Skip to main content

D-Central: John McAfee's new device that aims to block the NSA

It turns out you can't keep an eccentric tech entrepreneur down. John McAfee returned to the spotlight this week with a new invention aimed at blocking NSA surveillance.

Unveiled Saturday in San Jose, the pocket-sized "D-Central" prototype is expected to be complete and ready to communicate with smartphones, tablets, and other devices within six months.

The sub-$100 (£61) router's three-city-block range (a quarter mile in the country) will allow users to connect to the Internet from behind a government-proof wall, providing an anonymous experience compatible with the Android and iPhone platforms.

It may put neighbourhood watch groups out of business, with an option to send community-wide alerts in the event of a burglary or other crime.

Even without a finalised product in his hands, McAfee is confident that his device will sell. "I cannot imagine one college student in the world who will not stand in line to get one," he told the audience at the C2SV technology Conference and Music Festival.

McAfee, who has spent the better part of a year evading government officials, said he settled on the "D-Central" idea long before whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency documents. The leak, of course, helped put McAfee's plan into motion.

"There will be no way [for the government] to tell who you are or where you are," he boasted during a 75-minute discussion with C2SV moderator Dan Holden.

While there are no specific details about the D-Central device, the website's countdown tips a 23 March release. Interested parties can sign up online to receive updates about McAfee's "new and revolutionary technology."

It is unlikely that the U.S. government will take kindly to the gadget, though McAfee isn't concerned about nationwide laws. "I'll sell it in England, Japan, the Third World," he said. "This is coming and cannot be stopped."

McAfee has been making headlines since last fall, when he was named a suspect in the shooting of his 52-year-old American expatriate neighbour in Belize.

Since then, he has been caught up in a bizarre tale of viruses, women, and extortion, all of which may eventually make its way to the big screen, with the help of Warner Bros. Studio.

McAfee followers got a sneak peek recently of what may eventually hit theatres when the self-described "eccentric millionaire" published a 4:30-minute video explanation of how to uninstall his famous McAfee antivirus software.