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 …

  1. InNY

    Excellent news

    Common sense and actual facts prevail, thank goodness.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      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.

      1. Daniel Bower

        Re: Excellent news

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

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. AndyS

        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.

        1. Mark 110 Silver badge

          Re: Excellent news

          Yes - excellent news. Amazed it took so long.

          1. R. Williams

            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.

            1. jason 7

              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.

              1. Stevie Silver badge

                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.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  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.

            2. Gordon Pryra

              Re: excellent news

              Umm this is the case currently is it not?

              Information only goes one way in our "special relationship"

            3. werdsmith Silver badge

              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.

            4. heyrick Silver badge

              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.

            5. AMcFlurry

              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

            6. nijam

              Re: excellent news

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

              They're not doing this already?

        2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

          2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            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.

        3. Roger Kint

          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.

          1. wallaby

            Re: Excellent news

            Took time, but worth it

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            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.

            1. ~:~

              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.

        4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          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

          1. strum Silver badge

            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.

        5. alcalde

          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?

        6. clintos

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            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.

        7. Stevie Silver badge

          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.

      2. localgeek

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Excellent news

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

        3. Phryday

          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.

        4. AMcFlurry

          Re: Excellent news

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

  2. ukgnome Silver badge

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

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Fine legal system

      I wish that were always true.

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fine legal system

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. alain williams Silver badge

          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 ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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

          2. steward
            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".

        2. The Nazz Silver badge

          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.

          1. veti Silver badge

            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".

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      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.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      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.

  3. Miss Lincolnshire

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

  4. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    I predict an appeal to the supreme court

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

  5. Alister Silver badge

    Fine, so when does he stand trial here?

    1. Toltec

      @Alister

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Phil W

        "He will have to live the rest of his life in the UK without travelling anywhere"

        Oh no what a hardship. Given his various conditions I'm pretty sure he can cope with this.

        "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."

        Umm no. After a high profile case like this there is no way the US would do this because it would look absolutely awful, even if they denied they did it no-one would believe it. They also wouldn't try and have him killed for the same reasons.

        They also couldn't have him be mysteriously found unconscious in the USA, taken to hospital and then arrested. If they did the UK government would be obliged to request the return of one of their citizens, who had clearly been attacked by unknown parties, in order to ensure his well being.

        If they'd wanted to take him out of the UK illicitly this would have to have been done before he was ever arrested the the extradition case made the news. If he'd mysteriously turned up in the USA then, without the failed extradition request, then they would have stood a chance of keeping him without the political fallout.

        Really though, they should just do what common sense and the law says, and bring evidence to the UK for a trial to take place here.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          "there is no way the US would do this because it would look absolutely awful"

          Never stopped them (or Israel) before. Doesn't seem to be causing too many problems. Even North Korea gets away with it.

          1. Phil W

            @Adam 52

            "Even North Korea gets away with it."

            That very much depends on what you mean by "gets away with it". Doing it and then denying it is not the same as getting away with it if everybody still thinks you did it. Do you think they "got away with" killing Kim Jong Nam?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Such a rendition would cause a lot of diplomatic troubles. A tragic hit and run with no traces, on the other hand, is more discrete. The operative term is "wet job" and the Wild West didn't really end in parts of the US. Simply the presence of a secret court passing secret judgement that are even illegal to reveal where the court proceedings is with a single part only, is not quite what I would expect from a Western country. Look up "FISA" if you doubt me. And of course we have some secret trials in the rest of the West but the court itself is no secret.

          You might want to feed this one into Google Translate: https://www.aftenposten.no/verden/i/pWXbX/Ville-kidnappe-Krekar-brmed-spesialstyrker

        3. Bloodbeastterror

          @ Phil W

          "They also wouldn't try and have him killed..."

          The very fact that this comment occurred to you (one with which I totally agree, having just watched "The Trials of Henry Kissinger") is a demonstration of the reason that this judgement is correct. The US justice system is a worldwide joke, and the election of The Orange Baboon has accelerated America's plunge into total decline. Love would have had no chance at all in that hysterical idiocracy.

      2. tapanit
        Black Helicopters

        You may well be right that there will be no UK court case and the case will remain open in the USA. I don't think they'd consider him important enough to hijack forcibly though, or even try extradition very hard (maybe from some countries) - I can't see Finland extraditing him for example. But travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him.

