Google Teams Up With CIA, Invests in Analytics Firm

Describing its analytics as “the ultimate tool for open-source intelligence,” Recorded Future markets itself towards corporations and brands, but it’s also got one very large foot in the counter-terrorism field–which is what makes it so attractive to In-Q-Tel. The firm’s CEO is an ex Swedish Army Ranger who holds a PhD in Computer Science, and he says that what sets Recorded Future apart from other analytics firms is “you can actually predict the curve, in many cases.”

As well as the “business intelligence” side to the firm, there’s a real feeling of Minority Report, here. It sounds like the kind of tool that will be used to predict crimes and terrorist activity as well. Analytics are already being used by the Memphis Police Department, whose Operation Blue CRUSH uses predictive analytics by IBM.

BY Addy Dugdale

Wired‘s defense dude, Noah Schachtman, has a fascinating story about Google and the CIA being joint investors in a web monitoring firm. Both Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s investment arm, have injected sums (less than $10 million each) into Recorded Future, a company that goes through “tens of thousands” of websites and looks for related actions and conversations between, for example, Twitter accounts, blogs and websites, and analyzes them in order to spot events and trends as early on as possible.

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