back to article Lauri Love: 'Britain's FBI' loses court attempt to evade decryption laws

The National Crime Agency's (NCA) application to force alleged hacktivist Lauri Love to decrypt computer equipment seized from him two years ago has been declined by a Westminster judge. At a hearing this morning in Court Seven at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the NCA's application to make Love disclose his passwords was …

  1. Cynical Observer
    Coat

    So as of today, the score is ......

    One Love.

    Sorry - shall I just get my coat now......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely this case is going to be both complex and harrowing.

      USA vs Love is a battlefield, I tell you, a battlefield!

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Surely this case is going to be both complex and harrowing.

        Yeah, Tough Love...

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          So, if they image the affected computer...

          Does that create a "Lovemaster"?

          Better yet, can we refer to the PC in question as the "Love Machine"?

      2. Ralph B

        > Surely this case is going to be both complex and harrowing.

        I just hope it goes better that the USA's ongoing War on Tourism.

  2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    "[S]pecialized in gaining authorized access to protected computers"

    Am I the only one who is confused by this? If he gained "authorized access", he was allowed to do so, surely. He was authorized to do so, therefore it is not illegal.

    Either this is a misprint, the charges don't make sense, or the legalese used twists the meaning of the words to make them unintelligible.

    1. Alexander J. Martin
      Thumb Up

      Good spot

      That was my typo, cheers for letting us know.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Good spot

        Ah, OK, that makes sense now.

        I was tempted to use the "spotted a mistake" method, but given how confusing legalese can be, I wasn't sure it actually was a mistake!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "damage to a protected computer"

    Well not very well protected I would suspect

  4. tentimes

    Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

    I am totally against the extradition for computer misuse. For minor offences the should be a trial in absentia with any slap on the wrist to be served in the UK. I do not trust the US Jury system one iota after watching lots of documentaries on it. And they have a police state and jails almost exclusively for black people - slavery continues.

    1. Gray
      Devil

      Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

      Hey! Don't forget the Hispanics and Poor Whites... we gots lots of room for them, too. That's the basis of America's fastest growing rural industry: the privatized prison system.

      So... have a care when you bandy them charges about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

      We wouldn't extradite Brits to Iran or North Korea, so why extradite to US?

      1. theOtherJT

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        We wouldn't extradite Brits to Iran or North Korea, so why extradite to US?

        Well, rightly or wrongly we do have an extradition treaty with the US so...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

          wrongly

        2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

          Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

          > Well, rightly or wrongly we do have an extradition treaty with the US so...

          Well, presumably this will disappear following a Brexit vote.[1]

          [1] I realise this makes no logical sense whatsoever but the Remain camp seem to think that all trade agreements will vanish the day after Brexit so why shouldn't extradition treaties as well?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        re. We wouldn't extradite Brits to Iran or North Korea, so why extradite to US?

        1) because Iran is not our pal

        2) because Iran is not a (...) superpower we want to be pals with

        3) did I miss anything else? Oh, yes, there: because WE decide what is right, and YOU, sir, have a right to express your disagreement. For now. Fair deal, wouldn't you agree?

      3. g e

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        Cos they're an Ally. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky :

        Ally - Does as they're told by the USA, pretty much blindly

        Rogue State - Might do as they're told by the USA, might have the temerity to question it

        Terrorist Nation - Doesn't give a flying fuck what the USA wants of them

      4. Mike Tubby

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        Exactly... we have a perfectly good legal system, the offence was allegedly committed from here so why can't they bring a case in the UK courts?

        This is why we need the "forum bar" to decide which courts should here these things but, alas, this is the USA and the USA wants it's pound of flesh.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

      Stay in your own country and stick to your own system. You obviously don't have the mental capacity to get it.

      THERE IS NO SLAVERY IN THE USA. ALL SLAVES WHO WERE BROUGHT HERE, WERE BROUGHT BY BRITISH AND DUTCH TRADERS AND WERE CAPTURED BY AFRICANS AND SOLD TO THE BRITISH! This is a fact, not Hollyweird embellishment! Lincoln wanted to send them back to Africa until he was shot by JW Booth.

      British so called "documentaries" on the US Justice system are completely biased and don't have any basis in FACTS, only in lies and opinions.

      If Blacks would stop breaking the laws, then they would not get arrested. However, MOST of the crimes in the USA are committed by blacks and you just don't get that fact either. the rest of so called "progressives" fail to grasp that. THAT'S why there are so many blacks in prison.

      EVERYTHING you have heard on TV has been colored by the reverse discrimination practiced by liberals.

      Stop making excuses for them, they have been coddled far too long and have done little to nothing to help themselves because they believe the liberal lie.

      1. Jan 0

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        @AC who says "THERE IS NO SLAVERY IN THE USA"

        But, I hear, Chain Gangs are still OK.

      2. Gray
        Angel

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        "If Blacks would stop breaking the laws, then they would not get arrested. However, MOST of the crimes in the USA are committed by blacks and you just don't get that fact either. the rest of so called "progressives" fail to grasp that. THAT'S why there are so many blacks in prison.

