back to article BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

Controversial data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has been hit with an emergency data seizure order in England following an extraordinary series of events Monday night that revolved around a TV undercover expose. Following a day in which the company became the focus of attention online, in print, and in the UK Parliament …

  1. nsld

    Popcorn

    In 3,2,1.....

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn

      "Popcorn

      In 3,2,1....."

      When this all ends, Trump's office is going to be like the scene in Airplane with the fan!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Popcorn

        >Trump's office is going to be like the scene in Airplane with the fan!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZdp46Jen_w

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @theVogon... Re: Popcorn

        Keep dreaming...

        Look, lets break this down.

        What are the facts...

        1) Did CA snarf the data? Or did the buy it from the Cambridge professor who wrote the app that collected the data and snarfed the friends data that wasn't locked down. (And friends of friends?)

        2) Trump's Campaign may have used the data and services which were paid for , to CA. So what is Trump's culpability / liability? The answer is none. Of course you should talk to a lawyer because 90% of the news on Trump is negative (which shows bias) . So Trump is clear.

        The issue is how did they get the data? Facebook allowed the research to occur and what you have is a breach of contract by the professor who sold his code and the data to CA.

        So, depending on the contract, CA could be guilty of somethings (IANAL and don't know UK law) but in the US, could just be forced to delete the data. The Cambridge University Prof? He's in a lot of hot water

        CA? Some. Trump? None.

        As to candidates using analytics and data? Started with Obama. (In Chicago BTW...) Oh and of course FB was happy to share w Obama...

        Just keeping it real.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: @theVogon... Popcorn

          I agree, if Trump ended up benefiting from this data he's not to blame. While his campaign was obviously willing to accept help they knew was illegal (they wouldn't have gone to so much trouble to lie and cover up all their Russian contacts, deals with Wikipedia etc. if they didn't know it was wrong) they had no way of knowing Cambridge obtained this data improperly.

          Even if they had tried to do everything on the up and up and asked point blank "where did you get this data?" Cambridge wasn't likely to admit "if anyone ever founds out we got this, it will be a huge scandal and our business will be bankrupt within weeks".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @theVogon... Popcorn

          Shades of Foval and Creamer. None of this is even remotely new. Of course, I guess technically it is bi-partisan.

      3. Stu Mac

        Re: Popcorn

        Why? it was the Democrats that FB were so keen to help....

    2. Schultz
      Go

      Re: Popcorn

      I heard that Great Britain has quite restrictive laws concerning slander. Maybe the CA data vault will deliver rich pickings for British law firms. I'll cheer for the bad guys on this one. No, the other bad guys, silly!

      1. Mr Dogshit

        Re: Popcorn

        Don't think so. You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Popcorn

          "Don't think so. You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander."

          Under UK law, if you can prove material damage caused by spoken word, then you can sue.

          1. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: Popcorn

            "Under UK law, if you can prove material damage caused by spoken word, then you can sue."

            Also untrue, there are things that can be said which are slander even if no material damage occurs.

          2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Popcorn

            Victoria Beckham's five minutes in a memorabilia shop at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent could cost her dear, after three appeal court judges yesterday opened the way for the shop's owners to sue her for £500,000 for slander.

            The owners claim damages for loss to their business after media reports of Mrs Beckham's "loud and unreasonable" outburst, accusing them of selling fake autographs of her husband, England captain David Beckham, and "ripping off" customers.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          "You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander."

          Citation needed. Libel maybe easier to prove if you have the piece of paper it was written on. Slander would need you to produce a witness unless a recording exists.

        3. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          Libel covers just about everything though.

          Facebook posts, twitter tweets, etc, they are all covered by libel.

          Fake news websites, blogs, etc, they are all covered by libel.

          Anything broadcast on TV or printed in a news paper, that's covered by libel.

          A verbal statement made by someone at a rally that isn't televised or published on YouTube etc, that would be covered by slander rather than libel, but it wouldn't reach a lot of people.

        4. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          Don't think so. You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander.

          Oh yes you can on many circumstances - https://www.inbrief.co.uk/media-law/malicious-falsehoods-slander/

        5. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          "Don't think so. You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander."

          Slander has been assimilated into the law of libel. Hence there is no specific law of slander. Both libel and slander are now referred to collectively as "defamation". However it is possible and reasonable to sue for slander. It's certainly untrue to claim that "you can't sue for slander". There are specific instances of slander:

          • Words imputing a crime punishable with imprisonment;
          • Words imputing certain diseases [1];
          • Words disparaging a person in his office, calling or profession.

          for which it is possible to sue for slander without any proof of damage.

          [1] Mostly diseases of the nether bits.

        6. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          "You can sue for libel, you can't sue for slander."

          You can sue for defamation. There is no distinction as to the type.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too Late

      Meanwhile Facebook were over at CA's HQ ahead of the Chocolate Fireguard's publically broadcast intention to raid the premises.

      The interesting thing is that CA are only behaving as a state actor's equivalent State Security organisation would behave, without oversight, all of the time.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        state actor's equivalent State Security organisation

        They are the ultimate pinnacle of outsourcing government contracts. Even State Security jobs are now outsourced.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        Meanwhile Facebook were over at CA's HQ ahead of the Chocolate Fireguard's publically broadcast intention to raid the premises.

        If we assume for a second that this company are neck deep in nefarious purpose, surely they have taken basic precautions against raids on corporate offices and data discovery by our overweight sleepy watchdog the ICO.

        I actually don't have any dodgy data to hide, but a search of my house isn't going to yield any of the good stuff - thats all very encrypted in the cloud on drives I only mount when I need the data. Yes, I get that forensic tools might recover some of it in temp files, disk controllers etc, but as I said - I'm not taking any countermeasures.

        1. SquidEmperor

          Re: Too Late

          Yeah - they need to make sure they take out all the hard drives out of the office via a window and not through a door...

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Too Late

          Certainly if it was me, I'd SECRETLY get a warrant. for CA *AND* Facebook (Irish cooperation etc)

          Claim it involves terrorism & spying (UK Plod does that sometimes even when it isn't).

          Arrest everyone likely to have passwords at 3am.

          Go in with huge team of experts and military and special branch.

          In UK law you go to jail, do not pass go, if you do not give access / passwords.

          Copy/decrypt everything.

          Seize all the computing devices after changing the cloud passwords.

          It's been ineptly managed.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Too Late

            Certainly if it was me, I'd SECRETLY get a warrant

            BBbbbbbut sir - you are assuming that the powers that be WANT things to be found. What on earth drove you to that assumption? Can you please share it, we will gladly smoke it with you provided that there are not too many Phosphorus and Fluorine atoms in the formulae.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        "The interesting thing is that CA are only behaving as a state actor's equivalent State Security organisation would behave, without oversight, all of the time."

        There is no "only" about it. It's a private firm, not a state organisation.

        State organisations may look like they have no oversight, but there is internal accountability running to the government. (Flawed, of course, but at least it's supposed to be there.)

        Entities like CA are more dangerous than state organisations (assuming we are talking about those of democracies).

        1. hoola

          Re: Too Late

          Because they can be bought. As ever, money speaks, and the more there is around the greater the likelihood of scum using to for their own benefit.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Steven Jones

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        There's some industrial-scale paranoia going on there. UK bankers rigged every election in US history? Whoever knew.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          Yeah, "UK" Bankers.....Sure, "UK"

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        @Faux Science Slayer (Ha!)

        Nurse! He's not taken his morning pills again...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          ahhh, 'The Sheeple' have spoken... tres facile, n'est-ce pas?... to just swallow hook,line & sinker mainstream media's buckets [bouquets?] of codswallop...

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          He's not taken his morning pills again...

          It may have taken it's pills - but the pills might not have had the right grade of frog in them. More Rana temporaria rather than Bufo alvarius..[1]

          [1] Yes, yes, I know that's a toad. One assumes that the Bursar was sufficiently bufoed that he didn't know the difference between the two..

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

            "the pills might not have had the right grade of frog in them"

            If things keep carrying on the way they have been over the last few days, they might contain Amanita phalloides one morning.

        3. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          @ Pen-y-gors:

          I'll agree he's not taken his meds again. But I'm starting to wonder if perhaps we shouldn't put out an APB for his second neuron. The one he appears to be left with seems to be lonely.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

            But I'm starting to wonder if perhaps we shouldn't put out an APB for his second neuron. The one he appears to be left with seems to be lonely.

