The UK High Court has ruled that hacker Lauri Love will not be extradited to the United States for his suspected role in the 2012 hacking of the FBI, US Army, and Federal Reserve.
On Monday, after a five-year legal battle against extradition, activist Lauri Love was told he would not be extradited to the United States to face a trial for his suspected hacking of computer networks maintained by the U.S Army, Federal Reserve, NASA, FBI, and Department of Defense. The Telegraph reported:
Three different US districts have filed indictments against the British national under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). According to his lawyers’ estimates, the charges filed against Love in New York, New Jersey and Virginia said the hacker would face a maximum penalty of 99 years in prison and fines of $9 million.
Love was originally arrested by the UK National Crime Agency in 2013 after being suspected of participating in a 2012 “hacktavist” campaign which sought to bring attention to the recent death of activist and computer programmer Aaron Swartz. Love and other activists were protesting the treatment of Swartz, who committed suicide while fighting a 35-year prison sentence for alleged misuse of a computer. Although no charges were initially filed against Love, the Metropolitan Police eventually arrested him again and charged him on behalf of the US.
In September 2016, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that Love could be extradited to the U.S. to face charges for his alleged role in the hacking. Love’s family testified that Lauri Love has Asperger’s syndrome and would be at risk of suicide if sent to the United States. They also argued that the U.S. prison system was not equipped to give Love the proper medical care. The High Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Love, denying the extradition. The United States now has two weeks to appeal the decision.
When the ruling was read the courtroom erupted in cheers and applause leading Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett to tell the crowd to be quiet. Justice Burnett left open the possibility of Love being charged by UK courts. “We emphasise however that it would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him. Far from it,” the ruling states. “Much of Mr Love’s argument was based on the contention that this is indeed where he should be prosecuted. The judges urged the Crown Prosecution Service to work with US authorities because of “the gravity of the allegations in this case, and the harm done to the victims”.
The CPS also has 14 days to attempt to appeal the ruling. Following the ruling, Lauri Love told reporters that despite the potential for further legal troubles he is relieved by the ruling.
Follow Free Lauri for updates on the case.
Image credit: Technomage Industries/Motherboard
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
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