Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Cambridge Analytica' is associated with 7 posts.

Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine Kateryna Kruk’s Nazi and Fascist Manifestations

In FTR #1074, we highlighted Facebook’s appointment of Kateryna Kruk to be its Public Policy Manager in Ukraine. Kruk is very close to the Atlantic Council, which was effectively positioned by Facebook to handle its management of “Fake News.” The Atlantic Council is a foundational element of the push for a new Cold War and has profound links to both U.S. intelligence and the fascist/Nazi milieu that grew out of the Reinhard Gehlen spy organization. In addition to having worked with Svoboda during the Euromaidan protests, Kruk has manifested other Nazi and fascist affiliations: 1.) In 2014, she tweeted that a man had asked her to convince his grandson not to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia. “I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I thanked that boy and blessed him.” And he then traveled to Luhansk to fight pro-Russian rebels. 2.) In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dilly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich–pictured above, at right–had been fighting with the fascist Ukrainian group Right Sector, and had posted photos on social media wearing Nazi German symbols. After he was killed, Kruk tweeted an homage to the teenage Nazi. (The Nazi was also lionized on Euromaidan Press’ Facebook page.) 3.) Kruk has staunchly defended the use of the slogan “Slava Ukraini,”which was first coined and popularized by Nazi-collaborating fascists, and is now the official salute of Ukraine’s army. 4.) She has also said that the Ukrainian fascist politician Andriy Parubiy, who co-founded a neo-Nazi party before later becoming the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament the Rada, is “acting smart,” writing, “Parubiy touche.” . . . .


FTR #1074 FakeBook: Walkin’ the Snake on the Earth Island with Facebook (FascisBook, Part 2; In Your Facebook, Part 4)

This program supplements past coverage of Facebook in FTR #’s 718, 946, 1021, 1039 noting how Facebook has networked with the very Hindutva fascist Indian elements and OUN/B successor organizations in Ukraine. This networking has been–ostensibly to combat fake news. The reality may well highlight that the Facebook/BJP-RSS/OUN/B links generates fake news, rather than interdicting it. The fake news so generated, however, will be to the liking of the fascists in power in both countries, manifesting as a “Serpent’s Walk” revisionist scenario.

Key elements of discussion and analysis include:

1.–Indian politics has been largely dominated by fake news, spread by social media: ” . . . . In the continuing Indian elections, as 900 million people are voting to elect representatives to the lower house of the Parliament, disinformation and hate speech are drowning out truth on social media networks in the country and creating a public health crisis like the pandemics of the past century. This contagion of a staggering amount of morphed images, doctored videos and text messages is spreading largely through messaging services and influencing what India’s voters watch and read on their smartphones. A recent study by Microsoft found that over 64 percent Indians encountered fake news online, the highest reported among the 22 countries surveyed. . . . These platforms are filled with fake news and disinformation aimed at influencing political choices during the Indian elections. . . . ”
2.–Narendra Modi’s Hindutva fascist BJP has been the primary beneficiary of fake news, and his regime has partnered with Facebook: ” . . . . The hearing was an exercise in absurdist theater because the governing B.J.P. has been the chief beneficiary of divisive content that reaches millions because of the way social media algorithms, especially Facebook, amplify ‘engaging’ articles. . . .”
3.–Rajesh Jain is among those BJP functionaries who serve Facebook, as well as the Hindutva fascists: ” . . . . By the time Rajesh Jain was scaling up his operations in 2013, the BJP’s information technology (IT) strategists had begun interacting with social media platforms like Facebook and its partner WhatsApp. If supporters of the BJP are to be believed, the party was better than others in utilising the micro-targeting potential of the platforms. However, it is also true that Facebook’s employees in India conducted training workshops to help the members of the BJP’s IT cell. . . .”
4.–Dr. Hiren Joshi is another of the BJP operatives who is heavily involved with Facebook. ” . . . . Also assisting the social media and online teams to build a larger-than-life image for Modi before the 2014 elections was a team led by his right-hand man Dr Hiren Joshi, who (as already stated) is a very important adviser to Modi whose writ extends way beyond information technology and social media. . . . Joshi has had, and continues to have, a close and long-standing association with Facebook’s senior employees in India. . . .”
5.–Shivnath Thukral, who was hired by Facebook in 2017 to be its Public Policy Director for India & South Asia, worked with Joshi’s team in 2014. ” . . . . The third team, that was intensely focused on building Modi’s personal image, was headed by Hiren Joshi himself who worked out of the then Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office in Gandhinagar. The members of this team worked closely with staffers of Facebook in India, more than one of our sources told us. As will be detailed later, Shivnath Thukral, who is currently an important executive in Facebook, worked with this team. . . .”
6.–An ostensibly remorseful BJP politician–Prodyut Bora–highlighted the dramatic effect of Facebook and its WhatsApp subsidiary have had on India’s politics: ” . . . . In 2009, social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp had a marginal impact in India’s 20 big cities. By 2014, however, it had virtually replaced the traditional mass media. In 2019, it will be the most pervasive media in the country. . . .”
7.–A concise statement about the relationship between the BJP and Facebook was issued by BJP tech office Vinit Goenka: ” . . . . At one stage in our interview with [Vinit] Goenka that lasted over two hours, we asked him a pointed question: ‘Who helped whom more, Facebook or the BJP?’ He smiled and said: ‘That’s a difficult question. I wonder whether the BJP helped Facebook more than Facebook helped the BJP. You could say, we helped each other.’ . . .”

