Survivalist News Network

Spy-tool sellers Palantir secure $200 million in funding amid surveillance scandal

11_siSelling spy products has never been easier: Palantir, a software company that has sold surveillance tools to the Central Intelligence Agency and other United States government offices, has raised almost $200 million in funds in under a month.

A Security and Exchange Commission filing dated last Friday  revealed that Silicon Valley spy firm Palantir pulled in  $196,500,204 from investors over what looks like a span of only a  few weeks.

Forbes magazine profiled Palantir in an August 2013 cover story  in which it was revealed that the company collected around $500  million through fundraising, according to CEO Alex Karp. Now less  than a month later, the SEC filing dated Sept. 27 shows that an  additional wave of investigating has increased the amount raised  to almost three-quarters of a billion dollars.

The San Francisco Business Times reported that the nearly $200  million comes from 15 unnamed investors. According to the SEC  filing, Morgan Stanley & Co. will collect an estimated $4  million from brokering those deals. Forbes estimates that  Palantir is now worth anywhere from $5 to $8 billion.

Given the government’s well-documented ties to Palantir and the  company’s arsenal of powerful spy products, the latest news  suggests that the surveillance industry will stay afloat even  amid the scandal surrounding leaked National Security Agency documents and the  related disclosures detailing the US intelligence community’s  far-reaching capabilities.

Palantir has managed to keep a relatively low-profile since its  founding nearly a decade ago, but last month’s Forbes cover story  by Andy Greenberg and Ryan Mac helped hone in slightly on the  shadowy company. The journalists linked Palantir to the NSA, the  Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA’s venture fund,  In-Q-Tel, along with what the writers called   an alphabet soup of other US  counterterrorism and military agencies” who have become  clients over the years.

In fact, In-Q-Tel was one of the first groups to help get  Palantir off the ground thanks to early investing, and Bloomberg  reported recently that other clients of the Silicon  Valley-company with a DC-area office and others around the globe  include the New York and Los Angeles Police Departments. Aside  from the CIA subdivision, other early investors in Palantir  include Peter Thiel, the former PayPal CEO who dumped half a  million dollars into Facebook the same year that the surveillance  company came into being.

Other customers include Bank of America and Rupert Murdoch’s News  Corp., Forbes reported, and those private-sector deals now make  up around 60 percent of the company’s revenue.

Perhaps the project that caused the most commotion about the  company was one that never managed to get off the ground,  however. In 2011, hacktivists with the Anonymous collective  linked Palantir to “Team Themis,” a partnership that also  involved contractors HBGary and Berico that was created to help  discredit WikiLeaks and its supporters, including writer Glenn  Greenwald. It was foiled by Anonymous before ever set in motion,  and Palantir CEO Alex Karp eventually offered an apology and  attempted to distance his company from the controversy.

But even as concerns continue to grow over who has the ability to  collect and information — whether it be law enforcement agencies,  offices within the intelligence community or just well-funded  corporations determined to make big bucks off big data — Palantir  is apparently only on the up. Previously, Karp told Forbes that  his company could sign $1 billion in contacts during the next  calendar year if everything adds up in his favor.

Palantir sells a powerful line of data-mining and analysis  software that maps out human social networks for  counter-intelligence purposes, and is in huge demand throughout  government and in the financial and banking industries,” Tim  Shorrock, a writer who primarily investigates government  contractors, wrote on his website earlier this year. “The NSA,  which intercepts and analyzes global communications traffic, is a  highly likely client as well,” added Shorrock, who included  an excerpt from a 2009 Wall Street Journal article in which  Palantir was lauded as “the darling of the intelligence and  law enforcement communities.”

Since then, the LAPD and NYPD have both relied on Palantir’s  technology to assess data collected from the license plate scanners that are quacking becoming  commonplace on cop cruisers across the country. According to  Forbes, Palantir makes it possible for NYPD officers to search a  database of around 500 million plates in about five seconds. In  recent weeks, of course, unauthorized national security  disclosures attributed to former contractor Edward Snowden have  revealed that the US intelligence community has been collecting  and analyzing information about American citizens’ social networking and Internet behaviors using software undoubtedly not  dissimilar to products made by Palantir.


(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.