Amazon has appointed former NSA head General Keith Alexander to its board of directors, prompting privacy advocates to suggest the move could be connected to Alexander’s previous experience in overseeing mass surveillance operations.
“We’re thrilled to elect a new member to our Board of Directors this month. Welcome, General Keith Alexander!” Amazon announced in a tweet:
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 9, 2020
Alexander served as NSA director from 2005 until he retired in March 2014. He oversaw the agency’s monolithic program, encompassing illegal mass spying on Americans, which officials lied about.
Wow, the former director of the NSA? nothing nefarious about that at all.
— MAX 👁 PROPAYNE X (@Black24Boi) September 9, 2020
Under Alexander, the NSA deployed the PRISM tool to sweep up vast amounts of data from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook to name a few.
Edward Snowden, who exposed the NSA activity, had some choice words about Amazon’s appointment:
🚨🚨 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. 🚨🚨https://t.co/6hkzsHjxh9
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 9, 2020
Harrison Smith breaks down the coordinated efforts of government bureaucrats, NGOs, and the media to oust President Trump.
Amazon hosts a massive amount of web traffic, so it figures:
“Alexa, what is everyone in the world doing right now?”
— Btcn Ftrs (@BtcnFtrs) September 9, 2020
Nothing to see here, except that the former NSA spy chief Keith Alexander is on the board of directors of Amazon which has CIA contracts and a monopoly on many services on the internet. pic.twitter.com/vgC2JYiiaa
— Esha (@eshaLegal) September 9, 2020
Nothing to worry about, the US government would never dream of accessing all of data stored on Amazon AWS https://t.co/M3jBiP3aJI
— Micah Lee (@micahflee) September 9, 2020
Glen Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who reported exclusively on Snowden’s leaks, also chimed in:
Gen. Keith Alexander was head of NSA when it secretly built a massive domestic surveillance system aimed at Americans – the one an appellate court just ruled likely illegal.
Amazon just appointed him to its Board of Directors, again showing who they are:https://t.co/6s5VAeRIMK
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 9, 2020
Others speculated that Alexander’s hiring has more to do with Amazon going after lucrative Pentagon contracts:
NSA and the DoD in general have had a tight relationship Microsoft in the past, which is why it’s not surprising Microsoft won the JEDI contract. Clearly Amazon is working a new angle to make sure they can land more DoD contracts in the future.
— Roman McClaine (@RomanMcClaine) September 9, 2020
Zero Hedge points out the deep state angle of all this, noting that last week, “Amazon literally accused Trump of unprecedented corruption in a public letter and less than a week later it effectively brings the NSA on board.”