            Leaky skull syndrome. Also known as 'firing on all colanders'.

      3. scarletherring

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        > Faux Science Slayer

        http://fauxscienceslayer.com/pdf/author.pdf

        Well... You're right up there with the TimeCube guy huh? But less funny.

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          Calm down, it' s just amanfrommars. He works for CA, you see, so he has to post under an alias.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          "http://fauxscienceslayer.com/pdf/author.pdf"

          What a load of conspiracy theory garbage. The global warming isn't happening stuff in particular is laughably unscientific. It should move to fauxsciencecollection.com

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

          You're right up there with the TimeCube guy huh? But less funny.

          Yes, Faux Science Slayer isn't the best kook. But he's our kook.

          There are plenty of regulars in these parts who are regularly wrong, but only a few who are outright crazy. I generally enjoy posts from FSS just as an insane palate cleanser.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        @Faux Science Slayer; "Every election in US history has been rigged by UK bankers"

        You are Lyndon LaRouche, and I claim my $5.

      5. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        "...Then MI6 spook Steele used Russian Skripal dirt for DNC Pee Pee dossier. When their witness stood chance of exposing the UK government meddling, the spy was snuffed and Russia blamed.

        Meanwhile the Reptillary campaign stole money and voters from bean brain Bernie, snuffed a dozen witnesses including Seth Rich. DNC hired CrowdStrike to concoct fake Russian hacking by fictitious Guccifer 2.0, Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear.

        Every election in US history has been rigged by UK bankers, only in 2016 they LOST, and will soon be exposed and broken..."

        I mean...apart from the last sentence the rest is clearly a bunch of words but despite my best efforts that's all the remain. There's not a single piece that is coherent.

        As for the final sentence...lol.. Sure thing.

      6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        Then MI6 spook Steele used Russian Skripal dirt for DNC Pee Pee dossier.

        Woaaaa... easy tiger... easy tiger...

        First of all - this is off topic.

        Second - There are claims both pro and con regarding this one. He may or may not be on his payroll. Citation needed.

        Third - I suggest everyone buys a Belaz of popcorn. The car which transported Julia from Heathrow to Salisbury has been found contaminated - that is 24h before the incident . I am awaiting eagerly the delivery of said Belaz along with the news of an airbus 320 being arrested and put in the corner of the tarmac somewhere in Europe for forensic investigation (no, I am not going to say which airline, but I suggest washing your clothes immediately after flying with anything that goes shorthaul to/from LHR).

        Fourth - I eagerly await Boris explanation to No 3 and how does that combine with "attack in Salisbury" which is looking more and more like a case of a botched smuggling by the mob. I believe Boris will have no issues explaining - after all the Russians have admitted to using super-secret nerve agents in Britain (no I am not translating this - ask a Russian speaker).

      7. IglooDude
        Facepalm

        Re: Obombie sought and got GCHQ wiretaps of Trump to benefit Reptillary !

        For what it's worth, as soon as you use insulting and juvenile nicknames for the public figures you don't like (and really those two names are dumber and more contrived than usual), everyone who is even vaguely open-minded automatically dismisses whatever you are saying. It's like you're sticking a label on your own comment that says "IGNORE ME I'M A PARTISAN IDIOT".

  2. yossarianuk

    Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

    I mean i'm sure it's all legal and above board but can anyone explain why a team from Facebook were in the offices of Cambridge Analytica shortly after the story broke ?

    https://twitter.com/MichaelLCrick/status/975816689647529984

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      Because the real lizard overlords would naturally get in there first?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

        Because the real lizard overlords

        Shh. Remember the first rule of RLO club!

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      Was there a team from Facebook there? All I see is a tweet asking very much the same question as you. That's not a report, it's an innuendo poorly disguised as a question.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      To add Destroying Evidence and Obstructing Justice to their list of charges?

      And to make sure nobody forgets Facebook is the big fish in this story.

    4. Diogenes

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      Nothing nefarious...

      Facebook announced that wanted to ensure that the data has been deleted in terms with both the T&Cs and the undertaking(pinkie swear) CA made 2 years ago. Had I been FB I would have done the same.

      Given that people willingly handed over FB data ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

        The Facebook staff members involved in the visit should now consult a lawyer on a personal basis about exactly what happened on this visit. If there is any hint that they've been involved in a clean up operation that could be construed as destruction of evidence, it's their own personal arses on the line for that.

        If the ICO gets their teeth into that line of enquiry, the staffs' best hope for staying out of trouble is early legal consultation, and early disclosure of events to the ICO / police. This kind of thing goes from doing the company's bidding to breaking the law and taking the rap on behalf of the boss very quickly.

        Keeping quiet, staying a loyal member of the team, is stupid; there's a good chance that a criminal investigation will get to the bottom of the chain of events anyway, or someone else will crack first. Volunteering information right now is going to count quite strongly in ones favour in the only place that may end up mattering - in the court room.

        As a general rule, if your boss ever asks you to "pop round there and clean it up", or, "can't you just massage those data a little bit in the emissions tests?", your employment has in effect just been terminated and you are in line for a stretch in jail. Certainly never comply without written instructions to do so, and make damn sure you have a copy of the emails stashed off-site. Recognise those signs and act quickly to involve the police or appropriate authorities, and its your boss who goes to jail. Your out of a job regardless, but you're also out of jail.

        1. SiFly

          Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

          Probably on a private G5 on the way to the USA right now

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

          "If the ICO gets their teeth into that line of enquiry,"

          Then they have nothing to worry about as the ICO has repeatedly proven itself to be a gutless wonder in such cases.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      damage limitation. And sarcasm aside, I bet this whole affair (FAKE NEWS, FAKE NEWS!!!) is going to cost facebook a few bucks. I few billion, to be exact, given the silly amounts of fake money flowing through the stock markets...

    6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      I'm sure it's nothing to do with Facebook allegedly being there or not, but major press coverage that a search warrant is going to be applied for does give the searchee plenty of time to start covering their tracks (if there are any tracks to be covered, obvs) The trick to seizing potential evidence of an alleged offence is to do it before the alleged offender has time to shred/burn the allegedly incriminating stuff.

      There will possibly be thick clouds of smoke rising above CA as the server room suffers an unexplained fire...(allegedly)

    7. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      "can anyone explain why a team from Facebook were in the offices of Cambridge Analytica shortly after the story broke ?"

      I think you have that backwards. A team from Facebook were in the offices of CA, before the story broke. Since CA are accused of holding data in breach of Facebook's T&Cs, the reason for their auditors to be there are fairly obvious. They left pretty sharpish after this new story broke, again for what should be rather obvious reasons.

    8. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      Facebook needs to explain why hadn't it hadn't done anything in the two years since it was first made aware of the allegations against CA.

      Then, why Facebook didn't follow the spirit of the DPA and inform the IC and users that there may have been a breach of privacy.

      Sadly, GDPR doesn't take affect for another month yet.

  3. Jove Bronze badge

    Warrants

    The impact of the delays in asserting control over the business point to additional legislation now becoming more likely, with the risk it will drive data-centric businesses off-shore.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Warrants

      That legislation already exists. The police can do a proper data freeze raid already. What is needed is a search warrant.

      The issue here is different. The powers that be deliberately turned a blind eye on the activities of a company because it has been repeatedly useful to "us" in influencing public opinion in various places where we would like to interfere in the democratic process. They conveniently forgot that CA are a private company and will tout for and get business in addition to the government approved election interference contracts.

      While the US and UK governments were turning a blind eye (they could have found a reason for a search warrant ten times by now), the journalists did their job. They actually did some proper investigative journalism of value to the society as a whole. Hallelujah, the profession and the idea of free press are not fully dead yet. There is some twitching observed in the rotting corpse and let's hope it is not the putrification gas escaping from it.

      As a result the CPS, the Data Protection commissioner and everyone else got caught bang in the middle of turning a blind eye on CA activities. This is the reason for all the panicky motions by each and every one of them. They are pretending to do something while ensuring that CA has enough time to get rid of any incriminating evidence.

      There is a lesson in this - there is sh*t which you do not outsource. Ever. If you do it is guaranteed to hit the fan later on. Similarly, an information "soldier of fortune" is a soldier of fortune none the less. We have been through this during the "private run" wars in Africa and Latin America in the 70-es and 80-es. We should have learned the lesson (and applied it).

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Warrants

        You give a nod to Frederick Forsythe' Dogs of War. This story and climate is the stuff of late period angry John le Carre.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should be interesting to hear their excuses

    Because 'one rogue engineer' isn't going to work.

