Let’s talk about Hack and Love; Let’s talk about Lauri Love — Lauri Love is a British Hacker might get 99 years for allegedly hacking US government computers.

If extradited, Mr. Lauri Love fears it is quite possible that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars and might even die sooner than expected as he is suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is a mental health condition, which is categorized as a for of Autism.

In an interview to the BBC, the alleged hacker expressed his fears in these words: “If I went into a US prison, I don’t think I’d leave again.”

Mr. Lauri Love has been on the US government’s most wanted cyber-criminal list for years for allegedly hacking into the official computer systems of highly sensitive departments including the FBI, US Missile Defense Agency, and US Central Bank.

A poster in support of Lauri Love
A poster in support of Lauri Love / Image Source: Courage Foundation

The Stradishall, Suffolk resident is currently awaiting the court’s decision regarding his extradition, which is due September 16th this year. In 2013, Mr. Love was arrested by British Police from his home and the law enforcement also confiscated his computer and other equipment.

He was later released on bail and charges against him were also dropped. Even if he had been charged in the UK, as per the law in England and Wales, he may not have received a sentence of more than two years and eight months. His defense team states that since their client suffers from depression and Asperger’s syndrome, therefore, it is not a good idea to extradite him.

On the other hand, the US prosecutors claim that the accused is just using his health condition as an excuse to evade trial. But why is he so afraid of US prisons that he believes he might die soon, the BBC host Victoria Derbyshire today asked him on BBC Two. To this, Mr. Love replied that the US prison system was known far and wide as a poor system that fails to aptly handle people having any psychological condition.

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“The way that mental health is dealt with in America is not in any way therapeutic. I have Asperger’s and I have depression, so suicide is a real risk,” noted Mr. Love. He further added that if he receives 99 years in prison, “it’s an absurd length of time, meaning I would die in prison anyway.” Since Mr. Love will be tried in different US states he, therefore, believes that if found guilty at each of the courts including in New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, then he is bound to get approx. 99 years.

While the Federal Bureau of Prison was quick to defend itself against the mishandling allegation put forth by Mr. Love and stated that the department is putting great effort in educating the staff and inmates about suicide prevention. Mr. Love also fears that it is also possible that he is offered a plea bargain of getting a shorter sentence for admitting to one or more offenses for which the US government has charged him for.

“When it comes to the case of Lauri Love, many of us work day and night to make sure that he does not get extradited. The US government made Aaron Swartz life hell. What they are doing now looks like a continuation of that. If I were a UK judge I would render a judgement in favor of NOT extraditing Mr. Love,” said Raymond Johansen who has been running an online campaign in support of Lauri Love. 

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According to Mr. Love, the unpredictable nature of upcoming events is taking a toll on his health. “I’ve been scratching my face as a nervous reaction, which has exacerbated my eczema,” says Mr. Love.

Special thanks to Raymond Johansen and Courage Foundation for assisting HackRead on this article.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.