Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Observations on Cambridge Analytica

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>

This very interesting matter has acquired explosive momentum. Many have complained about such abuse of personal data in the promotion of consumer goods, but the political world ignored such complaints for years. Now that the same methods have been employed in politics it is a scandal. Possibly the best recent illustration of how Western legislatures and bureaucracies lag by years, and often decades, behind the developments driving events in the real world around them.

Almost every problem we observe today was anticipated, predicted or warned of by Information Warfare scholars for twenty years, and in some instances longer, and all were ignored or called fools. Who are the fools now?

Notable the Russian connection in this instance.

Overnight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T’s merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian

FACEBOOK UNDER SCRUTINY OVER CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA DATA: Lawmakers are demanding answers from Facebook after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a research firm connected to the Trump campaign, obtained data on 50 million accounts, without the company’s permission. Lawmakers on Monday demanded more answers on how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, was able to amass the Facebook data and on how they used the data. Lawmakers demand answers: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, on Monday wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Strategic Communications Laboratories Group CEO & Director Nigel Oakes, for more information on the sharing of consumer data. SCL Group is affiliated with Cambridge Analytica. “Consumers rely on platforms like Facebook to be transparent and truthful in their terms of service so consumers can make informed decisions about whether to consent to the sharing and use of their data,” the letter to Zuckerberg read. “We appreciate that Facebook has recently taken steps to address this situation. Nevertheless, the possibility that Facebook has either not been transparent with consumers or has not been able to verify that third party app developers are transparent with consumers is troubling.” Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) on Monday called for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to question major technology companies on how they share their consumer data with political advertising companies. They asked Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to call a hearing with CEOs from companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement on Sunday saying that Cambridge Analytica needs to testify before Congress and he threatened to subpoena Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix. Schiff also wants the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower named in the report, Christopher Wylie, to speak with the committee as well. An aide told The Hill on Sunday that the committee wants to speak with Facebook in the coming days about arranging either testimony or a briefing on the matter. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Dem on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the incident is further justification for the Honest Ads Act legislation he is cosponsoring with Klobuchar. The bill would hold internet companies to the same political ad transparency standards as radio, TV and print.

Cambridge Analytica sends ‘girls’ to entrap politicians | News | The Times

The chief executive of a British company at the centre of allegations of electoral interference boasted about using “beautiful Ukrainian girls” to entrap the political opponents of clients. Alexander Nix was filmed saying that Cambridge Analytica would offer bribes to smear opponents as corrupt and that it campaigned secretly in elections by operating through front companies or using subcontractors. In one conversation seen in undercover footage, when asked about digging up material on political opponents Mr Nix suggested that the company could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian women “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”. In another exchange with a reporter, who posed as a fixer for a rich Sri Lankan ….

Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion and Fake News | WIRED

In undercover videos filmed by Britain’s Channel 4 news, Cambridge Analytica executives appear to offer up various unsavory tactics to influence campaigns.

Cambridge Analytica Offered to Blackmail Politicians With Prostitutes

The data company that claims it elected Donald Trump proposed trapping opponents with bribes and sex, then spreading the kompromat online—while keeping the clients’ hands clean.

Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, speaks out on Facebook controversy – CBS News

&quot;If you're trying to influence an American election, that's a one-stop shop,&quot; whistleblower says of data firm

Cambridge Analytica: links to Moscow oil firm and St Petersburg university – media | UNIAN

But while he was helping turn Facebook profiles into a political tool he was also an associate professor at St Petersburg State University, taking Russian government grants to fund other research into social media. Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University academic who orchestrated the harvesting of Facebook data, had previously unreported ties to a Russian university, including a teaching position and grants for research into the social media network, the Observer has discovered.Cambridge Analytica, the data firm he worked with – which funded the project to turn tens of millions of Facebook profiles into a unique political weapon – also attracted interest from a key Russian firm with links to the Kremlin, The Guardian wrote.

Cambridge Analytica: U.K. to Seek Access to Servers | Time

Britain’s information commissioner plans to apply for a warrant to access the servers of Cambridge Analytica

Facebook Just Blocked This Cambridge Analytica Affiliate. Why Does It Still Have a State Department Contract? – Defense One

Strategic Communications Laboratories worked with Cambridge Analytica, which reportedly used social-media data to target likely Trump voters.

Worth the read: “The Cambridge Analytica Files ‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower” – To Inform is to Influence

I am not going to blog this entire article, it’s just too long. What it does is explore and explain the relationships between data and predicting or even influencing some human behavior, in this case, in elections. What does it take to make a human vote for one particular candidate?  </end editorial> The Cambridge Analytica…

Democratic senator calls on Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress – CBS News

Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls for testimony from Facebook CEO as outcry grows over Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of Facebook user information

Facebook Executive Planning to Leave Company Amid Disinformation Backlash – The New York Times

Facebook has reached a deal with its chief information security officer to depart after disagreements over how to address its role in spreading disinformation, said people briefed on the matter.

The Facebook exec who helped hunt down Russia’s political ads is leaving the company – Recode

Alex Stamos is out.

Facebook Official Who Pushed To Air Russian Election Posts Quits

A Facebook executive who strongly pushed for investigation and disclosure of Russian activities on the site allegedly aimed at influencing elections will reportedly leave the company in August.

Facebook Executive Planning to Leave Company Amid Disinformation Backlash – The New York Times

Facebook has reached a deal with its chief information security officer to depart after disagreements over how to address its role in spreading disinformation, said people briefed on the matter.

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Trump: Can Facebook be trusted with your personal information?

Facebook had allowed apps to access users personal info and that of their friends. News that one gave it to a voter targeting firm has renewed concerns over user privacy.

Facebook told to come clean over Cambridge Analytica data leak | News | The Times

The privacy regulator should be handed stronger powers to investigate technology companies, say MPs after the personal data of millions of Facebook users was leaked.Damian Collins, chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, has accused a British company of lying to parliament about

Facebook value drops by $37bn amid privacy backlash – BBC News

Politicians call on the social network to testify over its protection of user data.

Suspending Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from Facebook | Facebook Newsroom


Facebook under fire following Cambridge Analytica exposé

The future of Facebook as an advertising platform was called into question by marketers, lawmakers and privacy activists on Monday

Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off a Storm on Two Continents – The New York Times

American and British lawmakers called on Facebook to explain how a political data firm tied to the Trump campaign harvested private data from more than 50 million users.

U.S. and British lawmakers demand answers from Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg – The Washington Post

The moves come in response to news reports about a 2016 Trump campaign data analytics firm inappropriately grabbing Facebook user data.

Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | News | The Guardian

Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters• How Cambridge Analytica’s algorithms turned ‘likes’ into a political tool

Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | UNIAN

Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters. The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of U.S. voters, in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorization in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual U.S. voters, in order to target them with personalized political advertisements, according to The Guardian. Christopher Wylie, who worked with an academic at Cambridge University to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis that the entire company was built on.”

Trump’s High-Tech Dirty Tricksters – The New York Times

Undercover video shows the president’s digital consultants acting like thugs.

Facebook’s rules for accessing user data lured more than just Cambridge Analytica – The Washington Post

The social media giant changed its policies in 2015, but not before apps such as FarmVille and Tinder — and the Obama campaign — took advantage.

3 Simple Ways We Give Up A Ton Of Very Personal Information To Facebook And Random Apps

Step 1: Sign up for Facebook.