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24 Sep, 2015 01:48

‘American government is dysfunctional:’ John McAfee explains vision for tech-savvy leadership to RT

In a presidential race that has Washington outsiders at the forefront, computer programmer and entrepreneur John McAfee may be the most outside of all. He thinks that American leadership is ill-equipped to deal with the cyber threats facing the country.

“What’s needed more than anything else is competent leadership in the area of technology. Our Congressmen and Senators and President can barely spell the word cyberscience,” McAfee told RT.

McAfee is definitely not a politician. He is a computer scientist and businessman who started the company that produced the first commercial antivirus software back in the 1980s. This may be more of a boon than anything in a presidential field that has businesspeople, a neurosurgeon, and a self-described socialist topping the polls.

His candidacy comes at a time of unprecedented cybersecurity threats to national security, such as the recent hack of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which compromised the information of millions of government workers, including the identities of agents embedded overseas.

READ MORE: Hackers got 5.6 million fingerprint files, OPM admits

“The Chinese walked away with over 14 million records of our government employees over the last 30 years, including our embedded agents in foreign countries,” he said.

While officials do say the attacks emanated from Chinese soil, the government has not blamed the Chinese government for the devastating hack. McAfee, however, says that that we are in the middle of a cyber war waged by the Chinese – a war that he thinks America’s current leadership is woefully unprepared for.

“China has declared war on us, not openly, they haven’t said ‘we’re now at war with you.’ They have committed acts of war to take 14 million files from our government employees, including tens of thousands of embedded agents whose lives are now at risk,” McAfee asserted.

McAfee’s history puts him at odds with Washington’s political establishment, and not just because of his technical background. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, he teaches hot yoga, which he has written several books on. He was also considered a person of interest in a murder case in Belize, the country that he called home for years before returning to the United States.

The self-described eccentric millionaire is highly critical of the federal government’s massive domestic surveillance programs, the bulk of which were uncovered in 2013 by leaker Edward Snowden.

READ MORE: ‘I have to work a lot harder’ in Russia than at NSA – Edward Snowden

“America does a great deal of cyber-espionage, but most of that is against the American people. Our government has become paranoid and insane. Homeland Security… has turned inward.”

Running on his newly-formed Cyber Party’s ticket, a McAfee victory seems unlikely in the current two-party system. But McAfee is confident that being outside the Democratic and Republican Party “machine” will, in fact, give him an edge and bring him closer to the people.

“I don’t think I have real competition,” McAfee said when asked who would be his biggest rival. “We have two parties here in America, the Republicans and the Democrats. They are machines, machines without heart and soul. And no matter who you are, if you’re part of those parties, you are part of the machine and nothing will change.”
“You tell me how sane this government is, and what good these two parties have done for America.”