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Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge Analytica’

Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 06/11/2018

 

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Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

Image
Arron Banks, a backer of Britain’s exit from the European Union, in June. The Information Commissioner’s Office found that the company he owns broke British law when it used customer data to aid the Brexit campaign. Credit CreditSimon Dawson/Reuters

LONDON — The defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica violated British law when it used improperly harvested Facebook data to aid Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and would face a significant fine if it were not already in bankruptcy, Britain’s top data protection watchdog found Tuesday.

The long-awaited report by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which has been investigating the misuse of personal data by political campaigns, also said an insurance company owned by Arron Banks, a main backer of Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union, broke British law when it used customer data to aid the Brexit effort.

According to the commissioner’s office, the company, Eldon Insurance, shared private email addresses to be sent campaign messages on behalf of Leave.EU, a pro-Brexit group, months before the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union.

The 112-page report underscored how modern political campaigns rely on Facebook data and other consumer information, extracted or bought by consulting firms with little oversight and few protections for consumers. An investigation in March by The New York Times, The Observer of London and The Guardian revealed how Cambridge Analytica — at the time an upstart data firm bankrolled by the conservative billionaire Robert Mercer — had improperly obtained and exploited Facebook data from as many as 87 million users around the globe.

The commissioner’s investigation revealed that political campaigns in Britain had exercised little restraint in exploiting consumer data, despite the European Union’s relatively strict data laws. Political groups were acting more like online businesses and internet marketing firms to target and engage voters, the report concluded.

“We have uncovered a disturbing disregard for voters’ personal privacy,” the commissioner found.

The finding also adds to legal and political scrutiny of Mr. Banks, who was the single largest donor to the Brexit campaign. His dealings with the Russian ambassador ahead of the referendum have separately raised questions about whether the Kremlin sought to reward important backers of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and prompted British election officials last week to ask for a police investigation. In Washington, the special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained records of Mr. Banks’s communications with Russian diplomats.

Now Mr. Banks’s insurance company and the Leave.EU campaign are facing total fines of 135,000 pounds, or about $177,000, for the privacy breaches, which occurred in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The insurance company owned by Mr. Banks will also be audited, the report said.

But the commissioner rejected accusations that Leave.EU secretly employed Cambridge Analytica — and possibly exploited its Facebook data haul — during the Brexit campaign, potentially violating British election disclosure laws. Though Cambridge Analytica considered working with Leave.EU, and even sent one executive to appear with Leave.EU officials at a news conference, the data company never reached an agreement with the campaign, the commissioner found.

Mr. Banks, sometimes described as the “godfather of Brexit,” has denied wrongdoing and was quick to rebuff the findings of the information commissioner’s office. The investigators “find no evidence of a grand data conspiracy and find we may have accidentally sent a newsletter to customers,” Mr. Banks said on Twitter.

But investigators specifically described an improper intermingling of data between Eldon Insurance, Mr. Bank’s company, and the Leave.EU campaign he co-founded.

Investigators said more than one million emails sent to Leave.EU supporters over two separate periods had also included marketing for Eldon Insurance services. Eldon customers also were sent a Leave.EU newsletter, an incident the company described as a mistake in managing an email distribution system.

The two organizations were already known to have close ties, including sharing board members.

The investigation began last year to look into the potential misuse of data in the British referendum on leaving the European Union. But it took on new urgency when The Times, The Observer and The Guardian revealed in March that Cambridge had improperly harvested the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent.

The British investigation involved 71 witnesses, 30 organizations whose data practices were reviewed and 700 terabytes of data — the equivalent of 52 billion pages.

In an earlier report, issued in July, the Information Commissioner’s Office said it had fined Facebook £500,000, or about $660,000 — the maximum under British law — for allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest user data.

In addition to the new details about Mr. Banks, Tuesday’s report provides more information about the investigation into how Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook user data.

The investigation found that Cambridge had nimbly evaded what few restrictions Facebook imposed by contracting with an academic researcher working at Cambridge University, who used an app to harvest the data, almost all of it without the users’ explicit consent.

The political consulting firm teamed up with the researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, who had created an application that collected demographic information, News Feed posts, friend lists, pages that users had liked and other data.

The information was used to create physiological profiles that could guide the targeting of political messages.

In March, officials obtained a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s offices, getting access to mobile phones, storage devices, computers and financial records. At one location, the authorities said, they discovered a number of physically damaged servers, from which investigators were able to recover information.

