back to article Cambridge Analytica didn't perform work for Leave.EU? Uh, not so fast, says whistleblower

A fresh salvo of emails dug out by Cambridge Analytica whistleblower and Netflix star Brittany Kaiser appear to confirm that the disgraced political consulting outfit carried out work for Brexit-mongers Leave.EU. The UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee – which took evidence from Kaiser and other senior CA staff …

  1. MiguelC Silver badge

    If you haven't seen the show, I recommend you do and that you show it to your non-techie friends. It is entertaining and informative in a scary way (hopefully to scare less IT-knowledgeable people into somewhat curtailing their personal info sharing)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I got about half an hour into it and got the impression that a 45-60 minute at most documentaty was being spun out to 2 hours because they;d got a big budget and could go globetrotting. Also, as it was also the day that "Nick" was being sentenced I couldn't help thinking that it was people saying whatt the producers wanted to hear(or the producers talking to people who would say what they wanted to hear) so that they could then send it out to the echo chamber who have their predjudices thoroughly massaged ("come and see the violencevoter manipulaiton inherent in the system")

    2. SAdams

      Isn’t the issue using the likes of facebook, rather than sharing personal information as such ?

    3. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      I'd also recommend watching Channel 4's Brexit: The Uncivil War. Gives a wider view of the lies and devious tactics the Leave campaign employed.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No One Cares

    Fraud, money laundering, running rough-shod over data-protection, breaking the ministerial code of conduct. It doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you support a hard brexit you'll be pardoned.

    Carry On!

    1. ColonelDare

      Re: No One Cares

      [Deep sigh]

      'Every nation gets the government it deserves' Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821)

      So what's new?

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: No One Cares

      Sadly and disgustingly, this is all true.

      But what the hell, I'll be branded as some weirdo liberal who should be ignored because I don't like racism, fascism nor lying bastards. All of which seem to feature heavily in the current crop of politicians "at the top" (if such a dung heap could be said to have a top)

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: No One Cares

      It doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you win.

      Fixed that for you. If you lose, that's another matter. But to a winner, anything is permitted.

      That's a problem, because politics only works at all if people respect at least some of the rules. And if you think you don't like politics, just wait till you see the alternative.

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: No One Cares

        "It doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you win. If you lose, that's another matter. But to a winner, anything is permitted."

        That's so true: Hillary Clinton lost the election and was promptly locked up for an illegal server and for the fraud that saw her beat Sanders in the Democratic primaries. She was handed extra years for colluding with the Russians and Ukrainians in order to prepare a dossier about Trump, prostitutes, golden showers and coke.

        Whereas Trump wasn't hounded for 2 years by a rogue bunch of prosecutors, many of whom had links to the Clinton campaign or to the Clinton Foundation. After finding nothing, they tried to get him for obstructing their investigation, but he dodged that on a technicality: they couldn't find evidence of obstruction. And every day the media didn't call him racist, woman-hater, anti-Semitic, a nzai. But still he holds on to a decent approval rating. What a sneaky little weasel he is!

        The level of progressive butt-hurt on here is amazing. True liberals are shaking their heads in disbelief at the intolerance, anger and hate of the folks using double-speak to label themselves "liberals".

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Hi, Mitch

          > "still he holds on to a decent approval rating"

          > decent approval rating

          > decent

          When compared to Jimmy Carter, perhaps

          https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/voters/

          C.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hi, Mitch

            It's a typo. He meant "descent".

          2. s2bu

            Re: Hi, Mitch

            I could be totally remembering this wrong, since it's been what, 2.5 years? So if I'm getting wrong please forgive me... but...

            Isn't fivethirtyeight one of the many places that said Trump only had a 2%-8% chance of winning or something like that? If so, I think I'd rather trust random() than them...

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Hi, Mitch

              No, it's not. They said Trump had about a 30% chance.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: No One Cares

          "they couldn't find evidence of obstruction"

          Apart from all of the evidence detailed in the report.

        3. Velv Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: No One Cares

          "That's so true: Hillary Clinton lost the election"

          Technically Hillary didn't lose the election, she got 3 million more votes than Trump. But the Electoral College system is designed to keep Republicans in the running by not reflecting the true popular vote.

          1. Chris the bean counter

            Re: No One Cares

            Clinton lost (So did Corbyn). The rules are electoral college not popular vote so she lost. Trump gamed the system to win if it had been popular vote he would have put his ad money in different ways and may (though probably not) have still won.

            The system was designed to give states a say in the Presidency not to benefit the republicans.

            Provide some documentary proof to support your claim or withdraw it.

            If you are outraged at fake news and slogans on sides of buses you have a higher moral necessity to only speak the truth.

            Makes me laugh how people still monitor Trump lies. If they did not unseat him for the first 10,000 lies I doubt the 10,001 lie will make any change. What was that misquote by Einstein about doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome being insanity.

            By the way keep going on about the coach too. No one would have picked up on the statement and would have been forgotten the next day if remainers (I actually was one) had not kept mentioning it and doing vote leaves work for them.

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: No One Cares

              >By the way keep going on about the coach too. No one would have picked up on the statement

              Except that the lie was repeated, time after time, in the pub, on the buses, on social media. You are deluding yorself.

            2. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: No One Cares

              "Clinton lost (So did Corbyn)."

              Labour (not Corbyn) lost both in terms of seats and popular vote, so I'm not sure what you meant by the bracketed term.

              "If you are outraged at fake news and slogans on sides of buses you have a higher moral necessity to only speak the truth."

              I am outraged at fake news, and the Brexit lies as well. Sometimes it can be difficult to establish truth, especially with regards economic indicators, even more with forecasts. But the Remain campaign was criticized mostly for its overpessimistic economic forecasts, the Leave campaign for a series of fraudulent accounts, blatant falsehoods about current events and dodgy finance, together with racist campaigning. So not really equivalent.

              "Makes me laugh how people still monitor Trump lies."

              It's supposed to remind you that this is not normal. That the current President of the United States is a pathological liar, charlatan, and an unreconstructed racist from a bygone era who is unfit to serve at any level of government, never mind its highest office. His continued occupancy is a stain on the reputation of the US, both as a democracy and as to the constitution of its citizenry.

              If you get used to the current embarrassment that is governments across the world: be it the US or Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Myanmar, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, even the UK now (although our idiot isn't elected), it appears that the quality of leaders and the quality of democracy is suffering at the moment. Either this results in a further slip into authoritarianism or a renewal of democracy. One should hope it is the latter.

              "No one would have picked up on the statement"

              It was on foot-high letters being driven around the country.

              " remainers (I actually was one)"

              Was suggests you have changed you mind. What exactly about the last three years has convinced you that no-deal leaving is a great thing?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: No One Cares

                @DavCrav

                "But the Remain campaign was criticized mostly for its overpessimistic economic forecasts"

                And outright lies. And the head of the BoE joining in the political lies. And the abuse of spending rules. And the government itself threatening the population directly.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: No One Cares

                  5 thumbs down but nobody dumb enough to claim brexiter lies! Wow maybe there is hope

        4. veti Silver badge

          Re: No One Cares

          Just curious, how does the "rogue bunch of prosecutors" story mesh with the "completely exonerated" story?

          Both are utterly completely false from top to bottom, but I'm still curious how it's possible to believe them both simultaneously.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No One Cares

          What Hillary was ACCUSED of doing wasn't illegal until years after she left office.Even then, It was HER SERVER. ANY IDIOT KNOWS THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST 2 SERVERS ON EVERYSIDE OF AN EMAIL TRANSMISSION. She had stuff deleted from HER server. She didn't have stuff deleted from government servers or any other servers. If there was any really illegal stuff going on all of it was still available, and probably already captured by PRISM. GOP would rather it not be revealed because there was nothing nefarious to see. Innuendo works much better on their supporters.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ' doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you win.'

        Ask Nixon....

        1. s2bu

          Re: ' doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you win.'

          Nixon resigned though!

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: No One Cares

        >It doesn't matter what crimes you commit, so long as you win.

