01:23 PM

CIA Invests In Semantic Search, Wireless Networking

In-Q-Tel is partnering with NetBase and Connectify to make semantic search and virtual VPN technology available to the U.S. intelligence community.

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The CIA is investing in next-generation search and remote wireless networking technologies that will enhance the technological capability of the U.S. intelligence community.

In-Q-Tel, a CIA-based nonprofit that identifies emerging technologies, is partnering with NetBase and Connectify to add semantic search and technology that turns PCs into Wi-Fi networks, respectively, to the cache of technologies available to intelligence agencies.

NetBase offers software as a service that can search by sentence to identify contextual meanings of words, and organize searches in the context of a specific set of questions relevant to a discipline or a particular audience, according to In-Q-Tel. This type of search is seen as a game changer for how people search for information, although it is used alongside rather than to replace conventional search methods.

The CIA and other intelligence agencies can use NetBase's technology to streamline how they search for information internally, according to In-Q-Tel. They also can integrate it into existing search techniques already used by the intelligence community to add a new layer of search capability for the agencies and partners that need to access intelligence information.

[ The CIA needs all the tech help it can get. Read LulzSec Claims Credit For CIA Site Takedown. ]

Philadelphia-based Connectify will leverage an In-Q-Tel's investment to further develop its virtual VPN software, which allows users to turn PCs into secure Wi-Fi hotspots with one click, according to the nonprofit.

Once a PC is enabled as a Connectify Hotspot, other users with security access to it can leverage the connection from laptops, tablets, or smartphones while working remotely or traveling, according to In-Q-Tel.

In-Q-Tel's interest in helping Connectify further develop its technology comes after it already has garnered great interest by private-sector companies, said In-Q-Tel CTO William Strecker in a statement.

The CIA launched In-Q-Tel in 1999 as an independent entity to find useful new technologies to support the intelligence community's mission. The nonprofit has made a flurry of investments lately, including partnerships with vendors that provide computer-screen security, cloud computing-based storage and secure virtualization technology.

The vendors, contractors, and other outside parties with which you do business can create a serious security risk. Here's how to keep this threat in check. Also in the new, all-digital issue of Dark Reading: Why focusing solely on your own company's security ignores the bigger picture. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

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