Investigators said the Information Commissioner’s Office needed more to time to review evidence, including Cambridge Analytica’s email system, to better determine who had access to data on Facebook users.

“There are several strands that will take us into the future,” said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner.

Cambridge Analytica announced in May that it was ceasing most operations and filing for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for the Trump campaign. The elections division of Cambridge’s British affiliate, SCL Group, was also shut down.

In its report on Tuesday, the information commissioner said that had the company still existed, it would have faced “a substantial fine for very serious breaches” or Britain’s data protection laws. The company, the report added, engaged in “unfairly processing people’s personal data for political purposes, including purposes connected with the 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns.”

The report did not draw any conclusions about whether data mining techniques used by Cambridge Analytica and others had determined the outcome of elections in the United States or Britain, but the regulator called on policymakers to draft new laws to restrict how data is collected and shared for political purposes.

“We may never know whether individuals were unknowingly influenced to vote a certain way in either the U.K. E.U. referendum or the U.S. election campaigns,” the report said. “But we do know that personal privacy rights have been compromised by a number of players and that the digital electoral ecosystem needs reform.”

Adam Satariano reported from London, and Nicholas Confessore from New York. Matthew Rosenberg contributed reporting from Washington.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Posted in Arron Banks, Cambridge Analytica, EU, EUkip, GL-W, GLW, Greg Lance - Watkins, Greg_L-W., UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How #Arron_Banks & #Ukip Colluded To Befoul BreXit …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 14/04/2018

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How #Arron_Banks & #Ukip Colluded To Befoul BreXit …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
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~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

a number of us who had been active campaigners for BreXit, indeed some of us had actively campaigned against the First Referendum in the early 1970s and even against any efforts to join the EU, or as it was then aesopianly named ‘The Common Market’, long before that – I for one had been opposed to Britain becoming a member of the so called ‘Common Market’ since the early 1960s.

My opposition to membership pre dated but was much resolved by living in Germany in C1962, though it does not pre date the British Government’s advocacy of 16-Apr-1948 (as I was living in India at the time in Karachi, pre partitition & Switzerland then Bahrain after partition! That I was only 2 when it was published is a minor detail!)) in Cmd.7388 being an official White Paper of The Foreign Office regarding/titled: “Convention for European Economic Co-operation”.

Some may remember the front page of The Times on the day of the Coronation of 1953 and the detailed article regarding the Common Market & Britain’s incolvement and naiscent membership (The day of the Coronation being a #Good day on which to bury bad news’ – similarly the most prescient speech by Enoch Powell on 25-Feb-1970 in the House of Commons during the Union of Europe debate CLICK HERE for the text It was largly after this speech that much effort was made to try to discredit Enoch Powell by dishonestly and selectively misrepresenting his Birmingham Speech of 20-Apr-1968 in an effort to try to portray him as some kind of reactionary racist, which he clearly was not if you read or listen to him delivering the speech CLICK HERE for full text & his contemporary delivery of the speech.

As I said many of us cautioned that the involvement of the overtly racist Ukip as a party and the untrustworthy used car salesman approach of the philandering, corrupt and libertine Nigel Farage, with his morally bankrupt and totally unethical efforts to prevent a Referendum to Leave the EU brought about by the efforts and organisation of The Petition of 225,000 signatures, by Nikki Sinclaire, that forced the debate of an IN/OUT Referendum in the House of Commons. Together with the clearly ‘dodgey’ and financially and morally dubious liar Arron Banks and the untrustworthy clique of low lifes they gatherted around them was unwise in the extreme and would eventually be very damaging to BreXit.

So it has proven with the clear involvement of Cambridge Analytica and Russian money + the dishonest methods of campaigning borrowed (bought) from the Trump campaign strategists such as Steve Bannon and Breitbart!

Leave.EU, Arron Banks and new questions about referendum funding

Revealed: Leave donor faces data investigation as first documentary evidence of Cambridge Analytica Brexit ‘work’ uncovered

Arron Banks,second from right, with Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica, far right, at the launch of Leave.EU
Arron Banks,second from right, with Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica, far right, at the launch of Leave.EU. Photograph: Reuters

The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating Leave.EU and its donor Arron Banks over possible breaches of the Data Protection Act.

