Last night, McAfee's official Twitter account posted a thread claiming that he, his wife Janice and several other travelling companions had been "detained by authorities at their latest port of call". The tweets were ostensibly posted by Rob Loggia, the campaign manager for McAfee 2020 presidential bid, who said that he will be operating McAfee's Twitter account to provide updates on the situation.
"I last spoke with John as his boat was being boarded," one tweet read. "The situation was tense but controlled. Our conversation was cut short by authorities confiscating their phones."
In late January, McAfee announced (for the second time in as many years) that he was going on the run from US tax and financial enforcement authorities, taking to his so-called "Freedom Boat" with a large collection of alcohol and automatic weapons and embarking on a tour of countries like Cuba and the Bahamas. According to McAfee, he was being pursued by multiple government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and most recently, the CIA.
Loggia's tweet thread also references a contingency plan which McAfee has previously talked about. This supposedly involves caches of data left with a number of trusted individuals around the world, who are under instructions to release it to the public should McAfee disappear.
McAfee has a long and chequered history with law enforcement. He has, by his own admission, declined to pay any taxes or file tax returns for close to a decade and has claimed to be under government surveillance on multiple occasions. He was also notoriously implicated in the death of his neighbour Gregory Faull in Belize. A judge in the wrongful death suit brought by Faull's family ordered him to pay $25 million in damages this year, which McAfee has said he will not pay.
While McAfee has claimed to be fleeing US authorities, as of yet there has been no official confirmation that any law enforcement agencies have issued warrants against him.
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Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.
Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.
You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.