Former fugitive John McAfee returns with a messaging app?

The man once accused of murder sets his sights on new endeavors, like Chadder -- the privacy-focused social messaging app for mobile devices.

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John McAfee. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Being the target of allegations that include excessive drug use, keeping company with prostitutes, and murder, tech multi-millionaire John McAfee is likely someone who appreciates a bit of privacy.

So, clearly, he would be involved in a company that's working on creating a private social messaging app for mobile devices. Dubbed Chadder, the free app -- released Monday in beta -- is said to keep people's information safe by using server encryption.

"Chadder is an unprecedented messaging platform. We have developed this highly secure system with an extraordinary team of developers at the prestigious RIT [Rochester Institute of Technology]," John McAfee said in a statement. "Chadder is a fun and easy to use messaging app that happens to keep your communications private. So private that we can't see it ourselves"

Chadder is apparently being developed by a software security company called Future Tense Central (FTC), which McAfee reportedly founded, along with another company called Etransfr. According to FTC's Web site, when users message each other with Chadder only the recipient sees the message -- the app itself just sees encrypted text.

Reaction from users on Google Play appears to be lukewarm.

"I'm not quite sure why should I thrust its creators and its encryption," Pavel Lefterov wrote. "Other than that you did a nice job so far."

McAfee initially made a name for himself by founding the McAfee Association in 1987, which pioneered antivirus software. After departing a multi-millionaire in 1994, he's said to have worked on several start-ups and for the most part disappeared from the public eye.

He then made headlines in 2012 for his alleged involvement in a murder in Belize, which he denies, that resulted in a wild goose chase and his capture in Guatemala. Since then, Intel, which purchased McAfee in 2010, has disassociated its brand from his name and McAfee the man has popped up in peculiar videos and announced other security-focused projects.

Chadder for Android is available on Google Play and the Windows Phone Store. The iOS version is reportedly forthcoming.

 

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