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Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: Palantir Worked with CA

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posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Ill respond in two parts.

First, again, I am very glad you are back.

I too took a break recently, and was surprised I didnt see you when I got back.

Even when we disagree, I also appreciate your threads.

Now that the mushy stuff is out of the way...

I just want to say that you know darn well that it has been way more than just white suprmacists taken down and demonetized by twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. By pretending it is mostly whiite supremacists, I feel you only fuel divisiveness by enabling people to label anyone they diagree iwtyh as racist.




posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

It still blows me away that folks haven't come to the conclusion that information = $$$. Big money to be exact. Facebook isn't free. Google? Nope! Twitter? Surely not. In fact, these stocks see 70-80B in volume a day.

The more you share, they more likely you are to be mined and your information used in varying ways, including political propaganda.

Glad to see ya back!



posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 06:47 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Now as far as some sort of government regulation.

I am open to see what they come up with, but very skeptical of it based on the motivation for the outrage.

The same media and politicians that are outraged now about datamining were calling Obama a genius when it became public knowledge that facebook itself helped him data mine.

Now 4 years later, when the other side does it, its a huge problem.

And these same people outraged also just happen to be the same people that have called for tech companies to do something about fake news and trolls, as a thinly veiled attempt to censor news tghey dont like (from the left and right).

But even still; I am willing to see what they come up with. Perhaps they have seen the error of their ways in 2012 bragging about how great Obamas datamining was. But seeing as how they just vited for the CLOUD act that gives foriegn companies access to US citizen data, I wont hold my breath that this is anything more than a partisan attack cause they hate trump.

You have to understand, as someone from the more right side of the aisle, government intervention into tech companies could only benefit my side, because almost every tech company is ran by left wing people.

But I see beyond that, and dont like government meddling more than neccessary in private business.

What would a solution look like? I am all for forcing these companies to show how they use this data.

But if people voluntarily put there data out there, why shouldnt companies look at it?

This has been happening for decades. I look for a mortgage, I get all sorts of calls from companies I never contacted about it, and so forth.

Do we honostly think that legislation will be pushed that will affect so many businesses?



posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 09:59 PM
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Quick update:

There's been an article published in NYT and Palantir has revised its initial statement, now saying that a single Palantir employee was working with SCL personally. Also, another interesting detail is that Sophie Schmidt, daughter of former Google CEO and Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, was an intern at SCL and apparently hooked them up with Palantir prior to the harvesting of data from Facebook. (where let's not forget, Thiel is a member of the board and one of the initial investors)

NYT - Peter Thiel Employee Helped Cambridge Analytica Before It Harvested Data


It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.

Cambridge ultimately took a similar approach. By early summer, the company found a university researcher to harvest data using a personality questionnaire and Facebook app. The researcher scraped private data from over 50 million Facebook users — and Cambridge Analytica went into business selling so-called psychometric profiles of American voters, setting itself on a collision course with regulators and lawmakers in the United States and Britain.

The Palantir employee, Alfredas Chmieliauskas, works on business development for the company, according to his LinkedIn page. In an initial statement, Palantir said it had “never had a relationship with Cambridge Analytica, nor have we ever worked on any Cambridge Analytica data.” Later on Tuesday, Palantir revised its account, saying that Mr. Chmieliauskas was not acting on the company’s behalf when he advised Mr. Wylie on the Facebook data.

“We learned today that an employee, in 2013-2014, engaged in an entirely personal capacity with people associated with Cambridge Analytica,” the company said. “We are looking into this and will take the appropriate action.”

The company said it was continuing to investigate but knew of no other employees who took part in the effort. Mr. Wylie told lawmakers that multiple Palantir employees played a role.

Documents and interviews indicate that starting in 2013, Mr. Chmieliauskas began corresponding with Mr. Wylie and a colleague from his Gmail account. At the time, Mr. Wylie and the colleague worked for the British defense and intelligence contractor SCL Group, which formed Cambridge Analytica with Mr. Mercer the next year. The three shared Google documents to brainstorm ideas about using big data to create sophisticated behavioral profiles, a product code-named “Big Daddy.”

A former intern at SCL — Sophie Schmidt, the daughter of Eric Schmidt, then Google’s executive chairman — urged the company to link up with Palantir, according to Mr. Wylie’s testimony and a June 2013 email viewed by The Times.


It's a pretty lengthy article but I don't want to excerpt too much here so I summarize some of the rest. The Palantir folks seemed to have been impressed by Robert Mercer's backing of CA and Nix and Chmieliauskas tried to put together a formal partnership between CA and Palantir in early 2014 but Palantir declined because they were reluctant to get involved with elections. Palantir confirms the talks happened and it's further proved by emails reviewed by NYT.

