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mr6666

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal-

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The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, in 3 Paragraphs

What it means for Facebook, for President Trump’s world, and for every American

 

"....... In June 2014, a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan developed a personality-quiz app for Facebook. It was heavily influenced by a similar personality-quiz app made by the Psychometrics Centre, a Cambridge University laboratory where Kogan worked. About 270,000 people installed Kogan’s app on their Facebook account. But as with any Facebook developer at the time, Kogan could access data about those users or their friends. And when Kogan’s app asked for that data, it saved that information into a private database instead of immediately deleting it. Kogan provided that private database, containing information about 50 million Facebook users, to the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica used it to make 30 million “psychographic” profiles about voters. .....

Cambridge Analytica has significant ties to some of President Trump’s most prominent supporters and advisers. Rebekah Mercer, a Republican donor and a co-owner of Breitbart News, sits on the board of Cambridge Analytica. Her father, Robert Mercer, invested $15 million in Cambridge Analytica on the recommendation of his political adviser, Steve Bannon, according to the Times. On Monday, hidden-camera footage appeared to show Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, offering to bribe and blackmail public officials around the world. If Nix did so, it would violate U.K. law. Cambridge Analytica suspended Nix on Tuesday.

Cambridge Analytica also used its “psychographic” tools to make targeted online ad buys for the Brexit “Leave” campaign, the 2016 presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, and the 2016 Trump campaign. If any British Cambridge Analytica employees without a green card worked on those two U.S. campaigns, they did so in violation of federal law...

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Since the 2016 elections, public ire has focused on the company’s powerful News Feed and the role it played in amplifying Russian propaganda and other hoaxes. Lawmakers have also criticized the company’s lax sale of political advertisements to purchasers literally paying with Russian rubles. Political ads are not regulated as closely online as they are on the TV or radio.

 

But the Cambridge Analytica scandal opens a new front for the company. Before Facebook became a distributor of news, it was a platform for online applications, like personality quizzes and social games like Farmville. Facebook has allowed third-party app developers to access some private user data since May 2007, when it first opened the Facebook platform. Users must consent to giving apps their data, but sometimes—as in the case of Kogan’s app—developers can access data about a consenting user’s friends, without getting those friends’ consent............."

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/the-cambridge-analytica-scandal-in-three-paragraphs/556046/

 

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Cambridge Analytica: links to Moscow oil firm and St Petersburg university-

Data company gave briefing to Moscow firm Lukoil, and the lecturer who developed the crucial algorithm worked for St Petersburg university

 

"........Last month Nix told MPs: “We have never worked with a Russian organisation in Russia or any other company. We do no have any relationship with Russia or Russian individuals.”

That appears to contradict the company documents seen by the Observer, that list Russia as one of the countries where Cambridge Analytica and affiliate companies have clients......

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-academic-trawling-facebook-had-links-to-russian-university

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Zuckerberg Offers the Bare Minimum on the Cambridge Analytica Mess-

".......let’s look at the big questions that the Financial Times raised: “Why did Facebook take so little action when the data leak was discovered? ... Who is accountable for the leak? ... Why does Facebook accept political advertisements at all? ... Should not everyone who cares about civil society simply quit Facebook?”

On every single one of these questions, Zuckerberg offered nothing.....

“Among other violations of user trust, the commission found that Facebook had promised users that third-party apps like FarmVille would have access only to the information that they needed to operate,” wrote the University of Virginia media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan. “In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users’ personal data—data the apps didn’t need.” .......

Facebook had been told by external scholars as well as by at least one of their own employees that leaking third-party data was a huge potential problem. ......

