British 'hacker' with Asperger's Lauri Love to be extradited to US, judge rules
District Judge Nina Tempia ruled Love should be extradited to the US, but gave him permission to appeal.
Love reportedly hugged a friend and his mother after the verdict was announced and told them: “Don’t worry about me.”
Accused cyber hacker Lauri Love sings defiantly outside Westminster Magistrates' Court pic.twitter.com/Jw9fkLm971— Georgina Stubbs (@georginafstubbs) September 16, 2016
Superhacker Lauri Love sits stony-faced as Judge Tempia rules he should be extradited to the U.S.— CourtNewsUK (@CourtNewsUK) September 16, 2016
The ruling was issued at Westminster Magistrate’s Court, where earlier this year Love won a case against Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which was demanding the 31-year-old disclose passwords to his encrypted computers.
.@LauriLoveX hugged a friend and his Mum "Don't worry about me", he said. "I don't believe it" his Dad said. Reminder: he CAN appeal— Daniel Sandford (@BBCDanielS) September 16, 2016
Lots of anger here at Westminster magistrates court from Lauri Love's supporters and a few tears— James Doleman (@jamesdoleman) September 16, 2016
Love is accused of taking part in a string of protest hacking attacks in the US, including intercepting online systems operated by the Fed, NASA, the FBI, the US Department of Defense and the US Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is pursuing him with three extradition orders, claiming he and several collaborators violated millions of US networks between 2012 and 2013, landing US taxpayers with a multimillion-dollar damages bill.
Love’s father expressed shock at the verdict, which could mean his son faces 99 years in prison.
“I don’t believe it,” his father said in court.
Supporters of the ‘hacktivist’ reportedly stormed out shouting: “Kangaroo court.”
Love was granted bail pending further legal action.
The mother of British hacker Gary McKinnon, who narrowly avoided extradition to the US on mental health grounds, warned Love would not survive life in an American prison.
Speaking on Thursday, Janis Sharp said: “I am worried he will be extradited and end up in an American prison … I worry that he won’t survive as American jails are terrible places. I just hope that Gary didn’t go through all of this for nothing.”
McKinnon, who also has Asperger’s syndrome, was accused in 2002 of breaking into NASA and Pentagon computer systems.
His extradition was blocked in 2012 by then Home Secretary Theresa May because there was a “high risk of him ending his life.”
Sharp said Love’s case was “almost identical” to that of her son.
“[Love] has Asperger’s, is nervous, scared and suicidal and is in a really bad way,” she said.
Lauri Love’s father, Rev. Alexander Love, 63, has said he has often feared he would find his son dead.