In an editorial for International Business Times McAfee outlines the “vector of his foreign policy.
The United States government, like much of the Western developed world governments, has lost touch with the technology upon which the power, as well as the threats to national security within our government, rests. That technology is the science of cyber engineering, and the cyber-security aspects of this science have been developed into the weapons that will be used as the main offensive means of destruction in the upcoming new age of warfare. The next major war will not be fought with guns, ships and missiles. It will a cyber war with far more devastation than could possibly be achieved by our combined nuclear arsenals. Or if conventional weapons are used, they are likely to be our own turned against ourselves…we must also see cyber attacks from foreign governments for what they are – acts of war – and respond accordingly.
McAfee releases his official campaign announcement video.
It is near certain that the authors of The Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — texts of agonizing beauty in the face of today’s harsh realities — could not have anticipated a world in which spy cameras are hidden in cactuses; the government surreptitiously parses our verbal communications; and the concept of privacy is fast approaching extinction. They could not have anticipated a world in which information is the prime commodity of exchange, at the expense of grace, compassion, solitude, and the remaining fragile components of the besieged human heart. What they did anticipate is that governments, no matter how powerful, will always hunger for more power, and that power inevitably corrupts.
McAfee announces his presidential run, and the launch of the Cyber Party. He says he decided to run after being encouraged by “almost everyone” he knows and meets, and because he believes governments worldwide are “out of touch”. McAfee says the hallmarks of his campaign would be his outspoken nature and his willingness to answer any question about his background. He will run on a privacy platform, saying that the desire to respond to terrorist attacks had opened citizens up to excessive surveillance.
I have a huge underground following on the web. I promise you I will win because I have the votes…We are losing privacy at an alarming rate — we have none left. We’ve given up so much for the illusion of security and our government is simply dysfunctional. The government can spy on people using their mobile phones while they’re with their wives and husbands.
He also says that his recent DUI was the result of Xanax, a claims that he says will be supported by a blood test.
McAfee says he has filed the necessary paperwork to enter the 2016 race. In the documents, McAfee also specifies that he is “founding a new party yet to be announced.” His presidential campaign site, which is now live, does not have details on his stances on the issues. A quote on the site is attributed to George Washington:
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism
McAfee conducts a Reddit AMA, where he talks about society:
Here’s what I’ve learned. People will be people, you can trust no one. It’s not a bad thing/cynical. I trust people to be people, to act in their own self-interests. If you understand that, you can use that! People will be disloyal, I’ve heard there are wives that sleep around, etc. We are disloyal, but loving, kind, gracious. We are a contradiction, the negatives are not bad if you see them for what they are. You cannot trust people, big deal, you CAN trust them to be self-interested, and I use that all the f-cking time.
The most beautiful in the world. It has a barrier reef, 2nd in the world. I had 5 boats on the beach on the ocean, you try that anywhere else. It has jungles and ruins that haven’t even been explored. The problem is that it has people there, people descended from pirates. There is nothing illegal that the government there is not into. The government is smart if you just go there as an American you will not be bothered. I lived in the jungles where I was the only white person, and they were on to me. They asked me for $2M, weeks later 40+ armed men stormed my house, shot my favorite dog, and held me in the sun with my hands tied. The next day the congressman came and apologized asked for the $2M again. I should have done that rather than tell him to get the f-ck off my property.
Money corrupts. Once you have enough money, you have no friends, none, even the most dedicated friend you had cannot stop thinking about his mortgage, or new car, or new wife, and friendship ends. Second, your life becomes a nightmare. I was getting 1000/day asking for help, or asking for me to invest (the best was rocket-power roller skates, I almost invested). Money now has become information, how does Google live? They gather information on smartphones and their services. This is far worse than paper. Paper doesn’t try to get into your head, to find out who you’re f-cking, etc. We are all jealous, hopeful and ambitious, and as long as that exists we’ll all have chaos.
McAfee is arrested in Tennessee for DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence. Police confirm McAfee is a resident of Lexington, TN, in the western part of the state between Nashville and Memphis. He is released on $5,000 bond.
