This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
New apps enable law enforcement, first responders and security teams to communicate with other team members in a reliable and secure network using a technology called geofencing. The apps are developed by BlueLine Grid, whose most interesting client is the venture capital and investment arm of the CIA (In-Q-Tel).
According to mintpressnews.com, the CIA’s Directorate for Digital Innovation is involved in hundreds of projects aimed at turning everything from smartphones and televisions to critical computer software into potent weapons for U.S. intelligence.
Essentially, the geofencing technology allows a particular client (say the Los Angeles or New York police departments) to draw a perimeter on a live map and communicate with all officers within that perimeter. Another way to explain the technology’s ability is that it uses real-time GPS information to allow police officers, intelligence operatives and other potential clients to communicate and coordinate within a given area and respond, in real-time, to changing developments on the ground.
The frightening implication is that this technology could eventually be used to stifle protest and halt communication among protesters. It’s not hard to imagine police officers in major U.S. cities using the tech to harass and arrest protesters within specific geographical areas, cutting the legs out from under protests before they even begin. Considering that police forces across the country are already fully militarized and employ military-style tactics, it would seem that BlueLine Grid is offering another weapon in the police state’s ongoing war against free speech and assembly. But it goes much further than that, as this technology is now quite literally the property of the CIA due to the investment made in BlueLine Grid by the agency. And the connections to the police state and military-industrial-security complex run far deeper.
The company was founded by former politician Jack Weiss and entrepreneur David Riker, along with former New York and Los Angeles police department chief Bill Bratton. Originally founded as Bratton Technologies, Inc., the company rebranded itself as BlueLine Grid in 2013. A quick look at the background of these individuals offers some insight into how BlueLine Grid got on the fast track to being the premier state intelligence app service.
Bratton, in many ways, has been the public face of the company since its inception. After founding the company, Bratton had a stint as Commissioner of the New York Police Department, a position from which he resigned in 2016. He went on to take a job at Teneo Holdings, a consulting group closely linked to the Clintons, as well as Israel and its powerful DC lobby. Teneo Holdings was founded by longtime Clinton advisers Douglas Band and Declan Kelly.
Alongside Bratton, Teneo boasts influential consultants, such as former Clinton and Obama Middle East envoy George Mitchell, and former British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Teneo as a whole, and Bratton specifically, have deep ties to Israel, with Bratton having given multiple high-profile speeches, including the keynote address at Israel’s National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem, a conclave of some of the leading figures in Israel’s (and the United States’) national security apparatus.
Co-founder of BlueLine Grid Jack Weiss has also traveled in some of the elite circles within the security apparatus. Before co-founding Bratton Technologies, Weiss worked for Altegrity Inc., a private contractor that focused on global investigations and security. The chairman of Altegrity was the same Bill Bratton who, at the time, had recently retired from the LAPD. Altegrity went on to acquire the infamous Kroll, Inc., a business intelligence and investigations company, with Weiss heading up Kroll’s LA office.
The Kroll brand was well-known in political and financial circles. With its deep ties to the CIA and U.S. intelligence, the company came under the leadership of Weiss and Bratton in the last decade. Now they’re scratching each other’s backs one more time, this time with CIA seed money bankrolling yet another Weiss-Bratton business venture, BlueLine Grid.
And as the CIA money came flowing in, Weiss chose to move the company from New York to Bethesda, Maryland, just a 10-mile drive from CIA headquarters in Langley.
There should be little doubt that the technology with which BlueLine Grid is equipping police forces, intelligence agencies and private corporations could be used against groups that organize to challenge state and corporate power.
If police and intelligence officers can freely communicate in order to organize and coordinate their actions, so too should protesters and revolutionaries. If the iPhone or Android is a weapon in the hands of the authorities, so too should it be a weapon in the hands of the peaceful protester.