The ICO has issued “information notices” against both Leave.EU – the referendum campaign headed by Nigel Farage – and its director, Banks. The notices – requiring organisations to provide the ICO with specified information within a certain time period – were issued in the same week as the ICO conducted raids last month on Cambridge Analytica’s offices. The notices are both part of Operation Cederburg – the commissioner’s year-long investigation into the use of data in the EU referendum. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

Banks – who was by far the biggest funder of Brexit, providing £8.4m in donations and loans – confirmed on Friday that both he personally and Leave.EU had received “information notices”. In an email on Friday, Banks said they were “responding to it’” He said the ICO’s action was not an “investigation” but “an information request”.

In a separate development, the Observer has obtained an invoice that Cambridge Analytica issued on 14 December 2015 for £41,500 for work it undertook on behalf of Ukip. The invoice says the payment is for “analysis of Ukip membership and survey data and creative product development”, and it is issued on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC, the American entity, from its office in Alexandria, Virginia. This is the first documentary evidence that Cambridge Analytica did conduct analytics work on behalf of one of the Leave campaigns in the period before the referendum.

Banks confirmed to the Observer that he was also sent the invoice at that time too. He said he subsequently made a donation for the amount to cover the invoice to Ukip. A spokesman for Ukip, speaking to the Guardian last month, denied any payment for the work was made but he confirmed Banks had in fact made the donation after “new information had come to light”. He said that the party decided not to pass on the money to Cambridge Analytica.

Banks has long denied that Cambridge Analytica did any work for Leave.EU, as has Cambridge Analytica. The question is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Electoral Commission. In a written submission to the select committee for the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) last month, Banks said he had met Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica but that he had declined to take him up on his proposal. Cambridge Analytica said on Saturday that it “did some preliminary analysis as part of a proposal to work with Ukip, but no contract was agreed, payment was not made to CA, and the preliminary work was not delivered to Ukip.”

Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica director, who appeared on a panel at Leave.EU’s launch event, came forward to the Guardian last month and raised further questions about these claims. She said the company had completed around £40,000 worth of work for Ukip, using Ukip data, but agreed that the company had not been paid. She is expected to talk about this on Tuesday when she will testify to parliament as part of the DCMS committee into fake news.

Cambridge Analytica sign
Pinterest
Ukip has confirmed it handed its database over to Cambridge Analytica. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

A Ukip spokesman told the Observer on Friday: “We got the money from Arron [Banks]. But we never paid it to Cambridge Analytica. We didn’t think it was worth it. It was preparatory work, a pitch.”

He also confirmed that the party had handed over its database of roughly 40,000 supporters to Cambridge Analytica despite denying this to the Guardian last month.

Ukip had told the Guardian previously that Cambridge Analytica “saw” the data but a spokesman admitted the information – including telephone numbers, email addresses, ages, and other personal information among other things – was given to the company on a computer as part of what he described as “preparatory work”.

The spokesman said: “I asked everyone about this work and I was told CA pitched for it, Banks didn’t like it and he’d refused to pay for it. It’s now come out that he did actually make a donation to cover the cost of the work. But we never actually handed it over.”

The revelations raise a whole new set of questions about how the referendum was funded and whether strict rules on spending may have been broken. The Observer has seen evidence which suggests that a form of the Ukip data that Cambridge Analytica analysed and processed was passed to individuals in the Leave.EU campaign. And a donation of £42,000 from Better for the Country, Leave.EU’s registered company name, was recorded as a political donation to the party on the Electoral Commission’s site one week before the referendum on 16 June 2016. It was not registered as part of the campaign by either entity as a referendum donation or expense.

The unfolding of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has coincided with the final stages of the information commissioner’s investigation into the use of data in the referendum. Leave.EU’s operation has become one focus of the year-long investigation. Another resulted in the ICO’s raid on Cambridge Analytica. Damian Collins, the Tory MP for Folkestone, who is the chair of the DCMS committee, has told the Observer that both Britain’s electoral and data laws needed a radical and urgent overhaul. He said it was “ridiculous” that the ICO had to wait five days before being able to get a warrant to seize Cambridge Analytica’s computer servers and equipment.

Separately, the ICO investigation is believed to be trying to understand the relationship between Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance Services, the Bristol-based insurance company that Banks owns and that was the HQ for Leave.EU referendum campaign work. A spokesman said: “Leave.EU and Eldon have never shared any data. And Leave.EU has never shared any data with Cambridge Analytica whether in relation to the EU referendum or otherwise.”

