back to article Parliamentarians ask Obama to withdraw Lauri Love extradition request

A cross-party collective of 105 UK MPs has penned an open letter to US President Barack Obama, requesting that he intervene to withdraw the extradition requests for alleged #OpLastResort hacker Lauri Love. The letter is been signed by Culture Minister Matt Hancock MP, who is the Love family's constituency MP, as well as scores …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why bother asking? just don't send him, and prosecute him here.

    more theatre....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why not send a letter to all Asperger sufferers in the UK that hacking is a crime and that if they get caught they will get punished and extradited where appropriate....

      They are apparently intelligent people so I don't see the problem with them not understanding that they will not be excused because of their condition.

      After all, we all have Aspergers syndrome to a greater or lesser degree.... I am now at the stage where I can no longer accept these Aspergers Sufferers as being excused for something that is not well documented and known... If they truly are a danger to themselves or others then their keyboards should be removed... I do not see how someone cannot know that they are hacking, it takes far to many skills, time and intention for it to be just "pure chance or unaware"..

      .

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Missed premise

        I don't think anybody is arguing that certain crimes should go unpunished because of some circumstance of the perpetrator.

        It is, however, very well established that sensitivity to such circumstances is an important part of sentencing. Given the lack of reassurance from the USA but they will adopt a similar approach, we need to assert the primacy of British law when it comes to British citizens. It is a little more of than an extension of the principle that we will not extradite to States where British citizens may be subjected to capital punishment... we should also resist extradition of our subject to legislatures where we do not have confidence that either the standard of the prosecution and/or the proportionality of the punishment match UK standards.

      2. fruitoftheloon
        FAIL

        @AC

        Dear AC,

        if you had even the slightest, teensiest bit of knowledge about autism you would know that there is what educated people call a 'spectrum', which means that different people are different!!!

        One can be diagnosed with Aspergers (as I have been) and realise that hacking other peoples' computers may make them a bit grumpy, someone else with a similar diagnosis may not realise that...

        I try wherever possible not to paint a not insignificant portion of people with a broad brush, after ensuring that it has been thoroughly dipped in a large bucket of ignorance and prejudice; may I kindly suggest that perhaps you give it a go?

        Us autistic folks have enough challenges with life as it is without other folk talking out of the other end of their alimentary canal...

        Regards,

        Jay

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Just don't send him

      'why bother asking? just don't send him, and prosecute him here. more theatre'....

      What he did wouldn't be considered a crime here. Indeed if the situation were reversed Her Majs government couldn't request the extradition of a US citizen for the same alleged crime. It's been a long time since Her Majs government had the authority to refuse to acquiesce to such US demands.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just don't send him

        If that's the situation then it would be an excellent choice for the world's hacking community to come and live in the UK then...

        I call bollocks, he committed a crime, got caught and now he has to face the consequences...

        All of us know how stupid the IUS justice system is, and it's probably one of the good reasons not to go fucking about with their systems..

        If your not ready to pay for the crime, then simply don't do it... I have no sympathy at all for this character, nor McKinnon... I have the capacity to go hacking just like anyone else, but I don't, because I am not prepared to pay the penalty for getting caught.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just don't send him

          what you wouldnt do with the skills you dont have is a moot point.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just don't send him

            What I wouldn't do with the skills that "I do have" is definitely not a moot point. Having spent the better part of 4 years learning assembler, decompiling existing code and writing interrupt handlers ( chaining and hooking, has given me far more than my fair share of skills). I don't have any problem discussing stacks, buffer overflows, etc if you want...

            I chose the hard road and kept everything legal. After all, it's all about choice and Love made his choice, so now he is getting the comeback for what "he" chose...... Why do so many on this forum have a hard time understanding that.. Because he lived with his mother and father, should we really take that into consideration, of course not. This was not some innocent 12 year old...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just don't send him

              > I don't have any problem discussing stacks, buffer overflows, etc if you want...

              May I respectfully suggest then that you stick to discussing stacks, buffer overflows, etc., and stay away from social issues?

              I appreciate that you feel you would not have made the same decisions as someone else, but that does not justify a judgemental attitude.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just don't send him

              One AC to another, couldn't agree more. This is a matter of choices, and I for one do not swallow the crap that aspergers syndrome inhibits the individual from rational thought when it comes to making choices. Anyone at el reg who does this stuff should take note!!. The good ol' USofA aint quite so lenient as blighty is. Cannot pay the fine then don't do the crime.

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: Just don't send him

                Why is the Anonymous Coward so adamant that "Aspergers' is no excuse", when nobody is actually suggesting that it is?

