Alleged computer hacker given permission to challenge extradition to US

Lauri Love
Lauri Love

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love has won permission to challenge his extradition to the United States.

The 32-year-old, who has Asperger’s syndrome and has been diagnosed with severe depression, is accused of causing millions of dollars worth of damage by hacking into the FBI and NASA computer systems, among others.

Mr Love, of Stradishall, is appealing against an extradition order granted to the USA last September by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

The High Court has now granted him permission to appeal and a hearing date will be scheduled.

In a statement on the Free Lauri website, Mr Love said: “Every day you wake up to some good news is a blessing, and we can’t take any blessings for granted these days.

“Good news comes scantly between crisis and calamity.

“I’m thankful the High Court have recognised the strength of our grounds for appeal and the great importance of the issues raised by the case.”

His solicitor Karen Todner added: “The reason permission has been granted is that the High Court acknowledge that the grounds raised some issues of great importance.

“We are delighted for this news for Lauri and will continue to do everything we can to ensure prevention of his extradition to the United States of America.”

Mr Love is facing indicments in three US districts.

They allege that during October 2012 and October 2013 Mr Love, working with others, made a series of cyber-attacks on the computer networks of private companies and US government agencies in order to steal and then publicly disseminate confidential information.

The agencies listed include the US Federal Reserve, US Army, US Department of Defence, Missile Defence Agency, NASA and FBI.

Once inside the compromised computer systems, it is said he and others placed hidden ‘shells’ or ‘backdoors’ within the networks which allowed them to return and steal confidential data including telephone numbers, social security numbers, credit card details and salary information of employees, health care professionals and service personnel.

Mr Love has said that a jail term in the US could cause his health to deteriorate and would lead to a mental breakdown or suicide.