back to article Mad John McAfee: 'Can you live in a society that is more paranoid than I'm supposed to be?'

John McAfee delivered a surprisingly non-controversial keynote speech to the London Infosec Conference on Wednesday afternoon, lauding the value of privacy, doing so – to the concern of his bewildered audience – whilst seemingly tickling himself through the cloth of his pocket. McAfee's talk was essentially a rant against …

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"... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

He was checking for Trojans.

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Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

Or maybe going over his speech?

Most of what he says is bollocks......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

....or a quick game of pocket billiards?

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Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

Doesn't he normally keep a couple of young ladies on hand for tickling purposes? Maybe he was missing them.

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Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

"Most of what he says is bollocks......"

I completely find the reverse, but everything he stated is just plain obvious. You may fight with those you disagree with....People have lost sight of privacy...To nutshell the whole speech, this isn't Utopia...Well, No shit! This society is unknowingly becoming a time bomb, it would be nice if presented ideas were more of a solution rather than stating what's already known.

However, I still find him as an example that iT can be "cool". So I guess if anyone is going to filabust an iT convention, then he's the man for the job.

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Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

>>"everything he stated is just plain obvious"

Maybe so, but we're living under a government that appears unable to see the obvious, so it's worth stating.

I like John McAfee. People should not mistake eccentric for unaware - he's a very smart person. And occasionally people tar him with the label paranoid, until they actually read more and find some of what he's actually been through. Someone rich yet still willing to fuck with the status quo, that's a rare combination and it leads to some surprising circumstances on occasion. El Reg should have linked to the video where he distances himself from the software which he actually left behind long ago - thar's hilarious.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

crabs, a left over part of the disguise as a trinket pedlar

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Anonymous Coward

Undermined

A good speech, going by El Reg's report, but tabloids will happily undermine this by focusing on may well of been a nervous trait.

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Re: Undermined

(I was in the room btw so this is first hand opinion and not based on the article)

It was a little odd given the audience... you are presenting to a room full of infosec professionals either in management or vendors, but essentially everyone was in the industry.

It wasn't particularly linear, and seemed to repeat quite a lot and could essentially be boiled down to "security is important, and don't trust corporations or governments". I don't disagree with any of that, but I don't think it added very much to the understanding that was in the room already - I cant say I left feeling that there was anything new that I ought to be considering.

It would have been a pretty good awareness raising type speech for a room full of non-tech business managers

There was also a chunk of time where he talked about his new business ventures which included something he referred to as social encryption and an app to monitor fetal heartbeats... eclectic to say the least.

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Can not disagree with anything he said

Hence why I do not have a life online.

Yes I may post here on "good'old'elreg", I do not post anywhere else.

A man has to be no one online.

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Re: Can not disagree with anything he said

Valar doharis

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can not disagree with anything he said

"Society cannot function if everyone knows everything about everyone else," said Lelouch in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

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He may have been counting the coin being generated by his talk

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Paranoid consumers?

'Can you live in a society that is more paranoid than I'm supposed to be?'

The problem is John that is isn't.

Much of the society you talk of are device users, the vast majority of which are just lay (IT wise) consumers. Now consumers are not really paranoid at all, at least when it comes to the data they enter into devices that they think they own and have been led to believe are private.

If the average user/consumer understood what the device they think they owned was capable of and actually read (perhaps got a lawyer to help understand) the terms and conditions they agreed to, they would be very paranoid indeed!

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Re: Paranoid consumers?

I think you misunderstand. Society absolutely is paranoid. People on the whole are not. It is an important distinction.

c.f. A person is intelligent; people are dumb, panicky animals.

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Happy

Re: Paranoid consumers?

Yes... I see the distinction. It is sad that people are not society.

Please don't see this as a sarcastic insult through a play on words.. It is a sardonic view of the system to which we acquiesce.

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Re: Paranoid consumers and schizophrenic vendors

Hi, adnim,

Here be someone else agreeing with you ...

"There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families." ..... Margaret Thatcher.

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Re: Paranoid consumers and schizophrenic vendors

Hi,

Society does exist, it is the sterile, stagnant way of thinking, consuming, conforming and obeying that governments world wide want their respective voters or conquered victims to adhere to. That's what is meant when a politician talks about society.