In Ukraine, as well, Facebook and the OUN/B successor organizations function symbiotically:

(Note that the Atlantic Council is dominant in the array of individuals and institutions constituting the Ukrainian fascist/Facebook cooperative effort. We have spoken about the Atlantic Council in numerous programs, including FTR #943. The organization has deep operational links to elements of U.S. intelligence, as well as the OUN/B milieu that dominates the Ukrainian diaspora.)

Overlapping cybersecurity outfit CrowdStrike, the Atlantic Council has been at the forefront of the “Russia” was behind the high-profile hacks meme:

CrowdStrike–at the epicenter of the supposed Russian hacking controversy is noteworthy. Its co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitry Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, financed by elements that are at the foundation of fanning the flames of the New Cold War: “In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks. . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. . . . The connection between [Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri] Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . . ”

In May of 2018, Facebook decided to effectively outsource the work of identifying propaganda and misinformation during elections to the Atlantic Council, so choosing someone like Kruk who already has the Atlantic Council’s stamp of approval is in keeping with that trend:

” . . . . Facebook is partnering with the Atlantic Council in another effort to combat election-related propaganda and misinformation from proliferating on its service. The social networking giant said Thursday that a partnership with the Washington D.C.-based think tank would help it better spot disinformation during upcoming world elections. The partnership is one of a number of steps Facebook is taking to prevent the spread of propaganda and fake news after failing to stop it from spreading on its service in the run up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. . . .”

Since autumn 2018, Facebook has looked to hire a public policy manager for Ukraine. The job came after years of Ukrainians criticizing the platform for takedowns of its activists’ pages and the spread of [alleged] Russian disinfo targeting Kyiv. Now, it appears to have one: @Kateryna_Kruk.— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 3, 2019

Kateryna Kruk:

