Palantir Technologies is a company dealing with the analysis of data with a slightly sulfur reputation. But do you know why she was called that?
This is, in the words of specialist journalist Olivier Tesquet, Rolls-Royce large data sets ". In just a few years, the American company Palantir Technologies has gained a solid reputation in the analysis of very large data (the so-called "Big data"). To the extent that, according to an internal document disclosed in early 2015, organizations such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, but also the Ministry of the Interior or the armed forces are seeking its services.
Palantir is not very famous on this side of the Atlantic. His name was associated with a case of destabilization of WikiLeaks in 2011, a project that was confirmed by company president Alex Karpa before he apologized. He was also lured to hunt Osama Bin Laden, killed in 2011, but the reality of this contribution has never been verified or denied. This feeds the myth around Palantir.
Magic stones see you far away
The origin of the company name is documented. In 2013, Forbes reported that Peter Thiel, co-founder, had chosen the name after discovering that the name was chosen by British writer J. R. R.R. Tolkien to signify magical artifacts that appear in the Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion and Unfinished stories and legends, Their name "Palantíri" (in the singular Palantír), "stones of sight", whose name means in Quenya "to see far".
In his Tolkien dictionary, academic Vincent Ferré dedicates all input to his subjects. They allow " see over long distances ". They are " perfect balls (Which of course inspired the Palantir Technologies logo, where we can distinguish the stylized Palantir resting on its basis), « consists of a material similar to glass or crystal, in black ". They can also have different sizes and weights (some are several meters in diameter).
" Basically, Palantír allows the user to see scenes while playing with space restrictions. It allows him to see through any object, from above to the wall, but his gaze cannot penetrate the darkness. The unlit item remains hidden "Explain. Such an object can be used to spy, but also to communicate from mind to spirit. In Tolkien's Work, several important characters use these artifacts, such as Aragorn and Saruman.
Terrifying items … but misleading?
Given Palantír's role, it's easy to see why Pether Thiel, who co-founded the company in 2003, chose the name. Palantir Technologies wants to "see" what is not visible by analyzing phenomenal amounts of data, crossing them, comparing them, passing through a screen. An ability that also interests government services in France: In 2016, it was reported that Intelligence Interior (DGSI) had signed an agreement with America.
The rapprochement of French counterintelligence with a startup close to Washington (Palantir's first investor is In-Q-Tel, a CIA investment fund, and Peter Thiel is a close friend of Donald Trump: he advises in the digital sector) has caused controversy because, like Tolkien's balls, they can see both sides Palantir Technologies may also take a breathtaking view of Americans on some of France's activities.
In his article, Forbes described these objects as " bullets that allow their holder to look over long distances to follow friends and enemies ". He added, quoting a former company engineer, that Palantir founders do not understand Palantiri well ". These bullets said: they don't really give their owners a credible point of view ". " Palantír distorts the truth […] And those who look at them see only what they want to see ".