Home Security UK hacker's appeal against US extradition to be heard this month

UK hacker's appeal against US extradition to be heard this month

British security researcher Lauri Love's appeal against extradition to the US for trial on charges of hacking into NASA, the FBI, and the US Federal Reserve will be heard at the High Court in London on 28 and 29 November.

Love, who has Asperger's Syndrome, won the right to appeal in April. He could face 99 years in jail if he is tried in three separate trials in the US, and a fine of up to US$9 million.

His extradition was ordered by British Home Secretary Amber Rudd in November last year after he was unable to persuade a judge that he should be tried in the UK.

However his legal team appealed and as a result he won the right to appeal to the High Court.

Just after the April verdict, Love told the BBC's Today programme: "What I'm hoping is that the extradition will be refused, and like anybody else here arrested in the UK, I'll face a trial here and be able to make a case.

"The problem is that I'm facing 99 years in prison in America where medical experts have testified that there's a serious risk that I'll die.

"So we're kind of hoping the UK government would have tried to stop that. Unfortunately the home secretary's hands were tied."

Another British infosec expert, Gary McKinnon, was not extradited for accessing US Government computers in 2012, after a 10-year legal battle, because he was considered to be “seriously ill”.

The decision against his extradition was made by the current British Prime Minister Theresa May who was home secretary at the time.

She told MPs at the time that there was no doubt McKinnon was "seriously ill" and the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn, adding that the sole issue she had to consider was his human rights.

A third British security researcher, Marcus Hutchins, is awaiting trial in the US, after being arrested in Las Vegas in August after he had boarded a plane to leave the US after attending the annual DEFCON security conference.

The chargesheet against him says he wrote and helped distribute a banking trojan named Kronos along with an unnamed co-conspirator.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.