Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Internet Cracker Extradited

The extradition of Hew Griffiths is a new chapter in global copyright enforcement. The 43 year old Australian (who has never been to the US...before now) has just been forcible removed from Australia and is now in a gaol in Virginia USA awaiting sentencing on June 22, 2007 for one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement. He is facing 10 years prison and a US$500,000 fine.
Hew was supposedly one of the leaders of the cracker network DrinkOrDie, whose most famous action was the Internet release of Windows 95 two weeks before Microsoft released the official version.
Of the many international members of DrinkOrDie arrested and charged as part of Operation Buccaneer in 2001 only Hew has been extradited to the States. It seems to be a result of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in 2004. As part of the FTA agreement Intellectual Property Rights were 'harmonised' between the two counties.

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