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/zuckerberg-facebook-cambridge-analytica-statement/556187/

-_-

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13 hours ago, jakeem said:

An email written by one of Cambridge Analytica's employees indicates it hoped to capitalize on the Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton and her ally, reports @woodruffbets:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cambridge-analytica-looked-to-pounce-on-russian-hacks-email-shows?via=twitter_page

NkPuVbCa?format=jpg&name=600x314

 

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Highway:  The issues isn't data mining.   As a software engineer I have created data mining software.  I define data mining as collecting data to profile users.    To learn about their tendencies and habits.   There is nothing inherently 'evil' about data mining.   Now typically such data mining is used for marketing purposes,   but in many ways political data mining is for marketing purposes, but instead of trying to convince someone to purchase a certain product,  the goal is to convince them to vote for (or against), a political candidate.

The ISSUE HERE is the possible involvement of a foreign government.   

The additional issue is that campaign law is far behind the technology of the Internet as it relates to what is an ad and what is campaign spending.      Like with drones,  the Feds can't keep up and many current laws are based what are soon to be outdated methods of campaigning.    

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Confronting a Nightmare for Democracy

Personal Data, Personalized Media and Weaponized Propaganda

 

"..... much has been written about how personal data was used to target voters with advertisements and other messages over social media. We’ve since learned that actors both foreign and domestic employed information operations, computational propaganda, and cyberattacks weaponizing our commercial media infrastructure. The question at hand is whether our democratic process can endure a hyper-personalized data-driven media and propaganda environment that our founders could never have imagined. ............

What we fear is a future in which potent personal data is combined with increasingly sophisticated technology to produce and deliver unaccountable personalized media and messages at a national scale. Combined with data-driven emerging media technologies, it is clear that the use of behavioral data to nudge voters with propaganda-as-a-service is set to explode. Imagine being able to synthesize a politician saying anything you type and then upload the highly realistic video to Facebook with a fake CNN chyron banner. Expect the early versions of these tools available before 2020. ..........

We may never know the true scale of the Cambridge Analytica voter data and hyper-targeted media operation in the 2016 election. But what is clear is that in the future these methods will only become more powerful, matched with new, machine-driven methods to produce artificial reality media and even more powerful social platforms to deliver it.

Unless we direct our collective outrage at tech companies, state legislatures and Congress for diminishing our data privacy, we risk ceding democracy to plutocrats with dark databases and vast resources to surreptitiously exert their will. ..........

https://medium.com/@profcarroll/confronting-a-nightmare-for-democracy-5333181ca675

:unsure:

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5 minutes ago, mr6666 said:

Confronting a Nightmare for Democracy

Personal Data, Personalized Media and Weaponized Propaganda

 

"..... much has been written about how personal data was used to target voters with advertisements and other messages over social media. We’ve since learned that actors both foreign and domestic employed information operations, computational propaganda, and cyberattacks weaponizing our commercial media infrastructure. The question at hand is whether our democratic process can endure a hyper-personalized data-driven media and propaganda environment that our founders could never have imagined. ............

What we fear is a future in which potent personal data is combined with increasingly sophisticated technology to produce and deliver unaccountable personalized media and messages at a national scale. Combined with data-driven emerging media technologies, it is clear that the use of behavioral data to nudge voters with propaganda-as-a-service is set to explode. Imagine being able to synthesize a politician saying anything you type and then upload the highly realistic video to Facebook with a fake CNN chyron banner. Expect the early versions of these tools available before 2020. ..........

We may never know the true scale of the Cambridge Analytica voter data and hyper-targeted media operation in the 2016 election. But what is clear is that in the future these methods will only become more powerful, matched with new, machine-driven methods to produce artificial reality media and even more powerful social platforms to deliver it.

Unless we direct our collective outrage at tech companies, state legislatures and Congress for diminishing our data privacy, we risk ceding democracy to plutocrats with dark databases and vast resources to surreptitiously exert their will. ..........

https://medium.com/@profcarroll/confronting-a-nightmare-for-democracy-5333181ca675

:unsure:

Interesting read and it builds on the points I raised above this post.    It will be difficult to pass laws to regulate this due to the 1st Amendment.     Yea, the government can require additional notices and consent agreements,  but most (90%?) of people don't read them and just click the "I have read the above and agree to the terms'. 

