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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Claire Wolfe

Can John McAfee pull this off?

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

You may have heard that John McAfee (of both anti-virus fame and possibly-shooting-his-neighbor-in-Belize infamy) claims to have plans for an inexpensive, portable device to foil NSA snooping. Says he just needs to get backers & such — that the device itself is already feasible.

It’s called “Decentral” or “Dcentral,” depending on which article you read.

When I expressed doubt that the half-mad McAfee could pull this off, an acquaintance we shall call “Boris Badenov” for his background, replied:

Well, I guarantee it will be a flawed individual who comes up with a “peaceful” solution to the Stasi… and shooting a neighbor on occasion may be necessary to maintain the balance of nature. Coming up with a solution from a flawed man who shoots the occasional neighbor will often times prevent “good” men from lining people up against the wall in haste.

My experience looking at US intelligence estimates from the cold war is that the Stasi and KGB used physical/human intel to much greater affect than we did with our so-called ELINT… and it didn’t matter. Our Stasi/NSA, even twenty years ago, relied primarily on electronic intrusion… and mostly we got it wrong… and it never seems to matter that it’s a huge waste.

If I was in a plot against the totalitarian thugs and their Stasi minions who our are current masters, I would not use the telephone or internet. It’s easy to spoof electronic surveillance, and even easier to “go dark”, which gives the snoopers nothing of value. The two methods were usually combined by the Soviets (The GRU were masters at this), giving us fake electronic traffic to monitor while running the real operation in the ELINT Dark. When they invaded Czecho in 68 they moved about 8 divisions from central Russia without us seeing or hearing a thing. Cut to 91, The less than astute Saddam does the same thing in Kuwait.

The trick for us is going to be able to go dark to their eyes and yet still communicate as we choose. It’s completely doable and I think McAfee is on to something. A bunch of fat, lazy, Cheetos eating Aspies are not liable to gather any usable or accurate information… but they can do a lot of damage for sure. OK, enough! …. I’m full of useless info… maybe I should have worked for the Staso?

One thing’s for sure. If McAfee doesn’t succeed at making and marketing this, somebody will produce something like it. In fact, what do you want to bet that, within five years, the NSA and its equally UnAmerican allies will be shut out of a LOT of online and telephone traffic by measures that, in retrospect, will seem to have been amazingly simple?

In any case, loved McAfee’s final comment.

6 Responses to “Can John McAfee pull this off?”

  1. jed Says:

    Sounds like an encrypted mesh network. OK, good. For point-to-point, if you can get enough hops to reach Aunt Tizzie in Florida, from Boring, Oregon. The article is short on details, so I’m not seeing how it helps with online financial transactions, e.g.

    Can it work? Sure, within bounds. Will it work? Dunno. As Schneier stated, the math is good. It’s in the implementation where the devil waits.

  2. Paul Bonneau Says:

    Hope it works better than his anti-virus software…

  3. JWG Says:

    It is an interesting concept, “going dark”. However, what if the action of going dark makes you a target? If you have a known electronic trail that suddenly disappears, that is likely to make you a target, as only “terrorists” try to hide their activities.

  4. ENthePeasant Says:

    “If you have a known electronic trail that suddenly disappears, that is likely to make you a target, as only “terrorists” try to hide their activities.”

    I assume going Dark doesn’t necessarily mean one gives up all electronic communication, just anything that might be useful. In any case physical assets would need to be devoted to making sure. That’s where it all starts to get impossible. The Russian FSU can tell the CIA and FBI that a couple of kids from Dagistan are planning a terrorist act in Boston without it causing any action.

    “It’s easy to spoof electronic surveillance, and even easier to “go dark”, which gives the snoopers nothing of value. The two methods were usually combined by the Soviets (The GRU were masters at this), giving us fake electronic traffic to monitor while running the real operation in the ELINT Dark.”

  5. Shel Says:

    My greatest concern is McAfee’s survival. People who announce an important imminent development often have acute health issues, think Dorothy Kilgallen, Marylin Monroe, etc., etc. Since he is newly married to someone much younger, a heart attack would make sense. His saving grace may be his claim (if correct) that such a development is inevitable. He also may have disseminated enough information that his absence wouldn’t stop things, although it might give others pause for thought.

    Regarding BB’s comments, I think we were in general holding our own on human intelligence until Jimmy Carter made the decision that we would no longer deal with questionable characters and Stansfield Turner eviscerated his own agency. With the Pakistani doctor doing 33 years in prison for helping us to find Bin Laden, the Benghazi betrayal, and Obama’s consistent support of radical Muslims, I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind putting themselves at risk for us.

    Thanks for the Rocky and Bullwinkle reference, it brought back a lot of good memories.

  6. KenK Says:

    McAfee has been out of the game for a while. Have to wait and see what he comes up with. I read his eBook about his Belize experiences recently, and they don’t do much for his credibility IMHO. Wait n’ see.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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