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Government Security

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret 200

Posted by timothy
from the public-officials-should-be-on-public-record dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg, prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.
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Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

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  • If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @05:56PM (#47570693)

    This is an example of the perils of state and corporate power being merged. Fascism, according to Mussolini.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @06:19PM (#47570813)

    And yet he hasn't stopped it. In fact, he has explicitly defended and expanded the surveillance state. If he was against it, he would've stopped it by vetoing the Patriot Act extension. He's corrupt to the core and no amount of "But Bush!!!" will change that.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @06:23PM (#47570845)

    So the REAL question is what WILL stop it. Saying that "This one is a bad person and did nothing to change it" doesn't work. Saying "The previous one did nothing to change it" doesn't work.
    Voting for "The other party" doesn't work.

    No, I do not have the answer, because if I did I would be giving it.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @06:28PM (#47570873)

    The only thing that will work is executing all these traitors in the government propping up the panopticon. We didn't buy the "just following orders" excuse in the Nuremberg Trials so I don't see why these traitors should be treated differently.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:24PM (#47571171)

    Why the summary munged Alexander's laughable salary request and a lawsuit by a journalist is a bit baffling.

    First issue, the lawsuit. The NSA refused to provide under Federal Law. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that this agency is ignoring (or at least attempting to ignore) Federal Law. The right answer is to disband the NSA and hand SIGINT over to the Military which tends to follow the US Constitution a bit more closely. While we are disbanding things, we should also revamp the CIA, FBI, DHS, and TSA removing most of their powers and executives that also ignore the law.

    Second issue is that Alexander thinks he's brilliant enough to make a million a month telling people what most IT Security professionals can do for a much better rate. I'd do better than he does at securing a company, and I'll do it for much less. In fact I can think of a few dozen people I'd recommend for much less, and for a million a month I'd have a full staff doing audits _and_ consulting. You don't need to be a former General to be intelligent about security, you need knowledge.

    In other words, if Alexander can get a million a month for consulting it sure as hell is not for security. It would be for cronyism.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:26PM (#47571179)

    So the REAL question is what WILL stop it. Saying that "This one is a bad person and did nothing to change it" doesn't work. Saying "The previous one did nothing to change it" doesn't work.
    Voting for "The other party" doesn't work.

    No, I do not have the answer, because if I did I would be giving it.

    What must be done to change the status-quo with minimal violence or bloodshed is to unite people under common values, such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

    Likewise, the militarization of domestic police forces and their gradual shift from a community law enforcement role to more resemble a national occupation force complete with armored vehicles and heavy crew-served weapons.

    Start focusing on what we have in common, not what divides us. Despite what those with power would like you to believe, we have much more in common than we have differences. Those commonalities are also those of a much more fundamental and essential nature than our differences.

    Extremely few on any side of the political spectrum in the US (barring government & MIC) wants an Orwellian surveillance//security/police state.

    I'd have no problem at all standing side by side in public protests and demonstrations with almost anyone from TEA Party member to PETA and/or LGBT activist and beyond who also was willing to postpone our arguments for our common interests in a free and open society without mass domestic surveillance & data analysis and a militarized police force performing military-occupation and wealth-confiscation roles more than any sort of community-based & controlled "officer of the peace" roles.

    Look, people, yes we have beefs over stuff *BUT*, unless we unite and curb government power and size, it won't matter because very soon none of us will have any choices about anything nor any meaningful rights at all.

    Strat

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Immerman (2627577) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:27PM (#47571181)

    I think the point he's trying to make is that there's no such thing as "Obama's America" - he's just the latest in a long stream of presidents to dance on the strings of someone(s) far more powerful who are actually in control. Or get assassinated - that seems to be a pretty common theme among presidents that actually tried to take a stand against this tide.

  • Re: If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IMightB (533307) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:34PM (#47571209) Journal

    I think Obama's one of the best Republican Presidents ever. He's guided the country through a healthy if slow economic recovery. Convinced the democrats to implement the Republican health care plan. And continued the Republican lovefest with the patriot act and secret surveillance

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:49PM (#47571291) Journal

    We have a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state

    There has clearly been success in creating a one-party state. The party just happens to have two faces, but inside, there is no significant difference.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:11PM (#47571393) Homepage
    Gotta love that site, too bad "doing something" is not the same as doing the right thing. Sure, hes done alot, what has he done to make the country better jack shit
  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:39PM (#47571521)

    Sadly, sedition would be vilified. Look at Mr Snowden. Enemy of the state, now exiled in Moscow. He's one of many, and as there are no controls, and the game of extortion is played at the highest level like a bad poker game, the chances of clarity, openness, and even "just the right thing" are nil.

    Martyrdom doesn't work with 72 virgins, and it doesn't work when corporate America controls the press-- especially Murdoch. Who has the WSJ by the printing press short-hairs? None other. Most of us just duck low, shaking our heads.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:34PM (#47571757)

    Extremely few on any side of the political spectrum in the US (barring government & MIC) wants an Orwellian surveillance//security/police state.

