Minority reports

Google & CIA invested data mining company looks at Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao's jet trails

From Wired:

The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.

The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”

Recorded Future has a blog where they explain some of their methods and show case studies. It includes two items about Hu Jintao that are linked below.

The posts use open source data from the Internet to track past Hu Jintao's travel arrangements. The first post attempts to analyze if his behavior has changed over the last year, and what that might mean his successor who is widely believed to be Xi Jinping (he of the well-fed foreigners remark).

The second post looks at Hu's travel arrangements in the run up to the Copenhagen climate talks last year and examines if it is possible to understand "intent through travel records".

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