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David Carroll 🦅 @profcarroll
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.@ChuckGrassley: Public unaware of data collection practices, and the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal exposes these serious policy issues to confront. CA declared insolvency so cannot participate in this hearing. Says this conversation could've taken place in 2015 or earlier
.@ChuckGrassley: Runs thru the requisite whataboutism while decrying partisanship. Doesn't seem to be drawing attention to the internationalized (and militarized) distinction between CA/SCL and formerly domestic and civilian voter analytics industry, nor UK enforcement response.
.@SenFeinstein: Gets right into the distressingly international nature of Cambridge Analytica. Mentions the Mercers, right up front along with Bannon, and evasion of American election law prohibiting foreign nationals. Drops Nix quotes on his claims running the Trump campaign.
.@SenFeinstein: Describes #RIPON developed by AggregateIQ in Canada and the personality profiling and testing keywords such as "Drain the swamp" "Deep state" "Build the wall" (back in 2015)
.@SenFeinstein: We do not know how Cambridge Analytica may have worked with hackers to gain information on politicians, referencing actions in Nigerian elections. We do not know enough about connections to Wikileaks and Russian contacts, deep Assange connections (Murtfield?)
.@SenFeinstein: Still do not know if Cambridge Analytica data was shared with another third party. Mentions Dr Kogan's St Petersberg teaching appointment as a troubling factor. Introduces @chrisinsilico …and other witnesses @eitanhersh Mark Jamison (U Florida)
.@eitanhersh is a top scholar on voter analytics technology and will make his case to be skeptical of CA/SCL's claims, he has seen no evidence of effectiveness. Explains anxiety on these issues, and criticizes Facebook's role. Emphasizing privacy issues #Techhearing #WylieHearing
.@chrisinsilico "Cambridge Analytica is the canary in the coal mine. Online communities should unite us and not divide us." The false choice, how Americans cannot "opt-out" but there's "a new game being played" and describes how SCL a military contractor and embeded non-citizens.
.@chrisinsilico Describes SCL's "black ops" and use of private intelligence services, and close links to Assange and Wikileaks. Emphasizes that SCL was a kompramat shop, and had links to Russia, mentions Kogan's links to Russia, especially Lukoil, data assets and disinfo work.
.@chrisinsilico criticizes Facebook's response to his whistleblowing and refusal to appear and fully cooperate with @CommonsCMS and says social platforms are "no longer safe for users" and "technology must serve citizens and not the other way around." #techhearing #wyliehearing
Dr Jamison is visiting scholar from American Enterprise Institute and will dutifully deliver the anti-regulation position. (Dr. Jamison served on the US Presidential Transition Team in 2015-2016, focusing on the Federal Communications Commission) per his biography
Q to @eitanhersh from @ChuckGrassley on efficacy of "military style" techniques. No evidence presented, but FB and CA would have the data but it's not in the public domain, but he remains skeptical. #TechHearing #WylieHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from @SenFeinstein on RU IRA Special Counsel indictment and connections btwn SCL Group and Russia. Lukoil presentations/docs made refs to experience in disinfo, rumor campaigns, "attitudinal inoculation", white paper to CEO of Lukoil discussing US data assets
.@chrisinsilico: SCL tested Americans views on Vladimir Putin and Russian expansionism in 2014. Lot of contact between SCL and Russians that let this research be well-known. Kogan worked with a Russian team from SPU during FB data harvesting for GSR. #TechHearing #WylieHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from @SenFeinstein: How did Lukoil get a hold of US voter data assets? Through the whitepaper from Nix which included scale and location of data was made known. If you were intending to acquire the data, it would be made easy, such as keylogger on Kogan.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Kennedy (L): List all the data vendors beyond Facebook. "I believe Experian data, Axciom data was used. State voter rolls and registration. Smaller firms with niche data. Experiments being done with Twitter."
Q to @chrisinsilico from Kennedy (L): Did Cambridge Analytica hack anybody? He has documents referencing Nigeria. Asks for complete CA client list while he was there? PACs funded by Robert Mercer, several Senatorial candidates, issue campaigns, Bolton's PAC.
