Further to a lot of discussion about FaceBook and comments (here and here for example) regarding Microsoft's possible investment in the company...
In a podcast lecture from UC Berkley: "Introduction to the human", Greg Niemeyer, cited this article. He asserted there was a chain of connections linking FaceBook with the CIA and DARPA's discredited Office of Information Awareness (OIA).
Mad conspiracy theory? I wonder. See this article, "( TIA Lives On)" by Shane Harris from the National Journal; note particularly, "... SAIC Corp., a major defense and intelligence contractor that is the sole owner of Hicks & Associates." Anita Jones, James Breyer and Peter Thiel may be the glue that holds it together.
Anita Jones was head of R&D for the US Dept of Defence at the time that the Information Awareness Office (IAO) was being established.
Accel invested $13 million in Facebook. Note who is on the committee deciding the "grants": Breyer and Thiel; here's Breyer. (btw, this is not me!) BBN, what do they do? And, check out the Board. There's Breyer and Jones.
In-q-tel? Now it gets interesting. Jones is on the board of the CIA's investment arm after serving as Head of R&D for the Defence Dept. In-q-tel is a "government contractor operating as an independent nonprofit corporation, In-Q-Tel receives regular oversight from the CIA, which keeps Congress informed of the company's activities." (I feel so reassured.) Look at this. BBN is one of In-q-tel's big investments. They are not a technology start-up, they've been a very big information technology contractor to the government for years. Indeed they built ARPAET many years ago. I mentioned SAIC above: another one of Anita's outfits - she's on the board of SAIC. Of course they're linked with In-q-tel.
Peter Thiel: we met him briefly on the group with Breyer, managing FaceBook's platform development "grants". See him here.
In a way I am unimpressed, unsurprised that DARPA, ARDA and the CIA are involved with venture capitalists, private equity firms and defense contractors. Of course they are. Warbucks roll on: same as it ever was.
But here is what pisses me off, and scares me a little. Note Theil's literary endeavours. Thiel founded PayPal. He believes money should be issued privately and commerce transacted without interference (or democratic oversight?) from states (listen here).Thiel's colleague Rod Martin founded Vanguard Political Action Committee (Vanguard PAC) and Thiel served on the board of advisers of the PAC: "Founded by some of Silicon Valley's most successful conservatives, TheVanguard.Org is here to take the battle to the enemy." And who is the enemy? Not those who would overthrow the constitution, but MoveOn and " ...the same liberal media and ageing hippies who torpedoed us in Vietnam..." (source). They want to "take back the Internet". Like it was theirs in the first place. (Oh, maybe it was?) These people categorise me as the enemy and regard the Internet as theirs. (See articles in the Valley Wag here and here for corroboration of Thiel's associations.)
Rod Martin, Head of the Vanguard and Co-founder, with Thiel, of PayPal co-authored a book with Jeb Bush, the Governor of Florida and brother of the President: Thank You, President Bush: Reflections on the War on Terror, Defense of the Family, and Revival of the Economy (find it on Amazon if you can be bothered).
So what else interests Thiel? The "singularity". Here's his bio, again sharing a platform with Nick Bostrom Where have we heard that name before (FHI and Transhumanism)? The current manifestation of the eugenics movement (but that's a digression I explored here.
Breyer and Jones are on the Boards of BBN. Breyer and Jones headed the American Venture Capital Association. Breyer and Theil are on the FaceBook board.
I don't think the question of whether or not Microsoft invests in FaceBook is really all that important. Or is this just me with my tin-foil hat screwed on too tight?