Cambridge Analytica Is Not Alone: i360 and Data Trust Disastrous for Democracy

Cambridge Analytica Is Not Alone: i360 and Data Trust Disastrous for Democracy


It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The scandal surrounding the activities of
the data mining company Cambridge Analytica and its use of personal data from 50 million
Facebook users continue to unfold. The whistleblower and former Cambridge Analytica
employee Christopher Wylie testified before Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday. 2016 was, you know, where I started looking
at what this company was actually doing in the United States, and you know, coming to
appreciate that the projects that I was working on may have had a much wider impact than I
initially anticipated it would. And after Donald Trump got inaugurated, very
shortly after that, that’s when he started working with Carol at the Guardian on, on
reporting, and reporting some of the things that the company is doing. So I don’t think that military-style information
operations is conducive for any democratic process, whether it’s a U.S. presidential
or a local council race. There Wylie outlined how the company manipulated
elections in Nigeria. He also said that Israeli software company
Black Cube was involved and called the whole effort a privatized colonizing operation. A former Facebook manager also came forward
recently saying that hundreds of millions of Facebook users probably had their data
stolen in ways similar to the Cambridge Analytica case. Someone who has been warning about the extensive
use and misuse of private data for manipulating and winning elections is Greg Palast. In a recent article he points out that Cambridge
Analytica, which was owned in part by right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer, is a relative newcomer
to this type of work, Palast says. Other companies such as i360, which is owned
by Koch Brothers, and Data Trust, which is operated by Karl Rove, have been more extensive
in their operations. Here’s a clip from one of Greg Palast’s videos
about the story. Data Trust, tracking over 1800 things about
you, Mr. Voter, including the last time you downloaded porn, to whether you ordered Chinese
food just before you voted. I think that’s creepy. Mark Sweetland is an expert for companies
that live and die by their databases. i360, Data Trust have literally thousands
of data points on you, Greg Palast, and on me, and on everybody who’s watching this film. Wait, what’s this i360? Their databases include trillions of data
points on hundreds of millions of people. Joining me now to take a closer look at the
world of private data mining is Greg Palast. He is an investigative reporter who has written
for many publications, among them Rolling Stone and The Guardian. He also is the author of The New York Times
best seller and the film with the same name, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.” Thanks for joining us, Greg. Glad to be with you again. So Greg, most of the Cambridge Analytica story
is about how the company gathered private information in order to generate psychological
profiles and create targeted social media campaigns. However, you say that the things that the
Koch brothers and i360 and Karl Rove’s company Data Trust, they are involved in more dangerous
activity. What exactly are they doing, and why is it
more dangerous? Well, there’s really four big database operations
that I’m very worried about. Cambridge Analytica is the newest, and probably
the least sophisticated. They took your Facebook profiles, which of
course are kind of public documents and often include a lot of B.S. that you throw out there
on the net. But the Kochs have a far more sophisticated
operation called i360. And they track, as you heard in the little
clip from my film, 1800 pieces of data on you dynamically and on a continuous basis. They basically know your credit card purchases,
they know your cable viewing habits. This is a lot deeper into your guts and soul
and privacy than even your Facebook profile from Cambridge Analytica. And also you have a very similar operation
used by Karl Rove. That’s the guy that was known as Bush’s brain,
though Bush calls him Turd Blossom. This is the, Karl Rove was the engineer of
some of the creepiest and possibly illegal activities behind the Bush campaigns. He’s still out there with his own database
operation called Data Trust, whose main client is the Republican National Committee. These operations do more than grab some of
your private information or just your Facebook profiles. Some of their activities have actually unquestionably
bent elections not just by convincing you do things, you know, their idea is to try
to zombify, you know, know everything about you and manipulate you. But sometimes they go way, way beyond that
in their operations to win elections. Now, these things that these companies can
do could be divided into two categories, for our comprehension. One is voter suppression, with the help of
Republican officials such as Chris Kobach, and who is Trump’s voter fraud appointee,
and voter manipulation, which is a second category, via psychologically designed and
targeted advertising and social media campaigns that they run. But let’s look at the use of this data for
political campaigns for a moment. What do these campaigns of these companies
