Saving the World is Big Business


Saving the World is Big Business

Palantir Technologies, the secretive software startup that helps governments around the world fight fraud and terrorism via data mining, has raised up to $107.8 million as part of a new funding round. The latest round has brought its total funding to over $800 million at a whopping valuation of $9 billion. Clients such as, the NSA, the FBI and the CIA, along with corporate customers like the Bank of America and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, use Palantir software to detect financial frauds, terrorists plots and the other big-scale criminal activities.

Palantir is named after the palantir from JRR Tolkien’s novel, Lord of the Rings. The palantir are seeing stones that allow the holder to look at any part of the world. The Tolkien reference does not end there. In the press, Palantir executives have proudly revealed that their job is to battle evil and “save The Shire.” For a company being funded by massive amounts of money from powerful government institutions, the big question is, can Palantir truly remain independent from its financiers? After all, according to the Lord of the Rings, the palantir can be used for both good and evil, depending on who is controlling the stone.

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