ACCUSED HACKER Lauri Love has been dealt a legal blow in his bid to retrieve computers seized by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Love, who last year won a landmark appeal against extradition to the US, had invoked terms of the 1879 Police Property Act in a bid to recover laptops, PCs, an SD card and hard drives that were seized by the NCA in October 2013 from his parents' home in Stradishall, Suffolk.
Love's confiscated property includes an Acer computer tower, a Compaq computer tower, a Fujitsu Siemens laptop, a Samsung laptop, an SD card, a Western Digital hard drive and a hard drive fitted within a laptop, the latter of which is said to contain hacked data including details belonging to 258 court staff and judges in California and credit card data belonging to 232,000 individuals.
On Tuesday, Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled against Love, who had argued that the Act highlights "the right to privacy and respect for private property" and that the NCA had "failed to respect" his rights by seizing his equipment.
The Court said it found "no legitimate purpose" for his seized equipment to be returned, noting that "it would clearly not be in the public interest for him to have any of it."
"I am also satisfied that the NCA needs to retain the items of computer equipment for its continuing criminal investigation and for any subsequent trial," the judge's ruling reads.
In response to Tuesday's ruling, Love said he would continue in his efforts to have his equipment returned.
"This case was, is, and shall be about establishing that the use of strong information security practices including cryptography cannot in and of itself overturn the rights of individuals and groups to private property and personal data," the 34-year-old said.
"After five and a half years, and profound depths of agony and concern for myself and my loved ones, I would like to begin moving along and finding out what else the world has in store for me, and what I can contribute back to the world."
This legal action comes almost a year after the Court of Appeals ruled that Love, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, anxiety and depression, should not be extradited to the US to face charges that he broke into computers belonging to NASA, the Federal Reserve, the US Department of Defence and other US government agencies.
The Court said that an extradition would not be in the "interests of justice" for a number of reasons, including the "high risk" that he would kill himself. µ
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