ALLEGED HACKER Lauri Love has warned that he may take his own life if he's extradited to the US to face a potential jail sentence of 99 years.
Love is wanted by the US government, which has accused him of breaking into the FBI, the US Missile Defence Agency and the Federal Reserve Bank in 2013. A UK court will decide on 16 September whether to allow Love's extradition.
The BBC reported that Love, who suffers from Asperger's and depression, said that if he ended up in a US jail he didn't think he'd leave again because the US prison system is "poor" at dealing with psychological conditions like his.
"The way that mental health is dealt with in America is not in any way therapeutic," Love said. "I have Asperger's and I have depression, so suicide is a real risk."
He added that if he is found guilty of all offences he faces a potential 99-year sentence, which he argued was "an absurd length of time" that would mean he'd "die in prison anyway".
He said that he would feel threatened all the time and that he feared he might be bullied into a plea bargain in order to receive a shorter sentence.
Theresa May, as home secretary in 2012, blocked the extradition of Gary McKinnon, another UK citizen with mental health problems accused of hacking. But new laws now mean that extradition is decided by a court and not by the government.
Nevertheless, Love told the BBC that he was "guardedly optimistic" about remaining in Britain.
UK courts denied the National Crime Agency access to Love's passwords last month. The NCA had taken its case to the courts and asked for a legal right to access the data, while Love had challenged the cyber cops' efforts to access his computers.
"The NCA is trying to establish a precedent so that an executive body, i.e. the police, can take away your computers and, if they are unable to comprehend certain portions of data held on them, you lose the right to retain them. It's a presumption of guilt for random data," he said. µ
GitHub helped to resolve almost 500,000 bugs in one month
Galaxy Note 9 release date, specs and price: Samsung 'seriously considering' in-screen fingerprint scanner
Upcoming flagship could be first to feature futuristic tech
Glitch saw assistant read out private notifications from Facebook and Slack
Samsung says it's investigating the borkage