Lauri Love

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Lauri Love
Lauri Love byline.JPG
Love in May 2017
Born (1984-12-14) 14 December 1984 (age 37)
United Kingdom
NationalityBritish, Finnish [1]
Alma mater
  • Advisor on computer security systems, Hacker House (as of September 2016)[2]
  • Student studying electrical engineering at University of Suffolk (as of September 2016)[2]

Lauri Love (/ˈlri/; born 14 December 1984, United Kingdom)[2] is a British activist who was previously charged by the United States for his alleged activities with the hacker collective Anonymous. Love's case has been cited as precedent in the Julian Assange extradition proceedings.

Early life and education[edit]

Love is from Stradishall, Suffolk.[3] His parents, Alexander Love, a prison chaplain at HM Prison Highpoint North,[4] and Sirkka-Liisa Love (a Finnish citizen), who also works at the prison, live in Stradishall.[5][6][7] He has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and Finland.[1]

After dropping out of sixth form college and working in a turkey plant, Love applied for a Finnish passport, and then served in the Finnish Army for six months, became a conscientious objector and finished another six months of his obligation in alternative civilian service.[2]

After that, he applied at the University of Nottingham in England and dropped out in his second term after a physical and mental collapse, then at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, but dropped out in his second year, again for health reasons.[8][9] He was part of the 2011 Hetherington House Occupation, a student protest at Glasgow University.[10]

United States indictment[edit]

In January 2013, the website of the United States Sentencing Commission was replaced with a video protesting the treatment of activist Aaron Swartz who had committed suicide days earlier.[11] The video claimed that those responsible had obtained secrets from the United States Army, Missile Defense Agency, and NASA but they were only ever released in encrypted form.[12][13][14][15] The subsequent investigation named Lauri Love in two indictments (2013 in District of New Jersey, 2014 in Southern District of New York and Eastern District of Virginia) for allegedly "breaching thousands of computer systems in the United States and elsewhere – including the computer networks of federal agencies – to steal massive quantities of confidential data".[16][14][17] The United States made an extradition request.[18][19][20]

Love's attorney in America was Tor Ekeland.[21][22]

National Crime Agency arrest[edit]

The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested Love in October 2013.[12] In February 2015, BBC News revealed that Love was taking legal action for the return of computers seized by the NCA when he was arrested.[23]

In May 2016, Judge Nina Tempia of the Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled that Love did not have to tell the NCA what his passwords, or encryption keys, are.[24]

Extradition hearing[edit]

During Love's two day extradition hearing on 28 and 29 June 2016 at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, his father testified that Lauri Love is autistic and so should not be extradited.[4] Specifically, he testified that his son was not diagnosed autistic until he was an adult serving in the Finnish Army.[25] Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, who diagnosed Love as autistic in 2012, testified that Love should not be extradited because of his diagnosed disorders, which also include eczema, psychosis, and depression.[26][1] Baron-Cohen stated that Love told him that he would commit suicide if extradited.[25]

Love, who lived at home with his parents, testified at his extradition hearing on 29 June 2016.[26][22][25] He was supported by the Courage Foundation.[22][27] Love's barrister for this extradition hearing was Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers.[22][28] The case was adjourned.[29]

On 16 September 2016, at Westminster Magistrates' Court, a judge ruled that Love could be extradited to the United States.[30][31] Love's solicitor Karen Todner said that they would appeal,[32] and on 5 February 2018, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Ouseley, at the High Court, upheld his appeal against extradition because his extradition would be "oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition".[33]

Popular culture[edit]

In January 2018, it was announced that novelist Frederick Forsyth would publish a novel inspired by the Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon stories.[34] The Novel, The Fox, was released in Autumn 2018.

See also[edit]

  • Gary McKinnon is also accused of hacking American military computers. His extradition to the United States was blocked in October 2012 by then Home Secretary Theresa May, on human-rights grounds.


  1. ^ a b c O’Cleirigh, Fiona; Goodwin, Bill (29 June 2016). "Lauri Love may be faking mental illness claims lawyer for US". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Government of the United States of America Requesting Judicial Authority v Lauri Love Requested Person" (PDF). Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. ^ Yarley, Nicola (16 July 2015). "Vicar's son arrested over US hacking". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Lauri Love case: Vicar father fears son 'could kill himself'". BBC News Online. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Neighbours' shock at hacking charge". Daily Express. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  6. ^ Gledhill, Ruth. "'Our confidence is in God,' says minister father of Brit facing extradition to US". Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Alleged British hacker Lauri Love to be sent for trial in US". Sky News. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  8. ^ Dutta, Kunal (28 October 2013). "British activist Lauri Love charged with hacking US army database". The Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Former Glasgow University student could face decades in US prison after hacking accusations". Glasgow Live. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Lauri Love – the making of a hacker". The Scotsman. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  11. ^ Parkin, Simon (8 September 2017). "Keyboard warrior: The British hacker fighting for his life". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  12. ^ a b Halliday, Josh (29 October 2013). "Briton Lauri Love faces hacking charges in US". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Briton Lauri Love faces new US hacking charges". BBC News Online. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Hacker Charged with Breaching Multiple Government Computers and Stealing Thousands of Employee and Financial Records". Federal Bureau of Investigation. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Lauri Love: Hacker claims extradition would 'result in a tragedy'". BBC News Online. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Alleged Hacker Indicted In New Jersey For Data Breach Conspiracy Targeting Government Agency Networks". United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. ^ "U.K. Computer Hacker Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Hacking Into Federal Reserve Computer System". United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  18. ^ "NCA's bid to get Lauri Love US hack case passwords thrown out". BBC News Online. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. ^ McGoogan, Cara (27 June 2016). "The full story of Lauri Love's fight against extradition". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Lauri Love case: US abandons extradition case". BBC News Online. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  21. ^ Porup, J.M. (31 March 2016). "UK cops tell suspect to hand over crypto keys in US hacking case". Ars Technica. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  22. ^ a b c d Bowcott, Owen; Taylor, Diane (28 June 2016). "Hacking suspect could kill himself if extradited to US, court told". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  23. ^ Rigby, Nic (20 February 2015). "US hacking case: NCA refuses to return Lauri Love's computer". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  24. ^ Thomas, Daniel (31 May 2016). "Reform cyber laws, says UK hacker Lauri Love". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  25. ^ a b c "Alleged hacker 'will kill himself' if he is extradited to the US, court told". Bury Free Press. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  26. ^ a b Evans, Martin (28 June 2016). "Autistic man accused of computer hacking could kill himself if extradited, court is warned". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  27. ^ Cheshire, Tom (29 June 2016). "Alleged Hacker Lauri Love's Suicide Fears". Sky News. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Lauri Love: un caso chiave per la segretezza delle nostre informazioni". L'espresso (in Italian). 6 May 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  29. ^ Baker, Jennifer (30 June 2016). "Lauri Love still doesn't know if he'll be extradited to the US for alleged hacking". Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  30. ^ Bowcott, Owen (16 September 2016). "Computer activist Lauri Love loses appeal against US extradition". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  31. ^ "Alleged hacker Lauri Love to be extradited to US". BBC News. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  32. ^ McGoogan, Cara (16 September 2016). "British hacker Lauri Love to be extradited to the US for 'accessing government computers'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Hacking suspect wins extradition appeal". BBC News Online. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  34. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (9 January 2018). "Forsyth to release hacking thriller this autumn". The Bookseller. Retrieved 19 April 2018.

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