Nonetheless Wylie said in his testimony that multiple employees from Palantir came to CA to work on the data and that employees from CA also visited Palantir.



posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Good to have you back my friend.

One request with this information: don't taint it with anything remotely partisan. Both parties have been up to no good, and the Peoples interest is best served in addressing the concepts behind this, and how to enact laws to bind politicians from taking advantage of our own worst traits.

Its a riveting story, and the more is uncovered the more that us in the CT community look sane.


I think that the story of CA is unavoidably partisan in that CA is a vehicle for Robert Mercer's influence and as such has only done work with right-wing politicians. (Trump, Cruz, Carson and something that isn't getting a lot of attention, John Bolton)

But as I said in other posts, what CA/SCL is up to in terms of microtargeting is far from something exclusive to CA (though, I'm sure they'd argue that they're better at it). It's not a partisan thing, it's not even an American thing. Hell, it's not an election thing. What it comes down to is ever expanding data collection for the purposes of ever more efficient and effective means of persuasion.

Trying to convince people to take it seriously is harder sell than I would have expected on a forum like ATS but as you can see, some of our smarter, more thoughtful posters are utterly unconvinced that mass manipulation through social media and the like is even something to be concerned with.



posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope


Glad you’re in good health.


Thanks, getting back to normal has been something of a slog but I'm feeling a lot better the last few days in particular.


Besides, the whole charade that any of these firms have the influence they have is drastically overblown, and this charade will lead us to the government intervention into the internet.


I think the proof of the effectiveness of what CA purports to do in terms of what we'll just call "microtargeting" for the sake of convenience (ignoring all the "dirty tricks" electioneering familiar to a Roger Stone type that they also perform), can be found in the fact that it's something political parties are and have been dumping tens of millions of dollars in every election cycle going back to about 2000.

I don't really understand the reluctance to believing that firms like this are successfully influencing people. I'm sure you wouldn't disagree that marketing is a thing that works or that propaganda is an effective means of persuasion or that the media is used to manipulate perceptions.

The way I see it, it's a perfectly predictable evolution in marketing which is what electioneering or any other effort to persuade the public really boils down to. Targeted advertising works (and the more targeted without raising the cost the better it works). Influencer marketing works. (which is basically what troll farms are doing)

Tell people that "they" are manipulating people to buy the latest # and you'll get all kinds of agreement, tell people that politicians are effectively wielding the latest in marketing techniques and technologies to persuade the voting public and it's suddenly impractical.



posted on Mar, 27 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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a reply to: Grambler


I just want to say that you know darn well that it has been way more than just white suprmacists taken down and demonetized by twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. By pretending it is mostly whiite supremacists, I feel you only fuel divisiveness by enabling people to label anyone they diagree iwtyh as racist.


You're trying to have a completely different conversation about something that I don't think is particularly related to these companies collecting and selling data about their users.

You want to see divisiveness? How about this? That's the kind of # that right-wing media pushes on right-wingers. Leftist are dumb, hate you, hate God, hate America, hate freedom, and are trying to destroy the Western world because... Soros or something.

What I can tell you from what I've actually witnessed regarding "censorship" of "conservative opinions" is that it's really got nothing to do with conservative political ideology or people expressing opinions about politics. Twitter didn't ban Ann Coulter or Dinesh D'Souza — they banned Milo and a handful of alt-right trolls who were harassing people with racist # on Twitter. Stuff that wouldn't be tolerated *anywhere*.

And I saw the bit from the alleged ex-Twitter employee who said that they moderation staff has an bias against "conservatives" and that might be true to to extent though I think what you'd actually find is that they're unduly lenient with certain ostensibly left-wing trolls who are equally deserving of banning.

Then you've got sites like Reddit shutting down # like #pizzagate — is that censoring "conservative opinions?" How about ATS management taking an unfavorable view of people claiming that Sandy Hook was a false flag and the parents of dead children are actually crisis actors pretending to mourn imaginary children?

You know, the sort of garbage that Alex Jones promotes alongside the Prison Planet culture war bull# which is mostly just anti-Muslim, anti-immigration propaganda.

I'd be more apt to be believe that there is an actual effort to censor or even stifle conservative opinions on these platforms if it weren't for the fact that 99.99% of the examples weren't something that is legitimately objectionable in mainstream society be it white nationalism or unhinged propaganda for profit nuttery that results in lunatics discharging firearms in DC area pizzerias because they've been convinced there's a secret basement where children are being abused.

