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How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut
Forbes ^ | September 2, 2013 | Andy Greenberg and Ryan Mac

Posted on 08/28/2013 3:03:19 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Since rumors began to spread that a startup called Palantir helped to kill Osama bin Laden, Alex Karp hasn’t had much time to himself.

On one sun-baked July morning in Silicon Valley Palantir’s lean 45-year-old chief executive, with a top-heavy mop of frazzled hair, hikes the grassy hills around Stanford University’s massive satellite antennae known as the Dish, a favorite meditative pastime. But his solitude is disturbed somewhat by “Mike,” an ex-Marine–silent, 6 foot 1, 270 pounds of mostly pectoral muscle–who trails him everywhere he goes. Even on the suburban streets of Palo Alto, steps from Palantir’s headquarters, the bodyguard lingers a few feet behind.

“It puts a massive cramp on your life,” Karp complains, his expression hidden behind large black sunglasses. “There’s nothing worse for reducing your ability to flirt with someone.”

Karp’s 24/7 security detail is meant to protect him from extremists who have sent him death threats and conspiracy theorists who have called Palantir to rant about the Illuminati. Schizophrenics have stalked Karp outside his office for days at a stretch. “It’s easy to be the focal point of fantasies,” he says, “if your company is involved in realities like ours.”

Palantir lives the realities of its customers: the NSA, the FBI and the CIA–an early investor through its In-Q-Tel venture fund–along with an alphabet soup of other U.S. counterterrorism and military agencies. In the last five years Palantir has become the go-to company for mining massive data sets for intelligence and law enforcement applications, with a slick software interface and coders who parachute into clients’ headquarters to customize its programs. Palantir turns messy swamps of information into intuitively visualized maps, histograms and link charts. Give its so-called “forward-deployed engineers” a few days to crawl, tag and integrate every scrap of a customer’s data, and Palantir can

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: alexkarp; cia; datamining; fbi; nsa; palantir; surveillance; tolkien

1 posted on 08/28/2013 3:03:19 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Shades of Larry Ellison.


2 posted on 08/28/2013 3:08:30 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (Islam offers choices: convert, submit, or die.)
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To: nickcarraway

Dude, if you don’t want the fringe and weirdos to stalk you, probably shouldn’t name your information gathering company after a magical object from Lord of the Rings that had evil implications.


3 posted on 08/28/2013 3:14:32 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Fantasy Short Story Collection is out!)
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To: nickcarraway

I’d think the enemies out there would rather kidnap him than otherwise harm him. We would have gotten Osama one way or another though, and I though it was actually more human intelligence that resulted in his discovery. Or maybe the impossible has happened and Hollywood has lied to me.


4 posted on 08/28/2013 3:15:21 PM PDT by OldNewYork (Biden '13. Impeach now.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Yeah, instead of naming it Palantir, they could have named it something that wasn’t Palantir, but sounded silmarillion.


5 posted on 08/28/2013 3:24:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Ah, sure, UNREASONABLE conspiracy theorists torment this saint.

Who named his company —which spies on Americans’ license plates driving around NorCal malls and roads— after a the CRYSTALL BALL OF AN EVIL WORLOCH.

Sounds made up, right?

Started off properly geared at terrorists, and now they’re installing all this Big Bro stuff on cameras all over the place in Northern California, photoing and storing where and where your car is.

Why?

You have no idea, and neither do they. Neither do the cops.

It’s not search and seizure —it’s seizure AND THEN search.

You’ll come across their interest, and then they’ll query the imaging of your car plate at some data fusion center, and then they’ll know EVERYWHERE you have been.

EVAR.

Oh SURE he’s a victim.


6 posted on 08/28/2013 3:25:38 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: All
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7 posted on 08/28/2013 3:28:32 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: gaijin

They are even contracting privately with companies sort of like Google Maps cars. And these imagine cars go around to malls at peak busy times, and they snap photos of the plates of EVERYONE who parked there.

On the road? Yeah, they snap a photo of the plate of EVERYONE who passes them on the road.

Just like Google “accidentally” did with ALL the routers they passed when they were mapping around cities.

Ah, whoops —sorry about that. Snafu, we PROMISE...!