Q to @chrisinsilco from Leahy (VT) on Bannon testing slogans and Putin perceptions in 2014 before the Trump campaign even existed. CA learned that there were segments of the population that responded to "drain the swamp" build the wall and paranoia of the "deep state"
Q to @chrisinsilico from Leahy (VT) on foreign citizens working for campaigns, memo to Mercer, Bannon, Nix on legal requirements. Did SCL comply to advise? "That memo was disregarded by Nix remained CEO and non-citizens were sent to US" who were not made aware they'd break law.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Leahy (VT) on targeting disinformation and compared to traditional online marketing. Traditional marketing obeys the law, and should not appeal to paranoia, prejudices, racial biases.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Leahy (VT) on why Mercer's invested in Bannon. Politics being downstream from culture, to build weapons for an information war, why they went to SCL, a military contractor to build those weapons. #WylieHearing #TechHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from Lee (UT) on his own company Eunoia. Wylie and Lee dispute interpretation of data custody and work for other clients, but Wylie asserts he didn't do any commercial work. Asks how Wylie learned about black ops "Nix told me" about kompromat work.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Lee (UT) on Kogan's Dark Triad research from Russian scholars and how he learned about it. Asks @eitanhersh about microtargeting about being "not new"; We don't know about its effectiveness, money spend not a good indicator. No randomized control tests.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Whitehouse (RI) on CA being a front from SCL. What is SCL Elections? SCL Canada, AggregateIQ? Built RIPON software which used the Facebook data, connect targets to ads. What is GSR? Mercer as primary funder of this network. #TechHearing #WylieHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from Whitehouse (RI) about ASI as a contractor for CA, supply of data scientists. Is ASI part of the Cambridge Analytica network? Sure. Asks about Palantir. Staff did work in personal capacity. Asks about Brexit and peculiar contracts: it shows coordination.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Cornyn (TX) on commercial application of targeting and use of data. 'Some uses beneficial, some illegal.' 'After Mercer put his investment, CA was restricted from working with Democrats.' (new information to me) #WylieHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from Cornyn (TX) on whether FB sells data or rents data. Wylie describes how platforms encourage misuse of data in his view. Asked about public understanding and TOS. Even lawyers don't get TOS. Burden on public to understand, not really a choice for most ppl.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Corynyn (TX) on whether tech co need informed consent (not just consent), is too much to ask for? People should have informed consent, but analogy to surgery is not a good one. But there's not a really choice to abstain from using platforms. #WylieHearing
Q to @chrisinsilico from Klobuchar (MN) on her privacy bill of new data rights. Would CA have been able collect FB data? Wylie describes #PrivacyByDesign as a crucial principle of software design beyond governance and compliance, as a different way to answer the question.
Q to @chrisinsilico from Klobuchar (MN) on state-by-state density and any overlap to RU IRA and illicit FB data. Wylie says his concern that data could have been misappropriated from Russia by CA for profiling/algos. Any evidence of voter disengagement ads? Part of why he left.
Now we have Tillis (NC) who says he was a data analytics guy, describes how all politicians have used aggregators and data matching (defensive about being a CA/SCL client much?) #WylieHearing #TechHearing
Tillis (NC) acknowledges his engagement with Cambridge Analytica and gets defensive about how data was collected without consent. Does the Obama data whataboutism thing citing MIT Technology Review article.
.@eitanhersh disputes our necessity to use social media and urges his students to abstain from it. Dr Jamison also disputes whether FB is necessary or not. (I don't agree with my colleagues here.)
Coons (DE) Asks @chrisinsilico about work from Kosinski et al as academic basis for pyschometric approach. Wylie doesn't contest Hersh's view that persuading is difficult but Coons indicates that FB's power is order of magnitude that any prior medium for targeting. #WylieHearing
Coons (DE) asks whether a client could contract CA for voter suppression? Wylie says hasn't seen it in a contract, but has seen client comms. Asks about Kogan keylogger and why Putin messaging was being tested. Wylie says ask Bannon. Data can be weaponized for information warfare
Cruz (TX) is up. The biggest beneficiary of SCL/CA. Buckle up for shovelfuls of whataboutism and deflection. #WylieHearing
Cruz (TX) does the Facebook is partisan thing whenever the topic of the hearing includes Cambridge Analytica. Cruz asks panel if they know about Clinton data operation? (I think this is best writing on that subject…)
Blumemthal (CT) is up. Asks evidence about meetings with Lukoil, which have been passed onto authorities, but not this committee. Asks about Mercer's attempt to evade campaign contribution rules by investing and funding CA. Wylie says it was explained to him as a benefit of CA.
Blumenthal (CT) asks about "firewalls" within CA/SCL to separate campaigns. Wylie did not see instructions from lawyers to executives being followed.
