UPDATED: Home Secretary to UK net activists

Update: Jimmy Wales sez, "They have NOT said no yet. It sounds like the chap from V3 got someone on the phone to read the standard statement."

Hundreds of thousands of Britons have signed a petition asking the Home Secretary to abandon plans to extradite Richard O'Dwyer to America. O'Dwyer, a student, has a website called TVShack that contains user-submitted links to TV show streams and downloads -- some legal, some infringing. This is almost certainly legal under US law, and is absolutely legal in UK law. Nevertheless, O'Dwyer faces being rendered for a round of punitively expensive dirty litigation by US entertainment giants.

Despite all this, the Home Secretary has declined to reconsider O'Dwyer's case, and is set to send him off to America. As Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales wrote in the petition, "No US citizen has ever been brought to the UK for alleged criminal activity that took place on US soil."

More on this from V3's Alastair Stevenson:

"Richard O'Dwyer is wanted in the US for offences related to copyright infringement," a Home Office spokesman told V3.

"The UK courts found there were no statutory bars to his surrender under the Extradition Act 2003 and on 9 March the Home Secretary, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed an order for his extradition to the US."

Home Office to ignore Wikipedia founder's petition against O'Dwyer extradition


  1. If I can be extradited for something that is not illegal in my own country, to a country that I have never been to — what does that say about my country’s concept of nationhood?

    1. Well it’s not been proven in court whether what he did was legal or illegal in the UK. The judge in the extradition case said he was satisfied that it passed the dual criminality requirements so his opinion is that it’s illegal. That said, if a law has been broken here, surely we should put him on trial here and America can have him afterwards (subject to extradition hearings etc).

    2.  Just a technicality: as far as I know O’Dwyer has been to the US as a kid but that should be utterly irrelevant to this case.

    3.  That it should do whatever the US wants it to. And this will continue for so long as we remain a small country trying to still play with the big boys.

  2. Nice to see the government bend over for both the US and entertainment industry. Nice bunch we’ve got in charge at the moment.

      1. True. The lack of any suitable alternative is worrying. The whole system seems to be blame the other lot then do the same thing. It all seems very childish.

        1. Funny how the British treat any EU matter in contrast. It’s a franco-german nazi plot to rob their freedom and sovereignty but when the big US brother comes along with a new fascist “omg terrorists/pirates will eat our babies”-security treaty they bend over backwards to do their bidding.

  3. What if we set up a crowd-funding page and everybody could contribute whatever they want. Then, we give her the money and a copy of Dungeon Keeper or Civilisation and tell her to stay the fuck at home every day where she can keep her mental ideas to herself and rule harmlessly over some virtual minions.

  4. @jrodwyer:twitter  Given how fundamentally wrong the UK’s current Home Office minister Theresa May is with regard to her abject failure to defend and protect our own citizens from overseas zealots, this single case highlights how prejudiced the UK Government is in favour of appeasing the USA.
    Had this request for extradition come from, say, Iran or Afghanistan I’m sure our Government would be singing a different tune and utterly refusing to comply with any such request.

    There’s clearly something much bigger going on between the UK and the USA, and poor INNOCENT Richard is caught up in their fevered and frenzied relationship which seems to have lost all sense of balance, fairness and basic jurisprudence.

    We in the UK demand answers as to WHY this is happening, and we want the TRUTH – not some crappy political spin.

  5. Cory, it wasn’t too long ago that the thirteen united States of America declared independence from the King of Great Britain based on a series of complaints  including the pertinent “For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences”, which is eminently applicable to Richard O’Dwyer’s case. 

    The copyright cartel have evidently realised the UK’s grant to the US of a ‘no quibble’ extradition treaty in light of 9-11, is an ideal weapon of terror against UK based disrespectors of their 18th century privilege (granted by Britain’s Queen Anne in 1709 & again by James Madison in 1790).

    Just who is running the US?  Immortal corporations, or ‘We the people’?

    At this rate perhaps Canada and Britain will soon consider coming up with their own Declarations of Independence – from the US.

  6. There’s a special place in hell for Home Secretaries.  Let’s hope that Theresa May takes advantage of it soon.

    1. Ah yes, it’s a special circle of hell where they’re tortured by an eternity of waiting to hear if they’ll be transferred to an even worse circle.

    2. The Home Office is the political grave of most Home Secretaries – how many did we have under the Labour government? Almost all of them left the position following a scandal. Teresa May is on borrowed time, even now some piece of lorranorder legislation or cobbled together piece of Orwellian software is ticking away under her desk.
      Though there is definitely something in the water supply at the Home Office. Perfectly sane politicians with high principles have gone in there and come out gibbering, populist, demagogues – older readers might remember that David Blunkett was once a popular, thoughtful, liberal. I’ve met Charles Clarke after his stint as Home Secretary – charming, funny, very intelligent and nothing like the monster who tried to foist ID cards on the nation and lock up anyone for any reason.

  7. I think the home secretary has to realize that she is an elected official, if she sends this guy over seas I think the campaign should focus on her home constituency and make sure she never gets elected there again.

    The campaign should focus on all the perfectly legal actions people in her constituency do that are illegal elsewhere and that there mp the homesecetery will if requested ship them out.

    Why cant a group take a case to court asking if what he did is illegal under the law when the extradition was made.  If the court finds that it was not illegal under the uk law at the time the extradition order could be successfully appealed due to failure of the duel criminally.

