Microsoft is quietly becoming a significant player when it comes to providing Big Brother software to US security forces.
Apparently it is a big backer of an association which sells surveillance tech to police departments in a weird money loop which supports the sale of some of its snooping software.
The National Fusion Centre Association provides fusion architecture and it runs Microsoft Fusion Core software.
Fusion Centres were jointly created between 2003 and 2007 under the US Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Justice Programs in the US Department of Justice. They are supposed to promote information sharing between agencies such as theCentral Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Department of Justice, US military, and state- and local-level government.
However, a recent bipartisan Senate investigation found that fusion centres were 'useless' in countering terrorism, but were very good when it came to violating the privacy and civil liberties of US citizens.
According to Network World Microsoft helps pay for fusion centres which give out grants to police departments for new surveillance technologies.
Microsoft is making a killing selling its Fusion Core Solution which according to the box automates the collection, intake, workflow management, collaborative analysis, data visualisation, dissemination, auditing, and capture of business-performance metrics.
The Fusion Core Solution was "jointly developed" by "Microsoft and Environmental Systems Research Institute" (ESRI).
To be fair, Vole is not the only one which funds Fusion Centres. They also get cash from ESRI, Thomson-Reuters, Mutualink and other firms that want to do business with them.
But Network World claims that this is just one of the ways that Vole is quietly becoming one of the world's largest intelligence solution providers.