                Yes, OK, Aspergers' is no excuse. Consider that strawman well and truly unstuffed. Meanwhile, the rest of us are discussing reasons why the defendant should be tried in the UK.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just don't send him

          The words "choice" and "excuse" are being used a lot by people who clearly don't appreciate how Aspergers affects those with the condition.

          It's not an excuse, no, it is an explanation though. To someone with Aspergers, there are rules and those rules shouldn't be broken, even by government. It then follows that rather than breaking the rules themselves, they were just highlighting that others were wrong. It would never have entered his mind that he was making a choice, and certainly not that he was committing a crime. It would actually more likely have seemed like he was being a good Samaritan by pointing out all the rules the government were breaking.

          As I said, it's still a crime and he did (allegedly) commit that crime and therefore must be punished for that crime if found guilty in a fair process. That doesn't prevent society from taking the disability into account when dealing with the case, sentencing, or any other dealings with him. The mark of a developed society is being able to look after one another while remaining fair.

          Until mental illness drives your own behaviour it's difficult to understand. That's why we have professionals able to tell the difference between genuinely affected people and those just faking.

      2. Lotaresco

        Re: Just don't send him

        "What he did wouldn't be considered a crime here."

        That's not true. What he did is a crime under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He actually committed at least three offences under the act:

        S3(1) Unauthorised access to computer material..

        S3(2) Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences..

        S3(3) Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.

        "Her Majs government couldn't request the extradition of a US citizen for the same alleged crime"

        Also untrue.

        S4(1) Except as provided below in this section, it is immaterial for the purposes of any offence...

        (a) whether any act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence occurred in the home country concerned; or

        (b) whether the accused was in the home country concerned at the time of any such act or event.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Just don't send him

          He actually committed at least three offences under the act:

          Should that not read: He actually allegedly committed at least three offences under the act:

          He hasn't actually been tried yet...

          1. Ilmarinen
            Thumb Down

            Re: Just don't send him

            @Commswonk

            The very words that I was about to write.

            And the problem is that he won't be tried before extradition - or even have evidence presented to demonstrate that there is a case to answer. Uncle Sam just gets to say "Trust Me" and we'll ship him out.

            Whereas, if it were a US citizen that Blighty wanted to extradite we'd need to show Probable Cause.

            Why is it that our government is happy to deport our own people to a foreign country without examining the evidence?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just don't send him

              "Whereas, if it were a US citizen that Blighty wanted to extradite we'd need to show Probable Cause."

              Not sure why you got downvoted for that post, but the apparently "one-way" nature of the UK-USA extradition agreement is something that needs to be fixed.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just don't send him

              "Why is it that our government is happy to deport our own people to a foreign country without examining the evidence?"

              Coz Tony Blair thought that was a good deal to sign.

          2. Lotaresco

            Re: Just don't send him

            "Should that not read: He actually allegedly committed at least three offences under the act:"

            No, because one thing that stands out in the statements made by himself, his family and supporters is that none of them are claiming that he did not do these things. They are all claiming that his retrospective diagnosis of Aspergers obtained via a high-price shrink absolve him from culpability.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just don't send him

          > That's not true. What he did is a crime under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He actually committed at least three offences under the act:

          It would be really helpful if people stopped pretending to be judges ("He actually committed at least three offences") and affecting omniscience ("What he did". As if you were there).

          1. Lotaresco

            Re: Just don't send him

            I'd take you seriously... oh hang on, no I wouldn't you're an Anon Troll.

            Of course he didn't do it. Thats why he's kicking and screaming about facing justice.

      3. JustNiz

        Re: Just don't send him

        >> It's been a long time since Her Majs government had the authority to refuse to acquiesce to such US demands.

        What? Surely you're not saying that the US has more authority over UK citizens located in the UK, than the UK government does?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aspergers when it suits

    "Mr Love should face prosecution for any crimes committed in his own country where his suicide-risk is exponentially reduced. "

    I can't see why spending time in a 3 * 4m cell in the US or the UK would reduce the risk of suicide, I can't imagine that either would be very happy situations.

    "In contrast, Mr Love has the potential to return to life as a productive member of society and is already peer-mentoring at a university while completing his degree."

    Ok Aspergers was used as an "excuse" for his hacking but here we see signs, "Peer-Mentoring", that the Aspergers isn't a problem after all, which is it ?

    Very confusing article, doesn't seem to take the details into any in-depth analysis. To what degree does Love truly suffer from Aspergers....

