Notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick, sentenced to five years in federal prison after a 3-year manhunt, can resume using the Internet in January. Since being released from prison in 2000, Mitnick has been prohibited from using a computer connected to the Internet.

The terms of that probation expire Jan. 20 and according to Dept. of Justice officials.

Mitnick was convicted of causing extensive financial damage when he hacked into the systems and altered data at University of Southern California, Novell, Nokia and Motorola. The search for Mitnick became a media sensation in the mid-1990s. While on the lam, Mitnick continued to break into corporate computer systems.

In a separate action, Mitnick has also been granted a ham radio license by the Federal Communications Commission after extensive legal wrangling. Mitnick, who had been a ham radio operator since he was 13 but lost his license following his felony conviction, first applied for a new ham license while in prison.

Since being freed from a Virginia federal prison, Mitnick has been allowed to use a cell phone and a computer as long as the devices were not connected to the Internet. He has also written a book about his experiences and has been making appearances to boost sales.