We are all individual, that doesn't stop us looking out for one another. That sentence from Maggie although imbuing a sense of self importance to those that hear it, is also divisive. A nation of individuals is far easier to control than a like minded community of many thousands or millions.

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Re: Paranoid consumers and schizophrenic vendors

"We are all individual"

I'm not.

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Re: Paranoid consumers and schizophrenic vendors

If they are like-minded it can only be because they have already been controlled.

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In these Practical Days and Virtual Age of 0days .....

"If someone is treating you as the enemy, then maybe you are." .... Mad John McAfee

Correction ...... If someone is treating you as the enemy, then maybe surely definitely they are.

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Re: In these Practical Days and Virtual Age of 0days .....

Wow amanfromMars a silver badge! You are going up in the world. The comments earlier were almost human too,definitely getting there.

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In these Practical Days and Virtual Age of 0days ..... Anything is Virtually Real and Practical

Wow amanfromMars a silver badge! You are going up in the world. The comments earlier were almost human too,definitely getting there. ... Martin Summers

A little tweak here, a little tweak there, a zero here, a one there, an open gate here a closed portal there, all lead to somewhere more different and interesting and mind-bending whenever not mind-blowing, MS.

And whenever gates which one would fully expect to be open and welcoming appear to be closed and exclusive, are the secrets guarded within spilled and rendered toxic and explosive ……. and catastrophically disruptive and creative with quantum communication in the right hands and hearts and minds.

Beware the morph though that takes the imagination and special forces into the dark web side of the internet thing, were everything really strange happens quite normally.

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Anonymous Coward

Well Duh...

There is little need for backdoors for security purposes. Proper security however must be maintained. Encryption should be used sparingly and for only appropriate reasons. Being able to unencrypt is still a necessity for authorities and national security. Unfortunately the world has changed for both the good and bad. The bad guys ability to implement crimes are growing exponentially via technology.

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Meh

Ungraded

A sign of the times I guess, but you just can't get a decent standard of troll these days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well Duh...

I would point out how stupid your comment about only using encryption sparingly versus bad guys being able to implement crime but to be honest it's pretty pointless as it would be a wasted conversation.

Here's a picture of a cat as that is the limit of your understanding of the internet,

http://www.vetprofessionals.com/catprofessional/images/home-cat.jpg

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Re: Well Duh...

Cute cat!

Post more!

Cheers!

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Anonymous Coward

Now everybody are...

I was "internet paranoid" before it became popular. They made fun of me, but now they're more paranoid than I am.

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The bit about the police catching the criminals later is really important. Right now, the internet is the Wild West, but with no Sheriff.

Every web-connected server suffers thousands of intrusion attacks every day. Hopefully 99% of these are stopped at the firewall, and the rest fail to find a vulnerability, but they are evidence of thieves or vandals trying the handle of the door to see if it is unlocked.

The IP addresses of the attackers are known, and they could be tracked down, but the technical possibility is not matched by any administrative structure.

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Anonymous Coward

"The IP addresses of the attackers are known, and they could be tracked down, but the technical possibility is not matched by any administrative structure."

Because no such structure is possible. Odds are the source turns out to be located in a rival or enemy state, meaning the trail goes cold much the same as a spy is home free once back in his/her home country. And that's for the blatantly obvious attacks; what about the indirect attacks that are launched from legitimate IPs (meaning you can't filter them)?

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FAIL

What a wanker

"If a burglar is in your house, holding a gun to your head, is there a magic button you can press where a policeman will materialise between you and the burglar? No. No, you're on your own here. The illusion of protection is really nothing more than after-the-fact 'we will come in and locate the guy and punish him for you.' Well, that doesn't help me any. That's not protection. We have to take control ourselves."

The theory is that, if you get burgled, the police find and take the perp out of circulation, so others are protected. Unlucky for you as the first (and only) victim, but keeping calm and surviving is the sensible approach. If a burglar has a gun on you and you reach for your own gun...Or pull a gun every time you're suspicious...chances are you'll lose a lot more than a few bucks.