1.–Is Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine as of May of this year, according to her LinkedIn page.
2.–Worked as an analyst and TV host for the Ukrainian ‘anti-Russian propaganda’ outfit StopFake. StopFake is the creation of Irena Chalupa, who works for the Atlantic Council and the Ukrainian government and appears to be the sister of Andrea and Alexandra Chalupa.
3.–Joined the “Kremlin Watch” team at the European Values think-tank, in October of 2017.
4.–Received the Atlantic Council’s Freedom award for her communications work during the Euromaidan protests in June of 2014.
5.–Worked for OUN/B successor organization Svoboda during the Euromaidan protests. “ . . . ‘There are people who don’t support Svoboda because of some of their slogans, but they know it’s the most active political party and go to them for help, said Svoboda volunteer Kateryna Kruk. . . . ”
6.–Also has a number of articles on the Atlantic Council’s Blog. Here’s a blog post from August of 2018 where she advocates for the creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church to diminish the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
7.–According to her LinkedIn page has also done extensive work for the Ukrainian government. From March 2016 to January 2017 she was the Strategic Communications Manager for the Ukrainian parliament where she was responsible for social media and international communications. From January-April 2017 she was the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Health.
8.–Was not only was a volunteer for Svoboda during the 2014 Euromaidan protests, but openly celebrated on twitter the May 2014 massacre in Odessa when the far right burned dozens of protestors alive. Kruk’s twitter feed is set to private now so there isn’t public access to her old tweet, but people have screen captures of it. Here’s a tweet from Yasha Levine with a screenshot of Kruk’s May 2, 2014 tweet where she writes: “#Odessa cleaned itself from terrorists, proud for city fighting for its identity.glory to fallen heroes..” She even threw in a “glory to fallen heroes” at the end of her tweet celebrating this massacre. Keep in mind that it was month after this tweet that the Atlantic Council gave her that Freedom Award for her communications work during the protests.
9.–In 2014, . . . tweeted that a man had asked her to convince his grandson not to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia. “I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I thanked that boy and blessed him.” And he then traveled to Luhansk to fight pro-Russian rebels.
10.–Lionized a Nazi sniper killed in Ukraine’s civil war. In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dilly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich had been fighting with the fascist Ukrainian group Right Sector, and had posted photos on social media wearing Nazi German symbols. After he was killed, Kruk tweeted an homage to the teenage Nazi. (The Nazi was also lionized on Euromaidan Press’ Facebook page.)
11.–Has staunchly defended the use of the slogan “Slava Ukraini,”which was first coined and popularized by Nazi-collaborating fascists, and is now the official salute of Ukraine’s army.
12.–Has also said that the Ukrainian fascist politician Andriy Parubiy, who co-founded a neo-Nazi party before later becoming the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament the Rada, is “acting smart,” writing, “Parubiy touche.” . . . .

In the context of Facebook’s institutional level networking with fascists, it is worth noting that social media themselves have been cited as a contributing factor to right-wing domestic terrorism. ” . . . The first is stochastic terrorism: ‘The use of mass, public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.’ I encountered the idea in a Friday thread from data scientist Emily Gorcenski, who used it to tie together four recent attacks. . . . .”

The program concludes with review (from FTR #1039) of the psychological warfare strategy adapted by Cambridge Analytica to the political arena. Christopher Wylie–the former head of research at Cambridge Analytica who became one of the key insider whistle-blowers about how Cambridge Analytica operated and the extent of Facebook’s knowledge about it–gave an interview to Campaign Magazine. (We dealt with Cambridge Analytica in FTR #’s 946, 1021.) Wylie recounts how, as director of research at Cambridge Analytica, his original role was to determine how the company could use the information warfare techniques used by SCL Group – Cambridge Analytica’s parent company and a defense contractor providing psy op services for the British military. Wylie’s job was to adapt the psychological warfare strategies that SCL had been using on the battlefield to the online space. As Wylie put it:

“ . . . . When you are working in information operations projects, where your target is a combatant, the autonomy or agency of your targets is not your primary consideration. It is fair game to deny and manipulate information, coerce and exploit any mental vulnerabilities a person has, and to bring out the very worst characteristics in that person because they are an enemy…But if you port that over to a democratic system, if you run campaigns designed to undermine people’s ability to make free choices and to understand what is real and not real, you are undermining democracy and treating voters in the same way as you are treating terrorists. . . . .”

Wylie also draws parallels between the psychological operations used on democratic audiences and the battlefield techniques used to be build an insurgency.


FTR #1070 Update on Hindutva Fascism and Socialists for Trump and Hitler (The “Assistance”)

Wrapping up a long, complex series on fascist and apparent intelligence connections to the crop of self-proclaimed “socialists” who have emerged to dominate media and internet coverage in recent months, we review key points of “Boseian” Indian fascism, the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi and the unappetizing possibility of the two conduits flowing together to make the world’s second most populous country a Nazi political, historical and cultural epicenter.

A recent New York Times piece encapsulated the significance of India, per se, noting the emergence and dominance of the Modi/BJP/RSS Hindutva fascism: ” . . . . ‘This is something that Jawaharlal Nehru had predicted,’ Mr. Mukherjee said, referring to India’s first prime minister. ‘He said if fascism ever came to India it would come in the form of majoritarian Hindu communalism. That is exactly what is happening.’ . . .  India is the second most populous nation, after China. It is a pivotal geopolitical player; its economy is huge and everyone wants to do business here; and it has a long secular history. . . .”

