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15 June 2012, 17:14

Alleged LulzSec hacker charged in the US

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Ryan Cleary, who was arrested in the UK last year and charged with five offences under the Criminal Law Act and Computer Misuse Act, has now been indicted with federal offences in the US. A grand jury in Los Angeles charged Cleary with one count of conspiracy and two counts of unauthorised impairment of protected computers. Cleary is alleged to belong to the hacker collective LulzSec.

Cleary, who is now 20 years old, was not able to attend the hearing in court as he is currently remanded in custody in the UK for breaking his bail conditions. Cleary was originally arrested in June 2011 and was charged with offences relating to the construction of botnets with the intention of creating distributed denial of service attacks.

If Cleary were to be extradited to the US and convicted, he would face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said that they would "allow the prosecution to take its course" in the UK before deciding whether to apply for extradition. It is also reported that Cleary, according to his solicitor, suffers from Asperger's syndrome, and that therefore "extradition to the United States is totally undesirable". Cleary is next scheduled to be in a UK court on 25 July.

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