The Observer’s reply to all the “nothing to see here” takes:
On Russian meddling, the ICO said that possible evidence it had found of “Russia-located activity” fell beyond its remit and had been referred to the National Crime Agency for further investigation. Beyond that, it noted no “additional evidence of Russian involvement” in material on the CA servers it seized; it stretches credulity to present that as a full investigation into potential Russian influence on Brexit.
Other reports focused on the ICO’s confirmation of its earlier conclusion that CA was not actively involved in the Brexit referendum, while inexplicably ignoring its findings about the Canadian data company AggregateIQ (AIQ), which did work on the winning Vote Leave campaign and was described by whistleblowers as an unofficial “department” of the scandal-hit firm.
The ICO report is likely welcome news to both Cambridge Analytica and the US and UK conservative parties that came to power in 2016.
The UK Conservative Party came to power in 2010.
Cambridge Analytica were bullshit merchants, whose sales chat was nonsense, which was the rebroadcast by people with a political agenda as if it were true…
Nothing to see here?
In 2016 American Repubicans who used Cambridge Analytica did so because the Mercers made it a condition of getting their money. The campaigns that did so generally then dropped CA as soon as they could, and after 2016 none of them would hire CA. This makes me think that the company didn’t have anything special regarding data operations. Given the background of Nix and the accusations of campaign fiance violations in Brexit and his attempts to get Clinton emails from Julian Assange I suspect that if the company ever does actually add value to a political campaign it’s as cover for traditional forms of ratfucking.
Here’s ORG’s take on the findings. The ICO have categorically failed to uphold data protection law in the past though (as ORG point out) so i’m not entirely surprised, all the political parties (some more than most coughtoriescough) have exploited loopholes to snaffle up personal data on all of us.
Spotlighting the ‘no Russian involvement’ here is really cherry-picking from what the more important (and nuanced) story is in the linked article. At best this is clickbait; at worst it’s pushing a narrative that gives cover and deflection to those already acting in bad faith - which is a nicer way of saying actively trying to promote an anti-democratic society. Neither are a good look bb. We’re an intelligent enough community to click on an article about CA findings without the “ermagersh russherns” headline.
I know its a typo, but it made me chuckle.
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