Entries in Alexander (1)


A Thousand Probes of Light

1000 jobs are headed to Fort Meade for Cyber SecurityLt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, predictably, wants more power for the group than is currently permitted under law.  He is of the opinion that there is a "mismatch between our capabilities to conduct operations and the governing laws and policies."  The video below is Lt. General Alexander addressing the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in June, at his first public engagement since having been promoted.  He has a lot of good things to say, and still manages not to say much.


When he met with the Armed Services Committee back in April, Alexander did two things that are worrisome.  First, Alexander was repeatedly asked about privacy and civil liberties in the context of his new role, and his answers were uninformative and full of platitudes.  It also seems he purposely played up the threat (I've spoken about problems with worst-case thinking before).   He claims that U.S. military networks are seeing "hundreds of thousands of probes a day".  He mentions this again in his speech to CSIS, above.  These are meaningless statements without more context.  They are inexact, and sensationalistic.  While they make great sound bites to spin up and shape public sentiment, they don't make for clear thought around proper risk assessment or effective national security.

General Alexander excluded many of the answers from the 32 pages of responses to the armed comittee in April, prior to his confirmation, and placed them in a separate classified addendum.  What there is to read, may be read here.

The presentation to CSIS shows more promise than did the April confirmation hearing, but is still unfortunately content-free.  The proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the eating.