Before returning to the subject of the Nazification of India, we note a primary element of the analysis in the “Socialists for Trump and Hitler (‘The Assistance’)” series:

Fundamental to an understanding of the criticism Mr. Emory has expressed of the Bernie Sanders and AOC phenomena is the strategic use of anti-Communism by the Underground Reich and related elements, discussed in, among other programs, AFA #37.

In the early 1960’s, there was a plot afoot on the part of Nazi elements to use anti-Communism to enslave America. Might some of the elements we have seen in this series have coalesced in such a context? One cannot use anti-Communism to enslave America without “Communists.” Is this why we see far-right and explicitly fascist elements grouped around Bernie Sanders and AOC?

General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy by Jeffrey H. Caufield, M.D.; Moreland Press [HC]; Copyright 2015 Jeffrey H. Caufield; ISBN-13: 978-0-9915637-0-8; pp. 86-87.

. . . . Garrison did not provide an explanation for all of the [David Ferrie] note’s subject matter. However, he did know the meaning of “flying Baragona in the Beech.” “Beech” refers to the model of Ferrie’s airplane, a Beechcraft. Baragona was a Nazi from Fort Sill. . . .

. . . . Garrison also obtained a transcript of a letter written by Ferrie to Baragona. Next to Baragona’s name, Garrison wrote: “Note Baragona is important.” The letter had been sent to Garrison by Glenn Pinchback, and a carbon copy was sent to Mendel Rivers, a congressman from Georgia. (Pinchback worked in the Operations Command at Fort Sill, where he intercepted mail.) In the letter, Ferrie shared his dream of the re-unification of Germany and living in a world where all the currency was in Deutschmarks. Pinchback’s summation of the letter described a “Neo-Nazi plot to enslave America in the name of anti-Communism,” and “a neo-Nazi plot gargantuan in scope.” The Ferrie letter spoke of the need to kill all the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. . . . Pinchback also reportedly obtained a letter from David Ferrie to Baragona confessing his role in the assassination of Robert Gehrig, who was a Nazi and Fort Sill soldier. . . .”

With Saikat Chakrabarti, who is the “power behind the throne” for AOC being an apparent devotee of Subhas Chandra Bose, it is of paramount importance to understand both the nature of Bose’s WWII activities and the contemporary Underground Reich extensions of his political and economic influence.

In that context, we note, for purposes of review and clarification:

1.–Narendra Modi’s networking with Surya Kumar Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, promising to declassify files on Bose.
2.–Surya Bose’s presidency of the Indo-German association. ” . . . . Surya, who has a software consultancy business in Hamburg and is president of the Indo-German Association . . . .”
3.–The genesis of the Indo-German association in Germany during World War II. Note that this organization must, as a matter of course, network with the remarkable and deadly Bormann organization: ” . . . . ‘The DIG was set up on September 11, 1942, by Subhash Chandra Bose at Hotel Atlanta in Hamburg.’ . . . . Bose recounts, adding that the DIG today is the largest bilateral organisation in Germany, with 27 branches. As a consultant he often guides Germans keen on working in the booming Indian IT sector. He is also a founder-member of the German-Indian Round Table, an informal gathering that seeks to further mutual business interests. . . .”
4.–Surya Kuma Bose’s networking with Alexander Werth, the German translator for Subhas Chandra Bose’s German forces, which were folded into the Waffen SS at the end of World War II. ” . . . . Back in the day, Netaji’s stay in Germany had proved instrumental in shaping his struggle. Decades later, that legacy would play a pivotal role in shaping his grandnephew’s career. Bose came to Germany on the advice of Alexander Werth, Netaji’s German interpreter in the Indian Legion. . . .”
5.–The collaboration of Surya Kumar Bose, Alexander Werth and World War II associates of Subhas Chandra Bose in both Germany and Japan in the compilation of a biography that fundamentally revises the history of “the Netaji.” ” . . . . Its six parts deal with his experiences in India, Germany and Japan and have been co-authored by people who either worked with, or were close associates of, his during his stay in their respective countries. The aim of the biography is to place Subhas Chandra Bose in a correct historical perspective with regard to his much publicized revolutionary activities, and to provide an understanding of an extremely complex man, much maligned by Britain and greatly misunderstood by her allies. . . .”
6.–The true character of Saikat Chakrabarti’s apparent idol Subhas Chandra Bose’s politics is to be found in his 1935 networking with Mussolini: “. . . . Netaji Bose, by his own admission in his book, ‘Indian Struggle’ (published in 1935 in London), believed India needed a political system that was a mix of fascism and communism — something that he called samyavad. Netaji made a special trip to Rome in 1935 to present a copy of his book to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, whom he greatly admired and whose ideals he would follow for the rest of his life. . . .”
7.–Subhas Chandra Bose’s politics were the antithesis of what we would expect from the AOC camp: “. . . . In a speech the same year in Singapore, Bose spoke about India needing a ruthless dictator for 20 years after liberation. Then Singapore daily, Sunday Express (now defunct), printed his speech where he said, ‘So long as there is a third party, ie the British, these dissensions will not end. These will go on growing. They will disappear only when an iron dictator rules over India for 20 years. For a few years at least, after the end of British rule in India, there must be a dictatorship . . . . No other constitution can flourish in this country and it is so to India’s good that she shall be ruled by a dictator, to begin with . . . .”

