FBI & other US branches join Justice Department in Cambridge Analytica investigation

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in General Discussion
A U.S. federal probe into Facebook's data sharing with now-defunct politcal consulting firm Cambridge Analytica has reportedly grown to pull in multiple agencies, including the FBI, the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FBI


The investigation is centered on what Facebook knew in 2015 -- when it first learned that Cambridge Analytica had been building voter profiles -- and why it didn't share this information with users or investors at the time, according to sources for the Washington Post. Facebook only revealed Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of data without users' consent in March 2018.

The government is also said to be concerned about discrepancies in more recent versions of the scandal, including whether Facebook officials like CEO Mark Zuckerberg were fully honest in their Senate testimony.

"We are cooperating with officials in the U.S., U.K. and beyond," said a Facebook spokesman, Matt Steinfeld. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues."

In 2015 Cambridge Analytica and Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan used a quiz app to collect data on not just the people who used the app, but also their connected friends, allowing Analytica to build voter profiles for some 71 million Americans.

Facebook has accused Analytica of violating policies, but the latter and Kogan have insisted not only that they did nothing wrong but that they weren't the only parties to collect data this way. Kogan has further maintained that he got permission to share data with Analytica when he changed his app's terms of service from academic to wider commercial use.

Facebook has additionally insisted that when it learned of the situation, it ordered Analytica to delete its data and promise not to take the same actions again. The latter has claimed it complied, but it isn't at all clear if they actually did.

Voter manipulation has become one of Facebook's biggest concerns. On top of the Analytica scandal, Russia is known to have targeted Facebook users with ads in the run up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    You know the rules. We very specifically didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    icoco3Alex1Nbshankjony0
  • Reply 2 of 27
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    You know the rules. We very specifically didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    The FBI has always been partisan.
    macseekerSpamSandwichmuthuk_vanalingamanton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 27
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    So, what impact could this have on the investigation of the last election? With all the new government agencies involved, if they find anything illegal, it won’t look good for anyone invoked. 
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 4 of 27
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,041member
    Unless there is the likelyhood of some serious jail time then I think that CA and whoever else was involved, nothing will happen. 18 months down the line the whole thing will be quietly dropped.

  • Reply 5 of 27
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    rob53 said:
    So, what impact could this have on the investigation of the last election?
    What investigation? It’s over; no collusion or wrongdoing on the part of any under investigation was found. Yes, those words were chosen for a reason.
    Zedolamacseekermonstrosityanton zuykov
  • Reply 6 of 27
    duervoduervo Posts: 70member
    This whole fiasco reminds me of that James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan in it. The one where a worldwide media conglomerate made a play for world domination. Damn ... what was the name of that one?
    Alex1Nmonstrosity
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    You know the rules. We very specifically didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    The FBI has always been partisan.
    What part was I not clear on? You've toed right up to that line. Go no further.

    Don't mistake my statement for an invitation for discussion.
    edited July 2018 dysamorianumenoreanfastasleepAlex1Nbshank
  • Reply 8 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,786member
    Seems like this is too many cooks in the kitchen. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out in the end. 
  • Reply 9 of 27
    ZedolaZedola Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Sounds like all the various agencies just want to demonstrate how on the case they are to the public, but little to nothing will come from it. Theater.
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 10 of 27
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,617member
    Yep. Political theatre. There will be dark, vague accusations, intimations of the role of foreign actors, mega rich tycoons acting discpgracefully, and deep state actors trailing their coats.
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 11 of 27
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    LOL
    Alex1N
  • Reply 12 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,071member
    rob53 said:
    So, what impact could this have on the investigation of the last election?
    What investigation? It’s over; no collusion or wrongdoing on the part of any under investigation was found. Yes, those words were chosen for a reason.
    Except for those charged, right? The investigation wasn’t about just the election but wrongdoing and there are people charged right now. Whatshisface just had to go back to jail until trial due to his continual attempts at witness tampering. 
    edited July 2018 anomefastasleepAlex1Nbshank
  • Reply 13 of 27
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 417member
    As I see it, facebook has it's hands in both cookie jars.  It's facebook at fault.  They screwed around both 2012 and 2016 elections.  They KNOW what was going on in both elections.  As of manipulating the voters, I don't blame the co-horts of the Democrats or Republicans - it's the co-horts job to sway the voters.  If the voters who got swayed by the tactics feel bad, they should sue facebook.  facebook just saw dollar signs in front of their beady eyes.  facebook just sees it's users as products.  To me, facebook should be scrapped.
    Alex1Nanton zuykov
  • Reply 14 of 27
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 507member
    You know the rules. We very specifically didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    The FBI has always been partisan.
    What part was I not clear on? You've toed right up to that line. Go no further.

