Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News

Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee Arrested In Belize 367

Posted by samzenpus
from the spyware-and-police-protection dept.
First time accepted submitter rebelwarlock writes "McAfee lives in Belize and he says that he has become a target of the Gang Suppression Unit. He says the GSU came busting into his research facility in Orange Walk, killed his dog, took his passport, handcuffed him and arrested him on a bogus weapons charge. McAfee says he's a victim because he didn't donate money to a known U.D.P. Orange Walk politician."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee Arrested In Belize

Comments Filter:
  • by BigSlowTarget (325940) on Friday May 04, 2012 @12:38AM (#39886697) Journal

    Get the hell out of there as soon as you can. If the corruption is that bad you won't be getting a fair trial.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @12:49AM (#39886741)

    Move to Israel the corruption there is much more "user friendly" and you probably enjoy all the hustling and haggling. It might be a religious country, but sure ain't when it comes to economy and politicians themselves. And yea, you'd be able to make some deals and keep your weapons if you move to the territories. Being a goy you'd be surrounded by unfriendly on both sides of the green line.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @12:59AM (#39886801)

    At least he's saving on income tax.

  • Well that's funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:00AM (#39886803)

    Not too long ago, I think maybe on Sunday or Monday of this week, the conservative blogosphere was all atwitter over some alleged "enemies list" that Barack Obama keeps of people who donate to competing campaigns or refuse solicitations to donate to his.

    You want a real enemies list? Go look at what happened to John McAfee and be thankful you fucktards still have your house and your pets and your family with you.

    The conservative histrionics this year is just out of this world.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:04AM (#39886837)

    the conservative blogosphere was all atwitter

    You Sir are my grammar hero of the day. What a beautiful sentence :)

  • by quax (19371) on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:06AM (#39886843)

    ... in the good ole USA. Many pretty places to live there, too.

  • In his defence (if you're even making a snide remark at him; I'm not really clear) he's donated millions to public works in the country. I suspect if more of the commentators here had RTFAed, they would be a little kinder.
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:27AM (#39886917)

    ...they were just warning him that his subscription was about to run out.

    It's ironic that a man who works for an organization that uses the same business model: paying protection money so nothing bad happens to himself or his property, just had something bad happen to him for not paying a different organization protection money. Antivirus software is based mostly on scare tactics and it is an attempt at fixing the problem of poor digital hygiene. If people were just more careful with their data, and didn't use web browsers or other network software that allowed the execution of arbitrary code (Javascript, for example: 90% of the websites out there that use it could be redesigned to work without it) would find their risk of a virus or malware infection to be slightly above nothing. Of course, you can't eliminate the risk entirely, but there's no need to be dropping $50 plus a year on subscriptions either.

  • by dadioflex (854298) on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:30AM (#39886925)
    This. At least in the US if you're a rich man you don't need to lock yourself away in a gated compound surrounded by security... no, no, I'm hearing myself say it. Never mind.
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @01:43AM (#39886979)

    Free antivirus makes your point moot. You don't need to pay $50 a year but it gives stupid people piece of mind that there aren't 50 million hackers stealing their grandchildrens pictures off their machine. Going without any antivirus on a windows machine is not the smartest thing to do unless you know what you are doing. It's basically insurance for those who don't give two shits about the sites they visit and can't be arsed to learn anything about security. Besides, it's not like he's forcing you to buy his shitware or he will infect your machine. AV software is like car insurance, most of the time you are just paying for nothing but when you actually need it, it's pretty damn helpful.

  • Aptly named (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:02AM (#39887061)

    I bet you thought they were a (gang suppression) unit,

    but they're actually a gang (suppression unit).

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tobiah (308208) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:04AM (#39887077)

    They do it to intimidate the owner, the same reason they break down unlocked doors. It's violence that is easily written off as property damage.

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:08AM (#39887103) Homepage Journal

    When the president of any country publicly calls you out by name and says you're on the "wrong side of the law", you have every reason to be afraid. Especially when the president's appointees have openly practiced and justified the unlimited detention and the killing of citizens without due process.