        "Treason never prospers.

        For, if it prospers, none dare call it treason."

    4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: No One Cares

      Fraud, money laundering, running rough-shod over data-protection, breaking the ministerial code of conduct.

      So far, so normal for politics.. Or, it's just (show) business and security theatre. So Facebook let an academic do a poll that allowed waaay more personal data to be exposed. An SNA experiment that co-opted 'friends' into an experiment they had no knowledge of, and thus couldn't consent to.

      Then of course the Netflix doc did dived deep into political bias. Results in the Brexit and US votes were fairly close, so if you can influence people on the fence, you can potentially swing elections in your client's favour. Leave Trump won because CA, which was bad/illegal/immoral or just the wrong result. Change the result! It wasn't fair!

      But that's politics, campaigning and shone some light on the kinds of dirty tricks played in those markets. Which movies like 'Wag the Dog' also showed. CA used 'weapons grade' campaigning and export controlled dirty tricks. How dare they! Especially when CA's parent offered those services and training to authorised clients, ie the usual practitioners of pysops and political warfare. If a state is doing the regime change thing, it's fine. If it's an NGO, it's not. I have a selection of interesting books specifically on psyops, or looking at things like the Nazi's rise to power on the back of psyops and populist appeals.

      So none of this should really have been any suprise. Social media companies went from being stream of consciousness enablers with no 'obvious' route to profitability to the most valuable companies on the planet, thanks to monetising (or weaponising) our data. And political campaigns have all jumped on those systems in attempts to reach and influence voters. One interesting clip showed Nix presenting at a marketing event showing where they bought their data from. CA wasn't, and isn't the only business playing that game, and now CA's gone, there are stil plenty of CA-like outfits who'll help your campaign, for a fee. I also wondered who might be buying CA's assets/IP out of bankruptcy. Then again, AFAIK the ICO and others still have the servers.

      Bigger question is what the response should be. GDPR went some way towards tightening up data protection, but it's still pretty weakly regulated. Plus our data is already out there, and we've no real idea where, or how it's being processed. And Facebook, Google, Amazon etc probably want to keep it that way because Zuck needs to buy more of Hawaii. On the political side, life may be harder. So Team Trump apparently spent something like $1m a day on social media. So perhaps there should be spending restrictions, but then there have always been ways around those. Or whether that would work. Some people still seem convinced the Russians did it, but they only spent a fraction of Trump or Clinton's social media budgets. Either they were far more effective, or the effects have been exagerated.. Often by people linked to the losing side of the result.

      Personally, I think there should be a legal requirement so every data controller holding or processing my data is required to show me what they hold, and require consent to transfer. Pretty simple to legislate, but would of course face strong opposition because it'd add costs for the data pimps. But it's my data..

      But if politicians think this is wrong/unfair.. Stop using the practioners of these 'dark arts'. But then I guess you'd have to hope your campaign opponents follow suit.. Politicians (and the media) aren't always ethical or moral, but often are very good dog* whistlers.

      *This is of course not to suggest any politicians are dog-like because that would obviously be racist and/or speciest. And Baltimore is a thriving city. Reports of violent crime increases, abandoned properties or having population/tax-base declines is obviously fake news.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No One Cares

        Epic whataboutery.. Orders of magnitude above the standard fare. Bravo, sir.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: No One Cares

          Epic whataboutery.. Orders of magnitude above the standard fare. Bravo, sir.

          Anything.. specific you disagree with? Or are you in denial that pretty much all poltical and large campaigns this century have in some way, shape or form relied on 'social' media gurus. CA by no means acted in isolation, or much differently to other campaigns.

          If you watched the Netflix doc, it had much wailing & gnashing of teeth, but not much in the way of real solutions. Or even 'whataboutery'. Like if Clinton/Remain had hired CA and won, would the Grauniad still have been outraged?

          If 'big data' and the black arts really are a threat to democracy, then they're a threat regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum.. Because if they work, the practioners will be trying to nudge you one way or the other. It's a rather fundamental question for a 'free' society, especially in an era of 'big data', and vested interests trying to convince people what's 'fake news', or not.

        2. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: No One Cares

          People who use the term 'Whataboutery' automatically lose.

          'Whataboutery' whines: When We do something it's Good: when They do the same thing it's Wicked --- Ignore what we do, or kill or torture: that's not the issue, and besides that's a top secret.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: No One Cares

            >People who use the term 'Whataboutery' automatically lose.

            People who rely on whataboutery to deflect criticism of their own crimes, are not to be trusted. Most of them have a whole checklist of logical fallacies to run through, before they face their own faults.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: No One Cares

              "Most of them have a whole checklist of logical fallacies to run through, before they face their own faults."

              Surely you meant

              Most of them have a whole checklist of logical fallacies to run through, and will never face their own faults and instead just become angry and shout a lot.

              (Most people, when shown evidence that their views are wrong, instead of changing them just become annoyed. This is true for all types of viewpoints.)

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: No One Cares

            People who use the term 'Whataboutery' automatically lose.

            Oh yeah? What about people who use the term "tu quoque"?

            1. Psmo Bronze badge
              Headmaster

              Re: No One Cares

              people who use the term "tu quoque"?

              Using Latin in real conversation means you're already there.

              No use rubbing it in.

      2. Mike 137 Bronze badge

        Re: No One Cares

        "I think there should be a legal requirement so every data controller holding or processing my data is required to show me what they hold, and require consent to transfer."

        Your first proposal is already in place (Articles 13 & 14 of the GDPR). The problem is that many data controllers ignore it. The difficulty of policing transnational businesses that acquire personal data indirectly on the basis of "legitimate interest" is enormous - quite possibly insoluble, although the UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently scoping a study that will with luck attempt to address this among other matters. However unless some universally recognised means of enforcement is implemented, your second suggestion, while admirable, would probably not be complied with either.

        In the real world, anything goes unless you get caught.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: No One Cares

          Your first proposal is already in place (Articles 13 & 14 of the GDPR). The problem is that many data controllers ignore it.

          Not really. GDPR improves a little on the old DPA, but my suggestion is somewhat more radical. So rather than me asking what they hold, anyone holding my personal data is legally required to automatically send me a copy, and obtain consent if they want to flog it, or change any purpose for which my data might be used. It shouldn't be up to me/us to try to hunt down every entity that may somehow have ended up with my personal data.

          Big data would naturally object to that proposal, and ok, there would be some challenges. At least with GDPR vs DPA, the penalties for ignoring it can be more severe. Then again, you can also avoid SARs by emulating CA, and ceasing to exist.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: No One Cares

            So rather than me asking what they hold, anyone holding my personal data is legally required to automatically send me a copy

            Yeah, because the very best way of making your personal data more secure is relying on third parties to make copies of it and send it to people they think are you. I can't forsee any security holes in that...

            At least the system where you have to request the data this is held about you restricts the splurging of such data outwards to people who actually ask for it, who, most of the time, will be the actual subject and not someone phishing for the data...

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: No One Cares

              At least the system where you have to request the data this is held about you restricts the splurging of such data outwards to people who actually ask for it, who, most of the time, will be the actual subject and not someone phishing for the data...

              So recently I moved. So now I'm getting post delivered for 2 previous occupiers. So I could open that, and start phishing. Or just use some of their personal info to confuse telemarketers who phone me, mention GDPR, and then promptly insist I 'confirm' security details for them. So the typical phishing calls.

              But seeing as we're talking 'big data', and electronically held data here, it wouldn't be impossible to use PKE to encrypt data & reduce interception risks. It would require a decent CA, and oddly, is one of those things that gets proposed as a way to improve online security.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: No One Cares

                So recently I moved. So now I'm getting post delivered for 2 previous occupiers. So I could open that, and start phishing.

                One would hope that:

                1) The previous occupant has forwarded on anything important, so the mailings you are getting are only junk mail

                2) They don't contain anything you could use for phishing (given that the previous occupany will have updated their address with their bank, etc.)

