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News Link • Boston Marathon Bombing

These Classy Defense Contractors Are Already Looking to Cash In on Boston

• Noah Shachtman via WIRED.com
 

The newly-limbless victims from the Boston Marathon attack are still being treated, and the alleged bomber has only been in custody for a few days. But for a handful of defense and intelligence contractors, it’s never too early to start pimping their products as the solution to the next terrorist strike.

“The Boston Marathon bombing has proven the need for real time video and data analysis from all types of cameras, including user mobile devices, surveillance cameras, and network footage,” Chris Carmichael, CEO of Ubiquity Broadcasting Corporation, says in a press release. As it happens, his company offers an intelligent video system that does just that.

Piggybacking on big events a long-standing trick of the PR trade. It’s a way to garner attention for products that might ordinarily get ignored. So dress-makers jump on the Oscars. Social media monitors issue “analysis” of Twitter’s reaction to the Presidential debates. And the night after the Boston bombings, an explosive detection outfit called Implant Sciences emailed reporters to say that its “quantum sniffer” was the kind of “technology needed to prevent attacks like this… It is the most sensitive detection system ever created and it can save lives.”

Not to be outdone, a publicist from a facial recognition firm, FaceFirst, boasted to reporters a few days later that “this technology can identify individuals with prior arrests, terrorists and persons of interest in a matter of seconds.” He also sighed that “the last few month [sic] have been pretty hectic for due to the use of face recognition in the finding of the Boston Marathon Bombers and other high profile cases.”

One small problem: facial recognition wasn’t used to catch Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the accused attackers.

Thankfully, some of the companies boasting of their roles in the bombing response actually did help in that response.

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