You’ll speak at a Town Hall, and question authority, and then they’ll query their stupid database about your vehicle plates, and then they’ll know where you live, your church, your town hang-outs, where your lover lives, ah...a trillion things.

They’re putting these cameras on patrol cars, and even those put-put parking ticket scooters, bridges, toll stations, airports.

Northern California is some kind of special test bed for these oh-so-Innocent Orwellians cuz it’s in the backyard of this company’s HQ.

Yeah, they’re going to scream, “You’re a CONSPIRACY THEORIST” at anyone who has ANY reservation about this at all.


8 posted on 08/28/2013 3:30:51 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: gaijin
after a the CRYSTALL BALL OF AN EVIL WORLOCH.

Hey, cut him some slack. He wanted to name it Big Brother Technologies, but someone had already used it.

9 posted on 08/28/2013 3:32:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

After reading the article i think its safe to surmise that the only way Palantir’s analytical software could predict the type patterns that it did (the software is rumored to have led to OBL’s hidden location or be able to tell if a Nigerian scam is being perpetrated by taking at look at the IP address of the perp and detecting a hijacked line of credit is pretty clear to me. His predictive software must be tied into NSA, credit reporting agencies, and scores of other data information sources for it to work that fast. A further look into this might make Snowden’ revelations a lot mire credible and possibly evn pale in comparison.


10 posted on 08/28/2013 3:34:13 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: gaijin

The money quote from a former staffer;

“Despite Palantir’s lofty principles, says another former engineer, its day-to-day priorities are satisfying its police and intelligence customers: “Keeping good relations with law enforcement and ‘keeping the lights on’ bifurcate from the ideals.”

He goes on to argue that even Palantir’s founders don’t quite understand the Palantiri seeing stones in The Lord of the Rings . Tolkien’s orbs, he points out, didn’t actually give their holders honest insights. “The Palantiri distort the truth,” he says. And those who look into them, he adds, “only see what they want to see.”


11 posted on 08/28/2013 3:36:13 PM PDT by Zeneta (No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
It was only evil because "they are not all accounted for, the lost seeing stones. We do not know who else may be watching."

Sounds like the web, my cell phone, my TV, and my Nexus 7.

12 posted on 08/28/2013 3:41:42 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: gaijin

Ever notice just HOW touchy the cops are about being photographed?

There are good reasons for that, sure.

But another reason is because some COPS have special access to knowing just how often innocent people are being digitally imaged unaware: The cops know just HOW powerful that information can be in the right circumstances.

Cameras as becoming sort of like guns. But because the full nature of some of these exotic programs are known only to cops, well, only the cops know HOW afraid we all should be of casual digital imaging.

A casual view of Palantir would be like an early Chinese view of gunpowder as being just one of several needed inputs to make FIRE-CRACKERS, and not an important weapon.

When you see a cop freak out after being photoed then you have your answer for how YOU should feel about Palantir.

Palantir’s tech only really works if it’s everywhere, always.

The company creator was a consummate Hobbit Junky:

Remember the Hobbit movies with that flaming EYEBALL thing that never blinked as it looked for the ring...?

OK well, **THIS PROGRAM** IS THAT EYEBALL.

Remember after 9-11 and people were saying, “If we change the way we live as a result of this attack, then the TERRORISTS WIN..!”

In view of Palantir, etc. etc. you understand now just HOW RIDICULOUS that is, right...?

Programs of this type mean America is DEAD and not merely changed.


13 posted on 08/28/2013 3:47:33 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Zeneta

Reading the article and listening to the way Karp talks i don’t think he is like most of the looney tune liberals. I think he’s aware of the possibilty that the feds could use the infomation in a maliious and oppressive manner but I get the sense that this would trouble him considerably. I get the idea that he’s thankful he had a business partner that backed him (Thiel; founder of Paypal) to make it happen and that Palatir is his life and obviously making a killing and is floating along for the ride hoping that the feds don’t abuse the system. He sounds like a decent guy but maybe in over his head if the feds start getting a little overambitious with the intel contained within the data.


14 posted on 08/28/2013 3:55:59 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001

I agree 100% with your assessment, I got the same impression.

