Software Lawsuit May Ground CIA's Drones

It could also explain why so many civilians are killed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2010 3:43 PM CDT
A 2007 file photo of a Predator drone.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin/file)

(Newser) – One Massachusetts company is accusing another of pirating its software, which might not be be a big deal if that software didn't happen to be used in the CIA's Predator drones in Afghanistan. When a ruling comes down in December, it could ground the drone fleet indefinitely and put a serious crimp in US operations, reports Fast Company.

One other remarkable facet of the case: The company that says it rightfully owns the software, Intelligent Integration Systems, says former partner Netezza is using what it describes as a "hack" version of it—which could explain the drones' imprecision and the resulting heavy civilian casualties.

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