John McAfee is a Presidential candidate more focused on restoring the right to privacy and implementing cybersecurity on a national level than any before him.

“We are losing privacy at an alarming rate — we have none left,” McAfee said. ” We’ve given up so much for the illusion of security and our government is simply dysfunctional.”

While Mr. McAfee’s chance at winning has been met with doubt by the public majority, his candidacy has definitely piqued the interest of members of the the cybersecurity community.

Here are the opinions of 4 cybersecurity professionals on the topic of John McAfee, his cyber party, and whether he will become the next United States President.

4 cybersecurity professionals

Our Opinion Panel

Richard Bejtlich is Chief Security Strategist at FireEye, and was Mandiant’s Chief Security Officer when FireEye acquired Mandiant in 2013. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, author of “The Practice Of Network Security Monitoring” and several other publications, as well as his influential blog- TaoSecurity On Twitter @TaoSecurity

Ralph Echemendia is often known as “The Hollywood Hacker” and operates Red-E Digital, a firm that secures, manages and reduces risk related to digital assets associated with the film and television industry. Mr. Echemendia has handled some of the largest breaches and cases in the entertainment industry and has successfully provided corporations and law enforcement the necessary evidence to prosecute. Recently he has joined forces with some Hollywood’s most influential names to address operational security, intellectual property and piracy issues. On Twitter @RalphR3m1X

Eijah is a programmer by day and a hacker by night. He is the Senior Programmer at Rockstar Games and the founder of Demonsaw, a secure and anonymous information sharing platform built to support the future of privacy. Eijah has not only gained the support of the grass roots hacker community in the implementation of Demonsaw, but the official support of John McAfee himself, as their goals for protecting privacy are closely aligned.

From the Demonsaw website: “Safeguarding our privacy and protecting our Right to Share are the primary goals of Demonsaw” On Twitter @demon_saw

Ned Snow is the President of SecureNinja– A cybersecurity training and services organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Ned has led the world class training company to become the forerunner in accelerated information security training and services. SecureNinja has trained the US Department of Defense, all branches of the US Military as well as other important government intelligence organizations. On Twitter at @NedDread

1. What do you think of John McAfee running for President?

Richard Bejtlich– This is clearly the year for outsiders, but I support Governor Kasich.

Ralph Echemendia– While I love his campaign slogan, “Privacy, Freedom and Technology” I find it interesting that someone with his notoriously checkered and questionable past would run for president.

Eijah– This country needs a change from the tired and stale political model of donkeys and elephants. The history books are littered with examples of career politicians assuming office, only to stall mid-term due to their inability to collaborate across the aisle and fulfill their lofty promises to the American public. The problem is that career politicians cannot fulfill their campaign promises because they either don’t understand the scope of what they’ve promised, or their constituencies have other plans for their time in office.

What we need is a real-world candidate for our real-world problems. We don’t need lies, fluffy rhetoric, or lofty promises.  We need an honest and real person, somebody with whom we can empathize and understand.  We need transparency, openness and experience. We need John McAfee.

Ned Snow- I think cybersecurity awareness; while a chief concern of our nation, is not enough of a platform to run on to be elected POTUS. Until I hear more from McAfee on his entire belief system I personally would not consider a vote for him.

I do like that a McAfee campaign would provide a voice and wake up call to our country to reevaluate our current cybersecurity policies and inadequate workforce.

One tip for McAfee and his candidacy would be to take from the James Carville adage “It’s the Economy Stupid”. McAfee should talk also about job creation pointing out to the American Public the serious shortage of cybersecurity professionals today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of information security analysts to grow by 37 percent by 2022, a rate far greater than the average growth rate for all other jobs.

2. Do you think John McAfee has a chance at winning the Presidency?

Richard Bejtlich– Mr. McAfee will not be the next President.

Ralph Echemendia– Honestly, slim to none.

Eijah– It only takes a handful of people to start a revolution, but it can take a lifetime to influence the right people to act.  One of the scariest and most courageous things that a person can do is to go against the flow, to stand up for what they believe in.  It takes but 1 voice to start a chorus.  I’m sure that 250 years ago the British thought that the rebellious American colonies had no chance of winning either.  But history has proven them wrong.

Never underestimate the power of a voice of reason that speaks to the core of who we are.  We are powerful because we are individuals, and not in spite of this.  The world is changing.  We are quickly approaching a time of awakening, a time for a new generation of technical-savvy individuals who will take the reins from career politicians. The rise of the #hackergeneration is at hand.

Ned Snow- No. While I appreciate John McAfee spearheading the discussion for the United States to elect a President who is more focused on Cybersecurity than ever before, I do not think the American people are ready to vote in a candidate such as John McAfee.

3. Do you think there will ever be a ‘cyber party’?

Richard Bejtlich– I don’t expect to see a viable “cyber party” in this century.

Ralph Echemendia– I do not. But anything is possible.

Eijah– The Cyber Party is a revolutionary idea grounded in reality.  We live in a world driven by technology.  We cannot live without computers, electricity, or the Internet.  Anybody under 40, has an ingrained understand of technology and cyberspace that comes by default.  It’s a core part of who we are.  But career politicians seem to exist outside this norm.  They’ve become out-of-touch with modern society, and it shows in their politics and their staff.

Ned Snow- Yes. McAfee has self-proclaimed one but we live in an electoral system rigged against third parties and that said I do not think a “Cyber Party” long lasting. Cybersecurity will instead become an even hotter issue within all major political parties as we move into the future.

4. Do you agree that all politicians should understand the fundamentals of Cybersecurity?

Richard Bejtlich– Yes, this appears to be the year for Presidential candidates to discuss cyber security. Proper handling of sensitive information has been Hillary Clinton’s biggest challenge. On the Republican side, candidates are addressing security in debates and publishing position papers. Information campaigns by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea promise to keep security in the headlines, as foreign policy and national security issues.

Ralph Echemendia– I do agree that those in political power need to understand cyber security. Political leaders barely understand how to use their email, much less do they understand the issues surrounding the use of digital weaponry.

Elijah– Absolutely. The future of war will take place in cyberspace.  Not understanding the fundamentals of Cybersecurity is to expose our entire country to risk.  We cannot afford to be weak with respect to cybersecurity.  Current politicians try to apply security like a layer of makeup.  This is a fundamentally flawed approach and will fail.  Technology & Cybersecurity need to be at the core of everything we do – they need to be part of our DNA.  John McAfee understands this and will lead us into the future.

Ned Snow- Absolutely. With today’s Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), it’s just as important for the President to understand these tactics as it is to understand traditional warfare techniques. I continue to advocate at minimum mandatory cybersecurity awareness/fundamentals training for all members of state and federal government.

There you have it!

Do you think John McAfee will be the next president? Tweet to @SecureNinja and let us know what you think.