I got into this with my wife because I'm trying to get her to drop Facebook and she refused.      

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Cloak and Data: The Real Story Behind Cambridge Analytica’s Rise and Fall

The secretive data firm said it could move the minds of American voters. That wasn’t its real victory.

"..........The story of Cambridge Analytica’s rise—and its rapid fall—in some ways parallels the ascendance of the candidate it claims it helped elevate to the presidency. It reached the apex of American politics through a mix of bluffing, luck, failing upward, and—yes—psychological manipulation. Sound familiar?

Like Trump, Nix was a master of hype who peddled a story that people wanted to believe......

 

Cambridge Analytica’s main feat of political persuasion was convincing a group of Republican donors, candidates, and organizations to hand over millions of dollars. (A company called Emerdata that lists Nix as a director recently added Rebekah Mercer and another Mercer daughter to its board, suggesting that Nix hasn’t fallen out with all his GOP patrons.) But Cambridge’s controversial foray into US politics spawned larger questions about how our social-media habits can be turned against us, and how companies such as Facebook hold more power over our lives—the ability to shape public conversation, even political outcomes—than many people are comfortable with.

Whether or not Cambridge Analytica survives, data about our personality types, our predilections, our hopes and fears—information we unwittingly divulge via status updates, tweets, likes, and photos—will increasingly be used to target us as voters and consumers, for good and ill, and often without our knowledge. These tactics will facilitate the spread of fake news and disinformation and make it easier for foreign interests to intervene in our elections—whether they are Russian trolls or British chancers. "
 

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/cloak-and-data-cambridge-analytica-robert-mercer/

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Note that my GOP House Congresswomen used Cambridge Analytica for her 2016 campaign.   She has yet to issue a statement as to what she did with them and why she used them.     

She is one of the 5 GOP held seats in CA the Dems hope to take over in 2018.    Hard to tell at this stage how much damage control she will have to do.    

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Facebook Sued by Investors Over Voter-Profile Harvesting

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-20/facebook-sued-by-investors-over-voter-profile-harvesting

---------------------------------------------------------

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica sued in U.S. by users over data harvesting

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cambridge-analytica-lawsuits/facebook-cambridge-analytica-sued-in-u-s-by-users-over-data-harvesting-idUSKBN1GX1XK

 

".... Facebook's stock took a beating Monday after the Federal Trade Commission said was it was investigating and the attorneys general for 37 U.S. states and territories sought details on how Facebook monitored what app developers did with user data and whether Facebook had sufficient safeguards to keep it from being misused. ...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/03/26/ftc-now-investigating-facebook-possible-data-misuse/458388002/

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New Zizek article on the Cambridge Analytic scandal.

https://thephilosophicalsalon.com/happiness-no-thanks/

If there is a figure which stands out as the hero of our time, it is Christopher Wylie, a gay Canadian vegan who, at 24, came up with an idea that led to the founding of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that went on to claim a major role in the Leave campaign for Britain’s EU membership referendum. Later, he became a key figure in digital operations during Donald Trump’s election campaign, creating Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool. Wylie’s plan was to break into Facebook, harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles, and then target them with political ads designed to work on their particular psychological makeup.  At a certain point, Wylie was genuinely freaked out: “It’s insane. The company has created psychological profiles of 230 million Americans. And now they want to work with the Pentagon? It’s like Nixon on steroids.”

