Recently you had a chance to ask John McAfee about his presidential run under the newly-formed Cyber Party. John covers a wide variety of topics from education and infrastructure, to gun control and drug legalization. Read below for his answers to your questions.Reality
How do you plan to overcome the virtual impossibility of breaking through the two-party system?
McAfee: Please bear with me on this one. It is a very serious question:
I have always been outside the box, exploring, discovering, examining. I take nothing for granted, including the rules laid down by my church, my family, my schools, my government. The world is a large place with conflicting morals, cultures, values and traditions. Life is something we enter without a universal instruction booklet and I have been searching for one - unsuccessfully. But I have learned much through the school of hard knocks. I have never murdered anyone and I do not steal. I avoid causing physical harm at all costs. I tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be me. I have compassion for all people. I have never raped, nor slept with a legally underage woman. I have honored my father and mother and have respected those worthy of respect. As for all the rest, I have broken every rule ever written. Some forays over the line have enlightened me. Some have brought me down. But I could not be the security talent that I am had I not done everything that I did. I understand the high and low of life and I understand the human heart. I see the misery in this world and I know that only compassion and courage will fix it.
The two party system is a single machine. It has evolved for more than one hundred years into a mechanism that absorbs all participants. Every party member becomes a cog in that machine, and the machine, and its cogs are devoid of heart and spirit. The machine cannot fix anything that touches the human heart or the human spirit, nor can it perceive anything beyond its own ambitions. It is the destroyer of humanity and the cause of wars and all manner of suffering.
The perception that the two party system cannot be overcome is an illusion, and the illusion is propagated by those who look to history for advice rather than the exquisite beauty of the present moment.
We are in the age of the Internet. We no longer must believe what others tell us. We no longer have to accept the polished, plastic debates of Presidential candidates to help us decide who might better lead the country. We have the full knowledge of the World at our fingertips. When Senator Nelson (D-Fl), for example, proposes a bill to force companies to reveal to its customers that a data breach has occurred within 30 days of the breach, we can do our own research and discover the following:
We would discover, for example, that more than 90% of all computer hacks go entirely undetected. Of the 10% that are detected, there is not a single example where the awareness of the breach happened sooner than 6 months after the breach, with the average being two or more years. Even the most invasive and egregious hacks are seldom detected soon enough to avoid the hackers from exploiting whatever they have taken.
A prime example of this is the hack of the US Office of Personnel Management. The most sensitive data that any government can possible posses, complete records of every employee possessing a Top Secret clearance, went undiscovered for more than a year.
You could then ask yourself: of what earthly value is a legislated notification period to a victim whose data has already been compromised and exploited to the fullest extent possible? Additionally, it is usually impossible, when a breach is detected, to determine whose data was taken. You might ask what the total cost in time and effort would be expended in adhering to this legislation and you could then research all pertinent data on the steps required to recall a senator.
I am running an electronic campaign. It is through interviews such as this, and through fireside chats using software that I have developed that I intend to reach the American public, whom, I believe is much smarter than the average politician believes. I am convinced that I will be the first independently elected U.S. President. I do know that the two party system must come to an end. Courage and compassion are the necessary ingredients of any push to save this country, and the party system is devoid of both.
The world largely views the USA as a bully and full of very wealthy people that don't care about those less privileged. As president of the USA, how would you advance world cooperation and work to change world views of the USA to just another location in the world full of mostly average non-privileged individuals living out their lives?
Unrelated, my best friend almost ran you over at Defcon. He wasn't looking where he is going and apologizes.
McAfee: Hat’s off to your friend, whom I dodged with ease. Had he not been drinking I may not be speaking to you now.
America has been playing World Policeman for far too long. It is our unwanted interference in the internal affairs of foreign states that has caused, supported and animated the concept of terrorism.
I have traveled extensively, and no traveler is hated more than the American traveler. We are arrogant and expect the entire world to speak our language rather than go to the trouble to learn theirs. We are rude: we expect everyone else’s food to taste like our own, and when it does not, we complain. We are morally and culturally judgmental and frown when an Ecuadorian Peasant urinates beside the road or naked man and woman emerge from the surf at Ipanema. We are demanding. We stay at cheap hotels in Tokyo and we are put out when there is no room service. We gossip and stare. And we dress and act like barbarians that only yesterday came down from the trees and began walking upright in near perfect imitation of humans.
