back to article Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

Accused hacker Lauri Love will not be extradited to United States to stand trial, the High Court of England and Wales ruled today. In a judgment handed down by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, upheld both of Love's grounds for appealing against District Judge Nina Tempia's 2016 order for him to be extradited to …

Excellent news

Common sense and actual facts prevail, thank goodness.

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Stop

Re: Excellent news

Its not over, his (imminent) extradition order is quashed because he has been allowed to appeal it on those grounds. No guarantee that the appeal will succeed.

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Re: Excellent news

> All this means is potentially spending time rotting in a UK jail as opposed to a US jail.

It means a fair trial, not a stitch-up in a hostile foreign country. And if found guilty, yes, it will mean jail time - in a country which doesn't glorify prison rape against weak inmates.

> Last time I checked, claiming you have assburgers and that you are going to kill yourself if you go to jail is not really a valid defense.

He has never claimed it as a defense. His mental health is an aspect of his appeal against extradition, not against the hacking (for which he has not yet been tried).

> It's clear UK and US have pretty solid evidence that he took all that data (otherwise why fight this), and eventually that hard disk will be decrypted, revealing all. (and the meantime, failure to provide decryption details is also a criminal offense)....

Yes. And now he will stand trial for those accusations, as is right (assuming the US actually provide any evidence, which in itself is perhaps unlikely as they will then be torn to shreds in our courts for their totally inadequate security, while it is made clear that US laws do not rule the world). In the process, he will be treated fairly, given appropriate care for his disability and illness, and will be able to stay in close contact with his family. None of those were likely if he was extradited.

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Re: Excellent news

Yes - excellent news. Amazed it took so long.

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Re: Excellent news

they will then be torn to shreds in our courts for their totally inadequate security

I don't see how adequacy of security could be used as an argument by the defence. It's a bit like saying that because you only had a Yale lock on your front door rather than a 5-lever mortice, then my burgling your home is defensible. I would expect that the prosecution would focus on the fact that a deed was done, rather than how difficult (or not) it was for it to happen.

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Re: Excellent news

He was arrested originally by the UK police but no charges filed, then he was arrested subsequently by the UK police after the US Govt. provided evidence, this then resulted in the extradition request.

Although not explicit (but strongly implied), a condition of the ruling is that he will now face trial in the UK, which is of course what he would want; not only would it mean lighter sentencing but once convicted it would stop any subsequent extradition, it's likely to be lighter sentencing because the UK legal system isn't insane but the charges that the CPS will pursue would be along the lines of access to a computer system rather than espionage/theft - more so if the data remains encrypted, he's still looking at 5 years and banning from computer system access.

If he did it (and let's not forget innocent until proven guilty), then either he had a nefarious motivation (let's face it he's going to be under scrutiny forever, everything he will ever do will be keylogged) or he was genuinely protesting - and if it was a protest, what's the point unless there's consequences? he actually needs to be found guilty and face the music for the protest to be valid.

Finally, if one bloke thousands of miles away can hack government departments of a foreign country, a country which purports to be one of the most technologically advanced in the world, regardless of motivation he probably gave them a reality check favo[u]r.

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Re: Excellent news

Took time, but worth it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent news

Whilst he maybe foind guilty of accessing system to which he had no right of access...this is no guarantee that the level of security was adequate or in some circumstances in compliance with the law.

I'm not fully up to speed with the systems accessed..but given the frequent sueballs from US corporates when piss poor security is exposed...this may become an ironically useful line of defence to get the case thrown out for not being in the public interest...i.e. if is pisses off a foreign friend with a special relationship and a needed trade deal.

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Re: Excellent news

It's called Asperger's. Whatever else you think about this specific case, your childish slur says a lot more about you than it does about Love. As someone who was diagnosed late in life with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can confidently state that you haven't a clue what you're talking about. I suggest you do some serious reading on the subject and educate yourself regarding how it impacts social functioning.Tony Attwood's "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome," is a good place to start.

By all indications, Love does has Asperger's Syndrome (in the US, it's all been flattened into a single ASD diagnosis). Assuming he has a formal diagnosis, this isn't a mere "claim," but a medical fact. It's up to the courts to decide how much weight his diagnosis merits, not armchair critics who think it's fun to mock a neurological condition that affects at least 1 in 100 people around the world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent news

Medial fact eh? The best I've seen is opinion, just like there's no known cause or cure there doesn't even seem to be definitive test but it's left open to interpretation.

