back to article Pack your bags, you're going to America, Lord Chief Justice tells accused Brit hacker

A Briton once suspected of hacking Pippa Middleton's iCloud account – although he was cleared after a police probe in 2016 – now faces deportation to America. Nathan Wyatt, who is said to have used the handle "The Dark Overlord" online, is accused by American prosecutors of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and three …

  1. Augie

    Odd thought

    But I only ever hear about us extraditing people to America.

    Do they ever send them when we ask?.. I have a feeling I know the answer already.

    1. Argh

      Re: Odd thought

      Yes, to an extent: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK%E2%80%93US_extradition_treaty_of_2003

    2. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: Odd thought

      According to a freedom of information request in 2012, between 2003 and 2011, 33 people were extradited from the UK to the US, 7 people traveled the other way...

    3. j.bourne
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Odd thought

      No, in a balanced world Anne Sacoolas would be facing charges relating to the death of Harry Dunn. After exiting RAF (aka USAAF/NSA) Croughton base (a spy-base/listening post near Banbury) earlier this year. She drove on the wrong side of the road, resulting in the death of Harry Dunn. Promised not to leave the country and then fled claiming diplomatic immunity.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius

        Re: Odd thought

        @j.bourne

        Diplomatic immunity is an excellent thing. Would we want our own diplomats in various hostile countries liable to be arrested for road accidents etc. Although the Sacoolas incident was a genuine road accident, it would not be beyond our enemies to concoct a road accident.

        The proper response to the Sacoolas incident is at diplomatic, government to government level. Some kind of sanction by us against the US Government until a satisfactory apology and compensation. Maybe the USG has offered this, but Dunn's parents are being unrealistic.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Odd thought

          Thing is, she never actually had diplomatic immunity in the first place...

        2. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

          Re: Odd thought

          she wasn't a diplomat, nor was hubby.

        3. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Odd thought

          One would think two allies could come to an agreement to override diplomatic immunity in this case. It wouldn't have to set any precedent that would allow Iran to fake an accident and jail a diplomat they didn't like.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Odd thought

            Iran is already capable of jailing people they don't like, in one instance ably assisted by a UK Foreign Secretary.

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Odd thought

            USAian here.

            I find myself completely in agreement with the views expressed above. She needs to stand trial. In the UK. Ideally, this would be a non-issue, there would be some government-to-government discussions and the matter would be resolved without fuss.

            However, you may have noticed that our government is not, shall we say, functioning at peak efficiency right now. To be frank, it seems to be missing on several cylinders, leaking oil and brake fluid, and both the heat and the a/c are on full blast. For this, we remaining rational members of society apologise. I would say, "bear with us while we get this sorted", but I'm afraid the prognosis is not good, at leat for the next year or so.

            Prayer *may* be helpful, in the sense that it would keep your mind off this 4-year slow motion train wreck.

        4. j.bourne

          Re: Odd thought

          @Primus Secundus Tertius

          Diplomatic immunity is an expedient and unfortunately necessary accomadation to allow diplomats to carry out their work (ftfy), I think many would understand the reasons for extension to immediate family when domiciled with a diplomat as well. That having been said, the diplomatic status of Anne Sacoolas and her husband at the time of the accident is highly dubious at best. Her husband is described as an 'Intelligence officer' working at the Croughton listening post, at no point has anyone even claimed that he had any involvment with diplomacy or the US embassy or any consulate.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd thought

      This view seems biased. https://uk.usembassy.gov/our-relationship/policy-history/the-u-s-uk-extradition-treaty/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-us-uk-extradition-relationship/

      ... Moreover, extradition requests from the U.S. to the UK have taken as long as 13 years to work their way through the UK and European courts. For extradition requests from the UK to the U.S. the subjects are in most cases extradited within several months.

