Security services lose fight to force alleged hacker to hand over passwords


British security services have lost their legal fight to force an alleged cyber hacker to hand over the passwords to his encrypted computers in a landmark case.

Lauri Love, 31, is fighting attempts to extradite him to America to face criminal charges for breaking into Federal Reserve computers.

He is accused of stealing "massive quantities" of sensitive data resulting in millions of dollars of losses and Mr Love's lawyers say he faces up to 99 years in prison in the US if he is found guilty.

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) launched an investigation and raided his family home in Stradishall, Suffolk, in October 2013 when they seized encrypted computers and hard drives.

No charges were brought in Britain against Love, but the NCA wants him to hand over his passwords so officers can check the data before the electronics are returned.

Love's team says the application, if granted, would be a significant blow to privacy and amounts to a "power grab" by the security services.