Computer programmer and former fugitive John McAfee has announced plans to create a new device that would be resistant to government surveillance by creating localized, super-secure networks.
McAfee, who made his fortune by founding and selling the antivirus software which bears his name, said that the device would cost less than $100 and would be a “round, little thing”, capable of fitting into a pocket or backpack.
Speaking at the C2SV conference in Silicon Valley this weekend, McAfee revealed the so-called ‘D-Central’ as the first product from his new company, Future Tense Central.
During his speech McAfee criticised the vulnerability of contemporary networks, noting that the basic infrastructure is thoroughly compromised.
"I'm 68 years old and if you can just give me any small amount of information about yourself, I promise you within three days, I can turn on the camera on your computer at home and watch you do whatever you're doing, provided you're still connected to the net," said McAfee.
"If I can do it, any idiot can do it. We live in a very insecure world with a very insecure communications platform."
The D-Central device will combine existing technologies into a single package of hardware and software, creating a portable network that will extend about “three blocks in the city or a quarter of a mile out in the country” according to McAfee.
Users can set up a network and use it share files, post requests or connect to the internet securely. Each device will create its own individual network, but these can also be meshed together to provide coverage over a larger area.
“D-Central doesn't know who you are," McAfee claims “Every few minutes, [it] changes its identification. 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."
Although there are no technological details about the device yet available, McAfee claims that it will be so effective that governments will be likely to ban its use. If this happens he promises to sell it in other countries, claiming “this is coming and cannot be stopped."
McAfee’s recent history is controversial. He was named a “person of interest” following the death of his neighbour in Belize. The British-born American claimed that he was being hounded by corrupt authorities and went on the run, illegally crossing the border to neighbouring Guatemala.
In Guatemala he was detained by the authorities and deported back to the US. McAfee said he “was perfectly happy with the decision”.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies