Now, whistleblower Wylie names JD(U) as Cambridge Analytica's client

Saul Franklin
March 30, 2018

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie on Wednesday said he was providing details of "some of SCL's past projects in India", which he said was in response to "requests from Indian journalists".

According to reports and recent revelations from whistle blower Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica, a political consultant firm, began collecting private information about Facebook users in 2014 for political purposes, a violation of Facebook's user agreement. Wylie, 28, claims the data was sold to CA, which then used it to psychologically profile people and deliver material in favour of Donald Trump during the 2016 USA elections.

Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who brought to light the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica scandal has revealed SCL India's operations in the country. "This is what modern colonialism looks like", he wrote.

Wylie became a research director for Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of CA, in 2014.

Cambridge Analytica has said it did not share the Facebook profile data with AggregateIQ, did not use it in the campaign to elect Donald Trump, and has deleted the data. Its reach in India is said to include a head office in Ghaziabad, with nine regional offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cuttack, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Patna and Pune. Wylie, on Tuesday, stated that he believed "Congress was a client" of CA.

SCL's activities in India, as per the list, dates back to 2003 when it carried out two projects - a psephological study and opinion polling for a national party to identify swing voters and in another a party's audit and a study of its key voters in a particular state.

"The data is also known to have been passed around using generic, non-corporate email systems, outside of the servers of Cambridge Analytica, and linked company SCL", the report states.

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Wylie was speaking to the committee about his role at Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm at the center of Facebook's latest controversy. "They fear they will be exposed if they probe", said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. The documents say that the U.S. arm of the company, formed in June 2014, could participate as a vendor of technology as long as Nix, a Briton, was "recused from the substantive management of any such clients involved in United States elections". However, as Recode notes, the Cambridge Analytica leak was not through a Partner Categories association, but rather because a developer chose to sell user information to a third party.

Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll on Wednesday called for Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman to investigate Cambridge Analytica's role in the state's 2014 elections, suggesting Colorado was "the guinea pig" in the company's "experiment" involving US elections. "Congress and Rahul Gandhi must now apologize", Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

With Wylie's help, Cadwalladr revealed how CA scooped up data from millions of Facebook users in the US. "We shall use it, including summoning you in India", Prasad had said.

"They (Cambridge Analytica) worked extensively in India".

More recently, media reports have noted that Cambridge Analytica representatives held meetings with top BJP and Congress leaders to secure a deal for the upcoming 2019 elections.

READ | Govt sends query to Cambridge Analytica: Did you harvest Indian user data, get consent?

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