        1. SonofRojBlake

          "travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him"

          No hardship. Shithole.

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: "travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him"

            "..travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him.."

            Nobody in their right mind wants to go there these days anyway.

          2. hnwombat
            Pint

            Re: "travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him"

            I wish I could give you 10 thumbs up for this one. Have a beer on me --->

      3. PyLETS
        Black Helicopters

        @AC: re Extraordinary rendition

        "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."

        Depends on whether the US want us to tear up the treaty that allows lawful extradition. If they commit crimes of assault and kidnap on UK soil because they lose an extradition case in the UK courts, this would make any future UK extradition legal cases and the treaty that requires these moot, regardless of whether these concern a silly hacker or a genuine terrorist.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "So there will be no UK court case."

        Why not? The US must have provided sufficient prima facie evidence for the extradition. The CPS could then use that as the basis for a prosecution here. It would then be up to the US to respond to the resulting witness summonses, provide additional evidence or even withdraw the complaint. Their choice. If they don't enable the CPS to produce a credible case in court he gets found not guilty.

        1. Phil W

          @Doctor Syntax

          "The US must have provided sufficient prima facie evidence for the extradition. The CPS could then use that as the basis for a prosecution here."

          The test for evidence for extradition is only that the evidence must show reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed. However the CPS require evidence that provides a reasonable probability of a solid conviction in order to proceed, so the evidence the US provided for the extradition may well not be sufficient to begin criminal proceedings.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "However the CPS require evidence that provides a reasonable probability of a solid conviction in order to proceed"

            The CPS hasn't got too good a track record on requiring evidence that there's even been a crime, let alone that they've got the right person.

        2. Dave Harvey

          >> The US must have provided sufficient prima facie evidence for the extradition

          This is where the whole UK/US extradition system fails the equivalence test.

          If we're extraditing from the US, then yes, of course we need to present evidence of "probable cause" - as we should

          If they're trying to extradite from here, then ALL they need to do is to SAY that they have evidence sufficient to generate "reasonable suspicion" (without presenting it), and in the absence of unusual circumstances (as, fortunately, in this case), that is enough for us to bend over, and take it from behind.

          Every group/committee that has looked at this agrees that the asymmetry exists, except for the whitewash done by Theresa May's "helpful" judge Baker.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            If they're trying to extradite from here, then ALL they need to do is to SAY that they have evidence sufficient to generate "reasonable suspicion" (without presenting it), and in the absence of unusual circumstances (as, fortunately, in this case), that is enough for us to bend over, and take it from behind.

            The later Register article has a link to the judgement. Paragraph 9 outlines the evidence which seems to point to there being a prima facie case with some of the evidence coming from the UK police:

            In October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked the National Crime

            Agency [“NCA”] for assistance in its investigation, which led the NCA to begin its

            own investigation. Its purpose was to “gather evidence with a view to mounting a

            potential prosecution in the UK, whilst being equally aware of the US investigation,

            should material relevant to their investigation become apparent....” The investigation

            obtained evidence linking Mr Love to the hacking offences. On 25 October 2013, the

            NCA executed a search warrant at Mr Love’s parents’ house. He lived there with

            them. This is explained in the witness statement of Mr Brown of the NCA dated 29

            March 2016, made in connection with proceedings which related to the return of

            property taken during the search. One of Mr Love’s computers was logged on to an

            online chat room using the nickname “nsh”. A preliminary review of some of his

            computers revealed that some of the data stolen during unauthorised access was on his

            computers, and these intrusions had been discussed in online chats. Mr Love was

            arrested on suspicion for offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, made no

            comment in interview and was released on bail.

            Reading through the rest of the judgement it seems clear that a UK prosecution would be a possibility and this seems to be a factor in the decision. See paragraph 126:

            The CPS must now bend its endeavours to his prosecution, with the assistance to be

            expected from the authorities in the United States, recognising the gravity of the

            allegations in this case, and the harm done to the victims. As we have pointed out, the

            CPS did not intervene to say that prosecution in England was inappropriate. If proven,

            these are serious offences indeed.

