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Australian Extradited For Breaking US Law At Home

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-safe-haven dept.

The Courts 777

An anonymous reader sends us a link to a report in The Age about an Australian resident, who had never set foot in the US and broke US intellectual-property laws in Australia, being extradited to the US to face trial. Hew Raymond Griffiths pleaded guilty in Virginia to overseeing all aspects of the operation of the group Drink Or Die, which cracked copy-protected software and media products and distributed them for free. He faces up to 10 years in a US jail and half a million dollars in fines.

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Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

Umuri (897961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19017967)

Why is this news? Sounds to me like he broke a US law that the AU has an equivalent law about, and the us wants him to be on trial here first. Plus the AU has agreements with the US to comply. Sounds like SOP to me.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19017987)

Perhaps the fact that he isn't under US jurisdiction?

He most certainly IS under US jurisdiction (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018085)

Why is this news?

Perhaps the fact that he isn't under US jurisdiction?


He most certainly is under US jurisdiction. We own the Australian government, which means we own Australia, which means we own your ass. Break our laws and we'll slam you in our prisons, because we can, and it makes us money to do so.

Welcome to the new world order, Bush (Sr., Jr.) and Clinton style.

Until Australia (and, for that matter, the UK) learns to stand up to the world's biggest bully (what to my immense shame is what my country, the United States, has become), they and their people will be under our jurisdiction, subject to our laws on their own soil, and with no protection from their own governments. Just like the soviet satellite states of the last century, we'll let you wave your own flags and call yourselves whatever you like, but fuck with us and our cash flow, and we'll slam you into our gulag.

You want this to not be the case? Then elect and demand a government with some backbone that will tell the United States exactly where it can get off.

Re:He most certainly IS under US jurisdiction (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018177)

+1, the truth

Re:He most certainly IS under US jurisdiction (5, Insightful)

TGTilde (874930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018277)

Flamebait or not, the parent is right. Our government has gone overboard with things like this in the recent past. I just hope that the pendulum swings back sooner rather than later. Too bad I used up all my mod points earlier today.

Re:He most certainly IS under US jurisdiction (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018301)

This may be shameful, but it most certainly doesn't deserve a "Flamebait" mod.

The US, at the moment, is not behaving as befits a leader in freedom and human rights. It's traditional allies should stand up and refuse to endorse the excesses. We are not helping our friends in the US by pandering to their government and corporate world's ugly abuses.

If you were to suffer a mental illness and set fire to your own house, who would be the better neighbor; the one who tried to stop you, and tried to extinguish the fire, or the one who followed you into the flames?

Re:He most certainly IS under US jurisdiction (1)

dyftm (880762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018325)

Mod this person up, this isn't flamebait, unfortunately it's the truth.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018179)

Perhaps the fact that he isn't under US jurisdiction?
He ran an organization which operated in the US. This is no different than drug lords in Columbia being wanted by US authorities. It's also the same as legitimate companies being liable for what their company does in every country they operate.

It's an extradition treaty... (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018265)

...dummy /sarcasm

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018303)

You can say that, but seeing as the US treats copyright infringement as theft nowadays (and apparently Australia agrees), if someone steals a lot of money off an American company it would make more sense to try that person in America.

Please note I'm not going to get into an argument about whether it really is theft or not. There's plenty of places to have that discussion.

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018353)

Doesn't US copyright/patent law apply in Australia because of the free trade agreement?

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

unapersson (38207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018031)

Well the US is not the World Police. He also broke Australian law, and the crime was committed on Australian soil, so should have been charged and tried there. A sovereign country's citizens should be tried under that country's law, unless the US fancies an international court to handle international crimes.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018103)

A sovereign country's citizens should be tried under that country's law, unless the US fancies an international court to handle international crimes.

They do.

Just so long as it doesn't involve US citizens. Or military personnel.

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

lime_red (806401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018111)

Agreed there. If you can use a similar situation, the Swedish police had a go at The Pirate Bay, after great pressure from the United States -- otherwise, they probably would have left them alone. However, I doubt the Swedes would roll over and send the individuals over to the US for charging, just because the US asked. Similarly here, he may or may not have been charged under an Australian law covering the same thing as the US law, but we changed our mind because the US asked us to.

The Australian government lacks the backbone to stand up to other (bigger) countries like the US and Indonesia in any meaningful way.