        From the tone of it, it's a little hard to tell if that's "The Donald" himself, or his speech writer. In any case, it's Classic Trump. Long may he reign!

      3. Roo
        Windows

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        "If Blacks would stop breaking the laws, then they would not get arrested."

        Looks like concept of selective application of the law & punishment has flown right over your head.

        Affluent white people break laws too. Perhaps if the convicts had been able to afford better lawyers they might not get convicted as often.

      4. Triggerfish

        Re: Extradition to a Police State where slavery for black people still exists

        Actually there were a whole lot of laws about slave ownershiup in the US, strange they enacted them when they had no slaves.

        If Blacks would stop breaking the laws, then they would not get arrested. However, MOST of the crimes in the USA are committed by blacks and you just don't get that fact either.

        You show an epic grasp of the complexities of a social system there, are you a troll or just um a bit stupid?

  5. Anonymous Blowhard
    Coat

    There's no love lost there

    I'll get my own coat...

  6. Alister Silver badge

    As mentioned, they didn't use RIPA, which already has a 2-year jail term for failing to hand over encryption keys, because they couldn't meet the requirements laid down in that law.

    So what they were effectively trying to do was to enable the law enforcement body to scrutinize Love's private data without evidence of wrongdoing, or any valid justification whatsoever.

    The sneaky bastards.

    1. theOtherJT

      Ah, I was looking for this one. Do you know what those requirements are as they pertain to this case? I was curious why they tried to do something this obviously legally questionable when they already had a clear standing in law to get what they wanted.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        @theOtherJT

        No, unfortunately I don't. It's worth noting though, the following:

        The NCA first served a RIPA Notice on Mr Love in February 2014 but took no further action to continue it after he did not comply.

        Which suggests they were on shaky ground already.

      2. Aqua Marina

        "Do you know what those requirements are as they pertain to this case?"

        At the risk of being downvoted a million times again, I'll point out that Section 53 of RIPA puts the onus on the prosecution to demonstrate that the accused has or knows passwords to hand over. There is a myth on The Register comments that prosecutors can repeat the request over and over, each time sending the guilty party to prison for 2 years at a time. This simply isn't true, and to date has never happened. It's very possible that the prosecution could not prove their claim beyond a reasonable doubt, hence now the attempt to circumvent it. Anyhow, here is the exact wording of the law below.

        Section 53 Failure to comply with a notice.

        3 For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown that he was not in possession of a key to protected information at a particular time if—

        ....

        (b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: "Do you know what those requirements are as they pertain to this case?"

          The notice can itself be challenged on lots of grounds because it has a high bar for being issued. I think I posted what they were last time this came up.

  7. Nigel 13

    Have I got this straight?

    Were they trying to get Love to decrypt is devices as a condition of having his equipment handed back to him and trying to get this enforced by a magistrate?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Have I got this straight?

      Yes, absolutely correct.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Have I got this straight?

        I'd have thought they'd like the keys wether or not he got the gear back.

        Its not like:

        gov WE DEMAND KEYS, or you dont get your NAS back!

        pop No thanks, you just keep the hardware then...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they have already decrypted the devices but don't want to (or aren't allowed to) admit this. If they've found something they think would help the US extradition case then that would explain the attempt to speed things up by working round those pesky regulations.

  9. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    IF I were a person with some variety of iffy stuff I don't think I'd keep it on my computer...

    ... I'd probably keep it nicely secured on a server in some corner of a foreign field where the local plod arn't inclined to cooperate with The Great Satan et al. Yes, yes files might be intercepted in transit, nothing is perfect, still...

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: IF I were a person with some variety of iffy stuff I don't think I'd keep it on my computer...

      In this case he doesn't. Possibly a stolen login for a magazine site but that's about it.

  10. The Nazz Silver badge

    A better outcome?

    Wouldn't it be better if the NCA or similar employed this Love guy in a job, a top job?

    And gave "sex and travel" advice to the Yanks.

    1. NotBob

      Re: A better outcome?

      If we do that kind of thing more often, people start to catch on.

      Of course, I never said no one made him an offer...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm personally hoping that this could finally mean the death of RIPA.

  12. JaitcH
    Happy

    British Justice - May Style

    Here is another example of why the UK needs the EU Human Rights legislation for protection.

    Good for the Judge, nice to know they are not all subservient to the Crown or it's pay cheques.

    Now watch MAY add a clause to the legislation she's trying to ram through Parliament.

  13. Snafu1

    http://www.lettersofnote.com/2013/08/arkell-v-pressdram.html springs to mind..

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    It'd be interesting to see if UK courst could get a US hacker into them on this evidence

    Because IIRC the bar to get a US citizen back to blighty is much higher.

    The Blair/Bush extradition treaty.

    The gift that keeps on taking.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Love, 31, faces potential extradition to the US over his alleged involvement in #OpLastResort, online protests that followed the persecution and suicide of activist Aaron Swartz."

    Ironic~~~ no doubt the filth are hoping this one will top himself too.

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