    Claiming that it's "conservatives" are against this is a pretty disingenuous way to defend this kind of behavior. Especially considering it's likely a conservative president will likely be elected at some time in the future. When he tries these things, will you defend it then, too?

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:19AM (#39887159) Homepage Journal

    It's ironic that a man who works for an organization that uses the same business model: paying protection money so nothing bad happens to himself or his property, just had something bad happen to him for not paying a different organization protection money.

    Are you suggesting that MacAfee has been creating viruses? Because you're comparing it to an organization that is both the 'problem' and the 'solution'.

  • There's quite alot of foreshadowing in the fastcompany article:

    Then there is the $1 million patrol boat he donated to the Belizean coast guard. (In a letter to The New York Times, he described it as an act of philanthropy; later, he tells me he had to bribe members of the coast guard to prevent them from hassling his ferry business: "This is a third-world country. I had to bribe a whole bunch of folks.

    indicating that he routinely gives large, overt, public bribes to get whatever he wants in Belize

    Then there's this:

    "And so a pair of police officers came to visit him. "We are sorry that we have to tell you to stop building that wall," they said. "I am sorry that I have to tell you that I am going to build it anyway," he told them, and they left. To McAfee, this exchange was proof of the evolved level of discourse in Belize, where a person is largely left to do as he pleases. . . At the time, I thought that he was simply being argumentative. But McAfee seems to want freedom without limitation. Needless to say, few of us exercise this sort of freedom. It tends to be very expensive."

    Either he is willfully ignoring the fact that this seems to have been a small-time shakedown attempt or he is completely oblivious to it. Did he really think Belize patrolmen (note, not the environmental cops) are so genuinely concerned about shoreline regulations?? He doesn't seem to realize by being so brazen about describing large bribes to the press he's just inviting even bigger, less polite shake-downs in the future, which sounds exactly like what (unfortunately) just went down. Did he really think that request for a campaign contribution for the guy employing police hitsquads was purely optional when bribes for building permits, import permits, business titles, etc. for his dozens of shell companies were not?

    Sure, it still sucks, and I feel sorry for him, but it really does sound like he specifically chose Belize because he liked how pliable the laws were if you had money and it never occurred to him that cuts both ways...

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:46AM (#39887259) Journal

    Frankly, I only need it when I surf porn sites and there, Microsoft Security Essentials does the trick. As far as I know, you don't even need to pirate that one.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Friday May 04, 2012 @02:52AM (#39887285) Journal

    What do you mean expendable? You do realise that those are adult people, yes?

    In case of Katz, alcoholism is a self-inflicted thing that needs the participation and motivation of the afflicted to be cured. Only they can, in fact, cure themselves. How do you even expect us to help them if they do not want to be helped?

    We are not their baby-sitters. It's their lives to do with as they please. And who knows, perhaps Katz liked it that way. Drunk driving aside, who are we to tell him he can't do it that way? I wasn't there and I didn't know the guy so I will certainly not act as if I had the right to judge.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:04AM (#39887341)

    Whether you like it or not we are going to continue moving towards browsers being merely dynamic front ends for applications and that simply requires client side code. Period.

    The only other option is a metric butt-ton of RDP connections so that users can enjoy an application remotely and that is ridiculously impractical.

    I just wish there was a better way to deliver remote UIs than AJAX (or "metric butt-ton of RDP connections"). It's a crude and slow hack (although a practical one) to use HTML for dynamic content. Even server side scripts are bit of a bubble gum or an afterthought at least.

    There should be a dedicated protocol to deliver UI elements. Maybe there some day will be when this all just gets too messy.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:13AM (#39887387)

    Coincidence. I think not

    They are just two things that depend on the same problem - the failure of Microsoft to introduce a viable security model in the 1990s and the lag relating to compatibility with Microsoft's 1990s software.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sosume (680416) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:31AM (#39887459) Journal

    Not only that. He flees from the US to some tax haven so he won't have to repay society for all the money he extracted. The thing is, he forgot that living in such cheap places come with certain downsides. This was one of them, wait until he gets into a car accident or desperately needs medical attention, he'll remigrate faster than the popups appear for his antivirus programs. Karma est meretrix.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reve_etrange (2377702) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:37AM (#39887477)

    I only need it when I surf porn sites and there

    Clearly you haven't read the next article [slashdot.org].

