back to article Latvian foreign minister speaks out against giving up alleged Gozi writer to US

Latvia has set itself on a collision course with America after the tiny nation's foreign minister said he did not want the alleged creator of the notorious Gozi trojan extradited to face justice in the US. Writing on the Latvian Foreign Ministry's website, Edgars Rinkēvičs insisted he would not like to see Dennis Calovskis spend …

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FAIL

Poor comparison

Someone searching for UFO's and who exposed the weaknesses in the US military systems, versus someone who delibrately created a trojan to steal money from millions of people around the world.

I can see how they are close together cant you?

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Meh

Re: Poor comparison

Indeed. However, the US is not The World Police. Nor should it act like it is.

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Headmaster

Re: Poor comparison

"Someone searching for UFO's and who exposed the weaknesses in the US military systems"

I agree that on the face of things this chap is alleged to have committed a more serious crime than Gary McKinnon, but please stop regurgitating crap about UFOs and the like. McKinnon was a trumped up little idiot who was only saved from facing the music because of his mummy, and the munificence of a Tory Home Secretary - and don't bleeding well forget it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor comparison

Quote: "However, the US is not The World Police. Nor should it act like it is."

The current interpretation of the 14th amendment (as a result of numerous precedents including supreme court cases) specifies otherwise. As long as that amendment and its interpretation stand as of now, US will continue to be world police and think that its laws are the only ones that apply to any individual anywhere (be it US subject or otherwise). In this one USA administration have no choice - their laws of the land tell them to do so and justify the violation of any international law, moral standard and/or treatie necessary to do so.

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Re: Poor comparison

@hplasm

Apart from when we ask them to of course, like Libya. Of course you are very correct, if the US was 'hurt' they should follow normal legal procedure. If they can legally extradite him so be it, if not they should leave it at that or see if it would be possible to have him tried locally. I think perhaps the law in this case is too out of date (irrespective of if you believe he should or shouldn't be prosecuted), it needs to clarify where a crime takes place in respect of 'cyber crime'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor comparison

And despite your dribbling, ignorant rant, Mr. McKinnon broke no UK law and is a UK citizen/subject and resident. USA law does not apply as a matter of course, whatever you may think, any more than the USA respects UK law, e.g., a little to one side but illustrative: USA expresses shock, horror and disappointment that Russia will not send Snowden to them. But I have not noticed any reports of the Russian "traitors" who sought sanctuary in the USA being returned to Russia, nor the IRA murderers to Britain, nor corrupt financiers to Britain.

No, even the most rabid USA fan must accept that, despite appearances, not every other country has abandoned all local laws in deference to USA, overweening demands.

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14th amendment → world police?

Anonymous Coward of 09:54 GMT, would you please explain how the 14th amendment leads to US administrations having to take on the rôle of world police? That amendment has five sections. The first section deals with US citizenship and limitations on the states. The second section deals with determining apportionment in the House of Representatives. The third section deals with elected US and state officeholders who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the US. The fourth section disclaims all US and state debts or obligations incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the US, and all claims for loss or emancipation of slaves. The fifth section gives Congress the power to enforce this amendment through legislation. Which of these sections, or combination of these sections, leads to adminstrations having to become world police?

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Black Helicopters

US Justice

Kill someone and be out in 15 years with parole

Steal something over the internet, or login to a system you shouldn't and you might be luck to see the outside world again.

Something is clearly wrong with this model.

There coming to take me away Ha-HA (well it might not be so far fetched these days....)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something wrong with the model?

The model exists to protect the money and has nothing to do with justice. That is all I have to say on the matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Something wrong with the model?

Latvia needs to realise that it's not just taking on the US by harbouring guys like this, it's pretty much taking on anyone who has a stake in the international financial system working as usual, which is...well, pretty much every country in the world. the sentence is disproportionate but if this arsehole was stealing from my account I'd want the book thrown at him too.

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Megaphone

Re: US Justice

Stealing money from banks (potentially) affects the Elites (certainly the banks and who're they run by, even if not affected personally) therefore the USA will take any steps regardless of how (dis)proportionate to protect them and their interests.

If he'd stolen from, say, Afghan (or whomever the USA doesn't like this week) banks then the USA wouldn't give a toss. If it were Israeli or American banks then you get this.

You have to assume he also stole from German, British, French, etc banks, too, unless the code targetted specific institutions yet you don't hear about any of these countries raising a stink when it would actually be easier for them to prosecute being based in the Eurozone.