    1. K Silver badge

      What the public really wants to know though..

      Is what did they deliver for Heir Trump?

      I suspect politicians on both sides of the pond will try to bury this into a very deep and dark cesspit, along with the rest of their sordid back-handers and dealings... but once they start scrambling to protect their own hides and the the back stabbing begins, hopefully the truth will come out.

    2. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

      Because 'one rogue engineer' isn't going to work.

      Two rogue engineers?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Two rogue engineers?

        Careful, the PFY has a cattle prod.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

      "Because 'one rogue engineer' isn't going to work."

      Maybe they'll blame the rouge one?

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

        The one caught red handed?

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

          The one caught red handed?

          No. Red Headed. And nose pierced.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Coat

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses The one caught red handed?

          Or Orange headed?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

        Grrr, please just don’t! “Rouge” where it should not be annoys me almost as much as people who loose they’re ability to spell flouride.

    4. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

      Apparently they're using the plausible deniability gambit, as in their criminal suggestions were supposedly just "a tactical ploy to see if the potential client was ethical".

      That might work ... without forensic evidence that proves they've already employed those criminal tactics in the past.

      Hence why it's so vital to recover their computer records, preferably unscathed.

      My gut feeling: I hope Nix and his pals like porridge.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

        I hope Nix and his pals like porridge

        You're forgetting one important detail: Only little people like us get to taste porridge. Rich **** get a slap on the wrists and told not to do it again.

        1. Ian Bush

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

          "You're forgetting one important detail: Only little people like us get to taste porridge. Rich **** get a slap on the wrists and told not to do it again."

          I think you've misspelt "****", there should be an extra * at the end

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

          "Rich **** get a slap on the wrists and told not to do it again."

          And the ability to sue google et al in order to ensure that the world doesn't remember what they did.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

        My gut feeling: I hope Nix and his pals like porridge.

        Maybe. Served on a silver plate on a superyacht in the Mediterranean. There is no way in hell they will get any punishment for this. The amount of kompromat they hold on the powers that be will prevent it.

        1. John Watts

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

          I expect gargling 'Russian' nerve agents or zipping themselves inside suitcases will prevent it.

      3. JimC Silver badge

        Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

        The only worry is that I was tangentially connected to an investigative TV exposure once, and while there had undoubtedly been unethical stuff going on, the extent to which a well known program from an advertising free broadcaster massaged the evidence and edited interviews to make things look way worse than they really were was quite astonishing. If you want to make someone look bad, for instance, its amazing how effective editing silence *into* an interview is. Makes straightforward answers look hesitant and devious.

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

          its amazing how effective editing silence *into* an interview is

          Mr Simpson, your silence will only incriminate you further.

          YouTube

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

      it was a team of rogue engineers, and the manager who "actioned" this move had heard voices from above, not e-mails...

  5. jonfr

    Collapse of Facebook

    I think this might mean the collapse of Facebook in the style of Enron (2000's electric company). This is going to be interesting to watch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Collapse of Facebook

      I think this might mean the collapse of Facebook in the style of Enron

      Don't get your hopes up. The lizards want to be able to abuse the data of billions of people so FB are safe, but in any event its Cambridge Dodgylitics who are going to implode, given that they didn't have the rights to use the FB data, and their other activities appear to be illegal.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Collapse of Facebook

        It might be the end of CA, but they're just one noxious tentacle of SCL Group. CA was formed specifically for targeting American elections. CA can implode without taking SCL with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Collapse of Facebook

      > I think this might mean the collapse of Facebook

      I think it’s more likely to mean the end of the University of Cambridge.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Collapse of Facebook

        > I think it’s more likely to mean the end of the University of Cambridge

        I'm assuming you're being ironic, but just to clarify for the casual reader: Cambridge Analytica is not related to Cambridge University.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Collapse of Facebook

          > I'm assuming you're being ironic, but just to clarify for the casual

          > reader: Cambridge Analytica is not related to Cambridge University.

          That’s true, yes - but who cares about truth any more? My point really is that (a) the “casual reader” won’t see your disclaimer, and (b) Facebook is too big to fail.

          1. Jan 0

            Re: Collapse of Facebook

            >Facebook ... too big to fail.

            But it's not like a bank or a major utility. Who's going to get hurt if it vanishes overnight? All the essentials for contemporary human life will still be 100% available.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Collapse of Facebook

              > Who's going to get hurt if (Facebook) vanishes overnight?

              Who? Seriously? BILLIONS of people.

              Do you actually ever go outside? I see FAR MORE Facebook adicts now than nicotine, let alone illegal drugs. Take away Facebook and there would be a revolution - people would be literally building baracades and burning down government buildings all round the world.

              (Not joking.)

              1. rmason Silver badge

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                AC is correct, despite this being the "wrong crowd".

                Yes, many of you don't use facebook. Meanwhile practically everyone else has an account, with a massive amount having it in front of them almost 24/7. There are people being tretaed for addiction!

                I know many here scoff and don't quite believe it, but peopple even call the police when FB goes down.

                Reports from 2014-2107 inclusive. i'm sure we will get the 2018 one when they have an outage next.

                http://time.com/3071049/facebook-down-police/

                https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/facebook-goes-down-users-call-6544890

                https://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/dont-call-911-if-facebook-is-down-tweets-this-police-department-1762940

                Each from different areas of the world/areas of america. Each form different years.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Collapse of Facebook

                  "people even call the police when FB goes down."

                  So what? Numpties have been known to call the police over all sorts of minor stuff. Just Google for call police trivial

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                "I see FAR MORE Facebook adicts now than nicotine, let alone illegal drugs."

                So? There'll be another one along any minute to take its place.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                building barricades, in minecraft.

              4. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                Do you actually ever go outside?

                Who has to go outside [to see Facebook addicts]?

                Just have an account and watch your email spammed by the FB junkies in your family over every micro incident in their lives.

                I know at least two terminal addicts - seemingly all but visits to the lav are documented, and three other serious addicts who post on every minor social occasion.

              5. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                They all have Google Plus accounts, maybe they will start using them. Or, other social networks exist. People don't use them right now because nobody else uses them, but that could change. Facebook will become the next MySpace, the only question is when it will happen.

                1. Lotaresco Silver badge

                  Re: Collapse of Facebook

                  "other social networks exist"

                  Yes, we could, for example, create a social network of peer-to-peer servers with no one organisation in charge of everything. It would be supported and standards policed by the users providing a demonstration of practical anarchy. Individuals would be permitted anonymous access and no one would have to state their demographic data to get access. We could call it by a name that reflects this user-centric view of social networking, say "Usenet". That's rather catchy.

              6. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                Take away Facebook and there would be a revolution

                Or we could start using MySpace again.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Collapse of Facebook

              and there's a chance humanity will actually turn out the first productive work in a day. Hurrah for the business owners!

              But then: a worldwide tsunami of suicides...

              And yet: cure for cancer, end to all wars, breakthrough in faster than light travel... OK, I'll go with the suicides...

              btw, is twitter still up? I must...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Collapse of Facebook

            "... (b) Facebook is too big to fail."

            I think you mean too Rich to be caught !!! :)

            It is very unlikely that Facebook will fail, they have the means to keep all this bouncing through the courts for years.

            I fully expect that Facebook will be 'Not Implicated' and Cambridge Analytica will 'fail for them' !!!

            One Bad Guy is much like another when you are trying to appear to be in control. (Re: ICO)

            The ICO will take Cambridge Analytica rather than fail trying to get Facebook.

            The Govt can then 'crow' how they are tough on the 'Bad Guys' out there on the 'Interwebs' and hope to steamroller through some ill thought out knee jerk legislation to plug the holes in the law.

            Most Non-EU/UK companies will generally ignore them anyway !!!

            As an aside, of MUCH greater concern is a report of 1.4Kg of Californium being found in the back of a Car in Turkey. see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43463195

            Crude 'Dirty Bomb' anyone !!!???

            FFS, where is the world going to ?

            Again 'something' that can only be sourced from USA or Russia ...... something else that 'could' of been 'misplaced' in the recent past perhaps ????

            [Something about a 'Handcart' comes to mind !!! :) :) ]

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Collapse of Facebook [Typo corrected]

              "Again 'something' that can only be sourced from USA or Russia ...... something else that 'could' of been 'misplaced' in the recent past perhaps ????"

              Should be:

              "Again 'something' that can only be sourced from USA or Russia ...... something else that 'could' have been 'misplaced' in the recent past perhaps ????"

