Donate

HHHRNNNGGGGHHHH HULK HOGAN


Mark Zuckerberg is an asshole for selling out everyone on Facebook, but what Peter Thiel has done is much worse. Where Facebook exploited its users by selling their personal information for profit, Thiel has created massive databases that don't just scrape social media, they harvest public information and real world connections to create an entire map of everything you do. Facebook can only harvest what you feed into it (well, presumably); Thiel's platform takes everything, from social media posts to police records, license plates, and shopping histories, and creates a terrifying profile of people for crooked cops, creepy companies, and shady political groups.

A new report from Bloomberg details how Thiel's company, Palantir, has created software that uses commercial, proprietary and public data sets to make predictive trends and analysis. It's been marketing this technology to anyone it can -- including big city police departments, Fortune 500's, and the US military. (Do click through to read Bloomberg's account, including scenes of insanity complete with references to Apocalypse Now.)

Palantir's programs work by gobbling up everything they can to create spider graphs of a person's life. These maps can be invaluable tools to, say, ICE agents looking for suspected illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities, or for FBI agents hunting suspected terrorists. We stress "suspected" because the software is not foolproof, but they're selling it to law enforcement agencies, credit card companies, and multinational corporations looking to minimize the size of a dragnet.

With Palantir, you can run, but you can't hide because they'll just add another charge to the database.

According to Palantir, this allows companies to save money on marketing, helps local cops solve crimes, and allows the military to track threats in warzones. The LAPD gushes about Palantir software in a boilerplate promotional video, detailing how it helped them solve a cold case after a city traffic camera ID'd the suspect's car driving down the street.

On the other side of this are people who've been inaccurately labeled and targeted by law enforcement agencies. Simply living in a shitty neighborhood can suddenly put an innocent person in gang databases. This already happened in Chicago when the city's 14 different databases were integrated with Palantir, resulting in the beating and detention of a man by ICE agents, despite Chicago's sanctuary city status.

Bloomberg notes that the company harvests all sorts of data from people, from personal relationships between lovers, friends, and family members, to employee log-in information. All this data, according to Palantir, allows them to anticipate behavior whether of a disgruntled employee or a political opponent. In 2010 Palantir submitted a proposal to the US Chamber of Commerce, a rabidly wingnut "pro-business" lobby, to spy on liberal opponents, and sabotage them. They almost got away with it too, but some meddling hackers leaked private emails and the plan was scuttled.

Step One: Spy On You. Step Two: Make a Database. Step Three: ???? Step Four: SABOTAGE!

While Palantir's coders and designers may be trapped in Silicon Valley's arrogant bubble of bullshit, Thiel most certainly is not. He knows exactly what he's doing. Thiel boasts about stopping terrorist attacks with his suite of spyware, but he won't talk about helping Cambridge Analytica in 2016. Well, maybe not publicly, but he'll certainly talk about his fondness for Ayn Randian fever dreams.

It's clear that we now live in the dystopian sci-fi nightmares of Ballard, Doctorow, Ellison, Gibson and Sterling. Palantir is like Frankenstein's Monster, except Frankenstein is a psychotic Trumpian prick with a fucking "blood boy" and who owns a piece of New Zealand the size of Lower Manhattan. Thank goodness Congress is modestly aware of the Internet.

[Bloomberg / Scribd / The Nation]

Wonkette is ad-free. Please throw us a buck to help us stay that way!

Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or lying in a gutter taking photos.

$
Donate with CC

One of the most common things to say in America, just behind "Happy Birthday" and "NO COLLUSION," is "Mitch McConnell should go fuck himself." It works for all occasions, whether you have just stubbed your toe or whether you are in the middle of your wedding to your sweetheart. Try it!

But why should Mitch McConnell go fuck himself at this particular moment? Let's look at the top three current reasons!

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC

Sucks to be you, Pat Shanahan! The acting Defense secretary is currently under investigation for preferential treatment of his former bosses at Boeing, who just got busted letting planes fall out of the sky if buyers skimped on the upgrades. Shanahan was never a favorite of Trump's, and now his chances of getting made Big Boy For Real Sec Def are decreasing by the day. Which means that he's going through all this shit for nothing! Womp womp!

What shit, you ask? Well! Last night Shanahan announced the first tranche of the "found" money the DoD is shifting over to fund WALL in defiance of Congress's constitutional spending powers. The Defense Department will be transferring the cash from accounts meant to support military personnel into "anti-drug funding," which they've decided means they can use it to build "18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border." Already pissed off about the fake EMERGY declaration, although not pissed enough to override a veto, congresspeople on both sides of the aisle are hopping mad that the Trump administration dicked them around for months, shut down the government, forced them to negotiate for wall funding in good faith, and then said HA HA SUCKERS, WE'RE JUST GOING TO STEAL IT FROM THE RAINY DAY FUND ANYWAY!

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc