Never afraid of speaking truth to power and educating the masses about the powers that be, crazy but brilliant John McAfee has taken it upon himself to release the world’s first truly private smartphone.
Four years ago, Edward Snowden’s disclosures that federal government agencies were hacking America’s leading technology companies threw the industry into turmoil.
Now WikiLeaks has shaken the tech world again by releasing documents that show the CIA has an array of cyberweapons that are used to break into Apple and Android smartphones, Windows computers, car systems, and even smart TVs to conduct surveillance on unwitting users.
Internet security guru John McAfee decided it was his duty to build and release a smartphone that consumers can trust.
“Enormous investment in hardware costs have gone into this,” McAfee says, adding that the handset, which cost “millions” to develop, has a bank of switches on the back cover which enable the user to physically disconnect the battery, the antennas for Wi-Fi, geolocation, and Bluetooth.
Ubergizmo reports: The switches can also be used to disconnect the camera and microphone. “It also will not allow the phone to connect to a Stingray or any other IMSI catcher device. In addition, it contains a web search anonymizer,” he explains.
McAfee is planning to release the John McAfee Privacy Phone later this year under the umbrella of MGT which is a cybersecurity firm that he heads.
This product isn’t geared towards the average consumer, seeing as how it costs $1,100, it will be marketed to enterprise customers.
McAfee adds that more affordable Version 2 of his Privacy Phone is going to be available in the summer of 2018 and that “it will be as hack proof as humanly possible.”
Earlier this week, he posted an image of what he called the first prototype of the Privacy Phone on his Twitter account and it clearly shows that it is running some version of Android.
The John McAfee Privacy Phone, by MGT – first prototype. World's first truly private smartphone. You gonna love it. pic.twitter.com/n06CuO3Jay
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) April 25, 2017
McAfee answered questions on social media from users interested in the idea of an unhackable smartphone.
“You have my attention…I have a BlackBerry Priv that I’m lukewarm to and bought, in part, for similar reasons,” said one Facebook user on the verge of opening their wallet.
McAfee’s response was pure McAfee: “Please…… Blackberry??? It’s all marketing hype.”
Other questions were raised, including why the phone has so much Google on it if it is so private. McAfee tackled those easily.
“The specs will be out shortly. It’s revolutionary. Android is not the problem. It is the environment within which it runs,” he said.
“We are in a different universe“.
Someone else chose to challenge McAfee’s wisdom, asking the security guru why his will not feature Signal.
Signal by Open Whisper Systems is an encrypted communications app of some merit that has impressed many – but not John McAfee.
“Why do people believe Signal is secure? A simple key logger (the most common malware) reads your keystrokes as you type them,” he informed. “It doesn’t matter if the input is encrypted afterward. Signal is no more secure than using the New York Times gossip column to send and receive messages.“