              Somehow mangled the edit of the sentence to end up with " ...could of ...".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Collapse of Facebook

              I think you mean too Rich to be caught !!! :)

              It is very unlikely that Facebook will fail, they have the means to keep all this bouncing through the courts for years.

              I fully expect that Facebook will be 'Not Implicated' and Cambridge Analytica will 'fail for them' !!!

              Don't count on that. Given the nature of Cambridge Analytica's operations (seemingly, tampering with elections), there's a good chance that the ICO will be instructed by the UK government to really take them (where "them" = Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and literally anyone else who might be doing anything like this) to pieces on this one.

              The ICO (and similar bodies around the world) already has all the powers it needs; no new laws are required. What might be needed is more staff. So the ICO might be asked by government, "Need a bigger budget to take on enough staff to do a full tear down on a huge operation like Facebook?", "Yes please", "No problems, here you go.".

              That'll take time, and any interim hint of the case being real and having anything to do with elections could easily result in interim court orders being issued. That would have an immediate impact on Facebook's business.

              Electoral tampering is about the worst possible thing that can happen in a democracy, as it can push a country in a direction from which there is no quick recovery (e.g. leaving the EU, electing a ruinous leader, etc). The merest hint that this is the kind of thing that has been going on and governments (presumably not the current US administration) will be all over it.

              The significance of the Press / Broadcast Journalism

              I have to say, this is one of the most significant pieces of investigative journalism I've seen in recent decades. This is why you need a free press / tv news journalism, and a corp of properly trained journalists. AI generated news feeds on Facebook, Google are not the same thing. Can you imagine an investigative journalist being able to get such a story distributed on line by, say, Facebook? No.

              1. Paul Shirley

                Re: Collapse of Facebook

                AC:"there's a good chance that the ICO will be instructed by the UK government to really take them (where "them" = Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and literally anyone else who might be doing anything like this) to pieces on this one."

                There's a better chance a sitting brexiteer UK gov will find not revealing details of the Leave campaigns use of CA is more important than exposing the truth and any demolition will be purely superficial.

                1. AndyD 8-)₹

                  Re: Collapse of Facebook

                  "a sitting brexiteer UK gov will find not revealing details of the Leave campaigns use of CA is more important than exposing the truth "

                  Well there it is....

                  if there's a 10% chance that FB/CA had a >1% effect on the Brexit vote...

                  I WANT ANOTHER REFERENDUM!

            3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Gimp

              I think you mean too Rich to be caught !!! :)

              Indeed.

              Personally I think a master class from this guy starting at around 1:40 lays the situation out.

            4. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Collapse of Facebook

              "a report of 1.4Kg of Californium being found in the back of a Car in Turkey."

              The BBC says it's Californium-252 - which has a half-life of 2.6years and it's a _very_ strong neutron emitter

              Wikipedia says: "Only two sites produce californium-252: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, and the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, Russia. As of 2003, the two sites produce 0.25 grams and 0.025 grams of californium-252 per year, respectively"

              If it was really that much in that small a space, then there are going to be a lot of dead journalists and police in a short period of time and we have a lot more to worry about than people running around with 1.4kg of the stuff - like where 1.4kg of the stuff was MADE.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Collapse of Facebook

          Quote from the grauniad:

          Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University academic who orchestrated the harvesting of Facebook data, had previously unreported ties to a Russian university, including a teaching position and grants for research into the social media network, the Observer has discovered. Cambridge Analytica, the data firm he worked with – which funded the project to turn tens of millions of Facebook profiles into a unique political weapon – also attracted interest from a key Russian firm with links to the Kremlin.

          https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-academic-trawling-facebook-had-links-to-russian-university

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re. links to Russian university

            Hell, I've just realized I also HAVE LINKS TO a Russian university, which has links to Russian firm with links to Kremlin. Fortunately, I'm not in the limelight. Until. Then all will be exposed, OMG, I must be a Russian troll, or worse! :(

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: re. links to Russian university

              Hell, I've just realized I also HAVE LINKS TO a Russian university,

              Check your LinkedIn account, the way the stupid site spams you every time some person you 'linked with' for lack of topic of conversation and a few drinks at an obscure conference or failed project wrap-up X number of years ago and not worked/seen/contacted since, you are probably only a connection or two away from being implicated with links too....bloody anything potentially illegal.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Collapse of Facebook

          he IS being ironic and / or baiting. And what is truly ironic is the amount of downvotes he received. The register's been facebooked, we're doomed :/

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Collapse of Facebook

            > Re: Collapse of Facebook

            he IS being ironic and / or baiting. And what is truly ironic is the amount of downvotes he received. The register's been facebooked, we're doomed :/

            I saw him as just using a cute twist on 'when hell freezes over', and didn't mean for him to be down voted.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Collapse of Facebook

              DIaspora can step up now.

              Please...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Collapse of Facebook

          Just to clarify the 50m data. Was from dr. Kogon of Cambridge university, so there is that link.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Collapse of Facebook

        end of the University of Cambridge

        I think I can hear cheering from somewhere up the A420..

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Collapse of Facebook

      The share price has dropped $37billion, which is a big hint that investors have been spooked. Given that Facebook have probably used their own shares as collateral or as a alternative to cash in one way or other, that's probably not good news for the company.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        The share price has dropped $37billion,

        It's a good start.

        Probably worth shorting it some more to see if it can be dropped a bit further.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: The share price has dropped $37billion,

          $37bn sounds like a big number. To put it in context, it is reportedly 6.7% of FB's value.

    4. Mr Dogshit

      Re: Collapse of Facebook

      Well, let's hope so.

    5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Collapse of Facebook

      Well, there is always VKontakte...

  6. Chris G Silver badge

    Sounds as though someone is going to have to stand in the naughty corner for a while, maybe with with bars around them.

  7. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    Dodgy dealings with elections

    Could this impinge on any ongoing investigations?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Dodgy dealings with elections

      It will affect the excuses. Trump will claim he did not win because of Russian interference. He won because he hired Cambridge Analytica with a huge loan from Deutsche Bank.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Dodgy dealings with elections

        No Trump wants everyone to believe he won all on his won. He won't even give credit to his campaign staffers, and every time one of them is indicted or otherwise tarnished, he has Sarah Huckabee go out there and claim "he played a very minor role in the campaign" - even for people who used to RUN his campaign!

        He would never give Cambridge Analytica any credit, even if their name was unsullied. I doubt he'd even give his family any credit, if anyone tried to claim that Don Jr, Melania or Ivanka played a role in his victory.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dodgy dealings with elections

          > No Trump wants everyone to believe he won all on his won.

          Generally speaking, Trump supporters don't believe that. Like Brexit in the UK, Trump was the only option for US voters to express their fury at the polls. The Nuclear Option. Literally the "go fuck yourselves" candidate. He did the ranting and trolling. Memers, youtubers, commentards, offline word of mouth, pathetic opposition candidates and their self-defeating propaganda machine did the rest.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Tinfoil hat time?

    Could it be that the early announcement of an investigation was made public so quickly because someone didn't want to find anything incriminating.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Tinfoil hat time?

      Choose one of:

      - explaining the data that is there but shouldn't be

      - explaining the data that isn't there, but can be strongly suspected (as implicated by various actions based on that data) to have been there (and shouldn't have been)

  9. PhilipN Silver badge

    Short Memory Syndrome

    Scenario : Over-hyped over-priced IPO.

    Problem : How to justify the price.

    Solution : Monetise FB.

    Q1 : How to monetise?

    Q2 ; What assets does FB have?

    A1 : Punters? Forget it. They are tight-fisted bastards who want to use a free service.

    A2 : A-ha! Punters' data!!

    Q3 : How to monetise user data?

    A3 : Any and every which way you can.

    Phew - Job done.

    Chapter II - Cue media exposes.

    Chapter III - Everybody acknowledges the Era of Zero Privacy* and moves on.

    *Zuck mantra : E-Z-P-Z (using the American "zee")

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Short Memory Syndrome

      *Zuck mantra : E-Z-P-Z (using the American "zee")

      More like: Maybe it's time to pull a Tom from MySpace and retire to a quiet island somewhere: "What's the opening bid to buy FB?"

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Short Memory Syndrome

      "Chapter III - Everybody acknowledges the Era of Zero Privacy* and moves on."

      A lot of younger "adults" have already stated that they don't care. They are addicted to social platforms and all kinds of privacy intruding services, and don't care how this is used to bend their feeble minds.