Through the years, we have highlighted the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, which deals, in part, with the rehabilitation of the Third Reich’s reputation and the transformation of Hitler into a hero.

In FTR #1015, we noted that a Serpent’s Walk scenario is indeed unfolding in India.

Key points of analysis and discussion include:

1.–Narendra Modi’s presence on the same book cover (along with Gandhi, Mandela, Obama and Hitler.)
2.–Modi himself has his own political history with children’s books that promote Hitler as a great leader: ” . . . . In 2004, reports surfaced of high-school textbooks in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, that spoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism. According to ‘The Times of India,’ in a section called ‘Ideology of Nazism,’ the textbook said Hitler had ‘lent dignity and prestige to the German government,’ ‘made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant’ and ‘instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people.’  . . . .”
3.–In India, many have a favorable view of Hitler: ” . . . . as far back as 2002, the Times of India reported a survey that found that 17 percent of students in elite Indian colleges ‘favored Adolf Hitler as the kind of leader India ought to have.’ . . . . Consider Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography. Reviled it might be in the much of the world, but Indians buy thousands of copies of it every month. As a recent paper in the journal EPW tells us (PDF), there are over a dozen Indian publishers who have editions of the book on the market. Jaico, for example, printed its 55th edition in 2010, claiming to have sold 100,000 copies in the previous seven years. (Contrast this to the 3,000 copies my own 2009 book, Roadrunner, has sold). In a country where 10,000 copies sold makes a book a bestseller, these are significant numbers. . . .”
4.–A classroom of school children filled with fans of Hitler had a very different sentiment about Gandhi. ” . . . . ‘He’s a coward!’ That’s the obvious flip side of this love of Hitler in India. It’s an implicit rejection of Gandhi. . . .”
5.–Apparently, Mein Kampf has achieved gravitas among business students in India: ” . . . . What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students; a management guide much like Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese or Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking. If this undistinguished artist could take an entire country with him, I imagine the reasoning goes, surely his book has some lessons for future captains of industry? . . . .”

With Bose being presented as exemplary of an historical revision that historically reconfigures fascism as an anti-imperialist force,  we wonder if the pro-Hitler sentiment in India, the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi and the revisionism of “Boseian” fascism will dovetail coalesce along the lines of Serpent’s Walk?

We also wonder if the media-driven prominence of Bernie Sanders and AOC will precipitate “anti-Communism” as  a  vehicle for enslaving America on behalf of the  Underground Reich?

Program Highlights Include: An update on the murder of Gauri Lankesh, exemplifying the political terror that coalesced in India under the Modi regime; the apparent role of RSS-linked elements in Lankesh’s murder; the doctrinaire anti-Semitism used to assail [non-Jewish] professor Audrey Truschke’s research on the role of the Muslim Mughal emperors in Northern India; the ascent of mystical, bogus science under Modi’s Hindutva regime; review of the mythological idolization of the Kshatriya warrior caste by the Nazi SS; review of the Hare Krishna sect’s emhasis on the murderous revival of the Kshatriya caste (Bernie Sanders backer Tulsi Gabbard is a member of the Hare Krishna cult and a key U.S. liaison figure for Narendra Modi and the RSS; the etymological link of “Chakrabarti” to “Khastriya.”


