It’s Not Just Spying – How The NSA Has Turned Into A Giant Profit Center For Corrupt Insiders

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Dear NSA Employees, You Now Have a Green Light to Loot and Pillage. It’s Time to Get Paid:

 

Are you just another one of those frustrated NSA employees who feels that unconstitutionally spying on your fellow citizenry under false pretenses isn’t giving you same thrill it once did? If so, have no fear.

 

Are you are sick and tired of having to spilt your precious working hours defending the destruction of our nation’s founding document to those pesky terroristic media dinosaurs who still think investigative journalism belongs in Amerika? If so, have I got a solution for you.

 

While it may sound too good to be true, trust me it’s not. You see, in recent years almost all crony-capitalist criminal activities have been deemed legal in the land of the free (to pillage). This incredible opportunity allows you to directly leverage your intelligence skill-set to earn the big bucks you know you’ve always deserved. You can now do just that by working in the private sector without having to give up that cushy government day job! I mean if we’re going to have this banana republic thing going we may as well GET PAID. Am I right?

 

Keep at it patriots,
Michael Krieger

If the above sounds like a joke, unfortunately it is not. Last week, two very important stories came out; one from Reuters and the other from Buzzfeed. They both zero in on how current NSA employees are using their expertise and connections to make big money in the private sector while still working at the NSA. Let’s start with the Reuters story, which covers former NSA-head Keith Alexander’s business relationship with the NSA’s current Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd.

Before we get into the meat of this story, I want to set the stage with a little background. In case you forgot, Keith Alexander launched his own cyber-security firm, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., earlier this year. I highlighted this development in the post, Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander is Now Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month, in which I noted:

So what’s a Peeping Tom, anti-democratic, Constitution-trampling intelligence crony to do after leaving decades of “public service?” Move into the private sector and collect a fat paycheck from Wall Street, naturally. Following in the footsteps of some of the other top tier public sector cronies looking to cash out after doing their best to destroy the Republic, such as Banana Ben Bernanke collecting $250,000 per speech and Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner hopping over to private equity giant Warburg Pincus, Mr. Alexander is in good crooked company.

 

So what is Mr. Alexander charging for his expertise? He’s looking for $1 million per month. Yes, you read that right. That’s the rate that his firm, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., pitched to Wall Street’s largest lobbying group the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which ultimately negotiated it down to a mere $600,000 a month.

As if Mr. Alexander plowing right through the revolving door to earn $1 million per month from Wall Street less than a year after being at the center of perhaps the most expansive government violation of the Constitution in U.S. history wasn’t bad enough, he is now hiring top people still working at the NSA to concurrently work at his cyber-security firm. I wish I was making this up.

Reuters reports that:

(Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has launched an internal review of a senior official’s part-time work for a private venture started by former NSA director Keith Alexander that raises questions over the blurring of lines between government and business.

 

Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials, NSA’s Chief Technical Officer, Patrick 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.

 

The 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.

 

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.

 

Alexander, who was the eavesdropping and code-breaking agency’s longest-serving director, confirmed the arrangement with Dowd in an interview with Reuters. He said he understood it had been approved by all the necessary government authorities, and that IronNet Cybersecurity, not the government, would pay for Dowd’s time spent with the firm.

As if the entity paying Dowd for his time spent at the firm is the issue. Alexander is the definition of the word creep.

Dowd, he said, wanted to join IronNet, and the deal was devised as a way to keep Dowd’s technological expertise at least partly within the U.S. government, rather than losing him permanently to the private sector.

Oh I get it now. America has become so hopelessly corrupt, that the revolving door itself is becoming too much of a headache. So the solution is to just get rid of it completely.

“I wanted Pat to stay at NSA. He wanted to come on board,” Alexander said.

 

Alexander and Dowd have jointly filed patents based on technology they developed while at the NSA.

 

“If it isn’t structured very carefully, this runs the risk of conflict of interest and disclosure of national secrets,” Rothstein said. “It is a situation that in the interests of good government should be avoided unless there’s some very strong reason to do it.”

So Americans aren’t entitled to any privacy because of a trumped up terrorist threat, yet top NSA employees can moonlight for private businesses involved in the same areas as the NSA with apparently no threat to national security. America has gone completely insane.

Unsurprisingly, this is just the tip of the crony-capitalist fraud that the NSA has become. In fact, Buzzfeed broke a related story recently. It reports how one of the most powerful individuals at the NSA, Teresa H. Shea., has several intelligence related businesses run from her home. She is the registered agent for one of them, her husband holds that position for the other.