                3) You wouldn't take the risk of a social-engineering attack that can easily be traced back to your home address

                It's not like the Royal mail provide a service where you can have your post forwarded on to your new address for several months after you move, just so that you can make sure everyone important has your new address.

                I got a bit of post this morning for someone who hasn't lived at my address for what is probably over ten years. I didn't open it, as it looks like junk mail from a car dealership, but if I did, how useful do you think the information inside would be for phishing? On the other hand, if I got something in the post addresed to a previous occupant that says somethin like, "here is all the personal information we hold about you: name, address, date of birth, email address, etc.", that is going to be a goldmine for a social-engineering attack, and those aren't even the hard-core PID items like ethnicity, sexual orientation, uniquely identifying IDs (NI number, passport number), trade union membership, etc.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: No One Cares

                  2) They don't contain anything you could use for phishing (given that the previous occupany will have updated their address with their bank, etc.)

                  One looked like a bank statement, or letter from a bank. I perhaps have a bad habit of looking at the return address before opening 'my' mail, and also almost opened that one because it was from my bank.

                  that is going to be a goldmine for a social-engineering attack, and those aren't even the hard-core PID items like ethnicity, sexual orientation, uniquely identifying IDs (NI number, passport number), trade union membership, etc.

                  I think this is the general problem with 'big data', and targetted advertising. Especially if that really works. So most of the mail was junk mail. Like from a luxury holiday company with the recipients first name printed in a 'personalised' message on the outside, but not the address lable. Other mail included a wine company, clothing catalogues & basically a bunch of stuff for useful for profiling conveniently printed on the outside of the envelopes.. And in the big data world, even easier to do as you aggregate and combine data into ever more personal profiles.

                  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                    Re: No One Cares

                    One looked like a bank statement, or letter from a bank. I perhaps have a bad habit of looking at the return address before opening 'my' mail, and also almost opened that one because it was from my bank.

                    Well, in that case, I'd suggest that either the former occupant of your address is an idiot for not informing their bank of a change of address (presumably more than 3 months ago, or however long it is you can get your post redirected), or the bank has failed to update thier data, in which case it's probably a matter for the ICO. Either way, since this is already a problem, I can hardly see that adding more wood to the fire will help, by requiring data controllers to try and contact the data subjects. They'll end up doing so at the lowest possible cost, which won't include doing it securely.

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: No One Cares

        The thing about the Russians is, there's no way of knowing what they spent on their campaigns. We've only heard about the advertising spend with Facebook (and even that number has been revised upwards at least once).

        But that was only a fraction of the total. Much more important was the time invested by a team, of unknown size, of full time Internet trolls.

        How many full time employees did each US campaign team have on social media? That's a number you can probably find out, if you want to dig a little. But how many did Putin have? Good luck finding that.

    5. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Carry On

      The whole thing is starting to feel like a Carry On film.

      With Sid James as Boris Johnson and Kenneth Williams as Nigel Farage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Carry On

        With Sid James as Boris Johnson and Kenneth Williams as Nigel Farage.

        I'll take Barbara Windsor over Jo Swinney any day

  3. veti Silver badge

    So Arron Banks gave money to UKIP, who... kept it?

    I may be missing something, but I don't see how that amounts to a smoking gun for Cambridge Analytica.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "I may be missing something, but I don't see how that amounts to a smoking gun for Cambridge Analytica."

      CA claimed not to have done work for Leave.EU. Here is pretty good evidence that that was a lie.

      1. veti Silver badge

        The whole premise is, previous inquiries have found this way because - crucially, in their opinion - CA didn't get paid.

        These new revelations - confirm that, sure enough, CA didn't get paid.

        So I'm still wondering why anyone thinks it's a big deal.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          "So I'm still wondering why anyone thinks it's a big deal."

          Ah, that's because of the law. IANAL, of course, but it's my impression that unpaid work is still work in electoral law, and comes with a value. It counts as a donation in kind, and therefore contributes to the total expenditure. As an undeclared electoral expense, it breaks a couple of laws now, the first it being undeclared, and the second that it probably leads them to breaching the expenditure ceiling.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >As an undeclared electoral expense, it breaks a couple of laws now, the first it being undeclared, and the second that it probably leads them to breaching the expenditure ceiling.

            *and the second that it probably leads them to breaching the expenditure ceiling *by even more than they already have*.

          2. adam 40 Bronze badge

            Total bollocks

            Voluntary work is specifically exempted.

            You only get in trouble when you pay your volunteers - or put them up in hotel rooms and pay them expenses.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Total bollocks

              "Total bollocks"

              I think you might be mixing up individuals volunteering their time and companies giving donations in kind. Take a look a p11 of this pdf from the Electoral Commission:

              PDF.

              Of course you could still be right, but that document does seem to suggest that you are not. If you can explain why you are, I'd love to hear it.

              Edit: here is the definition of a volunteer, to help you: someone who is not paid for their time, and chooses of their own free will to work for free. Now, while they are in their offices working for CA, were they volunteers? I'm guessing not. Also, even if they were, all of the office equipment, databases, etc., have a commercial value as well. And databases cannot volunteer.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Total bollocks

              >You only get in trouble when you pay your volunteers - or put them up in hotel rooms and pay them expenses.

              You only get in trouble when you bus them in or put them up in hotel rooms - and forget to declare this as an election expense. IIRC the Tories were in trouble for this in the last election - they bused in a load of activists to an area and "forgot" to declare it on the constituency or national expenses.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Their new name UKipt'it

    3. Velv Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Oh, so not paying for it means no work was done?

      Call me cynical, but I'd say the smoking gun is that this goes deeper, that actual evasion has taken place and that evidence has been hidden or deleted. All three parties knew it was illegal and steps were taken to obscure the truth.

  4. Dr Gerard Bulger

    I saw the Netflix too long documentary and then The Guardian's Ted Talk. What seems SO shocking to me is the astonishment of the chaterati that any politician would ever seek to manipulate emotions to get voters out. Since Perecles surely this is what they do. Tap into the needs and expectation of voters and use rhetoric to bring them in.

    What then is so immoral for politicians to use the new tools available to do what is necessary? It's fine tuning what has been happening for centuries.

    The moral point they missed was the irregular source of the data, in effect stolen, but I cannot see anything immoral in trying to track down your voters, and potential voters and targeting them accordingly. Voters hate being ignored by politicians. I am free to be manipulated. I still CHOSE to vote or not.

    I know the real cause of their ire. The elections they are talking about kept coming up with the wrong result.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "I know the real cause of their ire. The elections they are talking about kept coming up with the wrong result."

      That and all of the lies and fraud, of course.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Voters hate being ignored by politicians. I am free to be manipulated. I still CHOSE to vote or not.

      In the rush to make this a Trump/Brexit issue, some really dirty trickery was glossed over. Can't remember which country it was, but CA was involved in the election. Came down to pretty much black vs Indian voters, and a campaign to persuade the black population not to vote. And make not exercising your basic democratic right seem cool & edgy. CA was paid by the Indian aligned campaign, who relied on their population being more likely to vote. There was also the undercover footage of Nix and other CA execs saying they'd used dirty tricks in other campaigns, and had no qualms about doing so again.

      Not sure if that was actually illegal, but sure as hell should be considered unethical.. But such is politics.

      1. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Indian (Native) or Indian (Immigrant)???

        You commentary is quite sloppy.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Indian (Native) or Indian (Immigrant)???

          You commentary is quite sloppy.

          I may have confused people given Elizabeth Warren's been in the news again. Otherwise, watch the Netflix flick because it's pretty much as used there. Plus the way language has changed, ie if 'Indian' would ever have really been appropriate for the natives, and both the black and Indian populations were as a result of immigration.

          Either way, unarguably a very politically incorrect campaign for CA, but it appeared to have worked.

          (I also wonder if it's partly why CA got stomped on given those kinds of political operations were previously the purview of official, state agencies.. even if aspects were often outsourced.)