Apparently, he only owns 10% of the company, and I’d suggest that this genie is on auto pilot on its way to some bank.


15 posted on 08/28/2013 4:03:33 PM PDT by Zeneta (No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.)
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To: gaijin
Ever notice just HOW touchy the cops are about being photographed?

____________________________________________________

 photo watch_zpsdf11d30f.jpeg

16 posted on 08/28/2013 4:05:09 PM PDT by Zeneta (No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.)
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To: Zeneta


17 posted on 08/28/2013 4:28:35 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

You can call me crazy, but I can see the day that science will have the ability to literally read your mind.

This will bring a whole new meaning to the “New thought police”.

Governments and Law enforcement are already using all these tracking and data mining techniques to “profile” individuals current and previous actions to establish that individuals “State of Mind”.


18 posted on 08/28/2013 4:45:30 PM PDT by Zeneta (No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.)
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To: Zeneta

Why do you think Obama has tasked the NIH with mapping every single neuron in the human brain and what it does?


19 posted on 08/28/2013 4:50:01 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Zeneta
maybe sooner than we think
20 posted on 08/28/2013 5:07:35 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Black Agnes

In the future.

A hypothetical scenario may go like this.

Cop pulls you over for speeding, taillight, whatever...

Cop instructs you to get out of your car and place this “Cap” on your head.

He informs you that this is for your safety, as it will allow him to determine if you have violent intentions. If you don’t have violent intentions than all is good.

Your brain waves are then feed wirelessly and analyzed in real-time and the results are displayed on the Cops “Google Glass”.

In addition to virtually everywhere you have been, everybody you talk to, every group you are a member of, if you own a gun, if you have written statements about the threat of Government and on and on....

This “threat matrix” will then be matched to your “Current State of mind”.

If your current “State” is sanguine, you take your ticket and go.

If on the other hand you’re agitated, paranoid and even calculating, you are a threat.

“Future Crime” suspect that needs further evaluation for the good of society.


21 posted on 08/28/2013 5:17:10 PM PDT by Zeneta (No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.)
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To: Zeneta; COUNTrecount; Nowhere Man; FightThePower!; C. Edmund Wright; jacob allen; Travis McGee; ...

Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!

To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don’t add you to the list...

22 posted on 08/28/2013 7:07:20 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? We can have both!)
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To: nickcarraway

He’s an idiot. He should have picked something totally innocent and safe sounding like Hobbit.


23 posted on 08/28/2013 8:04:56 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: null and void

Alternate caption for that picture: “Man, this NSA crap has gone just too far now.”


24 posted on 08/28/2013 8:14:25 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: nickcarraway

Well just Google Curt Weldon and Data Mining and you will see that 9_11 could have been avoided. Data Mining was getting to close to the Clinton shenanigans and I believe Condolezzaa Rice was not who she was made out to be also.
Really interesting stuff,Curt Weldon paid the price for making this public years ago,the commie democrats got rid of him


25 posted on 08/29/2013 3:57:40 AM PDT by ballplayer
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To: nickcarraway
Schizophrenics have stalked Karp outside his office for days at a stretch.

Have these people been identified, treated by a doctor and clinically diagnosed or is the author just misusing a medical term to smear someone he dislikes? More shades of the USSR.

26 posted on 08/29/2013 5:07:25 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Zeneta; gaijin; nickcarraway; HiJinx; ASA Vet; Progov; Seizethecarp; darkwing104; 2ndDivisionVet; ..
...even Palantir’s founders don’t quite understand the Palantiri seeing stones in The Lord of the Rings .

No kidding!!

Here's the verbatim quote from Tolkien in "Return of the King":

"The Stones of Seeing do not lie, and not even the Lord of Barad-Dur can make them do so. He can, maybe, by his will choose what things shall be seen by weaker minds, or cause them to mistake the meaning of what they see."

Palantir, as I understand it, does not gather information. It collates information from other sources, and generates intelligence products tailored to the customer's demands. Palantir can, like Sauron, manipulate what you see, and you will accept what you see as fact.

27 posted on 08/29/2013 6:09:30 AM PDT by Old Sarge (Opinions are like orgasms: only mine count, and I couldn't care less if you have one...)
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