Peter Thiel’s AI firm Palantir has been back in the news for the wrong reasons. Its clients include the CIA, US Immigration Agency ICE and the CIA. According to a new report, an error in the FBI’s secretive software allowed unauthorised personnel access to private data for over a year. The New York Post reports that the incident was discovered by prosecutors during Virgil Griffith’s Manhattan federal court trial. Palantir, in a statement, denied making the allegations and claimed that the FBI had incorrectly used the software.
Griffith was arrested for providing North Korea information about how blockchain and cryptocurrency could be used to help them evade US sanctions in 2019. This incident concerns the hacker’s social media information, which he allegedly obtained in violation of a federal warrant issued in March 2020. The letter claims that the Twitter and Facebook data were uploaded through Palantir’s default settings to Palantir’s program, allowing unauthorized FBI personnel to gain access to it.
Between May 2020 to August 2021, the material was accessed four times by three analysts and an agent. According to the letter, Griffith’s FBI case agent was alerted by a colleague to this issue earlier in the month. According to the letter, those who had access to the information told prosecutors they didn’t recall ever using it during their investigations.
The letter stated that an FBI analyst had discovered communications between defendant and subject in another investigation through searches on the Platform which accessed Search Warrant Returns.
Palantir is trying not to be involved in the matter. It stated that there was “no glitch in the software” and added that “customer” didn’t follow “rigorous protocols to protect search warrant return returns”.
Palantir’s growth is increasing and the company doesn’t need a PR crisis that involves software flaws. Since going public last fall, the company has seen its revenues surge, though it’s operational losses are also increasing. Palantir now has customers that include government agencies as well as tech giants such IBM and Rio Tinto. Plus, it’s working with commercial space companies to manage a meta-constellation of 237 satellites.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.
Publited at Thu 26 August 2021, 13:16.42 +0000