CNBC News Releases

CNBC Excerpts: McAfee Associates Founder John McAfee Speaks with CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Apple/FBI Privacy Fight


WHEN: Today, Friday, February 19th

WHERE: CNBC's "Power Lunch"

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with John McAfee on CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET) today, Friday, February 19th. Following are links to the interview on

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

McAfee on Apple

Really what the government is asking Apple to do is to make every individual who uses an iPhone susceptible to hacking by bad people, foreign governments and anyone who wants. It's not just the FBI. Here's the problem. The FBI says oh well, we can keep it secret. That's utter nonsense. Utter nonsense. There are no secrets.

McAfee on Hackers

There's always a bad apple somewhere. And you know there won't be just one copy. There will be hundreds of copies. And the more copies there are the more likelihood that the bad people will get it. Now just imagine, if hackers had access to every encrypted communication on the iPhone we would be losing our money, we would be losing our social security information. Everything about us would be known by the wrong people. Sure the FBI would know. But so would everybody else.

McAfee on Being Defenseless

If Apple falls, so will Android and Google and so will everyone. And we are then in a world of hurt. We will be defenseless as a nation in the up and coming cyber war. And as a people we will lose everything to the hackers who go, oh heavens, we don't have to do any work anymore. We've got the backdoor to go into.

McAfee on the FBI

The FBI and our entire government has become a bureaucracy. Sick, tired and old as far as technology is concerned. This has to change. Do you think the Chinese think twice about hiring a hacker with a mohawk or a tattooed face? No.

McAfee on Wanting a Back Door

If they'd just asked said, here we'll give you the phone. You tell us what's in it. That's great. They did not do that. I am now forcing the hand. I'm saying ok, you say you only want it for this one telephone. Perfect. Give me the telephone. I'll tell you exactly what's in it. My team and I. Any team of great hackers can do that. So no, they have not taken me up on that. They want a back door.

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