            In other words CPS & the US are being told to put up or shut up.

      5. Goldmember

        "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."

        I very much doubt that. The US has too much to lose by doing something so brash as to kidnap a UK citizen, on UK soil, for the sake of a failed extradition request. And just look at another prominent extradition request they lost in recent times; the Gary McKinnon case. That was a far more embarrassing hack for the US than this one, and he's still very much alive and kicking (he's now an SEO consultant, apparently).

      6. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        @ac

        This will not conclude the matter I am afraid.

        I would have gone further: they kipnap him and kill him in Poland or Turkey ... US' usual modus operandi ... the guy has then "vanished" ... if they trial him in the US, that will attract attention ... Stalinist unpersonification is way better...

        Some people really live in TellyTubbyLand (thinks of downvoters).

        PS: I am amazed at the decision, I think this is the first time in history that a UK judgement has prevented extradition to the US, but I might be wrong. I know it is not over, but still ... a landmark!

        Paris, cause she likes TellyTubbies, they're as naïve as her and the downvoters ...

        1. PyLETS

          @Hans 1

          "I am amazed at the decision, I think this is the first time in history that a UK judgement has prevented extradition to the US, but I might be wrong."

          You are wrong. Garry McKinnon's case had various similarities to this one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon#Extradition_proceedings

      7. R. Williams

        Conspiracy theorist

        "USA law has ultimate primacy"?

        "rag with chloroform"?

        "private Cessna to wisk him away"?

        Wow, I do believe you Brits are thinking the Mission Impossible movies are actually real life. Get a grip.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Conspiracy theorist

          "Wow, I do believe you Brits are thinking the Mission Impossible movies are actually real life. Get a grip."

          I remember visiting Italy for a holiday in 2005. The big story on the news there was that someone had been snatched off the streets in Milan by the CIA, whisked away in a private plane, and ended up in a foreign jurisdiction with "relaxed" attitudes in the area of interrogation techniques - all without the approval of the Italian authorities. The Italian government was unhappy about this, to say the very least. I can't confirm whether there was chloroform involved, but that case does seem to tick the rest of the boxes.

          The reason I still remember this was because it was being given wall to wall media coverage in Italy, yet the BBC (and other news agencies) didn't mention anything about the story, even when you specifically went looking in the Europe section of their news website. It taught me a lot about the "free" press in the UK.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "all without the approval of the Italian authorities."

            The actual facts were a little different: the Italian government secretly approved the "rendition" which was performed with the help of Italian secret agents.

            Just, because no one said anything to them in advance, police and prosecutors investigated as it was a kidnapping and identified the involved people - and arrested the Italian agents, while the CIA ones were already abroad, but warrants were emitted.

            At the trial, the Italian government (both Prodi and Berlusconi) used the "state secret" formula and never confirmed nor denied the government approved the operation (actually, the government approved it, but, in pure Italian style could not confirm it for fear or terrorist reprisals... a "Pulcinella's secret").

            So the agents were prosecuted and got some sentences, including the US ones. A very ugly story...

          2. jukejoint

            Re: Conspiracy theorist

            " it was being given wall to wall media coverage in Italy, yet the BBC (and other news agencies) didn't mention anything about the story, even when you specifically went looking in the Europe section of their news website. It taught me a lot about the "free" press in the UK."

            I read a lot, esp. political news, from many different sites including the BBC.

            This case has piqued my interest - and is in the "never heard of it" category.

            Not a ripple here in the swamp.

        2. Slef

          Re: Conspiracy theorist

          If I remember rightly the UK has enabled the USofA to "render" i.e kidnap on foreign soil plenty of peeps in the past so not that outrageous a possibility in reality!

        3. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Re: Conspiracy theorist

          Actually, they really do do things like that. Usually with Mexican drug lords of course or with Nigerian/Yemenese/Afghan warlords, but the CIA which is the extra-territorial organization that is tasked with that job does in fact make such extraordinary renditions at about two per month these days. From UK territory and from European territory. It doesn't matter! They've done it before and will do it again. In Mr. Lauri's case, a specific type of bench warrant will be issued giving the right of private U.S.-based bounty hunters to go and get him and bring him back to U.S. territory for a reward. Alive rather than dead of course!

