By: Jane Wells | CNBC Reporter
John McAfee is back in the technology game.
Should he be trusted?
McAfee is living in Portland, Ore., nearly a year after fleeing Belize to avoid questioning about the murder of a neighbor. He still insists he had nothing to do with the gunshot killing. “Belize is the murder capital of the world,” he said this week. “It’s a very violent, very dangerous place.”
Since returning stateside, McAfee has surfaced rarely. Three months ago, he posted a racy video on YouTube mocking his former anti-virus software company. Last week he had to respond to a false report that he had died of an overdose in Las Vegas. McAfee said the hoax was not a publicity stunt on his part, and that he spent a lot of time frantically contacting friends who believed he was dead.
“That’s not a fun thing,” he said. “I mean, I’m a prankster, but that’s hardly a prank.”
Now he’s back in Silicon Valley, taking meetings, speaking at tech events and promoting new ventures.
“When I’m idle,” he told CNBC, “I get in trouble. Even when I’m not idle I sometimes get in trouble.”
The park where his interview took place was near the Ecuadorean Consulate, where McAfee had spent the morning. He said he has a place in Ecuador and might want to visit, but not stay.
“I’m not going back to the jungle,” he said. “I enjoyed it for a while. I think cities are more my thing now.”
This weekend, McAfee will speak at C2SV, a tech and music event in Silicon Valley. It will be his first professional event of that nature since returning to the U.S., and McAfee plans to unveil a new type of communication technology product he’s developing. The only hint he would give away ahead of time is that the product will be some sort of localized networking platform.
“See these people wandering around the park here? If they were all connected in a way where within 50 feet, 100 feet … you could all be communicating, and as you walked, your friend set would constantly change,” he said.