A group of UK MPs has beseeched Prime Minister Theresa May to block the extradition of hacker Lauri Love to the US, saying they fear for his mental health.
If convicted of the hacking charges that he faces in the US, Love, 33, could get 99 years in prison. In a letter to May, the MPs wrote cited “a great probability” of Love committing suicide if he was sent stateside, according to a report in Sky News.
"The UK has prosecuted at least 13 computer hackers who have interfered with US-based computer systems," the MPs said, noting that Love would be “denied the opportunity to face a full prosecution in the UK.”
Love is on the autism spectrum and suffered from a host of mental health problems.
He was charged for his suspected involvement in breaching “thousands of computer systems in the United States and elsewhere” between October 2012 and October 2013 in order to steal sensitive government data and personally identifiable information (PII), according to a release from the New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office.
On Friday, Love, a resident of Stradishall, England, was arrested at his home by British law enforcement cooperating with US investigators.
Prior to his arrest at his home in Stradishall, England, in 2013, he was charged in a Newark, NJ, federal court with one count of accessing a government computer without authorisation and one count of conspiring to do so, an indictment (PDF) showed.
That same day, a complaint filed against Love in a US federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, was unsealed (PDF). In Virginia, Love was charged with conspiracy to access and damage the protected computer of multiple US government agencies.
According to the indictment unsealed in New Jersey, "the data stolen from the government victims include PII of military servicemen and servicewomen and current and former employees of the federal government," which resulted in millions of dollars in damages.
Over a one-year period, Love allegedly exploited vulnerabilities in Adobe ColdFusion and carried out SQL injection attacksto hack government databases with unnamed co-conspirators in Australia and Sweden.
After gaining access to the targeted networks, the group allegedly planted malware on government systems, which allowed them to maintain a backdoor.