Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Security

John McAfee Airs His Beefs About Privacy In Def Con Surprise Talk 124

Posted by timothy
from the now-take-larry-ellison dept.
John McAfee made a surprise appearance at Def Con to talk about privacy: he's for it. Trouble is, he says, lots of companies feel otherwise, and he took the stage to single out "don't be evil" Google: “Google, or at least certain people within Google, I will not mention names because I am not a rude gentleman, would like us to believe that if we have nothing to hide, we should not mind if everybody knows everything that we do,” he said from the podium. “I have to take serious issue with that.” The BBC has video. McAfee also announced his new complaints website, The Brown List. (Good usernames are still available, and your complaint can be about anything, not just privacy violations by humongous corporations.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

John McAfee Airs His Beefs About Privacy In Def Con Surprise Talk

Comments Filter:
  • Why? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by guygo (894298) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @10:13PM (#47640187)
    Why would anyone listen to this paragon of paranoia?
  • by cl3v3r (3775089) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @10:15PM (#47640195)

    A compelling illusion, but an illusion nonetheless. The metadata generated by even the most privacy conscious individual leaves a mark, and given the resources of an interested government, only the most dedicated living off the grid can escape their view.

    The only thing we have going for us, is that the vast majority of us won't raise the eyebrows of any government employees in our lifetimes. The sad part is that a lonely few will, and they'll be dealt with unfairly and harshly.

    The general masses don't have much to fear, but anyone who raises the ire of a nameless bureaucrat will.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 09, 2014 @10:22PM (#47640227)

    Sun Microsystem's Scott McNealy made that prescient quote back in something like 1998. He may have been thinking partly about Google, but he was really talking about a trend that would occur regardless of whether Google was around to help lead the way.

    There's a lot of surprising consequences of the Internet, big data, mobile computing, and robotics that help and hurt people and professions and entire industries. It's an upheaval not unlike the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the 19th century.

  • by Aryeh Goretsky (129230) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @12:33AM (#47640527) Homepage
    Hello,

    Most people would likely get thrown off the stage at DEF CON for using it to promote their business in such a fashion. Instead, Mr. McAfee gets applause and people lining up to take photos with him.

    Aside from that, the whole concept of simultaneously railing against the erosion of privacy while creating a web site that encourages people to share private information (without much information about how it will be safely secured) that is possibly libelous and may even be criminal at times is, well, going to be interesting. Especially with a FAQ [brownlist.com] which states things like " Yes, any entity can respond to a complaint. However, if the entity is not a subscriber, the response will not be featured in the official response section." and " It must not be possible for information on the site to be altered for any purpose."

    It is going to be very interesting to see how this latest business venture of Mr. McAfee's turns out.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @02:39AM (#47640721)

    A compelling illusion, but an illusion nonetheless. The metadata generated by even the most privacy conscious individual leaves a mark, and given the resources of an interested government, only the most dedicated living off the grid can escape their view.

    That's a pretty trite comment, if you don't mind me saying so. We already know that *if we don't fight for it*, then privacy is at best an illusion. Duh. If I don't enter the lottery, I can't win either. My god, are you sure, really? I actually have to enter? I never knew that!

    Privacy is a set of rights that must be demanded to be built into the system of government and society at large. It's one part of Liberty, and it's up to us to make it happen. We can make it happen through laws, we can make it happen through free software, we can make it happen through education, we can make it happen through threats and violence, etc. No single option is a silver bullet. All options can advance the cause in some small way. Figure out where your talents are then you'll start to see where you can help out (assuming you want privacy).

  • by sirlark (1676276) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:04AM (#47640873)

    The only thing we have going for us, is that the vast majority of us won't raise the eyebrows of any government employees in our lifetimes. The sad part is that a lonely few will, and they'll be dealt with unfairly and harshly.

    Which means it falls to us as the vast majority to hold those who abuse their governmental power to account when they deal with someone unfairly. A duty, I'm sad to say, we are all falling woefully short of...

    And before anyone bitches about me just bitching, here is the first and most important step you can take. Inform Yourself! Check your putative representative's voting records, and compare it to what he's saying. Go out and but a newspaper from the "other side", to get balanced view of things. Challenge your friends when they make wild, or even just unsubstantiated, statements. A phrase I like personally (from CSI) "state your source". It's gentle, and mostly non-offensive, and goes down well as a pop-culture reference. And lastly, if you don't have the resources to fact check something, suggest it to a fact checking agency. They don't work for free often, but if you put something on their radar, they can at least look in to it when some suitably close paid for work comes in. Better yet, tip off the opposing politician's campaign, and get them to pay for it.

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

Working...