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Sunday, March 25, 2012

UK Approved Extradition Of Linking Site Owner

While the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is making headlines by flying out to visit the US President, there is another case in the news which may better explain the particular relationship the United Kingdom has with the US – at least, more clearly than a cursory flight on Air Force One to watch a basketball game.

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Richard O’Dwyer, the 23-year-old student from Sheffield and the founder of TVShark service, is accused of copyright infringement on a large scale. Today he had his extradition approved by the Home Secretary Theresa May. During the interview to the local media, O’Dwyer’s mother, Julia, warned that this extradition approval would set a dangerous precedent for more British citizens to risk finding themselves on a plane to the United States to face trial.

Julia said that her son’s life, including his studies, work opportunities, and financial security, was being disrupted, for no-one knows how long, just because the British government failed to introduce the much needed changes to the extradition law. She called it “being sold down the river by the UK government”. Earlier, Julia said in the interview that if the US authorities could come for Richard, they can come for anyone else.

Although the servers of O’Dwyer’s TVShark were located outside the United States, the entertainment industry still pushed for harsh sentencing. Richard’s online service didn’t actually host any illegal material – it only linked to other sites.

O’Dwyer’s case is similar to that of Gary McKinnon, suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. McKinnon is also under threat of extradition to the US. Although his defense team claimed that their client was just looking for evidence of extraterrestrial life, an American ambassador still claimed that McKinnon faced extradition to the US

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