Birds of a Feather: The So-Called Internet “Privacy Activists,” the Intelligence Services and Big Tech

Yasha Levine’s recent book “Surveillance Valley” is a MUST READ! Relatively short and very much to the point, this volume–subtitled “The Secret Military History of the Internet”–chronicles the fact that the Internet is a weapon, developed as part of the same group of overlapping DARPA/Pentagon projects as Agent Orange. In posts and programs to come, we will more fully develop the basic themes set forth in the excerpt recapped in this post: 1 )The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes. 2) Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry. 3) Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which the Internet is predicated. 4) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 5) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 6) The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose. 7) Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.


FTR #1021 FascisBook: (In Your Facebook, Part 3–A Virtual Panopticon, Part 3)

This program follows up FTR #’s 718 and 946, we examined Facebook, noting how it’s cute, warm, friendly public facade obscured a cynical, reactionary, exploitative and, ultimately “corporatist” ethic and operation.

The UK’s Channel 4 sent an investigative journalist undercover to work for one of the third-party companies Facebook pays to moderate content. This investigative journalist was trained to take a hands-off approach to far right violent content and fake news because that kind of content engages users for longer and increases ad revenues. ” . . . . An investigative journalist who went undercover as a Facebook moderator in Ireland says the company lets pages from far-right fringe groups ‘exceed deletion threshold,’ and that those pages are ‘subject to different treatment in the same category as pages belonging to governments and news organizations.’ The accusation is a damning one, undermining Facebook’s claims that it is actively trying to cut down on fake news, propaganda, hate speech, and other harmful content that may have significant real-world impact.The undercover journalist detailed his findings in a new documentary titled Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network, that just aired on the UK’s Channel 4. . . . .”

Next, we present a frightening story about AggregateIQ (AIQ), the Cambridge Analytica offshoot to which Cambridge Analytica outsourced the development of its “Ripon” psychological profile software development, and which later played a key role in the pro-Brexit campaign. The article also notes that, despite Facebook’s pledge to kick Cambridge Analytica off of its platform, security researchers just found 13 apps available for Facebook that appear to be developed by AIQ. If Facebook really was trying to kick Cambridge Analytica off of its platform, it’s not trying very hard. One app is even named “AIQ Johnny Scraper” and it’s registered to AIQ.

The article is also a reminder that you don’t necessarily need to download a Cambridge Analytica/AIQ app for them to be tracking your information and reselling it to clients. Security researcher stumbled upon a new repository of curated Facebook data AIQ was creating for a client and it’s entirely possible a lot of the data was scraped from public Facebook posts.

” . . . . AggregateIQ, a Canadian consultancy alleged to have links to Cambridge Analytica, collected and stored the data of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users, according to redacted computer files seen by the Financial Times.The social network banned AggregateIQ, a data company, from its platform as part of a clean-up operation following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, on suspicion that the company could have been improperly accessing user information. However, Chris Vickery, a security researcher, this week found an app on the platform called ‘AIQ Johnny Scraper’ registered to the company, raising fresh questions about the effectiveness of Facebook’s policing efforts. . . .”

In addition, the story highlights a forms of micro-targeting companies like AIQ make available that’s fundamentally different from the algorithmic micro-targeting associated with social media abuses: micro-targeting by a human who wants to specifically look and see what you personally have said about various topics on social media. This is a service where someone can type you into a search engine and AIQ’s product will serve up a list of all the various political posts you’ve made or the politically-relevant “Likes” you’ve made.

Next, we note that Facebook is getting sued by an app developer for acting like the mafia and turning access to all that user data as the key enforcement tool:

“Mark Zuckerberg faces allegations that he developed a ‘malicious and fraudulent scheme’ to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business. A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive ‘weaponised’ the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.  . . . . ‘The evidence uncovered by plaintiff demonstrates that the Cambridge Analytica scandal was not the result of mere negligence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct consequence of the malicious and fraudulent scheme Zuckerberg designed in 2012 to cover up his failure to anticipate the world’s transition to smartphones,’ legal documents said. . . . . Six4Three alleges up to 40,000 companies were effectively defrauded in this way by Facebook. It also alleges that senior executives including Zuckerberg personally devised and managed the scheme, individually deciding which companies would be cut off from data or allowed preferential access. . . . ‘They felt that it was better not to know. I found that utterly horrifying,’ he [former Facebook executive Sandy Parakilas] said. ‘If true, these allegations show a huge betrayal of users, partners and regulators. They would also show Facebook using its monopoly power to kill competition and putting profits over protecting its users.’ . . . .”

