CIA Accused of Using Pirated Software for Drone Assassination Attacks

Monday, September 27, 2010
Intelligent Integration Systems (IISi), a small software company in Massachusetts, claims the CIA is using a stolen computer program for its drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In a lawsuit it filed in Boston, IISi alleges that a former partner, data warehousing firm Netezza, used proprietary coding belonging to the plaintiff to hastily deliver software known as Spatial to the CIA so it could locate targets for unmanned aircraft. IISi also claims that the pirated software is faulty and can result in attacks being off by about 40 feet.
In a deposition, IISi’s chief technology officer, Rich Zimmerman, said that Netezza CEO Jim Baum told him that “the CIA called them on the phone, said we need this to target predator drones in Afghanistan, that...we need Spatial up and running immediately.” Zimmerman said his reaction was “amazement that they want to kill people with my software that doesn't work.”
IISi chairman Marshall Peterson, who was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War and then worked for the Army Missile Command, told TheStreet, “In the military, killing people is not the objective. The objective is to win over the hearts and minds of people. You can kill a thousand bad guys, but if you kill one civilian, you've turned 10,000 people against you.”
On September 20, IBM bid $1.7 billion for Netezza.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
CIA May Have Bought Faulty Drone Software (by Carmen Nobel, TheStreet)


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