          A less successful political operations may have been trying to make an issue about the use of UKIP voter data.. I mean it's totally outrageous that that data was used to support Brexit.. And fortunate that Brittany Kaiser wasn't Russian. Somehow, I suspect more will fall out about some of the movers & shakers in this mess. At least Kaiser's a bit more credible than Wylie..

        2. Psmo Bronze badge

          Which is irrelevant

          The point is by using ad targetting tools, you can run parallel opposing campaigns; one to encourage and one to discourage.

          This is usable in any situation where political opinion is largely along community lines identifiable in population sector targetting.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Indian (Native) or Indian (Immigrant)???

          Or, perhaps, as most people would read that, Indian (person from India).

          I can only assume you are from the US, where the incumbent racists still refer to the native people their ancestors displaced as "Indians" because some explorers though they'd gone all the way around the world and got to "the East Indes", as they then called parts of Southeast Asia...

          Ironic really, that a good number of their descendants now think there is no such thing as "all the way around the world", yet no doubt still refer to people in their own country as "Indians".

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            I can only assume you are from the US, where the incumbent racists still refer to the native people their ancestors displaced as "Indians"

            Nope. That would be an incorrect assumption. Which is one of those risks when processing/parsing data. Or more dog whistling, which seems common in the US. Criticising Democrat run cities that seem unable to keep their Mayor's out of jail is apparently 'racist'.

            But politics (especially US politics) is strange like that. So-

            "We will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance," the Virginia House Democrats said on Twitter. "The current president does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the Western world."

            and

            Mr Trump has long been accused of stoking racial tensions, going back decades before he became a political figure.

            Something Democrats would never do! And Democrats of a certain age would never remember 'carpetbaggers', or the use of groups like the 'Red Shirts' and more (infamous) ones who protected the Southern State's 'representative' democracy.

            But that's digressing somewhat, other than a demonstration that dirty tricks & dog whistles are nothing new in politics.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Nope. That would be an incorrect assumption

              I was replying to another post, not yours.

              However, I'm not sure any of your comment relates in any way to what I posted. US politics is something I'd rather not get bogged down in - as far as I can see, the electoral system is even more rigged towards unrepresentative two-party politics than ours, and the politicians there are even worse than our lot.

              My point was that whilst some people see the word "Indians" as a pejorative term, others simply see it as "someone from India". As such, it's probably better to not go around making assumptions about what someone means when they use a word lest you show up your own inherent biases.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "The current president does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the Western world."

              I just Googled that to find out what it was referring to. I was, to say the least, a little confused. I suspect the English, later the UK, Parliament might possibly pre-date the USA, let alone any legislative bodies it may have now. Likewise the Manx Tynwald. and maybe even the Iclandic Alþingi (although that did go AWOL for a few years)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think the country you are looking for is Kenya, where CA were involved in the Presidential Election campaign and after a court case the result was overturned and the Presidential part of the election ordered to be re-run (although the challenger dropped out of the re-run).

        The head of information, communication and technology at the Independent Election Commission was found tortured and murdered just before the election.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          I think the country you are looking for is Kenya, where CA were involved in the Presidential Election campaign

          Nope. I skimmed the Netflix doc again and it referred to this one-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_National_Congress

          In Trinidad and Tobago. Segment's pretty much exactly 1hr in and features Nix talking over a sales presentation found on Kaiser's laptop. Given it was in a sales presentation, that suggests it wasn't something CA was embarrassed about. In the 'scandal' following CA, the focus has mainly been on how CA worked with right-wing groups. The UNC isn't exactly one of those, but I guess the further left people's politics drift, the further right everyone else appears.

          Nix makes some interesting comments for a CEO's sales pitch, but then perhaps that's a sign of his breeding. Good cavalry stock by way of Eton, and although comes across as a bit of an upper class fop, was no pansy who'd been resting on his laurels.

          Kaiser's more curious to me. Was Democrat, then Republican. Was employed, now unemployed. Was an expert on data analytics, only now 'finds' (in)convenient data around one of her hot topics. Strange given she's also had support from lawyers, and others well versed in data mining and discovery. I'm sure it's purely co-incidental, and nothing at all with BoJo's new job and hardline approach to Brexit.

          If I'd been a prospective CA customer though, I'd have really wanted to see some example profiles.. And oddly, those haven't appeared. Yet..

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Brexit

    The endless shit sandwich.

    Now with added Boris!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am sure that the following conversation happened at Remainer Central.

    "Dammit Sir, the peasants didn't vote the way we demanded they did!"

    "What did we do wrong? How could they get it so wrong?"

    "Some demonic force must have influenced the weak minds of the peasants. Let's start looking for the witches who so beguiled the people."

    "Here we have a self-confessed witch who claims to have cast the spell."

    The sooner the establishment realise that the referendum made the decision to leave and act upon this the better. Yes, the EU is playing hardball, but why shouldn't they? We just need the UK to step and and make the best deal they can.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      rewrite required

      "What did we do wrong? How could they get it so wrong?"

      "Not that wrong, only five percent lacking."

      But that isn't as exciting or 'Storm the winter palace' as your version.

      And neither as badly scripted as the reality in which those who were meant to take charge argued over redlines and political posturing and handed the same deal repeatedly and thought they were canny bargainers.

      May tried to force her vision on the country over the head of Parliament over this, and Boris is looking to do the same, this alone should scare you.

      1. Psmo Bronze badge
        Megaphone

        Re: rewrite required

        Your version would never get filmed.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: rewrite required

          "Your version would never get filmed."

          A new Netflix series, Game of Phonies, tagline, Brexit Is ComingTM

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: rewrite required

            Ah, downvoted by someone who never heard of the phoney war. (Look it up for the obvious parallels with Brexit as it currently stands)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some demonic force bigger lies than ours must have influenced the weak minds of the peasants.

      FTFY

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not fixed, just demonstrated the arrogance of the remaoner elite.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      We just need the UK to step and and make the best deal they can.

      But, but, but... the UK voted against the best deal we could possibly have (remaining in the EU) in favour of some undefined "better".

      That "better", that 3 years later still appears to be as undefined and fuzzy as ever, as if it is in some quantum superposition of all possible worlds. We're still in the situation where anyone who points this out is derided as "project fear". (Yes, idiots like Mark François still trot this out).

      Shame really, that that superposition seems to be slowly collapsing to the worst-possible world of that "best deal" being no deal at all and massive economic damage (for anyone who hasn't bet against the pound in any case, like all those hedge-fund managers who seem so keen on the whole undertaking in the first place). Still, that's what happens when you strip away the massive heap of lies and bullshit, and find there is nothing underneath. So much for "project fantasy".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        best deal we could possibly have (remaining in the EU)

        You have a sadly limited imagination, I fear.

        That "better", that 3 years later still appears to be as undefined and fuzzy as ever

        Thanks largely to all the "no, no, don't make me go outside Mummy, it might be cold" obstructionists doing everything they can to prevent it actually being finished.

        Uncertainty always destabilizes any situation.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          You have a sadly limited imagination, I fear.

          I have a very good imagination. I can imagine lots of things. Sadly, imagining, no matter how hard you try, doesn't make things real. Because of this, I tend to rely on facts, rather than magical thinking.

          The facts here, being that in the EU, we have a whole set of benefits which we will cease to have when we leave. We could do various deals with our closest neighbours to replace those benefits, but because they would be able to dictate the terms, the replacement benefits would be at an inherently higher cost. The EU have repeatedly said (and it makes perfect common sense) that any deals with the UK would not be on more favourable terms to us than the equivalent arrangements between member states. The days of gunship diplomacy where we might try to sway their opinions through what might be euphemistically termed a side-channel negotiaion, are long gone. We are a small country of ~65M people trying to strong-arm the world's largest trading bloc of 500M (plus some other countries who are i the common market / customs union but not the EU, like Norway)

          So, in short, the economic / trading benefits are moot. We also lose the benefit of regulatory harmonisation for things ike medicine, electronics, food safety, etc. All those useful things that people harp on about being "the EU telling us what to do" but actually make everyone's life easier. We could replicate those things here (at the cost of duplicating all the agencies involved, rather than splitting the cost 28 ways). That's hardly going to free up £350M a week, because, oddly, that money (although it is in fact about 40% less than that) actually pays for things that we need, and use, as well as being able to, through economies of scale, have some left over to help the less well off in Europe. Like the Welsh, and the North-East. (8 out of the 10 areas in Northern Europe that receive/received EU aid are in the UK)

          So, go ahead, if imagination is so great when it comes to making things work, tell me what your imaginary benefits are, and how they can be achieved by tunring that imagination into actual reality? Aspirational waffle aside, I'd love to hear some cold, hard, plans for what we're getting instead.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            This is one of the most intelligent comments I have seen in the debate so far. One practical effect is that due to geography most goods in the UK will need to comply with EU standards, without the UK having any input.

