lauri-love-encryption
The National Crime Agency (NCA) of United Kingdom is forcing the British citizen, and political hacktivist Lauri Love accused of hacking to hand over encryption keys to equipment seized from his home.

Love, 31, is currently fighting extradition to the United States where he faces up to 99 years in prison for allegedly hacking into the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), the US Missile Defence Agency, NASA and Federal Reserve Bank of New York during 2012 and 2013.

US Prosecutors claim that Love was allegedly involved in #OpLastResort, an online protest linked with the Anonymous group, following the persecution and untimely death of activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in 2013 while under federal charges for data theft.

Love was initially arrested from his home in Stradishall, England in October 2013 by the NCA and had criminal charges filed against him in New York, East Virginia, and New Jersey.

During a court hearing at Westminster Magistrates on Tuesday, the NCA representatives asked the District Judge to order Love to disclose the passwords to his encrypted computer files.

In an effort to obtain data from the seized computers, the agency previously attempted to compel Love to hand over his encryption keys and passwords under Section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) 2000, but was failed after his refusal.

The Ripa order expired with no further consequences to Love.

The latest attempt to force Love to hand over his encryption keys and passwords came after Love, who is on bail, launched a legal action against the agency to force it to return his computer equipment.

After hearing, Love said NCA was holding his "property to ransom," adding "It is not just the devices that cost money, and I do not have a lot of money, but it is everything I have ever made – writings, photos, correspondence, software, memories of an inestimable personal sentimental value."

Now, instead of using powers introduced with the Ripa, the NCA is seeking a court order in the form of a 'direction' in the civil proceeding brought by Love. If the direction is granted and Love refuses to comply, he will be charged with contempt of court.

The NCA has also asked the court to order Love to provide witness statements informing the court whether 2 TrueCrypt encrypted files on his computer contain data from the US Senate and the Department of Energy.

The court hearing for Love's extradition to the US is due to be held on 28 and 29 June.

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