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Spooks and Google

Halloween's right around the corner, but some staunch Google critics may have another kind of spook on their minds this week. That's because Google bought a company today that's received financial backing from the CIA.

The integration of Keyhole's spiffy 3-D mapping technology into Google's services could be a boon to users some day. But the backing of Keyhole by the CIA's venture capital branch, In-Q-Tel (as we mentioned here back in April) could reignite suspicions that Google is somehow in bed with the government. Google's hiring of engineer Matt Cutts, a former National Security Agency employee, was already enough to set off alarm bells among some of the more impassioned Google watchers. This Keyhole deal could become the next piece of the puzzle for them.

For what it's worth, In-Q-Tel has sprinkled a fair amount of money around the valley, so Keyhole is hardly unique. And when we met Matt Cutts a while back, he scoffed at the conspiracy theories, noting that he was a lowly intern at the NSA for a relatively short time.


According to French Intelligence, a certain other *very large* U.S. software corporation has been in bed with the NSA since its early days, which is probably true. It looks like Google is intent on following in the same footsteps, in more ways than one. Not good.

Sian Peters on October 28, 2004 12:31 PM
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I'm old enough to remember a firm called Honeywell that helped good ol boy, L't Calley back in Nam. Shucks, didn't a couple of geeks called Bill and Allen (?) work for Honeywell once?
I read about IBM in Germany and Zyclon B - never thought that would happen again, more fool me.

pr ( professor rat) on October 28, 2004 2:14 PM
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Unfortunately Google is so big and powerful that it does not matter to it that, they make it impossible for small traders on the net to make a go of their business. Since they discovered the CPC listings they just take money out of accounts at will, making the small trader go to the wall.
If they make so much money, surely they don't need to take advantage of little businesses. Is there no such thing as ethics any more?

Mary Sygall on October 28, 2004 4:48 PM
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You actually ask that question in this day and age PR?

Bear on October 28, 2004 6:44 PM
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Last week an Australian hostage was freed from Iraq after his captors "googled" him to find out he wasn't who they thought he was.

Does anyone honestly belive that certain government agencies haven't accessed Google's logs for those days to track the IP of the search? I'd actually be mad if they didn't.

Andrew Leyden on October 28, 2004 9:04 PM
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