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Tech Industry

Quote of the day: CIA vs. the Valley

In-Q-Tel CEO Gilman Louie says that tensions ran high in the early days of the relationship between spy types and high-tech minds.

Spies live a life on the edge, so any kind of glitch--technological or otherwise--can be very bad news indeed. To help make sure, then, that it gets both the latest and the greatest equipment, the CIA for a half-decade has been running its own venture capital firm, called In-Q-Tel. Gilman Louie, In-Q-Tel's chief executive, told CNET News.com in a recent interview that tensions ran high in the early days of the relationship between spy types and high-tech minds.

"Basically, these are guys with very high clearance levels, and why would they trust a bunch of guys coming from Silicon Valley? We haven't paid our dues," Louie said. "We had no idea of what those guys do. What they told us very early in the ballgame was, 'Why should we trust you? If we use one of your pieces of technologies and it fails, one of us can get killed.'"