the accused or the implications for future cases or all possible precedents and ramifications. The idea of this decision is to get an appeal launched, which the courts will decide, not a gov flunkie.

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