back to article Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

It was ruled today that Lauri Love, the alleged hacktivist from Stradishall, Suffolk, should be extradited to the United States to face charges of crimes carried out as part of online protests following the suicide of Aaron Swartz. Handing down her judgment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon, District Judge Nina …

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  1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Cooper who?

    You refer to 'Cooper' twice before actually mentioning his full name and his relationship to the case!

    1. Martin Milan

      Re: Cooper who?

      I would like to know the maximum sentence he might face, and whether or not he might be allowed to serve it in the United Kingdom before agreeing with this extradition...

      60 years or whatever, 4'000 miles away from his family doesn't sound like justice to me - and that should trouble us.

      That's before we bring his condition into it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cooper who?

        "I would like to know the maximum sentence he might face,...

        Who's "he"...Cooper? :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cooper who?

        It is 29 months just for the "wire fraud" part of the crime. There will most likely be 5 years for conspiracy. As this happened over 3 states and there is interstate wire fraud with each of them, for about 147 months before they get to the real charges. That doesn't include the sealed charges and I'm sure there are some of those that weren't shown in the extradition papers.

        Does Judge Nina Tempia know that if he is found guilty, he will die in a USA prison? He should be as woried about this as Assange™ is since while there aren't any public warrants out with Julian's name from the USA, they do have an outstanding John Doe™ warrant for the author of the hacking tool Strobe.

      3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Sentence

        Isn't the usual practice to have a sentence of 'x' served in that country, or a sentence of <'x' served in your home country if you just plead guilty?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US justice system is anything but, that alone should be enough to refuse extradition.

    I have no doubt that if some 3rd world dictatorship had the same system, the US would be condemning them for human rights abuse and would refuse all requests for extradition.

    The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world - over 700 per 100,000. They have almost 3,000 death row inmates.

    They should be ashamed.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Extradite him to Belarus

      We would not extradite anyone to a former Soviet, because we know that person would be subject to conditions we consider cruel to inhuman. But we we extradite them to the USA, which we know is nearly as brutal (or equally so), because we preserve the fiction that the USA is a liberal (as in 'cares about people's rights') democracy.

      So it is we who are now preserving the fiction that we are a liberal democracy?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, Brexit means Brexit means out of the EU *only*? Will there be another referendum to leave the USA, too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nobody leaves the neoliberal American empire.

      If you try, the CIA destabilizes your democratic government and installs their own.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Nobody leaves the neoliberal American empire.

        If you try, the CIA destabilizes your democratic government and installs their own.

        You thinking of the Whitlam government in the 70s?

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      EU -> NAFTA

      I suspect if UKIP (or Atlantic Bridge) got its way the UK would end up in NAFTA.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Controversial

    But don't go breaking into other people's computer systems

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Controversial

      on the other hand, dont leave your car unlocked and then complain some chav nicked it.......

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Controversial

        maybe not complain but if the chav was found id expect them to be prosecuted (and I'd have to sort the car mess out myself)

      2. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Controversial

        "on the other hand, dont leave your car unlocked and then complain some chav nicked it......"

        What utter bollocks! This is the utterly moronic shit as, "If you don't want to get raped, don't wear a short skirt."!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Controversial

          @FuzzyWuzzys

          Tell that to the insurance company and watch them laugh at you.

          In the good old days it was called common sense.

          Unfortunately, it's been outlawed in the UK.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Controversial

            Insurance is different to criminality, the insurance wont payout because you made a mistake, the police will still prosecute the person who stole your car because stealing a car is illegal.

            Even if the door is left open, the key is in the ignition and there's a sign going "steal this" - it's still stealing. You still shouldn't do it and you would still be prosecuted (or at least cautioned) if you did.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Controversial

              But, to stretch the analogy, you wouldn't get to claim the cost of installing an alarm as damages against the car thief either. The thief stole the car and gets done for that, you don't get to claim back the cost of doing what you should have been doing in the first place.

              In other cases though, the US has tried to reach the bar for damages by including the cost of implementing security that should have been there in the first place.

              So whilst he shouldn't get off scot-free he's not wrong when he claims it won't actually be justice that's metred out in the US

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Controversial

              Even if the door is left open, the key is in the ignition and there's a sign going "steal this" - it's still stealing. You still shouldn't do it and you would still be prosecuted (or at least cautioned) if you did.

              But if you just stole the sign you would probably get away with it because it wouldn't be worth prosecuting for. Wait, I think I lost the main thread here..

            3. Vic

              Re: Controversial

              Even if the door is left open, the key is in the ignition and there's a sign going "steal this" - it's still stealing.