            Also I doubt that, despite the efforts of the wanker Rees-Moggs, the UK will go back to using imperial measures. I mean let’s get back to using rods and perches and become the fourth place in the world to use outdated measures.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            being that in the EU, we have a whole set of benefits which we will cease to have when we leave.

            Some of which we'll lose, some of which the EU will withold from us just to be petty. On the plus side we also, of course, have a host of restrictions that we'll no longer be subject to.

            We could do various deals with our closest neighbours to replace those benefits, but because they would be able to dictate the terms,

            A good deal benefits both sides, there is no reason that either side shoiuld "dictate terms", that's EU-think.

            We are a small country of ~65M people trying to strong-arm the world's largest trading bloc

            There are 150+ countries which aren't in the EU, many of whose economies are in far better shape than the EU, and will be far better trading partners.

            So, in short, the economic / trading benefits are moot.

            Wow, you give up easily. The EU economy is in the tank: austerity, negative interest rates to stave off recession, growth of barely 1%, high unemployment. Thanks to being outside the Euro zone the UK has managed to limit the damage from many of those, and has the opportuinity to continue to do so when we aren't bogged down by the need to follow EU trade deals. If we're willing to take it, of course. It's too much like hard work for some, it seems.

            We also lose the benefit of regulatory harmonisation for things ike medicine, electronics, food safety, etc

            Complete nonsense. Regulatory harmonization does not require political unity, there are many international frameworks that extend far beyond the EU,which the UK adheres to, and which work for everyone.

            As has been said, repeatedly, Brexit isn't a magic solution to Europe's problems, it's just an opportunity for us to make our own successes instead of having to tolerate stagnation and mediocrity foisted on us by a one-size-fits-nobody political system.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Thanks largely to all the "no, no, don't make me go outside Mummy, it might be cold" obstructionists doing everything they can to prevent it actually being finished."

          Not forgetting, of course, that many of those "obstructionists" are leavers who don't like the deal on the table, don't want to leave with no deal and can't agree with each other on what kind of deal they will accept.

          Even if we posit that Parliament is split exactly the same as the vote, 52% leave, 48% remain, why has there not been agreement yet? Simple. There are hard Brexiteers like Rees-Mogg and the ERG who want out with no deal and soft Brexiteers who want a proper deal. The fact that the Brexiteers won at all was a shock to the Brexiteers themselves, hence there being no Plan A, but now they are still squabbling over what to do about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >The fact that the Brexiteers won at all was a shock to the Brexiteers themselves, hence there being no Plan A, but now they are still squabbling over what to do about it.

            One of the Leave organizations (might have been UKIP or an offshoot) held a competition a few years ago to try to choose the best form of "Leave" and invited submissions from interested parties. The idea was to select the most practical and consolidate support behind it.

            There were several submissions, including Flexcit and everything from No-Deal to BRINO and anything in between. Around 10 feasible entries went forward to the selection process. That is where the fun started. Nobody could agree on a winner, and the competition was abandoned in complete disarray.

            *That* is the reason that there was not a single version of Leave put forward in the referendum - as soon as it was written down support fell away for *all* versions of Leave.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            There are hard Brexiteers like Rees-Mogg and the ERG who want out with no deal and soft Brexiteers who want a proper deal.

            That mischaracterizes the situation. Everyone wants a proper deal, the whole reason for leaving is to have the freedom to make our own deals with all our trading partners, including those in the EU. The difference is simply that some of us are prepared to leave without a deal, and build a deal later, rather than let the EU force a bad deal on us as the price for allowing us to leave.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "Everyone wants a proper deal,"

              Of course they do. But that's the problem. Not everyone can agree on what a "proper deal" is, hence the main thrust of my post. It's over THREE YEARS since the vote and there's still no consensus on what to do.

    4. Chris Parsons

      Anonymous coward

      It must take guts to post anonymously like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anonymous coward

        It must take guts to post anonymously like that.

        Many commentators have well-known positions on various issues, posting anonymously just lets the argument stand alone without preconceived kneejerk reactions to the poster. There's no true anonymity here, The Reg knows who we all are.

  7. Marcus Fil
    Flame

    Buy enough votes you get a free noose

    The shitewit megalomaniacs rarely die in their beds - but all seem hell bent on ignoring the lessons of history. Hitler, Mussolini, Ceausescu, Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi to name a few. Particularly liked the end of the latter - a bit of mechanical sodomy in his last few moments seems the definitive ignominious death.

    As simple warning to the current crop of self-aggrandized fuckwits and their scheming acolytes:

    “You can fool all of the people” … until you get found out. The bigger the crime the less the people are likely to let you quietly. If you get away with chefs pissing in your soup and waiters spitting in your food until the day you die then consider yourself lucky. Just because you live in a “democracy” do not believe yourself immune – if you helped game the system so can someone else.

  8. The Nazz Silver badge

    So what?

    So what effect did it have if any?

    All those i know who voted leave, ie those that freely admit it, have waited the best part of 30-40 years to vote out/Leave so this new fangled internettery/faecesfuck ain't gonna have made much difference.

    Those same people will also have the same 30-40 years experience of being lied to by pollies of all sides. Baa baa voters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what?

      I know at least one Leave voter who falls into that category - i.e. has never been a fan of Europe (but was too young to have voted in 1972 (was it?)) - but whose arguments for voting Leave are always very similar to the stuff spouted on the side of 'that' bus - i.e. gross misrepresentations of the reality which generally boil down to 'why should we send £350m a week to Poland when we could be spending that money nearer home?' and rarely about the genuine problems in Europe such as the millstone of the Common Fisheries, possibly because with the right amount of political co-operation, those sorts of things are eminently fixable.

      This person is slightly Tory-leaning but also believes in the 'socialist' (with a small 's') principles epitomised by the NHS, by free universal education and by taxes on those who can afford it to help those who can't.

      He can't quite see the link between those of us who are childless having some of our taxes used to pay for schooling for other people's children for the good of society as a whole, and those of us living in the richer parts of Europe having a net outflow of money to the poorer parts of Europe (leaving aside the fact that it's nowhere near £350m) for the good of European society.

      There's an interesting historical argument to be made here, about the origins of European co-operation and - indeed the United Nations - being in the post-war years when those who had lived through the first half of the C20th didn't fancy repeating the experience.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        (leaving aside the fact that it's nowhere near £350m)

        Closer to £200m/week.

        for the good of European society.

        For what some politicians tell us is the good of European society (whatever that actually is), i.e. good in that they get to be in charge of it. From what I've seen of "European society" these past 25 years those politicians have done more harm than good, we certainly don't seem to be moving towards a big happy family all financially secure and in agreement over what's best, quite the opposite. The more people try and centralize control under themselves, the more resistance there will be.

        We need a Europe of good neighbours, co-operating together. for what we agree is the common good. Not a dysfunctional family with Daddy telling us what's good for us.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Not a dysfunctional family with Daddy telling us what's good for us.

          Oh... you must mean Boris's pal Trump then. Since they both hail from NYC they are obvious buddies and not Farage who is all bluster and shake.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          We need a Europe of good neighbours, co-operating together. for what we agree is the common good. Not a dysfunctional family with Daddy telling us what's good for us.

