Recorded Future

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Recorded Future.png
Privately Held
Industry Web intelligence
Founded Cambridge, Massachusetts (2009 (2009))[1]
Founder Andy Palmer, Christopher Ahlberg
Number of employees
11-50 employees[citation needed]

Recorded Future Inc. is an internet technology company founded in 2008, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, and Gothenburg, Sweden, specializing in web intelligence.


Using what they call a "temporal analytics engine", Recorded Future (RF) provides forecasting and analysis tools to help analysts predict future events by scanning sources on the Internet, and extracting, measuring, and visualizing the information to show networks and patterns in the past, present, and future.[2] As of 2015 the engine was described as "Web Intelligence Engine".[1] Likewise, the Washington Post which had described the company as a predictive analytics web intelligence firm deleted the term upon request of RF.[3] The software analyzes sources and forms "invisible links" between documents to find links that tie them together and may possibly indicate the entities and events involved.[citation needed] Noah Schachtmann from Wired magazine who first wrote about Google and the CIA both investing in RF described the company in an interview as follows "Recorded Future is a company that strips out from web pages the sort of who, what, when, where, why — sort of who’s involved,[...] where are they going, what kind of events are they going to."[4]

Clients initially included the financial sector with quantitative investors, but since 2013 they have changed to businesses seeking cybersecurity, per Ahlberg, for example SITA (IT company), a global air transport IT company.[5]


The company was founded in 2009 by Christopher Ahlberg[1] and had 20 employees as of November 2011.[6] In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into the Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. Google published this on May 3, 2010[7] In-Q-Tel is an investment arm of the CIA.[8] As of 2015 it had partnerships with IBM, HP ArcSight, Cimation, Ethnographic Edge, and Malformity Labs LLC per its company profile published by Businessweek.[1]


Al Qaeda report[edit]

In May 2014, Recorded Future released a report called "How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden (part 1)"[9] Part 2 of the report was released on August 1 2014, supposedly with a strengthened "earlier hypothesis about Snowden leaks influencing Al-Qaeda’s crypto product innovation".[9] On the same day National Public Radio aired Recorded Future claims of "tangible evidence" that Edward Snowden harmed national security by prompting terrorists to develop more sophisticated encryption programs.[10] Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman criticized the NPR report in an article on August 12, 2014.[11]

Occupy Wall Street media monitoring report[edit]

In 2011. Recorded Future reported: "gaining online momentum for the Occupy Wall Street movement. When we look more carefully at influencers in this discussion using our Influencer Map, we find that Iran Press TV is the second largest influencer after the US Media ![sic]"[12]


In April 2015, a coding website accused Recorded Future of violating internet privacy by analyzing private Facebook messages, which it denied. The accusation was disproven when the assumed private link for private facebook chat was found posted publicly online via a server log.[5]

Related Pages[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Recorded Future Inc.". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  2. ^ Holliday, Maynard; Holden, Chris (2014-07-15). "Advanced Web-Based Temporal Analytics for Arms Control Verification and Compliance". Science & Diplomacy 3 (3). 
  3. ^ Stewart Baker (August 3, 2014). "As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 May 2015. “While this may seem like splitting hairs, in the world of data analysis software “predictive analytics” has specific technical meaning which implies something different. We use the term web intelligence to reduce this confusion.” 
  4. ^ Amy Goodman, Juan González (30 July 2010). "Google Teams Up with CIA to Fund "Recorded Future" Startup Monitoring Websites, Blogs & Twitter Accounts". Democracy Now. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Cale Guthrie Weissman (May 26, 2015). "Inside the company that can predict the future by analyzing every piece of information on the web". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Cheshire, Tom (2011-11-10). "The News Forecast". Wired UK. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  7. ^ Mastrull, Amanda (2010-05-04). "Google invests in company, Recorded Future, that tries to predict the future". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  8. ^ Shachtman, Noah (2010-07-28). "Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring". Wired. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  9. ^ a b C (8 May 2014). "How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden part 1". recorded Future. Retrieved 14 August 2014. The timeline above tells a compelling story showing how four to five months after the Snowden disclosures both mainstream AQ, as well as the break-off group ISIS, launches three new encryption tools. 
  10. ^ Dina Temple-Raston (14 August 2014). "Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data To Changed Terrorist Behavior". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Glenn Greenwald; Andrew Fishman (12 August 2014). "NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting". The Intercept. First Look Productions, Inc. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  12. ^ holden (1 October 2014). "Iran’s Growing Influence & Occupy Wall Street Protests". Recorded Future. Retrieved 14 August 2014. .