Mother of computer hacker upset as another man faces extradition threat

THE mother of a Scottish computer hacker facing extradition to the United States said last night it “breaks her heart” to see another family “ruined” by a similar threat.

Gary McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp, was commenting on a court ruling yesterday, that Sheffield Hallan University student Richard O’Dwyer could be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement allegations.

O’Dwyer, 23, created the website TVSHack that helped people watch films and television shows for free. He allegedly earned thousands of pounds through advertising on the TVShack website before it was closed down by the US authorities.

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He faces jail if convicted of the allegations, which were brought following a crackdown by the US immigration and customs enforcement agency.

Ms Sharp, whose Glasgow-born son has spent seven years facing the threat of extradition to the US after he hacked into top-secret military computers in 2002, said the judge’s ruling on O’Dwyer was “horrendous”.

“It breaks my heart to see the lives of yet another British family being ruined.

“Extradition was meant to bring murderers and terrorists back to the country where they had committed a heinous crime. It was never meant to be used for cases such as Richard O’Dwyer’s or my son Gary McKinnon, who have never set foot in America and were in the UK at all times during the ‘alleged’ crimes.”

O’Dwyer has vowed to fight yesterday’s court ruling.