          If you've ever watched Dog the Bounty Hunter television show, he went into Mexico to bring back a wanted U.S. fugitive and when you get the promise of lots of cash from a federal agency to bring back a wanted suspect, Mr. Lauri has to be careful in the UK that U.S. bounty hunters aren't hunting for him day and night to collect that reward! While Dog was actually indicted by Mexican authorities, he eventually got his way and made it back to the USA more than a few dollars richer from the collected bounty.

          While the US government absolutely will play by the UK rules, that doesn't mean the private-party U.S. bounty hunters will! He's going back sooner or later if the indictments he receives from the U.S. warrant a large enough reward for the bounty hunters to play their game of cat and mouse in the UK and Europe!

          The system of justice is very, very different over the pond. The UK common sense civil rules of law simply don't apply in U.S. legal cases. The American public and its government simply doesn't want or care for UK-like common sense. They would rather see people hang than have a sensible justice system over there. Americans are very interested in sending 16 year olds to prison for life for stealing some candy bars under their "Three Strikes and You're Out Laws"! So it won't be any less lenient when it comes to Mr. Lauri. With him, it's all about having enough money to pay for a good criminal lawyer that will determine whether or not you spend decades, if not the rest of your life, in a U.S. prison!

      8. MrZoolook

        "He will have to live the rest of his life in the UK without travelling anywhere to avoid extradition case in another country."

        So what? He's committed espionage. If he wanted to enjoy the freedom of travel afforded to law abiding citizens, he shouldn't have done it.

        No sympathy here!

        1. Bloodbeastterror

          "He's committed espionage"

          I guess you're a Yank?

          From what I've read of the background, Love is more likely to have been doing it for the technical thrill, not to spy in order to sell secrets or betray anyone. Unless you know different, in which case cite your sources.

    3. Phil W

      When the injured party (the US Government), provides the CPS with enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a successful prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act.

      It remains to be seen whether they will do of course (personally I suspect not).

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Fine, so when does he stand trial here?

      I presume once the USA has made a case to the Supreme Court in the UK and lost. Then they can press the NCCU for full investigation and due UK legal process. Unfortunately for the USA such an offence under the Computer Misuse Act (1990) would be deemed 'unauthorised access to computer material' and subject to a maximum 12 months, but for a 1st offence it would far more likely to be a probation order, working in a library for 150 hours helping pensioners get online and a modest fine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Unfortunately for the USA such an offence under the Computer Misuse Act (1990) would be deemed 'unauthorised access to computer material' and subject to a maximum 12 months"

        Actually they could press for 3ZA as it concerned the DoD, FBI and US Army

        Section 3ZA- Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage.

        Section 3ZA is primarily aimed at those who seek to attack the critical national infrastructure (Depending on the motives of the perpetrator, terrorist legislation may be appropriate.)

        2(d) damage to the national security of any country.

        "Indictment only: 14 years and/ or a fine unless the offence caused or created a significant risk of serious damage to human welfare or national security, as defined in section 3 (a) and (b), in which case a person guilty of the offence is liable to imprisonment for life and / or a fine."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    loooool@yanks

    yay2ll

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Silence! This is a court of law."

    "Gentlemen. You can't fight in here. This is the War Room ! "

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Silence! This is a court of law."

      My favourite quote from Dr. Strangelove (or possibly of any movie out there)

  8. adam payne Silver badge

    So when do we think the US will appeal or are they finally going to give it up?

    If there is an appeal are the US going to bring any tangible evidence with them?

  9. ratfox Silver badge

    Good

    I do not trust any of the claims about his physical or mental health, but I am revolted at the idea he should be extradited to the legal equivalent of a banana republic when he can perfectly stand trial here. Which he should, though the UK legal system might decide it's not even worth it.

    1. PickledAardvark

      Re: Good

      It's about lots of things.

      UK government has decided that the judicial process in the USA meets the standard in the UK. The UK and USA have a bizarre extradition treaty, which the UK should end.

      UK government knows how USA prisons work, and still thinks that it is reasonable to send "anybody" to a USA prison?