Teresa Shea is the director of Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, which refers to all electronic eavesdropping and interception, including the controversial domestic surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone use. Naturally, no one is commenting.

From Buzzfeed:

On a quiet street in Ellicott City, Maryland, a blue-grey two-story clapboard house, set back from the road, is shaded by two sycamores and a towering maple. It’s the unassuming home of one of the National Security Agency’s most powerful officials, Teresa H. Shea.

 

In September, BuzzFeed News disclosed a potential conflict of interest involving Shea, the director of Signals Intelligence. Called SIGINT in espionage jargon, it refers to all electronic eavesdropping and interception, including the controversial domestic surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone use.

 

As BuzzFeed News reported, there’s a private SIGINT consulting and contracting business based at Shea’s home in that quiet neighborhood. Shea’s husband, a business executive in the small but profitable SIGINT industry, is the resident agent for the firm, Telic Networks.

 

In addition, James Shea also works for a major SIGINT contracting firm, DRS Signal Solutions Inc., which appears to do SIGINT business with the NSA.

 

DRS declined to comment, and the NSA declined to answer questions related to the Sheas, Telic Networks, or DRS.

 

Now there’s a new wrinkle, which the NSA has also declined to discuss: Yet another company, apparently focused on the office and electronics business, is based at the Shea residence on that well-tended lot.

 

This company is called Oplnet LLC.

 

Teresa Shea, who has been at the NSA since 1984, is the company’s resident agent. The company’s articles of organization, signed by Teresa Shea, show that the firm was established in 1999 primarily “to buy, sell, rent and lease office and electronic equipment and related goods and services.” An attorney who also signed the document, Alan Engel, said he couldn’t comment on client matters.

 

Records show Oplnet does own a six-seat airplane, as well a condominium property with an assessed value of $275,000 in the resort town of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

 

This summer the NSA turned down a Freedom of Information Act request for Shea’s public financial disclosure form. The agency said that, unlike every other federal agency, it could withhold the disclosure because of a sweeping 1959 law that allows it to keep almost everything secret.

Go ahead and read that twice. Read it three times. Still think we live in a free country?

Financial disclosure forms are central to public monitoring of ethics and potential conflicts of interests by federal officials. Without that form, journalists or concerned citizens must comb through corporate incorporations, property records, UCC filings, and court records to learn about an official’s financial interests outside of office. Often, these documents are not online and are in offices scattered across different states.

 

Teresa Shea, as head of SIGINT, has defended the program in declarations in two federal court cases.

 

Her husband has been involved in SIGINT as a private contractor and engineer since at least 1990, when he set up a company called Sigtek Inc., which would get hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts with the federal government, according to a federal contracting database. On his LinkedIn page, James Shea says the company’s key markets included “Defense SIGINT.”

 

In 2010, Teresa Shea was appointed the director of all SIGINT at the NSA, after a period working in London. The same year, James Shea became vice president at a major SIGINT contracting firm, DRS Signal Solutions, a subsidiary of DRS Technologies.

 

As BuzzFeed reported in its first story on the Sheas, neither the NSA nor DRS will comment on whether the company has contracts with Teresa Shea’s directorate.

 

Asked if there was a conflict of interest, DRS spokesman Michael Mount said “I understand your story, and we’ll still decline to comment.” He said that when responding to BuzzFeed News about questions concerning James Shea, the company has coordinated with the NSA.

 

Matthew Aid, who has written a book about the NSA, The Secret Sentry, said it would be difficult to understand why Oplnet, this second home-based business, was set up by Ms. Shea, without knowing more.

 

But he adds that the fact that Shea’s husband works for a SIGINT contractor, and has a SIGINT related company at the couple’s home, is confounding.

 

“From a purely financial point of view, there’s so much potential of conflict of interest.”

 

“The fact that the NSA will not respond to your request raises in my mind a host of questions. If there was nothing there, they could have come back to you and said, ‘She’d been diligent. She’s in compliance.’ Then there’s no story. But they’ve said nothing. That to me is what could potential signal some problems.”

Welcome to the American Dream in 2014. Looks a lot like the Soviet Dream.

Utterly shameless.

 

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ebworthen's picture

The hangings for treason are so very long overdue.

Freddie's picture

They developed patented intellectual property while at the NSA?  It is not their property.  It is the USA (Inc.,LLC,AG,LTD) property.

"They didn't build it"

bunzbunzbunz's picture

I'm applying for an NSA job tomorrow.

ACP's picture

Let's not limit this to the NSA...this bullshit applies to the ENTIRE government.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

Correction: it applies to at least few people within all parts of the government. Anytime you make a sweeping statement about all people in a group, you immediately show yourself to be an idiot - or ignorant - or too lazy to make a thought out statement.

