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.

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Companies: palantir

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

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17 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Brazilian Guy says:

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).

Pragmatic says:

Re: 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-call-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.

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