If you haven’t heard of In-Q-Tel, it’s the not-for-profit venture capital firm that’s funded by you, the American taxpayer.
That’s right, you’re dumping money to pay for Silicon Valley startups thanks to the Central Intelligence Agency’s annual agreement with a private company.
Reports going back to 2005 say the CIA is pumping in about $37 million a year into In-Q-Tel.
What do you as a taxpayer get in return?
Massive amounts of data collected on you . . . at the very least.
New additions to In-Q-Tel’s portfolio (that are unclassified) include:
• Lilt, a new online translation service.
• GitLab, a software development collaboration and management tool.
• Immersive Wisdom, a VR an augmented reality platform with strategic uses.
• A host of tech security firms.
In-Q-Tel recently expanded into a few areas that may increase the “creep factor” if the investment is indeed to obtain data profiles on Americans.
First is Metabiota, which an infection disease risk mitigation platform that tracks and visualizes the “frequency, severity and duration of outbreaks.”
Metabiota doesn’t sound that creepy, until you recall the movie, Outbreak, where that cool ticker on the giant screen showed the world being wiped out in 62 seconds if the military didn’t bomb the crap out of some small town and kill every living man, woman and child.
So yeah, maybe it is a little creepy, but knowledge is power right?
Knowing about a spreading pandemic is one thing, but would you want the Feds to have advanced knowledge about whether or not you would be affected by a certain virus, or if you’re prone to cancer, diabetes, or male-pattern baldness?
With the popularity of DNA testing services like 23 and Me, our CIA-funded venture firm dropped some cash into Kailos Genetics, which offers low-cost DNA testing and health screening data that’s competitive with 23 and Me.
While 23 and Me goes to great lengths to describe it’s data sharing and retention policy (which still is not ideal), Kailos is fairly silent on what they do with the data that they collect.
While Kailos’s Web site states that actual DNA samples are destroyed after testing, it’s unclear how long the company stores an individual’s DNA profile and who they share it with – but we can assume that your genetic markers will be shared with the Federal Government given In-Q-Tel’s investment.
This isn’t In-Q-Tel’s first investment in the DNA field. The company previously invested in SNAPDNA, which provides rapid DNA analysis supposedly for food safety testing.
To check out In-Q-Tel’s public portfolio, click here and comment below.