The Lords have voted to remove the USA from the "fast track" Extradition Act 2003 Part 2, in an amendment to the Police and Justice Bill.
This will not be law unles and until the Commons agrees, but that is not scheduled to happen until October.
There is meant to be an emergency debate in the Commons tomorrow, to see if this means that pending Extraditions can be halted, but , given the previous vote in the Commons on similar amendments, who knows ?
The Computer Misuse Act amendments regarding Denial of Service attacks all passed by agreement,
However, the critical amendments to the "Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in computer misuse offences" so called "hacker tools" offences, which would prevented the word "liklely" casting doubt on th entire UK IT systems adminstration and computer security software and consultancy industry
Some leading exponents of this are seriously looking to move overseas, should this clause stand unamended.
The Earl of Northesk and the Earl of Errol made extremely strong case, citing, as we have done, the potential economic disaster, but the Government refused to budge.
Given the Home Office's appalling track record with regard to information Technology policy, in every area they meddle in, and even for their in house projects and systems, they should learn somme humility and listen to the professional advice from people in the private sectior and academia who really do know more about these issues than the Home Office lawyers, or the lobbyists from large IT and telecomms companies, who are also seeking to bid for multi-billion pound contracts from the Government, and who do not really represent the whole industry or the internet and computer using public.
Lawyers tend to think of themselves, as being logiical people, but most of them are not as sensitive to the nuances of badly draughted clauses, as the "let's think of all the the possible variants of extreme circumstances" mindset of most computer security experts, who will read the word "likely" in context with the rest of the amendments,. they will then perform their own personal and business risk analysis, and will no longer feel safe in doing business here in the UK, with disasterous results for our economy and for national security.
Both the Earl of Northesk, and the Earl of Errol, withdrew their amendments tonight, although they have promised to return with similar ones at the Report Stage.