Computer protection guru John McAfee’s high-profile run from the law is over after his arrest in Guatemala. A simple slip in digital security may have helped lead to his capture.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Computer protection guru John McAfee’s high-profile run from the law is over, and it may have been a simple slip in digital security that helped lead to his downfall.
Mr. McAfee, on the run for nearly a month since his neighbor in Belize turned up dead, was arrested Wednesday in Guatemala for crossing into the Central American country illegally. He is being held in a detention center with other migrants, authorities say.
Guatemalan authorities say he will be sent back to Belize, where he is wanted for questioning related to his neighbor's death. Fernando Lucero, spokesman for Guatemala’s immigration office, tells the Monitor that the timetable for doing so was not clear.
“This is a matter in the hands of the courts,” Mr. Lucero says. “At this time, we have no court order.”
For a man on the run, McAfee has been in the public spotlight frequently in recent days, granting interviews with television reporters and writing regularly on a blog WhoIsMcAfee.com. All the while, he was doing so from a concealed location.
Among those to reach him were video journalists from the magazine and website Vice who are planning an “epic” documentary about the ordeal. But in promoting their access, the journalists accidentally revealed McAfee’s location.
In an update on the Vice website titled “We are with John McAfee right now, suckers,” the journalists released an iPhone photo with metadata that included the exact coordinates of McAfee’s location. They were in Rio Dulce, a small town near Guatemala’s Caribbean coast not far from the Belize border.