McAfee announces he has started Brownlist.com to take complaints filed by ordinary people about a perceived injustice such as repression from a government or callous act of a large corporation, and find justice via crowdsourcing suggestions from readers. The site also gives the entity that is the subject of the complaint 24 hours to respond before posting the complaint. During a surprise speech at DefCon:
Turn your anger into something positive
From the site:
People are already complaining online in high numbers, but with BrownList, subscribers have a way to effectively deal with complaints and boost their reputations.
He says he is raising money by donations to fund the company as he left his money in banks in Belize, his former domicile. BrownList is free for users posting and responding to complaints but requires a subscription fee before entities can respond to complaints about themselves. FAQ section:
Subscriptions are set to be cost-effective and affordable for different types of entities, including non-profit and charitable institutions, as part of BrownList’s mission to help the world become more transparent, fair, proactive, and solution-oriented.
Future Tense Secure Systems (FTC) acquires an equity stake in QiKfunder.com, which provides funding solutions such as crowdsourcing for social, community, equity and real estate ventures.
Qikfunder offers the best security and best approach of any of the crowdfunding outfits. I am always interested in helping and growing new tech start-ups and ideas. Qikfunder’s goal is to make fundraising accessible to everyone
Etransfr announces it is rolling out a facelift for CHADDER over the next month, to update security, general features and include the ability to send pictures securely:
Our goal is to build privacy into the application so well that you barely notice it is there…You can finally send any picture, to any of your friends, without fear of being spied on. No more speeches from your parents or friends about a selfie you put online. No more speeches about how the internet is forever
McAfee predicts a big security breach in 2014. He says hackers have conducted test attacks:
They’ve been leading up to the big hit, they’ve been testing all their malware […] Target for example, Neiman Marcus, these were test runs
McAfee delivers the keynote speech at Radio Ink’s Convergence conference. He says that Google is trying matchmaking services:
I don’t want the perfect mate. I don’t want Google to search 5 billion women to find the perfect one. I would shoot myself in six months.
He says privacy is difficult due to the access to personal data that companies like Google and organizations like the NSA have:
Privacy is a choice. If everybody here knew everything about everybody else, there would be fistfights in the hall. The only way we can live together as a society is if we deceive each other. Tragic, but true […] If you have something to hide in this world, you’re screwed
SUKI Films announces principal photography has started on ESC in Sudbury, Ontario. The film is due for release in theaters and over other platforms in summer 2015. It is directed by Alain DesRochers and stars Molly Parker (House of Cards, The Firm), Nick Krause (The Descendants, Parenthood) and Juliette Gosselin (Les Jeunes Loups, Martyrs). McAfee provides off-screen narration as the computer voice.
Future Tense Central (FTC) and developer Etransfr release CHADDER, a free private messaging app that encrypts and decrypts messages at endpoint devices in order to increase security. It is initially available as an Android app on Google Play, with an iOs version planned for release on iTunes. McAfee says only users of the app can view message content:
We have developed this highly secure system with an extraordinary team of developers at the prestigious RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)…CHADDER is a fun and easy to use messaging app that happens to keep your communications private. So private that we can’t see it ourselves.
Intel CEO Krzanich announces the renaming of the McAfee brand to Intel Security. McAfee:
I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.
In an interview with Cavuto, McAfee says that Obamacare is a hacker’s “wet dream”
Well, here’s the problem — it’s not something software can solve. I mean, what idiot put this system out there and did not create a central depository? There should be one website, run by the government, you go to that website and then you can click on all of the agencies. This is insane. So, I will predict that the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities — I mean, you can imagine some retired lady in Utah, who has $75,000 dollars in the bank, saving her whole life, having it wiped out one day because she signed up for Obamacare. And believe me, this is going to happen millions of times. This is a hacker’s wet dream. I cannot believe that they did this.
McAfee announces plans for a device, called ‘D-Central’, which would be resistant to government surveillance by creating localized, super-secure networks. It is the first product from his company, Future Tense Central. McAfee claims the device will be so effective that governments will be likely to ban its use. If this happens he promises to sell it in other countries, claiming “this is coming and cannot be stopped.”
