CIA Chief Technology Officer On Your Data: “Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever”

Ira ‘Gus’ Hunt, the CIA’s chief technology officer sent fear into the hearts of privacy advocates on Wednesday when he elaborated on the agency’s plans for your data at GigaOM’s Structure: Data conference in New York.

Hunt basically said what many people have believed for a long time, that the CIA has an unquenchable thirst for people’s data. He said that the world was awash with information from texts, tweets, videos and the CIA intend to collect as much of it as possible in order to get the clearest picture.

He said; “The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time…Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.”

He did say that “forever was in quotes” but that will be of little comfort to people who are worried about their every digital move being kept by government agencies.

Hunt also pointed out that people should know that they are “walking sensor platforms” explaining that many of the devices that we carry with us everywhere like smartphones and tablets have cameras, accelerometers, light detectors and geolocation capabilities.

He said; “You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off…You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.”

Hunt’s comments come just a few days after it was reported by Federal Computer Week that the CIA had pumped a staggering $600 million into a 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services. The CIA has yet to comment on the rumors of such a deal, however Hunt made several references to cloud computing in his speech – indicating their serious interest in the matter.

Hunt also alluded to the agency’s failure to “connect the dots” in the case of the “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Abdulmutallab was able to board a Northwest Airlines flight with an explosive device on his person despite numerous warnings of his intentions. A White House review on the case determined that the CIA had all of the necessary data it needed to identify the would-be bomber, yet somehow still failed to stop him in his tracks. Despite their obvious failings in the “underwear bomber” case, the CIA will not be deterred from their desire to collect as much data as possible.

Source: Huffington Post (Image via Livestream)

About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!