CIA, Google fund Web analysis firm

Recorded Future claims ability find 'invisible links'

In-Q-Tel and Google Ventures are investing in Recorded Future, a company whose technology monitors the Web in real time and develops predictions of future events from the content, according to reports.

In-Q-Tel is the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency; Google Ventures, of course, is Google's investment firm. While Google and the CIA do not appear to be directly or deliberately collabortating, Danger Room writer Noah Schactman notes that the move may give Google's critics some ammunition.

Recorded Future "scours tens of thousands of Web sites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still to come," Shactman writes. The company's "temporal analytics engine" finds documents with subtle links between them based on their subject matter,

When the data reveals a possible future event, Recorded Future can -- so it claims -- trace the online "momentum" for the event and predict where and when it might actually happen.

Web Newser reports that the investments are just under $10 million from each entity. The investments were made in 2009, but disclosed only recently.

"The benefit to Google, which has built its livelihood on collecting and indexing publicly available data for consumer use and advertising, is obvious," wrote Kenneth Musante in Web Newser. "The CIA on the other hand has become increasingly interested in analyzing publicly available data for useful intelligence, also known as 'open source intelligence.' "


About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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Reader Comments

Sat, Jul 31, 2010

it's really laughable that somehow the web becomes this "predictor" of evil things to come... as if you can magically scan in real-time a plethora of websites gather data, look for "relationships" in terms of people, places, and events ... and then come up with a list of possible tragic events and perpetrators to go hunt down. this is someone's sci-fi psudo jack bauer/24 fantasy world. it's only because these "science projects" are funded by tax dollars (in largesse) and a fkd up legal system that enables these knuckleheads to attempt "picking grass seed out of horse manure with boxing gloves on" (as my grandfather would say) -- only hardworking american taxpayers are funding this crap

Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Minority Report comes closer to reality, and yes we are turning our defense power on ourselves.

Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Who thought that being a neo luddite would pay off?

Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Does the CIA have a new charter> I thought the CIA was looking outward, internationally and the FBI was internal or national security? Have we turned the stregth of or defence on ourselves?

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