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Posts from — April 2018

Cambridge Analytica – Part 3

Now we head to the Great White North, Canada for the final piece of the puzzle. Christopher Wiley was the Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica who is the whistle blower. Zachary Massingham and Jeffery Silvester are the principals in the Victoria, British Columbia-based business AggregateIQ (AIQ). All three are Canadians and Wiley tried to hire Silvester for Cambridge Analytica.

The CBC has a rather thorough look at AIQ: Everything you need to know about AggregateIQ, the Canadian tech company with ties to Brexit and Ted Cruz

Technically, AIQ worked for Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) doing fairly benign political consulting:

AIQ’s job was to create a constituent relationship management system, or CRM, which would allow the party to manage and communicate with its supporters. As part of the job, AIQ was tasked with harvesting browsing history, social media data and IP addresses that could be linked to home addresses or census data — in short, behavioural data that would “contribute to the development of psychographic profiling in the region,” a copy of the contract with SCL reads.

This was for a political party in Trinidad and Tobago, So they could get data from public sources, or buy it at a reasonable cost.

When you start attempting to gather “psychographic” data on the US or UK things get a lot slower and more expensive, which is where the Facebook data comes in – CA got the data from Kogan for $1 million or 87 people per dollar. Having worked with mass mailers, that is really cheap and all the mailers were getting were verified names and addresses.

The CBC reports that AIQ is now under investigation: Federal privacy watchdog joins U.K. and B.C. counterparts in probe of possible Brexit tampering. That would be the privacy watchdogs for Canada, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom and only deals with the company’s work on the Brexit vote. There doesn’t appear to be much interest by American officials looking at what AIQ did for various Republican campaigns in the US in 2014 or 2016.

April 11, 2018   Comments Off on Cambridge Analytica – Part 3

Cambridge Analytica – Part 2

As Mark Zuckerberg was testifying before Congress today, let’s look at the individual and company that took the personal data from Facebook.

According to The Register Aleksandr Kogan, PhD is a Russian-American psychologist who is a lecturer at Cambridge University and an adjunct instructor at the St. Petersburg State University in Russia. He has a company, Global Science Research, that he uses for his non-academic research.

He put up an app on Facebook called “This Is Your Digital Life” that he said was for research by psychologists. He failed to mentioned that the app created a data base of the private information of those who used it, but could also take the information of friends of the users. He also failed to disclose the possibility of sale of that data to others.

The BBC reported that Facebook has determined the app hit 87 million users. This despite only 305,000 users actually taking the quiz in the app.

In Part 3 I’ll cover the Canadian whistle-blower and the company he helped to found in British Columbia before joining Cambridge Analytica..

April 10, 2018   15 Comments

Cambridge Analytica – Part 1

In the beginning there was Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) which trained the UK Ministry of Defence and NATO in agitprop/psy ops techniques. You have to keep that in mind when you look at what they were involved in beginning in at least 2014 in various US elections. They introduced military psychological warfare techniques into political campaigns as ‘marketing’ and they had access to military data bases.

Alexander Nix was a board member of SCL and he was contacted by Steve Bannon to assist with the use of those techniques in the Breitbart alt-right war to move the US to the Right. To separate SCL from the Breitbart ‘crusade’, Cambridge Analytica, was formed with Robert Mercer’s money, Nix as CEO, and Steve Bannon on the board of the new entity. Further funding was received from Peter Thiel. who was on the board of Facebook and founded Palantir Technologies, a big data analysis company that received major funding from the CIA, and Erik Prince of Blackwater USA fame.

In Part 1 you see that Russia was not the only entity engaged in psychological warfare against Americans.

April 8, 2018   4 Comments

The Lion, The Eagle, The Beaver, The Bear

These are the companies involved:

  • Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL)
  • Cambridge Analytica (CA)
  • Global Science Research (GSR)
  • AggregateIQ (AIQ)

These are the people:

  • Alexander Nix
  • Christopher Wiley
  • Robert Mercer
  • Steve Bannon
  • Peter Thiel
  • Erik Prince
  • Aleksandr Kogan
  • Zachary Massingham
  • Jeffery Silvester

These are the people and companies both knowingly and unknowingly involved in sealing the data of 87 million Facebook users and using it to target voters in the US, UK, and around the world.

The Guardian has a decent article on the effect on the BREXIT vote, which is raising serious questions about current members of the UK cabinet.

I’m still working on the effect on US elections beginning in 2014. What is being discussed is a very sophisticate system for targeting individuals with specific ads and ‘news’ articles that reflect individual biases.

April 5, 2018   Comments Off on The Lion, The Eagle, The Beaver, The Bear

What A Waste Of Money

NBC is reporting: Trump sending National Guard troops to Mexico border, but they won’t have contact with immigrants.

IOW we are going to spend money we don’t have because of the Republican corporate/1% tax giveaway to establish a ‘neighborhood watch’ in BDUs along the border with Mexico. I would guess someone explained the Posse Comitatus Act to the White House. We are screwing up the lives of National Guard troops who may be needed in a couple of months for hurricane recovery to make talking heads on Faux News happy.

The National Guard has never really recovered from its overuse by the Shrubbery, so this is not going to be helpful. They should pay for this out of the money designated for border security, not from the Defense budget.

April 4, 2018   14 Comments

Senior Moment

I admit that there have been momentary glitches when I try to remember what Chrysler push-button automatic transmissions were called [Torqueflite] or GM limited slip differentials [Positraction], but how in the hell to you forget the name of the US Presidential residence – it is a White House.

Drumpf’s performance on the Truman balcony to start the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll would seem to be nonsense to the children and make their parents uneasy. I do wonder who they got to play the Easter Bunny since Sean Spicer is no longer available?

Is someone, like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, going to explain to Trump why you can’t just order the regular military to enforce laws within the United States [see Posse Comitatus Act]. There is plenty of time – the ‘caravan’ crossed into Mexico from Guatemala, and it’s more than 2000 miles to the US border. It will take months for people walking, as is the case for this group of mostly Honduran refugees.

April 3, 2018   2 Comments

Immigration

So Trump had another Twitter seizure over the weekend and proceeded to display his limited understanding of anything involved in the problem. For example, he doesn’t seem to be aware that DACA only applies to those who entered the US before the age of 16 and have lived in the US continuously since 2007. No one who entered the US after 2007 is eligible for the program.

Given that Trump and his minions think almost everything is “fake news” I would go to a source they can’t dispute. Since the Trumpers claim that the US is a Christian nation I’ll cite the Bible on foreigners. These citations from the King James Version of the Bible are timely as we are still in the week of Passover, which is the starting point of these laws.

Exodus 22:21
21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33-34
33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 24:22
22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

Matthew 25:35-36
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

The verses from Matthew are part of the ‘entrance exam’ for Heaven.

April 2, 2018   7 Comments

Happy Easter

Easter Eggs

This is what happens when you have small children – you dye your kitchen.

Yes, the festival of Easter, goddess of the Spring, is celebrated this time of year with the traditional symbols of fertility, the egg and the rabbit, by the people who settled around the Baltic Sea – the Teutons, Slavs, Finns, Prussians, Letts, et al. It is a festival of plenty after the hardships of winter, with the promise of new growth.

Of course, later groups took the celebration and turned it to other purposes, but I doubt Easter minds.

Like last year, I celebrated by buying stuff to rehab an apartment. People tend to move around holidays.

April 1, 2018   3 Comments