14 Cutting Edge Tech Firms Funded By The CIA

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Kalee Brown | Collective-Evolution

The CIA has its own investment capital firm called “In-Q-Tel,” and it’s been funding innovative tech firms for years. This is both good news and bad. One the one hand, it allows the CIA to invest in technologies they deem useful for the intelligence community; however, some of these technologies are a little creepy when it comes to personal space and privacy.

In-Q-Tel has the ability to reach deep into the pockets of the U.S. government’s Black Budget, which is pretty hefty given that the Washington Post reported that a staggering $52.6 billion was set aside for Black Budget operations in the fiscal year 2013. If you’re unfamiliar with the Black Budget program, that’s not very surprising; the entire point of the program is to keep these funds and the programs within it top secret.

To learn more, check out the following CE article:

“The Black Budget.” This Is What The ‘Secret Government’ Doesn’t Want You To Know

Though these investments are much smaller than the total Black Budget spending, amounting from somewhere between $500K and $2 million per investment as per a 2005 story in Washington Post, they’re still strategic contributions made in hopes of using the technology in the future.

Here’s a list of 14 firms the CIA has funded:

1. Cylance

The CIA invested in Cylance last year, the company behind the product CylancePROTECT. It uses artificial intelligence to distinguish whether or not a file is malware prior to opening it, and if it detects it as malware, it can prevent it from being opened entirely. It’s easy to understand why an intelligence agency would love to have this product on their hands, or anyone else, for that matter.

2. Orbital

The CIA invested in this company last year as well. Orbital Insight will search through millions of satellite images of Earth in order to answer a variety of questions. It could count the precise number of cars on a highway and all sorts of other things. Can you imagine how much data is stored in satellite images?

The company intended to use the data to help big box stores understand how they’re performing by determining how many people walk in and out of their stores, how many people are parked in their parking lots, etc.

It would be fascinating to know how the CIA would use this technology because it would essentially give the intelligence agency insight into operations occurring all over the world. Talk about “Big Brother!”

3. Cyphy

The CIA invested in Cyphy (pronounced Sci Fi) in 2015, which has designed a drone that can spy on anyone from up to 10,000 feet high. That’s right, you may not even know that someone’s spying on you, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere!

That’s not all though — the company even has a tiny drone called a “pocket flyer” which can fly through doors and windows and is small enough to fit in your pocket. Again, it’s easy to understand how the CIA could use this technology, particularly in military or undercover operations, but it’s still a little creepy.

4. BlueLine Grid

An investment that In-Q-Tel made in 2015, BlueLine Grid created a platform for communication that’s entirely web-based, similar to Slack (a communication platform that’s become popular amongst smaller and online-based businesses).

GridTeam is the name of the platform, and it’s extremely secure, allowing users to share messages, images, and even files quickly and safely. It can even host conference calls! The app is typically used by law enforcement and first responders, but since it was designed with security in mind, it’s understandable why the CIA would consider taking advantage as well.

5. Atlas Wearables

The CIA invested in this company in 2015, and it designs fitness trackers similar to FitBits, but a little more accurate. For example, the Atlas wristband would know when you’re doing a bicep curl versus when you’re doing a specific form of cardio.

In addition, the company also designed an app that works with you, sort of like a personal trainer. It’s effective enough that it would literally know whether or not you did the exact amount of push-ups asked of you, which is pretty neat!

6. Fuel3d

An investment made by the CIA in 2014, Fuel3d created a handheld device that can literally scan anything in an instant, including three-dimensional items. The device is called Scanify, and it’s already being used to advance different industries!

For example, full-face scans have been used to create and design eyewear, and it can even build 3-D models to help solve crime scenes. Who knows how the CIA would use this technology, but the opportunities seem endless.

7. MindMeld

Perhaps one of the creepiest investments made to date, the CIA invested in MindMeld in 2014, which is creating a voice command system for practically everything. Think of Siri for your iPhone, but then applying that wide-scale. Seriously, imagine a voice-activated computer, oven, anything.

The creepy part is, this means that your appliances and electronics are always listening to you, which begs the question, where’s all that data being stored, and who’s listening to it? It’s pretty interesting to ponder how the CIA would use this technology if it were to be implemented large-scale.

8. SnapDNA

The CIA invested in this technology in 2012, and it has some pretty incredible capabilities. The company designed a device that allows DNA to be completely analyzed in a matter of minutes. Typically, this process takes hours and requires DNA samples to be sent to a lab, which then need time to be analyzed.

Instead, this handheld, portable device allows you to analyze the DNA immediately — no lab time required.

9. Sonitus

The CIA invested in this company back in 2009, and it’s pretty cool. Imagine a fun adventure/spy movie in which high-level spies are communicating with one another on tiny, fancy earpieces. Well, Sonitus makes this a reality but takes it one step further, as their tiny products go inside the mouth and allow users to communicate with one another.

These products can be used in even the nosiest of environments, like during skydiving!

10. Palantir

The CIA invested in this company in 2005, and some U.S. spies are already using their software. Palantir’s software is able to connect tons of data from the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies. The military can use it to establish who built certain bombs, detectives can use it to build a greater understanding of different criminals and their connections, and more.

11. BBN Technologies

This investment was made in 2004, and it serves as one of the oldest startups the CIA invested in, as the company was born in 1948. The company has supplied the military with numerous high-tech gadgets, so the investment has certainly paid off.

For example, BBN’s “Boomerang” technology communicates to helicopters and on-ground personnel when they’re being fired at, tells them where the firing came from, and it even has advanced speech recognition capabilities to help military personnel comprehend different languages.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS FeedConnect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

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

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to friend