Feeds

CIA recruits video game mogul for IT venture

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.