Re:Why is this news? (3, Interesting)

Archtech (159117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018351)

"Well the US is not the World Police".

Many Americans believe that it is. But only in the sense that anyone, living anywhere in the world, should be subject to US justice for breaking US laws. Lesser breeds are welcome to cheat, rob, assault, murder, and torture one another - indeed, this is often positively encouraged - as long as no American loses out in the process.

There are two logically distinct and incompatible positions being confused here.

1. The USA is the world's most progressive nation, in the sense that it is the first and best democracy, the country in which the rule of law is most clearly supreme, and generally the most virtuous. Therefore it has a moral right, or even an obligation, to lead others towards the light (at least, those of them who survive the trip).

2. The USA is the world's most powerful nation, armed with weapons that could easily destroy any other nation utterly within less than a day. It can also launch bombs, missiles, or just thousands of heavily-armed soldiers, anywhere in the world. It even lays claim to military supremacy in space. Therefore, as the world's biggest gorilla, what it says goes; and it uses this dominance to further its own interests (including those of US corporations and citizens).

Either of these can be readily supported by various logical arguments. Unfortunately, they cannot both be true, as (2) gives the USA licence to disregard the supposed rights of other individuals, corporations, and nations where they clash with its own. However, many Americans tend to transpose deftly from one to the other in the same context - sometimes even within the same sentence. It would be nice to know which is the official position.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018053)

Assuming you're American, would you want to be extradited to Australia for breaking an Australian law in the US even though you'd never been to Australia?

Re:Why is this news? (3, Funny)

riff420 (810435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018151)

fuck yeah, at least i wouldn't have to pay for the flight. shit's expensive now, aye?

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Geekenstein (199041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018199)

And assuming you're American, would you want someone to be able to blatantly flaunt our laws and cause harm to Americans and American interests simply because they aren't on our soil? Extradition treaties exist for this very purpose.

(Please for the love of the FSM don't try to turn this into a "it's just Intellectual Property, not murder" argument).

Re:Why is this news? (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018223)

How do you break a law of another country without being there?

Can we now ask the US to send over all those people selling Nazi-Flags and WW2 memorabilia because it's illegal to have and sell them here?

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018241)

And assuming you're American, would you want someone to be able to blatantly flaunt our laws and cause harm to Americans and American interests simply because they aren't on our soil? Extradition treaties exist for this very purpose.

If an American currently in Australia is mugged then that crime is comitted in Australia. The fact that American interests (people) were affected does not mean that the offence was comitted in the USA.

The global nature of the Internet does make the location of some crimes ambiguous but that doesn't make it right to just go ahead and pick a jurisdiction.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018255)

And assuming you're American, would you want someone to be able to blatantly flaunt our laws and cause harm to Americans and American interests simply because they aren't on our soil?

Uh, yes, actually, it's called "sovereignty" and other countries get to have it too! Sucks for us, don't it?

If you want to stop "harm to American interests" then the appropriate method of doing it is to deal with the UN and international law, not to bully other countries into following our national ones.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018281)

Oh, by the way, I'm sure you and just about every other American has done enough things that are illegal in some country that we'd be locked up for life, or worse, if we were extradited there. Have sex outside of marriage, or in some "deviant" (i.e., anything other than missionary) position? I'll bet that's a capital offense in some religion-infested place. Spit on the sidewalk? That'll land you in prison in Indonesia. Drive on the right side of the road? Ooh, that's a severe violation in England and Japan! Remember, it doesn't matter that you were driving down Route 66 at the time...

Now, think of the madness that would ensue if everyone were as stupid and shortsighted as you are. Aren't you glad you're not in charge?

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018341)

Yes. Someone should be able to flaunt our laws while outside America provided that what they are doing is not against the law there.

A gentleman was recently sentenced to 10 years in Thailand because he defaced a picture of the King of Thailand while in that country. If I, while in the US, create a website that defames the King of Thailand do you expect the US would send me there to do my time? What if my website where written in the Thai language with the blatant intent of being available not only to Thai citizens, but for Thai citizens?

Re:Why is this news? (1, Offtopic)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018279)

If I was the kingpin of a criminal enterprise that operated in Australia, among other places, I wouldn't be surprised if Australia requested my extradition. The point being that I would have knowingly committed criminal acts on Australian soil, even though I was physically somewhere else. If I give orders to the Melbourne branch office of Trolls 'R Us, to break John Doe's legs, does it matter whether I'm in Australia or not?

