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NSA Director Wants Threat Data Sharing With Private Sector 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "While Congress and the technology community are still debating and discussing the intelligence gathering capabilities of NSA revealed in recent months, the agency's director, Gen. Keith Alexander, is not just defending the use of these existing tools, but is pitching the idea of sharing some of the vast amounts of threat and vulnerability data the NSA and other agencies possess with organizations in the private sector. Speaking at a time of great scrutiny of the agency and its activities, Alexander said that the NSA, along with other federal agencies such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and CIA, need to find a way to share the attack and vulnerability information they collect in order to help key private organizations react to emerging threats. Though the idea is still in its formative stages, Alexander said that it potentially could include companies in foreign countries, as well. 'We need the authority for us to share with them and them to share with us. But because some of that information is classified, we need a way to protect it,' Alexander said during a keynote speech at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit here Wednesday. 'Right now, we can't see what's happening in real time. We've got to share it with them, and potentially with other countries.'"
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NSA Director Wants Threat Data Sharing With Private Sector

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  • company valuation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:36AM (#44957627)

    So if I'm a company listed on the NASDAQ, do I get bump in my stock price for being in the NSA's "circle of trust"?

    And if so, what incentives does that give to the NSA, to companies, and to traders?

    • by infolation (840436) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @06:06AM (#44957717)

      Keep your friends close and enemies closer.

      Bring all the companies who've been complaining they can't reveal the NSA's information requests into your privileged enclave - to make them feel special.

      And in the process, ensure those companies are even more firmly ensconced in the laws that prevent them from revealing anything.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:36AM (#44957633)

    He simply believes he is a higher class of human being than the rest of us.

    No wonder it's hard to explain to such people that the cattle doesn't like being fire branded.

    • He simply believes he is a higher class of human being than the rest of us.

      That's very common in hardline Trekkies. ;-)

  • So now they want to become the National Spamming Agency?
  • Chilling stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palemantle (1007299) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:44AM (#44957661)
    Is this guy for real? He's talking about real-time information sharing, obviously with no judicial oversight of any sort, rubber-stamped or otherwise.

    FTFA: “Right now, we can’t see what’s happening in real time. We’ve got to share it with them, and potentially with other countries.”

    Speaking to a crowd of mainly industry and government workers, Alexander appealed to them to help support the information sharing concept and any legislation that may be required to implement it.
    • Re:Chilling stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:59AM (#44957703)

      Is this guy for real? He's talking about real-time information sharing, obviously with no judicial oversight of any sort, rubber-stamped or otherwise.

      Unfortunately, he is real . . . and seems to be a bit of a megalomaniac to boot . . . totally intoxicated and ripped to his tits with his ever increasing power. Joe McCarthy and Edgar Hoover 2.0 . . . Enterprise Edition.

      It doesn't seem like there is anyone in the government or general public who has the courage to stand up to him.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        Is this guy for real? He's talking about real-time information sharing, obviously with no judicial oversight of any sort, rubber-stamped or otherwise.

        Unfortunately, he is real . . . and seems to be a bit of a megalomaniac to boot . . . totally intoxicated and ripped to his tits with his ever increasing power. Joe McCarthy and Edgar Hoover 2.0 . . . Enterprise Edition.

        It doesn't seem like there is anyone in the government or general public who has the courage to stand up to him.

        Yet, they'll be all shocked, surprised, and butt-hurt when someone shoves a bullet through his brain-pan or a pressure-cooker up this megalomaniac's ass.

        There should be international "Wanted Dead Or Alive" posters in every nations' post offices with this scum-bucket's picture on it. That there are not says that most Western nations do data-sharing with the NSA

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by erikkemperman (252014)

      Alexander appealed to [key private organizations] to help support the information sharing concept and any legislation that may be required to implement it.

      And of course it has long been true, and even more blatantly so since Citizens United, that large corporations have a significant influence on legislation. The campaign with the largest budget wins, every time. And obviously they expect something in exchange.