          I believe that is called the European Parliament. We'd get a lot more out of it if we stopped electing people like Fartage and Widdecombe to it, and actually engaged in that cooperation, rather than making childish gestures like standing backwards when Ode to Joy is played and then only turning up to collect the salary.

          As for Daddy - European politics is much more based on cooperation and decentralisation than politics here in the UK, where we currently have a "Daddy" in charge who was elected by fewer than 100k people.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: So what?

            "here in the UK, where we currently have a "Daddy" in charge who was elected by fewer than 100k people."

            At least this one was elected by people from around the country, no mater how distasteful the choice (although even fewer people forced the choice down to two equally unpalatable options). The usual method of getting a new PM is they are elected by the people of only one single constituency.

            Having said that, we do seem to get inundated with US presidential campaigns in the UK news media to such an extent that some people do actually think they are voting for a Prime Minister/|Party and not their own local MP. I suspect some people get a bit confused when they look at a ballot paper and don't see the future PMs name on it.

        3. strum Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          >From what I've seen of "European society" these past 25 years those politicians have done more harm than good

          Then you haven't been looking.

          Europe is more prosperous, more peaceful, more effective (at controlling megacorporations) than ever before. That wasn't an accident - that's what the Treaty of Rome was designed to do.

          Much of that will continue in our absence (though we did contribute quite a lot), but not here. We will become less prosperous, less peaceful and less able to resist the orders of the megacorps.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: So what?

            Then you haven't been looking.

            Oh I have, I assure you, and not just from within the UK so I have a better view than many of the commentards here.

            Europe is more prosperous, more peaceful, more effective (at controlling megacorporations) than ever before.

            Really? That would explain the rise of the far right and left, the ever-increasing demands from nationalists in Scotland, Catalonia etc.? And the screwed-up tax codes that let Facebook et al. continue to grow despite the ineffective fines? And the economic omnishambles in Greece, Spain, and others?

            That wasn't an accident - that's what the Treaty of Rome was designed to do.

            The Treaty of Rome was signed 62 years ago, and it did indeed do a lot of good at the start. Sadly it was corrupted over the past 25 years (as I said) by the subsequent treaties of Maastricht and Lisbon which turned a successful co-operative of nations into a fledgling empire controlled by people who pay less and less attention to what their citizens want, and concentrate ever more power into the hands of an arrogant elite.

        4. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          We need a Europe of good neighbours, co-operating together. for what we agree is the common good. Not a dysfunctional family with Daddy telling us what's good for us.

          Agreed. Which is why its madness for the dysfunctional family to turn its back on the community.

          The more people try and centralize control under themselves, the more resistance there will be.

          I think that's the essence of the UK trouble. Our governments of both colours - and their civil service - have hugely centralised power and control in Westminster and Whitehall. Monoglot Brits see that as 'normal' and project similar centralising tendencies on a strawman 'Brussels'.

          Yet that kind of centralisation is totally alien to most of our European neighbours. It would never occur to a German or Italian that so much power over his/her region be concentrated in Berlin or Rome (let alone Brussels) as the UK government takes for London. Hence our neighbours can't understand the British mindset that sees Brussels as some big superstate: in reality, EU bureaucracy is an order of magnitude smaller than Sir Humphrey's Whitehall empire.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: So what?

            Yet that kind of centralisation is totally alien to most of our European neighbours. It would never occur to a German or Italian that so much power over his/her region be concentrated in Berlin or Rome

            The UK has roughly equal numbers of public empoyees working in central and local government. Germany has relatively few at Federal level, but regional and municipal numbers are similar to UK central and local goivernment. France has far more in central government than local government.

            France, in fact, really takes the biscuit in some areas. The UK has around 400k civil servants, France has 1.3m!

            That said, you're confusing the people who make the rules with those tasked to implement them. Most civil servants, regional or central, are there to push around the papers which implement the rules made by central government. Decentralizing that power simply adds additional layers, it does not grant any more freedoms.

      2. unimaginative

        Re: So what?

        "He can't quite see the link between those of us who are childless having some of our taxes used to pay for schooling for other people's children for the good of society as a whole, and those of us living in the richer parts of Europe having a net outflow of money to the poorer parts of Europe (leaving aside the fact that it's nowhere near £350m) for the good of European society."

        if that is what you want to achieve, why not send that money where it would do the most good, the poorest countries?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So what?

          "if that is what you want to achieve, why not send that money where it would do the most good, the poorest countries?"

          Well we are doing that as well, aren't we? The UK foreign aid budget is around £14bn a year - or £270 million a week, to put it in bus advert terms.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: So what?

            Shhhhh. Don't mention the foreign aid budget, the kippers hate that too! Lets ignore for a moment the intangible benefits we get from trying to make the rest of the world a little less unstable and the goodwill it engenders. It's not like we need goodwill from other nations when we've got to rengotiate a metric shit-ton of trade agreements is it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So what?

              Maybe they'd like it better it if we rebranded it the "third-world bribes budget."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what?

      >So what effect did it have if any?

      CA didn't target those who had already made the decision. It targeted those who were on the fence based on their interests. So those who liked animals got messages about the EU endangering polar bears, those who were concerned about immigration got messages about the EU opening the borders to Turkey/Syria, etc. Many of these messages were distortions of the truth and some were outright lies, but all were aimed to get those on the fence to vote.

    3. defiler Silver badge

      Re: So what?

      The internet buggery seems to have just been the last few stages to swing the last few percent of voters. The fact is that the European Union, the European Economic Community, the European Common Market, or whatever the flavour was on the day the script was written has been the butt of pretty-much any political blame since I was aware there were such a thing as politics.

      Go back and watch Yes Minister (from 1980) and "those interfering bureaucrats at the Common Market" are being blamed for all sorts of things. And that was the case in actual political office too. Sure there are things to blame on the EU, but far less than can be blamed on Westminster.

      Whether people feel justified in forming their opinions that way is besides the point, so I'm not trying to pick on Leave voters here. I'm just pointing out that we've been systematically brainwashed for 39 years that I can point to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what?

        I'm just pointing out that we've been systematically brainwashed for 39 years that I can point to.

        So why do you allow it to happen? The internet is just a source of information, it's up to you to evaluate its accuracy. Or is is just the people who disagree with you that are being "brainwashed"?

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          Everybody is brainwashed every minute of the day. We're all influenced by what we see and what we hear. But when the only source of ready information regarding the European Common Market in 1980 is the TV, which shows political comedy blaming the ECM for everything, and then our own politicians taking turns blaming the ECM for what they do on one hand and taking the credit for what the ECM do on the other, it's a bit one-sided.

          There weren't many web pages on the subject in 1980.

          Might also explain why constituencies with lower average ages voted more to remain - these people stood a better chance of being exposed to more sources of information.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So what?

            There weren't many web pages on the subject in 1980.

            There were newspapers, and libraries.

            1. defiler Silver badge

              Re: So what?

              Oh my god.

              Yeah - I'm going to go to the fucking reference library to find out all of the details about an organisation that I perceive as having no great influence on my life on the off-chance that in 30 years time somebody is going to ask the country whether I'd like to be a part of it or not.

              Or the newspapers which are repeating the Parliamentary lines that ECM is just in the way and making us have funny-shaped bananas and building a butter mountain and a wine lake.

              For fuck's sake. Even when I was ten I didn't have enough hours in the day for that shit. It's only been in the last ten years that this information has been conveniently available to those with a notion to look it up, otherwise you're pissing about on buses to the central libraries and fucking about with reference cards.

              You clearly spend an inordinate amount of time with your thumb up your arse if you can choose to do these things. You are half the people I work with and I claim my £5.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it's hilarious...

    that people still think that Cambridge Analytica was the only one that abused users Facebook data.

    Oh wait, what do we have here?

    "It sounds a lot like Facebook has gotten itself into (or encouraged and is now pretending it’s aghast about it all) another Cambridge Analytica-ish data privacy fiasco."

    https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/05/15/facebook-sues-app-developer-rankwave-over-data-misuse/

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: I think it's hilarious...