What makes this story so fascinating is that it combines elements which we usually perceive as opposites. Alt-right presents itself as a movement that addresses the concerns of ordinary white hard-working deeply religious people who stand for simple traditional values and abhor corrupted eccentrics like homosexuals and vegans, but also digital nerds. And now we learned that their electoral triumphs were masterminded and orchestrated precisely by such a nerd who stands for all they oppose… There is more than an anecdotal value in this fact: it clearly signals the vacuity of alt-right populism, which has to rely on the latest technological advances to maintain its popular **** appeal. Plus, it dispels the illusion that being a marginal computer nerd automatically stands for a “progressive” anti-system position. At a more basic level, a closer look at the context of Cambridge Analytica makes it clear how cold manipulation and the love and care for human welfare are two sides of the same coin. In “The New Military-Industrial Complex of Big Data Psy-Ops,” which appeared in The New York Review of Books[ii], Tamsin Shaw discusses “the part private companies play in developing and deploying government-funded behavioral technologies.” The exemplary case of these companies is, of course, Cambridge Analytica:

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Today Zuckerberg anounced that 71 million American Facebook users have had their personal information stolen, in all probability, from improper data collection by Cambridge analytica.

So I was just wondering how many of our posters are Facebook members? 

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As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress, the cultural attitude toward technology is dramatically shifting.

"...... The coverage of the Cambridge Analytica story has provided a belated and harsh education for the public, illustrating the extent to which it has unwittingly submitted to the manipulation and surveillance of Silicon Valley companies. It’s always stunning to hear otherwise media-savvy friends profess shock at how much information they had handed over to Facebook, and how little sensitivity the company showed to its precious cargo.

Equally stunning is the fact that many of those who understood Facebook’s transactional relationship with its users’ private information couldn’t seem to muster enough energy to actually care. The surrender of privacy, which had only theoretically bothered consumers, finally seems to have elicited genuine anger. ....

In this environment, radical proposals suddenly become plausible. Regulation, which conventional wisdom held would never materialize in the United States, is suddenly theoretically accepted by Mark Zuckerberg as the cost of his failures. (His porous half-promise to abide by the principles of forthcoming European privacy rules, however, belie the sincerity of his contrition.) The spirit of the movement has even caught the fancy of Republicans, as well as centrists. Plummeting stock prices reflect a growing sentiment that constraints are inevitable. To lambaste Zuckerberg at these hearings is a necessary precondition for the development of robust policy, an important moment in the reordering of political economy—power brought to bear against power. "

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/silicon-valley-falls-to-earth/557585/?utm_source=atltw

 

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Backpage Founders Indicted On Charges Of Facilitating Prostitution

A federal grand jury in Arizona has indicted seven people behind the classified-ads website Backpage.com on 93 counts, including charges of facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

The defendants include founders Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, 68, as well as other shareholders and employees. The indictment accuses the executives of presenting Backpage as a site to advertise escort services while knowing that "the overwhelming majority of the website's ads involve prostitution." The indictment says the site made over $500 million in "prostitution-related revenue."

The website has long been known for its adult-services ads, some of which feature children.....

In March, prompted by the Backpage saga, Congress changed Section 230 to allow more state and civil lawsuits against websites related to online sex trafficking, for "knowingly assisting, supporting or facilitating" crimes.

The legislation faced opposition from free-expression groups and some Internet companies that consider Section 230 the core pillar of the modern Internet and say the crimes will simply travel deeper into the dark Web....

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/09/600360618/backpage-founders-indicted-on-charges-of-facilitating-prostitution?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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On 4/4/2018 at 6:55 PM, Princess of Tap said:

Today Zuckerberg anounced that 71 million American Facebook users have had their personal information stolen, in all probability, from improper data collection by Cambridge analytica.

So I was just wondering how many of our posters are Facebook members? 

I'm not a member of Facebook and none of the other type of websites or services.   But my wife is and this is causing a strain in the household.   I really want her to get off the site.   E.g.  her cousin had a death in the family.  They posted all about the day of the funeral on Facebook.   While they were at the funeral two of the family members houses were broken into.    

I have to keep asking my wife NOT to post anything about our vacation (before or during) and anything else that would alert someone that we were out of town.    She is still under the misguided POV that only authorized users (e.g. friends) can access Facebook accounts.

NOT!!!    I assume that there are Facebook employees that gain such info and sell it to criminals.   

