Meet In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s Venture Capital Firm (2011)

by | Mar 9, 2024 | Videos | 10 comments

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FROM 2011: Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market. In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.



Gainspan Corporation manufactures low-power Wi-Fi semiconductors that form the heart of modern remote sensing, monitoring and control technologies.

Recorded Future Inc. is a Massachusetts web startup that monitors the web in real time and claims its media analytics search engine can be used to predict the future.

Keyhole Corp. created the 3D earth visualization technology that became the core of Google Earth.

The common denominator? All of these companies, and hundreds more cutting-edge technology and software startups, have received seed money and investment funding from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s own venture capital firm.

Welcome. This is James Corbett of The Corbett Report with your Eyeopener Report for

For decades, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has been the American governmental body tasked with conducting high-risk, high-payoff research into cutting-edge science and technology. Responsible most famously for developing the world’s first operational packet switching network that eventually became the core of the Internet, DARPA tends to garner headlines these days for some of its more outlandish research proposals and is generally looked upon as a blue-sky research agency whose endeavours only occasionally bear fruit.

In the post-9/11 consolidation of the American intelligence community, IARPA, or the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, was created to serve as the spymaster’s equivalent of DARPA’s defense research.

In contrast to this, In-Q-Tel was formed by the CIA in 1999 as a private, not-for-profit venture capital firm with the specific task of delivering technology to America’s intelligence community.

Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market.

In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.

In-Q-Tel has generated a number of stories since its inception based on what can only be described as the “creepiness” factor of its investments in overtly Orwellian technologies.

In 2004, KMWorld published an interview with Greg Pepus, then In-Q-Tel’s senior director of federal and intelligence community strategy, about some of their investments. Pepus was especially proud of the CIA’s investment in Inxight, a company that offered software for data mining unstructured data sources like blogs and websites with analytical processing.

In 2006, it was revealed that AT&T had provided NSA eavesdroppers full access to its customer’s internet traffic and that the American intelligence community was illegally scooping up reams of internet data wholesale. The data mining equipment installed in the NSA back door, a Narus STA 6400, was developed by a company whose partners were funded by In-Q-Tel.

Also in 2006, News21 reported on an In-Q-Tel investment in CallMiner, a company developing technology for turning recorded telephone conversations into searchable databases. In late 2005, it was revealed that the NSA had been engaged in an illegal warrantless wiretapping program since at least the time of the 9/11 attacks, monitoring the private domestic phone calls of American citizens in breach of their Fourth Amendment rights.

In 2009, the Telegraph reported on In-Q-Tel’s investment in Visible Technologies, a company specializing in software that monitors what people are saying on social media websites like YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and Amazon. The software is capable of real-time communications tracking, trend monitoring, and even sentiment analysis that categorizes blog posts and comments as positive, negative or neutral. Just last month, the Federal Reserve tendered a Request For Proposal for just this type of software so the privately owned central bank could monitor what people are saying about it online.

Two of the names that come up most often in connection with In-Q-Tel, however, need no introduction: Google and Facebook.

The publicly available record on the Facebook/In-Q-Tel connection is tenuous. Facebook received $12.7 million in venture capital from Accel, whose manager, James Breyer, now sits on their board. He was formerly the chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, whose board included Gilman Louie, then the CEO of In-Q-Tel. The connection is indirect, but the suggestion of CIA involvement with Facebook, however tangential, is disturbing in the light of Facebook’s history of violating the privacy of its users.

ANCHOR: Another black eye for Facebook: the social networking giant has reportedly revealed the sexual orientation of some users to advertisers. Researchers discovered that targeted ads are sent to accounts of people who have described themselves as gay or straight. Now, that means a person who wants to keep their private life private may be actually sharing it. And just last week, we learned some of the most popular apps on Facebook were leaking users’ information to advertisers.


SOURCE: Facebook Privacy Breach

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel like it’s a backlash? Do you feel like you’re violating people’s privacy? Do you feel like you’re adequately portrayed? Because I want to wonder about the person who actually created this thing.


MARK ZUCKERBERG: Yeah, I mean, a lot of stuff happened along the way. I think there were real learning points and turning points along the way in terms of building things.


SOURCE: Mark Zuckerberg gets hot under the collar over your privacy issues and sweats!!!

CORBETT: A recently released IM conversation between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and a friend revealed the underlying attitude of Facebook towards its users.


The exchange took place in 2004, when Zuckerberg had recently started the popular social networking website. In it, he told the friend, “Yeah, so if you ever need any info about anyone at Harvard, just ask. I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS.” To which the friend replied, “What? How’d you manage that one?” And Zuckerberg responded: “People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They trust me. Dumb fucks.”


