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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 @06:56PM (#47570693)

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

    • Anyone who ever believes that state and corporate power are, or were ever separate is hopelessly naive.

    • I was wondering what the test for Treason is? Is it someone that shows the world a governments secrets for free? Is it someone that shows a coroporation a governments secrets for $1,000,000?

      Is America a great country or what?!
  • Oh sorry, wrong person [oktoberfest.ageg.ca].

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:49PM (#47570971)
    I remember when Reagan was making a million a speech as a former President, and thinking There's no fucking way he's worth it.

    A million is worth admittedly less these days, I get that, but I have the same feeling now.

    • by smaddox (928261)

      Depends how many people attended, and how much you charged per plate.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      So what do you propose the real reason is? Hush money? Delayed payment for corruption activities while in office? Rich people who get a rush from making ex-presidents sing for their supper, and can pay a million bucks with their pocket change?

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      A million a month as an extortion payment to keep secret the secrets uncovered whilst commander of the starship anal probe, inserting back entrances all over the places, ain't bad at all, especially when applied to many corporations. As a bonus protection provided for all those political secrets kept off the books. Of course that protection really only works for allied powers, for the opposition of course, the target is just chock-a-block full of secrets and getting a hold of that particular pinata and bea

      • I think you're on target with the customer's motivation to hire the man with two first names.... I reserve doubt as to whether they ever get what they believe they've bargained for.
      • And Reagan died after a horrible last ten years or so of his self-imposed hell. He misused the power game he felt so desperately he needed to play , and so badly, in the hope of being remembered as a great man. And in reality he will be remembered as a second rate actor, and for his career in films.
    • I remember when Reagan was making a million a speech as a former President, and thinking There's no fucking way he's worth it.

      A million is worth admittedly less these days, I get that, but I have the same feeling now.

      A million is nothing to a corporation that needs to know what governments are capable of.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        A million is nothing to a corporation that needs to know what governments are capable of.

        Right, because someone who knows all the nation's secrets (and everybody else's) should be selling that information to private corporations.

        Brilliant idea.

        If this information is classified, how the hell can he provide it without breaking the law?

  • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:24PM (#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.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      uhm, you forget all of these agencies report to the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk saying "The Buck Stops Here." All of the corruption and mismanagement in the government, including disregarding the laws and the constitution all stop at that address. It's time for the population of this country to become engaged and actually elect leaders who will fix this mess by disbanding those agencies and restoring the rule of law in this country. Or what the fuck we'll just elect

      • by s.petry (762400)
        Nope, I did not forget. I do not state nor do I imply that other politicians are innocent of wrong doing. I simply gave a starting point for starting to deal with the corruption.
      • uhm, you forget all of these agencies report to the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave...

        Yes, but doesn't the guy at 1600 report to the corporations and special interest groups? Truman probably didn't, but Obama, (along with most presidents since Kennedy), probably does.

    • by jeIIomizer (3670945) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @11:03PM (#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.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      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.

      The NSA is run by a four-star admiral and a four-star general before that. It is a branch of the military already.

      You're thinking of armed forces intelligence like the Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence guys. I can't think that they'd be much better if tasked with the same mission.

      What needs to change is the mission, not the agency.

  • 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.

    Only ONE of them?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      "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."

      Only ONE of them?

      Don't worry, it's absolutely huge.

      Think Goatse, because that's pretty much what they're doing.

  • Ummm.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by blahblahwoofwoof (2287010) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:46PM (#47571557)

    http://www.militaryfactory.com... [militaryfactory.com]

    Military pay grades are in the public record. Many sites (the above is just one) publish them.

    • http://www.militaryfactory.com... [militaryfactory.com]

      Military pay grades are in the public record. Many sites (the above is just one) publish them.

      Presumably if the NSA is refusing to provide this information the person in question may have been paid more, perhaps significantly more, than the normal pay grade scale.

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

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @11:31PM (#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.

  • He going to charge you a shit load of money to tell you secrets. Edward gave them away.
    Once again being a patriot is all about how much money you can charge.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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."

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