Former head of NSA doing very well in the private sector

posted at 2:01 pm on June 22, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

General Keith Alexander may not be the top dog at the NSA anymore, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not keeping busy. As Bloomberg reports, he’s out there preaching cyber-security to the nation’s biggest banks and charging a hefty price to do so.

As the four-star general in charge of U.S. digital defenses, Keith Alexander warned repeatedly that the financial industry was among the likely targets of a major attack. Now he’s selling the message directly to the banks.

Joining a crowded field of cyber-consultants, the former National Security Agency chief is pitching his services for as much as $1 million a month. The audience is receptive: Under pressure from regulators, lawmakers and their customers, financial firms are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into barriers against digital assaults.

Alexander, who retired in March from his dual role as head of the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Command, has since met with the largest banking trade groups, stressing the threat from state-sponsored attacks bent on data destruction as well as hackers interested in stealing information or money.

Frankly, I have no problem with Alexander using his background and experience to make a buck in the private sector. That’s what America is all about. (Even if that buck comes in the form of a million a month… nice work if you can get it.) But his specific knowledge and history do give him some advantages – which can be passed on to clients – which might give pause to some observers.

Dr. James Joyner:

Alexander is hardly the first powerful public official to peddle his services in the private sector at a hefty markup after leaving government. And I have no reason to think that Alexander’s dealings are anything but above board. Still, I find this troubling for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.

Partly, it’s because of the vast amount of classified information he had access to as head of the NSA. Aside from the vast troves gleaned from the NSA’s traditional methods, there’s the insights into American businesses that came from the various datamining operations during Alexander’s tenure. So, not only does he have unique expertise about the cyber threat but he also has a lot of knowledge about the vulnerabilities—and who knows what else—of competing banks. Again, I don’t question Alexander’s integrity. But, for even his discounted rate of three times his former annual salary a month, one presumes the people paying for his services have all that at the back of their minds.

This is a ticklish sort of question. Generally speaking, having specific and rare expertise in a critical area is precisely what qualifies one for a lucrative, top level job. But if that expertise came in the form of having access to tons of information which might include the vulnerabilities and tightly held details of the competitors to your prospective clients… you can see the issue. The same caution might apply to highly placed military specialists and intelligence operatives when they enter the private sector.

I think we have to assume by default that Alexander is an honorable man looking to earn a living who would not violate the law and compromise others in doing so. Absent any proof to the contrary, it’s really the only assumption available. But the banks must be thinking that he may be bringing something extra special to the table if they’re willing to shell out that sort of money. Alexander will need to be keenly aware of that moving forward.


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Hmmm.

I remember when the left screamed bloody murder about Reagan writing a book and making ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

MistyLane on June 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

There is no collusion of between big business and big government. Nothing to see here folks move along, move along. The police have stun grenades, MRAPs, body armor, and assault rifles that says you’ll move along.

DFCtomm on June 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I’ll bet the loot sure beats the usual inbred PBS hosting job payoff…

Skippy Gates was busy race-hustling and could not be reached for comment.

That slimy greaseball heading CIA was getting the full massage from Gwen Ifill’s “NewsHour” the other evening.

viking01 on June 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I think we have to assume by default that Alexander is an honorable man looking to earn a living who would not violate the law and compromise others in doing so. Absent any proof to the contrary, it’s really the only assumption available.

But we do have proof to the contrary. The bastard lied to Congress under oath (remember that?). He headed up an agency that illegally spies on Americans. If you think Keith Alexander is an honorable man, we’ll all I can say is you New Yorkers don’t have a clue about honor anymore.

Happy Nomad on June 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I think we have to assume by default that Alexander is an honorable man looking to earn a living who would not violate the law and compromise others in doing so

I don’t have to assume that and won’t. I won’t accuse him of wrong doing w/o proof but I will not default to a trust position.

dmacleo on June 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

You want to give me $1 million per month. Be a shame if those photos got out.

rbj on June 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I think we have to assume by default that Alexander is an honorable man looking to earn a living who would not violate the law and compromise others in doing so. Absent any “proof” to the contrary, it’s really the only assumption available.

