Feeds

CIA recruits video game mogul for IT venture

Ex-Holobyte exec Louie to pick high tech investments for spies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The CIA has smartened its image with the creation of In-Q-It, a high-tech venture capital firm playfully named for the eccentric gadget meister "Q" of James Bond fame. As if to build further on the fun and games motif, the agency has chosen former Spectrum Holobyte and Microprose exec Gilman Louie for its CEO. The new company will invest in emerging technologies on the agency's behalf, and at times enter into strategic partnerships. The hope of course is to update the agency's IT systems at the speed of commerce, which defines technology, rather than at the speed of the defence bureaucracy, which spends much of its time scratching its head and wondering how it is that 13-year-old kids play with better flight simulators than the Air Force has got. The normally secretive agency is breaking with tradition by hiring a cultural outsider to run one of its ventures, and again by sidestepping its stable of stodgy, bloated defence contractors in favour a public company to be managed on the somewhat more libertarian Silicon Valley model. The nonprofit In-Q-It opens with a modest $28 million in federal money allocated by Congress last year. The CIA budget is classified, so it's impossible to guess what proportional investment of resources this figure represents. The experiment is interesting, but the question is whether technologies so often developed for consumer gadgets and entertainment will provide the CIA with much that it can use. Certainly the agency will benefit from improvements in Internet security and data processing; certainly the cultural experience will be of some educational value. And no doubt working for In-Q-It will be a fun assignment. Well, at least for those agents who don't mind taking orders from unkempt, cola-addicted pubescent geeks, that is. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.