We are an anomaly in the world. We project the greatest military power that the world has ever seen, yet we express ourselves as spoiled angry children. Even our leaders mimic the crudities of the American Tourist. Is it any wonder that we are embroiled in every hot spot of chaos that erupts within the world.
My administration will reign in our activities relating to policing the world. It will accept that the world is filled with cultures and governments alien to our own, yet admired and loved by those existing within those cultures. It will acknowledge that morality is, with few exceptions, a localized phenomenon and that we are not the world’s moral judge. It will acknowledge that Democracy is not the fountain stone as a measure of government, and that our own Democracy is fraught with severe problems that lead to the same police state atrocities that we generally ascribe to dictatorships. Thus, the mindless propagation of democracy throughout the world as the solution to all of the world’s problems will be re-evaluated. We need to first fix our own democracy.
Foreign aid will have to be curtailed. We are 18 Trillion dollars in debt. If a friend asks you for $20 and you don’t have it, you can’t give it. This is a prime axiom of the real world. The government does not live in the real world and simply prints money when it does not have any to spend. This printing devalues the hard earned dollars that you have worked for. It is a simple formula, irrespective of how complex the government wants you to believe that it is.
In a nutshell, I believe that our domestic problems are so extreme, that foreign policy will not much deteriorate if we do little or nothing about it for a while. It may even improve.
Would you pardon Edward Snowden?
McAfee: Absolutely. And Also Ross Ulbricht.
What are your thoughts on Donald Trump? And why are you more qualified to be president?
McAfee: I believe that Trump would best serve the country by doing what he has always done so well – Creating thousands of productive jobs in private industry.
I am skeptical of someone who claims to have never written an email leading a country in a Cyber War with China.
Or, to put it differently: If we're going to become issues voters and only vote on the technology issue, why should we vote for you instead of Lawrence Lessig?
McAfee: I have never proposed that we become one issue voters. You’re confusing me with President Obama.
What I had to say on that was: On 2 October, President Obama declared: “Here's what you need to do: You have to make sure that anybody that you are voting for is on the right side of this issue.” If politicians oppose these measures, he continued, “even if they're great on other stuff, you've got to vote against them.” He was talking about gun control.
My first thought upon hearing Obama's proclamation was that I was in the middle of an acid flashback and I had no benzodiazepines to mediate the trip. My second thought was: what possible single issue, in this complex society of ours, would merit a “single issue” status?
Just to set the record straight.
Nuclear Power using LFTR
by Anonymous Coward
John, what is your position on Nuclear Power?
Would you support the re-opening of research into liquid fluoride thorium reactors. These reactor designs, and the thorium fuel cycle were researched back in the 70's and can solve both our energy crisis, be far more environmentally friendly than uranium based fuel cycles, and can even used 'spent' uranium reactor fuel as fuel sources, allowing us to reprocess our vast quantity of spent fuel into less harmful waste, while also capturing the energy from them (instead of having it wasted heating water in spent fuel ponds).
McAfee: We have hobbled ourselves and become non competitive by our harsh legislation again nuclear power. This will change.
What technology research should be government funded and what should be private?
McAfee: We must bolster our Cyber security and cyber weapons research, first and foremost, and this must be government funded. We are so far behind the Chinese that catching up is not at all certain, even with me at the helm. As to the rest, I need to understand it better and consider it well.
Mr. McAfee, obviously your field of expertise is Information Security. What are the one or two biggest problems facing the Federal government from an IT perspective? How would you solve these problems?
McAfee: Education is number one. Our information technology managers are generally old, ossified and unmotivated to keep up with the rapidly changing technology environment. Without education, all of our efforts will amount to nothing.
Comment on your last interview
Care to comment on your last answer from your last interview here on slashdot?
“McAfee: The attorney for the House Ways and Means Committee contacted me and asked if I would help. I said ‘no’. I would never run for office, neither would I want to be in office, of any kind. I would rather drive a nail through my foot.”