      We need laws and enforcement of the laws before we have these morons completely in the hands of the likes of Nix (or Trump, or Bannon).

  10. SVV Silver badge
    Pint

    Information Commisioner statement on Facebook

    I.e. , talking about it on the telly, not posting on it : "We should all be shocked and very concerned"

    Right, maybe you should have dropped by places like The Register to see what IT people think of Facebook. Then you might not have been so shocked. You should have been concerned a lot earlier though - I'm guessing that's kind of your job. And you seem to have revealed that you are very, very unsuitable for the job to which you have been appointed. And all the politicians who went "Oooh Facebook have opened a big offce in London! Look everybody I know about the internet!" Don't try the "If only we knew then what we know now" excuse - plenty of people could have warned you before you hopped on the bandwagon trying to look "with it".

    In further news right now (which admittedly may be ancient history in a very short period of time the way this seems to be developing) :

    "Facebook shares ended trading 6.7% lower at $172.56, wiping almost $37bn off the social network's market value."

    Beers all round, I feel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Information Commisioner statement on Facebook

      what IT people think of Facebook

      IT doesn't matter. What matter is what "the politicians" think of facebook, because the politicians make decisions, like "we don't give a flying monkey" (for years), but as the mood swings, suddenly they're all concerned about the (facebook-fed) "Public" - and the politicians tell ICO (and police): GO, AFTER THEM, NOW!!!! And ICO suddenly sprint into action, even though no law's changed overnight to make them so agile...

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: what the politicians think of facebook

        Cheapest way to feed propaganda to the voters that really matter (the most credulous ones because they vastly outnumber the voters capable of critical thinking).

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Information Commisioner statement on Facebook

      what IT people think of Facebook

      Nah, we know what we're talking about (on the whole) so we count as 'experts' and must therefore be ignored.

    3. Marcus000

      Re: Information Commisioner statement on Facebook

      Wow! 6.7% = $37billion. I think earlier comments about Facebook being too rich to fail really does apply.

      Yours, Shocked and Stunned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Information Commisioner statement on Facebook

        Marcus000,

        That loud noise you have been hearing all morning ........ is the sound of 'Pennies Dropping' much like your epiphany !!!

        Hence, my comment re: "too rich to fail".

        (Might still be time to 'short' Facebook stock BUT I suspect that the money has already been made by the 'ususal suspects' that 'bounce' the market for profit after every high profile event in the news.)

        That reminds me, we are due another Bitcoin 'bounce' as the news has been quiet for a while and there is still more money to be made from the 'Mug Punters' !!!

        :) ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FB vs CA

    When this story broke over the weekend as "Facebook confirms Cambridge Analytica stole its data" it sounded like spat among two equally creepy companies. Contemplating the political blowback, however, it seems they're arch-rivals.

    FB, like Google, is a left-wing partisan company now loathed by the right for using its internet supremacy to suppress conservative / libertarian viewpoints. CA has (apparently exclusively) supported conservative / alt-right / nationalist causes. Both raise concerns about just who is pulling the strings.

    One might say CA pulled one over on FB, using its own social-engineering weapons to score huge victories for the anti-establishment right. (Or for the new overlords...?)

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: FB vs CA

      FB, like Google, is a left-wing partisan company now loathed by the right for using its internet supremacy to suppress conservative / libertarian viewpoints

      Nurse! Someone's let him at the computer again...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: FB vs CA

        Funny. That's some epic trolling there. You should start a YouTube channel.

        I, on the other hand, am such a loser that 20+ people, such as the illustrious @USER100, registered on The Register today just to mass-downvote my comments and write stinging rebuttals. I can't take it anymore! I'm ragequitting and going back to my Breitbart safe space!!! You win!

        Seriously, I don't get why they're downvoting some of my posts and mass-upvoting others. Blindly pushing a political agenda, I guess.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: FB vs CA

          @troland; just a guess here, but maybe you got a load of downvotes because what you wrote was a load of old bollocks?

        2. ST Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: FB vs CA

          troland spaketh:

          > I don't get why they're downvoting some of my posts

          It's because your posts suck.

          Hope this helps.

  12. Drew 11

    I say pop these fellows in a Mexican jail for a few years. I think they'll lose their gleefulness regarding the corruptability of public officials.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all a show

    A disposable front / tool is deliberately exposed but the real power manipulating affairs remains assuredly in control. Public opinion is corralled into opposing groups who are preoccupied with wasting their energies fighting each other, while the real rulers are empowered.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: It's all a show

      Kabuki theater indeed.

  14. USER100
    Stop

    FB vs CA

    "FB [is a] left-wing company"? What a load of bollocks.

    All FB cares about, like any mega-company, is making money and nothing else. Sure, they might appeal to prog-lite 'values' like diversity, caring etc. blah blah... It's all window-dressing, like with all corporations.

    Monday night's C4 expose showed CA execs boasting about swinging foreign elections for their client candidates/regimes, using propaganda and lies.

    CA scoring "huge victories for the anti-establishment right"? What planet are you on?

    It's the 'right', ie the ultra-capitalists - ie the corporation owners - who CONTROL the politicians/democracy/media. The result is wall to wall advertising and marketing, brainwashing people to consume not co-operate. Wake up, you idiot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FB vs CA

      USER100,

      So true !!!

      I do tend to get confused with the use of 'Left-Wing' and "Right-Wing" in posts that originate from the US of A.

      I am almost convinced that they are used in a different sense to what I understand and have asked in all seriousness for someone to explain what it means to them, perhaps I simply misunderstand what is meant. :)

      Then again ........ perhaps not :) ;)

      Maybe the Far-Right/Right call anyone they diagree with 'Left-Wing or commies' etc, and the Left call anyone they disagree with 'Right-Wing or Fascist' etc.

      Some clarity would still be appreciated :)

      Many Thanks.

      1. cd

        Re: FB vs CA

        The left vs right thing is a charade to hide the actual corporate vs individual thing. Like something that used to be called "studio wrestling" in the US, a morality play with no morals behind it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FB vs CA

          > Monday night's C4 expose showed CA execs boasting about swinging foreign elections for their client candidates/regimes, using propaganda and lies.

          What if the expose itself is propaganda? Why is the MSM suddenly airing these stories like a one-two punch after ignoring them for months? (Nobody say "Russia" :)

          > The left vs right thing is a charade to hide the actual corporate vs individual thing.

          America's bogus two-party establishment is corporate-authoritarian, but the left-right divide is very real. The left is more collectivist-globalist while the right is more individualist-nationalist. Corporations are collectivist organizations so their leftist political tendencies are only natural.

          The two-party system dates back at least 4 centuries in Anglo-American politics; the names and ideals have shifted but the polarization is constant.

          1. Nikki Radir

            Re: FB vs CA

            @troland

            I thought I'd drop in on this discussion for some further insight, and some people are offering good arguments / ideas / counter-arguments, while others are at least being funny. Thanks, people.

            Then I read posts like this and I despair. People taking their fears about the world and channeling projected blame through absurd, simplistic filters concocted from half-baked assumptions.

            Now go on, say what you like about me. I can _guarantee_ that you'll be wrong. Because you won't take your blinkers off, will you?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: FB vs CA

              I don't know you, even as a commenter, so I can't say much. At least you're not one of the people/bots who signed up today to make a few drive-by posts.

              I really don't expect many people to agree with my worldview, especially on this forum. I certainly don't expect the typical tech geek to know much about history, politics, human nature, and other such bullshit. Well, it's the same shit over and over. It is absurd and tragic. Everything good turns to shit. But it can be entertaining when that shit hits the fan. :)

              And remember, you can't despair if you never get your hopes up.

        2. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: FB vs CA

          Left vs Right was created to arrange seating in 18th century France. It was never intended to be a decent representation of an individual's political views.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: FB vs CA

            @Mycho

            Left vs Right was created to arrange seating in 18th century France. It was never intended to be a decent representation of an individual's political views.

            Very true, as we see when we notice the remarkable similarity between extreme Left and extreme Right - it's more of a circle. Could we start describing politicians and people as being 'at the five o'clock'?

            Although perhaps you need 3 dimensions to allow for Greens, SNP, PC etc as they tend to be socially on the left but with policies that place them a world apart from Comrade Jeremy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: FB vs CA

              Pen-y-gors,

              There is some validity to your 'Circle' idea :) :)

              I could live with that although not sure what to label the 3rd dimension with.

