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John McAfee: stop using Google and ditch your smartphone

George Haimes
12 Aug 2014
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Eccentric antivirus founder John McAfee says people are lazy and don't care about their privacy

Notorious antivirus pioneer John McAfee has warned people to ditch smartphones to protect their privacy, claiming that he’s already stopped using his.

In a surprise appearance at the Def Con hacker conference McAfee also argued that big tech companies such as Google were spying on people as nobody could be bothered to read their terms and conditions.

McAfee has previously made headlines for his antics while on the run in Belize when he faked his own capture and pretended to have a heart attack. He has now spoken about the "eroded nature of privacy in our lives today" blaming big tech companies and consumer laziness as the primary causes of the problem.

"We have done this because we are lazy, we want ease of living. We want comfort in our life. We'd rather be safe, secure and comfortable, than actually live and get out there and suffer, and see what life is all about," he said.

The antivirus company he founded was sold to Intel in 2010 for $7.7bn, but McAfee himself hasn’t had any involvement in it since 1994. As well as his headline-grabbing antics in Belize, McAfee has also recently claimed to be half deaf after being attacked by his 17 year old ex-lover and to have dodged assassination by a drug cartel.

McAfee also used his speech at Def Con to promote a new website that lets people complain. Brownlist, which carries the slogan “it's payback time” serves as a forum for people to vent their anger at everyday life and for other users to suggest a solution.

McAfee told the audience that he planned to make money from the site through a subscription service and was looking for further investment for the project.

"The website taps into anger in a positive way. Instead of getting angry and shooting at somebody on the highway, or yelling at your wife, you can log onto the site," he claimed.

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