Re:Why is this news? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018339)

I wouldn't be surprised if Australia requested my extradition.
Yeah, and I could "request" that Bill Gates give me his fortune and become my personal slave. That doesn't mean any sane person would agree that my request was justified, or that Bill would be obligated to grant it!

Re:Why is this news? (2, Interesting)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018321)

Good thought. There's a few directions you can go with this.

What about an American Journalist being extradited to China for criticising the government there.

What about being extradicted to a non-secular country for saying something against their religion.

But we are talking IP. What about an Indian being extradited to Sweden for copying IKEA furniture. Even though there are no IKEA stores in India. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2 006/02/12/MNG41H6PEF1.DTL [sfgate.com] .

Someones crossed a line here, but then many lines have been crossed in this war of IP holders vs the people.

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

Voice of Meson (892271) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018073)

Griffiths appears to have been singled out by US authorities. British-based members of Drink or Die were reportedly tried in Britain.
I think I remember another recent situation where British citizens were dealt with by their own government while Australians were sold out by their Government and left in the hands of the Americans.
He may well be a prolific software pirate but this seems fishy to me, and the precedent it sets worries me more. "Any Australian who has pirated software worth more than $US1000 could be subject to the same extradition process as Griffiths was." Thats a whole lotta Aussies right there.

Re:Why is this news? (1, Insightful)

timesearch (1097547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018097)

There is a long standing precedent for extradition. It has existed for longer than the United States has existed in one form or another. Frankly, I'm glad the bloke was extradited and will be tried by a court in the country of the injured party. If you've ever been ripped off or otherwise disappointed by a person in another country, you know exactly how I feel about it. I'm cheering the US on in this matter. Props to AU for seeing it their way too.

Re:Why is this news? (5, Funny)

Bob MacSlack (623914) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018155)

You'll be hearing shortly from the government of Nigeria. Your comments about their citizens were deemed to be illegal under Nigerian legal code Section 13.43b and you will be extradited to face criminal charges there.

Have a nice day.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018305)

Frankly, I'm glad the bloke was extradited and will be tried by a court in the country of the injured party.


Foreign citizens extradited to the US do not have the right to a trial. He may get one, but there's no guarantee of it. You don't know that it will happen. They can simply lock him up and throw away the key, if they want to.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018125)

Typically, countries will assert jurisdiction over acts committed within their geographic territory or acts committed by their own citizens wherever they may be. Sometimes a country will assert that a foreign national--though not actually setting foot in the country--has reached out to its jurisdiction by some act, thus invoking "the long arm of the law." Examples would include sending a mail bomb, or breaking into a computer over the internet.

This case does not appear to be based on any of those theories of jurisdiction. According to the article, the US charged Mr. Griffiths with conspiracy. Under conspiracy, any one conspirator is liable for the acts of any other person in the conspiracy.

This is very troublesome when applied to such a mundane crime as copying works and giving them to people who never would have bought them in the first place. The actual effect of the conspiracy is arguably insignificant. It doesn't seem as troublesome when applied to something who planned the 9/11 attacks, where the effect is very significant. But the theory of jurisdiction is the same: conspiracy with people who committed criminal acts inside the prosecuting country.

Re:Why is this news? (1)

Dr. Hok (702268) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018135)

At least this is news to me, because German law explicitly prohibits extraditing German citizens to other countries. Instead, they are punished here (in DE) by a German court according to German law. You wouldn't want to be extradited to Singapore for spitting chewing gum on the pavement, or to Saudi-Arabia for jacking off.

Lets just put it this way... (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018161)

US: All your Australians are belong to us.

Re:Lets just put it this way... (0)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018243)

You sure that shouldn't read "All your laws are belong to us"?

Re:Why is this news? (0, Troll)

freakxx (987620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018323)

Australian government is already known as an US-pet. Nothing is surprising here...it doesn't deserve to be a news at all...

Re:Why is this news? (1)

stewwy (687854) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018361)

There is a joke going the rounds in the UK at the moment, based on some facts coming to light

The US embassy in London is selling of one of its annexes for some reason, various comedians have proposed that they move into their alternative premises, but Gordon Brown says NO as he wants to move in there shortly.