              Your hyperbole goes too far.

              Stealing, in the UK, is defined by the Theft Act 1968. It has a tricky bit about an intent permanently to deprive, which makes it a difficult offence to prove when it comes to nicking cars. Thus the Act has Section 12, covering Taking Without Consent.

              Leaving a car in the condition you describe is likely to be seen as consenting to its being taken, meaning TWOC would not apply.

              Vic.

            4. ShadowDragon8685

              Re: Controversial

              If there's a sign (provably raised by you, and not by the thief for a laff; such as a selfie of you placing the sign,) that says "Steal this," then I'd bet you dollars to donuts they'd get off on account of being literally invited to take the goods in question. That's as good as putting out a box full of guff you pulled out of the attic with a sign reading "free" on it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Controversial

                If there's a sign (provably raised by you, and not by the thief for a laff; such as a selfie of you placing the sign,) that says "Steal this," then I'd bet you dollars to donuts they'd get off on account of being literally invited to take the goods in question.

                I am not so sure of that as US law is generally focused on letter of the law rather than intention of the law. Given that the sign says "steal this", a halfway intelligent prosecutor would move that the defendant thus clearly knew he or she was stealing, and it thus remained a criminal act. It's not even entrapment as the act was clearly labelled as stealing.

                If the sign had said "TAKE this" all would be well..

        2. MrDamage

          Re: Controversial

          > "What utter bollocks! This is the utterly moronic shit as, "If you don't want to get raped, don't wear a short skirt."!"

          Quick, harness that anti-victim blaming rage and direct your bile towards the car park owners, not to mention the police and motoring associations who support them, for putting up the "Lock it or lose it" signs telling people to lock their vehicles and take all valuables with them if they want to keep them.

    2. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Controversial

      "But don't go breaking into other people's computer systems"

      ...especially in the USA where they go after you if they find out and where they have harsh sentences. That said, the American penalties do seem unduly disprortionate at times and, given Love's health issues, I don't think that he ought to be extradited to the USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Controversial

        "But don't go breaking into other people's computer systems"

        ...especially in the USA where they go after you if they find out and where they have harsh sentences.

        Unless, of course, you're doing it FOR the US government, in which case it's all perfectly acceptable and legal unless you tell someone about it.

    3. BillDarblay

      Re: Controversial

      Well Gary Mcinnon telneted into systems that either had a null password or a default password and was hounded for 10 years and faced rendition and a 300 year supermax prison sentence or other such Yankee fundamentalist madness.

      Whilst I suspect Love's exploits were slightly more sophisticated and malign, it still begs the question, 'Are we a civilised society?'.

      How do you define 'breaking into a computer' anyway? People do it every day using HTTP etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Controversial

        Whilst I suspect Love's exploits were slightly more sophisticated and malign, it still begs the question, 'Are we a civilised society?'.

        We were, once, until we started accepted BS instead of straight answers from politicians.

        How do you define 'breaking into a computer' anyway? People do it every day using HTTP etc.

        Access to a system or areas thereof against the wishes of the owner. If they set up a website, accessing that website through normal browsing is OK, whereas throwing crafted SQL statements at it or trying out passwords and other stuff to get to areas not meant to be public is not (the same idea as an unlocked house: it's still not OK to enter it without permission).

        In general, the stupid ones show up in your 404 log, the smart ones blip your error logs every other day or so so your normal alerts won't trigger (their attempts drown in the general "I wanna be a hacker" noise of an Internet connected system). We're working on spanned logs to counter that, which generally amounts to having fights with log rotation :) .

  5. Old Used Programmer

    Consolidate the cases?

    If his lawyers are concerned about three separate cases in three separate jurisdictions, they can probably move to have the cases consolidated into a single Federal case, but that would have to be done in the US.

    If his family and lawyers are concerned that he might commit suicide before actually be extradited, shouldn't they request that his bail be revoked and have him placed in custody...under suicide watch? If he *does* commit suicide before being extradited, who should the fingers point at for not taking reasonable precautions to have prevented it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consolidate the cases?

      Suicide rates for men of his age held in UK prisons is five times that of men of the same age on the out. So incarceration to reduce risk is not logical.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Consolidate the cases?

        >Suicide rates for men of his age held in UK prisons is five times that of men of the same age on the out.

        The suicide rates in UK prisons (0.125%) are much higher than in US prisons (0.046%).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consolidate the cases?

          Then again uk prisons have far fewer people in them and tend to be used as parking bays for the mentally ill.

