|Founder||Alexei Derevich Constansky|
101 S. Railroad Ave
|Number of Locations||4|
|Core Product||Searchlight Sentiment Seer|
|Key People||Alexei Derevich Constansky
Searchlight Technologies is a privately-owned digital intelligence company founded in 2007, based in Pflugerville, Texas. It provides sentiment analysis and intelligence to enterprise brands, and is used by over 240 Fortune 500 companies.
Records show that Searchlight Technologies, LLC was incorporated in 2007 by Alexei Derevich Constansky. Pflugerville City Hall indicates that Searchlight Technologies bought a small office building on 101 S. Railroad Ave., where the company is still headquartered to this day.
For a brief period of time, the Searchlight Technology logo was featured on the website of the venture capital firm Austin Ventures, a well-known fund known for investing in well-known technology success stories such as Tivoli (sold to IBM), VitalSigns (acquired by Lucent), and Solarwinds.
When Forbes inquired with Austin Ventures about the size of the investment in 2008, the fund's spokesperson said, "Normally we would love to discuss our involvement with up-and-coming startups, but in this case we must decline to comment." When pressed further, the spokesperson said that they were under a non-disclosure ethos.
In addition to the flagship office in Pflugerville, Searchlight has the following offices in the United States:
- Newton Technology Park
- Water St, New York
- Peachtree Tower, Atlanta
- Sunnyvale, California
- Langley, Virginia
The following offices exist internationally:
- Manezhnaya Ploshchad', Moscow, Russia
- Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Australia
More offices are on their way.
The Non-Disclosure Ethos
Journalists have faced difficulties finding reliable information about Searchlight Technologies, due to the Non-Disclosure Ethos reported to be at the center of the company. The only person in the company empowered to speak publicly is Jacob Erris, VP of Promotions, who gives sporadic interviews explaining the company's services.
On March 3rd 2010, Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley opened up an investigation into the alleged practice of having employees sign a blanket non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as a condition of hiring. On March 27th, the investigation was dropped. No statement was issued in explanation.
Open Source Center
In 2011, a FOIA request regarding information on the Open Source Center, an office of the CIA allegedly tasked with gathering digital intelligence on people in foreign countries, included the following snippet in a redacted document:
|110210||$785,000||Searchlight Technologies, LLC||SRV-INT-CONTRACT|
Neither the CIA nor Searchlight Technologies commented on this revelation. The Open Source Center's charter is still classified
On January 18th, 2011, when most of the internet (including Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist, and more) were digitally protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a whistleblower approached Boston Globe Deputy Business Editor Mark Pothier with information that Searchlight Technologies had lobbied for the passage of SOPA.
SOPA is a controversial bill because it provides the government with unlimited power to inspect all digital transmissions, take down websites at will, and turn off the internet. A joint statement signed by AOL, Ebay, Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Zynga, and others said:
“We support the bills’ stated goals—providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue” websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new and uncertain liabilities, private rights of the action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”
Within hours of this revelation, the Searchlight Technology website was taken down by an anonymous hacking organization, and has not yet been restored.
- Searchlight Technologies Website http://searchlight.organsofstate.org/references
- Pflugerville City Hall Records. http://www.cityofpflugerville.com/index.aspx?NID=1000
- Austin Ventures, Portfolio. http://www.austinventures.com/portfolio/
- Forbes Online. http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeswriter/2009/01/14/austin-ventures-bets-big-on-searchlight-maybe/
- Secrecy News. http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2011/12/cia_osw.html
- LA Times Staff Writer. "SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests." Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-lat-sopa-blackout-sopa-and-pipa-lose-three-co-sponsors-in-congress,0,475712.story
- Stop Online Piracy Act, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
- Mark Pothier, Boston Globe http://www.bostonglobe.com/staff/pothier
- "We Stand Together to Protect Innovation". http://www.rue89.com/sites/news/files/assets/document/2011/11/pagenewyorktimes.pdf