McAfee: I would still rather drive a nail through my foot. I sincerely do not want this. My closest friends, however, have threatened to kneecap me if I don’t do it. If you can provide me safe harbor from my friends and advisers I would gladly stop campaigning.
Where's the rest of the platform?
We understand where you stand on surveillance. Where do you stand on these issues?: (*Some subjects specifically addressed at https://mcafee16.com/issues/ were removed.*)
McAfee: An armed society is a polite society.
The impetus for most proclamations surrounding gun control are generally mass murders, some involving guns. A little research will uncover the little known fact that mass murders were virtually unknown prior to 1980.
This fact disturbs me, and it should you, since guns have been prominently owned in this society since the founding of our country, and there was no sweeping legislation in 1980 or after that radically changed gun ownership laws or rates of gun ownership. This, to a thinking person, without qualification, removes guns as the source of our problem — unless of course guns suddenly achieved the ability to subconsciously tempt their owners to use them in heretofore-unknown ways. If not, then the problem appears to be an increase in violent urgings, stemming from some unknown source deep within the fabric of our society.
There are many possibilities for this source. In the 1980s we saw the first widescale use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (anti-depressants) such as Prozac, Paxil, and others. Hundreds of studies have shown that these anti depressants have side effects that include violent thoughts. A few minutes of research will tell us that 8 percent of the U.S. is taking anti-depressants, yet more than 30 percent of all mass murderers since 1980 were known to have been taking them. It’s highly suspected that the real number approaches 90 percent — a statistical anomaly of egregious proportions. I would begin here if I were looking for a source.
But it’s much easier to disprove a cause than it is to prove a cause. Use of anti-depressants may merely be an artifact of some deeper cause that is as yet unknown.
We do know that governments that turn deceptive and begin spying on their citizens foment unrest, anger, and despair. However, given that we do not have citizens carrying signs in the streets and recalling their representatives en masse — outward signs we would expect from a citizenry that is not afraid of its government — then perhaps that has not happened here in America.
In any case, I do not believe that guns are the problem. On the other hand, Gun Free Zones appear to be a serious problem. Every mass shooting for the past 20 years has occurred in a gun free zone. Where else would someone with a gun who wants to create havoc go? We need armed guards at schools, churches, courthouses and every other place that we now deem “gun free”
McAfee: A woman's body is her own.
McAfee: Homosexual couples of either sex should equally be allowed to suffer the frustrations of marriage along with everyone else.
keeping the FCC from preventing flashing of consumer electronics with new firmware
McAfee: Is the FCC still needed in an age of digital communications? Isn't this the question?
McAfee: Any control whatsoever of the Internet is questionable if not actually insidious.
lowering the skyrocketing levels of student debt
McAfee: Why not lower the cost of education itself? What is the cause of these high costs? Further, why not redefine Education in a manner that reflects the fact that the overwhelming knowledge base no longer resides in Universities but is freely available on the Net? We need to ask ourselves whether our higher education system in it's entirety, us actually relevant.
making healthcare affordable or subsidizing paying for it
McAfee: Healthcare costs would be cut by 75% if medical malpractice lawsuits were outlawed or at least massively curtailed.
investing in our roads and bridges
McAfee: This was the original main intent of government - an infrastructure, plus national defense. Look how far we have strayed. I intend to take the "power" out of government and return it to is original function of "service"
What will you do when you become president?
What is your agenda for the first 100 days of the McAfee administration?
- Pardon All non violent Marijuana offenses, whether for possession or for sale.
- Pardon Edward Snowden and Ross Ulbricht.
- Disband the TSA in its entirety. I will continue to pay all salaries until I can figure out what value the employees have. The TSA budget is nearly $8 Billion. Salaries are less than $2 Billion. We save $6 Billion.
- Place armed marshals on all flights.
- Disband the Bureau of Indian Affairs – under same principles as TSA.
- Radically restrict The FDA.
- Direct the NSA and all other covert agencies that report to the Executive Branch to end all spying on American citizens and to place their efforts where our real threats lie.
After that, I’m unclear. Hopefully I will have learned much after I assume the Oval Office.