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This discussion has been archived.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)
    Why would anyone listen to this paragon of paranoia?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by redeIm (3779401) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @11:14PM (#47640191) Homepage

      Because his arguments stand on their own merits.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Smauler (915644)

        Come on.... which arguments?

        This man has claimed shit loads of things that have been pure crap. Do you really need references?

        Of course privacy is important, everyone knows it's important, we don't need some washed up crapware peddler to tell us that.

        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

          by radarskiy (2874255) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @01:26AM (#47640513)

          Old man yells at cloud

        • Come on.... which arguments?

          How about where he demanded Intel take his name off that piece of crap AV they sell? I find no fault with any of this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

          • by Megol (3135005)

            That isn't an argument?!?

            If Intel bought the company and the product why wouldn't they keep using the name it already has and that still is associated with anti-virus programs? That would be ridiculous and potentially revenue loosing

            If they would stop using the name of a drugged-out criminal, pedophile, probably murderer it would be for PR reasons. But the public mass doesn't really follow the "adventures" of this idiot like we /. readers are forced to.

            • But the public mass doesn't really follow the "adventures" of this idiot like we /. readers are forced to.

              Forced to? You were required by the Slashdot license to click on the link to this story? Wow, the terms of service for your account really suck. I'm glad I got a lower account number. I didn't have to click through a TOS page like that when I signed up on this account.

        • by smash (1351)

          This man has claimed shit loads of things that have been pure crap. Do you really need references?

          Such as? If you're going to post such things, you need to back them up.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by redeIm (3779401)

          Come on.... which arguments?

          That "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is nonsense, among other things. That's an absolute truth regardless of who says it. Ad hominems don't exactly make for logical arguments.

          Of course privacy is important, everyone knows it's important

          Who is "everyone"? Because that's just false. I've encountered numerous people who think things like the TSA, the NSA's surveillance, DUI checkpoints, unfettered border searches, constitution-free zones, warrantless wiretapping, or stop-and-frisk are okay if they think it keeps them safe. Most people either think they're okay, or no

      • His 'arguments' here are just vague complaints about Google and privacy with nothing informative or substantive added. You'd get better arguments by reading the comments on a /. post about Google with moderation set to -1.

        • by redeIm (3779401)

          Fair enough, but attacking him based on his character is just stupid and won't debunk anything he said.

      • by gweihir (88907)

        Indeed, they do.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because you're not paranoid when "they" really are out to get you.

      If you can't understand this, try removing the paychecks you get from shilling out of the way and read again.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kheldan (1460303) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @09:48AM (#47641527) Journal
      I think I like this John McAfee person.

      You must be young.
      You sound like someone who was raised in this surveillance culture we're now living in, and as such have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the societal, corporate, and government propaganda and conditioning, that you actually believe that 'privacy' is something only sought after by criminals and the mentally ill. Either that or you just don't understand that we're being surveilled constantly, with plans to surveil us even more than we already are.
      • There are several whole generations coming up now who don't have a fucking clue.

        Yes, I know. Every generational cycle goes like that. I didn't have a fucking clue when I was 20 either.

        But the last few cycles have been filled with clueless fucks who think anybody who asks questions during a college lecture that won't be on Friday's test or the Midterm should SHUT UP because they're undermining the process. People who've bought into the system so far that they think brown nosing is a nested recursive proce

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kheldan (1460303) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:49AM (#47641753) Journal
          Yeah, it's true. I used to believe that I grew up in the 'Land of the free, home of the brave' that we were taught we were living in. Then I discovered that the U.S. wasn't so much the 'good guys' that I thought we were (although we have our moments) and that there are people like the entire Bush family of traitors (as in George and G.W., going back for generations) that have been actively working to *undermine* the U.S. Constitution for their own ends since shortly after the U.S. was even formed into it's own independent nation.
        • by gweihir (88907)

          Very much so. Asking question is not brown-nosing. It is having an actual interest in the subject matter and starting to thing about it independently. Anybody that does not manage to get there should drop the subject (and maybe college), because they will never be any good at it.

          I think "mediocre" is the new "good" or "excellent" in many fields. I am not sure about the reasons.