Anusocracy's picture

Government's main function is to transfer wealth.

So it's working as designed.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Correction: it applies to at least few people within all parts of the government."

Baloney.  When it comes to people in the government and corruption, the majority are in on it, not a few.   And its more like a super majority.  And thats only 60%.  I'd say thats on the low side.  Maybe like 80%.  The rest are just lazy turd counting parasites that do absolutely nothing productive AT ALL.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

I could just as easily argue that 80% of people that don't work for the government are lazy parasites of the system that the government creates. Name me a profession that isn't emplyed by the government.

Neither one of us have statistics to back up our bullshit argument. 

You fail at logic and commen sense.

 

ACP's picture

WTF? You think the government runs on fairy dust?

What is this Nancy Pelosi's account?

You do realize that the GOVERNMENT RUNS ON TAX DOLLARS right? Which means that the government is funded ENTIRELY BY PRIVATE BUSINESS.

God damn, you just personified the ignorance that is pervasive throughout our society.

 

Anusocracy's picture

He's either a troll or the solar system idiot.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

This country is so poisoned, we are truly fucked

jimmytorpedo's picture

The gov. actually runs on the promised future productivity of unborn slaves.

Taxes don't pay squat.

As for the "purpose" of gov.,...

The purpose of power is to extend and perpetuate itself.

The greed of the sociopaths in gov. is where the transfer of wealth comes into play.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

The government runs on fiat dollars like the rest of the economy. So what it spends is nearly arbitrary. What matters is what percentage of the economy is government.

You do realize that the government creates demand in every single private business sector right? That demand increases the earnings of private businesses. That increased earning increases the velocity of money, in general, creating a more pleasant economy.

Now if the percentage of people working for the government gets too high, then you start to have a self-destructive problem.

Your simple opinion on how an economy works along with a government needs a little more work.

ACP's picture

"You do realize that the government creates demand in every single private business sector right?"

Yes, that is the ultimate poison apple. This has been going on for decades. The temptation to make government bigger has been going on for decades and is already biting every county in the civilized world, in the ass. Once it starts, it only ends in collapse. Greece anyone? Just a "sneak preview". If government isn't limited to a certain - very small - size, it destroys the country it's designed to protect.

And yes, the track record for government self-destruction in this case is 100% going back to the beginning of human history.

 

Edit: As I've mentioned before, the end result will be similar to what became of the Roman Empire; a conglomeration of small city-states will form after the collapse that will be self-governing by small groups of people.

Bangalore Equity Trader's picture

Listen ACP.

"Alexander and Dowd have jointly filed patents based on technology they developed while at the NSA."

Try that shit in the public sector and you'd get your nuts chopped off by the corporate attorney's, no?

Intellectual property paid for with USSA tax money, is belongs to the General?

Man you Americans are really stupid sheep's.

Jafo's picture

The old ways in the USSR are not comparable.  In the USSR you had to bribe the General who then divided the spoils with his underlings: the colonels getting more than the majors getting more than the captains getting more than the lieutenants.  Other ranks had to do as they were told because they were all conscripts and lived off what they could steal and sell.

This is more like Rome where a few at the top skim off all of the cream leaving nothing for the lower ranks.  That is why the postman steals the wine you ordered.

ersatz007's picture

LISTEN....to the flower people...

LikeyMikey's picture

Governments are leeches.  They produce NO products of value and sell nothing.  They take and destroy and nothing less.

 

With that said.......  "Governments are a necessary evil."

Thomas Paine

 

CH1's picture

"Governments are a necessary evil."

No sale. They're only necessary to service our conditioning.

sleigher's picture

"The rest are just lazy turd counting parasites that do absolutely nothing productive AT ALL."

I have an aunt that works for the dept. of education.  If only you knew how right you are. 

AlaricBalth's picture

Dear Mike Krieger,

Thank you for your letter addressed to our associates here at your National Security Agency.

As defined in the National Defense Authorization Act; Title X, Subtitle D, sub-sections 1021 and 1022:

You have been designated a malcontent and are now considered a threat to National Security of the United States of America.

The Stellar Wind Worldwide HydraSquid Algorithm, facilitated via PRISM intercepts, has detected an anomaly from your IP address and hereby orders you to surrender yourself to the nearest law enforcement agency.

A Skynet airborne drone has been dispatched to your MGRS coordinates to ensure compliance with this directive.

Upon your voluntary arrival at LEA, you will then be relocated to one of the DHS re-education facilities in an undisclosed location.