(For non-UK residents, Gordon Brown is the anointed successor to our current 'Glorious Leader' and number 10 incumbent )

Listen... (1, Funny)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19017969)

How soon until the drums of revolution stir?

Re:Listen... (4, Insightful)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018019)

That's not the drum of revolution, it's the contented monotony of suburban life.

Re:Listen... (1)

antic (29198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018285)

Wish I had a mod point for you Kevin!

Sad (4, Informative)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19017983)

It's been common knowledge for years that Howard is Bush's lapdog, but if his government isn't even willing to protect its own citizens from foreign prosecutions, how can you really say Australia isn't just a puppet state of the US?

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018037)

Most countries have extradition treaties, meaning they've specifically agreed to send citizens to foreign countries to face prosecution if a formal request is made. You actually want it this way. Wouldn't be much fun if criminals could commit crimes with impunity just because they weren't physically in a country. Now I'm not saying software piracy should be one of those crimes, but let's be real here. What if there was an organized crime boss, living in the US, ordering the deaths of Australian citizens? Would you want the US to extradite him to face justice or would you want them to say "Well he wasn't committing any crimes here, and since he's not in Australia you can't have him, sorry."

Since we don't want criminals using national borders to shield themselves, a large number of nations have extradition treaties with each other. There are restrictions on those treaties, for example Canada can refuse to extradite in cases where the person would face the death penalty, but in general if it is a legit request, the extradition is honoured.

Re:Huh? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018061)

What if there was an organized crime boss, living in the US, ordering the deaths of Australian citizens?

Wouldn't the only actual crime committed be done by the people in Australia that actually carried the orders out? It seems like a pretty bad example to me...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018143)

Conspiracy to commit murder comes to mind. Or is that not a crime in Oz?

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018069)

I would want the US to try him under US law for the crime of murder.

British members of Drink or Die were tried in Britain. The Australian government is too cowardly to do the same. He's one of ours and allegedly committed a crime on our soil so we should deal with him. There is no way to justify this forfeiture of Australia's sovereignty. Whoever authorised the capitulation should be lined up and shot for treason.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

Bob MacSlack (623914) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018133)

Except in your example the crime boss is committing a crime under US law on US soil. I don't believe the law differentiates who is being killed in that case. I honestly can't think of any reason why someone should be extradited in this way. If you are doing something which is legal in your home country, should another country be able to extradite you? No. It's not illegal. If you're doing something that is illegal in your home country, should another country be able to extradite you? No. You should be charged under the laws of your own country.

The only reason any of this seems OK is because it's going on between countries with similar laws. If the laws of two countries are too different nobody would thing it was a good idea. It would be like the US trying to extradite someone from Amsterdam for smoking pot. What if Iran decided it wants to extradite someone for breaking their laws? Doesn't seem like such a good idea does it?

Re:Huh? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018249)

What if there was an organized crime boss, living in the US, ordering the deaths of Australian citizens? Would you want the US to extradite him to face justice or would you want them to say "Well he wasn't committing any crimes here, and since he's not in Australia you can't have him, sorry."


Quite aside from the question of what you want, the US does not permit extradition requests from foreign countries (although they may deport non-citizens at the request of their home country). Extradition with the US is entirely one-sided. They expect everybody else to do it for them, but they refuse to reciprocate. So your example isn't really relevant.

Yes, this is stupid and wrong, and yes, the Australian government got a lot of bad press for signing that treaty. They don't appear to care.

Re:Sad (2)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018039)

I do, to a certain extent, agree with what you've said. The government of Australia, my government, has for years been playing the role of the "little brother" constantly wanting to tag along and willing to do anything to please.
I know this is oversimplifying international relations, but it still appears very concerning to a lot of Australians.
I won't bother debating the current state of US copyright laws - it's a shambles and we're all well aware of that.
I do have problems with a number of things though:
Australia's inability to put into law it's own effective system of encouraging innovation and creative works in a viable environment without just "tagging along" with the (beyond) broken US laws, and the COMPLETE INABILITY of the Australian Government to take responsibility for it's own citizens - to judge them by Australian Law, in Australia.
I find it disgraceful and am honestly ashamed that this could happen to fellow Australian, and that my government has a HABIT of dealing with things in this way.
And yes, I am aware of the part 'Drink or Die' has played in "the scene", and this is still no excuse as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Sad (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018101)

> The government of Australia, my government, has for years been playing the role of the "little brother" constantly wanting to tag
> along and willing to do anything to please.