              Some of the Left and right extremes are in the 'Barking (as in Dogs) to Dangerously Delusional' spectrum.

              Perhaps it should be labeled as 'Number of Sandwiches short of a Picnic' or similar, and denoted by a simple integer (1 to infinity-1) !!! :) :)

              In fact I think I have just invented a new el Reg unit of measurement (Huzzah) ....... it shall be defined as a 'Farage' and equally recognised in the US & UK. :) :)

              1. Mycho Silver badge

                Re: FB vs CA

                The circle is known in politcal science as the horseshoe theory.

                There's also the fishhook theory that argues everybody not on your side is the same kind of dick.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FB vs CA

        As a Canadian, in my 50s, the right are often described as, right-wing, Fascists, neo-nasi's and the left as, left-wing, commies, snowflakes etc..

        What I find very interesting is the how far to the right both the right-wing and the left-wing have moved since the late 1970s. In Canada, there's some social justice issues being applauded, but the Union movement and middle class are being hammered. I thinks it's going to be harder for my children to have decent standard of living than it was for me.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: FB vs CA

      prog-lite

      Is that a new facet of neo-prog? I mean, bands like Marillion, Arena and Pendragon were accused for years of being insufficiently-prog..

      Yes, yes, mines the one with the band patches for Yes, Genesis[1] and Wobbler..

      [1] PG-era obviously. PC was OK and no, I don't blame him for the slow slide of Genesis into pop-prog..

  15. John Crisp

    Back slap

    Been following this for a very long time and nice to see it come to fruition.

    Makes a change to see some not quite so Fake News make an appearance. Hope it gets the useless Beeb in a flap.

    Congrats to https://mobile.twitter.com/carolecadwalla and all the other journos involved for doing what they do best... exposing the sleazy side of life and dragging some of the reptiles out from under their stones.

    Just need to get a few of them behind bars where they really belong.

    Now to see if 'Aggregate IQ' pop up somewhere. Be nice to see the smug grins wiped off a few familiar faces.

    https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/863716948357636097

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Back slap

      Been following this for a very long time and nice to see it come to fruition.

      Same here. I was one of the first ones to post references to CA on El reg. At the time I got downvoted into oblivion.

      Oh well, it is nice to see chickens flying home to roost while having diarrhea.

  16. Doctor Evil

    mission accomplished

    FB announcement:

    "Independent forensic auditors from Stroz Friedberg were on site at Cambridge Analytica’s London office this evening. At the request of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which has announced it is pursuing a warrant to conduct its own on-site investigation, the Stroz Friedberg auditors stood down."

    In other words, they'd already finished the "auditing" job they were sent in to do.

  17. FromTheRoot

    Scapegoat...

    For the hidden hand aka the corporations controlling the government....after all they tightly control the media.....so this was most likely staged.

    Very worrying.

  18. Andy 73

    Just leave this here...

    From Guido Fawkes: "Cambridge Analytica’s poundshop Bond villain and bullsh*tter extraordinaire Alexander Nix says...."

    Because some people would very much like Facebook to fail, they're rather too willing to believe the hype that Cambridge Analytica have spread about themselves. In both cases, these are marketing companies who desperately want everyone to believe they are more important than is in fact the case.

    If you want a good measure of how important Facebook is, consider their rival MySpace.... miss them much? That's not to say Facebook doesn't occupy far too much of our time, or have more influence than it deserves - but as and when it gets replaced by the next thing, it won't leave much of a hole in our lives.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Just leave this here...

      The problem with your theory is that the next big thing will probably be even dodgier and slurpier than Facebook.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and of course

    when they say Cambridge Analytica is not involved in any of this it may be as strictly true as the Russians don't hold any nerve agents. The use of front companies passes the deniability test as they are not directly involved (at least as a legal entity), as does the holding of binary precursors is not the same as holding nerve agents.

  20. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Another Bell Pottinger?

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Where's Wally?

    I mean Zuck. Is he keeping his head down/gone to his bunker. Not a peep from the man at the top

  22. Lars Silver badge

    The truth doesn't matter

    Seems to be the mantra of the Eton College, quite good at preventing kids from growing up too.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    have they liquidated their shares yet?

    Those at the top, not the bottom (who will go out of liquidation with a cardboard box).

  24. NXM

    I really can't stand facebook

    Years ago I signed on to it, realised it was an utter utter waste of time, and deleted the account.

    Then the other day someone wanted me to communicate via whatsapp, so I installed it. The *very first thing it did* was to slurp all my contacts, send them back to its servers, present me with a list of them who were also users, and presumably also sent the whole lot to facebook (who I'd forgotten had bought whatsapp).

    Bastards. Too late, I deleted it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I really can't stand facebook

      There is an option in WhatsApp to delete your account. It might even work too.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I really can't stand facebook

        It might even appear to work too

        There. Fixed that for you. FB seems to be the information equivalent of a black hole - information goes in and never leaves (except in the form of info radiation to interested parties that can pay..)

  25. Christoph Silver badge
    WTF?

    Something is weird here

    For the first time we have a scandal that actually is comparable to Watergate and is in fact far bigger than that.

    But nobody has yet named it [something]Gate!

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Something is weird here

      Analgate?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Something is weird here

        CamAlGate?

  26. m-k

    Less than an hour after the program aired...

    THAT was CLOSE, boys! But let me tell you (off the air), you all deserve a huge pat in the back for tidying up the house on time! And please tell me again they can't recover anything from the recycle bin on my desktop?! Good!

  27. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Always thought CA seemed very fishy, but could never have imagined they they were trying to set up as a complete for-hire NSA-CIA hybrid. A decade down the line they would have had their own hit squads, most likely. Perhaps they already have...

    Scary sh*t!

  28. Tubz

    Facebook conduct and audit just before GDPR, must be worried about being hit by 4% fine and starting it early is a get out of jail card. Hoepfully all involved will get serious jail time and masisve fines !

  29. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Remember...

    'The company said in a statement: "We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called 'honey-traps' for any purpose whatsoever," adding that it "routinely undertakes conversations with prospective clients to try to tease out any unethical or illegal intentions."'

    Remember, it doesn't have to be true, as long as it is believed...

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Remember...

      They should learn the difference between refute, rebut and deny.

  30. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Anyone want to guess the odds of whether Facebook still exists at the end of the year?

    And no, I don't mean bad publicity alone will sink them. I mean a combination of lawsuits, criminal charges, investors pulling out, advertisers leaving in droves, etc.

    Those odds seem to be getting worse for FB by the day... (Although not as bad as CA's, I'm guessing they're heading for 100% right now.)

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "Anyone want to guess the odds of whether Facebook still exists at the end of the year?

      And no, I don't mean bad publicity alone will sink them. I mean a combination of lawsuits, criminal charges, investors pulling out, advertisers leaving in droves, etc."

      I wish. But I don't think this will happen. FB will paint this as themselves having been wronged by CA. Their complacency with GSR's usage/slurping of FB data will be portrayed as them having been hacked (with social engineering applied to some of FBs administrators).

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Anyone want to guess the odds of whether Facebook still exists at the end of the year?

        They'll still be there, like a lingering bad smell you can't find the source of.

        However, when GDPR rolls round it will be interesting times for companies (such as FB and CA) that make your information their business.

        I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll certainly be sending subject access requests to several companies to find out exactly what information (they say) they hold about me. Probably followed by RTBF requests. It occurs to me that if too many people focus on companies like CA, the combined workload of servicing those requests might act like a perfectly legal DoS exploit. Either they commit resources to servicing those requests in a timely manner, or they get fined, and fined again...

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Facebook here next year?

      Of course Facebook will be gone within a year. Just like AT&T and Microsoft.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Facebook here next year?

        And mainframes. And Cobol.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Facebook here next year?

          Few people are forced to deal with mainframes and COBOL and rarely anyone does so voluntarily; those subjecting themselves Microsoft and Facebook are far greater in number.

          1. Stevie Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Facebook here next year?

            "Few people are forced to deal with mainframes and COBOL and rarely anyone does so voluntarily; those subjecting themselves Microsoft and Facebook are far greater in number."

            No one is *forced* to use either Facebook or Microsoft.

            I've managed to be Facebook free since it was invented and haven't suffered an\y significant angst because of that.

            As for Microsoft, even I have Linux and OpenOffice. You might make a case for gaming, but that world has moved solidly toward consoles anyway. Turnkey consoles are bought for game selection, not underlying O/S.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Facebook here next year?

