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British Hacker McKinnon Loses Extradition Appeal

A British man accused of hacking into U.S. military and NASA computer systems lost a High Court challenge Tuesday to avoid extradition to the United States.

Gary McKinnon, who was been indicted in New Jersy and northern Virginia, had claimed he could face prosecution under U.S. anti-terror laws if sent to the United States.

His lawyer said he now would take the case to the House of Lords, Britain's highest court of appeal.

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McKinnon, 41, is accused of illegally accessing around 100 government computers between February 2001 and March 2002, causing around $700,000 in damages. It remains one of the largest cyber attacks on the U.S. government.

A British judge ruled in May that McKinnon, who was arrested in 2002, should face trial in the United States. Home Secretary John Reid signed off on the request.

McKinnon said he accessed systems because he was looking for evidence that America was concealing the existence of UFOs.

District Judge Nicholas Evans, however, said McKinnon left notes on computer systems criticizing American foreign policy.

"U.S. foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism," Evans quoted one such note as saying.

In one attack, which occurred immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, McKinnon targeted the Earle Naval Weapons Station in New Jersey.