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Student Hacker Can Be Extradited To The US

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Student Hacker Can Be Extradited To The US

Post  Panda on Sat 14 Jan - 1:26

Student Hacker Can Be Extradited To The US


10:36pm UK, Friday January 13, 2012

Mark Stone, Sky correspondent

A British student accused of breaching US copyright could face trial in the US after a judge ruled that he can be extradited.

A judge at Westminster Magistrates Court agreed with US prosecutors
that 23-year-old Richard O'Dwyer should face trial in America rather
than in the UK.

The Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate has been fighting
extradition since he was arrested for setting up a website which allowed
people access to films and TV shows for free.

He immediately announced he would appeal the latest ruling in the High Court.

Very disappointed, in fact disgusted. I'd hoped for
better from this judge in view of his previous comments that we have a
good case for the offence not being an extradition offence.

Julie O'Dwyer

Speaking outside court, Mr O'Dwyer said: "I'm obviously disappointed
with the judge's decision today. I think I've got faith in the High
Court in making the right decision."

He said he did not think his website "would get that popular", adding
that the case against him seemed like "a guinea pig activity".

His mother Julie, who was with him on the court steps, said she was "very disappointed, in fact disgusted" at the ruling.

"I'd hoped for better from the judge in view of his previous comments
that we have a good case for the offence not being an extradition
offence. So disappointed that the man can't think out of the extradition
box," she said.

She added that she was "disappointed with this Government for signing
us up to this treaty which has openend up the floodgates to America to
come and seize British citizens without having set foot out of this
country. That extradition law needs fixing fast."

Mr O'Dwyer ran a site called TV Shack from his university digs between 2007 and 2010.

Richard O'Dwyer and his mother Julia arrive at Westminster Magistrates Court in London

Although the webpage did not provide the free films or TV shows
itself, it did carry links to other websites where people could
download pirate videos and TV series before their general release.

Acting on behalf of the US government, John Jones told the court
during legal argument last year: "Access to the website took place in
the US and the victims - the studios - are in the USA. There is no
reason why he would not get a fair trial in America."

Mr O'Dwyer's lawyers had argued against extradition
on the grounds that his website was not hosted on US servers and none
of the illegal content was available directly from TV Shack.

"He's at a crucial stage in his degree course," his lawyer Ben Cooper explained at a previous hearing last November.

"His education, but also his career development, would suffer if he faced pre-trial incarceration."

Mr Cooper also argued that the student would be more vulnerable in a
New York federal detention centre than if he stood trial in the UK.

Mr O'Dwyer is just one of a number of high profile extradition cases involving the United States.

Others include alleged hacker Gary McKinnon who is continuing to fight his extradition to America and retired businessman Christopher Tappin who has also lost his battle long against extradition.

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