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D-Central: McAfee’s Solution for Squelching Online Surveillance

future-tense-centralJohn McAfee, who created the McAfee antivirus software, has announced plans to sell localized, super-secure networks with his new device named D-Central. McAfee claims that this device—which he calls a “round, little thing” that can fit into your pocket—blocks online surveillance, even by the government.

During the Silicon Valley C2SV conference in September 2013, McAfee said that D-Central, the first product from his new company, Future Tense Central, will cost less than $100. McAfee’s website for D-Central displays a countdown to the product launch, which is planned for the spring of 2014.

At the conference, McAfee emphasized the vulnerability of today’s networks.

“I’m 68 years old and if you can just give me any small amount of information about yourself, I promise you within three days, I can turn on the camera on your computer at home and watch you do whatever you’re doing, provided you’re still connected to the net,” said McAfee.

“If I can do it, any idiot can do it. We live in a very insecure world with a very insecure communications platform.”

D-Central will be capable of communicating with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to create a series of decentralized local networks. D-Central will combine existing technologies into a single product, creating an individual, portable network that will extend about “three blocks in the city or a quarter of a mile out in the country”.

“D-Central doesn’t know who you are,” McAfee said. “Every few minutes, [it] changes its identification. Since the networks are invisible to each other and in constant flux there is simply no way to tell who is doing what, when or where.”

Although there are few details about the device available, McAfee claims that D-Central will be so effective that governments will likely ban its use. If this happens he plans to sell it in from other countries, saying “this is coming and cannot be stopped.”

However, skeptics point out that in order for a user to send private files to another user, both must connect to this localized, encrypted network. If a user wants to send a file to someone on the other side of the country, hundreds of devices must be linked together—and be within range of each other—to span a long distance. Critics claim that the network will never become large enough to be useful and that it will eventually get hacked.

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