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CIA spies a future in wireless networks

01 November, 2005

CIA spies a future in wireless networks

The US Central Intelligence Agency is funding the development of wireless networking technologies via an independent, non-profit venture group called In-Q-Tel that it set up in 1999. In the latest of a series of investments, In-Q-Tel is ploughing money into Ember, a Boston company that is developing components for the ZigBee low-power radio networking system, and Tendril Networks, which is developing software to link wireless sensor and control networks.

In-Q-Tel first invested money in wireless technologies in 2003 when it provided funding for Dust Networks, a pioneer in wireless mesh networking.

In-Q-Tel`s mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge information technologies that could serve US national security interests. The group has already invested in about 90 companies, operating in areas such as energy, traffic management, security and visualisation, as well as communications.

Explaining its latest investments, In-Q-Tel`s chief executive, Gilman Louie says that "the next generation of computing will seamlessly network millions of embedded devices. As an investor, we want to participate in all segments of what we expect will be a fast-growing market."

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