    1. Alexander J. Martin

      Re: Aspergers when it suits

      Love's Asperger's is not being used an an "excuse" for any crimes which he allegedly committed, I'm not sure what has given you that impression.

      Asperger's has been cited as the reason why Love lives at home, why he depends upon his family, and why to extradite him to the US where he has no support network would be to unduly infringe on his human rights.

      The court was told, and the judge accepted, that without that support network, Love, as a vulnerable man with a long history of mental health issues and Asperger's Syndrome, would be exposed to an unacceptable risk of suicide. Previous articles have covered these details in depth, and they are linked to in this piece.

      As for your "to what degree does Love truly suffer from Aspergers... [sic]", it isn't my place to doubt your expertise in diagnosing a man you've never met as I've never met you and don't know your background (oh wait...) but in case you have memory issues the article does state:

      > Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, stating that “there is absolutely no question that [Love] has Asperger's [Syndrome]”

      > The judge hearing this case agreed with this assessment of Love's mental health

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aspergers when it suits

        > Please let me know if you have any more questions.

        Well said, Alexander.

      2. Lotaresco

        Re: Aspergers when it suits

        "Asperger's has been cited as the reason why Love lives at home, why he depends upon his family, and why to extradite him to the US where he has no support network would be to unduly infringe on his human rights."

        And yet he was able to serve in the army, attend two universities and take part in the occupation of university buildings. He now claims he runs a security company. Not quite the poor little unable to fend for himself soul that his father (who should know better since he serves in the Criminal Justice System) would have everyone believe. It is white middle-class male syndrome, the belief that they are too special for the law to apply to them. Instead of being honest and admitting guilt they immediately start the appeals to the gallery.

        Interestingly there was not the same support for the criminals over the extradition of the Enron three Giles Darby, David Bermingham and Gary Mulgrew. Indeed the same people falling over themselves to have Love avoid justice were quite keen to see the Enron three sent to jail. I have as little sympathy for them as I do for Love.

        If Love is miraculously innocent, despite having boasted on social media that he did it and that he intended to do harm to the USA (i.e. he has already admitted guilt), then he can face a trial and walk free. If found guilty there's a high probability (based on the experience of the Enron 3) that it will result in a short prison stay in the USA followed by permission to transfer and serve out his sentence in the UK.

        In short, storm in a tea cup over someone who does not deserve this much sympathy.

    2. Slef

      Re: Aspergers when it suits

      "I can't see why spending time in a 3 * 4m cell in the US or the UK would reduce the risk of suicide, I can't imagine that either would be very happy situations."

      So you are unable to picture a British Person totally isolated from his family as being more likely to attempt suicide than one who was able to see his family regularly in a British Jail! A very Binary way to look at the situation. But then again you are able to post anonymously which no doubt was also a binary decision....are you accountable or just hiding behind the anonymous coward posting?

      The offence was committed in Britain and should be tried in Britain. Do you honestly believe that there is any justice over the pond ? (unless you are loaded)

    3. Jason Bloomberg

      Re: Aspergers when it suits

      I can't see why spending time in a 3 * 4m cell in the US or the UK would reduce the risk of suicide, I can't imagine that either would be very happy situations.

      There are two aspects to this; where he is held prior to trial (and for how long) and how he will be held if he is found guilty of the charges. It does not have to be a 3x4 cell and does not even have to be a prison.

      While it would be nice to think he'll be no worse off in America than in the UK, I think most would recognise that as a very naive outlook and there is plenty of evidence that life is harsher in US prisons than the UK.

      That reflects differences with regard to what the the primary purpose of justice is intended for; 'reforming', 'protection of others', and 'punishment'.

      I don't believe anyone is saying Love should simply be let off, but we do need to consider what is the most appropriate way to proceed and deal with any crime he may have committed.

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    Oh FFS, stop going on about how aspie Love is. That impacts on one line of human rights defence, however...

    The salient point should be the ludicrous jail sentence faced & potentially extremely dubious US estimates of damage his activities caused (let alone how "hacky" the hacking was, given the known record of dismal security by US mil back in teh day, could easily have been "walk in" hacking i.e. not requiring any sophisticated attack mechanisms / damage to devices just making use of insecure system config). If the military systems did have important things on and security was dismal then Love was being v. useful, far better a "bloke in his bedroom" breaks in than a state actor.

    With 99 years jail on offer, excessive even compared to the ramping up of sentences in UK for anything IT related, then no way should someone be extradited irrespective of them being on the spectrum..

