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The case against Love, a Finnish and UK citizen, has profound implications for United States claims of global jurisdiction over the internet, for the treatment of neurodivergent individuals under the law, and for privacy rights in the UK and beyond.
Lauri has been involved in two important legal cases this year. In
May, Lauri scored a rare victory for digital rights in the UK,
ensuring the National Crime Agency did not establish a dangerous new precedent to compel the decryption of stored data. Then this summer, during his extradition hearings, a significant portion of defense testimony related to Love’s diagnosis with Aspergers syndrome, his depression and long-term health symptoms for which he is under medical observation. Expert testimony reinforced the inadequacy, violence and injustice of the U.S. prison system for dealing with these concerns.
This September, a judge agreed that Lauri was at serious risk of
self-harm, yet she approved his extradition nonetheless, reopening a
debate in the UK over how to protect vulnerable individuals that was
ostensibly resolved after Gary McKinnon’s extradition was blocked by
Theresa May in 2012.
Ex-Lulzsec member Jake Davis – who was indicted in the United States but prosecuted in the UK, will give his take on Lauri’s case and its broader ramifications. Lauri himself will also participate via video link.
How does the possibility of Lauri’s extradition change the threat
landscape for digital activists? Is there any way to prevent
extradition being used as a tool of US global jurisdiction over the
internet? Where has the law on both sides of the Atlantic failed
Lauri, and what are the changes we should be fighting for?