Earlier this week, it was revealed mere hours before the event that John McAfee would be making a surprise appearance at this year’s DEFCON to speak on matters of privacy. He also took the event as an opportunity to launch Brownlist.com, a complaints website for people to vent against companies and possibly find a solution.
This news came with his barrage of criticisms against Facebook and Google, which he had touched on earlier in the week in an interview but expanded upon here.
“Google or at least certain people within Google, I will not mention names because I am not a rude gentleman, would like us to believe that if we have nothing to hide, we should not mind if everybody knows everything that we do,” he said from the podium. “I have to take serious issue with that.”
He went on to say that Google and social media has eroded our ideas of privacy and it’s a result of laziness on the part of the user.
“We have done this because we are lazy. We want ease of living. We want comfort in our life. We’d rather be safe, secure and comfortable than actually live and get out there and suffer and see what life is all about. I’m as guilty as you are.”
“Unless you are willing to stand up, to take a stand, to do something, we’re all lost,” he said.
“We cannot have intrusions into our lives and still have freedom, and freedom is all I have and it’s all you have if you think about it.”
Back on the subject of his new website, McAfee spoke with Reuters before taking to the stage to say he hopes the site, with its slogan “It’s Payback Time”, can lead to positive outcomes. “This taps into anger in a positive way,” he said. “Instead of getting angry and shooting at somebody on the highway, or yelling at your wife, you can log onto the site.”