Blumenthal (CT) asks Dr Jamison about his role on the Trump transition team. (Zing!)
Harris (CA) articulating the Facebook panopticon privacy nightmare. "Americans do not have control over their data. A better and more fair bargain for the American people and their data." Asks Wylie about Bannon learning how to demotivate African Americans. #WylieHearing
Wylie describes their AUC score of .89 to predict race. Harris (CA) asks about Facebook data deletion and certification. #WylieHearing
Durbin (IL) complements Harris (CA) comments on privacy and references his question to Zuckerberg not wishing to disclose his hotel. Durbin asks Wylie about Nix, a British national involvement in campaign activities despite FEC prohibitions. #WylieHearing
Hirono (HI) asks about regulatory questions to @eitanhersh about voter suppression problem. How could demobilization be defined and measured? Potentially easier to demobilize than mobilize voters, especially when clients can pay for it as a service. #WylieHearing
Wylie describes how a biased data set would reflect social and moral biases when asked about predictive analytics increasing being adopted by law enforcement as posed by Hirono (HI). #WylieHearing
Booker (NJ) quotes Nigel Oakes and his comments from @EmmaLBriant interviews about Hitler and the Jews leveraged an artificial enemy as a frightening concept for the idea of America. Wylie describes a resegregation of society catalyzed by algorithms. #WylieHearing
Wylie describes to Booker (NJ) how if enough money is spent on targeted from the micro-targeted individuals they may no longer see the mainstream media in their feeds, which erodes the idea of the public forum for our democracy. #WylieHearing
Kennedy (LA) back up. Asks Dr Jamison to clarify about Obama vs Romney campaign and Chris Hughes, FB co-founder, and his preference for Obama. Kennedy (LA) on privacy issues and his view that they are powerful forces of influence. But who should define "poison"? #WylieHearing
.@eitanhersh quickly states how social media platforms are divisive by design because they reward a kind of incitement to extremes rather than constructive civic engagement. Sort of like how Wylie's "resegregation" comment is a feature not a bug of Facebook's adtech #WylieHearing
RECESS. While @senjudiciary #WylieHearing is on break, take a look at what's happening in Parliament right now on the same subject matter of #CambridgeAnalytica's havoc on our democracies
Big Brexit news across the pond, what @SenWhitehouse kind of hinted at during #WylieHearing is that Facebook seems to have provided more digital forensics that shows how Leave campaigns illegally coordinated, and digital traces prove it.
Recess over. Whitehouse (RI) is back up on Brexit and AggregateIQ even mentioning Dominic Cummings. (It's amazing how this internationalized network has linked USA, UK, Canada on this investigations of election interference, in each others representative bodies) #WylieHearing
Whitehouse (RI) asks about Black Cube, LeaveEU, Nigeria, AIQ and an unnamed woman (it's Brittany Kaiser folks). Wylie is not confirming Black Cube, just Isreali intelligence. #WylieHearing
Blumenthal (CT) asks Wylie about in-kind services. Replies how Mercer money allowed them to subsidize the CA service costs. Mercer investments in CA LLC used as a vehicle to evade reporting requirements. #WylieHearing
Blumenthal (CT) asks Wylie about conversations at CA about FB Terms and Conditions. So FB was notified of the GSR app. Wylie understands Kogan did communicate with FB on his research as academic. Yet Zuckerberg denied knowledge to Congress about "Kogan's app" #TechHearing
Klobuchar (MN) describes distinctions between clearly illegal voter demobilization messaging, vs grey area vs persuasion. Wylie notes how FB's behavior of threatening Guardian lawsuit and banning him, as aggressive act responding to challenges to their opacity. #WylieHearing
Wylie uses automotive analogy to justify consumer protections that should be in place for tech companies. He asserts that the internet is an essential part of life that requires public accountability and oversight. Klobuchar (MN) describes her own tests on Facebook reach algo.
Wylie: Facebook is a company that writes algos that prioritize paid engagement, and things that induce more clicks, algos optimize themselves until someone tells them to stop. A more moderate policy oriented post will require payment to compete with divisive viral messages.
Tillis (NC) responding to Klobuchar (MN) over paid vs organic content performance and the ad-supported business model vs ad-free subscriptions. Tillis seems to be urging tech co's to offer alternatives to ad-supported models. #WylieHearing
Adjourned. My own fruitful legal work on the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been mentioned on multiple occasions in UK Parliament in @CommonsCMS but it has yet to be recognized by my own lawmakers here in the USA. Why is that?
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