who run these campaigns do that are any different from a regular advertising company? Well, one, they’re targeting you because they
know very personal things about you. They literally know, as Mark Sweetland says,
we’re not making that up as an example, it’s really true. For example, i360 knows if you downloaded
porn and then order Chinese food before you voted. They can use that information to manipulate
how you vote. And by the way, deviously, whether you vote
at all. They can convince you not to vote. That’s a real powerful tool that they have. That’s part of the game, is convincing you
not to vote. So that’s one of things that they do. But they also-. Give us some examples of how, how they can
do that. Well, they can convince you. For example, a lot of the, lot of the targeting
about Hillary Clinton was not to get you to vote for Trump but to get voters who, for
example, voted for Bernie Sanders or others, to convince them not to vote at all. And that was very, very effective, for example,
in Wisconsin, where according to a University of Wisconsin study, about 50000 people, mostly
students in Madison County and Milwaukee, didn’t vote because they were convinced that,
that Hillary was evil enough that it just didn’t matter. They may be crying now, but the but the-. They mainly convinced you that Hillary was
going to win. Might as well stay home, don’t bother, and
try to encourage apathy in terms of voting. Encourage apathy and saying that your vote
doesn’t matter. And that’s one of the things that they’re
very good at. But the other is very, some of it’s not too
subtle, OK. For example, in Wisconsin the Koch brothers,
a spinoff from i360, one of the operators there working with Kochs sent out e-mails,
and sent out social , sent out e-mails to people on their databases who own guns, who
live in rural areas and normally vote by mail-in ballot. And they sent them messages saying, protect
your guns. And these are also all Democrats. Protect your guns and vote. Make sure you send your absentee ballot to
this address on this date. The address was wrong, and the date was too
late to get your vote counted. So that was one way that Scott Walker, for
example, won his against his recall in the recall referendum. Then they rolled it out. The same trick. Wrong date, wrong address for your absentee
ballots to minority and Democratic voters in North Carolina. And then throughout the South. So some of this is really fraudulently stealing
your vote away. And that’s just, that was the i360 spinoff. Then you have Data Trust, which is Karl Rove’s
operation. they used an operation which I uncovered working
with the Guardian and BBC called caging. And what caging is is you send letters, Karl
Rove used his databases to target, for example, students, black students in black colleges
who were away from their school on summer vacation. They are registered, these were students registered,
for example, in the swing state of Florida. And they knew that they weren’t at their at
their voting addresses even though they are legal voters because they were home for the
vacations. They sent letters. When the letters marked Do Not Forward came
back to the Republican National Committee, those voters were challenge as not existing,
and they lost their vote. They sent these letters as well to black soldiers
and airmen at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. They sent letters to men at homeless shelters
you don’t always get their mail. And as a result they used, they used this
information to challenge the right of those voters’ ballots to be counted. If they mailed them in their ballots would
be junked. If they try to show up to vote they were blocked
from voting. That’s the ugly, ugly and truly actually illegal
use of these databases, and that’s just some examples we’ve uncovered. And now that this is known and there there’s
a lot of eyes on this issue, how will this impact the 2018 elections coming up? Well, I think that Cambridge Analytica, which
is like I say, the least sophisticated, and they try to use brain massaging. By the way, they also use other tactics. One of the services that they offer, I just
you know, is to is to say that they’ll set up your opponent, political opponent, with
hookers and tape them. So it’s not just, they’ve got that database
and then they would, of course, use their social networking thing to blow it all up. But it will have a huge impact on the 2018
election. A bigger impact on 2020. And this includes other operations that these
database guys are working on. One of them you mentioned, a guy Kris Kobach,
secretary of state of Kansas. He is Trump’s what I call Vote Thief in Chief. He was officially appointed to run Trump’s
so-called vote fraud commission. One of the databases he uses is a roll crosscheck,
where he gives lists of voters he says are registered or actually vote in two states
in a single election, which is illegal. He has claimed with Donald Trump that three
million people voted twice, mostly voters of color. And I’m the only journalist to actually have,
I have a copy of the of of his list of double voters. The three million double voters. And it’s people with names like Jose Garcia,
and David Lee, and John Black. These are just common names of voters of color,