Fuck 'em. Just to piss America off and remind it that it doesn't have a 'God-given' (and I mean that most sincerely, folks) right to get its own way.

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Re: US Justice

You are incorrect, stealing money from banks does not in one bit affect the ELITES. It affects the mules, people conned into allowing their bank accounts to be used for money laundering. The banks and credit card companies refund the money to their customers then recover the money from the intimedery mules accounts, those people taken in by "work from home" scams who cash checks for the criminals.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: US Justice

Actually: Kill someone, get life. You may get out in 15-20 years, if you show remorse and rehabilitation, but you're on life licence, put a foot wrong and you'll get recalled.

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Re: Something wrong with the model?

Yeah. The banks own us...

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Re: Something wrong with the model?

"if this arsehole was stealing from my account I'd want the book thrown at him too."

The difference is between Latvia punishing it's own citizens and Latvia handing it's citizens over to America to face American justice.

If the guy broke the law, he should face Latvian justice, not American justice...

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Both, perhaps?

"the Latvian foreign minister wrote: I do have my own reasons to vote against the extradition of Dennis Calovskis for trial in the United States."

Since the minister has not clearly stated the reasons for his objection, it's not possible to know if he objects because Dennis Calovskis gave him a large sum of money, or because Calovskis is a relative of his (or his wife's), or both of the foregoing.

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Holmes

Re: Both, perhaps?

Microsoft hasn't stated the patents it's extorting money from Android makers with, either.

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Re: Reasons given, if you're willing to read.

Turtle, the Latvian Foreign Minister gives 5 enumerated reasons for his objection. It's there in his blog post, and the Google translation should be good enough to get the gist. If not, reply here and I'll help you out.

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Stop

Re: Both, perhaps? (@ Turtle)

" I do have my own reasons to vote against the extradition of Dennis Calovskis for trial in the United States"

Perhaps the reason is that he considers that the USA justice/prisons system is barbaric/stupid/cruel and that sending one of your citizens into that is ethically reprehensible.

Or perhaps the Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs thinks that the guy should be tried under the laws -and with the guarantees- of the country in which he was when he committed the crime.

Or it's just that he thinks that approving this request from the USA would leave him out of logical arguments if his country ever receives an extradition request so some petty thief must be sent to the Middle East so he can have his hands chopped off.

If the reason was one of these three, we can all imagine why he'd prefer not to make them public.

Anyway, kudos for Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs! I know of too many politicos who would have happily sent him to the USA, no questions asked.

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Sorry America

But no matter how important you think that you are, you are just another nation on this planet... and not a very nice one at that.

Your actions are abhorrent in that you badger and harass foreign sovereign states to submit to your will. You want everyone who commits a crime that affects Americans to be tried in the US where your record of human rights abuse in recent times is starting to sound more like those of Nazi Germany.

You have laws in place that allow the intelligence agencies to seize American citizens off the street and have them declared enemy combatants for the purposes of detaining them without trial for indefinite periods. You spy on your own citizens without warrant, another thing in common with Nazi Germany, and treat foreign dignitaries as if they were second class to your own people.

Your armed forces commit atrocities which if another countries armed forces does it gets called war crimes and they get hauled before the war crimes tribunal as war criminals but your soldiers can only be tried by the US courts, thanks to George W. Bush.

No other country in the world appointed you to be the world police but you have taken that mantle upon yourself and you continuously force yourself on other countries as the worlds law makers and you think that you know whats best for the rest of the world.

If you want to be the world police, please restrict it to that world where you have this sporting even called the World Series, where you are the only participants, and leave the running of the world to the rest of the countries in it. We can look after ourselves quite well thank you.

Please... don't call us... we'll call you!

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Holmes

Re: Sorry America

Don't forget the Stasi, too. They were a damned unpleasant bunch, possibly more akin to current US policy than the Nazi's though the imperialist dogma is very much like 1930/40's Germany

"you continuously force yourself on other countries" -- yeah thinking of renaming the UK to 'Bend Over Britain'

Seriously though. Make a conscious effort to avoid buying US goods. It's only the money that keeps them going. Don't buy a Ford, buy a Mazda or something. Every time you buy an Apple thing think 'do I want to support US policies' etc... you'll get used to thinking that way easily enough.

And no, before the trolls pop out from under the bridge, I don't expect it to be a simple matter to be totally US-good-free, e.g. petroleum industries, US components inside non-US goods, etc.

But you can at least put some thought into it if you don't want to fund them.

