In the years before he joined the NSA, John McAfee has often been referred to as “the next Edward Snowden.”
But he is hardly the first US intelligence officer to be recruited to spy on the world.
In fact, McAfee’s relationship with the agency dates back to at least 2012, when he first came under scrutiny for his alleged involvement in the theft of a massive cache of NSA documents, as well as allegations of espionage.
That same year, he went public with his suspicions of NSA surveillance, revealing that the agency had been eavesdropping on his phone calls.
But he has since been portrayed by some in the US intelligence community as a hero, and a whistleblower.
The NSA’s spy ring, in which McAfee was a part of, has been widely scrutinized for its methods, and its role in hacking, but the whistleblower who exposed the agency’s spying practices is no longer in charge.
The spy ring has also been criticized for the surveillance of people like McAfee.
In one leaked document, the NSA describes McAfee as an “information analyst” tasked with “suspicion management” and “targeting” infiltrators.
In another document, it describes him as “a high value target” whose “target group” included “leaders of foreign intelligence agencies.”
He was reportedly targeted because he was one of the first to expose the NSA’s activities in 2013.
McAfee’s whistleblowing has been a source of contention among the intelligence community, with the intelligence agency insisting that he did not divulge any classified information.
In an interview with VICE News, McFarland said that while the agency “is confident that he was not personally targeted by the US government,” he said that the spy ring “continues to operate under a variety of different cover identities” and that the fact that McAfee remains in office, despite being in prison for more than a year, indicates that the spying is still going on.
“The NSA’s role in this is a classic example of a high value targeted intelligence operation, with one of our targets being a whistleblower,” McFarlands said.
“He’s the first person that the NSA has ever worked with who they would say was not a threat.
And in this case, they were absolutely right.”
McFarsell also pointed out that McFarselings disclosure about the NSA spying program was made in the face of strong criticism from the intelligence services.
He also called on the US president to pardon McFarce, who was arrested in October 2015, and his family, who he said were being tortured by the NSA.
In the months since McAfee came out as a whistleblower, the spy agency has also begun to question his motives.
On February 7, McAlpine, the director of the NSA Office of Legislative Affairs, sent an email to staff stating that McAlpines actions were “not reflective of our values.”
McAlpines actions, McPherson said, were “indicative of his inability to properly communicate with our colleagues in Congress.”
In a statement released to VICE News in early April, McAlephe said he has not been granted immunity for his actions, and has also asked for a retraction from the agency.
After McAfee revealed the spying, McAshen said that he had been subjected to “unnecessary physical violence” by the intelligence service and had suffered “significant psychological distress.”
McAshens wife has also accused him of abuse, and he has been forced to leave the country.
McAshees family and friends are also concerned about his future.
“I don’t know how he’s going to get back,” McAshes son, Andrew, told VICE News.
“It’s been a really traumatic experience for us.
We’re trying to come to terms with it, but it’s really tough.”
“He’s been on the wrong side of the law a long time.
And now, the only side he has left is his own,” McAlesse’s son added.
“You just don’t get to live in a country where your family is being tortured.”
McAlepas claims to have had “no choice” but to expose his employer’s spying tactics in 2013, but he has also faced criticism for not having the support of the US Senate.
The former NSA chief, who is also the director emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, was a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump’s policies, and argued that the US needs to move to “a zero-spying world.”
He said that if the US doesn’t stop spying on the rest of the world, then “all of the things we’re trying so hard to accomplish are going to fail.”
McAfee did not immediately respond to VICE’s request for comment.