…that word now days…means nothing!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 22, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Do you not remember this goon’s statements to Congress?

He didn’t equivocate or decline to answer: he LIED.

No default to “honorable” for this guy, thank you very much. At best you can say you lack proof he lies to his current clients.

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Glad he is gone. You people have no idea what a FUBAR he was in the IC.

buffyvs on June 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

The Washington Revolving Door. Get yourself on the Gravy Train and “… the money keeps rolling on in from every side …”

Credit to Anthony Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and especially Evita Peron who taught Washington everything they know about public service**

** For those of you not familiar with animal husbandry, “service” is a term used when mating a bull and cow as in “Washington has been servicing us for decades.”

clippermiami on June 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I guess we can assume he is not using any of his old colleagues for support.
Not.

NeoKong on June 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Alert

Schadenfreude on June 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Holy Crap!

Just in! The bottom has just dropped out the Benghazi debacle! Check out Clinton Bristled over on Drudge. Can’t link due to server traffic.

HRC and BHO are toast.

Archimedes on June 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Again, I don’t question Alexander’s integrity.

Why the heck not ?
I do .

burrata on June 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Why the heck not ?
I do .

burrata on June 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I don’t. I knew him and served with him. He is a very honorable man in a tough business.

Same for the current DIRNSA, Admiral Mike Rogers. An excellent choice for the position. Straight shooter and smart as a whip. He will protect this country to the best of his ability.

And no, no matter what anyone on this blog thinks, NSA does not collect against American citizens. They have better things to do.

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

I don’t. I knew him and served with him. He is a very honorable man in a tough business.

That was in the past.

Same for the current DIRNSA, Admiral Mike Rogers. An excellent choice for the position. Straight shooter and smart as a whip.

He was not selected for this job because of these qualities, he was selected because he will take orders and never ask ” why “.
No one like a sharp shooter or a smart guy move up in DC.

He will protect this country to the best of his ability.

He will do what he is ordered to do and what is ” expected ” from him by valery

And no, no matter what anyone on this blog thinks, NSA does not collect against American citizens.

Sure
:O

They have better things to do.

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Like what ?

burrata on June 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Holy Crap!

Just in! The bottom has just dropped out the Benghazi debacle! Check out Clinton Bristled over on Drudge. Can’t link due to server traffic.

HRC and BHO are toast.

Archimedes on June 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM

this is link in case anyone needs it

http://nypost.com/2014/06/22/clinton-bristled-at-benghazi-deception-book/

dmacleo on June 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

this is link in case anyone needs it

http://nypost.com/2014/06/22/clinton-bristled-at-benghazi-deception-book/

dmacleo on June 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Looks like the pattern WahaBIllary have decided to follow from now on :
“Hussein did it , not me ”
Hussein wanted to malign Palin , not me.
Hussein said blame the video, not me.
Ofcourse, there is no record of her protesting Hussein , in fact she not only pro actively pleased him, she benefitted immensely from the same things she said she was against .

burrata on June 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Must be a democrap.

vnvet on June 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM

don’t. I knew him and served with him. He is a very honorable man in a tough business.

Same for the current DIRNSA, Admiral Mike Rogers. An excellent choice for the position. Straight shooter and smart as a whip. He will protect this country to the best of his ability.

And no, no matter what anyone on this blog thinks, NSA does not collect against American citizens. They have better things to do.

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

It doesn’t matter how good this one guy is, or isn’t. We are creating a turnkey police state dictatorship just waiting for the wrong guy to get lucky and win an election.

DFCtomm on June 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

There is no collusion of between big business and big government. Nothing to see here folks move along, move along. The police have stun grenades, MRAPs, body armor, and assault rifles that says you’ll move along.