              This from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton...

              "We all moved on from MySpace. We can move on from Facebook too."

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-43470837

  31. USER100

    FB vs CA

    Yes, the labels 'right' and 'left' are not satisfactory really. Very broadly (and not including the extremes of either), 'right' could be said to mean those in favour of not changing things too radically, and of letting people live with minimal interference from the state, while 'left' might mean those in favour of changing things in order to achieve a more equal society (eg through the redistribution of wealth).

    The problem is that corporations have now have such a grip that whichever candidate ('left' or 'right') gets in, THEY remain in control.

    For example, Tony Blair was supposedly on the 'left' but look at his record - hugely wasteful PFI schemes, pointless wars, privitisations - all put public money into the pockets of corporations and arms manufacturers. Then again, the privately-educated (psychopath?) Blair had no left-wing leanings whatsoever.

    Margaret Thatcher did much the same and worse, but made no attempt to appeal to the 'left' or 'centre'.

    In the US, the media is even worse than it is here, to such an extent that the word 'socialist' is only ever used perjoratively.

    Many in the UK pinned their hopes on John Smith, a true 'lefty', who died before he could be elected. He would have probably won, such was the dissatisfaction with the Conservative government at the time.

    For a clearer picture, I recommend John Carpenter's film, 'They Live'. Also the Adam Curtis film 'The Trap'.

    I don't know, the rot may even have started with Edward Bernays...

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: FB vs CA

      They could be said to be those people, but it would be inaccurate.

      All I would say for sure is that the left doesn't trust corporations and the right doesn't trust government bureaucrats. Which leads to the bizarre situation in America where left wing Americans are demanding Trump control their free speech.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: FB vs CA

        "the left doesn't trust corporations and the right doesn't trust government bureaucrats"

        Sounds about rightcorrect. Now can someone explain to me how electing a government that promised to down size government will not lead to election promise amnesia?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FB vs CA

          I trust neither. I do not believe they are out to get me personally but I do believe neither have my best interests at heart. From the 1950s and into the 1970s it could be thought that both might, in some jurisdictions.

          Keep in mind that many of us were raised in a time when it was pre-supposed that the Government worked for the best interest of the Citizens. I no longer believe that to be true and haven't for many years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: FB vs CA

      @USER100

      2 posts • joined 20 Mar 2018

      You, sir/maam/whatever, are a wanker.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FB vs CA

      Blair was Left compared to the other party. And right to a fair subset of his own party; just as John Major was Left of some of his own party.

      And the voting public covers a spectrum from Left to Right if you want to reduce it to simple terms.

      Blair was sufficiently Right to overlap substantial amounts of both the Right and the Left of the voters.

      He was sort of between the two - shall we call it "Centre".

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: FB vs CA

        Labour or Conservative as party labels don't align well with the 4-dimensionality of actual political alignments. Nor do simple "left/right" labels.

        The vast majority of voters are centrist, however whoever's actually _in_ government is controlled by a very small number of people in a very small number of seats - the "swing voters"

        It's the swing group who have marched to the right/authoritarian/neoliberal policies. The question is whether they led or followed the political parties in that direction.

      2. Lars Silver badge

        Re: FB vs CA

        The "left/right" gets more idiotic, understandably, in a two party system.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: FB vs CA

      "For example, Tony Blair was supposedly on the 'left' but look at his record - hugely wasteful PFI schemes"

      If you look at the record of the Blair government there's a consistent approach of taxing the future. PFI, student loans, Brown's stealth taxes. They look as if they're doing popular stuff but there were bills to become due in the future. We're now in that future.

      As to whose side he was on, that's easy. His own.

  32. Arkyn

    Not holding my breath...

    We already know that CA are willing to use unethical/illegal means, by their own admissions, so who is to say that justice will be served, when the people behind this could very well blackmail/bribe the people who are going after them. They have data on millions of people, no doubt including people from the ICO, Judiciary, MPs and more!

    Interestingly, Wikileaks was approached by CA (in an attempt to get at Wikileaks' data) in December last year, but Wikileaks said no.

    Yeah, Cambridge Analytica could be the sacrificial pawns, but what about the people/governments who used their services? I'm not holding my breath that people that need to be imprisoned will ever see the inside of a jail cell...

  33. wolfetone Silver badge

    I wonder how much of the £2.1 million the Tories spent in the last election on Facebook adverts went to Cambridge Analytica?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

      "This article is the subject of legal complaints on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited."

      Well it must be true if they're complaining.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

        SCL is a trading identity of Cambridge Analytica,

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

      HEY EVERYBODY!! THIS ONE EVIL COMPANY HIJACKED DEMOCRACY!!! The beeb and grauniad did nothing wrong...

      I've never been to Britain, but everything I hear outside of the British MSM says: the majority voted for Brexit against overwhelming government and media pressure because it was the only meaningful option to express their genuine outrage at the way their country and the EU are being run.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

        I've never been to Britain, but everything I hear outside of the British MSM says: the majority voted for Brexit against overwhelming government and media pressure

        It's quite clear you've never been to Britain if you think the overwhelming government and media pressure was against brexit. Our heavily biased print media, mostly owned by old rich tax exiles, was generally strongly pro-brexit (the Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Times, etc.). The state broadcaster, the BBC, was heavily biased towards the pro-brexit side of the spectrum, giving unequal air-time (and still doing so) to pro-brexit campaigners, for instance, heavily featuring NF alongside more mainstream participants in debates, with equal footing, despite him never having won a parliamentary election (7 tries and counting). The result in the end was marginal (51.8 to 48.2), but has repeatedly been misrepresented as an overwhelming majority...

        The pro-brexit campaign was well organised (they'd been preparing for 30+ years), whilst the remain argument was critically weakened by being funnelled through the government. This led to many well funded groups independently campaigning to leave, and the people who wanted to remain, (the overwhelming attitude within science and industry, and amongst business leaders) being effectively stifled. Not to mention the fact that political parties other than the tories (who, apart from UKIP were all strongly remain) were being forced to use the tory party as their mouthpiece which is a clear conflict of interests.

        Most of our media is so heavily biased in one direction or another, it is nigh on impossible to get an impartial viewpoint. Channel 4 is better than most, but is still biased towards sensationalism.

        I could go on.

        Your idea that the British are fed up with our government is pretty spot on. There may even be an element of truth to people being fed up with the EU, but mostly this consists of people being fed up with the distorted media representation of the EU which consists of outright lies (straight / curvy bananas, Turkey joining the EU, an EU army, enforced adoption of the Euro, etc. etc.) and blaming the EU for things that are actually the fault of the British government and opposed by the EU (such as agricultural subsidies not reaching farmers, increasing social inequality, increasing debt, erosion of human rights).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

          Interesting. If you're right, the internet has been whitewashed. I can't find anything but "BBC biased against Brexit" except for a few extremely anti-Brexit sites screaming "that's all fake news!"

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

            If you're right, the internet has been whitewashed. I can't find anything but "BBC biased against Brexit" except for a few extremely anti-Brexit sites screaming "that's all fake news!"

            You have to remember that the pro-leave campaign is funded by some very rich people who have vested interests in the UK leaving the EU, most notably the tax regulations due to be brought in in 2020 (hence the 'must leave by 2019' rhetoric).

            When I search for 'BBC bias', I too find lots of references to the BBC being 'biased against brexit'. When you look at who is saying this, though, it's the editorial of the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Sun, exactly the people you would expect to be saying this, and to be paying to have their results listed first on Google - those same rich tax avoiding ex-pats with a vested interest, and pockets that are plenty deep enough to afford some SEO to get their propaganda on the first page of results. When you look closely at these particular publications, it's pretty obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense that they are stuffed with sensationalist and heavily biased nonsense, often with small-print retractions at the bottom of a page in the middle somewhere which they have been ordered to make by the press regulator for printing lies.

            On the other hand, if you actually watch BBC Question Time, it's so laughably biased towards being pro-brexit and pro-conservative that they have been caught out several times asking question from 'audience members' who just coincidentally happen to conservative party members, or brexit campaigners. Their audience selection is so laughably biased it doesn't remotely represent a cross-section of society, and their panel almost ALWAYS has a hard-brexit campaigner on it, often the likes of Nigel Farage, who seems to get a mysteriously large amount of air-time despite never having won a seat in parliament, and allegedly no longer even being involved in politics.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why are we only talking about the US Election ?