but not, you know, obviously not common for Republicans. But you’ll see names in this, for example,
Maria Cristina Hernandez is supposed to be the same voter as Maria Inez Hernandez. That person is supposed to be the same voter
who voted one in Virginia and one in Georgia. That’s their claim. And those voters named Garcia and Hernandez
lose their vote. On that list, two million of those accused
voters, people accused of voting twice, don’t have the same middle name. Two million people accused don’t have the
same middle name, and they are removing, this is important, they’re actually removing hundreds
of thousands of people from the voter rolls as we speak. In fact without, without this game, this database
game called Crosscheck, which is Trump and Kobach’s database, Trump would not have won
in 2016. Now, it’s very interesting. Where do you take these challenges in the
United States? In other countries of course there is a national
electoral commission, or national electoral councils where we can large these complaints
and try to have them dealt with. What happens in the U.S.? The problem of vote theft is that the thieves
become the sheriffs. Or the number one agency to protect your vote
is the United States Justice Department voting rights division. That’s under the control of Jeff Beauregard
Sessions, who has said we don’t even need a Voting Rights Act. These people oppose the Voting Rights Act. The last thing they want to do is enforce
the Voting Rights Act. And so, and so therefore you have the people
who are supposed to be protecting us from vote thievery, they’re the people that are
stealing away your vote. This is very, very dangerous stuff. And now it’s gone into the area of accusing,
of using databases. In fact, the latest scam, and this is important,
is this new question about citizenship on the census, that they’re returning to the
census to ask how many people in your household are non-citizens. That was created, again, by the same guy,
Kris Kobach of Kansas. Donald Trump’s Vote Thief in Chief. And I understand that Kobach has claimed,
and his buddy Donald Trump has repeated, that one million aliens have voted in our election. One million. And to prove it what he wants to do is take
your answers on the census form, and say someone, if you’re in the Hernandez household, say
three people in the Hernandez house household are non-citizens. That doesn’t mean illegal aliens, people with
green cards, that they are non-citizens in the household. Everyone in that household is going to have
their vote challenged and you’ll have to prove you are a citizen. Which is not so easy, because we don’t have
citizenship cards in the United States. Remember, a Social Security card, a driver’s
license doesn’t help. So again, here they want to use the database
trick by using, now that they’ve got control of government they don’t need Cambridge Analytica. They don’t need i360. They got control the government. So what they want to do is use the census
to create a hit list of supposed alien voters that they will then challenge in the 2020
election. This is deadly serious misuse of databases. That’s what that whole citizenship business
is about. And that’s the hidden agenda. And in fact the White House has said one question
Why do you want this citizenship question. They have said to enforce the Voting Rights
Act. It has to do with voting. Kris Kobach has said this idea came from him. And his intent was to use it to match census
answers to your voter registration. And that’s really, really dangerous stuff. You’re going to see a million votes, I kid
you not, because that’s their own estimate, that 1 million voters will be challenged before
the 2020 election. All right. And Greg, finally, one more question. Let’s turn to how these companies that we
were talking about earlier used this tactics, these tactics, in other countries. We now know that they have been employed in
the Brexit vote, for example, as well as in the presidential elections in Kenya and Nigeria. What can you tell us about the international
scope of these operations? It’s serious stuff. Because if it were simply a matter of targeted
advertising, convince you to vote for their candidate, that’s all right. But Cambridge Analytica has been, their, their
chiefs were caught on tape by Channel 4, one of the outlets I work with, by Channel 4 investigators
in Britain, saying that they will create fake news about your opponent and use their social
networking abilities and use their particular targeting of individuals, their social networking
habits, to spread fake news about your opponent. And they said we can do it in a way that no
one will know that we’ve been involved. They said they successfully did this already
in other countries. We don’t even know how many countries because
they make a point of keeping their involvement hidden. This is very, very scary stuff. They are deliberately creating, Donald Trump’s
screaming about fake news, but he employed the fake news generator. That’s the big problem. That’s one of the very big problems of Cambridge
Analytica, and I know that we have that same problem with Data Trust, i360, and some of
the others. All right, Greg Palast, I thank you so much
for the important work you do, and for joining us today. Thank you so much. And thank you for joining us here on the Real
News Network.