Hey, you get in line behind MY government. The UK were putting their citizens at risk by poodling up to Bush before yours! You're not a real poodle until you've had at least 50 civilians killed on your own mainland by religious fanatics, displeased at misguided foreign policy.

Re:Sad (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018063)

I don't know much about Australian internal politics, but in the overall picture I think you are right: the Australian government is at fault here. Why give him up?

Now, the guy violated copyright law - Australian copyright law, as mentioned in TFA,

[Griffiths] indicated that he would be willing to plead guilty to a breach of Australian copyright law
However, since the unlawful act was carried out in Australia, I have no idea why he can't be sentenced there. The US argument is presumably that the copyright owners are in the US, but so what? If I injure a German person while he visits France, should I be extradited to Germany from France? This whole issue just seems bizarre.

Re:Sad (3, Insightful)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018289)

Now, the guy violated copyright law - Australian copyright law, as mentioned in TFA,


Hrngh. No.

The guy has been accused of violating copyright law by certain people in the US. He has not been convicted. The question of his guilt has not even been examined by a court. He has been extradited not for violating copyright law, but for being accused of violating copyright law.

If somebody in the US accused you of violating copyright law, you can be extradited too. It does not matter whether you did it. The US extradition treaties do not operate on the principle of "innocent until proven guilty", they operate on the principle of "everybody is guilty" - proof is not required, requested, or considered. A bureaucrat signs a form and you get shipped into a US jail. (At their option, this can be a US jail that isn't located on US soil, like Gitmo, so they aren't obliged to ever examine whether you are guilty of anything)

Re:Sad (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018347)

Ok, I agree to your correction, but do note that I said he violated copyright because he was willing to admit it. That is, there is no disagreement on the facts; the issue is only whether to extradite him or not.

Re:Sad (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018209)

I assume from your words your Australian.
Could you please tell; does Australia have any I.P. registration of it's own?
Seems to me that you don't really need to bother registering patents or copyrights in Australia, if registering in the U.S. suffices to sue Australians.

Vice versa (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19017997)

Can someone point out a few cases where the news was somewhere along the lines of "American Extradited For Breaking [fill in foreign country] Law At Home" or does this business only work one way?

Re:Vice versa (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018009)

Don't worry. Just wait until China is boss of the world.

Re:Vice versa (5, Informative)

lime_red (806401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018295)

A quick search turned up a story on Duane "Dog" Chapman, a supposed bounty hunter who was wanted in Mexico. I hadn't heard of this until I looked it up so I can't guarantee any facts. He was arrested by US marshals and held pending being extradited to Mexico (some [tvsquad.com] TV show's [nbc10.com] coverage). It looks like they'll extradite him unless his supporters can convince the Mexican government to drop the charges (resolution here [hawaii.gov] ).

I also have another one of a foreigner being sent to the US [bbc.co.uk] -- so it's not just Australia -- not that that's a good thing.

Some conjecture that I can't back up follows: I've read that the US rarely agrees to send their citizens overseas, rather just denying the extradition requests when they are in the courts.

Needs to be said (4, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018015)

Others, however, argue that extradition is necessary to prevent internet crimes that transcend borders.

But yet nothing is done to catch the 419 scammers and all the spammers selling (often fake) pharmaceuticals.

Shafted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018017)

Time to pencil another star onto the US flag. And the Australian government wonders why anti-US sentiment is on the rise in Australia.

Shame on Chris Ellison, the guy who handed Griffiths over, and the rest of Australia's pseudo government (the real government is across the Pacific). I hope Ellison's eldest child gets busted for downloading MPAA movies.

Couple this with cases such as David Hicks and you can see why the average Australian is questioning the worth of Australian citizenship and whether the US is a friend or coloniser. Australia is a bitch and the US is well and truly on top screwing away.

