Palantir Technologies, Lord of the Spy Rings
Palantir started to help PayPal fight against fraud, but has since moved into Big Data analytics for the FBI, CIA, and others. Its advisors include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former CIA director George Tenet.
Palantir identifies related pieces of information in dozens or hundreds of databases within an organization and puts everything together at incredible speed. It can help banks find fraudsters -- but it can know your every move. Rumors say Palantir was involved in finding Osama Bin Laden. With Palantir, the FBI can quickly assemble dossiers on U.S. citizens, "tying together surveillance video outside a drugstore with credit-card transactions, cell-phone call records, e-mails, airplane travel records, and Web search information."