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:38AM (#39887483) Journal

    This guy is nothing but a fat rich cat looking to skip on paying taxes. So. now he sees what happens when everyone does that. You might think the IRS is a though one to deal with but they got to respect the law. In fantasy lands like Belize, not so much.

    This guy deserves no sympathy, only ridicule.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by optimism (2183618) on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:00AM (#39887553)

    AV software is like car insurance

    Only if your car insurance also lowers your gas mileage, decreases your acceleration & cornering & braking performance, and flashes your headlights, while honking your horn randomly, when you're just trying to drive from A to B.

    Most commercial anti-virus software exhibits ~exactly~ the behaviors that people expect from a virus: degraded performance, consumption of disk and memory resources, intrusive popups, etc.

    most of the time you are just paying for nothing but when you actually need it, it's pretty damn helpful.

    When you actually need it, it's too late. As someone mentioned earlier, basic digital hygiene is the best solution. Beyond that a free AV package to run a one-time scan if/when something slips through.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:26AM (#39887659)

    What money he extracted? The things the government does with tax money aren't gifts to us any more than the food, clothing, and housing a plantation owner gave his slaves was a gift. He doesn't owe anyone anything for "what society did for him".

    Unless he specifically took some money from the government for a service he failed to provide, your whining about his debt to society is simply dim-witted Marxist bullshit.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:37AM (#39887917)
    Is this flamebait? Anyway, yes, as a (not very good perhaps) Quaker, with our testimony to ethical business, I have to observe that people who want pictures of naked people having sex go to porn sites where they presumably get exactly that. Most of the religious websites I have (usually accidentally) visited make extremely dubious and unprovable claims which, for any other subject, would in this country be regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority. So it doesn't surprise me that the operators of those religious websites are more likely to find themselves hosting malicious material; in some cases the entire website is clearly malicious in intent, since it attempts to persuade people of things for which a great deal of evidence exists that they are untrue.
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:40AM (#39887935)

    The society he grew up in enabled him to get educated, start a company, and become a wealthy individual. Had mr. McAfee been born in ZImbabwe, he would not have been able to start his imperium. Society enabled him; that results in a moral debt which he should repay. Taking off with the cash and settling in some corrupt banana republic does not advance society to enable others like he was privileged. The statement that that is "dim-witted Marxist bullshit" as you call it, says more about you than the GP.

  • by CSMoran (1577071) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:48AM (#39887971) Journal
    Finally, I'd say many religious websites are probably made by amateurs and hence are easily exploitable by third parties to serve malware.
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:16AM (#39888111)
    I agree. If you betray the country that enabled you to become wealthy, then don't cry to it for help if you get fucked over in your new tax haven.
    He worked for NASA and for Lockheed Martin, both are government funded, whole or in part.
    His company benefited from the legal protections of the US.
    He moved to Belize to avoid multiple lawsuits.
    Suck it up John; you chose a new devil and know it wants to know you.
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:30AM (#39888193)
    You're shitting me, right? Most mobile websites, including Yelp, are almost 100% JavaScript. How else do you think they make the UI so flashy?
  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:39AM (#39888235) Homepage Journal

    Yes, I have absolutely no sympathy for John McAfee. He made a choice, and has to face the consequences. TANSTAAFL.
    If Belize was truly so much better, we would all live there. (Or, to put it another way, if McAfee was so much better than other AV software, we would all use it...)

    I feel very sorry for the true victim here: the dog.