      They got caught, that is the thing and then did what all snake oil corporations do, shutdown as quickly as possible to hide the evidence. As far as I understand all the collected information is still there and has probably been sold on many time. The roots of those involved appear to be a tangled web of deceit and quite a bit leads back to the ultimate pit of filth that is Facebook.

      What is missed every time with anything to do with data collection, disclosure or theft is that once it is out in the wild that is it. Whether it has been anonymized or not is irrelevant, there is so much out there now and the compute resources are available to de-anonymize it.

      This whole thing around personal data is just a total f**cking disaster.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: I think it's hilarious...

      that people still think that Cambridge Analytica was the only one that abused users Facebook data.

      Who thinks that?

      This particular story is about CA. Did anyone suggest there are no stories that aren't about CA?

  10. streaky Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I don't..

    Standard market research approach stuff.

    Given it matches up exactly with what both groups have said their dealings with the company were smoking gun this is not.

    Suggest actually looking at the emails rather than just being outraged by what's claimed to be in them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't..

      ... What?

  11. markr555

    Same old smokscreen

    I'm getting very tired of the general zeitgeist around what happened with the brexit vote. The accepted 'facts' seem to be that the nation was duped by the evil machinations of the leave campaigns, and that people had their views completely manipulated, Manchurian Candidate style, to such a degree that they were swayed into voting against their beliefs. The CA scandal was a criminal use of data, but at best merely solidified the opinions of those who would vote leave already, and swayed those on the margins towards voting leave. But here, as Mr Shakespeare would say, is the rub; it was the total ineffectiveness of the remain campaign that actually caused the result! You see, all they did to counter the lies on the bus and everything else, was to say that if you voted leave them you was either stupid, racist or mentally ill. They provided no evidence for the ridiculous doomsday scenarios that they painted if the peons were stupid enough to vote leave, nor did they address any of the genuine concerns of those on the margins. They did, however, trot out down-to-earth celebs such as Bono to tell us not to be thick and do as told. You see,the problem is that there is some truth to the arguments that the large-scale immigration from Europe has had negative affects for many people(mainly those on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum), that lower end wages have been depressed by it and that public services have been squeezed. The remain campaign didn't just fail to address these concerns, even worse it asserted that they were just the products of stupid racism. The leave campaign didn't win the referendum, the remain campaign lost it. I'd go as far as to say that the arrogance and divisiveness of the Remain campaign did far more for Vote Leave than Cambridge Analytica ever could. For the avoidance of doubt; I'm a badly let down remainer that's getting a bit annoyed with my cohort.

    1. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: Same old smokscreen

      Some fair comment - “what did the EU ever do for you” in a Monty Python Style was a shameful omission from the campaign where the EU largely kept out of it as did much of big business doing lots of after the event “we are off” statements now. Both were stupid mistakes.

      However your lengthy post is largely cheerfully ignoring lies, illegality, criminality over Electoral Fraud, Misconduct in a Public Office, Data Protection Breaches and misinformation on a massive extent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same old smokscreen

        cheerfully ignoring lies, illegality, criminality over Electoral Fraud, Misconduct in a Public Office, Data Protection Breaches and misinformation on a massive extent.

        Which were all as evident on the Remain side as on the Leave one.

        1. Evil_Goblin

          Re: Same old smokscreen

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptfmAY6M6aA

          There was half an effort by Mr Stewart...

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            I See Your Patrick Stewart...

            ...and raise you a Stewart Lee

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Same old smokscreen

          Which were all as evident on the Remain side as on the Leave one.

          I hear this trotted out again and again, but have yet to see any evidence of such lies, on the scale of the "Lie On The Bus", Farage's overtly racist "queue of brown-skinned migrants" poster, or suggestions that the entire population of Turkey was suddenly coming here.

          Please provide some examples. (I bet you can't)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Same old smokscreen

            on the scale of the "Lie On The Bus"

            The one the courts ruled wasn't a lie, you mean?

            Examples on the Remain side included all the Project Fear lies about the economic disaster that will happen immediately after vote to leave:

            Alan Johnson, former shadow chancellor, claimed two thirds of manufacturing jobs were dependent on Europe. The figure is actually 15%

            Anna Soubry claimed a recession would occur simply by a vote to Leave. In fact UK was the third fastest growing G7 economy during 2018

            Foreign investment into the UK would collapse. In fact in the first half of 2018, direct foreign investment into the UK was higher than anywhere else in the world bar China.

            Iain Duncan Smith said that 3m people will lose their jobs. In fact UK currently has the lowest unemployment in over 40 years, and the lowest in the EU.

            Also, David Cameron said he wouldn't resign if there were a no vote. he bailed out the next day.

            Farage's claims about an EU army were ridiculed by remainers, yet Macron has now proposed exactly that.

            That's without all the trivial scaremongering about no more holidays in Spain, all the EU citizens in the UK being deported, and the rest of the nonsense.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Same old smokscreen

              The one the courts ruled wasn't a lie, you mean?

              I think you have a strange idea of "not a lie" here. The courts actually essentially ruled that there wasn't a case for Boris to answer for Misconduct in Public Office, because it isn't illegal for politicians to lie. They made no judgement about the truthfulness, or otherwise of the claim. I'm sure you know this, and you are just lying yourself.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Same old smokscreen

                ...oh, and worth noting also that the lower court had allowed the case to proceed, and it was only stopped by the High Court when Johnson appealed, so it was far from clear-cut whether he was going to get off scott-free for his outrageous fibbing.

              2. streaky Silver badge

                Re: Same old smokscreen

                It's well over 450 million now. That supposed 350 was the happy days when we didn't send the EU very much money.

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Same old smokscreen

              Alan Johnson, former shadow chancellor, claimed two thirds of manufacturing jobs were dependent on Europe. The figure is actually 15%

              15% are directly dependent, 2/3 sounds like a reasonable figure to me, when you factor in supply chains and all the jobs that are indirectly dependent.

              Anna Soubry claimed a recession would occur simply by a vote to Leave. In fact UK was the third fastest growing G7 economy during 2018

              Hardly printed on the side of a bus, and a quote from a single not-particularly-high-profile politician, but I don't think our economy is exactly booming at the moment; manufacturing is in recession and growth has flatlined.

              Foreign investment into the UK would collapse. In fact in the first half of 2018, direct foreign investment into the UK was higher than anywhere else in the world bar China.

              We haven't left yet. Lots of financial institutions have already moved offices to mainland Europe. I don't see large foreign companies investing in the UK (but I stand to be corrected) - car manuafacturers, for instance are de-investing. It all turns on what you mean by foreign investment as well. If you count Russian oligarchs and oil sheikhs buying up property in Belgravia, then it's not like it's actually great for the country.

              Iain Duncan Smith said that 3m people will lose their jobs. In fact UK currently has the lowest unemployment in over 40 years, and the lowest in the EU.

              If you believe a word that comes from IDS's mouth, then you're a bigger fool than him. He's a brexiter himself. That aside, most of the jobs "created" seem to be in the "gig economy" where people are living hand-to-mouth. In-work poverty has sky-rocketed, especially when those in work depend on benefits that suddenly get delayed for 4 weeks because of Universal Credit (another of IDS's brainchildren). Not all jobs are equal, and employment figures issued by the government are notoriously dodgy when it comes to true unemployment. They count only those out of work and claiming unemployment benefits, so successive governments fiddle the figures by reclassifying who gets what benefits.

              Also, David Cameron said he wouldn't resign if there were a no vote. he bailed out the next day.

              And this was part of the remain campaign was it? Lets not confuse the idiocy and slipperiness of the man who started the whole fiasco with anbything other than his own duplicity.

              Farage's claims about an EU army were ridiculed by remainers, yet Macron has now proposed exactly that.

