Mike Rogers Says Google Must Lose Its Quarter to Save a Rickety Bank

Screen shot 2014-06-12 at 10.03.25 PMJosh Gerstein already wrote about some of this Mike Rogers blather. But I wanted to transcribe the whole thing to display how utterly full of shit he is.

At a conference at Georgetown the other day, (see video 3), Rogers laid into the tech companies for opposing USA Freedumber, which he badly misrepresented just before this. The context of European opportunism beings at 1:06, the quote begins after 1:08.

We should be very mad at Google, and Microsoft, and Facebook, because they’re doing a very interesting, and I think, very dangerous thing. They’ve come out and said, “well, we oppose this new FISA bill because it doesn’t go far enough.” When you peel that onion back a little bit, and why are you doing this, this is a good bill, it’s safe, bipartisan, it’s rational, it meets all the requirements for Fourth Amendment protection, privacy protection, and allowing the system to work,

Rogers claims they’re doing so solely because they’re afraid to lose European business. And Rogers — a Republican! — is furious that corporations prioritize their profits (note, Rogers has never complained that some of these same companies use European tax shelters to cheat the tax man).

And they say, “well, we have to do this because we have to make sure we don’t lose our European business.” I don’t know about the rest of you, that offends me from the word, “European business.” Think about what they’re doing. They’re willing, in their minds, to justify the importance of their next quarter’s earnings in Europe, versus the National Security of the United States. Everybody on those boards should be embarrassed, and their CEOs should be embarrassed, and their stockholders should be embarrassed.That one quarter cannot be worth the National Security of the United States for the next 10 generations. And if we don’t get this part turned around very quickly, it will likely get a little ugly, and that emotional piece that we got by is going to be right back in the center of the room to no good advantage to our ability to protect the United States.

Mostly, he seems pissed because he knows the collective weight of the tech companies may give those of us trying to defeat USA Freedumber a fighting chance, which is what Rogers considers an emotional place because Democracy.

But Rogers’ rant gets truly bizarre later in the same video (after 1:23) where he explains what the security interest is:

We have one particular financial institution that clears, somewhere about $7 trillion dollars in global financial transactions every single day. Imagine if tomorrow that place gets in there and through an attack of which we know does exist, the potential does exist where the information is destroyed and manipulated, now you don’t know who owes what money, some of that may have lost transactions completely forever, imagine what that does to the economy, $7 trillion. Gone — right? Gone. It’s that serious.

Mind you, Rogers appears unaware that a banks shuffling of money — while an incredibly ripe target for hackers — does not really contribute to the American economy. This kind of daily volume is churn that only the very very rich benefit from. And one big reason it’s a target is because it is an inherently fragile thing.

To make all this even more hysterical, Rogers talks about risk driving insurance driving proper defensive measures from the target companies … yet he seems not to apply those rules to banks.

Mike Rogers, it seems, would rather kill Google’s business than permit this rickety vitality killing bank to feel the full brunt of the risk of its own business model.

13 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Isn’t he the one who’s a former FBI agent? Makes sense. Bullying, lying, narrow-minded – classic cop shit. And the police wonder why people hate them.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    It’s funny, though. If he weren’t someone in power, we’d dismiss him as being like Grandma when she gets old and starts to think that the whole world revolves around her, that no one pays enough attention to her or listens to her, and that she’s right and everyone else is wrong, all the while getting the facts dead wrong–an embarrassment (and a pain) to all those around her. You’re just glad when the visit is over and you can go home.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    Off topic, but just had to get this off my chest.

    NUSSAIBAH YOUNI in an NYT op-ed today says: “The Obama administration must help the Iraqi government retake the city of Mosul from Islamists and stem their march toward Baghdad. But military aid will not be enough. For lasting success, the United States must compel Iraq’s divisive leadership to pursue government by reconciliation just as vigorously as it pursues battlefield victory.”

    Excuse me? Why is it that the Obama administration must do this? Why isn’t it the job of France, or Paraguay, or Cambodia? And tell me also, for 10 years Maliki has been fighting against the very objective that you seek. Do you, sir, have a plan for accomplishing it now? What would you do differently? For God’s sake, man, It’s Not Our Job and There’s No Way To Do It Anyway!

    Sorry, late night rants.

