Alan Grayson: Is Keith Alexander Selling Classified Information to the Banks?

I’ve been tracking Keith Alexander’s utterly predictable new gig, getting rich off of having drummed up cybersecurity concerns for the last several years, while at the same time shacking up with the most dubious of shadow bank regulators, Promontory Financial Group.

Apparently, I’m not the only one. Alan Grayson just sent some of the entities that Alexander has been drumming up business with — the Security Industries and Financial Markets Association, Consumer Bankers Association, and Financial Services Roundtable — a letter asking how the former NSA Director can be making a reported $600,000 a month. He cites Bruce Schneier wondering whether part of the deal is that Alexander will share classified information he learned while at NSA.

Security expert Bruce Schneier noted that this fee for Alexander’s services is on its face unreasonable. “Think of how much actual security they could buy with that $600K a month.Unless he’s giving them classified information.” Schneier also quoted Recode.net, which headlined this news as: “For another million, I’ll show you the back door we put in your router.”

[snip]

Disclosing or misusing classified information for profit is, as Mr. Alexander well knows, a felony. I question how Mr. Alexander can provide any of the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods. Without the classified information that he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.

Please send me all information related to your negotiations with Mr. Alexander, so that Congress can verify whether or not he is selling military and cybersecurity secrets to the financial services industry for personal gain.

Alexander is just the latest of a long line of people who profit directly off driving up the cybersecurity threat. But — as Recode.net notes — he’s also got the kind of inside information that could be particularly valuable.

As the Intelligence Industrial Complex and the Banking industry hop into bed together, there ought to be some transparency about just what kind of deals are being made. There’s simply too much immunity handed out to this community to let boondoggles like Alexander’s slide.

The intelligence community is subjecting every low level clearance holder to intense scrutiny right now. But thus far, there has not been a peep from those quarters that the former DIRNSA could command these fees for the expertise gained while overseeing the nation’s secrets.

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12 Responses to Alan Grayson: Is Keith Alexander Selling Classified Information to the Banks?

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emptywheel @JPughMI Do YOU ever got tired of smacking down Steve Mitchell? @FiveThirtyEight
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emptywheel I get that Levin is running interference for his POTUS and party, but dodging this AUMF vote not a good legacy to leave on.
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emptywheel @Jockular To fight other than Assad.
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emptywheel Gillibrand pointing out very obvious point that "moderates" have no incentive to fight ISIL until Assad ousted.
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emptywheel Really Gillibrand should have asked, "Is Turkey or is Turkey not one of our Secret Friends?"
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emptywheel Tho King's "geopolitical whack-a-mole" isn't bad.
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emptywheel @ChrisWarcraft You saw that Cantwell just dropped bill to end non-profit status? @oraTV
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emptywheel Angus King started this speech by acknowledging that Kaine had already made his point more articulately. King was right.
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emptywheel Tho note to Tim Kaine's staffer who had all her papers on lap behind boss while he was making superb speech: that's gonna hurt TV clip.
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emptywheel Also really HOPE HOPE HOPE Cantwell makes a very good Internet ad calling Jerry Jones a welfare queen for not paying taxes.
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emptywheel Tim Kaine giving an excellent lesson in the history of the 2001 AUMF. Hope that makes the TV news.
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emptywheel Now that Cantwell's going after NFL's non-profit status, I hope pollsters start polling whether people KNOW NFL doesn't pay taxes.
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