My son has ASD. It took 3 years before two professionals - one was a paediatrician, don' t know about the other - met in a case conference to which we were not invited and were only told about afterwards to make the formal diagnosis based on them both agreeing he had it based on a year-old observation report.

Since then, nothing has changed. His school have been just a brilliant with him as they were before, he is held to the same high standards of behavior as other kids, given the same love and understanding as all the other kids. And when he screws up, he gets the same telling off and sanctions as the other kids too.

Anon 'cos as much as I'd like to sing the praises of his school and achievements, kids health - especially mental health - needs to be treated with respect on tinterwebs.

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Re: Excellent news

"assuming the US actually provide any evidence, which in itself is perhaps unlikely..."

The US doesn't need to provide evidence under the current extradition treaty, unlike the UK who must. A very special relationship indeed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16041824

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Re: Excellent news

I don't see how adequacy of security could be used as an argument by the defence. It's a bit like saying that because you only had a Yale lock

Good point, but looking at OPM hack it appears plausible that the US side would not be able to point to any security features (which would have to be hacked) at all. Like, no lock and the door left ajar for anyone to enter at will.

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Re: Excellent news

And affects a higher percentage in IT, as it's a (relatively...) Aspergers suitable employment area

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Re: excellent news

Yes, you can celebrate that the UK stuck it to the big, bad US and ignored the extradition treaty.

Let's see what tune you play when the UK wants a suspect from the US, and the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty.

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Re: excellent news

"Let's see what tune you play when the UK wants a suspect from the US, and the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty."

I doubt we'd even bother asking, as we would know what the response would be.

The 'Special Relationship' only works one way and and is more akin to spouse abuse than anything special.

All's fair in love and war and all that jazz.

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Re: excellent news

Umm this is the case currently is it not?

Information only goes one way in our "special relationship"

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Re: Excellent news

ASD does not cause, excuse or explain criminal behavior, irrespective of what part of the "spectrum" the person is on.

I therefore question the relevance of attempting to introduce ASD as some kind of evidence in an attempt to mitigate liability.

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Re: excellent news

Let's see what tune you play when the UK wants a suspect from the US, and the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty.

Again.

You describe how it usually works. Nobody will be surprised given past form.

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Re: excellent news

"and the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty"

You say that as if them doing so would be some highly unusual act of retribution.

Reality check: what you describe is situation normal. The special treaty is pretty much a one way street.

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Re: Excellent news

You make it sound like America is North Korea. A "hostile foreign country"? Or one where Asperger's isn't treated like ALS?

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As a fellow Asperger's sufferer also diagnosed late in life (50+), 100% agree

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Re: excellent news

Last reported that 7 UK citizens were extradited to 1 American, already weighted one way. Don;t forget the UK has to provide evidence whereas the US just has to have suspicion, already demonstrating an unwillingness by the US to extradite their citizens

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No, the US can appeal the ruling on those grounds.

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Re: Excellent news

It is not a criminal offence not to give your decryption keys or password to anyone. Show me the law upon which he you rely upon that states otherwise.

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Re: excellent news

> ... the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty.

They're not doing this already?

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Re: Excellent news

>The US doesn't need to provide evidence under the current extradition treaty

The US don't need to supply evidence for an extradiction - but they do have to deliver evidence for a trial, which is the next stage.

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Re: If he did it

If he did it (and let's not forget innocent until proven guilty),

Let's also not forget that he already confessed, and given that fact the presumption of innocence is completely gone. All that is left are mitigating factors that would lesson (or completely eliminate) any consequences.

Should he have been extradited? As long as he is brought to trail in the UK, whether or not a conviction results, then no. That adjudication should be final. But if the home country of an admitted criminal isn't going to bring charges, even if those actions were illegal under local law, then I don't have a problem with extradition.

If he hacked a Russian bank would you not expect Russia to extradite? This is no different. If you are going to cross international borders with criminal activity then either side can prosecute, but it should be up to the home country to get first crack.

This particular case never should have gotten this far. When he was investigated and admitted his actions, he should have been brought to trial then - even if it was just to rubber-stamp his release. That would have been the end of things, and prosecution in the US would never have even been on the table as an option.

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Re: It is not a criminal offence

It is not a criminal offence not to give your decryption keys or password to anyone. Show me the law upon which he you rely upon that states otherwise.

Ok, since you asked, it is not generally a criminal offense in the United State to refuse to give up the key, but it is in the UK.