    How many people support DUI checkpoints, free speech zones, unfettered border searches, constitution-free zones, the TSA, the NSA's mass surveillance, protest permits, stop-and-frisk-type policies, unwarranted surveillance in general, or assassination of citizens without trial? They only have to be a supporter of one of them to be a supporter of a police state, and I can't tell you how many people I've personally conversed with that supported a number of those as long as it makes them feel safe. In 'the land of the free and the home of the brave,' freedom should be considered more important than safety, but I don't think most people see it that way.

    And even if most people did see it that way, look at how many people changed their tunes directly after 9/11? If people are so weak and unprincipled that a disaster can make them give a bunch of power to the government, then all it takes is another disaster for the government to take advantage of, and we'll lose all that progress.

    So either way, I'm not too optimistic.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:41PM (#47571789)

    It might work - IF you could find enough competent assassins willing to become the target of the most intensive and well-funded manhunt ever to be implemented.

    I assume you think that you're making a joke, but it is worth pointing out that government by assassination never works.

    You think good guys have more money to hire hit men than bad guys? Or, you read so many honorable-mafia-killer novels that you think hired killers won't work for bad guys, only for the good guys? Or, you think that the kind of people who like to assassinate public figures have an unerring ethical sense, and can instinctively tell good from bad?

    Or perhaps better yet willing to become public martyrs to the cause. Shouldn't take more than a few dozen "educational killings" to get the message across. A few thousand, tops.

    This, basically, is a way to guarantee that the worst possible people end up in power. 'Cause once you get onto that Roman-Emperor assassination train, the ones that are ruthless, power-hungry, and have no morals will be the ones hiring the killers. Either directly, if they're bold, or through "grass roots- it's the people who support me" intermediaries if they're not.

    And then just hope the message received is "you're public employees - stop being lapdogs to the ultra-powerful" and not "the proles are getting uppity, time to crack down for real"

    The message that will be sent is "if you want to survive, be paranoid, trust no one, kill quickly and ruthlessly".

  • by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @10:03PM (#47571877)

    The TSA does not need to be revamped; it needs to be destroyed. Anything less than complete elimination is unacceptable. Government thugs should not be in airports; the end. Same with the DHS, which should never have been created in the first place.

  • Holy crap ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @10:31PM (#47571975) Homepage

    Holy crap, if that isn't the next sign of the dystopian future I don't know what is.

    Private corporations getting the consulting services of the king spook of the spy agency which has tapped into the entire fucking world.

    That scares the bejezzus out of me.

    Because all of the secrecy of the NSA combined with the douche-baggery of corporations is straight out of a cyberpunk novel.

    The surveillance state meets Wall Street. Oooh, they could privatize the NSA, that would be really profitable.

    Time to stock up on Guy Fawkes masks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:03AM (#47572483)

    How many trains and buses were hijacked last decade? Any? How many terrorists have the TSA caught in the last decade? Any?

    You're pissing your pants over a boogyman that doesn't even exist.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:22AM (#47572717)

    Democracy != free country. And yes, there are no truly free countries in the world, but being free is something we should aspire to. The US is, after all, supposed to be 'the land of the free and the home of the brave.' So people here would look less like hypocrites if they stopped supporting rights violations and constitutional violations, whether it be to increase their safety or some other reason.

  • Re:If true. If. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:32AM (#47572749)

    Driving is a privilege not a right.

    I knew one of you morons would show up. Even if it is true that driving is a 'privilege' *that does not mean your constitutional rights are null and void the second you decide to innocuously exercise that privilege!* The fourth amendment still applies, and the government has absolutely no constitutional authority to disregard people's rights just because they want to exercise something the government deems a 'privilege.' This logic is simply insane, and it's killing our freedoms.

    It's the same sort of logic that allows for the TSA. "You implicitly consented to having your fundamental and constitutional rights violated by government thugs by trying to get on an airplane, so it's not a constitutional violation!" You're in good company, AC; government thugs all over the world drool when they see people using this awful logic to justify the erosion of people's fundamental liberties.

  • by gtall (79522) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @05:26AM (#47573017)

    Hmmm....so it would be okay with you if you bought Joe-Bob's Magic Pills and they caused your brain to bleed? I find that it is your constitutional right to try unregulated drugs from your pharmacy. Get back to us with any side-effects you don't like so we can be sure not to make the same mistake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 31, 2014 @08:27AM (#47573727)

    Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.

    Hasn't congress already warned this asshole that selling classified information is a felony? [[http://politics.slashdot.org/story/14/06/26/1929246/former-nsa-chief-warned-against-selling-nsa-secrets]]

    While Alexander probably didn't actually say that, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) hits the nail squarely on the head, "Without the classified information he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you."

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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