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Re: Sorry America

err, you do know that Ford own Mazda, don't you? Maybe back luck on badge choice, but can we please stop comparing the US to Nazi or Stasi rule? I know it's bad, but it's not that bad.

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Meh

Re: Sorry America

@monkeyfish I do now.

The core concept and point is still understood, regardless.

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Meh

Re: Ford sold its Mazda stake

As part of its big revamp over the past decade, Ford sold its controlling stake in Mazda.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

"You want everyone who commits a crime that affects Americans to be tried in the US where your record of human rights abuse in recent times is starting to sound more like those of Nazi Germany."

That's how extradition treaties normally work: If a crime is committed against the people of country X, and country Y, if country X submits an extradition request before country Y prosecutes, the prosecution will be put on hold until the extradition is approved or not. If the extradition is not approved, country Y may proceed with a prosecution, should they so desire.

Also, to compare the USA, with all its faults, to Nazi Germany in terms of human rights just makes you sound like a stroppy teenager who has no idea about what it's actually like in America and certainly no idea about Nazi Germany. Do you actually even have any friends or acquaintances who are American? In the holocaust millions of people were slaughtered and/or forced to work often to death in labour camps, I don't notice anything like this happening in America, even in the worst prisons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

> can we please stop comparing the US to Nazi or Stasi rule? I know it's bad, but it's not that bad.

If there is a fair comparison to be made, then the comparison should be made.

The spectre of the Nazi/Stasi system should absolutely be invoked when we see modern-day equivalents start to bloom. Too often Nazis are some abstract evil "other guys", so nobody stops to consider that the systems and ideologies which many of our nations fought so fiercely against so many decades ago, are being adapted and adopted with open arms by the governments of those same nations.

It's never that bad, until you wake up one morning, and realise it has become so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

It's quite a sign of how shite the commentards on the Reg has become when silly arse soapboxing like Dramoth's initial comment gets a ridiculous amount of upvotes.

Not that there's anything untrue with what you said but come on, comparing them to the Nazi's? Acting like the US is the only 'bad guy' out there? It's all a bit vacuous and infantile and doesn't really offer any intelligent, in depth insight as to the actual reality of the situation, yet everyone here eats it up. If you want some sort of geopolitical debate, leave the 14 year old Rage Against the Machine fan rhetoric at home please.

Seeing as how I'll get a billion downvotes for this comment, let me over egg the pudding by saying that Linux users are all nerds with no friends.

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Pint

Re: Sorry America

Wow, Dra, are you always this overdramatic? Sure, America has made (and continues to make!) plenty of mistakes. I think most of us would agree that the Iraq war was one of those.

No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though. America does a lot of good in the world (for example, ever wonder why that same G. W. Bush is beloved in Africa? Worth a few seconds of your Google-foo).

If you're not happy with America's leadership, get your country to step up and offer something better!

A big "Sveiks!" shout-out to all you Latvians visiting the Reg carrion-pit!

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Re: you're right on this, murph

And how can America be that bad if it gave rise to RATM?

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Re: Sorry America

Nationalistic? Check

Extremely right wing? Check

Economy on the down? Check

Huge spending on military? Check

Wants to expand it's sphere of influence over the whole world? Check

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

Rounding up large amounts of it's populace into death camps based on raci...Oh wait, no, no they don't do that. So yeah, maybe a bit of an exaggeration comparing them to the Nazis.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

@Tom 38 - If you're going to comment learn a bit of politics and history first:

Nationalistic? No, patriotic, rather different.

Extremely right wing? No, still centre right.

Economy on the down? Not really and certainly not anything like the hyper inflation in 30s Germany

Huge spending on military? I agree

Wants to expand it's sphere of influence over the whole world? All countries want their sphere of influence to be expanded across the world. It doesn't make them Nazis.

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Re: Sorry America (@ AC Friday 2nd August 2013 12:28 GMT )

"Nationalistic? No, patriotic, rather different."

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”

(Samuel Johnson.)

"Extremely right wing? No, still centre right."

That's an error in the translation. In USAian, 'centre right' means the same as the expression "Extremely right wing" means to the rest of the world.

One good thing I have to say about the USA is that they aren't goosewalking over their neighbours. Not in the last one hundred years or so. Hmmm... except for Granada, and Panama, and all those Contra operations and proxy wars. And Vietnam, Irak and Afghanistan aren't USA's neighbours, so they don't count...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America (@ AC Friday 2nd August 2013 12:28 GMT )

@Mephistro:

Just because someone once said it's the last refuge of a scoundrel, doesn't mean that it's a bad thing, just that scoundrels will use it as their last argument or point of defence and the implication is that this is false patriotism, rather than a genuine emotion for one's country which is the problem.

