What does John McAfee & the Cyber Party’s candidacy mean for your privacy?

John Mcafee, creator and head of the Cyber Party, will be running for the Presidency of the United States of America. This self-declared eccentric millionaire is better known as the creator of popular software giant McAfee, which is now a part of Intel Security. John McAfee is also known because of a video he created that embodied his eccentric title and naturally went viral, called How to Uninstall McAfee Antivirus.

The many outlandish acts of John McAfee are well-documented if you want to learn more about McAfee the man. This article though, is about why his campaign is so noteworthy for us, the average internet user. Reported on by CNN Money, McAfee brought up many important points concerning online privacy.

“We are losing privacy at an alarming rate — we have none left. We’ve given up so much for the illusion of security and our government is simply dysfunctional.”

“The government can spy on people using their mobile phones while they’re with their wives and husbands.”

The present government isn’t prepared for the challenge according to McAfee, asserting that they “[lack] an understanding of the basic technology that runs the world.” McAfee is confident that by bringing the privacy issues of technology-users around the world to the political forefront, he’ll have the edge in the campaign; you can see the importance these issues play in his platform by checking out his official campaign announcement here:

What does this mean for your online privacy?

It is important to note that this article is not meant to express my own personal backing of McAfee, nor to persuade you, the reader, to do so. This topic, regardless of whether you support McAfee or not, is important for us as we watch the online privacy topic trend its way into the limelight. What began as an issue disregarded by many because “they weren’t doing anything wrong and didn’t need to care about their online privacy” has risen to the status of an integral issue for a candidate running for the presidency of the U.S., a country that prides itself on its stellar individual freedoms.

The timing for McAfee’s campaign is optimal as we are beginning to see the serious implications of a lack of online privacy and security: the year 2014 was known as the “Year of the Hack”, with over 1 billion records compromised. Black Hat USA, which happened about a month ago, continued the hacking trend by exposing vulnerabilities in our increasingly connected products, also known as the Internet of Things. Device hacks shown at Black Hat included vehicle hacking, Android biometric hacking, and the hacking of connected appliances, just to name a few. This sentiment of frail online security at Black Hat was perfectly articulated by keynote speaker Jennifer Granick, who spoke about our dying dream of a free and open internet. Have a look at our article summarizing Granick’s powerful speech here.

While Granick characterizes our dream as dying, it is clear that the dream is not yet dead: opportunities are being created for us to draw our own line in the sand. More and more we’re being given the spotlight to push for the amount of online privacy we need and fight for the connected world we want to live in.

If you want to learn more about John McAfee and his platform, check out his campaign page. We have more articles available for users to learn about the extent to which our online privacy is at threat in the Learn section of Privacy Shell.

About Ryan Jeethan

Ryan Jeethan

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Arts & Business program focusing on UW’s unique Speech Communication program.

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