DFCtomm on June 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Dick Cheney and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agree 100%.

bw222 on June 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

General Keith Alexander may not be the top dog at the NSA anymore, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not keeping busy. As Bloomberg reports, he’s out there preaching cyber-security to the nation’s biggest banks and charging a hefty price to do so.

…and warning the banks to keep the NSA backdoors open as well?

slickwillie2001 on June 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Of course he is doing well. He had the ultimate in inside information.

Tinker on June 22, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Dick Cheney and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agree 100%.

bw222 on June 22, 2014 at 5:36 PM

and the banksters, Bilderbergs, Rothschilds and the Joooooooos, right?

thebrokenrattle on June 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Former head of ___ doing very well in the private sector

Don’t they always…

thebrokenrattle on June 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM

When the PTB slap you, you’ll take it and you like it. These thugs will ruin all of us and you can take your PC anti-tinfoil hat normalcy bias and bet your future on it if you care to do so…whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside in other words.

Good luck with that.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

DFCtomm on June 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

I won’t get into a big discussion about this because I will not disclose classified info, but all of you here dumping on Alexander do NOT know what you are talking about. I would venture a guess that I am the only person commenting here who actually knew and worked with the guy. He, like every single other human being, has his issues, but he is a man of integrity.

And

They have better things to do.

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Like what ?

burrata on June 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

You seriously ask that question? Well, since you are completely clueless, like going after the enemies of the U.S., not Aunt Jenny or you or anybody else on this blog.

I shake my head at the paranoid fantasies on the internet at how guys like me who have been defending this country for over 30 years really are sitting around just itching to read your bullshit emails. Please spare me your craziness! NOT collecting on U.S. persons is one of the bedrocks of my community. WE DON’T DO IT.

SK AR DIT DIT

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

NavyMustang, you are pretty much wasting your breath (electrons? bytes?) trying to convince these folks about any of this. Despite the fact that they have no firsthand knowledge whatsoever, the “true conservatives” on this blog have convinced themselves that NSA is evil, Snowden is a hero, etc., etc., and no amount of facts will convince them otherwise. Because, wake up sheeple!

God, I miss the Reagan days, when being “conservative” actually meant caring about national security, regardless of who was in the White House.

And thank you for your service.

Hayabusa on June 22, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Navy

You are categorically wrong. I worked with the IC during his tenure. I could write a book on it and how much time and money he wasted.
And your statement about collecting data on citizens is a huge lie. The fact is that we have collected the data and still doing it. We just don’t use a system that can analyze it thanks to his penchant for using his fav primes instead of what works. So spare me…especially the “classified” disclosure BS. Anyone that I know or worked with in the IC would even venture that sentence in a public forum.
You’re a fake. You know it and so do I. Disgusting.

buffyvs on June 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Keith Alexander is a lying scumbag.
He violated his oath to the Nation and the Constitution.
He deserves to be punished with extreme prejudice.
III/0317

Sgt Stryker on June 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I have no problem with Alexander cashing in. But I would have to point out that he was the CG of NSA and the US Cyber command. But I have to point out that he was a General, which is several echelons above where the rubber meets the road

schmuck281 on June 23, 2014 at 3:00 AM

I won’t get into a big discussion about this because I will not disclose classified info, but all of you here dumping on Alexander do NOT know what you are talking about. I would venture a guess that I am the only person commenting here who actually knew and worked with the guy. He, like every single other human being, has his issues, but he is a man of integrity.

NavyMustang on June 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

I’ll tell you what isn’t classified and it was my comment, that you apparently didn’t read, so I’ll state it again. I don’t give a damn whether he’s a good man. We’re building a fascist police state that will be in search of the right strong man during the right crisis.

DFCtomm on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 AM

A $M a month? That kinda rises to the level of extortion. Maybe they should get advice from Snowden instead.

Kissmygrits on June 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM