WPP's Visible Technologies unit has taken investment funding from In-Q-Tel, the investment fund of the CIA. Visible Technologies is developing tools that can scan social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and scour meaningful data from them. According to Wired:
It's part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using "open source intelligence" -- information that's publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.
It's the second time WPP has gotten into bed financially with the CIA. In January, WPP funded Omniture to the tune of $25 million. Omniture's Visual Sciences unit has also taken In-Q-Tel money. Wired, again:
In-Q-Tel says it wants Visible to keep track of foreign social media, and give spooks "early-warning detection on how issues are playing internationally," spokesperson Donald Tighe tells [Wired's] Danger Room.
So, hello there, CIA agents! Please bookmark this blog and come back soon.
Next question: Will Martin Sorrell take a reciprocal stake in the CIA's Predator drone assassination program? It could help reduce unwanted competition in the Mirror Group media buying review!