I’m 68 years old and if you can just give me any small amount of information about yourself, I promise you within three days, I can turn on the camera on your computer at home and watch you do whatever you’re doing, provided you’re still connected to the net. If I can do it, any idiot can do it. We live in a very insecure world with a very insecure communications platform.
TechWeekEurope readers vote McAfee as their favorite tech leader to run Microsoft after Steve Ballmer’s departure. McAfee beats Bill Gates, Alan Sugar of The Apprentice, former Microsoft CTO and Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, all of whom scored five percent of the vote or less.
After rumors of his death hit the Internet McAfee tweets that is alive and well.
McAfee releases a follow-up parody video addressing recent events in his life:
In my last video I didn’t have much time to tell you much about myself. The four most popular questions are 1) Did I murder my neighbor in Belize? 2) Was I manufacturing illegal drugs in Central America 3) was I having sex with underage girls, and was I using bath salts. I can answer a resounding no to all three of those questions. Was I really living with seven women in Belize? Well that’s a tricky one. There were, in fact, days when all seven were present.
McAfee is interviewed by Cavuto on Fox News declaring his support for Edward Snowden and drawing comparisons to his own time on the run.
From my perspective he revealed something that we all knew. We are being spied on by our government. It’s simply that Mr Snowden has put a quantitative value on it…To that extent he’s a hero in telling us what we already knew and making us all face that fact.
McAfee appears in a parody film, How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus.
Although I’ve had nothing to do with this company for over 15 years, I still get volumes of mail asking, ‘How do I uninstall this software?’ I have no idea.
McAfee blogs that he organized a massive spying scheme to infiltrate the digital lives of the rich and powerful in Belize as revenge for a police raid on his home last year. He says that he gifted 75 laptops with keystroke spying software pre-installed to “government employees, police officers, Cabinet Minister’s assistants, girlfriends of powerful men, boyfriends of powerful women.” He claims that he hired 29 operatives to install similar tracking software on computers that targets already owned, sometimes getting close to them with sex. He also supposedly had lackeys join the ranks of two national phone companies to tap phones and get lists of contacts from Belizeans he wanted to keep his eye on. McAfee also arranged to have recorders “hidden under a bed, behind a piece of artwork, inside a pillow, in an old shoe” of government ministers. He claims to have evidence of numerous sexual affairs, the ordering of a murder by the nation’s prime minister and, above all, a Hezbollah trafficking plot to smuggling Lebanese men into the U.S.
Belize is clearly a central player in a larger network whose goal is to infiltrate the U.S. with individuals having links to terrorist organizations.
McAfee says he planted a lookalike (“my double — a man I have known for over 30 years and who years ago legally changed his name to John McAfee”) and had him picked up by authorities in the northern Belize-Mexico border, while he and a group of friends and reporters loaded up a truck and headed in the opposite direction, to a southern town called Punta Gorda. With the news that he’d been arrested broadcasting on a local news station, McAfee figured that checkpoint security would relax. McAfee followed another friend who was driving one of his pickup trucks to avoid checkpoints on the highway. This was another decoy:
If they stopped the truck, I knew the checkpoint officers would be swarming all over it. Subsequent traffic would be likely to be waved through.
McAfee made sure that his dash happened on a rainy day.
In Belize, no checkpoint officers will ever stop a car in the rain.
He says he blew through all three highway checkpoints on that early December day without ever being stopped. From Punta Gorda, he and his 20-year-old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas and two Vice reporters sailed into Livingston, Guatemala. A few days later, he was arrested.
McAfee says he faked the illness in order to buy some time for a judge to hear his case and stay his deportation to Belize.
It was a deception but who did it hurt? I look pretty healthy, don’t I?
When asked whether he believes Belize officials were inept.
I was on the run with a 20-year-old girl for three and a half weeks inside their borders and everyone was looking for me, and they did not catch me. I escaped, was captured and they tried to send me back. Now I’m sitting in Miami. There had to be some ineptness.
