A 22 year old Briton residing in Estepona has been jailed for hacking dozens of Twitter accounts of influential people and is awaiting extradition to the United States.
Joseph O’Connor, appeared before an extradition hearing at the Spanish National Court in Madrid on Thursday 23rd July where he refused to be transferred to the U.S. voluntarily.
However the judge ruled that the charges were serious enough to keep him in custody pending an extradition request from the US authorities.
U.S. prosecutors accuse O’Connor of involvement in a July 2020 hack of more than 130 accounts, including those of prominent politicians, business people and celebrities including Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Gates.
A criminal complaint had been filed in the Northern District of California federal court for allegedly taking over Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat accounts.
In a press statement released by the Spanish National Police, the investigation into the man´s online activities began after the FBI informed the Spanish authorities.
Spanish and U.S. agents arrested the suspect after raiding his residence in Estepona in the province of Malaga in Andalucia, where they seized two computers and a mobile phone.
The U.S. authorities charged O’Connor with crimes including cyberstalking and swatting ( contacting US emergency services of a life threatening domestic situation requiring a SWAT team response to the address) making extortive and threatening communications and hacking online accounts and social media platforms.
The formal extradition process is expected to take several months.