Palantir, the spy technology with which Trump intends to control the coronavirus

Palantir, the spy technology with which Trump intends to control the coronavirus

Trump (left) with Peter Thiel (PayPal), Tim Cook (Apple) and Safra Catz (Oracle), during the meeting at the Trump Tower, in New York, this Wednesday.

United States has become the center of the pandemic of coronavirus. Even if the country concentrates more than a third of daily global deaths by covid-19 and already accumulates more than 49,150 victims, Donald trump intends to lift the containment measures from May 1. To determine this de-escalation and prevent the spread of infections, the White House has resorted to Palantir, a controversial technology of espionage that raises many suspicions.

How uncovered The Daily Beast Last Tuesday, the US government reached out to the company of Silicon Valley to create an analysis and tracking platform that will allow you to access aggregated (non-individualized) data from the federal, state and local governments, health centers and schools. The Health Department has said that it will serve to mitigate and prevent the spread of the virus, but the doubts are there.


Trump’s tech ally has always been surrounded by controversy. Founded in 2004, this opaque private software platform has dedicated itself to designing sophisticated technological tools that allow hundreds of millions of data to be processed and analyzed to make them understandable. With emails, search histories or geolocation, data mining has allowed Washington have everything under control.

Those systems have been used by the INC, the FBI, the military intelligence or the US Navy in the framework of the war against terrorism, but, with such a powerful mechanism in its hands, the White House was quick to give it other uses. For years, Palantir helped the National Security Agency (NSA) spy on millions of citizens and political leaders around the world, something that Edward Snowden would uncover in 2013 and it would become one of the biggest diplomatic scandals in history.

Palantir searches for people collecting all kinds of data (public, purchased and also confidential) and stays with them. Aware of his ability, Trump has resorted to this system to streamline raids against undocumented immigrants. Go to a help center, the hospital, or rent a car. Everything you do leaves a trace that may be a conviction.

Not without reason, the company owes its name to Palantiridark, seer stones created by the mythology of J. R. R. Tolkien that allow us to see distant and even hypothetical future things. In the trilogy of The Lord of the rings, the magician Saruman uses this powerful item to communicate with Sauron, the dark lord who intends to subjugate Middle-earth.


In this story, whoever owns the one ring that controls everything is Peter Thiel. Described as the most feared man in Silicon Valley, the founder of Palantir is also known to have designed, alongside other Standford technocrats such as the magnate Elon musk, the PayPal payment method and for being the first external investor of Facebook.

Thiel describes himself as a staunch libertarian, contrary to the State and who don’t believe in democracy. Although he claims that technology is in a deadly race to minimize politics, it did not take him long to take advantage of his contacts with power. Prominent donor republican, in 2016 wove a symbiotic relationship with Trump and supported his campaign with up to $ 1.2 million. With the magnate’s arrival in the White House, Thiel’s business with the government has skyrocketed.

Political support for Trump and his cause go beyond those contracts. According to the Wall Street Journal, Thiel’s role as a member of the board of directors of Facebook It would have been key to avoid changes in the policies of the social network and allow politicians to keep running ads with lies, a measure that would benefit the president. Twitter does prohibit this type of content.

In 2016, the private data of up to 87 million Facebook users was illegally used by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to propel by psychological operations Trump’s presidential campaign. They created psychological profiles and developed fake news and targeted advertising to influence American citizens. The idea of ​​usurping that data was from Palantir executives, as the scandal uncovered.

Now this company will take the sanitary reins in the USA for life after the coronavirus and works to sell its technologies to governments around the world, from the United Kingdom to Greece or various German states. Thiel does not rest.

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