The ICO may be asking questions because of previous comments Banks has made, including in an interview a year ago with the Observer. When asked about the use of Leave.EU’s database to send advertisements about his insurance products to campaign supporters, Banks said: “Why shouldn’t I? It’s my data.” When asked again last week, he said: “Leave.EU after the referendum campaign carried the occasional ad for insurance, so what?”

In an email on Friday he said: “Eldon has never given or used any data to Leave.EU. They are separate entities with strong data control rules. And vice versa.” He added: “Make any mistakes relating to the business and we will be most assuredly coming after the Guardian & you.”

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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Posted in EU, EUkip, GL-W, GLW, Greg Lance - Watkins, Greg_L-W., UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Interview of #Glenn_Simpson By The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee & MORE! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 18/01/2018

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Interview of #Glenn_Simpson By The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee & MORE! …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
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The BLOG:
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~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

every turn one takes in studying America’s politics at the moment seems to lead to either ever more evidence of direct or indirect involvement between Trump, his family & leadership members and the various sources of Russian money & influence!

You will find the sequence of facts & Tweets below of interest and provenance of my comments.

It is notable from a British perspective just how inexorably it seems that the net is clossing on Nigel Farage & several of his associates for their part in corrupting the American election on behalf of Russia – when the trap snaps shut it does seem that Farage will have no ability to escape justice, clearly he will find his ‘Teflon’ immunity which he seems to enjoy in Britain and the EU where it seems the responsible authorities have repeatedly colluded with him and failed to bring him to book for his serial frauds and criminal behaviour.

They may well be asking about such things as Chemin du Sabias, St. Tropez:

 

Byline (@Byline_Media)
BREAKING: in sworn testimony Simpson alleges that @Nigel_Farage was a key player in the #TrumpRussia scandal and could have been the key go-between for @wikileaks pic.twitter.com/bHqEkO168J

Pinned Tweet

You thought the phone hacking scandal was over? Think again. New trial on Thursday opens up issue of hacking at the Sun, blagging confidential information, and ‘concealment and destruction’ of evidence by Murdoch’s News UK

Presumably “Air Bank” should be Arron Banks? Strange they didn’t look that up or correct it.

Controversial data firm CA/SCL supporting Russian interests alongside Trump in Qatar crisis. Me via

Documents show Mercer/Bannon Cambridge Analytica supporting Russian interests alongside Trump in Qatar row.

1h1 hour ago

David Carroll

🦅 Retweeted Byline

Well here’s an intriguing mention of Cambridge Analytica in the HPSCI Simpson/FusionGPS transcript

David Carroll

🦅 added,

Who was trying to shut down the question? Nunes? Gowdy?

Replying to

Would really like to know WHO was the person that said “Time is up” at such a critical part of ’s questioning of Simpson!

23/ Here’s a brief explanation, from Simpson, of why Trump doing business with *Russian mafia*, as opposed to other nation’s mafias, suggested the possibility, to Fusion, that Trump could have illicit ties to the Russian government (note: Fusion was being paid by conservatives):

21/ Holy cow! Simpson: “We had a [Russian] gangster [nick-]named Taiwanchik living in Trump Tower running a high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—while he himself was a fugitive for having rigged the skating competition at the Salt Lake Olympics and other sporting events.”

Peter Jukes Retweeted Byline

Er …. Any comment on this?

Peter Jukes added,

What an odd coincidence that the person engaged in such subterfuge with foreign powers has the same name as the fine British patriot.

Comment [A26]: Unclear, unfunny, delete Retweeted Byline

No! You don’t say! Well, I never etc, etc.

Comment [A26]: Unclear, unfunny, delete added,

Leo Garcia Retweeted Byline

Hola Nigel. Hola CA. Hola Wikileaks. Hola Putin.

Leo Garcia added,

Fusion GPS founder: I heard Brexit leader Farage gave data to Assange

Glenn Simpson to House Intel Committee: Nigel Farage allegedly gave Julian Assange a thumb drive containing data and visited him more often than is widely known

Worth noting that Simpson from GPS Fusion thinks that Ted Malloch is lynchpin in the and saga

BREAKING: in sworn testimony Simpson alleges that was a key player in the scandal and could have been the key go-between for

Lord Bikebot Retweeted Byline

Widely suspected for months, lets see where this goes…

Lord Bikebot added,

3h3 hours ago

David Carroll

🦅 Retweeted Wendy Siegelman

Russia’s NRA infiltration thru Torshin & Butina further corroborated in Simpson (FusionGPS) testimony released by House Intel Committee today. And of course there’s a mysterious Cambridge Analytica connection.