McAfee also answers critics who called his adventures a publicity stunt:
What’s a better story, millionaire mad man on the run. You [the media] saved my ass. Because you paid attention to the story. As long as you are reporting, it is hard to whack somebody that the world is watching.
After weeks on the run and days in immigration detention, McAfee arrives in Miami, where he is staying at the Beacon Hotel. McAfee tells CNN he and his girlfriend were separated when immigration authorities expelled him from Guatemala.
I’m happy to be going home. I’ve been running through jungles and rivers and oceans and I think I need to rest for a while. And I’ve been in jail for seven days. I’m just going to hang in Miami for a while. I like Miami. There is a great sushi place there and I really like sushi.
McAfee is escorted by immigration officials and police trucks to the Guatemala City airport, where he is put on a commercial flight bound for Miami. McAfee is escorted to the airport, accompanied by many journalists and two police trucks. He sits in coach class on the flight.
It was the most gracious expulsion I’ve ever experienced. Compared to my past two wives that expelled me this isn’t a terrible trip.
Immigration service spokesman:
McAfee entered the country illegally. Guatemala is expelling him. Since his country of origin is the United States, Guatemala is expelling him to the United States.
In a phone call to Reuters from the immigration facility where he is being held for illegally crossing the border to Guatemala with his 20-year-old girlfriend, McAfee says he wants to return to the U.S.
My goal is to get back to America as soon as possible. I wish I could just pack my bags and go to Miami. I don’t think I fully understood the political situation. I’m an embarrassment to the Guatemalan government and I’m jeopardizing their relationship with Belize.
McAfee says he suffered chest pains overnight and is hospitalized briefly after being denied political asylum in Guatemala. McAfee says he does not believe that he suffered a heart attack, and a doctor agrees that his heart rhythm and blood pressure are normal and that he appears to be suffering from high stress. Shortly after the decision to deny him asylum is announced, McAfee issues a plea on his blog for the public to petition Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to let him stay.
Please email the President of Guatemala and beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala, and please support the political asylum that I am asking for.
McAfee’s legal team said they are preparing to appeal the denial of asylum to the country’s constitutional court, a process that could give McAfee perhaps another day or two in Guatemala. The court would have to issue a decision within 48 hours. Later, he is released from the hospital and taken back to the detention center.
McAfee’s lawyer brings a judge to the jail who issues a stay order until a higher judge can review the case. According to McAfee, this effectively stops immigration from returning him to the Belize border.
McAfee is detained in Guatemala at the immigration office by the S.P.T. (Special Police Task force) Vice magazine films the arrest. McAfee later blogs from his cell:
I am in jail in Guatemala. Vastly superior to Belize jails. I asked for a computer and one magically appeared. The coffee is also excellent. Only time will tell what will happen. No one has a crystal ball. However, I would be truly shocked if I did not conduct the press conference tomorrow as I had originally planned. Stay tuned.
McAfee says he plans to settle down in Guatemala.
I have a passport. I am in no trouble with the U.S. I can return any time I like. I have been back to America many times since I have been in Belize. I have no interest of going this month or next but … I can come and go freely to America any time I want. I am not concerned because I have not been charged with a crime, so there is no basis for extradition. No one has blamed me for the murder. I have not been charged, I am not a suspect…They merely want to question me…I like Guatemala. I think the legal system in Guatemala is superior to the legal system in Belize.
He’s really gone out of his way to make the country look bad, and we just believe he should, if he’s innocent as he’s saying he is, he should bring in his lawyer, and let’s get to the bottom of this and say what he needs to say and let’s move on.
McAfee hires Guerra, the former attorney general of Guatemala, as his lawyer, after they meet at a Guatemala City hotel on Tuesday. McAfee’s arrival in Guatemala comes after days of confusion and secrecy about his whereabouts. Guerra:
I have to manage his political asylum.
McAfee claims he manipulated the Vice photo info.
I openly apologize to Vice Magazine for manipulating their recently published photo… I, for my own safety, manipulated the xif data on the image taken from my cellphone, and created a fake emergency 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.
