Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Privacy United States

Palantir Knows Everything About You (bloomberg.com) 111

Palantir, a data-mining company created by Peter Thiel, is aiding government agencies by tracking American citizens using the War on Terror, Bloomberg reports. From the report: The company's engineers and products don't do any spying themselves; they're more like a spy's brain, collecting and analyzing information that's fed in from the hands, eyes, nose, and ears. The software combs through disparate data sources -- financial documents, airline reservations, cellphone records, social media postings -- and searches for connections that human analysts might miss. It then presents the linkages in colorful, easy-to-interpret graphics that look like spider webs.

[...] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses Palantir to detect Medicare fraud. The FBI uses it in criminal probes. The Department of Homeland Security deploys it to screen air travelers and keep tabs on immigrants. Police and sheriff's departments in New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles have also used it, frequently ensnaring in the digital dragnet people who aren't suspected of committing any crime.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Palantir Knows Everything About You

Comments Filter:
  • by zippo01 ( 688802 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @04:43PM (#56473875)
    This is not news. The us government is tracking anything and everything. They might have a hard time noise vs signal, but they are collecting, watching, listening, refining methods and tools. If you think otherwise, I at least hope the ignorance is bliss.
    • by kalieaire ( 586092 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @05:51PM (#56474353)
      Agreed, HP, IBM, Oracle has had identity management suites that do this for a while now.  Analyst's Notebook was picked up by IBM and does nearly the same thing.  The Army's bigger System DCGS also does this but on a greater scale aka TIA (Total Information Awareness) Was based on Analyst's Notebook and Lockheed's Information Sharing Environment solution.  If you look at LE (Law Enforcement) use cases, they're totally dominated by Microsoft's Power BI (Business Intelligence) or Data Integration platforms similar to SoftwareAG.  The only reason you don't hear anything about these guys is because they create a platform so large and pervasive that Journalists can't wrap their heads around how big data works.

      Palantir is today's buzz word, and they're getting tons of free advertising from these muckrack[tm] journalists.  It makes you wonder if the Journalists are being paid by sponsors to hype up these companies to make them into not just a big name in Data Analysis, but a household name.  Next thing you know, Slack, Mattersmost, Discord, and Twitch are going to be dragged through the muck.

      * https://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/03/04/how-predictive-analytics-can-help-law-enforcement-fight-crime/
      * http://www1.softwareag.com/corporate/images/SAG_Terracotta_US_Law_Enforcement_RS_Mar16_WEB_tcm16-107904.pdf
      * https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2017/03/16/lockheed-cyber-crime-contract.aspx
      * http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/crimefighting/

      Either these journalists are under someone's dime, or they're really really misinformed.

      Look at Discord, they just made $50 mill today:

      * https://discordapp.com/privacy
      ** Developers: Developers using our SDK or API will have access to their end users’ information, including message content, message metadata, and voice metadata. Developers must use such information only to provide the SDK/API functionality within their applications and/or services.
    • Agreed, it's not news. But an article that manages to mention Thiel, War on Terror, collecting personal information, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and illegal immagrants is clickbait gold.
    • yawn.
  • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @04:52PM (#56473917) Homepage

    If a company has no relation to you, business, personal, or otherwise, then by law you should be able to order them to remove all data from there system that pertains to you.

    Even better they shouldn't be allowed to keep it in the first place.

    Even then all data after 7 years should have a sunset clause and be required to be removed.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If a company has no relation to you, business, personal, or otherwise, then by law you should be able to order them to remove all data from there system that pertains to you.

      Even better they shouldn't be allowed to keep it in the first place.

      Even then all data after 7 years should have a sunset clause and be required to be removed.

      does this also apply to newspapers or will you insist that they scrub all of their birth announcements from the past?

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        Anyone remember USENET and Kibo? You just had to mention his name on a USENET discussion board and he would appear. Turns out that the company he worked for was logging every post ever made. Eventually those archives were made public.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I am interested to see how you would enforce that.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        I am interested to see how you would enforce that.

        I'm open to suggestions.

        • Well, to make sure, you would have to run the entire facility through a shredder, along with every device that ever connected to them through their WAN port. For the staff, you'll need a flashy thingy. That should buy you some time until the next guy pops up.

      • They said, "should."

        Everyone knows that whatever follows means, "in my ideal reality ..." Oh, and there are never any unforeseen consequences that arise from the "should" either.

      • Move to Europe. The laws have been on the books for some time, are regularly enforced and are about to get even stricter.

      • Fine the companies that refuse to do it? Audit the data companies have?

        • Totally inadequate. You can only verify what they let you see. But it would help if the individual had real subpoena power over their own data. We have to at least make the flow go both ways.

  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @04:53PM (#56473923) Homepage

    But does it know the length of the US Coastline?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Or the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

        What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

    • But does it know why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
    • Who cares about that geography stuff? Does it know many licks it takes to get to the chocolately Tootsie-Roll centre of a Tootsie-Pop?

      Get your priorities straight, man.

