By Chris Williams
24th September 2010
The CIA is implicated in a court case in which it's claimed it used an
illegal, inaccurate software "hack" to direct secret assassination
drones in central Asia.
The target of the court action is Netezza, the data warehousing firm
that IBM bid $1.7bn for on Monday. The case raises serious questions
about the conduct of Netezza executives, and the conduct of CIA's
clandestine war against senior jihadis in Afganistan and Pakistan.
The dispute surrounds a location analysis software package -
"Geospatial" - developed by a small company called Intelligent
Integration Systems (IISi), which like Netezza is based in
Massachusetts. IISi alleges that Netezza misled the CIA by saying that
it could deliver the software on its new hardware, to a tight deadline.
When the software firm then refused to rush the job, it's claimed,
Netezza illegally and hastily reverse-engineered IISi's code to deliver
a version that produced locations inaccurate by up to 13 metres. Despite
knowing about the miscalculations, the CIA accepted the software, court
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