Lauri Love opposes NCA application for disclosure of encryption keys as he fights US extradition request

14.04.16 | |

Lauri Love has brought a claim for the return of his computers seized by the National Crime Agency under the Police Property Act in the course of which the NCA has sought a direction that Mr Love discloses the passwords and encryption keys to his computers.

The case raises important issues of principle in relation to the right to respect for private life, right to enjoyment of private property, and the use that should be made by the court to make directions in circumstances where the NCA has failed to follow through on statutory procedures set out in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.  Mr Love is also effectively being asked to hand over material which the authorities could seek to use to incriminate him.

Mr Love is alleged to have committed offences by hacking in to computer systems belonging to the FBI, the US Federal Reserve Bank, and the US Missile Defence Agency.  The Government of the USA has sought his extradition to face trial in three separate US jurisdictions, New York, Virginia and New Jersey. Mr Love’s extradition case is testing the new forum bar to extradition, announced by the Home Secretary when revoking the order for Gary McKinnon’s extradition, with a hearing date scheduled for 28 June 2016.

District Judge Tempia at Westminster magistrates’ court has reserved judgment on the NCA’s application until 10 May 2016.

Ben Cooper represents Mr Love in his defence of the US extradition request and is led by Stephen Cragg QC in his claim for return of his property. Kaim Todner Solicitors instruct.


Mr Love’s case has been widely reported in the press by outlets such as The Guardian, the BBC, and the Daily Mail.  Trade press such as Computer Weekly are also following the proceedings.


Ben has a long history of representing individuals accused of sophisticated cybercrime before the Crown Court including members of the Anonymous and Lulzsec hacking group. He successfully defended Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked by the Home Secretary after a ten-year battle and Richard O’Dwyer, accused in the US of copyright infringement, after negotiating a deferred prosecution agreement.

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