Helping Build The Surveillance State Is Good Business: Palantir Gets $196 Million More In Funding

from the money-money-money dept

Palantir is definitely a fairly well-known (if somewhat secretive) company in Silicon Valley. While Silicon Valley firms actually tend to have a reputation for being skeptical of partnering up with the intelligence community, Palantir has always focused on trying to work directly with the intelligence community, quite successfully. Palantir got a bit of notoriety a couple years ago, when it was revealed to be associated with HBGary Federal when Anonymous leaked plans to try to discredit Wikileaks and various critics (including Glenn Greenwald) in a pitch to Bank of America and the US Chamber of Commerce. However, with the latest stories about NSA surveillance, and questions concerning the involvement of Silicon Valley, more and more attention has been paid to Palantir. Andy Greenberg and Ryan Mac did a profile in Forbes of the "deviant philosopher" who built the company. And the Telegraph recently called it the creepiest startup ever.

Apparently all the revelations concerning the surveillance state haven't been bad for business either. Reports are that the company has recently closed on a little under $200 million from investors, bringing its total raised to around $500 million. Supposedly the latest valuation has the company around $8 billion -- which would mean that the $200 million only bought around 2.5% of the company.

Obviously, there's money in feeding the surveillance state. In fact, we've argued that so much of the hype around "cybersecurity" has really been about efforts to drum up more business for contractors, including Palantir. It's just a shame that all these revelations don't seem to have dampened the interest in building the surveillance state. Apparently the 4th Amendment doesn't mean too much when all that money is on the table.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Huh...
    Wasn't Palantir unable to discover who people actually were?
    Didn't it make connections that didn't actually exist because the person behind it was working on his own flawed premise?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    These companies probably will do pretty well since they will not do business only with the government but also with other companies.

    Microsoft stopped using their piracy tracking company they used because it was so bad at what they did.

    There are uses for this type of tech and it will get developed, the tools will get created, how they are used though is anyones guess.

    Any hacker knows this by instinct that they need good int/inf/data on targets, they develop the tools and others improve upon them.

    Some new this day was coming, the day that governments would realize how much data is out here to be analyzed and how much knowledge and insight one may gain by tapping that stream.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    beech, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    Response to: That Anonymous Coward on Sep 30th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Duh. That's why they need more money! If at first you don't succeed in a government contract, spend more money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:35am

    Apparently the 4th Amendment doesn't mean too much when all that money is on the table.

    For a portion of humanity nothing means much when a lot of money is on the table. Not Human Rights, not Religious valors, not ethics, nothing. They are that despicable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Re:

    And for those few of that lot worried about running afoul of the law, the government has several incentives to offer, things such as 'retroactive immunity' and 'selective enforcement', where the companies either have their actions legalized after the fact, or are simply assured that they won't be prosecuted no matter what comes to light.

    Amazing what can get done when both the private sector and the government come together to screw the public over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re:

    Well hopefully they are as inept as their parent company was and someone will leak all of the dirty secrets they hold to make those in power be more compliant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    No sh!t Sherlock!

    Our tax dollars "at work"... :-(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Re:

    So what you're saying is that using that software could end up killing innocent people with drone attacks?

    US gov: ...ok. What seems to be the problem again?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Brazilian Guy, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    I sense a disturbance in the Force, as if 8 Billions U.S. dollars worth of privacy expectations cried out in terror and were suddenly violated.

    Palantir, Gotham and Metropolis. The Evil Nerd Power Rises.

    (The fact that they still didn't mess with either Marvel or Star Wars franchises in naming is evidence to me that probably even the Military Industrial Complex is afraid of those particular brand of lawyers).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Pragmatic, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    At last, someone noticed the nerd value in the names. Why hasn't the Tolkien estate come down like a ton of bricks over the name "Palantir?" They were chasing scientists last year over the use of the word "Hobbits," even though that word wasn't invented by Tolkien.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121026/09562920855/scientist-refused-permission-to-ca ll-hominids-hobbits-even-though-word-first-used-print-1895-not-tolkien.shtml

    While I generally don't approve of such things, if it's going to be legal to shake companies down over copyright or trademarks, let it be this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re:

    Even the MAFIAA is not that stupid, not yet at least.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    There is no reason to stop the development. As long as the results are accessible for people to protect against it is not a problem. The problem is only if the secrecy of NSA covers up too many traces in legally dubious territory so as to stop countermeasures from being developed...

    Actually this story is a bit thin on facts and lacks a bit in angle. It seems build up just to throw out a political statement:
    "It's just a shame that all these revelations don't seem to have dampened the interest in building the surveillance state."

    It might have been better to speculate a bit more about what the company could be doing or focused more on statements/lobbying ties to give the article a little dept.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Remember, we are in dire straits with government funding. So much so that we need to cut back on SNAP and Social Security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    and people wonder why these companies pump thousands in the form of back handers to politicians?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Waste of everyone's money. Nothing like someone taking your money, then building a using that money to build spy programs to use against the very people who fund these unconstitutional spy programs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    ShellMG (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    They must be using the Palantir that belonged to Sauron.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Torg (profile), Oct 1st, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    I'm calling bullshit. Palantir is too perfect a name for an evil surveillance corporation. The only logical explanation is that we're all characters in a comic or a video game or something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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