This is the only notice you will receive.

Resistance or non-compliance will be met with extreme prejudice.

END OF COMMUNICATION

Skateboarder's picture

lol at the 'Dear' at the beninning.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Also at your fruedian beni(g)nning :-)

Anything but Beni(g)n eh SB?

Add this story to the increasing chinese home-ownership NUMBers and you have MacCarthy totally vindicated...

a little late though...

 

ACP's picture

Correction: This article never stated that everyone in the NSA was doing this; I was taking the thesis that this agency was infected with corruption, and RIGHTFULLY expanding it to include every agency in the government.

Do I really need to explain that?

Peter Pan's picture

I suspect and believe that people within the NSA trawl monitored conversations and emails for insider information that they can either trade on or take advantage of by beating those monitored to the mark.

And this sort of activity would not be confined to just US communications but also communications the world over.

 

Friends tell me that the Israelies are particularly adept at this sort of activity.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

You over-estimate the cunningness of NSA employees.

MsCreant's picture

They can spy on me. I can't know what they are doing, at all. I can't spy on them, no matter how bad I think they might be behaving. I have no rights. Seems asymmetrical and pretty cunning to me...

And I take it as a given that they acquire and trade inside information. Imagine the blackmail ability with standard eavesdropping, never mind anything special.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

ACP...You said the "ENTIRE GOVERNMENT"....so yeah, that's a little unclear if you actually meant parts of every part of the government.

If that's what you meant, your point is irrelavent. As all organizations, groups, associations, etc... contain some level of corruption at some level. At some level you are corrupt. At some level your family is corrupt. Correct me if I'm wrong, my lord and savior.

Bioscale's picture

Stop this trolling. Fuck you.

LikeyMikey's picture

Correct what?

 

Can you show us ONE government entity that is not corrupt right now?

JUST ONE and show proof......  Doesn't exist!!

ebworthen's picture

And those in government who took an oath to defend the Constitution and do not do so are just as complicit in their inaction.

TheReplacement's picture

Listen bunz.

How much do they pay you and Bangalore?

bunzbunzbunz's picture

I'm much smarter, more cute, and on a different line of thought than Bangalore.

I wish I could get paid to make fun of the morons here. That would be a dream job. I think it is more of an addiction. I know that even commenting back to you is a complete waste of time, yet I have the urge/need to do it.

Really though...people here are so caught up in their own little biased worlds, they lack even a tiny amount of sense in some areas. Smart people can be really fucking stupid.

Bangalore Equity Trader's picture

Listen.

FUCK YOU "BOTH".

Race: Indian!

espirit's picture

Listen, Bangladesh Bob.

 

If you or Bunz don't like it here, well leave.

Troll elsewhere.

Angelo Misterioso's picture

sorry bunzbunzbunz but you're wrong - even down at the local town hall they are cheating and self-dealing.  you really think that cop that just retired miraculously got every possible hour of overtime in those last few yrs of service and then retired with that larger pension? the whole system has no checks & balances...every last person in that town hall knows this is happening and so you get a ton of down arrows for being ignorant...

Crash Overide's picture

Not my government... I do not consent to be governed by these lawless treasonous bastards.

 

Come get some.

Mareka's picture

"Alexander and Dowd have jointly filed patents based on technology they developed while at the NSA" 

Can't believe they made this statement.

They would not have ownership of IP in their field of employment that was developed while they were at the NSA.

S73's picture

The patent is filed by the people who invented it, but the rights to it are assigned to the employer.  It's their patent, but the NSA has complete control over the use of it.

Zirpedge's picture

This is just good free market policy that NSA officials can have a little action on the side. You need to keep them interested and they are the good guys, show a litttle respect.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

I'm all about that bass, no treble.

bunzbunzbunz's picture

God I hate this song. Fuck you spotify.

max2205's picture

 

 

 

 

Free Market....

 

Indeed

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

Unfortunately, the ones who should be hanged are the ones who decide who is hanged.

mumcard's picture

I need this on a t-shirt or bumper sticker.  Alongside "if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide," well THEY decide if what you're doing is wrong.

PT's picture

Should be:  "If you got nothing they want to steal then you have nothing to hide."

ZH Snob's picture

we can also imagine the tons of filthy lucre being made directly from the stock market by the royalty of the NSA.  if they can zero in on any phone call, email or text the potential for insider trading by eavsdropping is enormous.

williambanzai7's picture

Well, as a consolation, he was a total moron in his potash trades.

Ginsengbull's picture

Who leaked the nude photos of those actresses?