      ... since we have never refused a request from the UK

      If you have more current information I would like to hear about it. Especially if you have a table comparing the kind of crimes committed. (For extradition to be considered it has to be a crime in both countries)

      1. Empire of the Pussycat

        Re: Odd thought

        do they state the number of USA citizens extradited to the UK (and vice versa) ?

        perhaps the USA is mostly kicking out Brits to be tried at home

      2. IGotOut

        Re: Odd thought

        Remove the death penalty and you may get some more sent to the US.

        1. aks Bronze badge

          Re: Odd thought

          The UK would want a guarantee from the USA that anyone sent there would not receive the death penalty.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Odd thought

            Nope, the UK has changed all of that. Admittedly the individuals involved (the so-called 'Beetles')are scum, but the UK waived a requirement that a death penalty was off the cards. This might be right or wrong, but the UK is abandoning that safeguard.

    5. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      Re: Odd thought

      Actually it happens quite a lot. The US received 54 extradition requests last year and agreed to all of them.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Citation needed, badly.

        1. Dal90

          That's a statistic that is being extraordinarily obfuscated for a long time.

          Latest of any sort I could find:

          2018: The U.S. requested 160 and received 57 extradition requests for *violent* crimes, which represented 18.4% of all extradition requests made (in both directions). So there is a lot of room in that math, but that makes for 1,200 annual requests 2/3rd made by the U.S. and 1/3rd made to the U.S.

          https://www.justice.gov/doj/page/file/1148176/download

          The last year I could find good, detailed statistics was 2002. The U.S. was running between 670 and 950 combined requests annually during the 90s. Figure we've had 20% population growth since the mid-90s, 950 + 20% is in line with the current level of extraditions (assuming both are "high" years and the 2018 figure of 1,200 wasn't a "low" year).

          https://oig.justice.gov/reports/OBD/e0208/extradition.pdf

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Odd thought

        There is a recent "causing death by dangerous driving" case where the suspect is not being extradited.

    6. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: Odd thought

      Would our press even report on it?

      Maybe I've become highly sceptical of the mainstream media of late but I doubt the BBC etc would care if a US citizen was being fired over here.

    7. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Odd thought

      Wikipedia has some figures:

      US->UK

      From January 2004 to the end of December 2011, 7 known US citizens were extradited from the US to the UK. No US citizen was extradited for an alleged crime while the person was based in the US. The U.S. embassy in London reports that, as of April 2013, 38 individuals have been extradited from the US to the UK.

      UK->US

      From January 2004 to the end of December 2011, 33 known UK citizens (including 6 with dual nationality) were extradited from the UK to the US. The U.S. embassy in London reports that, as of April 2013, 77 individuals have been extradited from the UK to the US. The U.S. has argued that this is not disproportionate, due to the US population being about five times larger than the UK population.

      Make of them what you will.

      Edit: Corrected second heading.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Odd thought

        Wouldn't the proportions operate the other way round, with the more-populous country sending a larger number (but still small proportion) of its residents to the less-populous country ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Odd thought

          I think that may depend on the volume of criminals caught.

          Given the advertised enthusiasm of US law enforcement to shoot people, there may well be another reason why the US -> UK flow is lower.

        2. a pressbutton Silver badge

          Re: Odd thought

          Perhaps is is more proportional to the number of people visiting the other country.

          Looking around, in 2018

          3.8m visitors - tourists - from USA to UK

          3.47m visitors - tourists - from UK to USA

          so, all things being equal I would expect roughly equal numbers of extradition requests.

    8. Misiu

      Re: Odd thought

      if you are a United States citizen who is wanted for extradition by the United Kingdom, you have an absolute right to a hearing in a United States court where you can challenge the evidence that has been put in front of the court and present evidence of your own. If, by contrast, you are a United Kingdom citizen or somebody ordinarily resident here who is wanted by the United States, you have no such right.

      https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtrights/156/156.pdf

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He attempt to hack the British Upper Class.

    That, of course, in the eyes of British justice is among the worst crimes someone could commit. Deport him to the Colonies!!!

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: He attempt to hack the British Upper Class.

