Just when you thought the US Presidential election couldn’t get more surreal than it already is, everyone’s favorite self-labelled ‘eccentric millionaire,’ John McAfee has announced his bid for President of the United States of America.
No, really, he has.
McAfee told Wired.com: “I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President…It’s not something I would just choose to do on my own.”
I just checked the date for you, and no, it’s not April 1st. The founder of McAfee Antivirus has apparently filed the proper paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in Washington and also plans to launch his own political party as well.
According to Wired, McAfee had no intention of running himself initially, hoping to enlist someone “smarter and more charismatic” that he could fund in the race, saying it wasn’t something he would “choose to do” on his own.
McAfee no longer plays any part in the company he founded, having sold his shares in the firm just under 20 years ago, something probably almost everyone still working there for is very thankful for. John McAfee has something of a colorful past to say the least.
He was arrested in August and charged with DUI and firearm possession whilst driving, admitting to CNBC that “I was impaired, I must admit,” His run-in with the Tennessee authorities isn’t his first brush with law enforcement authorities though. In 2012, whilst living in Belize, he illegally entered Guatemala to avoid being questioned by local police in relation to the murder of his neighbor. He was later deported back to the US. For his part, McAfee denies having any involvement in the death, and claims he was never considered a suspect by Belize authorities.
While McAfee was well known in tech circles before 2012, his regular blog posts detailing his fugitive life ensured a much wider notoriety than he previously had.
It is unclear whether McAfee thinks he has a real shot in claiming the Oval Office for himself, but it is almost certain that he will focus on the impact of technology.
“It’s clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications.”
McAfee’s plan for government
McAfee argues that companies such as Google and Apple are being forced to create ‘backdoors ’into their systems so that the US government can more easily collect information on whoever it chooses. McAfee states that in doing so it allows “hackers easy access to anybody’s data,” and that it is a sign that government bodies are incompetent.
While some may struggle to take MacAfee seriously, his arguments do carry some weight. It emerged last week that the US government was considering sanctions against China and its alleged government authorized hacking of government agencies.