The United Kingdom's home secretary Amber Rudd has signed an order for the extradition of hacker Lauri Love to the United States.
Rudd signed the order on 14 November after Love lost the challenge to avoid extradition to the United States. The Home Office says Rudd arrived at her decision after carefully considering the crimes for which Love has been charged.
Between October 2012 and October 2013, Love, a 31-year-old hacktivist who has Asperger's Syndrome, is believed to have stolen "massive quantities" of data from a number of high-profile organizations including the U.S. Federal Reserve and NASA. Those criminal acts caused millions of dollars in damages.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) seized the alleged hacker’s computers during a raid at his home in Stradishall, Suffolk in October 2013. Several months later, Love successfully sued the NCA to return his items.
A hearing on the prospect of Love's extradition began in June. During the court proceedings, the hacker argued that undergoing trial in the United States could drive him to a mental breakdown or suicide. But those pleas failed to achieve their desired effect.
Sarah Harrison, who has supported Love's legal fight as acting director of the Courage Foundation, is displeased with Rudd's decision. As quoted by The Guardian:
"I am dismayed to hear that Lauri Love’s extradition request has been approved, as this puts him directly in harm’s way and fails to protect his human rights. The home secretary’s decision upholds a one-sided extradition treaty that leaves UK citizens without proper protections against the threat of US prosecution.
"The US has ruthlessly persecuted hackers and digital activists for years, and nobody expects that to improve under President Trump. Theresa May set a good example by protecting [another hacker] Gary McKinnon back in 2012. For a home secretary in her government now to willingly send a brilliant and vulnerable UK citizen to Donald Trump’s America beggars belief."
Love has 14 days to appeal Rudd's decision, and he is expected to do so.
If extradition does move forward, the hacker could face a maximum sentence of 99 years in a U.S. prison.