      “There can only be ONE Dark Lord”, said Dark Lord Chief Justice Burnett of Maldon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He attempt to hack the British Upper Class.

      Did he find any Pizzahut receipts?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He attempt to hack the British Upper Class.

      Only a liar would claim that there was any relationship to the Pippa incident. I am absolutely sure that Baron Burnett of Maldon would rather help a lowlife from Podunkmiddleshire then a Duchess of Cambridge. I believe in the fairness and equality of the courts. Also I have no money for lawyers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cruel and unusual punishment

    Glad I'm not from the UK, where I'm from sending people to barbaric countries such as the USA with a rigged legal system and state sanctioned torture in "correctional" facilities would be illegal.

    If he did commit crimes against American companies, tough luck, they should sue in UK courts.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Cruel and unusual punishment

      You don't sue for crimes, that is a police matter. You sue for torts. And you don't get extradited for allegations of tortuous behaviour.

  4. iron Silver badge

    Not so much The Dark Overlord...

    More like The Bumbling Idiot Who Will Be Caught!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Maybe he'll plead extreme stupidity as mitigation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        if "too stupid to stand trial" would be a thing I suspect the people that make money by running prisons would start lobbying hard to get that off the books.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Isn't "extreme stupidity" punishable by lethal injection in the USA?

        1. Scroticus Canis
          Unhappy

          Apparently not. Pence isn't president yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why doesn't anyone ever have a handle like "The Dork Overlard" ?

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Why doesn't anyone ever have a handle like "The Dork Overlard" ?

        Now that you have raised the point it may not be long before the vacancy is filled.

        1. The Dork Overlard
          Coat

          Well someone had to

          Challenge accepted :)

          Leave? I just got here....

          1. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: Well someone had to

            Challenge accepted :)

            I simply hate having to log in just to give someone an upvote.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well someone had to

              Hence the added comment?

              :)

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Why doesn't anyone ever have a handle like "The Dork Overlard" ?

        Because if I used the same name online as my wife uses for me at home then it'd not be much of a pseudonym.

  5. keb

    " Officially the reason for this discounting is "good behaviour" while imprisoned, though it applies more or less automatically to almost all offenders."

    Except for political prisoners such as Julian Assange who get a full year of solitary confinement 23/7 for a bail violation.

    1. Twanky Bronze badge

      Sentences

      The sentence for an offender in the UK is often/usually a period of supervision by the state authorities. The first part of the period is usually in a prison; the later part is supervision by probation officers. The sentence is completed when both parts have run their course. A life sentence does not necessarily mean a person spends the rest of their life in prison - it means they spend the rest of their life under supervision. This is why a person given a life sentence might be 'released' from prison but has to live under the supervision of probation officers (eventually monthly or less frequent meetings) and why judges sometimes specify the minimum term of a life sentence to be served in prison.

      I hadn't heard that Mr Assange was being held in solitary 23/7. I wonder if its only the authorities he's annoyed or his fellow inmates too? As he already has a high profile history of absconding I think it's unlikely he'll be allowed to serve any part of his sentence under supervision outside prison.

      1. IGotOut

        Re: Sentences

        You also forget that solitary confinement is often nothing to do with a crime, but for the protection of the prisoner.

        Vulnerable prisoners, or those deemed at risk of attack from others are often place in solitary.

        Something tells me, it could well be the later with him.

    2. Cederic Silver badge

      Assange was not a political prisoner. He was a common or garden bail jumper who demonstrated he can't be trusted not to abscond should he be released, which is also why he's still being held awaiting his next extradition hearing.

      I'm not sure why he got solitary though. Maybe the other prisoners complained about the smell.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Except for political prisoners such as Julian Assange

      Not remotely true. The rape allegations he fled by jumping bail are still before various courts for the matter of detention/extradition, as is the crimes he's charged with in America. There's nothing political about it - these are accusations of simple crimes that have spanned several administrations.