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Silicon Valley Falls to Earth

"......When America’s founders designed our system, they created a model where power was meant to be constrained by power: Congress checks the president; the courts check the Congress. This ethos of balancing has extended beyond constitutional schemes, with the later advent of robust, objectively minded newspapers and labor unions, each theoretically serving as a countervailing center of power. Silicon Valley was born into a culture that had no interest in constraint.

In the past, Zuckerberg has boasted that he had created a platform as powerful as a nation-state—but it is a nation-state as imagined by Milton Friedman or Sam Brownback. There were essentially no regulators that aimed to curb its abuses. And certainly, there were no politicians attempting to win attention for themselves by interrogating him or the executives of other technology companies, with the sort of vigor sometimes applied to banks and airlines. .....

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/silicon-valley-falls-to-earth/557585/?utm_source=atltw

:unsure:

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The biggest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook is fake

"....For at least a year, the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia, a review of the page and associated accounts and websites conducted by CNN shows.

The page, titled simply "Black Lives Matter," had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page. It was tied to online fundraisers that brought in at least $100,000 that supposedly went to Black Lives Matter causes in the U.S. At least some of the money, however, was transferred to Australian bank accounts, CNN has learned.....

Only after almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook about this story did Facebook suspend the page, and then only because it had suspended a user account that administrated the page.

The discovery also raises questions about Facebook's commitment to change, and to policing its platform, even in the midst of its PR offensive leading up to Zuckerberg's testimony. Not for the first time, Facebook took action against a major bad actor on its site not on its own but because journalists made inquiries.,,,

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/09/technology/fake-black-lives-matter-facebook-page/index.html

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14 years of Mark Zuckerberg
saying sorry, not sorry

"....From the moment the Facebook founder entered the public eye in 2003 for creating a Harvard student hot-or-not rating site, he’s been apologizing. So we collected this abbreviated history of his public mea culpas.

It reads like a record on repeat. Zuckerberg, who made “move fast and break things” his slogan, says sorry for being naive, and then promises solutions such as privacy “controls,” “transparency” and better policy “enforcement.” And then he promises it again the next time. You can track his sorries in orange and promises in blue in the timeline below.

All the while, Facebook’s access to our personal data increases and little changes about the way Zuckerberg handles it. So as Zuckerberg prepares to apologize for the first time in front of Congress,

the question that lingers is: What will be different this time?.....

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/business/facebook-zuckerberg-apologies/?utm_term=.9ac816b83562

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Apple Co-Founder Deleting Facebook Account in Privacy Crisis

Wozniak said he had been thinking for a while of deleting his account and made the move after several of his trusted friends deleted their Facebook accounts last week

....Wozniak said he had been thinking for a while of deleting his account and made the move after several of his trusted friends deleted their Facebook accounts last week.

It's "a big hypocrisy not respecting my privacy when (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg buys all the houses around his and all the lots around his in Hawaii for his own privacy," Wozniak said. "He knows the value of it, but he's not looking after mine."...

Wozniak said he doesn't believe in the current system that Facebook can fix its privacy issues, saying he doesn't think Facebook is going to change its policies "for decades." ...

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/tech/Apple-Co-Founder-Woz-on-Facebook-Not-Anymore-479161483.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_CHBrand

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"It should bother all of us how much data they had access to, like profile info that we think is private," Wozniak wrote in an email to CNNMoney. "My disgust goes to Facebook. But, like all of us, I clicked 'Accept' or 'OK' or something and gave it away to Facebook. I have always felt badly about social websites being able to sell my stuff, like my photos, and keeping all the money." .......

"It's turned into money but none is returned to you for providing your data," he said. "Oh, I get a free account. Well, give me a price to never share my data and I'll know how much I'm paying for that account."

Wozniak, who also founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for digital rights, said users should take a look under the hood of the social network.

"Anyone can go into their Facebook 'settings' and look through the ads section to see why it so disgusted me."

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/09/technology/steve-wozniak-facebook/index.html

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