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2008 was not a good year for Gary ‘UFO Hacker’ McKinnon. 2009 looks to be off to a better start – this just in:

A British court ruled on Friday that a man who hacked into US military computers will be giving permission for a judicial review against his extradition to the United States.

Computer expert Gary McKinnon is seen posing after arriving at the High Court, in London January 20, 2009. A British computer expert accused by the United States of the “biggest military hack of all time” won the right on January 23, 2009 to launch a new legal challenge against plans to extradite him.

Hacker Gary McKinnon, 42, who had been diagnosed recently with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, has admitted hacking into the military computers. His lawyers had said McKinnon was at risk of suicide if he were extradited.

Lord Justice Maurice Kay agreed to permit McKinnon’s lawyers to present arguments at a hearing in March that will determine if he gets a chance to formally appeal the extradition.

“We are overjoyed that the British courts have shown sense and compassion by allowing our son Gary, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, this judicial review,” said Janis Sharp, McKinnson’s mother to the press.

I do believe that the “one billion” dollars of damage done is a typo. Unless Gary scuttled plans to reverse-engineer the crashed Roswell spaceship of course…