Palantir Technologies: A Very Unusual Emission from a Specialized Services Firm

May 26, 2020

The PR battle among the firms providing specialized services to law enforcement and intelligence entities has taken an unusual turn. If you send email to an outfit like BlackDot, you will probably be ignored. The same non response holds true for the vast majority of firms delivering solutions that put bad actors at a disadvantage. Sure, there are less low profile uses of these technologies, but applications like eDiscovery do not capture the attention of the real media.

DarkCyber spotted “Our Product Is Used on Occasion to Kill People’: Palantir’s CEO Claims Its Tech Is Used to Target and Kill Terrorists.” DarkCyber has noted that NSO Group has found itself in the PR spotlight due to allegations from Facebook and assertions about an NSO professional using the firm’s system for personal activities. But the “kill people” thing is sure to catch the attention of the hundreds of specialized service firms’ attention.


What’s even more interest catching is that one of the senior managers of Palantir Technologies serves as a member of the Axel Springer shareholder committee. What’s an Axel Springer? The company owns Business Insider, the “real news” outfit which reported Mr. Karp’s rather intriguing statement about a use case for Gotham and other Palantir modules.

The story also provides a link to a video from an outfit called Axios, presumably to buttress the “true fact” of Mr. Karp’s statement.

For a low profile outfit to offer this alleged admission about software’s link to termination with extreme prejudice may have some downstream consequences. With low profile companies like Shadowdragon publicizing its system on Twitter, will PR become the go-to marketing method in the future?

Making sales is one thing, but some government customers are wary of specialized services vendors who hum the 1960s song “Talk Too Much.” Some licensees can consult the “seeing stone” or just hit Philz and listen for some Palantirian chatter.

Stephen E Arnold, May 26, 2020


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