NPR’s Morning Edition recently aired a story about on claims from “a tech firm based in Cambridge, MA,” Recorded Future, which worked with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new study that seems to validate charges by US officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.” Just one problem. The quoted source whose voice made up almost the entirety of the NPR story receives funding from the CIA.
With this report, Temple-Raston seriously misled NPR’s millions of listeners. To begin with, Recorded Future, the outfit that produced the government-affirming report, is anything but independent. To the contrary, it is funded by the CIA and U.S. intelligence community with millions of dollars. Back in 2010, it also filed forms to become a vendor for the NSA. (In response to questions from The Intercept, the company’s vice president Jason Hines refused to say whether it works for the NSA, telling us that we should go FOIA that information if we want to know. But according to public reports, Recorded Future “earns most of its revenue from selling to Wall Street quants and intelligence agencies.”)
The connection between Recorded Future and the U.S. intelligence community is long known. Back in July, 2010, Wired‘s Noah Shachtman revealed that the company is backed by both “the investment arms of the CIA and Google.”
Indeed, In-Q-Tel—the deep-pocket investment arm of both the CIA and other intelligence agencies (including the NSA)—has seats on Recorded Future’s board of directors and, on its website, lists Recorded Future as one of the companies in its “portfolio.” In stark contrast to NPR, The New York Times noted these connections when reporting on the firm in 2011: “Recorded Future is financed with $8 million from the likes of Google’s venture arm and In-Q-Tel, which makes investments to benefit the United States intelligence community, and its clients have included government agencies and banks.”
"NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting" [The Intercept]