Palantir Tries to Preserve Their Government Contracts

In a post I’ll write some day, I will show how the WikiLeaks cables show that every time a partner government threatens to use the high tech intelligence toys we share with it–notably our telecommunication wiretapping–to spy on domestic opponents, the Obama Administration makes a very concerted effort to disavow such efforts (if not end the partnership).

Which is why I find it so interesting that the CEO of Palantir Technologies just apologized to Glenn Greenwald for (I guess) allowing HBGary to target him for an oppo research and attack on his credibility.

“As the Co-Founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, I have directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HB Gary,” the statement starts.

Dr. Karp explains that Palantir Technologies provides a software analytic platform for the analysis of data. They do not provide – “nor do we have any plans to develop” – offensive cyber capabilities.

In addition, the statement says that Palantir does not build software that is designed to allow private sector entities to obtain non-public information, engage in so-called cyber attacks, or take other offensive measures.

“I have made clear in no uncertain terms that Palantir Technologies will not be involved in such activities. Moreover, we as a company, and I as an individual, always have been deeply involved in supporting progressive values and causes. We plan to continue these efforts in the future,” Dr. Karp added.

“The right to free speech and the right to privacy are critical to a flourishing democracy. From its inception, Palantir Technologies has supported these ideals and demonstrated a commitment to building software that protects privacy and civil liberties. Furthermore, personally and on behalf of the entire company, I want to publicly apologize to progressive organizations in general, and Mr. Greenwald in particular, for any involvement that we may have had in these matters.”

Somehow,Dr. Karp forgot to apologize to Brad Friedman, another journalist WBGary–in projects bid in partnership with Palantir–has targeted.

As a reminder, Palantir Technologies is one of the two other security firms that HBGary partnered with to try to get spying business with Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce.

But perhaps more relevant is Palantir’s primary focus: working with the national security apparatus. They’ve done at least $6,378,332 in business with entities like SOCOM and FBI in the last several years. And while they say they have no plans to adopt “offensive cyber capabilities,” that’s not to say they’re not helping the government analyze data on our presumed enemies.

I would imagine Palantir has pretty good reason to know that the government will not do business with a contractor using the same technologies to target Glenn Greenwald (and maybe Brad Friedman).

At least not publicly. Remember–DOJ recommended Hunton & Williams (which put Palantir and HBGary together for the bid) to Bank of America.

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0 Responses to Palantir Tries to Preserve Their Government Contracts

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Imagine if Admin wanted to kill US ISIS member. They'd throw wall-splat of Awlaki memos w/wall-splat of IS war memos http://t.co/kg5njzG26r
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bmaz @bmaz Kiki says "come visit me!" http://t.co/6t88fTyVIi
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emptywheel And then replaced by Condi. RT @shrubfree: no, [Goodell]'d be appointed viceroy of baghdad. #ageoffail
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emptywheel If Goodell were to lose non-profit status AND Anheuser-Busch, THEN would he get fired?
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emptywheel @onekade Yes. Both true. @lynch_jen
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emptywheel @onekade Coming to believe you and I are assholes. That can't be true. Can it?
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emptywheel I joked a week ago but, seriously, why has no one written abt what it would do for soul of The City to lose the visible land of Adam Smith?
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emptywheel Jeff Bezos, space start-up. https://t.co/V6bT5ZEQhM We have drones, space, CIA, WaPo, & country's biggest book store. What could go wrong?
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JimWhiteGNV Why are you tweeting instead of throwing the damn ball? RT @michaelwhitney: Here is my dog http://t.co/plPvYxACM4
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emptywheel First @jricole http://t.co/hTf9qa4rnR & now @bungdan http://t.co/wRHuG8IVYH making lists of contradictions w/in Obama IS strategy.
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emptywheel @mgsledge Yes. Because no one is reporting the content of the letter. Important to make it clear Clapper will gut intent of advocate.
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emptywheel .@matthewstoller calls 4 "Unwinding classfed state, beginning adult convo put off for 70 yrs abt nature of US power" https://t.co/k4MI1U87Ko
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