John McAfee, founder of the antivirus company that shares his last name, crashed the DefCon conference in Las Vegas to crusade for privacy. He claims Americans cannot maintain freedom with so many intrusions. He says Google’s influence on society was definitely detrimental and called Facebook a “tragedy” saying we “allowed a technology to run away with itself” merely to make our lives more convenient.
Not only Google, but also Amazon, Facebook and others admit to scanning emails and search history so as to offer you the best advertisements. For Google it is a “necessary path to money” since 95 percent of its revenue is generated by ads.
At the DefCon conference, John McAfee called on hackers to “make a stand” against companies that collect too much personal information. He also laid the blame squarely at the foot of laziness, wanting only ease of living and comfort, desiring only safety and security. He added, “I’m as guilty as you.” McAfee contends that if everyone knew everything about everyone, our behavior would be limited to only those things which no one would find offensive.
When McAfee left his company in 1994, he spent much time and energy trying to protect digital privacy, or as he calls it, “personal freedom.” In 2010, his company was purchased by Intel for almost $8 million. McAfee moved to Belize and got involved with various girls. One 17-year-old ex-lover attempted to do away with him, injuring his ear.
While in Belize, his neighbor was found shot in the head. Accused, McAfee left on the run. He claims he had refused to pay the Belizean government a $2 million bribe. Instead, he gave the government 17,000 hours of evidence regarding the entire Belizean cabinet’s crimes through bugged laptops. McAfee travels crusading for privacy with ten guns and a pit bull. He feels his life is in danger, saying the FBI offered him protective custody.
Last October, he revealed his new company Future Tense with its first product, D-Central. He envisions the product creating a miniature network that uses its own encryption. Networks would be “invisible” to each other, thereby granting more privacy. One of the purposes is to circumvent the U.S. National Security Agency’s ability to track people.
John McAfee is also attempting to raise funds to develop The Brown List. This program would take complaints of ordinary citizens against large companies or big government and attempt to get them justice. People can make videos of their complaints and amass all their evidence. The business or government office has 24 hours to reply, and then the complaint will be posted to receive suggestions from all readers. He claims an anonymous investor has put forth $450,000 and is asking for additional funding.
McAfee revealed smartphones are spying on American consumers, who rarely read the user agreements. He goes through multiple phones each month. Sometimes he will leave his phone on random trucks crossing the nation to confound his trackers. John McAfee’s crusade for privacy continues for as he says, “We cannot have intrusions into our lives and still have freedom.”
By Laurie Stilwell