Lauri Love is interviewed in the FT today, discussing his extradition battle, his encryption victory against the NCA and how inadequate both the UK and US criminal justice systems are to tackling the increasingly acute problem of internet security.
Explaining the problem of having been investigated in the UK without charge but facing potential extradition to the United States, Lauri said, “Because of how extradition law works, the US doesn’t have to prove anything [at the 28 29 June extradition hearing]… The issue of jurisdiction becomes complicated with the internet. Where does the crime take place?”
Lauri, who has never left the UK, argues that if the UK is seeking evidence of a crime, it should be the jurisdiction to charge him. Questions remain about whether investigators have carried out their duties in good faith. Last month, theUK’s National Crime Agency attempted to circumvent statutory protections to force Love to surrender his encryption keys to computers the NCA seized. The judge denied the NCA’s request in an important victory for Lauri and for encryption users nationwide. The NCA still refuses to comment on this, or any other aspect of Lauri’s case.
Love fears trial in the United States far more than in the UK due to the huge disparity in computer laws and attendant sentences. Lauri said he “would rather face a murder charge in the UK than a computer charge in the US because I know at least I would get out in 20 years.” In the US, where Lauri faces trial in three separate jurisdictions, which could prosecute him consecutively, with each potential conviction increasing subsequent sentences exponentially, a single count of the easily abused Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, written in 1986, is punishable by ten years in prison.
“We have 1980s laws and 1980s understanding of technology,” Lauri said. “We need to revisit these laws.”
Lauri would like to see computer laws reflect the potential for cooperation between hackers and a society that badly needs a secure internet. The government currently lumps all hackers together, as malicious, self-interested criminals, when most actually work to understand and keep up with ever-updating computer vulnerabilities. Lauri now works My Hacker House, “a centre for hackers to work together to build cyber skills and develop security consulting services for companies.”
The read the full text of Lauri’s interview, visit the FT website: