Ex-NSA head Alexander acknowledges "issues" about employing current technology officer.
by David Kravets
A top National Security Agency official will no longer be moonlighting part-time with a private consulting firm run by former NSA chief Keith Alexander. The end of that arrangement comes days after the NSA said this particular work situation was "under internal review" due to potential conflicts of interest.
The private company at issue— IronNet Cybersecurity—was founded by Alexander, who ran the spy agency from August 2005 until March 2014. IronNet Cybersecurity offers protection services to banks for up to $1 million per month. Patrick Dowd, the NSA's current chief technology officer, had been working with Alexander's private venture for up to 20 hours per week.
Reuters reported Tuesday that the deal was over. "While we understand we did everything right, I think there's still enough issues out there that create problems for Dr. Dowd, for NSA, for my company," Alexander said.
It's the second potential conflict of interest surrounding the former spy chief this month. Newly released documents show that during his tenure as director, Alexander personally had thousands of dollars invested in obscure technology companies that could have financially benefited as a result of his actions running the NSA, since the spy agency is involved in electronic surveillance, code busting, and computer protection and intrusion, among other things.