      We cannot send anyone from the UK to a USA prison.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope he didn't stand in front of the judge dressed like that!... The bastard offspring of Yasser Arafat and a Christmas Elf!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here's the thing - most humans have clothes that are worn "outside" in addition to clothes that are worn "inside". I doubt he wore the "outside " clothes whilst he was "inside" the court.

      Clear?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Never underestimate the persuasive powers of a stupid looking beany hat.

    2. Roger Kint

      Clothing often conveys messages and impressions, some true, some false, perhaps the impression you got was the actual one intended, regardless of how true it was?

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I hope he didn't stand in front of the judge dressed like that!

      Quite so. He have shown due respect by wearing proper court attire, such as a wig and a gown.

    4. Black Rat

      Man walks down the street in a hat like that, you know he's not afraid of anything ...

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Man walks down the street

        Shiny

  11. jake Silver badge

    Thank heavens for that.

    You lot pay to deal with the silly little skiddie.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its about time the one sided extradition treaty was ripped up and replaced with a fair one.

  13. Not also known as SC

    Barrister Not Present.

    Crown Prosecution Service barrister Peter Caldwell, who argued in favour of Love's extradition on behalf of the US government, was not present in court to hear the outcome of Love's appeal.

    Wonder why this was?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Barrister Not Present.

      I have to ask how this is even possible, that a judgement at the high court can go ahead without one side being there.

      And surely, one barrister not turning up, even if he was certain he was going to lose, is pretty much the definition of contempt of court?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Barrister Not Present.

        "And surely, one barrister not turning up, even if he was certain he was going to lose, is pretty much the definition of contempt of court?"

        There'd be a junior there. In this sort of situation I'd expect it to be business as usual. Why would the leader need to be there?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Barrister Not Present.

          The barrister had done his/her job. Listening to the outcome that he/she could not influence in person is not that job.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Barrister Not Present.

      "Wonder why this was?"

      Probably he was in another court earning a fee there. Even if he'd won he wasn't going to have to get up on his hind legs and present an argument about sentencing. If he wants to appeal he will have to work out the grounds for that and it's something he'd do in chambers anyway. There'd be no reason not to just send a junior along to court.

  14. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    UK prosecution - never gonna happen.

    Any half competent defence barrister will just insist that any US evidence is presented in person, and can be cross examined. Which simply cannot - and will not - ever happen. Because the witness would be forced to refuse to answer questions on the basis of (US) national security.

    Remember when Thatcher was silly enough to try and prosecute Peter Wright in Australia ? The Australians ran rings around the UK witness, and forced him to admit under oath that he had lied in his evidence.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: UK prosecution - never gonna happen.

      Yet I have some trouble with the notion that the promising young defence barrister in that trial would, in 2018, use the phrase "If he is an honest man, then he appears rather like a well-educated mushroom" in this context. I could better believe "How high would you like me to jump?".

  15. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    The best part.

    The best part of this was omitted from the story, and it's that Amber Rudd signed the order for Lauri Love's extradition, and she's been thwarted.

    Now, we just have to keep the momentum going and defeat every proposal Rudd makes, like cryptographic back doors, retention of data under the snooper's charter now deemed illegal by the EU, etc.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: The best part.

      Most of the nonsense that Rudd spouts originates with her immediate predecessor who, having made a complete balls up of being Home Secretary has moved onto making a balls-up of other things.

  16. Soruk

    Set a precedent?

    Maybe this will also set a precedent where an alleged offence is deemed to have taken place where the alleged offender is physically located, not where the remote system is located.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Set a precedent?

      Maybe this will also set a precedent where an alleged offence is deemed to have taken place where the alleged offender is physically located, not where the remote system is located.

      I was wondering the same thing, but in a much wider context.

      Can someone with any legal knowledge explain to me how this verdict works?

      If I understand it correctly (and I may not) the premise is that because he was sat at his computer in the UK operating (ok, hacking) a computer in the USA, he is considered to have comitted the crime here and not in the USA. That is the exact reversal of how major banks etc get around the EU data protection laws, where they have people sat in India operating a computer within the EU (usually some sort of virt). The idea being the data has then not left the EU.

      They seem like mutually exclusive interpretations of essentially the same situation, and I'm not sure how both can persist? Does this not mean that my data is now being processed in India because that is where the operator sits?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Set a precedent?

