I came across this bizarre diatribe on the Guardian accusing Facebook of being a front for the CIA, among may other possibly libelous things. Put on your tin-foil hat and read on…

Guardian – Monday January 14 2008:

The third board member of Facebook is Jim Breyer. He is a partner in the venture capital firm Accel Partners, who put $12.7m into Facebook in April 2005. On the board of such US giants as Wal-Mart and Marvel Entertainment, he is also a former chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Now these are the people who are really making things happen in America, because they invest in the new young talent, the Zuckerbergs and the like. Facebook’s most recent round of funding was led by a company called Greylock Venture Capital, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Greylock’s senior partners is called Howard Cox, another former chairman of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What’s In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their website), this is the venture-capital wing of the CIA. After 9/11, the US intelligence community became so excited by the possibilities of new technology and the innovations being made in the private sector, that in 1999 they set up their own venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel, which “identifies and partners with companies developing cutting-edge technologies to help deliver these solutions to the Central Intelligence Agency and the broader US Intelligence Community (IC) to further their missions”.

As John has pointed out, if this is true it could explain why Facebook’s founder refused a billion dollar offer to sell it.

And contributing editor Eideard kindly points out that the author is “a wheezy, Luddite anarchist” who is probably trying drum up controversy to sell his new book. Succinctly titled, “The Freedom Manifesto: How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, Work, and Waste.”

Whew, even his titles are long-winded rants!

  1. Eideard says:

    I hope I don’t sound cynical [har!]; but, his Op-Ed piece just might have been prompted by the publication of his latest self-help book. Eh?

  2. Parcher says:

    Um… I can’t be the only one here who notices this:
    “After 9/11, the US intelligence community became so excited by the possibilities of new technology and the innovations being made in the private sector, that in 1999…”
    Wasn’t 9/11 in 2001? Just checking.

  3. Glenn E. says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the Pentagon also had a VC arm. And that it helped fund most of the FPS video games over the years. Not only as a recruiting tool, but as pre-teen skill training and militant propaganda. I always wondered where these game developers might have gotten their seed money, before the software sales took off. And if they were coerced into making their games glorify warfare and combat, by their VC partners? If the CIA can fund intel gathering software, then why not the Army fund video game development? Without a draft, they’ve got to suck in the youth somehow. And make them think that they’re indestructable in combat.

  4. SN says:

    “Wasn’t 9/11 in 2001? Just checking.”

    Never let mere facts get in the way of a great conspiracy theory.

  5. tcc3 says:

    Parcher and SN – I think the implications are obvious. The possibilities of new technology they were so excited about was a time machine.

    Then they needed to go back to ’99 to invest and make sure they could fund the time machine.

  6. green says:

    Mmmm Carnivore and Echelon

  7. SN says:

    “The possibilities of new technology they were so excited about was a time machine.”

    No. We’re talking about the CIA. They obviously knew about the 9/11 attacks years before they occurred. That gave the CIA plenty of time to be “excited by the possibilities of new technology” and build Facebook to spy on terrorists such as drunken frat boys and slutty sorority girls.

  8. GetSmart says:

    If you think the guberment ain’t trolling Facebook, Digg, Myspace, Slashdot, etc, etc, you aren’t thinking clearly. The idea that they’ve even helped fund stuff is certainly NOT far fetched tin-foil hat fodder at all.
    The Inquisition didn’t happen because Christians were abandoning their faith, it’s because that’s what occurs when you get crazy people in charge.
    Like now.

  9. Sean O'Hara says:

    Uh, Glenn E., the Pentagon doesn’t need to fund private sector game companies to make FPSers — they make their own and distribute them as freeware.

  10. Esteban says:

    Maybe they are spending all of their time looking at Facebook. That might explain why we haven’t caught Bin Laden.

  11. Cinaedh says:

    I notice the author didn’t specifically mention one of the most spooky things about Facebook: once you enter, you can never leave!

    Early on, I set up a phony Facebook account with phony information but once I realized what is was all about, I realized that was kind of a counterproductive thing to do.

    Using my throwaway email account, I contacted the Facebook people and asked them how to delete my phony Facebook account.

    They told me once the information was posted, it could never, ever be deleted – by anyone!

  12. the answer says:

    Any company that can come out with a program like Beacon is one not to be trusted.

  13. Phillep says:

    War games and first person shooters have been running on a shoe string for decades, going back the the hex boards and dice, and those predate even D&D.

    Most of the game writers were jumping up and down for joy at someone taking their hobby seriously, and maybe even get paid? They thought they’d died and gone to heaven.

    I doubt Face Book has any such connection; exposing it would embarress the present administration so of course the CIA would leak it.

    (Clinton/Gore downsized the intel agencies as part of the “reinventing government” scam. The only survivors of the layoffs were the ones with biases compatible with the C/G admin or who were too incompetent to make waves. Now, due to Civil Service rules and Union contracts, they have too much seniority to get rid of easily without shutting down the CIA altogether, which seems a good idea to me.)

  14. aindilis says:

    Why do you laugh at this stuff? You guys are guilt of gas-lighting – that is a form of humor where you deny the obvious. The CIA has researchers analyzing this stuff all the time. I know cause I was one of them lol. Why all the bullshit I wonder. Why all the ad-hominems. It’s sick if you ask me.

  15. Strennum says:

    You would have to be naive and totally stupid to believe that the intelligence agencies would NOT somehow be involved in the social networking phenomenon!

    Do you seriously believe that they would pass up the oppertunity for the greatest data-mining, consent-monitoring dip-stick in world history? Most of you are probably too stupid to even consider the possibilities.


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