John McAfee’s Latest Project: Shielding Against Surveillance
Now that he’s finished dodging law enforcement and experimenting with chemicals, software designer John McAfee (founder of his eponymous antivirus company) has been building something that, if it actually works, could appeal to the paranoid: a device that blocks the government’s ability to spy on PCs and mobile devices.
The device, known as “Dcentral,” will reportedly cost around $100 and fit into a pants pocket. In a speech at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center over the weekend, McAfee suggested that the hardware would create private device networks impenetrable to outsiders, even those with the most sophisticated technology. The network’s range would be roughly three blocks; McAfee believes that he can have a prototype up and running within six months.
“We have the design in place, we’re looking for partners for development of the hardware,” he told the audience, according to The Verge. He also admitted that criminals could surely find a use for a decentralized, uncrackable network: “Of course it will be used for nefarious purposes, just like the telephone is used for nefarious purposes.”
Whether or not McAfee manages to get that prototype working on schedule, he’s already ramping up to the release of… something, having set up a “Future Tense Central” Website with a countdown clock, a sleek logo, and a set of social-media buttons.
McAfee is such an outsized figure (“I’ve always wandered close to the edge,” he once confessed to an audience) that it’s sometimes tempting to take his latest claims with a moon-sized grain of salt—this is the same man, after all, who says he avoided a police manhunt in Belize by dressing up as a drunk German tourist. (And he’s unafraid to parody his own Wild Man reputation online.) That aside, he’s also an executive with a record of starting a financially successful company, which means that—no matter what else he’s done in the intervening years—it’s likely that he’ll attract a little bit of attention, if not some funding, with his latest endeavor.
Image: Funny or Die