In the photo in their post announcing that they shadowing McAfee, Vice leaves exif data in the image that allows it to be pinpointed to a location in Guatemala.
McAfee writes that he has not been arrested, saying that he will return to Belize, and that the Vice story will make everything clear.
I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist from Vice Magazine, and, of course, Sam. We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet.
A message on McAfee’s blog said that he has been arrested. The news is picked up in other media, but there is no confirmation.
We have received an unconfirmed report that John McAfee has been captured at the border of Belize and Mexico.
Belize national police confirm that the whereabouts of the multimillionaire software developer are still unknown. Additionally, authorities have issued no arrest warrant in the murder of McAfee’s neighbor.
According to McAfee’s blog the reason for the raid is that one of the cases containing the weapons he donated to the police contained a bag of cocaine. McAfee denies that he takes or deals in drugs.
I would indeed have to be the stupidest man in the world to donate stuff to the police that contained cocaine.
According to McAfee, at 10:45 A.M, the GSU and the Coast Guard raid his property in San Pedro. They confiscate approximately $400,000 worth of property – cameras, computers, police gear purchased for donations and other items. They spend three hours ransacking every one of the buildings. McAfee claims this is the eigth search of his property since his disappearance and believes that this time they have planted something.
It is certain, in my mind that something or other was planted during this search. What it may be, I have no clue.
According to a previous post by McAfee, Wise had come to New Mexico to write about McAfee’s flying adventures for Wired magazine, and had spent the night with a woman who was not his wife. Their public display of affection had prompted McAfee to say to the other guests, “somebody get pictures of this to send to his wife in case we get a bad story from him”. According to McAfee, despite this being a joke pictures were actually taken and some of those did find their way to Wise’s wife. McAfee says Wise blamed him for sending the pics and apologizes on his blog:
I have erroneously accused Jeff Wise of improper behavior on a reporting trip that he did to my flying ranch in New Mexico. I finally received the photos from that trip and was going to publish them, and when I looked at them, to my horror, it was a different reporter (whose name I will obviously not release) from a different magazine, on a different trip. I wish that I could excuse myself due to the fact that I did dozens of interviews and appeared in dozens of magazines during my flying times in New Mexico, and could be expected to be confused, but that is no excuse. Jeff’s trip did not even include a campfire session…I was wrong. I apologize. I know that that does not help, but I am truly sorry.
McAfee starts a twitter feed: @OfficialMcafee
McAfee publishes a transcript of an alleged conversation he claims to have obtained through secret recording devices kept in the grounds of his property between an ex-employee and a younger man who works for him. The transcript, taken from a recording posted on November 20, appears to implicate the older man in a plot to frame and murder McAfee, possibly in retribution for firing him. The employee is supposed to have said:
You and I we are going to plan how to make a bomb so that it explodes on that m—– f—–. I am going to wait and as he come out am going to shoot him. Because I was a BDF (Belizean Defence Force) I now have something that’s round. I could give it to you. you pull the pin like this. You walk pass the gate and when no one notices then you pull out the pin you turn it then a lot of them are going to get f—–. “
The current employee is then quoted as describing a wider conspiracy involving the local police, who would be called to the scene of the crime when the bomb was planted, potentially framing McAfee for possessing explosives.
With the white men [McAfee] we are going to plant the thing there then we are going to call the higher officials and tell them were the thing is planted. And then tell them about Noel as well, then there are both going to get f—–.”
Noel is a close friend of McAfee’s and a bar owner in Carmelita, a village in north Belize. The transcript is paired with a handwritten letter McAfee received containing a death threat.
McAfee describes a story on Bluelight drug forums: A user named Stuffmonger had claimed to have re-discovered a legendary drug that appeared a dozen years ago, was praised as the drug of drugs, and, after a few months, was then lost to history. The resulting discussion goes on for more than 1,000 pages, many devoted to those trying to recreate the technique that Stuffmonger described. As Stuffmonger stated he lives in Belize, speculation arose that McAfee was Stuffmonger and had the secret drug recipe. McAfee says that, in fact, he is Stuffmonger, but that he does not do drugs, and that the thread was an elaborate hoax.