32 Comments on "Cambridge Analytica Is Not Alone: i360 and Data Trust Disastrous for Democracy"


  1. When will experts say that data mining PII sensitive data is more than just about elections and marketing shoes?

    Reply

  2. Don't quite understand how those letters would block someone from voting. i360 sounds like the real scary stuff

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  3. Electoral College voted Trump in, Greg… they likely would have without Crosscheck's effect.

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  4. Challenged or an engineered pre-emptive voter purging?  R.I.P. Democracy 2018, tis was a noble experiment.

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  5. OMG! We're still talking about the f#^cking 216 election. Those voters knew what they were doing. They just hated Hillary that much.

    Reply

  6. This is complicated. Is it bad? Yes. Is it overstated? Yes. Is it misunderstood? Yes. Nonetheless, neither major party is attempting to win through actual democratic deliberation. We are living in an illusion.

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  7. Nothing one has heard explains how they actually 'influenced' the voter choice?? Whoever 'they' is. Just as Comey couldn't prove 'intent' with HRC you cannot prove actionable 'influence' in this case.

    Reply

  8. TRN is a great info source – but poor audio makes it tough to endure on a laptop.. can you use a better mic, Greg is in a tin can or on speaker phone which never works. This one is worth cleaning up or retaking..

    Reply

  9. You would think people would be mad as H*ll and decide they aren’t going to take it anymore but people are in a fog and the 39.9% aren’t going to let go. Steve B. and Mercer wanted a Company to help them create an Army of in the closet Racists. The whistle blower Chris W. explains it all but nobody wants to go down that road. The girl that got killed in Virginia, the people that got killed in Las Vegas and the kids that got killed in Florida; their blood is on these Psychopaths hands. If people are fighting each other they aren’t concerned about the 3 people that have enough wealth to solve every state that's about to default on their financial obligations problems and it is easier to justify creating a military state. I watched a recent episode of “America’s Lawyers” and the host says that modern cars have over 50 sensors that monitor things like how hard we brake and where we position our seat, this is the kind of data that they are collecting on us. To think that this Seventeen year old from Florida fell through the cracks is hard to believe because I heard a 911 call he made where he was reaching out for help. His Foster parents say they didn’t know he was violent but they knew he was kicked out of School plus someone was showing him enough interest to teach him how to shoot a weapon. Greg is right they have complete control of the Government now. I watched your video yesterday with Bill B. and couldn’t believe how they are getting ready to destroy the Economy. These guys know what caused the 2008 crash and if they don’t China sure does. China just started buying Oil with their own currency on Monday and it appears to be doing OK. Your channel has critical thinkers working for it and we’re going to need critical thinkers to help create something new when this thing collapses. Most people aren’t paying attention but for the last six months we have had severe weather somewhere in the US and pretty soon it will be summer in the Arctic. The Sun shines 24/7 in the Arctic in the summer and that is a lot of heat energy, it’s time to wake up.

