Curated Resource ( ? )

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower

my notes ( ? )

Wylie ... the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool”.... In 2014 Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer... Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor... to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then turn it on the US electorate. It was Wylie who came up with that idea and oversaw its realisation...“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.”...
Facebook was hijacked, repurposed to become a theatre of war... a launchpad for ... an extraordinary attack on the US’s democratic process... Facebook’s ... told British MPs ... that Cambridge Analytica did not have Facebook data.... that certainly wasn’t the case, because Wylie has ... a letter from Facebook’s own lawyers admitting that Cambridge Analytica had acquired the data illegitimately...
in 2007, Stillwell... devised various apps for Facebook, one ... myPersonality, had gone viral. Users ... 40% of them consented to give him access to their Facebook profiles... The defence and military establishment were the first to see the potential of the research.... SCL group... has both defence and elections operations. Its defence arm ... expertise was in “psychological operations” – or psyops – changing people’s minds not through persuasion but through “informational dominance”... includes rumour, disinformation and fake news...
Bannon ... believes in the whole Andrew Breitbart doctrine that politics is downstream from culture, so to change politics you need to change culture... It was Bannon who took this idea to ... Robert Mercer was a pioneer in AI and machine translation. He helped invent algorithmic trading...
parent company of Cambridge Analytica, entered into a commercial arrangement with ... GSR, owned by Cambridge-based academic Aleksandr Kogan... harvesting and processing of Facebook data, so that it could be matched to personality traits and voter rolls... Cambridge Analytica spent $7m to amass this data, about $1m of it with GSR... Kogan... offered to replicate Kosinski and Stilwell’s research ... harvest his own set of data...
Robert Mercer’s millions ... Kogan was able to throw money at the hard problem of acquiring personal data... Kogan’s app, called thisismydigitallife, gave him permission to access their Facebook profiles... their friends’ too... around 320,000 ... unwittingly gave access to at least 160 other people’s profiles... [=51.2m] ... in a matter of weeks... Kogan did have permission to pull Facebook data, but for academic purposes only... it’s illegal for personal data to be sold to a third party without consent... “Facebook ... security protocols were triggered ... apparently Kogan told them it was for academic use. So they were like, ‘Fine’.”...
December 2015... the first report about Cambridge Analytica acquiring Facebook data ... many months later that Facebook ... write a letter... "all I had to do was tick a box and sign it ... Facebook made zero effort to get the data back”...
Kogan ... also an associate professor at St Petersburg University... received grants from the Russian government to research “Stress, health and psychological wellbeing in social networks”... a pitch made by Cambridge Analytica to Lukoil... its CEO, Alekperov, answers to Putin... a vehicle of Russian influence in Europe and elsewhere ... .

- part of the Guardian's "Cambridge Analytics files" series: https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/cambridge-analytica-files

Read the Full Post

The above notes were curated from the full post www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-faceook-nix-bannon-trump.

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