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.