The London Daily Mail produced an article about the arrest of British citizen, Laurie Love on October 28, 2013 on charges of illegally accessing US government security systems and extracting secret documents. Written by John Stevens, Daniel Bates, and Hugo Gye, this article discusses the charges and the extradition treaty which is being used to get Love back to the US to face charges.
The National Crime Agency of the UK arrested British citizen, Laurie Love, for hacking into a number of secret US military and government sites. These included the Army Corps of Engineers, NASA, the EPA, and other sites. One of the potentially most dangerous sites was the US Missile Defense System .
Love faces extradition to the US to face federal charges. In the meantime, the European Union met with key members of Congress to protest the electronic surveillance of EU headquarters and tapping into German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cell phone.
Given the stiff sentence placed on Bradley Chelsea Manning for disclosing US secrets to WikiLeaks, what US government officials are going to be held accountable for spying on US foreign allies and US citizens?
Since the charter of the CIA is strictly limited to foreign intelligence gathering, what officials in the CIA are going to be held accountable for the CIA’s domestic spying operations conducted in the name of the “war on terror”?
NSA surveillance has extended beyond the court approved surveillance of terrorists to include wire taps, accessing financial records and trolling social media for evidence of terrorist activities by ordinary US citizens with no links to any terrorist activities.
Love is not the first British citizen that has had charges placed by the US for breaching military and government computers. Gary McKinnon was arrested in 2002 for hacking US computers and leaving messages on one of them saying, “Your security is crap”. Given the access by Manning, Love, McKinnon and Edward Snowden, this condemnation of US computer security is accurate. What the real hacking professionals in China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran have accessed has not been revealed.
McKinnon was not extradited under the US-UK treaty for handling spies and computer hackers because he has a form of autism. McKinnon claimed that he hacked the US government computers to uncover proof that the US is hiding evidence of aliens. The British have decided not to prosecute McKinnon in the UK courts because they are convinced that he would not be convicted.
Somehow the US has determined that the self-imposed “war on terror” is a free pass to launch drones on civilians, engage in electronic surveillance and espionage against allies and US citizens, and eviscerate the Bill of Rights. It is considered an act of espionage or treason to reveal the details of these activities by the US government. Other US citizens consider these revelations to be a gift from God to reveal what is really being done under the shield of the USA PATRIOT ACT.
Heads of states in countries around the world are now questioning whether the US can be trusted at all in the global arena of sharing information and acting with mutual interests to make the world a safer place. To paraphrase the comic strip character Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and it is US.”
If the US government wants to gain the trust of the rest of the world and its own citizens, the government needs to do what we all do, which is to actually be trustworthy. We have people in government that trust nobody, including their own organizations. Their distrust and paranoia is the hallmark of a successful terrorist attack against the basic principles established by the Constitution.
We need a restoration of the Bill of Rights in the US, and conformity to international laws and protocols when dealing with our allies and even our enemies. There needs to be strict limits placed upon electronic espionage for both foreign and domestic citizens.
The rules applied to others need to be applied to those in NSA, the CIA, FBI and all “law enforcement” officers. We need an official return to the Golden Rule when it comes to the government's actions with its allies and its citizens.