    Don't mistake my statement for an invitation for discussion.
    Okay and I agree with keeping this site and these forums politics free. However this is a political story. Everything about it was by political agens acting for political reasons, to benefit or harm political actors. What made you think this would stay non political? With all due rspect to the work you do policing these forums, perhaps the mistake was posting it on AppleInsider. It relates to FaceBook which true a lot of people use, but it really is not an Apple related story.
    edited July 2018 tallest skilSpamSandwichmonstrosity
  • Reply 15 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    DAalseth said:
    You know the rules. We very specifically didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    The FBI has always been partisan.
    What part was I not clear on? You've toed right up to that line. Go no further.

    Don't mistake my statement for an invitation for discussion.
    Okay and I agree with keeping this site and these forums politics free. However this is a political story. Everything about it was by political agens acting for political reasons, to benefit or harm political actors. What made you think this would stay non political? With all due rspect to the work you do policing these forums, perhaps the mistake was posting it on AppleInsider. It relates to FaceBook which true a lot of people use, but it really is not an Apple related story.
    Do you see a political slant in the story?

    There is a difference between a story about politics and how tech relates, and when it turns into a partisan bicker-fest. I will not tolerate the latter.
    edited July 2018 Alex1Nbshankjony0
  • Reply 16 of 27
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 304member
    The real dope on this story is... We are all the dopes for believing what Cambridge Analytica was selling.  Cambridge Analytica has NEVER proved once that could do what they claimed with the data. They were selling a bunch of snake oil to politicians... And we were the ones who bought it!! 
  • Reply 17 of 27
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 304member
    macseeker said:
    As I see it, facebook has it's hands in both cookie jars.  It's facebook at fault.  They screwed around both 2012 and 2016 elections.  They KNOW what was going on in both elections.  As of manipulating the voters, I don't blame the co-horts of the Democrats or Republicans - it's the co-horts job to sway the voters.  If the voters who got swayed by the tactics feel bad, they should sue facebook.  facebook just saw dollar signs in front of their beady eyes.  facebook just sees it's users as products.  To me, facebook should be scrapped.
    Can you say? Free Market

    I am not a fan or believer in social (mystique) media, but Facebook has a right to develop a ‘bad’ marketing approach. As long as customers have a choice to use other media, Facebook can keep screwing customers for free....and customers can choose not to look at ‘the man behind the curtain.’
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Where’s the popcorn?

    You mean the “free” service isn’t actually free?

    You mean a 1/2 a trillion dollar company has been monetizing the @#$& out of it’s users?  No...

    Don’t worry your politicians will fine Facebook for a hundredth of 1% of their profits, and the world will be safe again.

    Nothing to see here. Wink. Wink.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,988member
    The role that social media plays in the dissemination of information, influence, persuasion, and human engineering absolutely needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, trying to use the Cambridge Analytica (CA) case as a trigger for initiating the necessary dialog is doomed to failure because of the partisan politics and divisive nature of the players involved in this particular case, not to mention the global implications of the CA+Facebook+Political Party Actors arrangement in the influence campaign.

    Had CA, Facebook, and non-political party actors collaborated in a similar influence campaign to persuade a target group of individuals to purchase one brand of automobile over another, say by falsely alluding through misleading social media channels that one automobile brand uses the pelts of clubbed baby seals in their upholstery leather, would we even be talking about this? Probably not, but the negatively impacted brand would very likely seek legal remedies for the damages caused by the campaign. 

    Humans are obviously quite vulnerable to media influence. The 1938 Halloween broadcast of War of the Worlds persuaded more than a few people to believe that Earth was being invaded by Martians because it was broadcast over a contemporary and trusted media source in a familiar news-like format. In retrospect it was laughable but for a window of time more than a few people were panicked and a widespread media outrage ensued after the broadcast and unwinding of the ruse. During the lifespan of the unintentional (?) deception had a person walked down the street dressed in whatever was deemed an "alien" costume at the time, especially if the nature of the costume was communicated in the broadcast, they very likely could have been shot by someone in the induced state of hysteria. The CA+Facebook+Political Party Actors "social media broadcasts" during the 2016 political cycle were very similar to War of the Worlds in terms of putting the targeted group of individuals in an altered state for a period of time and for some folks, permanently. 

    This is a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed by those who make the tools that allow human engineering campaigns to be executed so effectively. At some level it is simply political advertising and I'd imagine Facebook saw it as a way to promote their suite of advertising tools. More than anything it's a wakeup call for us, the general population of people who got duped by assuming the information dissemination channels are benign, neutral, and (cough cough) factual in all cases. We've all become numb to most forms of advertising/Influence but we didn't recognize this new form of advertising/Influence that is disguised as news. Ultimately the blame is on us and we all need to learn from this experience and demand that information sources be transparent about what they're peddling. If life on Earth turns into one big f-ing infomercial of social, political, or some other context, we should all be hoping that there's a real War of the World and Martians coming that will rescue us from this stinking mess.
    edited July 2018 fastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 27
    duervo said:
    This whole fiasco reminds me of that James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan in it. The one where a worldwide media conglomerate made a play for world domination. Damn ... what was the name of that one?
    Tomorrow never dies
    duervo
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