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Arresting people for crimes against another country; valid?

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GuessTheAltAccount
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Arresting people for crimes against another country; valid?

Postby GuessTheAltAccount » Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:48 pm

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/06/ ... comments=1

Gembe quelled his suspicion and dialled the number he had been provided with. As far as he knew, this was an interview with two senior members of Valve's management team. In reality, the call was being taped by the FBI.

"I hoped for the best," he says. "I was not the brightest kid back then. At first they wanted to know how I hacked into the network. I told them in full detail. Then they asked me about my experience and skills. I still remember they were surprised that I spoke fluent English without much of an accent."

The trio talked for 40 minutes. Any sense of guilt dissipated for Gembe in the presence of his heroes. But that was nothing compared to the adrenalin rush he felt when he received an invitation to a second interview, a face-to-face meeting at Valve's headquarters in Seattle, on American soil.

Having set the trap, Valve and the FBI needed to obtain a visa for Gembe (and his father and brother, who wanted to accompany him to the United States). But there were concerns about the ongoing access that Gembe had to Valve's servers and the potential damage he could still cause. So the FBI contacted the German police in order to alert them to the plan.

Later that week, an armed German policeman woke Gembe before dawn. He got dressed and headed downstairs. The corridors were lined by police, squeezed into his father's house.

"Can I get something to eat before we leave?" Gembe asked. "No problem," said one of the policemen.

Gembe reached for a kitchen knife to cut some bread. "Every policeman in the room raised his rifle at me," he says.

After drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette, Gembe climbed into the back of a van and was driven to the local police station. There the chief of police greeted him. He walked up to Gembe, looked him in the eye and said: "Have you any idea how lucky you are that we got to you before you got on that plane?"

While I'm happy it worked out that way; no one deserves to be sentenced to the vicious U.S. prison system over hacking that was more out of curiosity than malice; I'm kind of left wondering if anything they could get him on in Germany would be actionable. The crimes he committed were against American game developers, were they not? Are countries even allowed arresting people in response to crimes they committed against people elsewhere? If so, why didn't France put Roman Polanski in jail; in their own borders if need be; for the crimes he committed elsewhere?
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Saiwania
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Postby Saiwania » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:00 pm

Usually how it works, is that different countries all have various extradition treaties with eachother. Being a tourist or from overseas doesn't give people free reign to be breaking another country's laws if the crime in question happens to physically impact them.

Most of the entire world's nations are apart of Interpol, although ICPO agents don't have arresting power. Its more an organization to coordinate different law enforcement organizations with regards to international crime/fugitives. There are a handful of nations where there is no extradiction but those places tend to not be the most desirable places to live. While there are also countries that do extradition but may choose not to, for whatever reason in specific certain cases.
Last edited by Saiwania on Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Genivaria » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:11 pm

That legitimately sounds like something out of a horror movie.
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Great Algerstonia
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:18 pm

I want to arrest people whenever I want to, so yes
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:19 pm

Surely hacking in Germany is illegal, and he was hacking in Germany regardless of whether it was against a company in another country.

Or am I reading this wrong, I mean I get that he wasn't malicious and frankly the urban myth around these stories is that the company he hacks, or the FBI, hires him instead of prosecuting him. However I don't think this is a crime committed against another country if the crime is hacking itself.
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Kerwa
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Postby Kerwa » Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:17 pm

Bombadil wrote:Surely hacking in Germany is illegal, and he was hacking in Germany regardless of whether it was against a company in another country.

Or am I reading this wrong, I mean I get that he wasn't malicious and frankly the urban myth around these stories is that the company he hacks, or the FBI, hires him instead of prosecuting him. However I don't think this is a crime committed against another country if the crime is hacking itself.


I can’t recall the exact details but Gary McKinnon was never charged with a crime in the UK only in the US. I’m not exactly sure why this was but it’s possible that what’s described in the OP is a similar situation, i.e. no German law was broken.

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Desmosthenes and Burke
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Postby Desmosthenes and Burke » Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:54 pm

Considering the German courts did try him, I would presume he did violate some law in Germany. Considering that Valve owns Steam and how popular Half-Life was, I would be willing to bet there was/is a European jurisdiction hook somewhere. The EC did just issue them a fine this last year over region locking. Mr. Gembe is exceedingly lucky the German police decided to essentially derail the American process instead of watching him get on the plane. Though I imagine the FBI would still be happy to arrest him if he ever set foot on US soil.

For Polanski, it is with great shame at my nation that I have to say government and artistic opinion largely has largely (and, especially in artistic opinion still does) supported him and downplays his crimes (which likely would not have been crimes in France at the time as well, or at least he would have been able to argue so), and the treaty of extradition between the US and France gives France the right to refuse to extradite its own nationals to the US.
Last edited by Desmosthenes and Burke on Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:19 am

GuessTheAltAccount wrote: The crimes he committed were against American game developers, were they not?

Curiously enough, German law recognises humans and companies as legal persons regardless of their location or nationality.

Are countries even allowed arresting people in response to crimes they committed against people elsewhere?

Yes.
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Postby Page » Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:08 am

I don't have a universal standard. To me, it really depends on the actions in question. A sex tourist who goes abroad to rape child human trafficking victims should be dealt with wherever they are. Whereas someone who goes abroad to get high should not be prosecuted anywhere. In the first case, you have a heinous crime against defenseless victims, in the second, there is no victim whatsoever. Hacking, I find it to be often justified and sometimes even heroic. Things like Collateral Murder and the Panama Papers, the people who expose that should be praised.
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Esternial
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Postby Esternial » Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:01 am

Sounds like FBI overreach.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:08 am

Esternial wrote:Sounds like FBI overreach.

If the FBI had gone to Germany, I would agree.
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Esternial
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Postby Esternial » Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:19 am

Ethel mermania wrote:
Esternial wrote:Sounds like FBI overreach.

If the FBI had gone to Germany, I would agree.

Guess that's why then went for the honeypot route. Kind of shady stuff either way, imo.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:58 am

Esternial wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:If the FBI had gone to Germany, I would agree.

Guess that's why then went for the honeypot route. Kind of shady stuff either way, imo.

The whole business is really, I would
Say it has to be, but yes shady
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