  • If Palantir has wrong information on someone won't that make this person a victim of the state? How are decisions made on data collected by various shady deals, when we don't know if the data is correct?
    • The key thing here is that if this thing's algorithms kept secret, then it could be cited falsely in witch hunts. As much as this stinks, we need an open source project to bankrupt this commercial interest.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        It would be used to check out possible links. If Agent Black is known to make calls to Pizza Hut, they have to check out whether that is a false front for deliveries or whether it's just a pizza order.

  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @04:56PM (#56473951)
    The next totalitarian government will use it to dispose of dissidents before they can group into any sizeable opposition.
    • The next totalitarian government will use it to dispose of dissidents before they can group into any sizeable opposition.

      They already do - see PRNK, China, Russia, Iran ....

  • I guess you'd be labeled a terrorist threat if you started posting incorrect information.

    Things like instead of removing photo EXIF information, geotagging it with places like Greenland or Antarctica.

    Posting fake updates on facebook/linkedin with new jobs, or actually accepting friend requests from the bots. Posting on instagram rumors and liking some of the crazier people.

  • I tried Palantir once - but all I saw were a pair of old hands, withering in flame.

    • I tried Palantir once - but all I saw were a pair of old hands, withering in flame.

      I'm pretty sure at one point I used something called Palantir which was an apache webcam app for linux which I used to monitor and switch between my home cameras remotely.

      • I tried Palantir once - but all I saw were a pair of old hands, withering in flame.

        I'm pretty sure at one point I used something called Palantir which was an apache webcam app for linux which I used to monitor and switch between my home cameras remotely.

        Ok here it is, last update was around 2012:

        http://www.fastpath.it/product... [fastpath.it]

      • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

        Fool of a Took.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @05:10PM (#56474035)
    For a man who claims to be a Libertarian, Peter Thiel is awfully willing to help authoritarians ruin people's lives and abuse their power. Even if you 100% believe in the US justice system (I don't), this software is probably for sale to China, Burma, Saudi, and a whole bunch of other repressive regimes.
    • by Sperbels ( 1008585 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @05:21PM (#56474113)
      These days, Libertarianism just means Plutocracy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Thiel thinks that as a Libertarian, he should be free to sell his services to authoritarians and the government shouldn't be able to stop him. I'm not sure what a Libertarian stands for other than "I think I should be able to do whatever I want, and fuck you over to the largest degree you're unable to stop me." Except for with physical violence, because most Libertarians tend to be physically incapable of defending themselves.

    • Libertarian really means: "fuck you, I've got mine", with a side of "let's create an idea to reel in some suckers who will tirelessly work to maintain the plutocracy".

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Libertarian && Rich = I got mine so screw you. It's amazing how many people think a "fair" world is one where they're better off, it's like 90% think they're above average drivers.

    • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @07:07PM (#56474827)

      For a man who claims to be a Libertarian, Peter Thiel is awfully willing to help authoritarians ruin people's lives and abuse their power. Even if you 100% believe in the US justice system (I don't), this software is probably for sale to China, Burma, Saudi, and a whole bunch of other repressive regimes.

      I think that libertarians are self centered, so his self interest is best served by selling us out. I think libertarians are the right wing version of communists - it sounds OK in certain narrow situations but doesn't scale.

    • the man has to eat...

  • The word Palantir must come from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. They were stones with which one could communicate with anyone looking into another Palantir. The largest could evesdrop on the others.
  • by plague911 ( 1292006 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @05:31PM (#56474197)
    Palantir is proof that any one who was "shocked" by what Snowden etc "revealed" are idiots and/or uninformed. Planitir was around for years before the leakers and they were very very public about telling the world that this kind of data mining was ubiquitous. We never needed the drama queens to spill the beans, any of the concept we're public for a long time. All they did was reveal some details which compromised some poor field agents and got them killed.
  • Peter Thiel is a piece of shit. Stick that in your database Palantir and fuck yourself with it.
  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Friday April 20, 2018 @05:56PM (#56474403)

    Comcast knows everything about you.
    Verizon knows everything about you.
    Comcast knows everything about you.
    IRS knows everything about you.
    Google knows everything about you.
    Facebook knows everything about you.
    Uber knows everything about you.
    Grocery stores know everything about you.
    Credit agencies know everything about you.

    I can go all day.

    • Burma Shave

    • They don't quite. Couldn't get a MySSA acct with the gov because equifax and experian don't have a record of me - I don't use credit and the SSA, though they send me checks, can't set up an online account because - and THEY TOLD ME ON THE PHONE - without a credit rating they can't verify I exist, much less am me. Other than that, it's fun being a "ghost".
  • Libertarians like Peter Thiel keeps proving my adage right: libertarians are just monarchs waiting to happen.

    Libertarians only want freedom for themselves, and at the expense of other people if they can help it.
  • Palantir isn't collecting data on you, the Government and corporations do that.

    Palantir is a software company who makes an integrated, modular system for data integration and analysis (such as link analysis). They don't collect the data -- they sell the software to entities who have data feeds that need to be analyzed. (However, Palantir does provide consultants to work on-site with the customers to help use and customize the software.)

    About a decade ago when Palantir was brand new, I recommended t

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

Working...