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The bizarre tale of John McAfee, spymaster (arstechnica.com)
92 points by bithavoc on Jan 6, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

There is something very wrong with this man. Whether it's drugs or mental illness, I hope he gets the help that he needs, especially since there is the possibility he may have already killed someone.

Despite displaying obviously irrational behavior, the dude did pull off some non-trivial documented tricks like founding initially successful hi-tech companies, escaping across several borders into the States, and (possibly) getting away with murder.

Some details like a harem of 8 gfs were reported by others including CNN. Think about the dude's age - 67! Despite all the mocking of his "just cuz I can" motivation, I've known some powerful people that by the time they got to 67 would do random crap just for the hell of it.

So… don't write it off completely as bath salt fiction. Sometimes a combination of rich aging control freak idle hands can produce surprising results. And for the millionth time, it really would make a fun movie.

I, for one, think that he's telling the truth. Belize is a very corrupt country and I'd take McAfee's word over theirs any day of the week.


> "Belize's corruption perceptions index is off the charts - literally!"

Same problem for last year's corruption perceptions index:


> Observers say Belize is not disclosing the necessary information for it to be ranked.

This is a huge red flag, since, as the article says, Belize would actually stand to benefit from releasing their data:

> Experts say that if Belize provides that information, it stands to benefit in various ways, by showing the rest of the world that it is serious about tackling corruption.

Belize having corruption issues doesn't mean you have to believe in <insert crazy story>. There are a lot of rich retirees in Belize that don't <insert McAfee's story>.

There being a lot of rich retirees there who don't have this problem does not indicate that McAfee is wrong either. Given the rampant corruption, perhaps they are paying their protection money while McAfee opted out.

I think it's many teenage boys fantasy to be a spy, or to run a spy ring. Many create their own secret societies, etc. Some get into computer security and hacking, and are part of real secret societies.

So you're super rich, seriously into security concepts, and bored. Probably you've met a lot of intelligence agents, and heads of intelligent agencies. Maybe you developed a bit of a fetish for spy-novels. Hell, what have you got to lose, let's set up a spy-ring! Just not in the USA... pick somewhere that's within private jet reach of the USA... Honduras, Belize, Guatemala... all interesting places!

"I think it's many teenage boys fantasy to be a spy, or to run a spy ring"

Not just!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mitty , appropriate for the topic.

Or he's a liar who was drawn to Belize ~because~ of the opportunity such corruption provides a person of his interests.

This just keeps getting better and better. True or (probably) false, this definitely needs a Hollywood adaptation.

Supposedly he sold the rights already. I finally got around to watching The Dark Knight rises recently, and I think Bale would be perfect for the role. At the beginning of the movie, having isolated himself for several years, he looks quite a bit like mcafee did after being on the run. Also, he knows how to play crazy people like no one else (see the machinist or American Psycho.)

Especially after that Terminator Salvation thing exposed his real personality, I'm pretty sure he would be able to play McAfee quite well.

Sounds like mental illness to me. Like he's delusional.

Bath salts are a hell of a drug.

I had to channel Rick James to make that funnier.

This is a bit like when Sheen was lifted to the high realms of the internet during his Twitter meltdown. Granted, the story is utterly fantastic and fantastical, but it feels a bit like the world at large is helping feed his ego and it just keeps going and going.

I think the gist of it is probably true. I can easily imagine south american officials being very happy about receiving free laptops and using them without hesitation.

What is more difficult is keeping your private army quiet, but i guess enough money could do that.

I don't think a word of it is true. For a simple reason: these are serious crimes and McAfee is probably rational enough to recognize that it is harmless for him to brag about capers he didn't pull, while if it was true there would be heaps of evidence that ultimately points at him.

Illegal where? In Belize where he is wanted for murder anyway? I think it's fair to say he is simply burning his bridges to a country he has no intention of returning to and this could be part of the reason he is not going back: " McAfee has refused to turn himself in for questioning saying he fears Belizean police would kill him."

I think he is confident the US is not going to allow his extradition although the US does have an extradition treaty with Belize.

I have several real-estate opportunities you should be interested in.

Belize is part of North America if you where referring to South America as a continent, which is why they call it the "Americas". If you're referring to South America as a division of the American Continent Belize would be part of Central America. Just being politically correct here. :)

That being said, I live in Central America and I agree with the whole of your comment. People in here are generally atrocious with technology and are in love with their bribes and free stuff. Combine everything and you have an awesome "target audience" for malware distribution. And hey, you can always keep your private armies in the multiple jungle settings from Guatemala and farther south...

(Belize is not in South America)


He hasn't been part of Mcafee Associates for almost twenty years.

He doesn't have anything to do with AV vendor anymore.

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