Specifically, it is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000 (RIPA). Persons can be required to decrypt information and/or supply keys to government representatives to decrypt information without a court order. Failure to disclose carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail, or five years in the cases of national security or child indecency.

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Re: Excellent news

"assuming the US actually provide any evidence, which in itself is perhaps unlikely as they will then be torn to shreds in our courts for their totally inadequate security, while it is made clear that US laws do not rule the world"

I was with you up until that point. Sorry, but lack of computer security does not excuse the break-in, any more than my accidentally leaving my front door unlocked would excuse burglars taking my shinystuff.

Love obviously knew he was doing something wrong. He just thought nobody would catch him because he was doing his criminal stuff from a cosy room in the UK rather than on site while wearing a stripey jersey and lugging a sack with "Swag" written on it. Consider: The American Government makes no secret at all about how it views the business of people gaining unauthorized access to its computers, and the armed services are if anything even more vehement. It is naive to think Love had no inkling that he was engaged in a criminal act.

A self-confessed genius I worked with ran his own criminal intrusion with intent to use the results for a breathtakingly unethical purpose under the same assumption that remoteness conferred safety. He was invited to take a permanent vacation or face a criminal prosecution when the Universal Law* came into effect and good f*cking riddance.

It is good that the extradition has been stopped. But that does not mean that this man gets a free pass for the crime he is accused of.

I hate the "Reiser in innocent" thinking going on in our community wrt this case. It paints us all in a bad light.

* You are never as smart as you think you are.

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Re: The 'Special Relationship' only works one way

From footnote 20 on the wikipedia page "UK–US extradition treaty of 2003":

"Frequently Asked Questions on the US-UK Extradition Relationship". US Embassy. "Based on the numbers provided to Sir Scott Baker’s panel, under this treaty, 130 extradition REQUESTS were submitted from the U.S. to the UK. Of those 130 requests, the UK has refused 10. Of the remaining 120, 77 individuals were extradited from the UK to the U.S.; the other 43 cases remained pending in the UK system, or the individuals returned to the U.S. on their own, or other circumstances made the extradition no longer necessary. During the same time period, the UK submitted 54 extradition REQUESTS to the US, of which none have been refused. Of those 54 requests, 38 resulted in extradition of an individual from the U.S. to the UK. In the remaining 16 cases, the individuals either returned to the UK on their own or other circumstances made extradition from the U.S. to the UK no longer necessary."

The wording of the treaty may be unfairly asymmetrical, but the de-facto operation seems to refute your cynical interpretation of the situation.

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Re: The 'Special Relationship' only works one way

Stevie, as I'm absolutely certain you're aware, mere facts won't get in the way of the conspiracy kooks "knowing" they are right. To say nothing of the stench of virtue signalling around here these days.

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Re: If he did it

I don't remember confessing at any point whatsoever. The presumption of innocence still stands and you, my guy, are a thundering shower of shite.

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This is why we have one of the worlds finest legal systems.

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Fine legal system

I wish that were always true.

My experience is that many judgements are capricious - especially in family law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine legal system

Do you have a better system you can move us to?

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re ukgnome

Utter bullshit.

The Judgment is clear and simple : The forum bar is engaged, preventing his extradition.

So, why on earth did the District Judge rule AGAINST that very fact and decide he could quite perfectly, and legally, be extradited.

If we actually had one of the world's finest legal systems it would have been resolved within the hour at the first hearing. And what will become of the District Judge that got it SO badly wrong? Yeah, nothing untoward.

There are so many instances of plain wrong, or as a earlier poster writes capricious, judgements that the system is either corrupt or inept, or both.

Take the family courts, circa 2009 an all party parliamentary committee ruled that CAFCASS, (the de facto judge in family cases), weren't fit for purpose. Couple years back the head of that division of law stated, the gist of, that the results from his department were unsatisfactory, and only a few months ago, some no doubt very highly rewarded deputy director of CAFCASS stated that "in groundbreaking awareness, we've only just become of the significant harm cause to children by parental alienation." ( and our own deliberate and biased work of the last 20+ years)

I added the last bit in parenthesese to make her statement true and complete.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine legal system

"My experience is that many judgements are capricious - especially in family law."

Unless you are a barrister, solicitor, judge etc. I presume this experience of your own particular case. Whilst I have great sympathy, my own experience was different: indeed the only people I could rely upon were the judges, whilst the ex's solicitors (and others, e.g. CAFCASS) tried to stitch me up. There were many judgments in that 10 years, but most seemed pretty sensible from my perspective, with a couple of outliers.

