John McAfee. (Credit John McAfee via YouTube)
John McAfee, founder of antivirus software company McAfee, has announced his intention to develop and market a $100 device to thwart NSA snooping.
Speaking at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center on Saturday, McAfee unveiled his plan for a "D-Central" device to create decentralized local networks among smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers in close range.
"There will be no way [for the government] to tell who you are or where you are," McAfee says.
The device will have a range of about three blocks and have private and public modes. Everyone in that local area can then access the dynamic local network to communicate and share files -- protected from the NSA with unique encryption.
McAfee says he's been working on the device for some time but "rapidly" hastened development in the past few months, and he expects to have a working prototype within six months.
"We have the design in place, we're looking for partners for development of the hardware," McAfee said, adding there may be multiple hardware options.
When asked about whether the device will be used for illegal purposes, McAfee scoffed.
"Of course it will be used for nefarious purposes, just like the telephone is used for nefarious purposes." If the device gets banned in the US, McAfee says he'll "sell it in England, Japan, the Third World."
Though McAfee says "the NSA won't get into it," the gadget's popularity could be highest on college campuses.
"I cannot imagine any college student not standing in line to buy one of these," McAfee said.
Though the one-time NASA and Lockheed computer programmer founded the antivirus company, he resigned in 1994 and sold his remaining stake two years after it went public. After a series of mergers and rebrandings, the company, known as McAfee, is a subsidiary of the Intel Corporation and one of the largest antivirus companies in the world.
Last year, McAfee's home in Belize was raided by a gang unit in connection with illegal drugs and no charges were filed. Later that year he fled to Guatemala to avoid police questioning in the shooting death of his neighbor.
No charges have yet been filed, but McAfee has since been deported to the U.S. In June, he released a bizzarre NSFW YouTube video in which he seems to do drugs with prostitutes as he explains how to uninstall his former company's antivirus software.