Re:Shafted (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018047)

Pretty sure we don't get a star. I'm not a US-political-system buff but don't the stars represent states which have some kind of representation in the US federal government? If so we obviously don't have any such say so we'll just get pencilled up somewhere in the paperwork as a lackey state. :/

Re:Shafted (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018067)

No, Aussies don't get a star, just a brown dot... ;)

Re:Shafted (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018117)

If so we obviously don't have any such say so we'll just get pencilled up somewhere in the paperwork as a lackey state. :/

The technical term is "territory;" you'd be just like Puerto Rico. No representation in Congress, but you don't have to pay Federal taxes either.

This is bullsh*t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018021)

This is bullshit.
US "law" doesn't recognise that it stops at the US border.
All Free Trade Agreements with the US end up with the other parties getting screwed over, even the supposed "Coalition of the Willing" allies you seem to want so desperately.
Three cheers for allofmp3 and thePiratebay for telling the greedy US corporate interests and their US politician whores to go shove it.

Soon, with China and India, the South Americas and so-on, we can finally ignore the US once and for all. Well, not totally ignore, but when the paid lapdogs of the US corporate elites come whining we can just kick them in the arse and ignore their plaintive yelping.

Glad to be German (5, Informative)

Nahooda (906991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018045)

I'm a bit stunned that Australian law obviously allows extraditing their citizens to other countries. Here in Germany such action is _strictly_ prohibited by the German Constitution.

Re:Glad to be German (-1, Flamebait)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018077)

I'm a bit stunned that Australian law obviously allows extraditing their citizens to other countries. Here in Germany such action is _strictly_ prohibited by the German Constitution.

So what do you do with a German pedophile who has sex with children in (say) Vietnam and returns home before the police catch him? Tell him not to go to Vietnam again?

Extradition makes sense for a lot of crimes, some of them rampant in the third world.

Re:Glad to be German (2, Insightful)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018109)

Yet again a post comparing copyright infringement to pedophilia or murder.... /sigh

Re:Glad to be German (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018181)

Yet again a post comparing copyright infringement to pedophilia or murder

But the post I replied to was about Extradition, not any specific offence.

Re:Glad to be German (1)

schmu_20mol (806069) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018147)

He will be judged according to German law, which also prohibits pedophilia. After e.g. Vietnamese authorities accusing the guy, the federal attorney is forced to try a case against him.

Re:Glad to be German (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018357)

Wait in Germany you can be tried for something that happened in another country? Wow!

Re:Glad to be German (1)

Nahooda (906991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018163)

In Germany, German citizens can be charged for crimes they committed outside Germany.

Re:Glad to be German (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018175)

He would stand trial and go to jail in Germany, of course

Re:Glad to be German (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018261)

Afaik there is a law specifically for such cases. In essence, it says that if you do something abroad that would be a crime in Germany, you will be tried in Germany as if you had done this crime there.

Re:Glad to be German (1)

rve (4436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018115)

No civilized country would ever extradite their own citizens. I'm pretty sure the US wouldn't.

My country however regularly extradites citizens to the US without protest. Only recently, a citizen of Iraqi descent was extradited to the US on very vague suspicions of terrorist sympathies. No evidence was offered or required for his extradition request (it was supposedly a national security secret).

Re:Glad to be German (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018207)

No civilized country would ever extradite their own citizens. I'm pretty sure the US wouldn't.


The US won't extradite anybody - they only bring people in, they don't send them out. It's got nothing to do with being civilised, it's about being a bully.

Re:Glad to be German (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018299)

[The US] only bring people in, they don't send them out.

Well actually they do, but call it "extraordinary rendition" instead.

Re:Glad to be German (1)

razguz (1098695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018121)

I agree with you .. Although we are part of continetal judicial system
like Germany, I can't belevie that Australia didn't judge him at first ... It sounds like a joke.

Re:Glad to be German (5, Informative)

Xonea (637183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018141)

That is no longer true; the german constitution has been changed recently and now allows extraditions of germans to other countries of the european union or to an international court. You can't be extradited to the USA though :)

(This is specified in Art. 16 (2) GG: http://www.datenschutz-berlin.de/recht/de/gg/gg1_d e.htm#art16 [datenschutz-berlin.de] )

EU Expedited Extradition (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018159)

Not exactly, you signed up to the EU Extradited extradition which permits extradition for crimes including computer crimes (e.g. breaking DRM, no kidding). However that only applies to within the EU. But if the US can get a puppet government (e.g. Blairville) to issue a warrant for anyone in Europe, they can then extradite using the UK to US expedited extradition treaty.