SOURCE: Facebook Hates You, OKC Bombshell, Synthia – Sunday Update

Google’s connection to In-Q-Tel is more straightforward, if officially denied. In 2006, ex-CIA officer Robert David Steele told Homeland Security Today that Google “has been taking money and direction for elements of the US Intelligence Community, including the Office of Research and Development at the Central Intelligence Agency, In-Q-Tel, and, in all probability, both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command.” Later that year, a blogger claimed that an official Google spokesman had denied the claims, but no official press statement was released.

Steele’s accusation is not the only suggestion of American intelligence involvement with Google, however.

In 2005, In-Q-Tel sold over 5,000 shares of Google stock. The shares are widely presumed to have come from In-Q-Tel’s investment in Keyhole Inc., which was subsequently bought out by Google, but this is uncertain.

In 2010, it was announced that Google was working directly with the National Security Agency to secure its electronic assets.

Also in 2010, Wired reported that In-Q-Tel and Google had jointly provided venture capital funding to Recorded Future Inc., a temporal analytics search engine company that analyzes tens of thousands of web sources to predict trends and events.

But, as potentially alarming as In-Q-Tel’s connections to internet giants like Facebook and Google are, and as disturbing as its interest in data mining technologies may be, the CIA’s venture capital arm is interested in more than just web traffic monitoring.

The In-Q-Tel website currently lists two “practice areas,” “Information and Communication Technologies” and “Physical and Biological Technologies.” The latter field consists of “capabilities of interest” such as “The on-site determination of individual human traits for IC purposes” and “Tracking and/or authentication of both individuals and objects.” In-Q-Tel also lists two areas that are “on its radar” when it comes to biotech: Nano-bio Convergence and Physiological Intelligence. Detailed breakdowns of each area explain that the intelligence community is interested in, amongst other things, self-assembling batteries, single molecule detectors, targeted drug delivery platforms, and sensors that can tell where a person has been and what substances he has been handling from “biomarkers” like trace compounds in the breath or samples of skin.

In the years since its formation, many have been led to speculate about In-Q-Tel and its investments, but what requires no speculation is an understanding that a privately owned venture capital firm, created by and for the CIA, in which well-connected board members drawn from the private sector can then profit from the investments made with CIA funds that itself come from the taxpayer represent an erosion of the barrier between the public and private spheres that should give even the most credulous pause for thought.

What does it mean that emerging technology companies are becoming wedded to the CIA as soon as their technology shows promise?

What can be the public benefit in fostering and encouraging technologies which can be deployed for spying on all internet users, including American citizens, in direct contravention of the CIA’s own prohibitions against operating domestically?

If new software and technology is being brought to market by companies with In-Q-Tel advisors on their boards, what faith can anyone purchasing American technologies have that their software and hardware is not designed with CIA backdoors to help the American intelligence community achieve its vision of “Total Information Awareness”?

Rather than scrutinizing each individual investment that In-Q-Tel makes, perhaps an institutional approach is required.

At this point, the American people have to ask themselves whether they want the CIA—an agency that has participated in the overthrow of foreign, democratically elected governments, an agency that has implanted fake stories in the news media to justify American war interests, an agency that at this very moment is engaged in offensive drone strikes, killing suspected “insurgents” and civilians alike in numerous theaters around the world—should be entrusted with developing such close relationships with the IT sector, or whether In-Q-Tel should be scrapped for good.


  1. One thing here has come to my attention. The style of the news?Package delivery? The message and the meaning. Is the message penetrating the blood brain barrier? Is it getting through? I have on occasions coughed up $20. to some friends whose hard think just wouldn’t let any such as this through their defences of the past concrete paradigm, The road bed laid back in the 60s-70s that is almost impenetrable.
    I found if I contract an experiment and paid them to sit, listen and comment as a marketing person would and pay them $20 bucks, the package was delivered. QFC; where did that phenom come from?
    Some of my friends responded favorably to just taking a look . To my astonishment the early episodes of this young guy speaking directly to you like a modern day Walter Cronkite with a dash of ‘ the shadow knows’ and ‘ that’s the was it is’ and your Uncle Bob was applauded. Accepted over the much later Bios and Documentaries.
    Of course now my little test market has clamed up. Primarily the bad decisions that they made hasn’t gone away as fast as the COVID bug did. They just don’t want to know…anything anymore. Sad …really is.
    I really enjoyed the old,raw deliveries James use to put out. Very acceptable and penetrating.
    Youth passes onto the familiar wisdom of old age. Thanks Jimbo! Been a hell of a story, the never ending story.*
    **Milage may very, use with caution.

