Brit Hacker Facing Extradition to the US, Bailed

Hacker Bail

 A UK court has granted bail to Lauri Love, an alleged British hacker who stands accused of compromising several systems and servers used by US defense, government and private entities and companies.

31-year-old Lauri Love can breathe easy for now after he was granted bail by a UK court despite United States prosecutors’ efforts to see him extradited to stateside.

The sleuths want to question Love for allegedly infiltrating a number of federal and defense agencies including the US Federal Reserve, the US Army, the FBI and the Missile Defense Agency. Even NASA and several healthcare companies’ servers are thought to be compromised by Love, with staff and credit card details allegedly accessed by the British hacker between 2012 and 2013.

The Register reports that the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London granted Love the bail, with the case adjourned to a later date where the defense and prosecution are to make their final arguments.

His defense stated that Love lives with his parents in Suffolk, suffers from depression and also has Asperger’s Syndrome. If extradited, they argued, Love would likely kill himself. Citing the threat to his safety, they made the case for the extradition to be stopped, under section 91 of the 2003 act. It stated that the extradition should be stopped if “the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him.”

Furthermore, the defense drew parallels between Love and prominent cyber hacktivist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in 2013.

Swartz was accused of breaching a network hardware closet at the MIT campus to download nearly 5 million academic papers. During a cross-examination by US prosecutors, Love described Swartz as a “wunderkind” who was “persecuted by the [US] Department of Justice.”

Love also stands accused of taking part in #OpLastResort, an cyberactivist movement that saw several online protests following Swartz’s 2013 suicide.

District Court Judge Nina Tempia who granted bail to Love will now deliberate over the extradition request by the United States in a decision to be made by September.

 Featured image from Shutterstock.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.