        2. Known Hero

          Re: Consolidate the cases?

          in US prisons your normally killed before you have a chance to commit suicide :/

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    Just drop it already

    Leave the guy alone... Let the UK deal with him if they see fit. Like his life hasn't already been prison like? Ever hear of time served?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Just drop it already

      What he is charged with is as illegal in the UK as in the US. He doesn't need to be extradited.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just drop it already

        Here's a conviction ("Weev" Auernheimer) that was vacated because it was tried where the servers were located rather than in the perp's state of residence:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/11/weev_reprieve/

        The appeal judge stated that proper trial venue was important enough to be included in the Declaration of Independence. Protections apply only to White, male, US Citizens. As an example, if government agencies want to snoop inside the USA, sometimes they choose to fudge what they're doing. Anywhere else in the world, it's 365-day open season. ianal bipooti.

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Fair enough USA

    So does this mean that we can start extradition proceedings against a few American bankers and politicians?

    1. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: Fair enough USA

      >>So does this mean that we can start extradition proceedings against a few American bankers and politicians?

      As a citizen of the USA, I like to formally ask you to do so. Seriously, you can have them.

    2. BillDarblay

      Re: Fair enough USA

      No. The Extradition Act 2003 only works one way.

      It removed the requirement on the USA to provide prima facie evidence in extraditions from the UK, requiring instead only reasonable suspicion. However the UK is still required to provide prima facie evidence in extraditions from the U.S.A.

      Blair was to busy rimming George Bush's arse to worry about trivia like the rights of the British Serfs.

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Fair enough USA

        @ BillDarblay

        If the information provided by an AC in this thread is correct, then yours, alas, is not.

  8. ratfox Silver badge

    "The conduct occurred in the United States"

    Is that correct? Was Lauri Love physically in the US at the time? Or is it rather that "the computer was in the US"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The conduct occurred in the United States"

      Their 'embarrassment about getting pwned' was located in the US, hence the jurisdiction.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The conduct occurred in the United States"

        Their 'embarrassment about getting pwned' was located in the WORLD, hence the jurisdiction.

        FIFY

  9. Happy Ranter
    Flame

    Deflecting the blame much?

    I think what is happening here is some high up bureaucratic slime ball is pissed because a snotty little teenager broke into said slime ball's computer system using exploits that were almost common knowledge.

    Now the snotty little (ex)-teenager is looking at 99 years in the slammer because some slacker sys admin couldn't be arsed to spend an hour a month patching his TOP SECRET servers against common exploits.

    This is nothing to do with justice, it's just revenge for exposing gross incompetence on a massive scale

    1. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: Deflecting the blame much?

      >This is nothing to do with justice, it's just revenge...

      Let's see here: Looks up definition of Justice. Looks up definition of Revenge.

      Not really seeing the conflict there. Essentially, justice is a form of revenge. The only real limiter is whether said revenge is fair and reasonable.

      Is it fair and reasonable for a person who commits an illegal act against a foreign government to be tried by said foreign government's court system? I suppose we should qualify that further - when 2 governments form treaties stating that certain acts of aggression by their respective citizens against the other will be handle by the injured party - then yes, it is fair and reasonable at least in the eyes of both countries governments.

      If you are unhappy with that situation I'd suggest contacting your government about having the agreements changed. I'd say start with John Reid but he already left after doing every he could to make sure the extradition treaty was signed, even going so far as to travel to the US to encourage them to ratify it.

    2. jamesdavies

      Re: Deflecting the blame much?

      Huh? So he shouldn't be tried because the crime was too easy? Do I deserve to be burglarized if Io forget to lock my front door, and the burglar shouldn't go to trial ???

      The 99 years is just how they get people to do a plea bargain.

    3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Deflecting the blame much?

      I think what is happening here is some high up bureaucratic slime ball is pissed because a snotty little teenager broke into said slime ball's computer system using exploits that were almost common knowledge.

      Because the means by which to do something wrong are common knowledge, that does not provide justification for carrying out the act.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bunk beds

    any chance Mr love (great name by the way) could make it to the Ecuadorian embassy before the filth cotton on?

    1. Caltharian

      Re: bunk beds

      would that not be classed as cruel and unusual punishment, being locked up with that blonde aussie

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: bunk beds

        would that not be classed as cruel and unusual punishment, being locked up with that blonde aussie

        .. especially since he's rumoured not being too choosy about where he puts certain protuberances ..

  11. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    This has to stop!

    If convicted here he would most likely get 6 years.

    If convicted in the USA he would get 60 years.

    It cannot make sense to destroy someone's life for a foolish endeavour where nobody got hurt.

    This country has been in thrall to the USA for too long, unfortunately no-one has the balls to tell them to f-off.

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