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Jimmy Wales welcomes Richard O’Dwyer ruling but UK legal concerns remain

29 Nov 2012
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales courtesy of Joi Ito

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has told V3 that while he is pleased with the news TV Shack's Richard O'Dwyer will not be extradited to the US the incident raises worrying questions on the legal apparatus used in such incidents.

His comments come after the news on Wednesday that O'Dwyer had signed a plea bargain with US prosecutors to avoid extradition.

This threat had been looming over him since the start of the year when home secretary Theresa May approved a request from the US for his deportation.

This led to huge public outcry and in response Wales to set up a petition to garner support for O'Dwyer with over 200,000 signatures gathered in a just a few days.

Despite this the government said at the time it would not be altering its stance on the case.

Now, in light of the announcement yesterday, Wales has said while he is pleased for O'Dwyer, he stil has grave concerns with the current legislation and how it is being used by the US and UK authorities.

"I welcome the news, but point out that this was a plea bargain, not a change of policy," he told V3.

"The policy problem that someone can sit in the UK with no servers or anything else in the US, and be extradited to the US for copyright allegations is a problem.

"If what Richard did was a crime, he should have been prosecuted in the UK."

The deal comes after the extradition saga surrounding alleged hacker Gary McKinnon finally ended when home secretary May refused to send him to the US due to health concerns.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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