Cryptocurrency’s most headline-worthy antihero John McAfee is reportedly going “underground” again, this time suggesting a Federal government agency had him under close surveillance.
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Writer Rob Loggia documented on his news blog Loggiaonfire that McAfee’s security detail, which consists of ex-military personnel and several canines, found a usually-vacant summer house next door to McAfee’s property in Tennessee had shown signs of off-season occupation.
Those signs — including trampled grass and fresh candy bar wrappers outside the house — hinted that persons unknown had also tried to remove traces of their presence there.
I am underground. This story by Rob Loggia explains all. I am the most vocal and angry opponent of the SEC. They are striking back with subpoenas. If I am silenced, it is the movement that suffers. I cannot allow this. My team will be my voice. Stay safe.https://t.co/joVrBlnMi8
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 15, 2018
The vacant property’s owners use it only as a summer retreat, Loggia said, and its isolated location in a cul-de-sac meant there was little reason for anyone to occupy the space.
There were also incidents where a plane had circled the area at low altitude, and visiting cars left the area at “unsafe” and “extreme speeds”. Security cameras recorded human activity at the location, while attempts to identify and photograph the visitors were noticed.
McAfee’s team did manage to photograph the vehicles’ registration numbers, which also turned up odd details. They were registered in Tennessee to out-of-state identities, some of them over 90 years old.
McAfee has now “gone underground” and left his property for a secret location, handing control of his Twitter account over to associates for updates.
It’s far from the first time McAfee has felt threatened as a result of his work in and outside the cryptocurrency world. In June 2017 he was briefly hospitalized after an attack he claimed was an attempt “to off me”.
His security habits and and his bodyguards’ professional qualifications are well-documented by McAfee himself and visitors to his property, as is McAfee’s habit of sleeping close to his personal armory and occasionally using it.
Though considered an eccentric figure in the tech world long after he made a fortune selling the anti-virus software company bearing his name, McAfee gained most of his current notoriety after fleeing Belize in late 2012. At the time, he claimed corrupt officials from the tiny Central American nation’s government had raided his property and killed his dogs, before trying to frame him for a murder.
“The rest of us may have a difficult time comprehending his reality,” wrote Loggia. If McAfee is paranoid, it’s perhaps with plenty of reason. His wealth and past activities alone make him a person of interest to government agencies. However his more recent fame in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency world, especially as a popular promoter of new token sales, have also put him under scrutiny.
McAfee has called the SEC “obsolete”, and said the agency “wants to destroy a revolution” (referring to blockchain and cryptocurrency technology). For its part, the SEC has been actively monitoring blockchain projects — its head testified before the U.S. Senate in February 2018 that it considers blockchain and digital asset sales of regulatory interest, and has more recently sent subpoenas to various companies in the industry.
While many have welcomed the regulation, others still welcome blockchain technology as subversive and something that could eventually replace governments. If the latter is indeed true, it’s no surprise governments will fight to retain their authority using their vast means.
Is the Federal government really out to get McAfee and other cryptocurrency industry figures? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Images via John McAfee