Peter Thiel, founder of Palantir Technologies and current defense advisor to President Donald Trump, is setting up for a September 2017 launch of his $20 billion data mining firm newest and possibly most controversial creation to aide Trump’s ambition to deport millions of people living undocumented in the United States. Theil’s technology is called Investigative Case Management, or ICM, and it has been funded by a government contract since 2014 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a Homeland Security Agency. ICM will allow the information collection and consolidation on up to 11 million people living undocumented in the US to assist the impending mass deportations. Upon implementation, Thiel could rake in huge profits stemming from taxpayer money for his company’s service and technology for which ICE has stated it desperately needs. This technology could further violate the privacy of millions of documented, legal, and natural-born United States citizens as ICM documents state that this intelligence tool can also be aimed at these demographics.
This tool would give ICE agents access to information about an individual’s education and employment history, personal and family connections, phone records, as well as home and work addresses and many more pieces of private information. Rights to privacy will be bypassed with regarding this approach to dealing with the US immigration issues. Those affected by this plan include both documented and undocumented immigrants, including everyday US citizens. Jay Stanley, a privacy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union, noted, “What we have here is a growing network of interconnected databases that together are drawing in more and more information.” Meanwhile, Thiel stands to profit from the violations of privacy and the mass deportations of undocumented peoples, tearing them from families and communities. This in turn could damage the very function of everyday American society.
This story was first addressed by The Intercept and Truthdig but ignored by almost all other corporate media sources. CNBC did a small article nearly a week after the release of this story describing what the technology was and how it could “help” the country, but failed to mention how the Thiel would profit from it and downplayed civil liberty concerns.
Spencer Woodman, “Palantir Provides the Engine for Donald Trump’s Deportation Machine” The Intercept, March 2, 2017, https://theintercept.com/2017/03/02/palantir-provides-the-engine-for-donald-trumps-deportation-machine/
Aditi Roy, “Peter Thiel’s Tech Company, Palantir, Could Help Trump Crack Down on Undocumented Immigrants” CNBC, March 7, 2017, http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/07/peter-thiel-palantir-trump-immigrant-crackdown.html
Emma Niles, “Palantir Technologies Is Creating a Vast Immigration Database,” Truthdig, March 4, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/palantir_technologies_is_creating_a_vast_database_for_ice_20170304
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