David Carroll

🦅 added,

9h9 hours ago

Alt_SeanSpicer’sMic

🎙🤦🏻‍♀️

🎙 Retweeted Justin Miller

This is actually SUPER important…the sending a delegation to meet with a “sanctioned” arms manufacturer. BIGLY YUGE deal👇🏻🚨👇🏻

Alt_SeanSpicer’sMic

🎙🤦🏻‍♀️

🎙 added,

Important insight from Simpson’s astonishing testimony about how Russian organised crime has moved into financial markets and media

There is nothing in international law about having to stay in first safe country. Also, vast majority of refugees are actually in the countries neighbouring their country of origin. How about shelving the bigotry for once and getting your facts straight?

Glenn Simpson testimony link still down. Here is a Scribd version as well.

Here’s an Archive version. Thanks to

Russian government infiltrated Jewish and Christian Orthodox churches for ‘intelligence’ purposes: Fusion GPS founder

The Russia-NRA connection is one of the most fascinating dangling threads from 2016. Keep tugging.

Fusion GPS founder claims that the President’s personal lawyer has a conviction for “a money-laundering related crime.”

Replying to

Connect the dots..

Russia helped organize financial and information support for the Trump campaign for President. Torshin(Head of Russia’s Central bank) and Butina worked with the NRA to funnel money to Trump and Republican candidates.

Simpson: “…it appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA…” (Page 142)

SHOT: A Russian gangster ran a high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower, per Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson. CHASER: Trump was with that Russian gangster in the VIP section at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant (along with other “Kremlin biggies”).

Fusion GPS asked about Russia links to NRA – “It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA”

Per the newest Fusion transcript, the mobster running the gambling ring out of Trump Tower was with Trump at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

This seems like more information on Sergei Millian than was previously in the public domain. Fusion had clear evidence that he did in fact interact with Michael Cohen, contrary to Cohen’s adamant denial.

Fusion GPS: Kremlin ‘Purged’ Suspected Spiess After Trump Dossier Release via

BREAKING: Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson told House Intel Committee “I think we saw patterns of buying and selling [by Donald Trump] that we thought were suggestive of money laundering.”

Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson says they spent “a lot of time investigating [Alexander Torshin]” — described as a “Russian banker/Duma member/Mafia leader” & “life member of the NRA” who is “well known for $ laundering.” Also mentions Trump’s plans to meet w/him last Feb.

(THREAD) BREAKING: The second Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) transcript—this one from House, rather than Senate, testimony—has just been released. In this thread, I’ll note any major news, statements, or developments the new transcript reveals. Hope you’ll read and share.

.

.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

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Posted in EU, EUkip, GL-W, GLW, Greg Lance - Watkins, Greg_L-W., UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Exposing The Unholy Alliance … #Trump, #Assange, #Bannon, #Farage …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 29/10/2017

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Exposing The Unholy Alliance … #Trump, #Assange, #Bannon, #Farage …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
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The Main Web Site:
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~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

‘IF it looks like a duck & it walks like a duck and it sounds like a duck, it most probably is a duck …’

Corruption is remarcably hard to prove as the corrupt are the most effective witnesses – often the only witnesses – one is well advised to consider the context, study the motivation and follow the money … Then and only then ‘IF it looks like corruption etc. …’

Julian Assange was asked by Cambridge Analytica if he wanted ‘help’ with Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails.
Julian Assange was asked by Cambridge Analytica if he wanted ‘help’ with Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Last Wednesday, 11 months into Donald Trump’s new world order, in the first year of normalisation, a sudden unblurring of lines took place. A shift. A door of perception swung open.

Because that was the day that the dramatis personae of two separate Trump-Russia scandals smashed headlong into one another. A high-speed news car crash between Cambridge Analytica and Wikileaks, the two organisations that arguably had the most impact on 2016, coming together last week in one head-spinning scoop.

That day, we learned that Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data firm that helped Trump to power, had contacted Julian Assange to ask him if he wanted “help” with Wikileaks’s stash of stolen emails.

