John McAfee: US gov’t hack by China is an American nightmare — and the decline of an empire

opm american nightmare decline empire sunset clouds golden hour lets get lost
John McAfee is one of the most influential commentators on cybersecurity anywhere in the world. His new venture — Future Tense Central — focuses on security and personal privacy-related products. McAfee provides regular insight on global hacking scandals and internet surveillance, and has become a hugely controversial figure following his time in Belize, where he claims to have exposed corruption at the highest level before fleeing the country amid accusations of murder (the Belize government is currently not pursuing any accusations against him).

Our Founding Fathers feared democracy. From these fears, and in order to form a more perfect union, the Constitution and our Republic were born. This revolution in government was adopted in the wake of a tremendous fight for independence. Against all odds, our country was born out of a state of oppression and limited personal freedom. There are few points in history that exhibit such a level of individual responsibility and absolute freedom among the common man as there were during this Constitutional period.

Our founders knew that great experiments were tried before, and we would be tied to both the glory and the failures of nations throughout the ages — From Rome, to Athens, and one day even our own government, which was tested in the Civil War. Yet two-hundred and forty years into our history, it is our own government that has wound up taking away freedoms, taking away property, and taking away our futures for their own sake.

Make no mistake about it, we are being tested again.

?

The loss of freedom is clear. The loss of security is astonishing. The loss of responsibility is shameful. Technology is at the center of this. Today, October 1, marks the beginning of what somebody out there deemed to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Fantastic, but it’s not enough. We need to be aware of cybersecurity concerns at all times, from now until forever. I cannot stress the urgency of these issues enough. Technology, security, and privacy have formed the foundation of my campaign for President of the United States, and it is becoming more important with each passing day.

Just yesterday, a report from the Washington Post described how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had to pull officers from a Beijing embassy in the wake of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) attack.

The CIA pulled a number of officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as a precautionary measure in the wake of the massive cybertheft of the personal data of federal employees, current and former U.S. officials said … The move is a concrete impact of the breach, one of two major hacks into Office of Personnel Management computers that were disclosed earlier this year. – Washington Post

This is just the beginning of the spectacle that is on the horizon. Cybersecurity is the front line in the weakening of this country’s ability to preserve its sovereignty and leadership in the world. The loss of information from OPM hack means that everyone that had or applied for a security clearance has the knowledge that their most personal and private information is out there in someone’s hands.  It would appear that some embassy personnel were CIA officers, and would have come up in the stolen OPM records. Everyone that is working in the field is now susceptible to some form of blackmail or bribery, and anyone can be an asset to the enemy. If this were a spy novel, here’s where all hell would breaks loose.

“If this were a spy novel, here’s where all hell would breaks loose.”

Here we are with yet another example of how the ruling class has missed opportunity after opportunity. It is an example of how we can seemingly never put the blame on anyone. Only one person lost their job because of the OPM hack, and she got to resign (I’m sure it was probably with pension benefits).

Beyond a spy novel, I liken our government situation to a Dr. Seuss book where up is down and down is up, red is green and green is red.

  • We have a feckless ruling class that spend way too much with no results. Just look at what we have to accept.
  • We have the impossible formula where a military gets smaller with each passing year, but each year it costs us more money.
  • We are faced with an impossible quantitative easing formula that has seen the Federal Reserve balance sheet go from about $200 billion to more than $4 trillion, based on vapor (or paper).
  • We are faced with the impossible formula that says we have record tax receipts coming in, but we are simultaneously faced with record deficits.
  • The list goes on…

We are expected to accept these things as true, no problems here. Feckless is one word for this pattern, stealing is another, insanity yet another.

We have been detached from the values of individualism, responsibility, and freedom that were bestowed upon us by our Founders and the Constitution. We can attribute this disconnect to the comfort and prosperity we have long enjoyed thanks to the sacrifices of many. However, this sense of comfort is nothing but a fortress built out of matchsticks, and losing key government employees in the field is only the beginning of what may precipitate our decline.

You can see how technology has become a focus of this and so many other stories. The ruling class has done the best job they can do, which by all measures can only be rated as “poor.” Opportunities are being lost, security is being lost, and we are all being distracted to listen to the music while Rome burns.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can find our way back. The keys are in the text and in the spirit of the Constitution.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Digital Trends Live

Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Nerf has a new line of Overwatch tie-in guns coming out in 2019, and Product Design Manager Jae Yoo appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the collaboration, and how he comes up with designs.
Computing

Razer’s BlackWidow Lite is a mechanical keyboard designed for work and play

Razer's latest keyboard comes with a minimalist design that will appeal to professionals. But don't let the all-black aesthetics fool you, as the BlackWidow Lite comes with mechanical keys that makes it a great gaming companion.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Mobile

Inferiority is a feature now! Palm's new plan is psychotic

The Palm is a smartphone to reduce your smartphone usage, or a small smartphone for when you don't want to carry your big smartphone. Palm itself doesn't seem sure which it is, but either way, it's a product that's so witless, we're amazed…
Home Theater

Budget TVs are finally worth buying, and you can thank Roku

Not all that long ago, budget TVs were only worth looking at if, well, you were on a budget. Thanks to Roku, not only are budget TVs now a viable option for anyone, but they might even be a better buy than more expensive TVs.
Mobile

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Mobile

Smartphone makers are vomiting a torrent of new phones, and we’re sick of it

Smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, LG, Sony, and Motorola are releasing far too many similar phones. The update cycle has accelerated, but more choice is not always a good thing.
Opinion

Do we even need 5G at all?

Faster phones, easier access to on-demand video, simpler networking -- on the surface, 5G sounds like a dream. So why is it more of a nightmare?
Computing

Razer’s most basic Blade 15 is the one most gamers should buy

Razer's Blade 15 is an awesome laptop for both gamers, streamers, professionals, and anyone else needing serious go in a slim profile, but its price is out of reach for many games. The new Blade 15 Base solves that problem with few…
Gaming

Going to hell, again. The Switch makes 'Diablo 3' feel brand-new

I've played every version of Diablo 3 released since 2012, racking up hundreds of hours in the process. Six years later, I'm playing it yet again on Nintendo Switch. Somehow, it still feels fresh.
Home Theater

The Apple AirPods 2 needed to come out today. Here are four reasons why

Apple announced numerous new products at its October 30 event, a lineup that included a new iPad Pro, a MacBook Air, as well as a new Mac Mini. Here are four reasons we wish a new set of AirPods were on that list.
Gaming

‘Fallout 76’ may have online multiplayer but it’s still a desolate wasteland

"Is Fallout 76 an MMO?" That depends on who you ask. Critics and players often cite its online multiplayer capabilities as a reason it qualifies. Yet calling the game an MMO only confuses matters, and takes away from what could make…