President Obama will be asked to drop an extradition order against a vulnerable Briton facing life in prison for allegedly hacking Nasa and the US Army’s computers.
Lauri Love, who has Asperger’s syndrome and depression, will be welcomed by MPs to Parliament tonight as they fight for him to face justice in the UK.
David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, said transferring him to the US, and away from his family, could prove “fatal”.
He said: “The medical evidence makes clear that Lauri Love is highly unlikely to make it to the US due to his suicidal risk. His medical needs require close links to his family, which will be cut if he goes to the US and it may well be fatal.”
Mr Love, 31, is facing three separate sets of computer hacking charges in New York, New Jersey and Virginia after allegedly stealing highly sensitive and personal data from the Federal Reserve, US Army, Missile Defence Agency and NASA between 2012 and 2013.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled he should be transferred to the US to face trial last month, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd has until November to rubber stamp the judgement.
If found guilty, he could face up to 99 years in prison.
Today MP Barry Sheerman, chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Autism will write to President Obama, asking him to throw out the extradition request before he leaves office in January 2017. He said America’s global pursuit and punishment of alleged computer hackers on the autistic spectrum is unacceptable.
He said: “America has been heavy handed and I’m rather surprised by this reaction. America has a very knowledgeable austism sector and we are now talking to our friends in the autism commission in the US to really turn the fire on the administration about what they are doing.
“If a person on the autistic spectrum can access these files, then there’s something wrong with their encryption. It’s a public service.
“We know there are people who wish harm – these young people don’t. People should pinch themselves and get a sense of reality.”
Mr Love was arrested at his family’s home in Suffolk where he had returned to live with his father, a Baptist pastor, and teacher mother, after a spell camping out on the streets as part of the Occupy Glasgow movement.
Mr Burrowes said the extradition order shows the “forum bar”, introduced by then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2013, had failed at its very first hurdle.
Her extradition reforms – which allow for cases to be tried in the UK – came after Gary McKinnon, 50, from Enfield, was locked in a decade long legal battle with the US Government after hacking into the Pentagon and Nasa’s computer system from his bedroom..
Mr Burrowes, who campaigned for Mr McKinnon to stay in the UK, said: “[Love] needs justice but there’s a very compelling case for justice in this country, recognising that his life is at risk and at stake.”
America has actively pursued hackers who have accessed sensitive information, including Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who released U.S. surveillance secrets, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.