I bet a close friend that I could create a thread in Bluelight and get 1,000 posts, not counting mine. I won the bet. I believe it is the longest in Bluelight history.
McAfee describes steps he has taken to elude capture in Belize, including an elaborate disguise that includes shoving “a shaved down tampon deep into [his] right nostril.” The tampon, dyed brown at the end, leaves McAfee’s nose with “an awkward, lopsided, disgusting appearance,” he wrote. Aided by “ragged brown pants” and broken English “with a pronounced Spanish accent,” McAfee has apparently spent some time pretending to peddle “small wooden carvings” to tourists. He says he has adopted other personas as well: a native vendor, selling tamales and burritos (presumably to tourists); and an inebriated German tourist, “with a partially bandaged face and wearing speedo swimming trunks and a distasteful, oversized Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen – ‘Leck mich umausch!’
McAfee starts a blog called The Hinterland, the same name of an upcoming graphic novel about McAfee by Essley. In one of the first posts he takes issue with Gizmodo’s writer Wise:
How did I end up as a murder suspect on the lam? The world press certainly has not helped. Autonomous and self-serving, the press does what it does best – sensationalize. And my character and the recent events of my life have been sensationalized to the max. Take Jeff Wise and his recent posts to Gizmodo as an example. Jeff has made a life work out of smearing my character. Beginning with Fast Company some two odd years ago and continuing non-stop through the present, he has gone beyond the call of journalistic duty to bring my dark side to the attention of the world. You might think that moral duty or a search for the truth has been driving him. But, sadly, this is not the case.
In an phone call with NBC Dateline correspondent Morrison, McAfee offers a BZE$25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for Faull’s murder. He also claims he is at his home on the island, and not in hiding. Morrison says that McAfee continues to have no faith in the Belize Police Department, even when he is being offered to turn himself in with his attorney and television cameras. Morrison:
One of the claims he [McAfee] is making, and I challenged him on a good many of those claims, is that he does not have any intention of giving himself up, not now not ever. He is fixated on the notion that the police and the political establishment of the police are unbelievably corrupted and there is nothing he can do except stay in hiding.
McAfee says he is inside his compound.
I am, where I am most of the time. I am certainly inside my compound.
The Belize Police Department say they are investigating the claim, noting that McAfee has several buildings on his ocean front compound on Ambergris Caye, a stretch of island just off the Belizean shore dotted with resorts.
That has been passed on to the police in San Pedro. They [the police] are checking it out right now.
In one of series of telephone interviews with Wired, McAfee responds to Belize Prime Minister Barrow’s questioning his sanity:.
I have no idea where it’s going. I do know that the prime minister and the prime minister’s statement yesterday could be equally reversed. You know, I think he himself is bonkers if he could throw away the constitution of the country and become dictator without the world catching on.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph McAfee explains why he refuses to turn himself in to Belize authorities:
I think I will be summarily executed. I know the prime minister laughs at this. He’s a clever and charismatic person. The constitution has been ridden away with. They can make up some excuse for removing me. This is the way it is in this country…My plan is a day-to-day plan, simply to avoid detection.
McAfee is in hiding with a woman and admitted that he has a disguise. He follows the latest news of the search for him sporadically.
I wish I had a TV, that would be very informative. I’m keeping tabs through friends. I have intermittent access to the internet, again through friends.
McAfee does not stay on the phone with The Telegraph for long because he fears that the call could be traced to his current location. He says he is innocent of Faull’s death, asserting that he was at his villa the night of the murder.
I was at home. I heard nothing. I knew nothing until the following day.
McAfee, using his “stuffmonger” alias, posts to a private message board asking for information about how phone tracking works.
How long does it take for a phone company to triangulate a cell phone signal? With what accuracy? Is there any way to confuse/delay the system? If a cell phone is turned off, but the battery is installed, is there any way to locate the phone? Are there any brands of phones are more/less difficult to triangulate?
Answers range from useful to speculative.