October 1, 2013
John McAfee Wants To Protect Americans From Government Spies
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Sophisticated cyber-attacks and increased surveillance by the US government have left many Americans concerned for their privacy. Now eccentric millionaire John McAfee, founder of the popular antivirus software by the same name, wants to start a new company to protect his fellow Americans from these dangers.
In a conference in San Jose, California this past weekend, McAfee talked about a $100 device called D-Central, a pocketable piece of technology that creates decentralized, ad-hoc networks from nearby devices. According to McAfee’s vision, these yet-to-be built devices will prevent anyone -- from nefarious hackers to snooping governments -- from locating a device or hacking into it.
McAfee, who is also wanted as a person of interest in Belize, said the device essentially creates a roving “dark web” and will have a range of about three blocks in the city or 437 yards in open areas.
McAfee’s new company, Future Tense, will be charged with building and selling the D-Central. The website for Future Tense only features a countdown at the moment with options to give an email for more information.
McAfee says he’s looking for partners to build the thing, though his company already has solid design plans in place. The anti-virus king says he has been kicking this idea around since before news about the NSA’s PRISM spying program came to light earlier this year. While some have suggested McAfee could simply create his own Internet, he says using these devices to create millions of roving ad-hoc networks would be even harder to penetrate.
"There will be no way (for the government) to tell who you are or where you are," he explained at the C2SV Technology Conference and Music Festival in California over the weekend.
"It's quite possible the federal government will not allow me to sell this product, too," he said during the conference, according to ABC News. "But the federal government is not the world. I mean, if that happens, I will swallow it and I will sell it in England, and if I can't sell it there, I'll sell it in Japan, I'll sell it in China, I'll sell it in Russia, I'll go to the Third World. This is coming and it can't be stopped."
As described in these early days by McAfee, D-Central will work in two modes. The first is a private network with its own encryption, but will also identify every device attached to the network. The second mode provides more anonymity and will allow for the transmission of files. In other words, D-Central can also act as a P2P network in the wild or allow companies to easily set up anonymous networks.
"Since the networks are invisible to each other and in constant flux, there is simply no way to tell who is doing what, when or where,” explained McAfee.
He also freely admitted that D-Central will likely be used by criminals to hide their misdeeds. As the device essentially creates a dark web which is unreachable from outside devices, cyber-thieves could easily cloak themselves behind the device and remain undetected by authorities.
“It will of course be used for nefarious purposes," he said, "just like the telephone is."
Though plans for the D-Central still seem up in the air, McAfee believes this will be a huge hit for Future Tense, especially considering today’s privacy issues.
"I cannot imagine one college student in the world who will not stand in line to get one,” McAfee said.