Ex-fugitive and a little bit crazy, cybersecurity legend John McAfee is running for president
I know because I asked him that exact question."Do you know what questioning is there? They string you up buy your heels and they put a football helmet on your head. And then they beat that with a baseball bat until your brain turns to mush," McAfee told me, after denying his involvement.
I have no doubt that he would.The 70-year-old former software executive is an enigma: Smart, entertaining, and a little bit of intimidating in a way that keeps you on edge.
His life has fluctuated from drug use to creating a multi-million dollar company and back again. He was accused of murdering his neighbor in Belize - by the press only, he says - and his dog was shot in his military compound by armed soldiers before he fled. He's since moved back to the US and lives in the one small town in Alabama that has gigabit internet access. He was arrested earlier this summer on charges of driving under the influence and handgun possession. (McAfee is also running for president of the United States. And don't laugh, because he is taking this seriously: He showed up at Techcrunch Disrupt, a three-day San Francisco startup, for a TV interview and stopped by the press room during his campaign visit. He left that night to fly off to do another magazine cover on his campaign trail.
"I will be president. You can laugh all you want. I'll bet you a dollar. I will be president or I would not be doing this," he said, as reported by Re/Code.
Meet the Cyber Party
To run for president, McAfee created his own party: the Cyber Party.He's against the internet of things, which lets televisions spy on our private conversations. He's extremely (and justifiably) concerned that a pair of hackers took over a jeep. He hired his friend who hacked the United Airlines entertainment systems (and was subsequently detained) as his chief technology officer to advise him.
Henderson County Police
McAfee argues that the government is not educated on cyber warfare or cyber science - any of the cyber-isms - and that will do us in. Our country is too lazy to have switched to the metric system and that's putting us behind. He really hates that there are 5,280 feet in a mile when the rest of the world can just move decimal places.We're also in a cyber war, McAfee said, and no one is aware of it.
Another argument in his campaign arsenal: No one would elect him if he was illiterate, so why are we electing government officials who say they have never sent an e-mail or don't know what wiping a hard drive means? The Chinese would laugh those politicians off the stage, McAfee argues, and yet we elect them in the US. Not just as president, but in every government office.
The government also needs a cyber overhaul."We have to re-architect all of our systems. All of our programs, all of our computers. We started out in the 70s building software. And we've built upon software, upon software, upon software. It is full of holes. It is like a waffle. It's like a sea sponge," McAfee says. "That's how they walked off with 14 million records. A child could have done it. We're in a tragic situation in a world."
How he'll fix it
McAfee says he has the votes. He told reporters that he has the tech vote, the tattoo vote, and the black vote, as one BBC reporter summarized. We ran out of time to run the math together. But, assuming he does win, he does know what his first steps in office will be:
His first act would be to pardon everyone with a marijuana conviction that is behind bars. "My first act would be to pardon them, because I can do that as president, get these people out, get them jobs and keep them moving," McAfee said.His second would be to disband the Transportation Security Administration.
He's already written extensively about how the next plane to go down will not be from weapons that slipped by. "It will be brought down by two kids in China, Russia, or Afghanistan who are bored of playing Grand Theft Auto and say 'Let's bring down an airplane.' And from the internet, they will hack into it and bring it down," he said.
It won't leave us unsafe in the sky, he argues, because flight marshalls are still there.
Also on the list: Opening up the borders, creating schools, and generating more jobs. Good-bye Border Patrol."What purpose does it serve? It's not keeping bad people out I assure you. I know for a fact, having lived in Belize, they're coming in," McAfee said.
"Maybe it's the person perceived to be paranoid that actually perceives the truth of life and should be paranoid. You should be paranoid, we should all be paranoid. The man standing behind you with his hands in his pockets behind you looking comfortable, he should be paranoid. I could wake his ass up by saying 'Look, here's the situation we're in. We're in a cyber war and we're losing. The Chinese are invading and we don't even see it. We are in a world that depends upon a science that demands metrics and we have 5,280 feet in a length. And we have 212 degrees as the boiling point of water. What madness!'"
- Netflix India beats Amazon Prime for its Customer Experience in the media streaming category, shows Kantar’s CX+ report
- India's contact tracing app Aarogya Setu comes under the scanner again — three departments fail to explain their role in its development
- Acer announces 11th gen processors starting at ₹54,999
- LG Wing swivel phone and Velvet dual screen phone launched in India
- Hong Kong bars Air India flights for fourth time as passengers test positive for COVID-19