              Absolute bollocks. As far as I am aware, Fartage was claiming people would be conscripted into a central European army. No such thing has been proposed. The EU constituion actually bans conscription. What has actually been proposed is closer cooperation between the military forces of member nations (you know, like that NATO thing we're already part of), and things like cost-saving through common procurement. Arguing against that sort of thing seems like the real Project Fear to me. You need to stop reading the Daily Mail et al

              That's without all the trivial scaremongering about no more holidays in Spain, all the EU citizens in the UK being deported, and the rest of the nonsense.

              I don't think anyone claimed "no more holidays in Spain". Holidays in Spain will be more expensive (they already are, if you read the current shouty headlines in the red-tops). EU citizens in the UK have legitimate fears about their future status. First they were forced to register (at cost), then the cost was removed, but they were still forced to register. Nobody knows what their status will be. I know EU citizens working in the UK who have been reduced to tears because they can't plan for the future. Add to this the difficulties people are having in renting accommodation, or getting jobs, because they can't guarantee to their prospective landlords or employers that they will be legally allowed to stay here, and your charge of "the rest of the nonsense" seems a bit thin. Lets not forget, of course, the recruitment crisis the NHS is having because a large part of the highly qualified workforce comes from the continent, and nobody in their right mind is moving here just to work hard for not much money and get shouted at by racists before facing the chance of being deported again.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Same old smokscreen

                2/3 sounds like a reasonable figure to me

                Oh well, it must be right then, if it sounds reasonable. Let's not allow facts to get in the way of Project Fear.

                We haven't left yet.

                The comment was made about the result of a Leave vote, not about actually leaving.

                Lots of financial institutions have already moved offices to mainland Europe.

                No, they have opened offices there to maintain an EU presence, and entirely reasonable and predictable move.

                I don't see large foreign companies investing in the UK (but I stand to be corrected) - car manuafacturers, for instance are de-investing.

                Well, BMW and Jaguar seem toi be investing in electic cars inthe UK. vauxhall have muttered abut leaving, but they are now owned by PSA which has he French government as a large stakeholder, so I sense the hand of Macron in that recent announcement.

                What has actually been proposed is closer cooperation between the military forces of member nations

                Really? 'Le président français, Emmanuel Macron, a appelé mardi de ses voeux la création d'une "véritable armée européenne" pour mieux protéger ce continent,'

                "A true european army" doesn't sound like just being better pals, and some common purchasing, to me.

                You need to stop reading the Daily Mail et al

                I haven't read a Daily Fail in over 40 years, sorry. I prefer to understand the situation myself, and not be spoonfed FUD.

                I know EU citizens working in the UK who have been reduced to tears because they can't plan for the future.

                Why not? The one thing that has been said consistently, and agreed since early discussions, is that people's acquired rights will be protected. That's even enshrined in the Treaty of Vienna. They should stop believing Project Fear.

                recruitment crisis the NHS is having because a large part of the highly qualified workforce comes from the continent,

                Ah, that old one. Fewer than 6% of NHS staff come from the EU (it's higher in London), the NHS staffing problems have wider causes than Brexit.

              2. streaky Silver badge

                Re: Same old smokscreen

                EU citizens in the UK have legitimate fears about their future status. First they were forced to register (at cost), then the cost was removed, but they were still forced to register. Nobody knows what their status will be.

                Lets have them not register. Then in 50 years when there's literally zero record of them having a right to live in the UK when they try to get help in old age deport them. This nonsense is literally why the Windrush scandal happened - because soft in the head morons didn't think they'd ever come across an immigration system in their lives. Get a grip.

            3. strum Silver badge

              Re: Same old smokscreen

              >The one the courts ruled wasn't a lie, you mean?

              The courts ruled no such thing. Another lie, to defend a lie.

            4. strum Silver badge

              Re: Same old smokscreen

              >Iain Duncan Smith said that 3m people will lose their jobs.

              IDS was (and still is) a rabid Brexiteer. I think this demonstrates your attitude to the truth.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Same old smokscreen

                IDS was (and still is) a rabid Brexiteer. I think this demonstrates your attitude to the truth.

                No, my attitude to typing, sorry. Cut & past error, the figure was correct, from the remain campaign, but it was a figure fron the CBI, not IDS, obviously.

            5. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Same old smokscreen

              Iain Duncan Smith said that 3m people will lose their jobs.

              I've just checked up on this, and what IDS actually said was that British people are lazy, and that immigrants would take 3M "new jobs" that he dreamt up from some dodgy statistics. Nothing that remotely backs up what you are claiming.

              Another direct quote from IDS:

              I believe not a single job will be lost, I think this is all complete nonsense

              So, not only does the man himself directly contradict your claim, everything he says is bollocks anyway, and by deduction, not only is what you are saying total bollocks, but it is even moreso than something spouted by a man who is arguably one of the most repellant political figures in modern British history.

              In short - nothing to do with lies made during the referendum campaign, total bollocks to boot, and if you did find a quote where IDS is lying, he's a fucking brexiter, so you're arguing against the wrong side.

              0/10 for effort.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Same old smokscreen

        However your lengthy post is largely cheerfully ignoring lies, illegality, criminality over Electoral Fraud, Misconduct in a Public Office, Data Protection Breaches and misinformation on a massive extent.

        Not to mention punctuation.

        1. markr555

          Re: Same old smokscreen

          Woah! Ignoring punctuation is NOT something I'm willing to let go, please do show me where I have failed your test?

          If my punctuation was actually absent (it's not), does that in any way invalidate my opinions, or are you simply demonstrating your advanced intellectual capacity through the medium of ridicule? You are precisely the cohort that I'm getting tired of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Same old smokscreen

      "For the avoidance of doubt; I'm a badly let down remainer that's getting a bit annoyed with my cohort."

      One remains unconvinced.

  12. unimaginative
    FAIL

    What about some accuracy and fact checking?

    1. Leave.UK was not founded by Nigel Farage. It was closely linked to UKIP, unlike the official leave campaign.

    2. Its initial financial backer was Jim Mellon, whose main motive seems to have been to open the doors to more non-EU immigration: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11717415/Millionaire-Jim-Mellon-backs-20million-anti-politics-campaign-to-leave-EU-as-name-revealed.html

    3. The emails concern work done by CA for UKIP, not Leave.UK

    4. There are emails showing CA expected to get a contract with Leave.UK, but which ones shows they got it?

    5. One of the emails was sent to the press. hardly a shady secret.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: What about some accuracy and fact checking?

      If we're talking about accuracy / fact checking, lets start with the obvious..

      IIRC, the org in question is called Leave.eu, not Leave.UK

  13. Chris the bean counter

    Cambridge Analytica did no work for leave EU

    The hacked off documentary is reheated and some of the "Heroes" come across as not very nice while some of the villains such as Cambridge Analytica COO Justin Wheatland came across as very believable.

    Cambridge Analytica have done some very nasty stuff such as persuading people in Caribbean their vote is useless and not to bother.

    However much of what they did such as the surveys were useless or pointless. You could achieve better by getting Facebook to come up with analytics to micro target ads. Christopher Wylie (the pink haired guy) was central to doing this, a fact that was not mentioned in the documentary but was admitted to by the lawyer in the Q&A after the film was premiered last week at ICA.

    Cambridge Analytica were their own worse enemy as they were very good at selling their services and taking credit for victories that were little to do with them especially Brexit.

    Justin Wheatland was the special guest at last Fridays FT Vaudeville (along with Craig Wright) and was a believable (unlike Craig) and charming interviewee. The interview is not on Youtube and a lawyer in the audience was escorted out to allow the speakers to speak frankly on contorversial subjects such as Wirecard. I choose to believe Justin's explanation on brexit that they were awarded the contract verbally but was never actually received so other than the initial work they did none. He came across as more creditable than Brittany Kaiser.

    Ben Elton recently wrote quite a good comedy on Cambridge Analytica. If it is ever filmed I expect Andre Nix will be played by Hugh Grant.

  14. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

    Who is worse?

    I am not sure who I dislike more, the lawbreakers or the "ambulance chasers". I sure cannot side with anyone trying to make a quick buck because of circumstances from someone else.

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