Thursday, 14 December 2017

Finnish Times

I meant to post about this last week. The people of Finland have been celebrating 100 years of independence.
What have the Finns ever done for us?
Well look at these
Nordic Walking Poles [to get across the snowy terrain] Saunas, Non-Skid Socks [they do not wear shoes in the house, and patented these] Xylitol Chewing Gum, all those fab Fiskars scissors and tools, and of course, the wonderful Moomins.
- you can find more items here
There are plenty of famous Finns too - Jean Sibelius [who wrote wonderful music, like the Karelia Suite, and of course, Finlandia]
Linus Torvalds [developed the Linux computer operating system]
Tove Jannson [the woman behind the Moomins]
Kimi Raikkonen [F1 driver]
and many others...
[even Brad Pitt - his mother is Finnish]
I am not sure I know many Finnish people - except one - some years ago I met a lovely lady called Sirrka - she's married to a Baptist Minister and she's a teacher. I posted about her son Lauri a year ago [here] Two weeks ago, his appeal case was heard in court - the US Government wants to extradite him on computer hacking charges. His defence counsel argue that because of his health and mental state [he has Asperger's], this would, in effect be a death sentence. He would not handle the isolation of a US Prison Cell, and would rapidly sink into depression and attempt suicide. 
Following the Gary McKinnon case, when Theresa May [then Home Secretary] blocked his extradition, on the grounds that it was incompatible with his human rights. Two weeks ago, the courts met to discuss Lauri's extradition.The hearing continues.There will be some sort of answer in the New Year. His sister has returned from Finland to be with the family- she believes the case should be heard in Britain[that is, after all, where the alleged crime was committed]
I feel incredibly strongly about this - I do not believe it would serve anybody any good to extradite this guy. Yes, he is a brilliant computer geek, and he can hack into anyone's system - usually to demonstrate that they need to improve their security. Occasionally misguided- but never malicious. I pray that the Mrs May, and Amber Rudd will block his extradition. After all, there have been 29 Britons accused of hacking US Government websites in the last 20 years - and every other one has had their case heard in the UK, been tried and sentenced here.
Oh, and by the way - do you remember the "Wannacry" Ransomware virus that knocked out the NHS computers back in May? Fortunately it was not too long before they were up and running again. That is because Lauri, Marcus Hutchins and other gifted geeks in their team worked through the night to restore the systems. 
There has to be something wrong if it is OK to use Lauri's gifts when he is saving our healthcare system and potentially the lives of others, but we cannot save him from an unjust extradition order.
His Dad, Alex, came out of the court and said "Our trust is in God, and in British Justice"
May his prayers for justice be answered soon.

1 comment:

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