      • by guygo (894298)
        you have no idea what you're talking about. if I "must be young", you must be unborn.
        • by kheldan (1460303)
          If you're not a millennial or thereabouts, then, as I already stated, you must not be paying attention, at all. Get your head out of the sand, son, and take a good long critical look at the world around you, read the news (NOT just from U.S. sources, either, from the BBC, Al Jazeera, and other foreign sources) and see the evidence for yourself: You're being watched, monitored, and profiled by your own government, and by corporations, and so far it's not getting any better, it's getting worse, and the curren
          • "(as they pat you on the head like a well-behaved pet)"

            Don't you mean fondle your crotch in search of "weapons"?
            • by kheldan (1460303)
              If governments and law enforcement had their way, that wouldn't be necessary because citizens wouldn't be allowed to posess anything more deadly than a small kitchen knife, and anyone other than police or military posessing weapons of any sort would be shot on sight and an investigation launched later. Also I'm sure all forms of martial arts would be outlawed as 'illegal killing techniques'. They'd probably also outlaw any forms of fitness training that actually builds significant amounts of muscle on peopl
  • by cl3v3r (3775089) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @11:15PM (#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 @11:24PM (#47640239)

      > A compelling illusion, but an illusion nonetheless.

      Absolute privacy is an illusion. In the real world privacy is a spectrum. Just because your friends know something about you doesn't mean anyone else should know it too.

      > the vast majority of us won't raise the eyebrows of any government employees in our lifetimes.

      Government is not the problem, imbalance of power is the problem. The lose of privacy is ultimately the loss of personal autonomy -- it doesn't matter if you lose that autonomy to a government bureau or to a corporation, you've still lost it to an organization that is more powerful than you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Privacy isn't the absence of information. Privacy is the consensus not to look. That's why we call it "respecting privacy". In that sense, privacy is dead, because that consensus doesn't exist anymore. When privacy advocates recommend ways of keeping ones data private, they are not trying to keep the data from a determined attacker. Instead the goal is to make violations of privacy more expensive and/or less useful, so that those who abandoned the consensus will realize that the "advantages" of abandoning p

    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @03:39AM (#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 @05:04AM (#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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Lol, I totally read that as "punative representative". Now I'm not sure which word is more accurate.

    • If only media-whore McAffee were an illusion as well....
    • by kheldan (1460303)

      ..only the most dedicated living off the grid can escape their view

      At this stage of the game, the best bet for anyone wishing to be left the hell alone is the 'hide in plain sight' tactic: Leave enough of a digital footprint and paper-trail to appear ordinary, and this be left alone. At least for now, that'll work and will keep you safe, because they (governments, corporations) still don't have the processing capacity to bring the signal-to-noise ratio up to the point where they'd even see the patterns in that well enough to realize you are using surveillance countermeasu

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 09, 2014 @11:22PM (#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.

  • You can complain about literally anything? So it's the superset of all reviews sites/forums on the internet? How accurate do you expect the results to be?

  • As of 9:32PM PDT the brown list is down. I would say it is slashdotted, but given the dwindling number of readers of this site and the server error it tossed out, I expect it's either been hacked, or is just broken.
  • by Zanadou (1043400) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @12:42AM (#47640435)
    It's somewhat ironic that after his rant against Google, I go to sign up for brownlist.com and I see a "Login with Facebook" link, along with pages and pages of 'Terms of Use' buried in a pdf file [brownlist.com].
  • by Aryeh Goretsky (129230) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @01:33AM (#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
  • http://www.brownlist.com/ [brownlist.com]
    - Slow
    - Pointless
    - Buggy

    Nothing new. The guy is still making crap software, for pointless projects.

  • by antdude (79039) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @01:59AM (#47640563) Homepage Journal

    He needs to show up too!

  • I've got a complaint... The site is slow as shit and buggy as hell. After a long wait, the homepage FINALLY loads. Click on anything, and get a spinning little "loading" thing pop up in the middle of the page, and then nothing happens. After some minutes, and error box popped up in the top-right corner of the page saying there is some technical issues.

    OH wait, this is McAfee we're talking about... yeah, shit's gonna suck, forgot.

  • He may well be right...However John McAfee has a well earned reputation of drugged out paranoia, so I think I will reserve judgement for now

  • Typed www.brownlist.com URL into my browser and after a long wait got:
    Server Error in '/' Application.
    Runtime Error
    Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons).
    [...and some more]
    Slashdotted?
  • Such as banging underage girls while ranting for hours how bath salts give you massive boners, followed by having to bribe his way out of a murder charge that, and lets be honest here folks, there was more than enough circumstantial evidence to be fairly certain he'd be on trial now if it happened here, its really no surprise he is beating the privacy drum. I wonder if he sent something incriminating through Gmail and is now spooked?
  • Didn't he retire to a life of sex and drugs, preferably of the illegal kind?

    I'm all for privacy, but I'm not sure if that argument gets more weight if it's John McAfee who says it.

  • Ever since Eric Schmidt was hired, fired and paid off, then brought back, Google's 'Do No Evil' policy has flown out the window with little hopes of return. He is more profit over quality and does not care about what that does to Google's customer's. They use nothing but Apple products in their daily lives, instead of Google products to improve, and this is one of many reasons Google has down so far down hill.

Time sharing: The use of many people by the computer.

Working...