Hacking Extradition: Fighting the Long Arm of U.S. Law

Presented at The Circle Of HOPE (2018), July 22, 2018, 1 p.m. (60 minutes)

The United States punishes computer crimes more severely than any of its western allies, often threatening to imprison digital dissidents for decades for crimes other countries would sanction with fines or probation. Preventing the U.S. from extraditing alleged hackers across the pond could mean saving a defendant's life. Earlier this year, U.K. security researcher Lauri Love successfully beat back the U.S.'s attempt to extradite him from Britain, in a redux of Gary McKinnon's ten year extradition battle which resulted in the "forum bar" that helped protect Love. But the judges in Lauri's case went further than protecting only him: The High Court's ruling condemned the conditions of U.S. prisons, citing dangerously inadequate mental healthcare as a reason to keep Lauri in the U.K. Using his ordeal as a case study, we can see how these extradition cases can have meaningful ramifications beyond a single defendant. Lauri Love, Gary McKinnon, and Richard O'Dwyer have recently shown how to stand up to the United States' perceived global reach. How can we learn from these cases to protect others facing extradition? Can we turn a U.K. court ruling into meaningful U.S. prison reform?


  • Grace North
    **Grace North** (@brazenqueer, @freejeremynet) is an anarchist and prison abolitionist who has led the Jeremy Hammond Support Network for the past five years. Jeremy Hammond is an imprisoned anarchist and hacktivist who was the source for WikiLeaks’ Global Intelligence Files, which revealed massive corporate and government surveillance of activists and private citizens.
  • Lauri Love
    **Lauri Love** (@NoLove4USgov) is a British security researcher who has spent the last four years fighting off the United States’ attempt to extradite him across the Atlantic. An engineering student, Lauri has been involved in student, Occupy, and homeless activism before his legal battles. In 2014, Love also won an important victory against forced decryption.
  • Nathan Fuller
    **Nathan Fuller** (@couragefound, @nathanLfuller) is a writer and campaigner for the Courage Foundation, an international organization supporting those who risk life or liberty to bring important truths to light. Before Courage, Nathan was the court reporter for the Chelsea Manning Support Network.
  • Barrett Brown
    **Barrett Brown** (@barrettbrown_) is a writer and anarchist activist. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Intercept, Huffington Post, New York Press, Skeptic, The Daily Beast, Al Jazeera, and dozens of other outlets. In 2009, he founded Project PM, a distributed think tank, which was later repurposed to oversee a crowdsourced investigation into the private espionage industry and the intelligence community at large via emails stolen from federal contractors and other sources. In 2011 and 2012, he worked with Anonymous on campaigns involving the Tunisian revolution, government misconduct, and other issues. In 2012, Brown was arrested and later sentenced to four years in federal prison on charges stemming from his investigations and work with Anonymous. While imprisoned, he won the National Magazine Award for his column, “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison.” Upon his release in late 2016, he began work on the Pursuance System, a platform for mass civic engagement and coordinated opposition. His third book, My Glorious Defeats, will be released in 2018.


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