      Quite who he thinks he is to be sending conditional offer letters to several judiciaries stating his terms for being bound by the law. It's insane. His predicament is very much played for and got.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        The rape allegations he fled by jumping bail are still before various courts for the matter of detention/extradition...

        No longer true if I heard a news bulletin correctly earlier to day. I think the Swedes have thrown the towel in, for whatever reason.

  6. martinusher Silver badge

    He's screwed

    The US justice system isn't that balanced, its based on intimidation where the prosecutors pile up largely synthetic charges which on conviction result in massive penalties. (There's no such thing as "taking into consideration" in the US and pretty much everything is tariffed consecutively.) The aim is to force a plea deal which can allow conviction on the most ridiculous things (e.g. "lying to the FBI"). To fend this off you need decent and so rather expensive representation.

    This explains why poor people, especially minorities, find them selves in jail for decades for what are often quite trivial charges. A foreigner without resources doesn't stand a chance in this environment, especially against Federal prosecutors, so I'd guess he's screwed.

    I don't think that US law should be applied extra territoriality but believe it or not one of the unfortunate side effects of being a US citizen is that you can be busted at home for things that are not an offense overseas. I suppose our peverse judicial logic applies to everyone else in the world; here you are at a bit of a disadvantage compared to the rest of the world who typically expect concrete charges and a reasonable expectation of due process and fair penalties before disgorging their citizens. The UK just snaps to attention and obeys orders....

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: He's screwed

      "This explains why poor people, especially minorities, find them selves in jail for decades for what are often quite trivial charges. A foreigner without resources doesn't stand a chance in this environment, especially against Federal prosecutors, so I'd guess he's screwed"

      That part of the system is stacked to keep the prison operating corps' supplied with a continuous labour pool.

    2. IGotOut

      Re: He's screwed

      The other fucked up part of the US system is it's Cash bail system. The better off get to go home, the poor sit in cess pit prisons, regardless of how petty the crime they may or may not of commited.

      Don't even start me on poor man drugs Vs rich man drugs sentencing laws.

    3. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: He's screwed

      > The UK just snaps to attention and obeys orders....

      as expected of Airstrip One

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's screwed

      >>The UK just snaps to attention and obeys orders....

      More like drops the soap and bends over.

      Still, after that bigly trade deal is negotiated things will be much better.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's screwed

      Doesn't America market itself as the land of the free? The American dream and all that?

      It doesn't sound so free when you hear most Americans describe their legal system... or that great of a dream (unless you're already rich)..

      Land of the free huh?

      / Joking, America is great, honest!

      / Anon for the small bit of hope that the FBI won't extradite me for this comment.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: He's screwed

        Doesn't America market itself as the land of the free?

        It used to be "The land of the free and the home of the brave". Currently it is much better described as "The land of the fee and the home of the slave".

    6. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: He's screwed

      "I don't think that US law should be applied extra territoriality but believe it or not one of the unfortunate side effects of being a US citizen is that you can be busted at home for things that are not an offense overseas."

      He's just been released from jail after being convicted of exactly the same crimes here, and he hasn't even tried to deny he committed the additional ones he's accused of in the US. His only defence is that if they'd sent the evidence to the UK earlier he could have been convicted of some additional crimes over here. For all the flaws the US justice system has, this is not the case on which to try to make a stand. He's not screwed because of a crooked justice system and the UK bending over to let the US do whatever it wants, he's screwed because he's an unrepentant criminal for whom the only question is which country he most deserves to be jailed in.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well

    It's not like anyone is surprised.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is Simon Baron-Cohen when he's needed?

  10. Aodhhan

    Here is a thought...

    If you don't want to get caught up in the USA's legal system, don't commit crimes.

    ...and please, no comments about innocent people being found guilty. Especially, since meeting the burden of proof is typically higher in the USA than other countries. Not to mention, no other country has protections as solid as the 4th amendment; not even England.

    1. Cav

      Re: Here is a thought...

      That's a joke, yes?

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