              When I search for 'BBC bias', I too find lots of references to the BBC being 'biased against brexit'. When you look at who is saying this, though, it's the editorial of the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Sun, exactly the people you would expect to be saying this, and to be paying ... to get their propaganda on the first page of results.

              I dug deeper, looking for allegations of 'BBC pro-leave bias' using an unbubbled search engine (as I always do). I found a few beyond result #30. Below #50 it's mostly accusations of bias in other issues. And it's all fucking clickbait. All fake news.

              Anyway, I know what I saw in 2016 and followup campaign to undo Brexit... basically Nigel Farage vs anti-Brexit scaremongering. Always assumed they gave him airtime just for the ratings. He's a lightning rod. If they were trying to tear him down (like US media did to Trump) it backfired.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    politicians enraged

    it would be hilarious to hear how concerned they are TODAY about "public data" and "public privacy" (what?!), if it wasn't so pathetic, given their attitude until now.

    but hey, REGULATION is on their golden lips. More than that, "STRINGENT regulation". Who knows, perhaps we'll all get national IDs out of this ridiculous storm in a tea cup...

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: politicians enraged

      "Who knows, perhaps we'll all get national IDs out of this ridiculous storm in a tea cup..."

      You can't seriously have bothered to find out what CA is up to...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: politicians enraged

        woosh, never mind :)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop Worrying

    It's all being outsourced to Capita....

  37. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Given the various weird fantasy claims (complete fabrications) broadcasted by Fox etc about Hilary during the election campaign, it would be interesting to find out how many of them were actually dreamed up by CA (including Bannon).

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Now you mention it, Scott Adams kept insisting Hillary must have a mole in her campaign because of some of the basic mistakes she was making.

      I'd assumed he was being facetious, but it fits what we now know about CA's modus operandi...

  38. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    "His team of 120 is down to 3 people"

    Another Facebook employee whose job it was to investigate data breaches also left. He went to somewhere where he could work with a clear conscience... Uber.

    If Facebook is worse than Uber God knows what they get up to in there. No wonder they all walked, their job is completely pointless.

  39. pAnoNymous

    See no evil...

    Facebook auditors asked to stand down so that ICO auditors can visit tonight? Wouldn't that have the unfortunate side affect of giving CA window to tidy their books if they were inclined to? ... hm.. I see..

    Odd that this should come as a surprise to ministers as many of them were clients for Brexit and presumably the FO had an inkling of what they were up to?

  40. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Cambridge Analytica can easily dodge the shitstorm

    All they need to do is tell Theresa May that they have software to handle anonymous age verification.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Cambridge Analytica can easily dodge the shitstorm

      Anonymous age verification flowchart

      1) Are you happy for us to video you when you are asleep and broadcast it? Y

      2) Can you recognise Daddy Pig? Y

      3) Are you Andy Murray? N

      You are not old enough to watch porn online.

  41. unwarranted triumphalism

    Proves nothing really

    Just a lot of speculation and groundless claims. Channel 4 are going to see a lot of very well-paid and well-prepared lawyers at their door in about 5 minutes.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Proves nothing really

      Is there anything they said that didn't happen? It was all recorded.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Proves nothing really

        I don't know anyhing about any alleged recording.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Proves nothing really

          Well be a sweet and watch the C4 News item. It's included in the article.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Proves nothing really

            @Dan, there's that interesting Norwegian anti-troll software available in openSauce that would ameliorate un-edified commentards, like me! (tho' I could smell the Camb.Anal. something of the night for about a year before the C4 exposé)

            https://nrkbeta.no/2017/03/06/our-comment-quiz-module-is-now-open-source/

            Meanwhile, the great Australian journo cartoonist FDoTM has done a valuable comparison here [huuuge jpg from Grauniad *]

            * https://media.guim.co.uk/773a5b22f2bb98bf40a26a5fa0da2a76316d4833/0_0_3508_5745/1221.jpg

          2. unwarranted triumphalism

            Re: Proves nothing really

            I don't watch TV. There's nothing of any interest on it.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Proves nothing really

        Unwarranted triumphalism is one of those 'commenters' who would dispute the wetness of water if it would fit his agenda of riling up people, in particular people who he sees as promoting wetness as a common benefit.

        1. unwarranted triumphalism

          Re: Proves nothing really

          In other words, there's still no evidence of wrongdoing, and Channel 4 are - as usual - lying.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mmmm..clean house

    some might think that the tories allowed enough time to clean house as they MAY have had dealings with CA and need to vanish some dirt....

  43. Tezfair
    Thumb Up

    There is some good news

    It's likely their backups are going to be tested soon

  44. Danny 2 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Comedy gold!

    "...equally effective can go and speak to the incumbents and to offer them a deal that's too good to be true, and make sure it's video-recorded, these sorts of tactics are very effective, instantly having video evidence of corruption..."

  45. GnuTzu Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    AI Groomed Candidates

    Yesterday, it seemed the story was about big data. But this wet-ware machine is bigger than just that. What happens when big data becomes AI, and AI starts to run these companies. How much more amoral or immoral will it become, when it's run by something inhuman? And, when they groom the political candidates--how much less will we know and understand the people running our countries? Time for the deluxe tin-foil hat.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: AI Groomed Candidates

      I like to think (it has to be!) of a cybernetic ecology where we are free of our labors and joined back to nature, returned to our mammal brothers and sisters, and all watched over by machines of loving grace

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: AI Groomed Candidates

        @Danny 2

        What a poetic account of a graveyard with lawn movers at work.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: AI Groomed Candidates

          Roombas with kittens on top of them! It's an Adam Curtis reference quoting from an actual poem, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011lvb9

  46. Mage Silver badge

    ensuring that their purloined data had been deleted.

    Ah ... destruction of evidence!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might be time for CA and Facebook to make a large donation to the Tory party... of course if they have plenty of dirt on the Tories they might not have to !

    R.I.P democracy, welcome corporate fascism.

  48. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Have any of the politicians invoked the "Think of the children!" line yet?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Have any of the politicians invoked the "Think of the children!" line yet?"

      If they do, remind them that Jimmy Saville always did.

  49. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    In response to what appeared to be clear evidence that Cambridge Analytica was prepared to carry out dirty tricks campaigns, the company said that its executives made the suggestions as a tactical ploy to see if the potential client was ethical.

    “Just testing.”

  50. Charles Calthrop

    I hate them and what they represent.

  51. Zwuramunga

    Obama

    But it was OK when Obama did it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obama

      Zwuramunga,

      I did not realise that 'The Register' & Internet was available simultaneously in 'alternative worldlines' and exchanged data. !!!

      Apparently 'your' SERN have got their 'Phone Microwave' working !!!

      Welcome to Omega Attractor Field -.275349ω .......... I think !!!??? :) ;)

      Aha! That explains so many posts I keep reading !!! :) :)

    2. Mahhn

      Re: Obama

      bashing obomber and hilldogy on thereg will only get down votes. To many US DNC puppet trolls here.

  52. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    If ever the was the face of a sociopath, Alexander Nix is it

  53. Lars Silver badge

    Something about how FB came to help leave win the referendum here by a founder of FB.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXPizDv_5yA

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It made me laugh ............ Oh how I laughed !!!

    Just read the latest 'SANS NewsBites Vol. 20 Num. 022.'

    It contains a link to:

    Detecting Static Reverse Engineering (PDF)

    http://www.countermeasure.ca/documents/2017/presentations/Collin-Mulliner-DetectingReverseEngineering.pdf

    I Read page 75 to behold a quote from Alex Stamos (then of Yahoo now of Facebook ..... for now !!!).

    “Non-obvious protections can increase the chance of catching an attacker in time.” --Alex Stamos (2014)

    Apparently this was mis-heard by Facebook to mean 'Non-existent protections' and see where it got them !!! :) :)

    [Badum Tish] :) ;)

    Ay-Thang-Yaw ..... Ay-Thang-Yaw [Arthur Askey lives on !!!]

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fire

    These men, all their associates and customers should be burned to death slowly on a televised live show.

  56. Brian Allan 1

    "senior executives from the firm were then shown on camera boasting about the use of dark methods, including honey traps, fake news and sub-contracting with ex-spies to entrap individuals."

    All fair when dealing with politics, power, money and corruption! Would one expect anything different!?

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      I don't think "fair" and "expected" are the same thing.

  57. Jake Maverick

    erm...they did away with the concept of warrants well over a decade ago...? anon suspected pigyobs just charge in and seize and destroy (usually) all the actual evidence...? what does that tell you....?

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