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ICE contractor Palantir to recruit on Berkeley campus 8/31
by !nfo*
Wednesday Aug 1st, 2018 2:39 PM
ICE contractor Palantir will be present on UC Berkeley campus on August 31, at Soda Hall from 6PM to 7:30PM. Will there be a protest?
In the Wozniak Lounge at Soda Hall, Palantir will be holding an information session from 6pm to 7:30PM on August 31. The purpose of this information session is to recruit potential future employees from UC Berkeley. In previous sessions, Palantir has spoken about the services the company provides in the vaguest of terms. Their spokespersons say the company is a good place for people who like to solve problems, or analyze data, but they don't go in detail as to what they are crunching data for.

In 2014, Palantir got a $46.1 million dollar contract to build cloud-based management software for ICE. In the past four years, Palantir has earned over $100 million from ICE contracts for writing various software tools, including FALCON-SA [SA = Search & Analysis], an enhanced version of their Gotham software. Collectively, these software tools comprise ICE's Investigative Case Management [ICM] system. The ICM queries data from law enforcement agencies, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System [SEVIS], and various other government databases. ICM can query information on biometrics, health, family relations, and job status. ICM can access the Alien Criminal Response Information Management System [ACRIMe], a massive migrant and visitor biometric database which can be used for non-criminal background checks. Palatir has access to the Border Patrol's Analytical Framework for Intelligence, a system the company developed. Palantir software is also used by ICE and law enforcement to build controversial gang databases, which collects data on innocent people who are related by family to suspected gang members, or have some other non-criminal relationship with suspected gang members. The ICM system has access to vast amounts of data, and can be used to query information about migrants who are not involved in criminal activity. The ICM can also be used to query information on US citizens.

Palantir's co-founder Peter Thiel, donated $1.25 million to Trump's election campaign. Thiel's book 'Zero to One' was used as a guide by the Trump campaign. After the election, Thiel was a member of Trump's presidential executive team. Thiel chose former Palantir employee Trae Stephens to be on the team that established Trump's Department of Defense. This year, Palantir received a $876 million contract with the US Army. Back in March of this year, Thiel told the New York Times: "I have access to [Trump] any time I want".

Thiel is on the board of Facebook, a platform which hosted propaganda and disinformation that helped sway the election for Trump. Thiel told the NY Times that: "[most people at Facebook] did not think things were so hackable. It was a mistake". It is not known if Thiel was aware before the election that Facebook was open to such manipulation.

In January of 2017, protesters gathered outside Palantir corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, against concerns the company was going to be contracted for a Muslim registry. As a PR stunt, Palantir left free coffee outside for the protesters. Palantir had previous access to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System [NSEERS], a database which tracked people entering into the US from North African, Middle Eastern and West Asian nations. NSEERS was dismantled in 2016, but Palantir might have residual data from it. The protesters also raised concerns on how Palantir could be used for mass-deportation efforts.

In March of 2017, there was a protest for immigrants' rights outside Thiel's home in San Francisco. Thiel has since moved to Los Angeles. On July 31 of this year [2018], protesters again gathered in Palo Alto outside Palantir, against the company's ICE contract. A protest against Palantir could be possible at Berkeley.

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