    * Yes I know term could be a lot less with plea bargaining - but plea bargaining is v. suspect, basically a way to make someone plead guilty (even if they are not guilty . think they are not) just to avoid mega jail term & definitely dying in prison (which would occur if pleaded innocent & found guilty & excessive term applied).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lack of security

      Citing the weakness or absence of security on the targeted systems seems like a lame argument to me. So a system isn't well protected...that means it can be hacked without the hacker having to face the consequences?

      That's like saying someone who steals a car that isn't fitted with an alarm or immobiliser is less guilty than someone who steals a car with better security...or that someone who mugs a little old lady is less guilty than someone who mugs a 25-stone, 7' tall rugby player.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Oh FFS, stop going on about how aspie Love is. That impacts on one line of human rights defense, however..."

      Oh FFS, stop going on about hopeless the US Judicial system is, we have known about it for far too long to remember. If you don't want to become involved in their ludicrous system then don't be stupid enough to hack them. End of story.

      He may have committed the crime in the UK but it was against the Americans, why shouldn't they have the right to penalise him.. So if someone in Spain commits a crime against the UK and destroys jobs or whatever over here than we shouldn't be allowed to prosecute them?

      1. veti Silver badge

        Oh, FFS...

        If you go to Spain, acquire a hunting rifle, go stand next to the Portuguese border and shoot across the border, killing someone who's in Portugal - it's the Spanish police who'll arrest you, and the Spanish courts who will try you. This is not controversial, it's a very simple and well established rule.

        Why should hacking be different?

        1. Lotaresco

          "If you go to Spain, acquire a hunting rifle, go stand next to the Portuguese border and shoot across the border, killing someone who's in Portugal - it's the Spanish police who'll arrest you, and the Spanish courts who will try you."

          That's not true.

          In cases of murder the default rule is that the trial takes place in the jurisdiction where the victim died, irrespective of the physical location of the accused at the time. The accused may, in your example, be arrested in Spain but would, by default, be tried in Portugal. However various national legislation permits people to be tried - in the specific case of murder and manslaughter - in the country which the accused is a citizen of. However the legislation is permissive, not prescriptive.

          So, for example, the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 permits English courts to try people accused of murder or manslaughter committed in another country. But also states (Section 9) "Provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any person from being tried in any place out of England or Ireland for any murder or manslaughter committed out of England or Ireland, in the same manner as such person might have been tried before the passing of this Act." That is, if the country where the crime was committed elects to prosecute the case then English law does not take precedent. Section 10 which addresses the case where the where the murder takes place outside the England but the accused is within English jurisdiction states that the case *may* be dealt with in England but does not say that it must be dealt with in England.

          CPS rules make it clear that the only cases where the UK may exert extra-territorial jurisdiction are sexual offences against children, murder and manslaughter, terrorism or bribery. For other cases the prosecution is guided that there must exist a "substantial connection with this jurisdiction" for courts in England and Wales to have jurisdiction.

          In Love's case the crime he committed was against the US and there is no "substantial connection" with a crime in the UK; therefore the US has jurisdiction.

  4. Alan Johnson

    Excessive punishment should be grounds to reject extradition

    The issue to me is not the Asbergers but that ludicrous maximum sentance which will be used a a threat to coerce a guilty plea as part of the deepy unfair US 'justice' system.

    That merely 'hacking' into a system carries this sor tof sentanc ewithout fraud or attemtps to injure or damage is ridiculous. Fraud itself should not carry this sort of sentance. If he was facing a maxium of 3 years if found guilty but a more probable 1 year then this would be a completely different situation and I would support extradition. 99 years for someone who commits a non-violent but illegal act of political protest is more commonly associated with the worst kind of military dictatorships. Excessive sentances should be grounds to refuse extradition.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Excessive punishment should be grounds to reject extradition

      Just wondering if Love had already been extradited and convicted, would/could Obama be persuaded to grant a Presidential Pardon at the end of his term as President? If he intervenes now, would it not be cited in other cases that are pending/in the future? And therefore less likely to be granted, unless there are very exceptional circumstances

  5. Graham Cunningham

    The alleged crime took place in the UK. The UK is equipped to prosecute this kind of offence. Where is the justification for rendition?

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      did it?

      "The alleged crime took place in the UK."

      Did it?

      Despite all the extradite or not comments, the important thing to me is what the legal ramifications are in detailing *where* the crime took place thus where jusristiction lies. If it was within the UK then prosecute in the UK, if the US then prosecute in the US.

      However, and it's a big however, if you accept that this hacking offence took place in the UK's juristiction then you also have to accept that hacking of UK internet plc from *any other state* would then, by prior UK case law, have to be tried *in that state*.

