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Google and the CIA

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Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google since January 2000, used to work for the National Security Agency and has a top-secret clearance. In May 2005, Google hired Dan Senor as vice president of global communications and strategy. Senor was the chief U.S. spokesman in Iraq during the invasion and occupation. Google would like to hire more like him. Can you trust Google with a database of all the search terms you've ever used?

Google has acquired Keyhole, Inc., which has a database of 3-D spy-in-the-sky images from all over the globe. Their software provides a virtual fly-over and zoom-in with one-foot resolution. Keyhole is supported by In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm funded by the CIA, in an effort to "identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States national security interests."

In 2003, Keyhole's CEO John Hanke was quoted in an In-Q-Tel press release: "Keyhole's strategic relationship with In-Q-Tel means that the Intelligence Community can now benefit from the massive scalability and high performance of the Keyhole enterprise solution."

But the biggest benefit to the spooks in Washington is that one year later they have yet another hook into Google, Inc. If ten years from now it suddenly becomes illegal to use an umbrella on a sunny day, you'll know why.


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