    1. She’s from Maidenhead. When she was elected in 2010, she got 31,937 votes (59.5%), while the second-closest was a libDem with 15,168 votes (28.2%). That’s roughly how every election has turned out since the constituency was created in ’97 (elections were in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010) – so far, she’s the only representative Maidenhead has ever elected.

      Of course, that doesn’t make her position invulnerable. It would, however, take a fair bit of effort to make her feel threatened.

  8. Food for thought, Mr. Assange. Sweden isn’t looking so horrible now, is it?

    That is…assuming you didn’t actually commit any crimes in Sweden, right?

    1.  Huh, what are you talking about? This goes the opposite way. This shows that the UK is willing to extradite someone when they haven’t even broken a law in either country.
      That does not make Assange any safer, in fact it makes him even less safe.
      And Sweden was supposed to have a history that made it even more likely that they would extradite him to the US.

      1.  I was sarcastically implying that Mr. Assange’s claims to the effect that if he were extradited to Sweden, he would be sent to the United States are ludicrous because, if the US wanted to extradite Assange, they would have less trouble doing so from the UK than from Sweden.

        Or, in other words, if he hasn’t broken any laws in Sweden, he should want to go there by all means.

        1. And not having broken any laws in Sweden would prevent them extraditing him to the US (as they have consistently done in the past, and leaked cables reveal a submissive relationship to US) *how* exactly? Read up on the well documented reasons the US fancies their chances of extraditing from Swe better than the UK.

          You appear to have little comprehension of the Assange case, so why the off topic comment? Trolling?

          1. The topic is extradition from the UK to the US and whether it requires that a crime be committed on US soil, so my comment, while tangential, is not off topic.

            In response to your comment: “And not having broken any laws in Sweden would prevent them extraditing him to the US (as they have consistently done in the past, and leaked
            cables reveal a submissive relationship to US) *how* exactly?”
             I will explain this as clearly and simply as possible for you:
            1) I think that the US has no interest in extraditing Assange and that if they wanted to, they very easily could (from the UK just as easily, if not more easily, than from Sweden).
            2) Assange probably did commit the crimes for which he has been accused in Sweden.
            3) Assange is using the whole, “If I go to Sweden, they’ll send me to America, where I’ll be executed!” thing as an excuse to avoid facing the law.

            As for reading up on the issue, you do realize that if Sweden were to attempt to extradite him, the UK would also have a say in that, right? In other words, it is impossible that he could be safer from extradition in the UK than in Sweden. Or are you going to make me explain that, too?

          2. “I will explain this as clearly and simply as possible for you: ..”  – you’ve set out your opinion; no problem with that. I disagree strongly with #1 and #3 based on demonstrable evidence in the public domain – Justice4Assange.org has plenty of factual evidence if you’re interested. 

            RE #2 – most JA supporters don’t necessary dispute that he *may* have breached Sweden’s strict sexual conduct laws (though “rape” is a total exaggeration, as confirmed by both Prosecutor Finné and the accusers themselves). The issue is the US persecution threat – see repeated public threats from Biden, Palin et al. 

            As well as remaining in Sweden until Finné granted permission for him to leave, JA has repeatedly offered to answer questions in London / by telephone / teleconference, as permitted by Sweden’s legal system during preliminary investigations. JA has even offered to return to Sweden *provided* they can guarantee won’t extradite him to US.

            RE Sweden being unable to extradite him without UK consent; the problem is the “temporary surrender” provisions, which allow Sweden to extradite without UK’s consent, provided he is *eventually* returned to Sweden. Further, indications are that US would attempt to prosecute JA under hacking crimes legislation, which is a crime in the UK too, and thus reason not to object to JA being onward extradited.

  9. Perhaps spare a moment to remember poor old Gary McKinnon who’s been dangling for 10 years now.  And let’s also not forget David Cameron’s (pre-election) quote about his case:

    “I am deeply saddened and disappointed with this decision. Gary McKinnon is a vulnerable young man and I see no compassion in sending him thousands of miles away from his home and loved ones to face trial. If he has questions to answer, there is a clear argument to be made that he should answer them in a British court. This case raises serious questions about the workings of the Extradition Act, which should be reviewed.”

    1. And whose to say he’ll ever return home. Also, negotiations and charges WILL change, for the worse, once he’s in our hot little hands.

  10. So if this toadying to the US Govt and there MPAA/RIAA masters is taken to its logical conclusion could i be rendered to the USA for jay-walking?

    Perhaps we could we arrange for all handgun owners in the US to be rendered here for Illegal possession of a handgun, I think its a 5 year minimum term. It only seems fair, Or if US law does apply here as she seems to think, Id like to resume small bore pistol shooting that i had to give up when they band them.

    Drop her a line, they like to hear from the public.

    1.  No, because Hollywood and the RIAA don’t care about jay-walking. Now if you jay-walked while listening to format-shifted music on your iPod, that’s a whole other story.

  11. Home Office to ignore Wikipedia founder’s petition against O’Dwyer extradition

    That’s a joke headline isn’t it? Of course it’s going to ignore Jimmy Wales. He’s got no authority over the UK Home Office. He’s not even a UKanian. It’s crazy that that is the headline here.

    It’s the general disgustingness of the UK’s Home Office that’s the issue here. And the contempt in which those in power are rightly held by anyone with any sense of our anthropoid-ape based ‘natural’ justice.

      1. I appreciate that a headline must be brief and that much or most of its semantic weight must be connotational, implied or require further research, but  … really? The Home Office ignores pretty much anything it likes. It’s a law unto itself. Picking out one particular source of annoyance to it seems pointless is all.

  12. So the “special” in “special relationship” just means “abusive”, right?

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