Privacy Advocates Get an Unfortunate Presidential Candidate to Champion Their Cause
Privacy advocates get an unfortunate candidate to champion their cause in 2016.
When it comes to the 2016 presidential race, political outsiders are having a very good run; look no further than Donald Trump. Now, another political novice has announced his candidacy and is running on one of the most pressing issues in the United States -- cybersecurity, or lack thereof -- but the baggage he brings is likely to make him, at best, a sideshow.
When it comes to the 2016 presidential race, political outsiders are having a very good run; look no further than Donald Trump. Now, another political novice has announced his candidacy and is running on one of the most pressing issues in the United States — cybersecurity, or lack thereof — but the baggage he brings is likely to make him, at best, a sideshow.
John McAfee, who created the first commercial anti-virus program, has thrown his hat into the 2016 ring. He’s representing the Cyber Party, which, according to its website, wants to “speed up the rate the federal government adopts new technology, without sacrificing American freedom and privacy.”
It’s an interesting platform — albeit one that is likely designed to gain more publicity than electoral votes — with a unfortunate messenger. Since he lost wealth in the global financial meltdown that started the 2008 Great Recession, McAfee has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
In 2012, while living in Belize, he was a person of interest in the murder of Gregory Viant Faull, his neighbor. He went on the run, then emerged in the United States. More recently, he was busted for drunk driving and possession of a handgun while under the influence in Tennessee.
McAfee’s video announcing his candidacy is untraditional. Over soft, classical music and in front of a green screen showing a library with many leather-bound books, the tech pioneer talks about the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and spy cameras hidden in cactuses. He raises numerous privacy concerns, an issue that hasn’t really been a part of the ongoing presidential campaign. Check it out below.
Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
David Francis was a staff writer at Foreign Policy from 2014-2017.
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