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Vegas 911

May 01, 2006

An entrepreneurial whiz kid, Jeffrey Jonas dropped out of high school to launch his own software business. He hit it big early, then figuratively and literally crashed—going bankrupt and becoming temporarily quadriplegic after a car accident, all before the age of 25. He recovered, and then some, rebuilding both his body and his business into one of the major high-tech players in town.

After working with casinos and detective agencies to help bust cheats and assorted bad guys, Mr. Jonas was approached in 1998 by the U.S. National Security Agency to speak at a conference about software he’d developed that could help the government detect so-called insider threats. The Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital funding arm, In-Q-Tel, eventually caught wind of his wares and ended up funding his company, Systems Research & Development (SRD), in 2001. Last year, he sold the company to IBM and stayed on as an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Scientist of the IBM Entity Analytic Solutions group. Now, when he’s not racing in triathlons, he’s leading a high-tech chase for Sin City’s biggest swindlers—and the world’s most wanted terrorists.

Mr. Jonas and his team are currently working on upgrades to IBM Anonymous Resolution, previously known as ANNA. In his words, ANNA “anonymizes” data before it is shared and analyzed. “It’s a new way to find a few bad guys without shaving down the Constitution at the same time,” says Mr. Jonas.

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