James Rosen, FoxNews, announced that the NGA/The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, has awarded a no bid contract to Google. Using a beefed-up version of Google Earth, it will be supplying 16 spy agencies which serve the Pentagon.
U.S. Military officers will then be able to use Google Earth, on a classified server, to mine specific addresses for information—including wi-fi, phones or other connections, without anyone knowing. When Microsoft announced that it could offer the same thing, it was told that it has until 8 p.m. tonight (8/24/10) to fight the no-bid contract.
What’s Google Earth? Via YouTube.com, here’s a video, from way back in the olden days of ’06:
Also, on August 10, 2010, The NGA, headed by Letitia Long, announced:
DigitalGlobe said that it has entered into a USD 3.55 billion agreement with NGA, under the EnhancedView procurement, effective September 1, 2010 upon expiration of the company’s NextView Agreement. On the other hand, GeoEye confirmed that it has won a USD 3.8 billion contract award from the NGA for increased commercial satellite-imaging capacity. This competitively awarded contract supports the EnhancedView programme by providing products and services that will help meet the increasing geospatial intelligence needs of the intelligence community and Department of Defense.
UPDATE: James Rosen, FoxNews, is reporting that there has been a reconsideration for other bidding since his report on Fox this morning. The NGA announced Tuesday “…it will revise the terms of its notice for the contract – but Fox News has learned that Google will still have the inside track for the deal.”
Google Earth came into being only after Google’s 2004 acquisition of Keyhole, a company that was in part funded by In-Q-Tel, the venture capital firm run by the CIA. And those firms, along with Microsoft, tend to purchase their aerial imagery principally from two other companies: DigitalGlobe and GeoEye. Those firms on Aug, 6 received federal contracts worth close to $4 billion each, in order to collaborate on a next-generation satellite that can deliver even more detailed imagery — money that was awarded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.