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Sunday, January 15, 2012

When piracy gets dangerous

"A British student faces up to a decade in a U.S. prison for actions which are not even a crime in the UK. Campaigners say Richard O’Dwyer, 23, is being abandoned by his country in the same way as computer hacker Gary McKinnon.
Mr O’Dwyer is accused of listing places where films and TV programmes could be illegally downloaded, on a website he ran from his university bedroom in Sheffield [UK]. Legal experts say this is not an offence under British law, and he did not download any of the entertainment himself. ..."

"... Instead of putting the men on trial in the country where their alleged offences took place, the British legal system is permitting them to be bundled on a plane to America. Mr O’Dwyer’s mother Julia ...said the ‘rotten’ U.S./UK extradition treaty needed 'fixing fast' and warned: 'If they can come for Richard they can come for anyone.' ..."

"The huge controversy over yesterday’s verdict will heighten demands for the UK’s extradition laws to be changed. MPs have demanded that the Government should insist a person must normally be tried in the country where the offence took place. They also want urgent reform to the lopsided 2003 Extradition Act – which gives far greater protection to Americans than it does to their British counterparts. The U.S.
requires ‘sufficient evidence to establish probable cause’ before agreeing to extradite anyone to the UK, while Britons going in the opposite direction are not afforded the same protection."
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