  • by CFD339 (795926) <andrewp@@@thenorth...com> on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:47AM (#39888259) Homepage Journal

    I was thinking exactly the same thing as I read Kupfernigk response. The sites which are least professionally built and maintained are most vulnerable to outsiders planting malware. Many of the less mainstream religious sites fall into this category of low technical management and are thus vulnerable.

    Porn, being a huge industry, seems to get the attention of more skilled developers and administrators (if not actors and camera people). While surely some are not, and those will be vulnerable, I think most of the porn sites that are malware laden fall into the category of 'honeypots' with either fake or real porn placed with the deliberate goal of being a malware vector.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:24AM (#39888399)

    They are not gifts. They are part of a contract. I give you tax money, so you provide to me protection (police), medical care, infrastructure (roads, zoning, depending on your country it could include gas, water and power), education (schools) and a few other tidbits.

    I have a contract with my country. I pay tax for services they provide. The services are only available as a package, so I can at best choose between various countries and thus various packages. Provided I may immigrate, I can choose the best value for my money.

    So there may be a "debt" to be paid. Who paid for his school and his medical care while he was not productive himself?

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:52AM (#39888553)

    Drug addiction always comes from a need that cannot be filled by the addict otherwise. It's not a solution for that problem, but it's an escape. Nobody gets hooked on heroin because they think it's so cool and so funny. It is invariably the wish to get out of the unbearable situation they are in.

    Likewise with alcohol. And society can do quite a bit in such a situation. I don't know the actual situation for Katz, but I'm fairly sure he didn't drink because it was so much fun.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shiftless (410350) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:34AM (#39888817) Homepage

    Society enabled him; that results in a moral debt which he should repay.

    LOL....sorry, no. I didn't ask to come into this world, and neither did McAfee. He doesn't owe anyone a fucking thing, least of all you and your corrupt "society." Our Founding Fathers would shake their head in disgust at your idea.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:35AM (#39888827) Homepage Journal

    My AV package doesn't do any of those things. Sure, it isn't great, but it does not get in the way of my work and I am actually more efficient than when not using it. To the best of my knowledge, it has kept me clean the last few years. It's called Ubuntu, maybe you've heard of it.

    Unfortunately, the Ubuntu virus prevents you from running (or causes malfunctions in) packages like Adobe Framemaker, Crystal Reports, Office 2010 with all components, H&R Block TaxCut, and many other applications. I am a Linux user myself, but that doesn't mean I have to also use Windows. It doesn't even mean that my Linux installations are immune to malware. And it'd be a heck of a lot easier to get malware onto an Ubuntu installation through social engineering than a distro where the default isn't to let a user run any program as root through sudo.

    tl;dr: Get off your high horse.

  • Re:About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bubblegoose (473320) <bubblegoose@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:45AM (#39888909) Homepage Journal

    I was thinking the same thing. The U.S. should have him extradited. Maybe charge him for theft for all the computer resources his products have taken.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:48AM (#39888937) Homepage Journal

    This. The guy is 66 and has a 17 year old girlfriend.

    He seems to assume laws don't apply to him (even if it's legal in Belize to have a 50 year younger minor as your girlfriend, it's morally questionable).

    The thing about moral values is that they apply to those who have them; applying them to others is bigotry.
    You don't know anything about the moral values of John McAfee and his girlfriend, and judging them by yours is bigotry, unless you are also ready to be judged by, say, Sharia moral values.

    I'm not saying it doesn't raise a worry, but I'm also not judging. I don't know enough to do so.

  • Re:Clearly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shiftless (410350) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:53AM (#39888973) Homepage

    In case of Katz, alcoholism is a self-inflicted thing

    He was depressed, you fucking self-absorbed moron

  • by shiftless (410350) on Friday May 04, 2012 @09:02AM (#39889075) Homepage

    No, "fatally wounded" means not instantly killed, but it will die from its wounds no matter what. "Mortally wounded" is what you're thinking of.

  • Udopeian Paradise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:45AM (#39890307)

    Actually, Belize is amazing and safe.

    True police states are indeed safe and lovely to visit, for those who do not have to live in them or fear being able to leave ever.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler

Working...