LulzSec hack suspect Ryan Cleary 'won't face US court'

 

An alleged hacker accused of conspiring to bring down the websites of the CIA and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency is not expected to be extradited to America, his solicitor said today.

Ryan Cleary, 19, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, has been charged in the UK with conspiring with three other people to create a remotely-controlled network of zombie computers, known as a "botnet", which crashes websites.

His solicitors Kaim Todner today said he is also subject to an indictment with the same charges in California but the US prosecutor has said Cleary should be dealt with by British courts and the US will not be seeking his extradition.

Karen Todner, from Kaim Todner, said: "As yet no decision has been made as to which charges Mr Cleary will deny or accept but we can state now that should any application be made for Mr Cleary's extradition then it will be fiercely contested.

"Mr Cleary suffers from Asperger's syndrome and is on the autistic spectrum and extradition to the United States is totally undesirable.

"We would once again urge the UK government, particularly in light of the evidence of internet and computer cases coming through the courts, that they now review the US Extradition Treaty."

Cleary, from Wickford in Essex, faces charges of doing an unauthorised act with intent to impair or with recklessness as to impair the operation of a computer between February 1 and September 30 last year.

He is allegedly a member of online activists LulzSec, a spin-off of the loosely organised hacking collective Anonymous.

The British indictment alleges that the four plotted together and with others to carry out so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where websites are flooded with traffic to make them crash.

They are accused of launching DDoS attacks on the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the CIA, News International, Sony, US computer game firm Bethesda, web-based game Eve Online and the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, US.

The four are also charged with conspiring to hack into computers operated by the NHS, News International, Sony, Nintendo, film studio 20th Century Fox, US public broadcaster PBS, and US computer security organisations HBGary, Black & Berg and Infraguard.

Cleary is accused of conspiring with Ryan Ackroyd, 25, Jake Davis, 18, and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to do an unauthorised act with intent to impair or with recklessness as to impair the operation of a computer between February 1 and September 30 last year.

LulzSec was formed last May. Lulz is internet slang that can be interpreted as "laughs", "humour" or "amusement".

PA