A security company mogul revealed an idea for a device that would help users thwart online surveillance, like that conducted by the National Security Agency, and also make the Internet “hack-proof.”
John McAfee, founder of McAfee Inc., sat in cargo pants, a black hoodie and Nikes at the C2SV Technology Conference + Music Festival in San Jose over the weekend, talking about a pocket-size device that would cost less than $100. He said it would create a mobile, encrypted network that makes it impossible to tell “who is doing what, when or where.”
McAfee said he has been thinking about the product called D-Central made through his new company Future Tense Central for years.
“I can’t get out of security,” he said. “For some reason, it’s part of my brain, part of my thinking. And we don’t have much anymore, certainly not in the online world.
“The NSA helped create every single encryption algorithm that we use,” McAfee alleged, ” therefore, they can get access to whatever they want.”
The way McAfee explained it, the D-Central hardware device and app would not only protect against spying from government agencies but hackers as well.
“We live in a very insecure world with a very insecure communication platform,” he continued.
McAfee described it as a “lower layer,” “a localized dynamic network, where every local network is in constant flux.” It would involve a portable device that allows people to create a private network for select groups or join a public, yet still localized, network.
“It has a range of about three blocks in the city and about a quarter mile in the country,” he said. “And so, everyone in that three blocks is communicating with everybody else in those three blocks. But keep in mind, everybody is in a different location, so everybody’s network is completely unique to themselves. It changes as you move or as people move in and out of your local area.”
Put another way, he said “you’re walking by, the devices are communicating with each other and one of them says, ‘oh you want that file. Here it is.’ It doesn’t even ask who you are. It doesn’t know who you are.”
The device doesn’t not have a unique identifier because it changes, McAfee said. On a private network, on the other hand, there is an name or ID associated with the activity on the device.
“Even then, everything is encrypted, as with the public network,” he said.
“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.”
At this point, the design for D-Central is in place and his company is looking for partners to develop the hardware.
“I would say we’re six months out from our first prototype,” McAfee said.
Would people want it? McAfee thinks so.
“I can’t imagine every college student in the world not standing in line to buy one of these. I believe that everyone will want one — anyone who is concerned about privacy, anyone who is concerned about security.”
McAfee acknowledged that the device could be used to conduct illegal activity, but he said, to the applause of the audience, so could telephones.
As for its legality, he said if the device for some reason were banned in the U.S., he would “sell it in England, Japan, the Third World.”
“This is coming and cannot be stopped,” he said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Watch McAfee speak about the device at the conference (Note: he starts talking about D-Central around 25:00, but be warned, he talks about his previous drug use, road to sobriety and other activities at other points in the speech):
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.