Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] Mercury News: "Spy agency fund targets Bay Area technology"

Todd Davies davies at
Sun Jun 10 12:02:52 PDT 2012


Silicon Valley in years past has supplied surveillance satellites, 
missiles and electronic warfare gadgets to the government. But more 
recently, a dazzling array of other innovations has grabbed the interest 
of the country's covert operatives. Nearly a third of the 87 companies 
listed in the portfolio of In-Q-Tel, an investment fund for the CIA and 
other secretive branches of the federal government, are based here.

"Silicon Valley has a rich history of attracting great minds and producing 
cutting-edge results," said Chris Darby, the fund's CEO and a former vice 
president at Santa Clara chipmaker Intel (INTC). Noting that one of the 
fund's three offices is in Menlo Park, he added, "It's important for us to 
maintain relationships in the startup and investment communities to 
understand future trends and help keep our partners informed about what's 
on the horizon."

In-Q-Tel doesn't reveal how much money it gives companies, though Darby 
said of the more than 180 firms it has financed since its inception in 
1999, most typically receive $1 million to $3 million. While the websites 
for companies financed by the group suggest that many have technology that 
can be used to analyze personal data -- an issue of concern to privacy 
rights advocates -- Darby declined to discuss which technologies the 
intelligence community has adopted from Silicon Valley.

Executives with several of the Bay Area companies it has financed also 
were hesitant to talk. Some declined to be interviewed. Others said they 
either didn't know how their innovations were being used or were 
prohibited from commenting.

Todd Davies                   ***  email: davies at
Symbolic Systems Program      ***  phone: 1-650-723-4091
Stanford University           ***  fax: 1-650-723-5666
Stanford, CA, 94305-2150      ***  web:
USA                           ***  office: 460-040C

More information about the liberationtech mailing list