NSA

NSA Investigating Current Official's Work With Ex-Chief's Lucrative New Firm

Yet, they somehow don't know if the two are actually working together.

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The National Security Agency (NSA) is conducting an internal review focused on its current Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd, who is working with the agency's former director, Keith Alexander.

From an exclusive Reuters report:

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials, some of whom requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters, said they could not recall a previous instance in which a high-ranking U.S. intelligence official was allowed to concurrently work for a private-sector firm.

They said it risked a conflict of interest between sensitive government work and private business, and could be seen as giving favoritism to Alexander's venture. IronNet Cybersecurity is developing a new approach to protect computer networks from hackers and is marketing it to financial institutions and other private-sector firms.

Earlier this year Alexander faced scrutiny for his million-dollar-a-month service. Security expects, like Bruce Schneier, and politicians, like Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.), questioned how the former spy could make so much money without selling state secrets.

Alexander defended himself, saying that he's so valuable because he's got a bunch of anti-hacking patents, which earned him some more skeptics.

More from Reuters:

Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials… Dowd is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, the private firm led by Alexander, a retired Army general and his former boss.

Alexander explains that he crafted this "awkward" partnership instead of hiring Dowd full-time, because "his leaving the government [would be] the wrong thing for NSA and our nation."

The 20-hour-per-week "arrangement was approved by top NSA managers, current and former officials said. It does not appear to break any laws and it could not be determined whether Dowd has actually begun working for Alexander, who retired from the NSA in March."

That's right. The NSA, which has massive surveillance systems with access to just about every American citizen's metadata, doesn't know if one of its own officials is actively working with one of its former officials. 

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18 responses to “NSA Investigating Current Official's Work With Ex-Chief's Lucrative New Firm

  1. Alexander explains that he crafted this “awkward” partnership instead of hiring Dowd full-time, because “his leaving the government [would be] the wrong thing for NSA and our nation.”

    “He’s much more valuable to us where he is currently.”

  2. I wonder, on average, how much more ex-government employees make than their government and pre-government salaries, respectively?

  3. OT: Thousands of federal workers on extended paid leave

    Tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at least a month ? and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more ? while they wait to be punished for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to work, government records show.

    But … but … government workers are horribly underpaid, and … and … there’s nothing left to cut.

    1. This must be that “due process” people keep talking about. Some perk of working for the government, like cash pensions, I guess.

    2. Reminiscent of the Big Three Jobs Bank, which only recently got discontinued.

      Methinks that if GM had entered a traditional bankruptcy, it would have been gone years ago.

  4. “That’s right. The NSA, which has massive surveillance systems with access to just about every American citizen’s metadata, doesn’t know if one of its own officials is actively working with one of its former officials. ”

    Could it be that those “massive surveillance systems” aren’t really pointed at American citizens after all?

    1. Their not pointed at top men

      1. There filters aren’t pointed at people who work they’re.

        or their.

        1. I would think that they would be paying specific attention to those that work there. The people who work there would be the most knowledgeable, and the most likely to out it, if any illegal activity was being sanctioned.

    2. Except they have admitted to it, dumbass.

      1. They have? Can you show me where anyone inside the government has admitted to the targeted collection of CONTENT belonging to known American citizens, without a warrant?

        1. Will this do?

          The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted were catalogued and recorded, the Post reported. The newspaper described that material as telling “stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes.” The material collected included more than 5,000 private photos, the paper said.

          The cache Snowden provided to the newspaper came from domestic NSA operations under the broad authority granted by Congress in 2008 with amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to the Post.

          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/or…..rt-claims/

          Snowden was inside the government, was he not? And even if he doesn’t count, we have proof that they were, so who cares if some flack admits it on TV?

          1. “Incidental collection”.

  5. That alt text is silly. Alexander clearly isn’t black.

    /teh racist

  6. That effing disgrace to the uniform should just go ahead and resign, then he can go crony-cash in. How did this ever pass the vomit-in-rage test?

  7. “The 20-hour-per-week “arrangement was approved by top NSA managers, current and former officials said. It does not appear to break any laws…”

    If he’s working 20 hrs a week for Alexander, that’s 20 hrs a week he’s not working for the tax payers. So, if Uncle Sucker is still paying his full salary, there might be a problem? I’m sure padding your time card is still illegal even if the basic arrangement they came up with isn’t.

  8. politicians, like Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.), questioned how the former spy could make so much money without selling state secrets.

    Yes, I’m sure politicians are wondering how to make that much money without selling state secrets.

  9. The 20-hour-per-week “arrangement was approved by top NSA managers

    This goes so far over the line I hardly know what to say.

    First of all, the government has internal rules (which I had to sign when I worked for a defense contractor in the 80s) which state that you’re supposed to avoid even the impression of impropriety.

    This guy, and every NSA manager that knew and approved of this should be immediately fired.

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