Yes, the USA is generally more right-wing than Europe, for instance, but that doesn't mean it's "extremely right wing". In any case viewing the US political system as a single entity is grossly simplistic, there are some seriously liberal states in the US, there is also Texas. It's more like 50 individual legal systems, with some common law that bind them together. Think of it a lot more like the EU, you wouldn't compare the political system of Italy to that of the UK, France or Germany. How many EU countries have de-criminalised cannabis? This is a pretty good marker of a liberal society. In the EU it's two by my count and currently we're looking at four US states where it's decriminalised and a couple more IIRC where it's available "on prescription" with no questions asked.

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Re: Sorry America (@ AC Friday 2nd August 2013 14:55 GMT )

"and the implication is that this is false patriotism, rather than a genuine emotion for one's country "

In my book, true patriots want the best for their country and its people. Such true American patriots should be fighting hard to get back all the rights the American people have lost in the last decades, and force the government to treat the rest of the world in such a way that the rest of the world don't have so many reasons to hate the USA. A good first step would be signing -and committing to- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I know of some true American patriots, but from where I'm looking, there doesn't seem to be so many of them. What I see is lots of muppets saying that anything the Government does it's OK, that all foreigners are stupid and evil, that whatever American soldiers do overseas is OK, etc. And I call this kind of people 'nationalists'.

"How many EU countries have de-criminalised cannabis?"

Most of them have decriminalised cannabis possession -in small amounts- or at most fine the offenders. You should check the number of people incarcerated in the USA and Europe for cannabis related crimes. Not even in the same league.

And it doesn't matter how many states have decriminalised cannabis, if the consumers can still be harassed by the FBI and sued at federal courts. This situation, it seems to me, totally opposes the American Constitution, but then, I'm only an ignorant foreigner, so what do I know?.

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Re: Sorry America

" Rounding up large amounts of it's populace into death camps based on raci...Oh wait, no, no they don't do that. "

Well... not since the 1920s anyway. And it's not like they were ever closed either, now they're just called 'Indian nations'.

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Re: Sorry America

"Rounding up large amounts of it's populace into death camps based on raci..."

where do you think german nazis got the idea? hint: us death camps where they forcibly relocated native americans

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry America

I call bullshit.

The British rounded up the Boer women and children into "death camps" during the Boer wars, much as Mussolini did prior to WWII in North Africa. I believe you give the Nazis far too much credit for their knowledge of history.

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Evidence?

My reading of this (which may be wrong -- I am guessing at the invisible dtails):

The extradition request has not come from a court, and has no evidence to back it. The reques has come from a (politically motivated?) local prosecutor. Much like the McKinnon and Assange extradition attempts.

If there is evidence, why cannot it be presented to the Latvian courts. And if Dennis Calovskis committed any crime from Latvia he could be tried there.

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Re: Evidence?

Because America wants anyone who might have committed a crime against their imperial overlords (the banks and the major corporations) to stand trial in the states.

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Wait, wait, wait! Now how does Dr. Victor von Doom play into all of this again?

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Extradition?

"That's how extradition treaties normally work: If a crime is committed against the people of country X, and country Y, if country X submits an extradition request before country Y prosecutes, the prosecution will be put on hold until the extradition is approved or not. If the extradition is not approved, country Y may proceed with a prosecution, should they so desire."

That is exactly NOT how it works. Extradition is for cases where someone (anyone) commits a crime IN country X and somehow ends up in country Y before country X was able to arrest them. Country X then asks country Y to extradite alleged criminal back to country X, where the crime was committed, to stand trial.

In other words, in most (all?) legal jurisdictions, crimes are tried according to where they are committed, and not according to whom they are committed against.

But being the world's policeman, the US is beyond mere national laws or international laws. If they want someone they have options other than extradition: such as abduction, rendition, or simply the laying of false charges.

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Re: Extradition? (@ crayon)

^This!

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Big Brother

"...resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars from bank accounts of individuals and businesses..."

tax collectors will be on trial then? Oh happy day!

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Anonymous Coward

Not a problem

All countries who harbor cyber criminals will be held accountable. There is a high price to pay for such stupidity. You may not read about it but you will feel the pain of unlawful politcal decisions.

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