    • This flash back of In-Q-Tel has included information that is now present in our reality. The investment in Nano- Bio Convergence.
      It’s here, now and it ain’t pretty. It is repairable and it will have to be addressed repeatedly in our near and distant future. The chemical antidote is available now but if the PTSB take it off the market like hydroxiclhoriquin and ivermectin just before the scamdemic rolled out, then it becomes problematic for relief.
      Addressing the problem that James highlighted 14 years ago, Ana Mihalcea MD/PHD explains where it came from and what it means and how to deal with it now that it’s here.

      • geez,
        I listened to the (14min version) of the lady/Dr. describe the nanotech. Then looked at the rest of the links that are ads for supplements to “detox” from the nanotech, but dont immediately say whats in them?

        My brain is hoping that its a bottomless fear-porn rabbit hole, but the gut is saying find out more.

        It does support recent speculation-reporting (in the sense that the tech is way more advanced than what our uni’s could have dreampt up ) about Orion greys based out of the south pole, managing various fronts of human enslavement & harvesting.

        guess I’ll go check on the garden.

        • Vadoum
          Geez was my reaction too, but it was 10 years ago when I read Elanna Freeland first book. The be-jezzus part of spiritually and this Gray matter thing are certainly part of the scientists dilemma. I wasn’t aware there was a 14 min version. I like the long form. @ 38 min. to 59min. things get our there. Into that Gray area. More questions than answers. I saw many years ago a Dr. Effinoff, Russian FSA, speaking to the question of where in the hierarchy of power does the whole truth reside? Way up there on the food chain.
          Your gut is telling you something. We probably know more than we know.
          Just as an aside Corbettsans’ latest offering on the climate has many parallels to this link on the Gray matter, thing. I’m going with Anna and keep an open mind,ask questions, formulate answers, take actions, hope more funding comes her way. From a post by ? jo-ann?

          I’m going back to work on my seed cups too. Later I’ll draw some blood and do an experiment.

          • Here is part two of Matt Ehrets essay on UFO/Alien psyops.


            And while I was tooling around this came up from 2018 . From a post by carobi050- way back . I hope it helps to compare the similarities of the UFO/ Alien and Climate scare tactics employed by the goats/ ghosts , spooks of Allen Dulles.

            At least Dr. Anna brings evidence from years of hard work and close observations. Seems for legitimate people crying out loud, they are rewarded by the Gods for their work as was Cassandra. But Zeus never meet Dulles. Some English major artist should write a play about it and put some music to it.
            Please compare the three.


            • gbw
              “Please compare the three.”

              The climate scare debunking is a useful thing, I’ll share that around. thanks.

              The occult groups emerging from “mystical” traditions is I think a natural phase of population growth, and the ensuing novelty explosion, especially the means for dominator types (deceivers) to flourish, which includes coopting & manipulating knowledge to maintain power.

              for me thats the best explanation for how a yogi named Christ is the basis for a gaggle of pe’dopes getting away with pretending to hold higher ground.. or maybe they do, because they are henchmen for a separate, albeit minutely seen race (s), based in the south pole that have tech that can, if desired manipulate the weather, and initiate quakes.

              There’s your movie plot line.

              People spend their lives in all manner of ascetic practice, just for the tiniest glimpse of the unseen. and still humanity muddles on. Hindu priests I’ve met agree, during the kalijuga (now) is the hardest time,( in the cycle of 4 jugas), to achieve enlightenment, which leads to clear vision.
              everyones got an angle, a little piece of the planetary and even cosmic puzzle, but none of them fully add up. attempts to enslave/coopt/consume the energy of others happens on all scales all day long, plus being dumbed down from birth,, no wonder we’re carrying so many questions, what a relief it will be when we finally see how the whole thing works.

              just when one was settling into accepting the wildness of spiral hurling through space time at hundreds of miles per second then theres all this consciousness to cope with,, its gotta be a test.

              fight for your life and learn to love it.

  2. Thanks James!!

    Good to see you from back in the day and, good with the reminder of our knowledge 👍

  3. Loved the movie “Snowden”, + the live interview with Ed, Glen, the director. I was very disappointed to see only a dozen in the audience. I thought the theater would be “standing room only” even at $17.50 (Reno, NV).

    • No car chase scenes, nudity, or gun fights right?

      The propagandized clownification of “entertainment” by the controllers has been very successful at anesthetizing the population.

      SHIP OF FOOLS (song)

      [I receive no $ for your visits to my channel, just satisfaction that I am offering truth and insight to others.]

  4. RE: Meet In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s Venture Capital Firm

    The Original “EyeOpener”…that 10 minutes of video packs a powerful punch!

    It is a great dissemination tool, especially if the target audience understands that this video was made 13 years ago, and “can you imagine what is now currently happening?!”

    But, like GBW points out above: The mental mechanics of some people have stuck gears.
    Mileage May Vary.

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