Who Is Looking Over Your Shoulder?
Google and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are investing in a company called Recorded Future that monitors the Internet in real time and uses the collected data to predict the future.
Recorded Future is a company that explores websites, blogs, forums, Youtube and other media and then checks for links between people, companies, actions, incidents, and events. It then goes one step further by looking at all of the collected information to discover links that may not be clear. These connections are used to predict future events.
Looking Into the Future
How do they do it? The company studies the data – the people, places, and events – and looks at when and where the events happened. It also looks at the tone of the conversation in which things were talked about – was it an angry post or a joke? A complicated computer process takes all of the factors and uses them to predict future events and trends.
Is This a Good Thing?
While it seems a little strange that the government is combing through our online communications, it is comforting to know that it might just help protect us. Recently, Recorded Future found that online information collected from a Lebanese terrorist group confirmed the likelihood that they had missiles. This might become a useful tool in assessing the truth in future terror threats.
Google and the Government
There are some people that think that Google might be too tangled up with government interests. Google maintains a huge amount of online data and so far has not used the information inappropriately. At this point, it doesn’t seem as though there is an improper relationship, but they can be sure that the public will be watching.
What could Google do with the information taken from the studies? By predicting trends, the company could plan advertising and sales based on what will be popular. This will generate more money for the company in the long run.
So, is it just chance that both Google and the CIA are both investing in the company at the same time? Right now, nobody knows. Their interests seem to be separate; Google is using the data for sales and the government for antiterrorism and crime prediction. Until something proves otherwise, it looks like they are just two investors looking for a way to predict the future.