      So yes, unfortunately, this guy is for real.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      they already started to do this...

      so... i guess the real plan is to get their illegal actions legal before all this spying shit hits the fan... same thing they did before with the phone taps.

    • How to make spying and finding terrorists profitable, so the government can hand it over to the private sector. Like almost everything the US government does these days, i.e. NASA, health care, jails, someone has to earn more money than the effort they put into it: profit.
  • by ei4anb (625481) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:45AM (#44957663)
    Private sector data companies don't have a leak-proof record either http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/09/data-broker-giants-hacked-by-id-theft-service/ [krebsonsecurity.com]
  • Look in the mirror (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TractorBarry (788340) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:54AM (#44957691) Homepage

    If these goons want to see what the worst threat to freedom is they should simply install mirrors throughout all NSA buildings.

    • I like this idea...
      Plaster the walls of all government buildings with framed mirrors with the title "Worst Threat to Freedom" .. Unfortunately right now they seem to be taking that as a challenge instead of a chide.

  • as a non-American (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ubi_NL (313657) <joris AT ideeel DOT nl> on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:57AM (#44957695) Journal

    How the hell is this not industrial espionage? And then you expect me to host my backups in a US-based cloud or use US-based services like Office365? Apparantly these NSA-approved encryption techniques dont work so good when you're trying to shield from the NSA.

    How about this cloud-based electronic laboratory-notebook software that is being pitched to pharma companies. These contain all the sensitive data before the patents are filed. Will that data be "shared" with my competition as well?

    • If you're in the UK, your census data is already processed by Boeing in... Yup, the US.
  • Far sooner than I thought. I believe this means that ACTA and similar orgs have successfully argued for access to this 'threat' data.
  • Make it fit for dollar! And anyone against it will be branded a commie. Do so whatever the issue is.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    European countries really need to stand up and stop this madness! It's bad enough the government is spying on everyone, now they want businesses to use this data aswell? Probably to start lawsuits against everyone who ever downloaded a music file.

  • It's complete (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 26, 2013 @07:08AM (#44957987)

    ... help key private organizations ...

    And the descent into fascism is complete.

    ... private organizations react to emerging threats ...

    The police have automatic weapons and battle-armour. How exactly, will private organisations, who already give all their customer data to the NSA, control terrorist threats? Thirteen years ago the US government socialized security services to make the country 'safe'. But now the NSA wants to privatize intelligence services! Three months ago they wanted to sack (IT support) contractors in the interests of national 'security'.

    In Australia, a major rigged-games scandal has appeared. So sporting clubs are demanding access to intelligence from the federal police (US-ians think FBI).

    • That was my first thought, this is full-on fascism. Full two-way power sharing between the corporations and the government.

  • And who said they are wasting resources. While at, it let's pick up some foreign patents, technologies, trade secrets, contract bids and anything that destroys overseas companies..
    Surprise, surprise. That technology you worked for the last 4 years, has been just patented by some start-up in California.

    Thank you Mister! You are a true American patriot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 26, 2013 @07:19AM (#44958043)

    Its not like the NSA doesn't have past form on passing industrial espionage on european companies to American ones...

    • by ehack (115197)

      The NSA gets the info, then the CIA takes out selected individuals by lobbying, blackmail or if all fails ... - after all cmpetitors are an imminent threat to the american way of life ...

  • Yeah but this is done already. Banks, utilities, manufacturing, telcoms, ISPs, food processors everyone gets informed of threats or BOLO type situations .. they've always done this, it's absolutely nothing new.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    'We need the authority for us to share with them and them to share with us. But because some of that information is classified, we need a way to protect it,'

    Why not declassify it then? Why in the hell are newly discovered vulnerabilities in civilian applications classified in the first place?

  • And I want... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @08:24AM (#44958391) Homepage

    Every NSA employees home address, all the records on them published to a PUBLIC website and updated daily with their credit card records and purchasing habits.