That’s the stash of stolen emails that had such a devastating impact on Hillary Clinton in the last months of the campaign. And this story brought Wikileaks, which the head of the CIA describes as a “hostile intelligence service”, directly together with the Trump campaign for which Cambridge Analytica worked. This is an amazing plot twist for the company, owned by US billionaire Robert Mercer, which is already the subject of investigations by the House intelligence committee, the Senate intelligence committee, the FBI and, it was announced late on Friday night, the Senate judiciary committee.

So far, so American. These are US scandals involving US politics and the news made the headlines in US bulletins across US networks.

But it’s also Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics company, which has its headquarters in central London and that, following a series of articles about its role in Brexit in the Guardian and the Observer, is also being investigated, by the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office. The company that was spun out of a British military contractor, is headed by an old Etonian and that responded to our stories earlier this year by threatening to sue us. It’s our Cambridge it’s named after, not the American one, and it was here that it processed the voter files of 240 million US citizens.

It’s also here that this “hostile intelligence service” – Wikileaks – is based. The Ecuadorian embassy is just a few miles, as the crow flies, from Cambridge Analytica’s head office. Because this is not just about America. It’s about Britain, too. This is transatlantic. It’s not possible to separate Britain and the US in this whole sorry mess – and I say this as someone who has spent months trying. Where we see this most clearly is in that other weird Wikileaks connection: Nigel Farage. Because that moment in March when Farage was caught tripping down the steps of the Ecuadorian embassy was the last moment the lines suddenly became visible. That the ideological overlaps between Wikileaks and Trump and Brexit were revealed to be not just lines, but a channel of communication.

‘Nigel Farage, who visited Donald Trump and then Julian Assange.’
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‘Nigel Farage, who visited Donald Trump and then Julian Assange.’ Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Because if there’s one person who’s in the middle of all of this, but who has escaped any proper scrutiny, it’s Nigel Farage. That’s Nigel Farage, who led the Leave.EU campaign, which is being investigated by the Electoral Commission alongside Cambridge Analytica, about whether the latter made an “impermissible donation” of services to the Leave campaign. Nigel Farage who visited Donald Trump and then Julian Assange. Who is friends with Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer. Who headed an organisation – Ukip – which has multiple, public, visible but almost entirely unreported Russian connections. Who is paid by the Russian state via the broadcaster RT, which was banned last week from Twitter. And who appears like clockwork on British television without any word of this.

This is a power network that involves Wikileaks and Farage, and Cambridge Analytica and Farage, and Robert Mercer and Farage. Steve Bannon, former vice president of Cambridge Analytica, and Farage. It’s Nigel Farage and Brexit and Trump and Cambridge Analytica and Wikileaks… and, if the Senate intelligence committee and the House intelligence committee and the FBI are on to anything at all, somewhere in the middle of all that, Russia.

Try to follow this on a daily basis and it’s one long headspin: a spider’s web of relationships and networks of power and patronage and alliances that spans the Atlantic and embraces data firms, thinktanks and media outlets. It is about complicated corporate structures in obscure jurisdictions, involving offshore funds funnelled through the black-box algorithms of the platform tech monopolists. That it’s eye-wateringly complicated and geographically diffuse is not a coincidence. Confusion is the charlatan’s friend, noise its accessory. The babble on Twitter is a convenient cloak of darkness.

Yet it’s also quite simple. In a well-functioning democracy, a well-functioning press and a well-functioning parliament would help a well-functioning judiciary do its job. Britain is not that country. There is a vacuum where questions should be, the committees, the inquiries, the headlines on the TV bulletins. What was Nigel Farage doing in the Ecuadorian embassy? More to the point: why has no public official asked him? Why is he giving speeches – for money – in the US? Who’s paying him? I know this because my weirdest new hobby of 2017 is to harry Arron Banks, the Bristol businessman who was Ukip and Leave.EU’s main funder, and Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s comms man and Belize’s trade attache to the US, across the internet late at night. Wigmore told me about this new US venture – an offshore-based political consultancy working on Steve Bannon-related projects – in a series of tweets. Is it true? Who knows? Leave.EU has learned from its Trumpian friends that black is white and white is black and these half-facts are a convenient way of diffusing scandal and obscuring truth.

What on earth was Farage doing advancing Calexit – Californian Brexit? And why did I find a photo of him hanging out with Dana Rohrabacher, the Californian known in the US press as “Putin’s favourite congressman”? The same Dana Rohrabacher who’s met with Don Trump Jr’s Russian lawyer and – wait for it – also visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. And who is now interceding on his behalf to obtain a pardon from Don Trump Junior’s dad.

