I tweeted these links yesterday and then this morning thought it deserved a little more attention as the CIA is probably hard at work monitoring this blog as well. The meat and potatoes of the story is that software of course is the key to this happening and in the US we are obsessed to the point to where data mining and intelligence is being worked over time. I see it in healthcare, with obscure analytics being marketed and sold that don’t do much more than make money for their creators. Don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of good out there too but like everything in life greed is alive and well via technology and it’s hurting consumers. I wrote a while back on how the analytics are marketed and being used against consumers and this happens when thing are taken out of context. Everybody is out there mining some kind of data but it’s what they do with it that counts.
Big Data/Analytics If Used Out of Context and Without True Values Stand To Be A Huge Discriminatory Practice Against Consumers–More Honest Data Scientists Needed to Formulate Accuracy/Value To Keep Algo Duping For Profit Out of the Game
From the In-Q-Tel website:
In-Q-Tel is focused on new and emerging commercial technologies that have the potential to give the CIA and broader U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) mission-advantage today and in the future. As a strategic partner for the IC we understand complex customer requirements, and we constantly survey the leading edge of the commercial marketplace in order to identify, adapt, and deliver technology solutions to our customers. We currently concentrate our engagements in two broad technology practice areas of interest to our customers.
What boggles my mind in all of this is we have this extreme area of data mining and development here and then the complete opposite with lawmakers and maybe even some of the White House at the other end of the spectrum as what is in the news and with public statements made. If you read here often enough you know I dig in to some of these topics being a data base person and have merged, queried and done a ton of this work in healthcare and it all comes down to your basic SQL statements, combining it with computer code and algorithms and running the execute. As Bill Gates stated software is nothing more than a bunch of algorithms working together and they are written with computer code. So what is the CIA getting out of all of this data and information.
Sure there’s a need for intelligence I don’t dispute that but sounds like the CIA has the same issue as everyone else as to what they do with the information and what do they execute. Here’s the video from the Onion from last year…satire becoming reality. That is also why we like Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert for that matter, self included. This video is satire and I’m making that statement again as people on the web recently have confused it with being real news as did Rep. John Fleming from Louisiana last year who embarrassed himself all over Facebook and I’m sure the CIA has that too:) That’ in itself is scary in the fact that it somewhat sends a message on being out of touch for sure.
In-Q-Tel is not just one focus as it is a start up company and has created companies that have grown and been acquired by other companies and they are not all intelligence types either, but what I’m looking at is what is their focus today. Maybe I’ll find out more after they have consumed and analyzed this post:) I know of another company which I have looked at called “Recorded Future” and used a little bit of their trending information just to see what it does. That company made the news in 2010 with stating that the CIA and Google’s CEO Schmidt investing in it too.
How much of this data is “really” useful? Like I said time to license and tax the data sellers and get some transparency out there as corporate USA is taking it’s toll on consumers as well and so much data is flawed these days in this rush to write some SQL statements, wrap up the algorithms and market it for sale with having “value”. People end up being accused of “nonsense” due to the flawed data reported about them. As a society we have all been trained to view what is on the screen as being correct and years ago that was the case but not anymore since this obsession for mining and selling data has created such big financial profit centers and nobody cares if it is accurate or note, just get the money.
Time Has Come to License and Tax the Data Sellers of the Web, Companies, Banks, Social Networks..Any One Making a Profit-Latest Microsoft/Google Privacy War Helping the Cause –Consumers Deserve to Know What Is Being Sold and To Who in a Searchable Format
So are we all going to just sit around and collect and sell data on on another and let manufacturing go to pot in the US? This is what I’m seeing with so many looking for the “Algorithm Fairy” to predict the future. Sure there is value in trending this information but it’s gone a bit too far with disruption to where the US is losing their battle with being able to “really” focus. You want to distract somebody today, just start throwing statistics at them as we are a bit brainwashed to the point that when we hear them, whether or not is is correct or not we get sucked in. Watch the first video on the left side of my blog under the Attack of the Killer Algorithms section and you will get a read good idea as how you get sucked in with stats…”well gee the formulas has a square root in it and it’s been on the news all week…must be good”…Charlie Siefe starts with the algorithm for the perfect butt and goes from there with how stats are used and marketed to keep you off balance and to sell you something. That’s the same reason a lot of polls are done too, they want to sell you something. More videos that might help you out to see how match and code deceives are at the link below, done by people smarter than me, I just curate. I guess in the meantime I’ll maybe pay a little more attention to some of the satire out there as for some strange reason they are doing much better at predicting than all these these algorithms companies sell and broker that are flawed (grin). BD
Wired.com published an article how US spies are making investments in the Company In-Q-Tel in order to monitor your blogs and read your tweets.
In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using “open source intelligence” – information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.
Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.) Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords.
Then Visible “scores” each post, labeling it as positive or negative, mixed or neutral. It examines how influential a conversation or an author is. (“Trying to determine who really matters,” as Cahill puts it.) Finally, Visible gives users a chance to tag posts, forward them to colleagues and allow them to response through a web interface.
Visible chief executive officer Dan Vetras says the CIA is now an “end customer,” thanks to the In-Q-Tel investment. And more government clients are now on the horizon. “We just got awarded another one in the last few days,” Vetras adds.
“Anything that is out in the open is fair game for collection,” says Steven Aftergood, who tracks intelligence issues at the Federation of American Scientists. But “even if information is openly gathered by intelligence agencies it would still be problematic if it were used for unauthorized domestic investigations or operations. Intelligence agencies or employees might be tempted to use the tools at their disposal to compile information on political figures, critics, journalists or others, and to exploit such information for political advantage. That is not permissible even if all of the information in question is technically ‘open source.’”