There's no limits on re-extradition.

Worse, there is no judicial check in the UK, that the reasons given for the extradition, really complies with the requirements for extraditing. This is why a McKinnon (who broke US PCs into had a look around and left) is being accused of doing $5000 damage to each PC, in order for it to be a Federal crime and hence extraditable. The extradition mechanism doesn't let a UK judge check it.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/25/extraditio n_hacker/ [theregister.co.uk]

In theory they could make any allegation against any UK citizen and get them extradited (kidnapped in effect) and the court could do nothing.

[rant]F***ing Blair. We elected a leader, and he became a Bush follower and sold us out. I'll piss on his grave when he dies for the damage he's done to the UK sovereignty. [/rant]

Looks like he violated... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19018093)

I'm guessing he violated an article of the Australian 1968 copyright act - http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ ca1968133/ [austlii.edu.au]

It's a crime in his country, and Australia has an extradition treaty with the US. No news here!

No News? (1)

connect4 (209782) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018221)

errr . . . except that he is being extradited to the USA

As you were.

Re:Looks like he violated... (4, Informative)

pelrun (25021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018245)

No. The guy is australian, broke australian law whilst in australia - why the F**K is he being tried in America again?

If you break a law in a country you get tried IN THAT COUNTRY. Extradition works to preserve that - if you break the law then leave the country, you can be extradited BACK to that country to stand trial.

Wanna bet... (5, Insightful)

durin (72931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018095)

... the war on terror made this extradition a lot easier?

Absolutely Disgusting (4, Interesting)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018107)

The Aus government is working it's way to being a U.S. state.
We are making our military hardware compatible with theirs, we are fighting in stupid profit based wars that go against the international community with them.
They don't hand over their war criminals for international trial, and now they expect everyone around the world to respect their laws.
Americas international standing is reducing every day. And judging by the media driven fear of the outside they are cultivating and the laughable democratic system and a retard for a president, they are well on the way to being the worst totalitarian state out there.
We have the names of U.S states and capitals rammed down our necks by countless TV shows and movies and they don't even know we have states.

I hope Iran/China/N. Korea gets some US citizens extradited too as part of this new high in international cooperation.

Re:Absolutely Disgusting (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018169)

Americas international standing is reducing every day.

Except in Australia, apparently!

Is Australia really an independent state anymore? (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018113)

The USA tells the Australian government what to do (e.g war in Iraq). Now they also sentence Australian people, who have not been found guilty of anything under Australian law, under USA law. The trial is held in the USA, and they are sent to prison there.

Does this mean the USA has executive, legislative and judicial power over Australia, making Australia essentially another state of the USA, under the control of the US government?

Can we do this to them? (1)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018195)

Let's try it.
It can't be too hard to isolate an American who has broken Australia's laws. Anyone want to bet that it won't work the other way?

Serious question: If it doesn't work the other way (that Australia cannot sentence American citizens), then could this decision be reversed?

Captcha: Pleaded. How appropriate.

Re:Can we do this to them? (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018373)

You're right.
Two words: David Hicks.

America's 51st state (1)

Tama00 (967104) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018129)

Australia is just another state of America now days.

Every law America passes Howard has to pass it as well.

Howard is bushes lil bitch..

The only difference is the people and these are the kind of people who wouldnt sue citizens of other countries without first fixing their own countries problems.

Not really (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018201)

Australia is not USA's 51st state. Australian's don't get any of the rights of US citizens, just the down sides.

Thankfully we still have some sanity here in NZ. Although there was perhaps some keenness to hitch up withAustralia in the 1980s and 1990s, less kiwis think thta way now.

Re:Not really (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018275)

No, Australia doesn't get the benefits. Only the liabilities.

Makes sense, doesn't it? I mean, would you... if you were in the US's boots?

Should've move to Russia before starting operation (1)

Vvaghel1 (1008177) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018139)

You're a woman and you want to learn? Don't live in Africa, China, etc You like having males slaves who you can abuse to the point of amputation? join the russian army etc, etc There's a time and a place for everything. This guys as smart as a PhD in ethics looking for a job in Washington DC....