      So the real victims may have big trouble to obtain justice because they have to go to a foreign jurisdiction? Think if Facebook and Google assert you have to sue them in California, whatever they do around the world - even it if turns to be criminal.

      This issue is not simply black or white, it's a Pandora's box - there is no simple solution now that technology allows for such distance between the criminal and the place the crime happens.

      And, remember, there are a lot of countries crime-friendly.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Set a precedent?

        Think if Facebook and Google assert you have to sue them in California...

        In my experience, such clauses are pretty common in employment contracts. You are offered a job at a multinational incorporated in, say, Delaware and headquartered in, say, California. You reside in another country where the employer has presence, offices, etc. Still, the contract states that it is governed by the laws of Delaware (or California, or whatever), which means that if there is a dispute that reaches the stage of lawsuits being filed, etc., you can expect to be subpoenaed to a court in a foreign country with unfamiliar laws, you need to arrange some legal representation there, etc., etc. Not making an appearance is likely to result in a loss by default. And no, this clause int he contract is never negotiable.

        I have seen it in employment contracts. I suspect that this is used in all sorts of contracts and other situations, such as ToS. Since you mentioned Google, I checked their ToS that say, inter alia,

        The courts in some countries will not apply California law to some types of disputes. If you reside in one of those countries, then where California law is excluded from applying, your country’s laws will apply to such disputes related to these terms. Otherwise, you agree that the laws of California, U.S.A., excluding California’s choice of law rules, will apply to any disputes arising out of or relating to these terms or the Services. Similarly, if the courts in your country will not permit you to consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the courts in Santa Clara County, California, U.S.A., then your local jurisdiction and venue will apply to such disputes related to these terms. Otherwise, all claims arising out of or relating to these terms or the services will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of Santa Clara County, California, USA, and you and Google consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts.

        IANAL, but the way I read it that your country of residence must specifically exclude California law from being applicable to disputes about Google's ToS. If it doesn't (I have not got the foggiest idea what the law says in my place of residence, do you?) prepare to litigate in Santa Clara, CA.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The intersting question is...

    ... where should cybercrime be prosecuted?

    If UK systems are attacked from Neverfoundland, could UK ask for extradition, if a treaty exists? Or any country will deny it, because the crime has been perpetrated on their own soil? And if you can get an incrimination in the country of origin, will the prosecution be adequate or not?

    This question goes beyond this single case, and how broken the US system became in the past seventeen years.

    1. tapanit

      Re: The intersting question is...

      Crime should primarily be prosecuted in whatever country the perpetrator was at the time. If you can't get adequate prosecution there, it should be fixed there rather than using extradition.

      Many countries, though apparently not Britain, allow extradition only to countries where the punishment can't be significantly more severe (notably so Finland, though it doesn't extradite its citizens to the USA in any case, not even voluntarily).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Crime should primarily be prosecuted in whatever country the perpetrator was at the time."

        But cybercrime allows for "remote crime" - something that is far more difficult with old school crime, but for some financial crimes that can also be perpetrates somehow remotely.

        UK too can be the target of big crimes perpetrated from a remote machine - the damage is local, the perpetrator is remote.

        Guess what the public opinion would think if another ransomware attack to NHS causes damages so severe that some people die. UK knows that the culprit is X from country Y - and an extradition treaty exists, do you think it will be OK for everyone that X is prosecute in country Y? Maybe a country with know lax rules and slow proceedings, or rules that don't match UK ones?

        How do you believe you can fix any prosecution issue in country Y - especially for a case that didn't touch them?

        These are issues that will arise more and more in the near future, especially when attacks not only compromise information, but could lead to true physical damages. And these cases sets precedents that will also be used abroad whenever UK will be on the other side.

        These are complex issues for which no easy and clear solution exist - but needs to be tacked.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: The intersting question is...

        Crime should primarily be prosecuted in whatever country the perpetrator was at the time.

        Just wondering how would that work if I'm on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic? International waters don't, as far as I know, have any laws regarding hacking of computers in Utah?

        How would it work if one of the astronauts on the ISS gets bored and uses their data connection to hack something here on earth, or out there in low orbit or deep space?

