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 Twitterverse
emptywheel @p2wy Given profile of travelers I saw this summer--bc of far cheaper fares--imagine this is especially a problem in flyover country.
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emptywheel RT @mvario1: Wyden Doesn’t Know What NSA Does with Its Dragnet Overseas https://t.co/DG5juTpiPb
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emptywheel Last tweet from here: https://t.co/GJa9IryMTW
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emptywheel "Amtrak's policies also provide grounds for civil asset forfeiture, a process that effectively allows cops to engage in highway robbery,"
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bmaz Further discussion from @jacklgoldsmith on Obama possible continuation of Bush CAT policy http://t.co/jvl2NNxd04
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emptywheel RT @lawfareblog: Jack Goldsmith: "The Debate About the Extraterritorial Scope of the Torture Convention’s Provisions on Cruelty" http://t.c…
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bmaz @JustADCohen CCA gets whatever it wants in AZ.
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bmaz @JustADCohen CCA has a stranglehold on the GOP whack job legislature here. Also CCA man Chuck Coughlin is Brewers long time top advisor.
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bmaz @StephanieKelton LA, SF, NY and DC is it apparently. Seems silly not wider released w/all the buzz it is getting. I was going to go tonight!
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emptywheel @Ali_Gharib the same people who, not having read what actually got released, wrote persistent articles abt how nothing bad revealed?
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bmaz @sethdmichaels @UCSUSA Outstanding and congratulations. Sounds like a fun gig.
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emptywheel While everyone's chatting abt poss Burr might Chair SSCI, worth noting he did nothing to shut down illegal wiretap. https://t.co/A6OPvywPQq
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