UK Interior Minister Amber Rudd signed today the extradition order for Lauri Love, one of the Anonymous hacktivists that have allegedly participated in a series of coordinated cyber-attacks following the suicide of Reddit co-founder and Internet hacktivist Aaron Schwartz.
According to multiple US indictments, Love, 31, a British-Finnish citizen, had hacked several high-profile targets such as NASA, the FBI, the US Federal Reserve, the US Army, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several more.
The attacks were part of #OpLastResort, a hacktivist campaign carried out by the Anonymous collective as payback against the US government, which they perceived as guilty for the suicide of Aaron Schwartz, who was facing several hacking charges at the time of his death. Schwartz's family accused the US government of overly aggressive tactics, which they believe forced Schwartz to take his own life.
Love is only one of the many hackers that have participated in #OpLastResort, but he was one of the most prodigious.
UK police first arrested Love in October 2013, two days after US official pressed initial charges. The US government wasn't contempt with initial accusations and pressed additional charges in February and July 2014. According to all indictments, Love faces up to 99 years if convicted of all crimes in the US.
Following a long and complicated legal battle, a UK judge ruled in favor of Love's extradition this past September. According to UK legal procedures, the Interior Minister only needed to put her signature on the extradition order, which she did today.
Love's only chance is to appeal to the High Court. He has 14 days to appeal the signed extradition order, which his family stated many times they'll do.
Love, who suffers from Asperger syndrome, told UK media numerous times that he fears he would die in a US prison due to poor conditions and possible abuse, which might aggravate his illness. Love also said he'd take his own life if courts rule favorably for the extradition.
Love's lawyers used his medical condition and the risk of suicide to avoid extradition. They also argued that if Love did anything illegal, he should be tried in the UK, and not the US.