The Phaserl


John McAfee Just Announced the Most Private Smart Phone Ever: Here’s How it Works

by James Holbrooks, The Anti Media:

In an exclusive interview, head of MGT Capital Investments and former presidential candidate John McAfee spoke with Anti-Media Thursday night about an issue at the forefront of many people’s minds these days: privacy.

McAfee, a pioneer in the realm of antivirus software, has a new product coming to market later this year that takes on the subject of personal privacy with an item that’s become a significant part of most people’s daily lives — smartphones.

“There are very few apps that do not ask for excessive permissions,” McAfee told Anti-Media radio host S.M. Gibson, pointing out that long before the public was aware, technology companies were recording and selling customers’ data to third parties through their products.

It’s the user’s agreement to these permissions that makes it all legal, notes McAfee, though by agreeing, most apps get access to parts of the person’s phone that have nothing to do with the apps’ function. As he explains:

Listen to Anti-Media’s conversation with John McAfee in full below:

“If you have a Bible reading app, which basically takes text and synthesizes it and it’s a text and speech synthesizer, all you need access to is your speaker. And yet most of those apps, at least when they first came out, wanted access to your camera, your microphone, your email, your contacts, your wi-fi, Bluetooth, and your geolocation. They wanted to know everything that you did. They wanted to know what you were Googling, what you were searching for. And you could access all this if you, as the user, agree to those terms.”

McAfee points out that most of these apps are free because people will be more likely to download them. The more downloads, the more data software companies get access to — data that, again, can be sold to third parties.

McAfee considers this practice to be innocuous since users have the choice of whether or not to agree to the terms. But the intentions of others, such as “black hat” hackers, are anything but.

“They want to steal from you,” said McAfee. “Your identity, your credit cards, your Bitcoin wallet, they want to know what your social security number is. The password for your bank account. And so most people are completely unaware their movements are being monitored.”

The problem, McAfee says, is rooted in the software.

“Do you think that when you power down your phone, that it’s actually powered down?” McAfee asked the Anti-Media audience Thursday. “I would say that 25 percent of you, everybody who’s listening, have malware that intercepts the software function that calls the power down. They intercept it, make the screen go blank, turn off the lights, and you think your phone is powered down. But it’s not. It’s still alive, it’s listening to you, transmitting information.”

The hackable nature of software means the battle between security companies and hackers is always “seesawing ” — sometimes the black hats are up, sometimes it’s the companies. This is because the battle is “software fighting software, and all software has flaws.”

That’s why encryption services like Signal are largely useless, McAfee says, because there’s no one in the middle actively listening. Now, data is mostly recorded via keystroke and then viewed at terminals at hard locations.

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