The New York Times reports on the “increasingly deep connections” between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency. For example, Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, went to work for the NSA when he left the social media company in 2010. Both hunt for ways to collect, analyze and exploit data about millions of Americans, the Times says. The difference is that the NSA does it for intelligence while the Silicon Valley firms do it for profit.
Silicon Valley has what the spy agency wants: vast amounts of private data and the most sophisticated software available to analyze it. The agency in turn is one of Silicon Valley's largest customers for data analytics, one of the valley's fastest-growing markets. To get the latest software technology to manipulate data, U.S. intelligence agencies invest in Silicon Valley start-ups, award classified contracts and recruit technology experts like Kelly.