Women must be 2nd class here (1, Insightful)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018187)

According to TFA, the average imprisonment term is less than that of copyright infringement. Women being considered 2nd class to men would be the only way to explain how something that hurts an entity (corporate or personal) financially has a greater punishment than something that hurts primarily women physically, mentally, and for a long time.

(And me before you get all technical on me, I did say primarily women, but men can be raped as well...)

Re:Women must be 2nd class here (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018319)

According to TFA, the average imprisonment term is less than that of copyright infringement.

No, the average rape sentence is less than the maximum copyright infringement sentence. To compare properly, you have to compare maximum to maximum or average to average. The maximum rape sentence is probably life in prison (or maybe death in some states); the average copyright infringement is probably considerably less than 10 (or even 6) years.

Still sound as unreasonable as it did before?

all things Global (2, Insightful)

rozz (766975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018215)

Globalization is the word of the day .. Globalization is the theory of the day.
the GlobalJail may be the first real implementation.

This is entirely unacceptable. (5, Informative)

NickHydroxide (870424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018217)

This is horrendous. I don't condone what he has done, but I contend that this should fall squarely and solely within the sovereign boundaries of Australia. We have a perfectly acceptable method of pursuing him for the same offence - either s 132AC(1) or s 132AC(2) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), which provide respectively:

(1) A person commits an offence if:

                                          (a) the person engages in conduct; and

                                          (b) the conduct results in one or more infringements of the copyright in a work or other subjectmatter; and

                                          (c) the infringement or infringements have a substantial prejudicial impact on the owner of the copyright; and

                                          (d) the infringement or infringements occur on a commercial scale.

(2) An offence against subsection (1) is punishable on conviction by a fine of not more than 550 penalty units or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both.

                          (3) A person commits an offence if:

                                          (a) the person engages in conduct; and

                                          (b) the conduct results in one or more infringements of the copyright in a work or other subjectmatter; and

                                          (c) the infringement or infringements have a substantial prejudicial impact on the owner of the copyright and the person is negligent as to that fact; and

                                          (d) the infringement or infringements occur on a commercial scale and the person is negligent as to that fact.

Penalty: 120 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.
There is absolutely no reason to extradite him except for political convenience or expediency, which should NEVER be a basis for depriving someone so severely of their status as a citizen. As Justice Young noted, we should beware allowing (and effecting) foreign prosecutions where the conduct is almost entirely referential to Australia.

If equivalent offences were not in existence in Australia, then perhaps I might be more willing to accept it (although even then I would have drastic reservations). As it stands, I cannot accept this.

Well that sucks balls (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018231)

I always thought extradition was for when you commit a crime whilst living in a foreign country, they send you back to your mother country for punishment - so at least family can visit you in jail etc.

Phoning Australia from the US sure is going to eat his phone credits!

Sounds like the Aussie government is another of Bush's World Police bitches.

Immense problem (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018239)

This is really wrong. The crime didn't take place on American soil. If someone is going to be tried under a foreign country's court, they should have the right to vote for the laws that he or she is being tried under.

Death Penalty (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018253)

Many countries will refuse extradition requests if the penalty could include death.

1) Pass new sentancing guildlines (all pirates must 'walk the plank')
2) Then countries will refuse to extradite all pirates
3) Profit!!!

Re:Death Penalty (1)

lime_red (806401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018335)

On the face of it, Australia says they won't extradite if the penalty could include death. However, in one particular case [usp.com.au] , the federal police co-operated with another country(Indonesia) that did have death penalty, and waited until they were under the jurisdiction of that country before busting them.

Thanks mom and dad. (0, Redundant)

jbssm (961115) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018263)

I wanna thank my parents for having me getting born in Europe ... the real Europe, not UK.

Bush's minions at work again... (1)

blowtorch (1092271) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018329)

This is so crazy, that it would be funny if he weren't facing a 10 year jail sentence. Doesn't jurisdiction come into the picture here? Authorities use it to pass over stuff that they don't want to investigate all the time don't they?

No real Citizen rights (1)

Azeroth48 (855550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19018331)

Australian has no real rights like the right to free speech in America, Our government will bend over backwards for any foreign country that has the slightest shred of power. Sure we have a lot of privileges that we take for granted but our government can take them at any time if it wished. And most of the population is ignorant about this... We get fed the illusion through our tv which nearly all the law/legal shows are american. And that keeps most of the people happy.
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