UK citizen subject to US law

University student Richard O’Dwyer is facing the daunting prospect of extradition to the USA after Home Secretary Theresa May agreed with the US authorities. Mr O’Dwyer hosted the website which provided links to various copyright protected films and TV shows. It also explained to visitors how to download them. He is accused of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and of criminal copyright infringement by the US Government.

Mrs O’ Dwyer was quoted as saying “‘Today, yet another British citizen is being sold down the river by the British government. Richard’s life – his studies, work opportunities, financial security – is being disrupted, for who knows how long, because the UK government has not introduced the much-needed changes to extradition law. The US is coming for the young, the old and the ill and our government is paving the way…… If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country, then try him in this country”.

It does seem to be done and dusted and Mr O’Dyer seems certain to be flown out – one cannot see the Supreme Court agreeing with his appeal. An independent panel was appointed by the Home Secretary in October 2010 to conduct a review of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the USA and the Extradition Act 2003 (EA 2003) and reported to Parliament on 18 October 2011.

Although the EA 2003 has limited the Secretary of State’s discretion, she will continue to have a role in deciding between competing requests for extradition and may prevent extradition from taking place on the grounds of national security.

So if anyone could have prevented the extradition it is our own Home Secretary. The chap should be tried in the UK. It seems a clear case of copyright infringement and he should be expected to face the consequences but proportionality it is outrageous that he is facing extradition.

Worrying times ahead.

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