Giuliani firm made millions pushing data-mining program

By Michael Aivaz
Friday, December 14, 2007 5:55 EDT
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Revelations about the far-ranging business entanglements of GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani continue to put the former New York mayor on the hot seat.

The latest : As reported by Time Magazine, Giuliani’s private consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, received a $6.5 million windfall for helping a tech company called Seisint Inc. land government contracts for a massive data-mining program — a system the firm said could help fight terror by using supercomputers to store “billions of pieces of information from public records.”

The problem, write Time‘s Michael Weiskopf and Massimo Calabresi, is that “the payment of percentages or commissions to ‘solicit or secure’ government contracts is prohibited by federal law and laws of some states.”

An unnamed source at Giuliani Partners told the magazine that the firm had never received commissions, however, labeling the money instead as “special bonuses” that wouldn’t run afoul of federal law.

“Meanwhile, Seisint’s premier product–MATRIX–had proved controversial,” continues Time. “The databases it searched contained personal histories of millions of Americans, their relatives, past addresses, property records and credit ratings. Civil-liberties groups said MATRIX would create detailed data profiles of innocent Americans.”

Keith Olbermann has details here:

The following video is from MSNBC’s COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann, broadcast on December 13, 2007

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