Palantir, a spyware company led by gay Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, has been found responsible for surveillance conducted by American agencies, according to a new report from The Intercept.
Palantir helped support the National Security Agency's controversial spy program XKeyscore, enabling the use of surveillance programming and the gathering of phone conversations of Americans, according to documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The private company -- cofounded by Thiel, who serves as chairman -- previously denied its connection to another spy program called PRISM, which compiles individuals' internet histories.
While Palantir espouses a commitment to privacy and civil liberties, it has been instrumental in helping governments obtain information on its citizens. Palantir's complicated software helps intelligence agents make sense of huge amounts of online data. The company is at least partly funded by the CIA, which also helped build some of its software, according to The Intercept.
The company's ambitions still reside in selling more services to government officials across the U.S., having also been employed by members of the intelligence alliance "Five Eyes" that connects the U.K., New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. While Palantir remains mum as to their list of clientele on Capitol Hill, many assume that the administration of President Trump -- a close friend of Thiel's -- will be a primary customer. The ability to obtain and exploit informational data by a man with severe temperament issues and a habit of impulsive action is certainly concerning.