Email from Stanford student re: Palantir
Defense Department think it's a little sketchy but are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
They also are known for employing only the best of the best, and their exclusivity has made them a desirable employer. My friends who work there are some of the brightest programmers I know of at Stanford, which made their slide deck about attacking WikiLeaks (and you) a lot more
credible and worrying that it would otherwise have been.