A British citizen accused of hacking a number of Hollywood websites has vowed to challenge any possible extradition to the United States.
20-year-old Ryan Cleary – who stands accused of targeting PBS, Sony Pictures and Fox – was indicted yesterday by a US federal grand jury in Los Angeles on multiple counts of computer-related crimes.
However, Cleary attorney Karen Todner says her client suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and any initiative to extradite him to the US would be rebuffed.
“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 [his] extradition then it will be fiercely contested,” Todner stated.
“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.”
Despite Todner’s concern, it appears highly unlikely that Cleary will actually be extradited to the States, as the US prosecutor has gone on record as saying the accused LulzSec hacker should be dealt with by British courts.
Cleary – detained back in June 2011 – was subsequently charged with five hacking related offenses against three UK websites, including Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the British Phonographic Industry.
At the time, Cleary’s arrest was linked to a series of cyber campaigns led by the enigmatic LulzSec, which successfully infiltrated websites administered by the CIA, US Senate and Sony.
LulzSec suffered a major blow in March 2012, when evidence provided by none other than the group’s de-facto leader Sabu (aka Hector Xavier Monsegur) led to the arrest of several high-level members in Great Britain, Ireland and Chicago, including Ryan Ackroyd (Monsegur’s top deputy), aka “Kayla” and Jake Davis, aka “Topiary,” (previously detained) both of London; Darren Martyn, aka “pwnsauce” and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka “palladium,” both of Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond aka “Anarchaos,” of Chicago.