Brits Arrest Alleged Fed Reserve HackerU.S. Demands Extradition of Suspect in Multiple Govt. HacksMathew J.
NEWARK An accused hacker was arrested in England Wednesday and is facing extradition to New Jersey where he’s facing charges of breaking into the computer systems of NASA and other federal agencies to steal reams of confidential data, federal prosecutors say. But Love plans to fight extradition. She said his next hearing is scheduled for September 1.
Love, who is of course innocent of all charges unless proven otherwise, may not be so fortunate though – the Computer Misuse Act has a provision that allows the arrest of anyone committing computer crime from within the United Kingdom, irrespective of where the target of the attack is located.
Love’s lawyer, Karen Todner, says he appeared in court on Wednesday and was released on bail.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the timing of its extradition request with British authorities.
Love was first arrested in 2013 and accused of infiltrating computer systems used by the us army, missile defense and NASA.
According to the indictment against him in New York, Love bragged to other hackers in December 2012 that he controlled the computer server for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
The warrant claims offences under the Computer Misuse Act.
NCA appeared to be reluctant to return his property apparently because it was unable to decrypt some of his files. Authorities returned 25 of the 31 devices confiscated.
Although the US has an extradition agreement with Britain, most of America’s digital attackers reside in Russian Federation, China and other Eastern European countries, which have proved uncooperative in helping investigations. And even if they do extradite him, the process may take years.
His case will invite comparison with that of Gary McKinnon, a British computer hacker pursued by the USA for a decade after he broke into USA defence sites, who was also represented by Todner.
May made the move on human rights grounds because of medical reports warning that McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome and suffers from depressive illness, could kill himself if sent to the US.