U.K. approves extradition of British hacker to the U.S.

The United States has accused Lauri Love of hacking government computers

U.K. approves extradition of British hacker to the U.S.
Credit: Pixabay

A U.K. official has ordered the extradition of a British man to the United States on charges of hacking government computers belonging to NASA and the Department of Defense.

Lauri Love, a 31-year-old hacktivist, has been fighting his extradition, but on Monday U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd signed the order.

"Mr. Love has been charged with various computer hacking offences which included targeting U.S. military and federal government agencies," the U.K. Home Office said in a statement.

The U.S. originally charged Love in 2013 for allegedly stealing confidential data from thousands of government employees, including Social Security numbers and credit card details. U.S. investigators accuse Love and his accomplices of causing millions of dollars in damages.

Love’s defenders, however, claim he breached the U.S. government computers to protest the suicide of activist Aaron Swartz, who at the time was also facing hacking-related charges.

Love fears that he won’t face a fair trial in the United States. "I would say my prospects of due process in America are essentially zero," Love has previously said.

But this September, a U.K. judge paved the way for Love’s extradition to the United States, despite worries that he may attempt to commit suicide. Love has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and has a history of depression.

Although the U.K. home secretary had the final decision on the matter, she found no conditions to bar Love from being sent to the United States.

Three U.S. courts have filed extradition requests for Love. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 99 years. However, his legal team has previously said that Love will seek permission to appeal his extradition to the U.K.'s High Court.

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