This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

CIA May Have Bought Faulty Drone Software

Stocks in this article: CRA NZ

Netezza, the CIA and the House Intelligence Committee, which helps oversee the CIA's budget, declined interview requests for this story, each citing policies against commenting on issues related to pending litigation. But much of the story already lies in court documents housed at the Suffolk County Superior Courthouse in Boston, where the case is awaiting summary judgment. According to Intelligent Integration Systems officials, those "vital military operations" involved targeting enemy combatants with predator drones.

"The dispute before the court is about contract terms and the core legal issue wouldn't be any different whether it involved direct-mail marketing applications or the CIA," says Paul Davis, CEO of Intelligent Integration Systems. "But the nature of the work exposes some large problem areas for Netezza that go beyond a contract and our product. A customer like the CIA needs a fail-safe solution, not just a data-warehouse product."

Court documents, company emails

The predator drones' role in the companies' conflict comes to light in a court deposition of Intelligent Integration Systems Chief Technology Officer Rich Zimmerman, in which he recalls a Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, conversation with Jim Baum, CEO of Netezza, and Jon Shepherd, Netezza's general manager for location-based services. Zimmerman says Netezza officials told him it was Intelligent Integration Systems' "patriotic duty" to develop the geospatial software for the new hardware in a matter of days, even if there wasn't sufficient time to ensure its accuracy.

According to Zimmerman's deposition, Baum told him "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. Jon Shepherd made a comment somewhere along the way that suggested , 'just give us anything ... we need it right now.' "

Asked by Intelligent Integration Systems' attorney how he responded to the request, "my reaction was one of stun, amazement that they want to kill people with my software that doesn't work," Zimmerman said in the deposition.

The case file includes emails among Netezza officials, in which they discuss how to handle the situation, in light of the fact that Intelligent Integration Systems wouldn't give up its source code while the customer is in a hurry. The emails imply that Netezza promised a product to the CIA before anyone had developed it. They also reference "floating point" difficulty, a mathematical computing issue that can lead to accuracy problems. (A Nov. 12 email from a Netezza account manager refers to "errors in the spatial toolkit hack." "Hacking" usually means gaining unauthorized access to a computer, a key point in Intelligent Integration Systems' countersuit.)

3 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs