A few weeks ago we told you about the bizarre life and times of anti-virus software mogul John McAfee, an innovator turned eccentric billionaire who was wanted for murder in Belize. Well, he’s still on the run, and with each passing day he seems to be less real person and more like a character straight out of a Robert Ludlum or John Grisham novel.
Over the weekend the New York Times ran a massive, fascinating piece summarizing McAfee’s life and his current travails. This passage I think neatly sums up what’s happened since we last updated you on him…
Asserting his innocence, Mr. McAfee became a multiplatform cyberdissident, with a Twitter account, and a blog at whoismcafee.com with audio links, a comments section, photographs and a stream of invective against the government and the police of Belize. He has done interviews on podcasts, like the “Joe Rogan Experience,” and offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of “the person or persons” who killed Mr. Faull. He has turned lamming it into a kind of high-tech performance art.
So there you have it: John McAfee has been on the run but has been doing anything but hiding, seemingly doing his best to taunt his pursuers. But an interesting twist occurred late yesterday afternoon that could lead to McAfee’s undoing: VICE published a story online brashly titled, “We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers.” The post included a photo of McAfee posing with VICE editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro.
Now here’s the rub: VICE appears to have forgotten to remove the exif data encoded in the image, information that allows McAfee to be pinpointed to a precise location on the coast of Guatemala. This one right here, to be exact…
Predictably, McAfee immediately claimed that he manipulated the exif data to throw investigators off his scent.
I, for my own safety, manipulated the xif data on the image taken from my cellphone, and created a fake emrgency [sic] so that the urgency of movement led, as I knew it would, to the hasty posting on their website. I felt that our tenuous situation demanded action, and that was the action that I chose.
I do not believe that Vice will remain with me further. Again, my apologies.
I call bullshit. In the words of a friend and former co-worker via a tweet: “If u deliberately alter geo data to throw people off your scent, then ppl picking up on that data is a success. You dont then admit its fake.”
(Pic via VICE)