  4. john francis lee says:

    They think the bill is too weak!?
    Critics, including a tech coalition backed by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, AOL, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn, DropBox, and Yahoo, have rejected the House measure and called on
    the Senate to insist on tougher reforms and greater transparency.
    Ah, I see, They are positioning themselves as being on ‘our’ side … I’ll bet there ‘bill’ privatizes spying, robs the treasury, and hits us all even harder in areas the feds have been uninterested in that we haven’t seriously considered yet.
    Remember, the government works for the corporations. Putting the corporations in direct charge is *not* going to be an improvement, no matter what the libertarians tell you.

    • emptywheel says:

      You’re missing the underlying dynamic here. The telecoms stole from Internet companies for years, under the illegal program from 2001-2004 and under FISC supervision from at least 2004-2011. This bill will resume that.

      • john francis lee says:

        You’re right, I am missing that dynamic.
        There is certainly no doubt that the connection based telecoms have a more thoroughly developed relationship with their more thoroughly captive ‘regulators’ than the packet based telecoms, and have been robbing us all for a much longer period of time, and are now in process of remoulding packet based communications into something they’re (all – ‘regulated’, regulators, and congress) more familiar with.
        It’s just that the packet based communications providers are actively looking for new markets for the massive intrusions into what used to be considered private communications more or less orthogonal to the circuit switchers, and have their eyes on the security state in addition to the advertising industry. Or so it seems to me.

  5. Pete Toemmes says:

    I assume his rant wrt to $7 trillion global finance transactions is related to the USD being the reserve currency (at the moment). Russia, China, and I’d be remiss not to mention the US Federal Reserve with its misguided actions – and others – will probably destroy the USD as the reserve currency. It may remain as one of several, but that ought to put a major dent in what Roger’s is talking about.

  6. orionATL says:

    “…We have one particular financial institution that clears, somewhere about $7 trillion dollars in global financial transactions every single day. Imagine if tomorrow that place gets in there and through an attack of which we know does exist, the potential does exist where the information is destroyed and manipulated, now you don’t know who owes what money, some of that may have lost transactions completely forever, imagine what that does to the economy, $7 trillion. Gone — right? Gone. It’s that serious…”

    ford knows exactly what he is doing – propaganda – “redacted propaganda” designed to be uncheckable while leaving a foolish listener or sensation-seeking journalist with a sense of impending doom unless …

    the paragraph, “we have one particular financial institution”, is well-designed;

    the particular financial institution is not named, but would likely be assumed to be a bank.

    “that place gets in there and thru an attack which we know does exist” implies a computer attack against something.

    it is merely edited text that suggests the classic fear-scenario de rigeur for all natsec leeches while having “redacted” verifiable specifics.

    “which we know does exist” is a phrase from another sentence . in junjunction with “thru an attack” the two phrases imply terrible things that could or did happen, while at the same time having, for ford, the wonderful characteristic of being entirely uncheckable.

    and then the vague, fear-inducing denoument, “some of that may have lost transactions completely forever”.

    shades of 1932, 1982, 1998, 2007.

    boo! boo! and double boo!

    from the fbi’s block head in congress mike ford.

    redacted propaganda – the best kind, all the emotions, none of the vetifiable facts.

    in teevee and hollywood, they call this “like-a-joke”, a version of “truthiness”.

  7. TarheelDem says:

    How is that phoney-baloney bank’s loss any different from the trillions of losses incurred in the meltdown of shady credit default swaps, for which the US government made foreign counterparties whole?

  8. What Constitution? says:

    I’m thinking maybe Rep. King’s level of sophistication might make him more suitable to a task like, oh, trying to make sure we don’t ship large pallets of cash into Iraq without any traceability the next time we touch down there. If he, you know, is so intent on protecting America’s money. And lord knows, somebody ought to try to prevent large pallets of cash from walking away when we liberate places like Iraq (again). It’s just that Peter King hasn’t got a first clue of what he’s doing when he starts talking about the Intertoobs.

  9. Rayne says:

    “…this is a good bill, it’s safe, bipartisan…”

    Hah. Bumbler sez both GOP and Dems are idiots armed with condoms (and please to be letting them schtup us, kthxbai).

    Unfortunately neither side are fully armed with smarts.

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