      Now who wants Russian, Chinese or Syrian (for example) state sponsored hackers, who hack into one of our nuclear power station control systems, to be tried under Russian, Chinese or US law ...?

      This case is much deeper than it looks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: did it?

        I couldn't agree more, the crime took place on a computer in the United States, therefore on American soil... I do not understand why the fact that it was done at a distance should hold any bearing..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: did it?

          Will the downvoter(s) please state their case for against my remark or the initial one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: did it?

            > Will the downvoter(s) please state their case for against my remark or the initial one.

            Would my fellow AC mind quoting what previous remark(s) he might be referring to?

  6. Ole Juul

    The US

    Always overreacts to anything to do with their stupid computers.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not what crimes you do, it's who you know & fund.

    Don't go looking at any Trey Gowdy videos or you might get the impression there are rules for some and rules for others over the pond.

    Interesting times in the states all those serious faces trying to get lids back on before the election. Make a big show of punitive penalties for security breaches (at least those those caused by people with no financial backing, or decent contacts).

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    a) I totally called the deployment of the standard excuse Aspberger's Defense when he was arrested. In your face downvoters!

    2) The US should just open a correctional facility dedicared to the legion of sufferers of this scourge which prevents people knowing when they are breaking the law (but only when seated in front of a computer, it seems). Said glasshouse could have computers connected to the internet via 33k modem/dial-up line to a fabulous AOL on-ramp "portal" so these poor confused Aspberger's-riddled people could still "enjoy" the web the way it was intended.

    To be clear for the more flammable of our fellow readers: I am not making fun of Asbberger's sufferers, just those lowlives who seek refuge under its umbrella from the inevitable come-uppance brought about by their own actions in apparent ignorance of the Golden Rule: no-one is as smart as they think they are.

    1. Rob D.
      FAIL

      Re: Bah!

      It's not immediately clear whether misspelling "Asperger" three times in your post is intentionally ironic or more simply an indication of the level of expertise underpinning these insights.

  9. Gary Lloyd 1

    Comment 1 gets it.

    Just don't send him. Prosecute here for the crimes committed and sentence appropriately. The U.S. Justice system just isn't fit for purpose, and we shouldn't be sending any British citizen there EVER!

  10. JustNiz

    Would love to know the real reason why they're politely begging rather than simply telling the US to F off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trident, the National Debt, access to US markets, trumped up expensive fines for UK companies, outright bullying etc.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: why?

      "Special relationship" ?

      1. HAL-9000
        WTF?

        Re: why?

        "Special relationship" ?

        UK get ready to assume the position

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: why?

          > "Special relationship" ?

          > UK get ready to assume the position

          Hal, thank you for that interesting article.

          I guess it was rather obvious back in 2003 or so, when Bush The Younger decided to invade Iraq for... well, for no reason at all, and his puppies Bliar and Aznar, along with all the new EU hopefuls formerly from the Warsaw pact were right there lapping his feet while Germany (and the French) went, nah, you go dig yourself into that hole all alone.

          This bit is somewhat amusing by the way: "After 1945 U.S. experts quickly discovered that West Germany, Allied bombing notwithstanding, still had greater industrial potential than Britain."

  11. ElectricRook
    Childcatcher

    Go deep for the gender change

    Mr Love is totally misunderstanding how to work the US justice system.

    Rule number 1, work the US press. Be misunderstood. Don't have a treatable mental condition, have gender issues.

    Have your parents start their own reality show where wear lots of makeup, especially have dad wear lots of mascara. get them in funky costumes which show lots of flesh, and go to the beach and act all weird. Pay to have glamour magazines do expose on your new lifestyle, get a boob job and wear lots of makeup and high fashion to fully expose your new identity. Of course change your name, especially something pornish.

    But if it looks like you're going to the big house, be sure they send you to woman's prison with your penis still intact.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't hack the US. Aspergers is not an excuse. If you can commit a complex crime you can read about the consequence. Laws are there to stop people from doing that shit. Hero. Nobody cares.

    1. Slef

      Another AC who has no fecking understanding of Autism. Are you American ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The treaty is one sided. Should be ripped up until a fair one is found.

  14. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Urgh

    Yet again parliamentary sovereignty is challenged by some foreign burocrats we haven't elected. Time for UKIP to save us all with USEXIT!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal process, my ASS

    Since when are we AMERICA's BITCH. oh 1941

    She will meet her maker soon, lol.

    Same as TRUMP, sights already zeroed in on these two world clowns.

    So much HATE from the people, enough to pull a trigger?

    How can we have any LAW when USofApple calls the shots.

    START of THE END. Good, we cannot wait.

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