Gen. Keith Alexander, the former chief of the NSA, has joined Amazon’s board of directors according to a recent SEC filing. Alexander was in charge of the NSA when it was revealed that the agency engaged in widespread electronic surveillance of American citizens.
The Verge reports that a recent SEC filing has revealed that General Keith Alexander, the former director of the NSA and the first commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, has joined Amazon’s board of directors. Alexander has served as the public face of U.S. data collection during the Edward Snowden leaks, but Alexander retired from public service in 2013.
Alexander has been a controversial individual in the tech community due to his involvement in the widespread surveillance systems revealed in Snowden’s leaks, including the PRISM data collection program that compromised systems at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo. Alexander was critical of the reporting on the Snowden leaks and suggested that some reporters should be restrained from covering the documents.
In an interview in 2013, Alexander stated: “I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000-whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these — you know it just doesn’t make sense. We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on.”
Alexander’s spot on the board will reportedly give Amazon a new level of expertise in defense contracting, an area in which Amazon has expressed interest in recent years. Amazon was recently a leading candidate for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with the Pentagon which it lost to Microsoft. Amazon is currently in a lawsuit against the federal government in relation to the contract, alleging that President Trump’s personal statements against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos influenced the bidding process and ultimately lost Amazon the contract.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com