(You got this? Farage visited Trump, then Assange, then Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher met Don Trump’s Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Then Assange. And is now trying to close the circle with Trump.)

In these post-truth times, journalists are fighting the equivalent of a firestorm with a bottle of water and a wet hankie. We desperately need help. We need public pressure. We need parliament to step up and start asking proper questions. There may be innocent answers to all these questions. Let’s please just ask them.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections & Referendums …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 02/03/2017

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Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections & Referendums …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

the Government is making claims of ensuring everyone has high speed connection to broadband – a situation they are seemingly a million miles from achieving, whilst the public, myself included, clamour for workable broadband speeds and reliability in this modern age (which we do not have in this area!).

People can hardly complain when once people get decent connections, particvularly if they are stupid enough to plaster their private details all over the likes of Facebook, Instagram and the like, don’t be surprised if corporations, politicians, government and crooks use that data you have freely given.

We have here the latest version of invasion of privacy which is just as specious and fundamentally dishonest as all those petty nobodies who had their phones hacked and got huge compensation for being too idle or too stupid to change their passwords!

The internet is remarkably simple to control, but the will to do so is not there!

On line obscenity, abuse, pornography can be stopped with one simple control – but the industry and Government seem unwilling to do anything about it.

In the mean time don’t expect anything on the internet to be private – it just isn’t – and for as long as it isn’t don’t be surprised or complain if the information you pump out is used, whether to your advantage or against!

Leave.EU used ‘creepy’ Facebook profiling technology to win Brexit campaign — and now the data watchdog is investigating

Jake Kanter March 2017

Nigel Farage

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Nigel Farage

PA

  • Leave.EU admits using “creepy” Facebook tech to scoop up data and target voters with anti-EU messages.
  • The data firm that helped Donald Trump take office, Cambridge Analytica, distances itself from the Leave.EU project.
  • Questions over whether Leave.EU broke rules on political donations and if Cambridge Analytica breached data protection laws.

LONDON — The communications director for Leave.EU, the Nigel Farage-backed Brexit campaign group, has admitted using “creepy” Facebook profiling technology to persuade Brits to vote to leave Europe. 

Leave.EU communications director Andy Wigmore told The Observer at the weekend that the group — which is bankrolled by UKIP’s biggest donor Aaron Banks — harvested personal data last year and targeted voters on Facebook with anti-EU messaging.

He claimed Leave.EU worked with Cambridge Analytica (CA), the data firm credited with helping Donald Trump win the US election, on an informal basis on the project. CA has denied it worked for the campaign, however.

Now Leave.EU is the subject of a complaint over whether it broke the rules on political donations, and Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by the government’s data protection agency over whether it breached privacy laws, sources tell Business Insider.

Facebook as a propaganda weapon

Wigmore told The Observer that Facebook was a powerful weapon in Leave.EU’s armoury. “Using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert,” he said.

“And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

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A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Thomson ReutersHe admitted that the technology’s accuracy is unsettling. Wigmore said: “It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.”

He told The Observer that CA was “happy to help” with its work on Brexit on a pro bono basis. This, he said, is because Farage is a “good friend” of Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is reported to have invested in CA.

The firm has developed a proprietary technique known as “psychographics” to profile individuals and target them with messages, but in a statement to Business Insider, it said it played no part in Leave.EU’s Brexit campaign. “Cambridge Analytica did not carry out any kind of paid or unpaid work for Leave.EU,” a spokesman told us.

Business Insider contacted Leave.EU four times to ask why CA was disputing Wigmore’s version of events and request more information about the data firm’s actual involvement in the social media profiling. Leave.EU did not respond to our emails or phone calls.

Complaint to Electoral Commission and data protection probe

A complaint has been filed with the Electoral Commission over CA’s alleged work for Leave.EU, according to a source who has seen the complaint. Under election rules, political parties must declare donations of £7,500 or more, including services-in-kind.

“My guess is that we are now beginning to see a rather fuller picture of how the Leave vote and the Trump vote really came about,” the source told Business Insider. The source was a supporter of Britain remaining in the European Union but agreed only to talk anonymously in order to avoid any attendant negative publicity. 

Brexit protest

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Brexit protest

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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