Political activist facing extradition wins battle against British police

Lauri Love, from Suffolk/ Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A Suffolk campaigner facing extradition to the US after being accused of hacking into the FBI and NASA has today recorded a victory - after a judge ruled he did not have to hand over computer passwords to British police.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) had attempted to make Lauri Love, who lives at Stradishall near Newmarket, reveal encryption keys and passwords which would allow police to check equipment they had seized from him.

Today District Judge Nina Tempia, sitting at Westminster Magistrates' Court, turned down the request by NCA.

Campaign group The Courage Foundation, which has been supporting Mr Love, said the case had the potential to set a "dangerous precedent" .

"By making a stand for his own privacy Lauri Love has prevented a further erosion of rights for everyone in the UK, at a time when the ability to store and convey information securely is at risk all over the world. "We all owe Lauri a debt of thanks - and the best way to do that is to make a donation to his defence fund to help him in his battle against extradition."

Sarah Harrison, Acting Director of Courage.
Lauri Love has won his battle against the NCA. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

But Mr Love's battle is not yet over. Over the next few weeks he will face an extradition hearing which could see him jailed in the US for 99 years.

He is accused of hacking into the computer systems of the FBI, NASA, Federal Reserve Bank and the US Army.

Mr Love's lawyer Karen Todner said she was continuing to defend him against those accusations.

The extradition hearing takes place on June 28 and 29 with a decision set to be made in July.