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U.K. Court Says Police Can’t Make Hacker Hand Over Passwords

A judge has rejected an attempt by Britain's security services to force an alleged hacker to hand over the passwords to his encrypted computers.

Lauri Love is fighting extradition to the United States, where he has been charged with breaking into Federal Reserve computers.

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When British police arrested him in 2013, they seized encrypted computers and hard drives from his home in eastern England. Love was not charged in Britain, but the National Crime Agency sought to look through his computers before returning them.

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Judge Nina Tempia ruled Tuesday that the agency as trying to "circumvent" the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which governs data privacy.

Love said the decision "retains the status quo which means there has to be safeguards before you force people to undermine their security."