"When we have congressmen and senators, and members of parliaments, that are involved in an adult site, and that information is leaked, then it is very difficult to recover. If they're married, they're risking their families, they're risking their careers, and they are open to manipulation by foreign governments and other agencies"

Or maybe they could just keep their dicks in their pants? The trip down the path of risk starts when they begin doing things that may be regarded as immoral or at least would be embarrassing if they were found out. Aren't they supposed to be model citizens? Don't we have a right to know what our elected representatives are really up to? If they're cheating in one area, they may be equally immoral in e.g. taking bribes, selling secrets.

"Society cannot function if everyone knows everything about everyone else," McAfee sagely noted, explaining that if two parties have contradictory beliefs it is a natural human instinct to try and settle those differences, which leads to conflict. If those parties are unaware of their differing beliefs, however, this conflict has no room in which to take place. It is, in McAfee's view, essential for civilisation: "Privacy creates a barrier through which conflict is stifled."

Complete and utter bullshit. Understanding helps resolve conflict, it doesn't create it.

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Re: What a wanker

Mankind tends toward antagonism, exaggeration and punishment, not understanding. Traits that must be met with the same level of determination and neutralized before a more calm situation suitable for developing understanding can be accomplished. (a right to self defense) But there is almost never reasoning with fanatics.

There is an old saying: "Fences make for good neighbors."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a wanker

"The theory is that, if you get burgled, the police find and take the perp out of circulation, so others are protected. Unlucky for you as the first (and only) victim, but keeping calm and surviving is the sensible approach. If a burglar has a gun on you and you reach for your own gun...Or pull a gun every time you're suspicious...chances are you'll lose a lot more than a few bucks."

But what happens when there's an increasing spate of "shoot anyway" crimes because the crims are afraid of witnesses, meaning submission ALSO runs you the risk of being killed, so you're now in a coin flip situation? Act or Don't Act, you run the risk of being killed, and there's no way to know the odds of either until after the fact since they change from instance to instance.

"Or maybe they could just keep their dicks in their pants?"

Or maybe some of these were there for innocent and legitimate reasons because they were SINGLE, yet they get tarred and feathered by the same barrels?

"Complete and utter bullshit. Understanding helps resolve conflict, it doesn't create it."

Then where does the phrase "Familiarity breeds contempt" come from?

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McAfee continued talking about dodgy applications and referenced Bible-reading apps

"almost every one of them wants access to your emails or SMS messages, to access the camera and the microphone. What does it need that access for?"

Because even God thinks he needs permission to watch over you when you sleep?

Perhaps someone should tell the NSA!

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*Chuuuhhhh* - come over to the technological side, Luke.

Aww, come on. They haven't taken charge of the technological side in the least.

How many of the general population (ie. McAfee's customers) actually know how to program their firewall or set rules in their anti-virus?

Until they get to grips with the technological side to the degree where the average Joe could use it with a, "driving lesson," then they've taken charge of absolutely nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

"Society cannot function if everyone knows everything about everyone else,"

So how did we function back in the Middle Ages when communities were small enough that basically everyone's activities were noticed by the neighbours who then gossiped amongst themselves, creating a web of what the village knew? Doesn't the Internet simply bring back the idea of the global village, where there's always someone who knows what someone else did and then spreads the gossip around?

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Anonymous Coward

In the village, everyone's lives were similar enough that just knowing about your neighbour didn't create problems. In the global village, you have to get all bent out of shape because someone teaches and practices suna a.k.a. female genital mutilation. I think I was happier when I didn't know, and the set of problems to be approached was smaller, and the people raising money to go campaign against things were fewer, and on and on. I have no authority in Africa so that ends it for me but the next arsehole says "well maybe we should!" Then, let's force everyone into a big democracy so we all have to stop and pay attention to what the others are wrong about since they need to be outgunned before unacceptable things happen somewhere. My least favourite things about democracy are 1) asking me to exercise another form of control over everyone else, even if only by contributing my weight to the controller, while everyone else does that to me as if that makes it fair, 2) forcing everyone to pay attention to what everyone disagrees about, and 3) leading people to disagree about meaningless things while the real mess piles up.

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