Fugitive former software mogul John McAfee has burned another bridge, this time with Vice Magazine, which accidentally revealed his whereabouts to authorities last week.
"Due to information just received," reads a posting on McAfee's blog today (Dec. 11), "it is no longer clear to Mr. McAfee that the 'accidental' release of his co-ordinates due to Vice Magazine's editorial department's failure to remove location data from their now notorious photo, was indeed an accident."
A iPhone camera shot of McAfee with Vice editor-in-chief Rocco Casotoro was posted Dec. 3 on the magazine's website, under the headline "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers!"
But the real suckers were in the photo. They hadn't checked to make sure the iPhone had its photo geotagging feature turned off.
Soon after the photo was posted, intrepid Web users quickly determined that McAfee and Castoro were standing next to the pool at a luxury resort just over the Guatemalan border from Belize.
McAfee fled his home in Belize soon after his neighbor Gregory Viant Faull was killed on Nov. 10. McAfee, 67, is wanted for questioning in the case, but maintains that the Belizean police will kill him if they catch him.
Following the photo incident, McAfee and the Vice team made their way to Guatemala City, where McAfee hired a lawyer but was then arrested for entering the country without a visa. Proceedings are under way to deport him, but it's not clear whether he'll be sent to Belize or the United States, his country of origin.
Today's posting, written by McAfee's friend "Harold M," expresses suspicions that the revelation of McAfee's location was all part of Vice's devious plan.
"The reason, possibly, was that Vice wanted exclusive access to Mr. McAfee's arrest, which they in fact obtained and broadcast," the post says. "Mr. McAfee does not believe that the two reporters travelling with him knew in advance, or in any way aided and abetted Vice's plan to 'out' him. ... Obviously, legal proceedings are under way."
Yesterday, Vice posted a statement that it was investigating the photo incident.