By Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian
Fugitive software pioneer’s location accidentally revealed by location data on photograph tweeted by journalist covering him
Software pioneer John McAfee has confirmed on his blog that he is in Guatemala with reporters from Vice magazine, a day after they accidentally revealed his location by failing to scrub data in a photo published online.
McAfee is on the run from Belize police who say he is a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull. He has been on the run since 11 November and has said that he is suspicious of the Belize authorities who want to question him about the murder.
In the blog post, McAfee also said that he is set to meet with Guatemalan officials on Tuesday morning and that he will hold a press conference on Wednesday.
“I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days,” said the blog post on Tuesday. “It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries. I am in Guatemala and will be meeting with Guatemalan officials this morning.”
As news of the technological mistake made its rounds online, McAfee went on the blog chronicling his life on the run to say that he had doctored the photo to include false location data. The post has since been deleted, as have all posts written between 1 December and 4 December.
Those three days of posts also included claims that McAfee had been caught at the Mexico-Belize border. Cartoonist Chad Essley is helping McAfee maintain the blog and a Twitter account while on the lam and is working on a graphic novel about the eccentric millionaire.
Vice has established itself as the most recent confidante of McAfee, following Wired reporter Joshua Davis, who spoke frequently with McAfee when he initially went on the run. Vice said they had been documenting McAfee’s journey for the past several days.
Following the location data news, Vice posted a Tuesday night story that includes a now-broken link to McAfee’s blog under the headline: “John McAfee Update: Quite Frankly We Don’t Know What the Fuck Is Going On.”
McAfee made millions as founder of the anti-virus software company that bears his name. He sold the company in 1994 then invested in other tech ventures before retiring to Belize in 2008.
He was living on a beachside compound on a Belize island when Faull was found dead with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
McAfee has expressed fears that he was the attackers intended target and reportedly buried himself in sand when Belize police sought him for questioning in the case.