Hacker and UFO hunter Gary McKinnon launches SEO business

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Hacker and UFO hunter Gary McKinnon launches SEO business

Warwick Ashford

UK hacker Gary McKinnon is offering his services as an online search expert after winning a 10-year battle against extradition to the US for breaking into military computers to look for evidence of UFOs.

Finally able to make a new life for himself, Glasgow-born McKinnon has set up a business offering services to manipulate aspects of a website to improve its ranking by online search engines.

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The practice, known as search engine optimisation (SEO) is used widely by businesses aiming to make their websites appear as prominently as possible in search engine results.

McKinnon, who had his extradition to the US blocked in October 2012 by home secretary Theresa May, says he has more than 20 years’ experience in IT services on his site Small SEO.

According to the site, clients include London law firm Kaim Todner, tutoring service GMAT Tutor London, Oxfordshire hair salon The Hair Safari, and child safety door stop maker Jamm Products.

Theresa May said McKinnon should be permitted to stay in the UK on human rights grounds after medical reports said he was very likely to try to kill himself if extradited.

Previously, UK courts had repeatedly thrown out McKinnon's pleas for the extradition process to strike a merciful balance between his minor hacking crimes and the vulnerable psychology caused by his having Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism.

In November 2012, McKinnon learned he would not face any charges in the UK and that a ban on accessing computers would be lifted.

But an extradition warrant for McKinnon is still outstanding, preventing his travel outside the UK, according to the BBC.

McKinnon was arrested in 2002 and in 2005 before a warrant for his extradition was issued in July 2006 under the 2003 Extradition Act.

US authorities wanted to extradite McKinnon to face charges of causing $900,000 worth of damage to military computer systems.

He would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted, but McKinnon maintains he was merely looking for evidence of extra-terrestrial life and technologies, and did not cause any damage.

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