British Hacker Faces Deportation To United States

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Brit allegedly hacked US Army, NASA, and Federal Reserve, but fights extradition request to the US

A British hacker has been charged by officials with attacking a number of American federal agencies, and now faces deportation to the United States.

Lauri Love, aged 30, is said to have hacked into the US Army, NASA, the Federal Reserve, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Rearrested Hacker

This is not the first time that Love has been charged with hacking. In 2013, he was charged in New Jersey, and then he was charged last year in both Virginia and New York. That said, he was released without charge last year.

But now he has been re-arrested after Scotland Yard confirmed that officers from the Metropolitan police’s extradition unit had arrested Love at an address in Stradishall on Wednesday on an extradition warrant on behalf of the US. Love now faces being deported to answer the charges.

Young man in handcuffs - copyright FotoliaLove has been arrested over alleged offences under the Computer Misuse Act, which permits the arrest of anyone in the UK who starts attacks from British soil on computers anywhere in the world. If he is convicted in the United States, Love could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

He used the online moniker ‘peace’ and is alleged to boasted to others in a chat room that he had ‘shelled,’ or infiltrated, the Federal Reserve computer system, one indictment reads, according to the Daily Mail. He also apparently discussed possibly defacing the Federal Reserve website and sending fake emails to users of the Federal Reserve computer system.

Love is also said to have bragged in messages with his co-conspirators: ‘You have no idea how much we can f*** with the US government if we wanted to’.

Love’s lawyer, Karen Todner, said Love is now out on bail, and she has previously confirmed that they would fight any extradition request. She reportedly said that her client’s bail was cancelled more than a year ago and his arrest was ‘out of the blue’.

Love meanwhile faces an anxious wait until his full extradition hearing on 1 September.

Deportation Wrangles

The case of Love comes after a similar attempt by US authorities to extradite another British hacker Gary McKinnon, who was accused of hacking into 97 US government computers in 2001, including ones belonging to NASA.

McKinnon claimed he suffered Asperger’s Syndrome, and used the defence that he was looking for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

After a protracted legal battle, he narrowly avoided deportation to the United States.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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