        How does that work if I hack Voyager from Earth, say in international waters? The crime is then either committed in deep space where there is no law, or in international waters where there doesn't seem to be a computer misues act equivalent?

        I'm not suggesting the verdict is right or wrong, only that I am genuinely puzzled by some apparent edge cases of where the law now takes us. Any ideas?

        1. Jake Maverick

          Re: The intersting question is...

          there is no rule of law.... :-(

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The intersting question is...

      ... where should cybercrime be prosecuted?

      I think a more fundamental question, is how should cybercrime be prosecuted ?

      The stumbling block in this (and the next) case, certainly regarding the US/UK dimension, is that to prosecute in the "host" country, you need the "victim" country to pony up exactly what damage was done, and how it was done. Traditionally, this means someone with the recognised standing (a civil servant, with recognised diplomatic credientials) needs to go into the witness box, and explain. They can then be cross-examined, as befits the rights of the suspect.

      (Leave to one side the fact that the UK pissed that protection away ages ago).

      The US will certainly never allow this to happen. I can't see the UK being too keen either.

      1. Dave Harvey

        Re: The intersting question is...

        There is actually, as I understand it, a problem with having an accredited diplomat presenting evidence in court. The argument goes that the ultimate defence against wrongful conviction on the basis of false testimony is that the person giving that testimony would put themselves at risk of being tried themselves for perjury. BUT - if the person giving evidence has diplomatic immunity, and couldn't be tried for perjury however much they lied, then should their evidence ever be trusted?

      2. silverfern

        Re: The intersting question is...

        I suspect what pissed Uncle Sam off the most was the fact that he got caught with his pants down and was mightily embarrassed - as in the Gary McKinnon case.

        This is more a case of revenge than justice, but then the US justice system is mostly about revenge anyway.

  18. steelpillow Silver badge

    Appeal to the Lords

    The million-dollar question - will there be one?

  19. dave 81

    CPS - never in the public interest.

    As usual, the CPS couldn't give a toss about what is actually in the public interest. Corrupt cops, leave em, extraditing citizens abroad, oh yea, totally with that. The CPS should be scrapped in it's entirety as it as proven to be nothing more than the oppression arm of increasingly authoritarian governments.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: CPS - never in the public interest.

      The CPS are an incompetent shower of utter stupididty. At least they were under Kier Starmer, the last time I was forced to have dealings with them, and I don't suppose they've improved in the interim. It's time they were scrapped - cleared out top to bottom, and replaced with something fit for purpose.

      And, no, I've never even been the accused, let alone the guilty.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: CPS - never in the public interest.

      The 'C' stands for 'Clown'. They are reportedly just as poorly regarded from within the legal system as without.

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Stoë Orkeo!

    Why does Lori look like someone out of a Moebius comic strip on that photo?

  21. cashback

    Nice.....hat.

  22. ThaumaTechnician

    And he's sporting a Palestinian kufiya. Heh.

    Good for him.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should take an example out of the Russian's playbook here (and no doubt a whole host of other countries too) and simply refuse to extradite for *any* crime to *any* foreign country.

    If a crime was committed and you can prove it to our satisfaction we will prosecute for you, provide us with the evidence and be satisfied with whatever sentence our laws say are suitable for that crime.

    Otherwise sod off, dont cry about it & preferably dont come back trying to abuse our citizens

    I do like how the EU/UK say they don't extradite to countries that have the death penalty. I ask you what exactly do our current crop of 'leaders' think a sentence of 99 years or more is exactly?? Did i miss the evolution of cryogenics?

  24. Jake Maverick

    thank god! but not right he should be going through any of this....i would have pulled an Aaron Schwartz by now, only was to escape these sickos :-(

  25. TheFriendlyDugong
    Boffin

    Why did he allegedly hack those agencies? What was he looking for or was it just to prove he could do it and it could be done (which I doubt, because then they'd hire him in an instant - or coerce his employment I'd imagine)?

  26. Archie1954

    US judicial system

    The judge should have taken judicial notice of the systemic corruption of the US judicial system, including private conferences in the judge's chambers or in front of the bench, impaneled grand juries, overzealous district attornies and their complicity in obstruction of justice, politicization etc. That should have been the reason the accused was not extradited, not the extreme penalties involved.

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