Amazon adds former NSA, Cyber Command chief to board of directors

Amazon has named Keith Alexander, former National Security Agency chief and head of US Cyber Command, to its board of directors, the company announced in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

The tech and e-commerce giant said that along with the 11-member board, Alexander will also join Amazon’s four-member audit committee headed by former Reader’s Digest CEO Thomas Ryder.

Alexander currently serves as co-CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, a company he founded in 2014.

His tenure with the NSA was described in a 2013 Wired profile as one where he turned the agency into “an empire” of surveillance.

“Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe.

“In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger,” the profile read, describing him as “the spy chief leading us into cyberwar.”

It was under Alexander that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents in June 2013 revealing the work of the agency’s spying and data collection programs.

Upon hearing the news, Snowden took to Twitter, writing “It turns out ‘Hey Alexa’ is short for ‘Hey Keith Alexander.’ Yes, the Keith Alexander personally responsible for the unlawful mass surveillance programs that caused a global scandal. And Amazon Web Services (AWS) host ~6% of all websites.”

Alexander’s appointment comes at a critical time for the massive conglomerate, which is still engaged in a legal battle with Microsoft and the Department of Defense over its decision to award them the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.

Amazon was long considered to be the favorite to win the contract, however the government awarded the deal to Microsoft, something Amazon claims is because President Trump interfered due to issues with company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

The Defense Department, however, maintains that Microsoft was the best choice for the $10 billion contract.

With Post wires

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article