    They will gladly agree as they have nothing to hide.

  • Sorry, General Alexander. You're backfilling now because you know that the behavior of your agency is an affront to every single one of the principles of a free society. There can be no liberty - social, economic or political - in a surveillance state. They are antithetical.

    I think it's sinking in that this can only end one of two ways: Either there is massive reform of the NSA to bring in significant checks and balances (no secret court warrants) or there is an end to the notion that the United States

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @08:50AM (#44958559)

    He has violated the Constitution of the United States tens of thousands of times, without repercussions. He has consistently lied to Congress and the American people. He has created a rogue agency that threatens our very democracy and therefore represents a Clear and Present Danger to our freedom. I fear him and his lackies far more than Al Qaeda.

    He and his followers are the ones who should be super max for the rest of their lives. Or executed. Either works for me.

    • He didn't create shit; he is just in charge of it currently. Congress and the President created this.

  • If the information needs to be shared with people who can't be cleared, you're misusing the classification system. The whole point of classifying information is that you have identified it as information that is NOT to be shared outside an identified set of people that you explicitly trust. Bottom line: they're making too much information secret and setting the limits on dissemination tighter than they should be and now they want to make new rules instead of just declassifying the information that should

  • by jbmartin6 (1232050) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @08:54AM (#44958607)
    From personal experience, here is how this proposal will work out. Private orgs will share data with the NSA, the NSA will then share nothing with the private orgs because everything of any interest is classified. Anyone who has attended any conference with a presenter from the NSA has seen this in action. Really, the fact that the proposal isn't simply to make the information public shows the contemptuous disregard the NSA has for the public.
    • by PPH (736903)

      On the surface, this sounds correct. But what this is, is the NSA's attempt at removing the last vestiges of due process from their access to the private sector's data.

      the NSA will then share nothing with the private orgs because everything of any interest is classified.

      You really think Snowden was the first person to go rifling through the NSA's servers? He was the first one to show us how easy it was to do. And what sort of stuff they've got in there. Having 'consultants' and 'contractors' inside gov't departments feeding stuff back to their home office has been going on for decades. And I'm not so sure th

  • I'm not sure the General understands the meaning of the word "need".

  • This has nothing to do with terrorist. This is about business. The American people are getting ripped off and people want to do something about it. How to prevent change? Spy on everyone and head off any political moment to change market and legal rules. The corps asked for this spying technology. This whole thing stinks of fascism.

  • It's about monetizing their assets. They have all this wonderful data, and the advertisers desperately want to buy access- and the NSA wants a secure source of funding that the revolting serfs can't cut off in retaliation over their "minor" spying scandal.
  • So he's lobbying for it in public.

    The House of Representatives has passed it twice. Twice Obama threatened to veto it. Twice it died in the Senate.

    It's not dead yet.

  • Anyone? Have you seen it coming?
  • And of course not long thereafter will come the financial incentives, cajoling, and outright threats necessary to ink a "deal" that the malware companies will not detect CIA and NSA wares.

    I would certainly hope that McAfee et al would not be dumb enough to jump into bed with the devil, but sadly that may be more wishful thinking than anything.
  • And what else will they share?

    Come on, everyone: tell me how this is *not* fascism, outright?

                    mark

    "Fascism is more properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power" - Benito Mussolini

    • by zlives (2009072)

      notice to any political spiders, i will contribute to any political candidate that wants to limit NSA.

  • ...the MAFIAA are first in line. This will surely end well.
  • 1) if you're in trouble you can try to divert the attention away from your efforts into efforts that you might want. Good tactic to switch the attention off what you are doing bad and what you could do that's bad.

    Make no mistake. This is without a doubt a bad thing for them to do.

    2) if you are in trouble air everything bad so that when it all settles down there's nothing else that could rise up.

    Snowden has been doing a great job with his releasing of information to combat this by not having it all disclos

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