    Reply

  10. Lead is Buried!
    Israeli company "BLACK CUBE" was also involved @1:20.
    Where's the article/news report segment on Black Cube?

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  11. While Greg Palast is 100% correct about his analysis and factual presentation of the Republicans machinations and illegal election scams/data mining. Why no mention of the democrats??

    The Democrats enable all of this behavior from Republicans they block any 3rd party candidates or even grassroots candidates that refuse to bow to corporate power. Democrats rig elections to prevent real representation from being elected to political office. Exhibit A is the Bernie Sanders & Hillary Primary millions of votes removed without any investigation???? I want Greg to speak about this also!

    Reply

  12. ©™ ALX ⚖ Armed 🔫 Liberation ⛓ Xecutive 🕶 Observation ✍✍

    Zuckerberg is in bed with the Zionists.
    Facebook censors Palestinian's dissent sites.
    Email Facebook advertiser's and say you are going to boycott their products because they support Facebook and Facebook supports apartheid Zionists colonial entity Israel.

    Reply

  13. This is just the tip of the iceberg, you morons. Stop pearl clutching. This big data manipulation and collection has been going on for a decade or more and goes far deeper than CA.

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  14. I voted for Jill Stein so none of the repub or dem data mining tricks worked on me. Most of you are a pack of mindless zombie dogs and were manipulated.

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  15. Bullshit on persuasion of not voting! Kochs were in for Clinton, one of'em even said so on national television! You have to listen to people like Julian Assange on this to understand how it functions in ways that can manipulate and thwart efforts! Still, one simple question: why should private tyrannies profit off of public and private properties of the people, our data (from personal onward) is ours! There's no genuine consent in our data being profited by private tyrannies!

    Reply

  16. People didn't vote for Hillary because she sucked. I take offense to Greg statement people didn't vote for Hillary because they were manipulated by a databases service. Hillary would have lost the popular vote to any other republican candidates. She only won the popular vote because it was Trump she went up against.

    She was a flawed candidate. Hillary and the DNC rigged the primary. She praised Henry Kissinger a war criminal who over saw the original 911 in 1973 . Ousted democratically elected leader in Honduras in 2009. The Clinton foundation is pay to play. Wanted to do a no fly zone over Syria . Getting the US in a conflict with Russia. Telling wal-street she has a public and private position.

    You don't need to lie about Hillary in order to convince people not to vote for her. The truth works best .

    United States is not a democracy. It's a racist police state. The only nation dumb enough to have a for profit private health insurance company between you and your doctor. Pay 3 times more for the same medication that Mexico and Canada gets. To believe a special needs person like Donald Trump is actually running the country is to believe Obama had any say on the day to day operations in the United States.

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  17. http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/20/friended-how-the-obama-campaign-connected-with-young-voters/

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  18. So had Trump not been elected, would he have been compelled to expose military tactics in marketing? While I greatly appreciate that he came out and blew the lid of this, it's important to note that had Hillary won, everything would be shady business as usual.

    Reply

  19. please…..that was bush jr….era… when it happen ….not in trump
    you have a video covering that with abby martin dont lie men

    Reply

  20. I wounder what Greg Palast thinks about Tulsi Gabbard'd bill for paper ballots and Tim Canovas proposed amendments?

    Reply

  21. Check your smartphone, just one example, ask it for where you went yesterday, it can tell you your every move, even the bits you have forgotten! Go to google maps then to menu then to your timeline! They know everything about us! But our safety is in our numbers😎👍🏼

    Reply

  22. Pretty sad to see almost all the posts miss the overall point that we have people polishing the art of what should be and in most cases is illegal.
    If you're so indoctrinated that you cannot look at this piece without having a hissy fit over the last election to the point you justify and rationalize the immorality of what these assholes are doing then we don't deserve a democratic republic in the first place.

    If you can't tell the main point is election fraud, propaganda, and deceit for profit you are missing the point.

    Reply

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