Are either of us really in a position to determine whether 'many' judgments are, or are not, capricious?

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Re: Fine legal system

Are either of us really in a position to determine whether 'many' judgments are, or are not, capricious?

I have, for some 20 years, helped people (men & women) who are caught up in the nightmare that is family law [as thanks to those who helped me]. Sometimes the courts, etc, get it right, but often they do not. I have seen hundreds of cases:

* they can drag on for years - only benefits the solicitors who earn fees. Some solicitors seem to act to slow things down

* CAFCASS reports that do not describe what is really happening, but reflect the prejudices of the officer. Once case where an officer & her boss made up evidence just before a hearing (being unaware that they were being observed)

* courts officials who: loose paper-work, ignore orders made by their own court; refuse to obey practice directions

* judges that make orders and then will not enforce them (generally if a woman breaks it, but woe betide a man who does)

* judges who kick cases into the long grass rather than deal with it

* innumerable false allegations of violence or sexual misconduct against dads [in about half the cases that I see]. The courts take at face value, chuck dad out of the house, kids no contact with him (even in a contact centre), mother thus gets legal aid. By the time that it is shown false some 9 months later: mother has the house, the kids don't want to see dad, ... This happens time and again - how come the judges do not see through it ?

I could go on ...

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Re: Fine legal system

Indeed. Your own experience gives strong anecdotal evidence that we do not have "one of the world's finest legal systems".

"Over ten years", "the ex's solicitors and others eg CAFCASS trying to stitch you up." The latter almost certainly without any censure from the court or regulating bodies whatsoever. To be repeated over and over again, also in every other case during that ten year period.

All too frequently, a Family Court Order is not worth the paper it is printed on, the "obstructing parent", almost invariably the mother, acts with utter immunity, a virtual two fingers up at the judge.

What a fine system indeed.

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Given the astounding number of cases that go up before the various courts, and the fact that miscarriages of justice tend to get high-profile reporting, I'd say that the error rate is vanishingly small.

That's no comfort if you happen to be wrongfully convicted of something, but I reckon juries are more error-prone than Judges in any event. Just walk through any town centre to see the sort of ordinary people who might be called upon to serve on a jury. At least judges are trained, experienced experts, and despite what the likes of Slithy Gove might have you think, an expert on a subject is preferable to a novice.

I'm not saying Judges don't make mistakes, or Magistrates, or expert panels, but all-in-all, our justice system is pretty spot-on. If anything, its failing is that the court system is as cash-starved as any other part of our public services by ideological austerity handed down from government.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fine legal system

I had 6 years of Social Services blaming us and the way we parented, through the courts, whilst my child had three seperate diagnosis of ADHD from experts, for the judge to say openly (Colleridge J) that no matter what we produced, he had to take Islington Social Services statements as fact as they were experts.

Justice? we've heard about it somewhere

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Childcatcher

Re: Fine legal system

In the US, the Family Courts sit in Equity, not in Law. I've seen orders from the UK, and it looks like it is the same there. In Equity, the judge gets to decide - within wide limits - what he or she thinks is "fair".

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Re: Fine legal system

Any one person's experience could give strong anecdotal evidence that the Anglo system has room for improvement - lots of room, even - but it wouldn't say anything about the relative merits vs other national systems.

Therefore, it fails to refute the claim that it's "one of the world's finest". It merely says "this bar may be lower than you think".

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Good. I'm pleased for his dad more than anything, he was very dignified on Today this morning.

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I predict an appeal to the supreme court

In 3...2...1...

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Fine, so when does he stand trial here?

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@Alister

That was my first thought too, well second after agreeing with the verdict.

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Anonymous Coward

This will not conclude the matter I am afraid.

Let us imagine for a second that USA prosecution will stop this nonsense and submit the correct paperwork for a UK court case or transfer jurisdiction to UK. Not a chance. None of this will happen as they will do anything not to open the floodgates here. Their entire legal doctrine is based around the idea that USA law has ultimate primacy over everything including international law and USA international obligations.

So there will be no UK court case. He will have to live the rest of his life in the UK without travelling anywhere to avoid extradition case in another country. He will need to suspect anyone coming within a foot of him in the street of having a rag with chloroform and a car parked around the corner to take him to a "private" Cessna parked at a nearby airport. Everywhere worldwide. UK included.

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