Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: Mijente; Chart: Axios Visuals

Palantir has more than $1.5 billion in federal government contracts and deep ties to the Trump administration, yet few people know the company or how its products work, according to a new report from Latinx organizing non-profit Mijente.

The big picture: Mijente's report comes a day after ICE arrested 680 people in the largest-yet roundup of undocumented immigrants under the Trump administration.

Between the lines: The goal of the report is to give the public a better understanding of the company, its work and its origins, senior campaign organizer Jacinta Gonzalez told Axios.

  • "For a company that knows a lot about us, we don’t know a lot about Palantir," Gonzalez said in an interview.

By the numbers: According to Mijente, Palantir's federal government work includes:

  • $1 billion worth of work with the Defense Department,
  • Upward of $175 million in business with the Justice Department and
  • $94 million in active contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, consisting largely of the work for ICE.

The report highlights that a key $53 million ICE contract is scheduled for renewal in September. For that, Palantir provides software known as Investigative Case Management, or ICM, which Mijente says was used to target family members of unaccompanied minors.

A second tool used by ICE, known as FALCON, is worth $42 million and is eligible for renewal as early as Nov 2019, but could potentially be used through 2021 under the current deal.The report calls out Palantir for both the volume of data it collects as well as the fact it often results in the arrest of as many "collaterals" as "targets."

"Palantir sells itself as a precision tool for the targeting of migrants and enemy combatants, but the mass data collection that supports Palantir's ICM and FALCON lends itself to dragnet operations."
— Mijente report

Behind the curtain: In addition to the business relationships between Palantir and various government entities, Mijente also points to the intertwining personal relationships between Peter Thiel (Palantir's co-founder and a big Trump supporter), various Thiel-run companies, Palantir and the Trump administration. Notably, the report points to:

  • U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios left his position as chief of staff at Thiel Capital to join the White House, first as deputy assistant to the president for tech policy and, more recently as CTO.
  • Kevin Harrington, a former principal and managing director at Thiel Macro is deputy assistant to the president for strategic planning and was also part of the Trump transition "landing team" at the department of commerce. Palantir, the report says, has a contract to provide economic data to the Census Bureau.
  • Trae Stephens, an early Palantir executive and co-founder of Palmer Luckey's Anduril Industries, was on the Department for Defense transition team.
  • Several aides to former defense secretary Jim Mattis had Palantir ties, including Justin Mikolay, who was a lobbyist before joining the administration as a special assistant to Mattis. After leaving the government, he returned toP alantir from Oct. 2017 to August 2018.

"You see this revolving door starting to form," Gonzalez said.

The bigger picture: It's not just Palantir, but the broader tech community, that is facilitating a range of atrocities, Mijente contends in the report.

"There’s also no denying that the treatment of migrants along the southern border, from separating families, returning asylum-seekers to Mexico, tear-gassing migrants, to caging children in sprawling desert encampments, is nothing short of cruel and inhumane. Tech companies have chosen to do the government’s bidding and directly enable gross human rights abuses."

Yes, but: Other than having close ties with the Trump Administration and helping the government do work that Mijente and others oppose, the report doesn't suggest Palantir is breaking any laws.And Palantir has defended its government work.

"We’re proud that we’re working with the U.S. government,” CEO Alex Karp told the New York Times.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two assault rifles believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.