NEWS30 July 2010

CIA and Google take stake in web monitor Recorded Future

Data analytics North America

US— Google Ventures and the Central Intelligence Agency’s investment arm are backing an online technology firm that analyses information across the internet to provide insight and predict how much coverage an event or issue will generate. reports that the duo have taken a stake in Recorded Future, which allows users to scan “tens of thousands of websites” to find the relationship between people, organisations and incidents, both in the present and in the future.

The company’s analytics engine can be used to research people, gain competitive intelligence and follow brand perception online, Recorded Future said.

Once users have entered their search terms, the Recorded Future analytics engine searches news sources, blogs, trade publications and financial databases for information. This data can then be broken down by date.

The technology then tracks the online “momentum” of an event or issue by analysing how much coverage it has generated during the time period the user selected.

CEO Christopher Ahlberg said: “You can actually predict the curve in many cases.”

The firm said that this prediction ability provides users with the competitive intelligence to spot in advance, for example, mergers and acquisitions in their marketplace

It is not the first time that In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s investment arm, has pumped cash into the media monitoring sector. In 2009 it became a “strategic partner” of blog watcher Visible Technologies, with the aim of using the firm’s technology to keep tabs on foreign social media.

Other firms in the online analytics space to receive CIA funding include Visual Sciences – now part of Omniture – and text analytics specialist Attensity.