During his nearly half-hour talk, CIA CTO Ira Hunt said that the agency is interested in “really big data,” or storage capacity on a scale unlike anything currently existing on the planet, so they can “connect the dots” with what’s happening in real time.

“The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time,” Hunt told GigaOM’s crowd, in a quote first pulled by The Huffington Post’s Matt Sledge. “Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.”