Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) is pushing for a formal investigation into the activities of General Keith Alexander now that the former head of the NSA has started his own very expensive security consultancy. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Gen Alexander.
Last week it was reported that Alexander, who retired from his role at the NSA and US Cyber Command in March, has set up a business called IronNet Cybersecurity Inc and was pitching for business with financial institutions. He was advertising his services costing $1m a month, although he later offered a discount that would bring his fee down to $600,000.
"Disclosing or misusing classified information for profit is, as Mr. Alexander well knows, a felony," wrote Grayson in letters to the Security Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Consumer Bankers Association, and the Financial Services Roundtable.
"I question how Mr. Alexander can provide the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods. Without the classified information he acquired in his former position he literally would have nothing to offer to you."
Grayson is not alone in his concerns. Security expert Bruce Schneier also raised questions about the move, and the price General Alexander is setting for his professional services.
"Think of how much actual security they could buy with that $600K a month," he wrote. "Unless he's giving them classified information."
Grayson has asked the three business groups to send him all documentation on their negotiations with General Alexander so that Congress can verify if classified information has been leaked. ®