It's a concern that the censorship of private companies is too heavy handed or agenda driven but arguably less so than government censorship. At any rate, it's a different conversation and one that's certainly worth having but I don't think it's one that needs to take place in the context of doing something about the same companies collecting and selling data on us.

It seems to be largely unrelated.
edit on 2018-3-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2018 @ 01:45 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




I don't know why it wasn't a bigger deal then except now there's a guy from inside the company who is spilling his guts publicly. A lot of the big pieces, like the surreptitious harvesting of data on tens of millions of Americans where already known when I wrote that first thread in 2016.


I think it's, in part, because people are defensive of their beliefs and protective of the groups they are in. Criticism of FB was seen through squinted eyes in case it was somehow sneaking up on the 'collusion' angle. Certainly last year, there was a sense that a 'gotcha' was waiting for someone who conceded FB was a manipulative platform.



Currently, I wonder if people are voicing more concerns about media manipulation because it's becoming a personal problem? For example, we're usually less bothered when manipulation happens to others. Now we all begin to see how it can affect each of us no matter how 'right' we are or how 'smarter.' I'm not specifically going for politics here either. It's an international issue that crosses all parties and appears to have negative effects on people's perceptions of quality of life.

Further up the food chain, noise is being made because it's trespassing on media as well as politics. Politicians are being beaten by so-called 'grass roots' opinions and find their ability to shape the public has lost its edge. They only want level playing fields when they see someone has an advantage or a chance of hindering them. The media is disturbed by finding its credibility battered and, potentially, serious fiscal risks. Business and power.



There's enough out there that people should have been genuinely alarmed about how things have been trending for years.


Some people have been. These issues have been floated on slashdot and The Register for years now. It's no longer good enough that it happens to 'the other side.' I got carried away there lol with the imperatives. It's more realistic to say it's becoming more concerning and less acceptable.



posted on Mar, 28 2018 @ 09:43 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

He's back! And I thought you're just busy working for The Intercept. New podcast and all that... don't say you aint!



I'm having mixed thoughts about this CA topic though. Slouch hat analytics and their addiction to all sorts of data is blown way out of proportions, IMHO. People still post lies, filled with layers of fake crap, on fakebook. And having a crossbow isn't a great indicator to (successfully) apply some identity politics, either.


Much of what Cambridge Analytica claimed to be able to do for its clients has an exaggerated ring to it. As with the Steele dossier, several of the Cambridge Analytica documents are unintentionally funny, such as a letter from Aleksandr Kogan, the Russian-American academic researcher, suggesting that finding out if people used crossbows or believed in paganism would be useful traits on which to focus.

We are told that Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users have been “harvested” (a good menacing word in this context, suggesting that the poor old users are being chopped off at the ankles), and that information so garnered could be fed into the Trump campaign to put him over the top on election day. In reality, information gathered from such a large number of people is too generalised or too obvious to be of much use.

www.counterpunch.org...

Don't get me wrong, you're probably unfolding some sort of hit job (possibly to cover up multiple cases of corruption) for us here. But. This murder-case adds more legitimacy to the whole slouch hat business of data mining and it manages the perception of Cambridge Analytica, doesn't it?



posted on Mar, 28 2018 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Glad to see you back, sorry to hear you were ill.
Thanks for the post. You contributions are always interesting, and you were missed.
I haven't run across many 32 year olds who have heart attacks, that is interesting.



posted on Mar, 28 2018 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




But as I said in other posts, what CA/SCL is up to in terms of microtargeting is far from something exclusive to CA (though, I'm sure they'd argue that they're better at it). It's not a partisan thing, it's not even an American thing. Hell, it's not an election thing. What it comes down to is ever expanding data collection for the purposes of ever more efficient and effective means of persuasion.

Trying to convince people to take it seriously is harder sell than I would have expected on a forum like ATS but as you can see, some of our smarter, more thoughtful posters are utterly unconvinced that mass manipulation through social media and the like is even something to be concerned with.


And I thought they collected all the data for our war on terror?



Not being overly concerned with the duped folks, who get even more duped due to their fake news algos on fckbook, is one thing, fighting big data collections another.
I mean... the first boils down to a lack of education and media literacy. And they will be exploited and meddled with one way or another, gullible as they are. What gives? We can't possibly prevent people from Idiocracy with censorship, build more schools instead? And bigger ones.

We pretty much all agree that big data collections are no good at all, don't we? I say let's start there.




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