If you physically rob a bank in the United Kingdom and get arrested, convicted and sentenced; you serve time in a British prison (also known as Butlins’). Stands to reason, you do the crime: you serve the time! But what happens if you use T’Internet to literally rob a bank in New Jersey, or Montana? The Justice officials in London would receive an extradition request from a Court in America, so that your physical presence would be tried where the crime was committed; in New Jersey or Montana. It is equable. You may have stayed in London, or in Macclesfield, when tapping away at your keyboard, but the results of your criminal activity were felt in New Jersey, or Montana, and that; mate, is where you will be tried and sentenced, if found guilty.
But what would be, or rather should be; the outcome if you were part of a hacker collective; if you thought you were above the law; if you had the idea that you could show people, ezpeshully the ‘Merricun Guvmmint’ that they were wrong, and they should listen to you, and you decided that you would take action to prove that you knew better than the authorities.
Amongst the many targets which the oh-so-smart Lauri Love penetrated were:-
- Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Missouri
- US Department of Health and Human Services breached
- US Sentencing Commission website defaced with a video criticising sentences for internet crimes. Site stayed down for three weeks
- As well as the sites, thousands of e-mail addresses were looted from the servers, all by the same smart-arses which included Lauri Love
But he left a few clues, including the statement “I am invincible”, and the United States decided to prove that he wasn’t; ending up, two years after he cracked all these sites, with the Metropolitan Police on his doorstep, armed with an extradition warrant.
Then all the sob stories commenced peeling out of the ‘grab-bag’ of excuses usually trotted out by such as he, inclusive of the all-encompassing ‘Get-out-of-jail-free’ card known as Asberger’s Syndrome, eczema, declining mental health, etc., etc.. Now before any ATW reader reckons and claims I am unfeeling, grouchy or just don’t understand those who are afflicted by these problems; I have two relatives afflicted by this sort of problem, and I know of that which I speak. This bloke Lauri Love knew exactly what he was doing, knew exactly the type of damage he was going to wreak upon American Government web-sites, all allegedly in protest at the death of a fellow hacker who committed suicide.
He is charged with hacking the US government as part of a protest against the treatment of Aaron Swartz, a programmer renowned for helping develop the social network Reddit.Love stated “Swartz was symbolic,’ he says. ‘He was a totem for people that have been involved in the internet community, in building the technical architecture and shaping how it would evolve and integrate into society. I personally cried for days and was completely distraught after Aaron died.’
My opinion is encapsulated within the comment ‘Aw Diddums!’
He and his legal supporters will spin out the legal extradition processes, after the High Court, the Supreme Court, and then the European Court of Human Rights: he may get away with it, he may not; but the excuses, the ‘strong moral code’ it is said he possesses; all tell, one thing, and one thing only; he knew exactly what he was doing, and; in the words of the Sage:- “If you can’t do the time; Don’t do the Crime!”