CISA: The Banks Want Immunity and a Public-Private War Council

A group of privacy and security organizations have just sent President Obama a letter asking him to issue a veto threat over the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. It’s a great explanation of why this bill sucks and doesn’t do what it needs to to make us safer from cyberattacks. It argues that CISA’s exclusive focus on information sharing — and not on communications security more generally — isn’t going to keep us safe.

Which is why it really pays to look at the role of SIFMA — the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association — in all this.

As I’ve noted, they’re the banksters whom Keith Alexander is charging big bucks to keep safe. As Bloomberg recently reported, Alexander has convinced SIFMA to demand a public-private cyber war council, involving all the stars of revolving door fearmongering for profit.

Wall Street’s biggest trade group has proposed a government-industry cyber war council to stave off terrorist attacks that could trigger financial panic by temporarily wiping out account balances, according to an internal document.

The proposal by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, known as Sifma, calls for a committee of executives and deputy-level representatives from at least eight U.S. agencies including the Treasury Department, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, all led by a senior White House official.

The trade association also reveals in the document that Sifma has retained former NSA director Keith Alexander to “facilitate” the joint effort with the government. Alexander, in turn, has brought in Michael Chertoff, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and his firm, Chertoff Group.

Public reporting positions SIFMA as the opposition to the larger community of people who know better, embracing this public-private war council approach.

Kenneth Bentsen, chief executive at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said in a statement that leaders of the Senate Intelligence panel who wrote the bill have “taken a balanced and considered approach which will help the financial services industry to better protect our customers from cyber terrorists and criminals, as well as their privacy.”

According to the same banksters who crashed our economy 6 years ago, this bill is about protecting them at the expense of our privacy and rule of law.

And in their reply to Alan Grayson’s questions about WTF they’re paying Keith Alexander so handsomely for, SIFMA repeats this line (definitely click through to read about Quantum Dawn 2).

Cyber attacks are increasingly a major threat to our financial system. As such, enhancing cyber security is a top priority for the financial services industry. SIFMA believes we have an obligation to do everything possible to protect the integrity of our markets and the millions of Americans who use financial services every day.


However, the threat increases every day. SIFMA and its members have undertaken additional efforts to develop cyber defense standards for the securities industry sector as a follow on to the recently published NIST standards. And we are developing enhanced recovery protocols for market participants and regulators in the event of an attack that results in closure of the equity and fixed income markets. We are undertaking this work in close collaboration with our regulators and recently held a meeting to brief them on our progress. And, we plan to increase our efforts even further as the risks are too great for current efforts alone.

We know that a strong partnership between the private sector and the government is the most efficient way to address this growing threat. Industry and investors benefit when the private sector and government agencies can work together to share relevant threat information. We would like to see more done in Congress to eliminate the barriers to legitimate information sharing, which will enable this partnership to grow stronger, while protecting the privacy of our customers.

This is not — contrary to what people like Dianne Feinstein are pretending — protecting the millions who had their credit card data stolen because Target was not using the cyberdefenses it put into place.

Rather, this is about doing the banksters’ bidding, setting up a public-private war council, without first requiring them to do basic things — like limiting High Frequency Trading — to make their industry more resilient to all kinds of attacks, from even themselves.

Meanwhile, if that’s not enough indication this is about the bankstsers, check out what Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is doing this afternoon.

In the afternoon, the Secretary will visit Verizon’s facilities in Ashburn, Virginia to discuss cybersecurity and highlight the important role of telecommunications companies in supporting the financial system. 

Just what we need: our phone provider serving the interests of the financial system first.

DiFi wants to make it easier to spy on Americans domestically to help private companies that have already done untold damage to Main Street America. We ought to be protecting ourselves from them, not degrading privacy to subsidize their insecure practices.

4 replies
  1. RexFlex says:

    Every time I see Chertoff’s named mentioned all I can think of is we are going to be told of an imminent attack and then lo and behold the Chertoff group, or BAC or Lockheed Martin is the only company that just so happens to have the technology ready to sell to the US government to stave off this dangerous threat.

  2. Dadster says:

    I like the apt term BANKSTERS , rhyming with gangsters . Its no more ” financial service industry ” , but it is FINANCIAL BOSSING ORGANIZATION. The banks set the terms and conditions for advancing or borrowing and the industry and trade and commerce, for whom the banks exist and supposed to serve , have started bossing the industry setting up bank’s own stringent greedy , predatory terms and conditions which trade and commerce are condemned to confirm to and comply with .
    All banks , at least the 20 major ones should be NATIONALIZED , the government taking over and running it to serve trade and commerce and manufacturers the true generators of jobs and nation’s wealth and the prosperity of ” we the 99% “.

    These 1% have always been firing from the shoulders of the 99% to advance the interests of the 1%. Time to call off their bluff and divest them of their ill- gotten wealth kept by them writing laws that benefitted them only at the cost of the 99% . KL

  3. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Jack Lew? That’s the guy Elizabeth Warren blindly supported for his current job.

    It’s almost as if we’re completely screwed.

  4. Zeitgeist says:

    I like the apt term ” banksters” to rhyme with gangsters ! 
    Banks were conceived  as facilities to service trade& commerce , especially international T&C and NOT to enter into business themselves ever.

    But , these days banks themselves do business . Banks boss over all other sectors Inc
    Using business sector , dictating bank’s own terms and conditions for facilitating trade .

    Finance services have morphed into financial managers and CEOs .

    Banks have grown so big that they make the rules themselves, for themselves . They get deregulated . 

    All this is known to everyone. 
    What’s not known is how to combat them ? 
    How to bring them under control ? 
    How to get them to service instead of bossing ? 

    Perhaps, in view of the fact that the Nation is suffocating under the hegemony of the banks ,  NATIONALIZATION OF BAMKS  could be a viable option even of it needs a Presidential executive order or a declaration of emergency in the land suspending senate and houses temporarily ,as they also have been bought by the banks.

    As democracy in America has morphed into rank  Corporatocracy , with corporatised media too.

    The traditional American way of doing things is invoked often by whom ? 
    By the very same 1% who are the only ones benefitted by that so traditional ways.

    America stands for democracy and not for just for the  greedy predatory privileged  few making excessive profits  impoverishing the 99% . That  wasn’t the American way , or WAS IT all through ?

    INTERNET PRIVACY only  helps the 1% to hide their stashed up accumulated wealth and their irregular ,socially  irresponsible ways of minting  it ,  from the eyes of the public and the government. 

    Doesn’t help much the 99% who have nothing much not even to hide , except their own misery and poverty, which again is more the need of the 1% who don’t want to know it or to see it .     

Comments are closed.