The above-mentioned Cambridge Analytica is officially going bankrupt, along with the elections division of its parent company, SCL Group. Apparently their bad press has driven away clients.

Is this truly the end of Cambridge Analytica?

No.

They’re rebranding under a new company, Emerdata. Intriguingly, Cambridge Analytica’s transformation into Emerdata is noteworthy because  the firm’s directors include Johnson Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and business partner of Erik Prince: ” . . . . But the company’s announcement left several questions unanswered, including who would retain the company’s intellectual property — the so-called psychographic voter profiles built in part with data from Facebook — and whether Cambridge Analytica’s data-mining business would return under new auspices. . . . In recent months, executives at Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group, along with the Mercer family, have moved to created a new firm, Emerdata, based in Britain, according to British records. The new company’s directors include Johnson Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and business partner of Erik Prince. . . . An executive and a part owner of SCL Group, Nigel Oakes, has publicly described Emerdata as a way of rolling up the two companies under one new banner. . . . ”

In the Big Data internet age, there’s one area of personal information that has yet to be incorporated into the profiles on everyone–personal banking information.  ” . . . . If tech companies are in control of payment systems, they’ll know “every single thing you do,” Kapito said. It’s a different business model from traditional banking: Data is more valuable for tech firms that sell a range of different products than it is for banks that only sell financial services, he said. . . .”

Facebook is approaching a number of big banks – JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp – requesting financial data including card transactions and checking-account balances. Facebook is joined byIn this by Google and Amazon who are also trying to get this kind of data.

Facebook assures us that this information, which will be opt-in, is to be solely for offering new services on Facebook messenger. Facebook also assures us that this information, which would obviously be invaluable for delivering ads, won’t be used for ads at all. It will ONLY be used for Facebook’s Messenger service.  This is a dubious assurance, in light of Facebook’s past behavior.

” . . . . Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter. Facebook has talked about a feature that would show its users their checking-account balances, the people said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the people said. . . .”

Peter Thiel’s surveillance firm Palantir was apparently deeply involved with Cambridge Analytica’s gaming of personal data harvested from Facebook in order to engineer an electoral victory for Trump. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, at one point was its largest shareholder and is still one of its largest shareholders. ” . . . . It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The revelations pulled Palantir — co-founded by the wealthy libertarian Peter Thiel — into the furor surrounding Cambridge, which improperly obtained Facebook data to build analytical tools it deployed on behalf of Donald J. Trump and other Republican candidates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a supporter of President Trump, serves on the board at Facebook. ‘There were senior Palantir employees that were also working on the Facebook data,’ said Christopher Wylie, a data expert and Cambridge Analytica co-founder, in testimony before British lawmakers on Tuesday. . . . The connections between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica were thrust into the spotlight by Mr. Wylie’s testimony on Tuesday. Both companies are linked to tech-driven billionaires who backed Mr. Trump’s campaign: Cambridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mercer, the computer scientist and hedge fund magnate, while Palantir was co-founded in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an initial investor in Facebook. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1.–Facebook’s project to incorporate brain-to-computer interface into its operating system: ” . . . Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer. ‘What if you could type directly from your brain?’ Regina Dugan, the head of the company’s secretive hardware R&D division, Building 8, asked from the stage. Dugan then proceeded to show a video demo of a woman typing eight words per minute directly from the stage. In a few years, she said, the team hopes to demonstrate a real-time silent speech system capable of delivering a hundred words per minute. ‘That’s five times faster than you can type on your smartphone, and it’s straight from your brain,’ she said. ‘Your brain activity contains more information than what a word sounds like and how it’s spelled; it also contains semantic information of what those words mean.’ . . .”
2.–” . . . . Brain-computer interfaces are nothing new. DARPA, which Dugan used to head, has invested heavily in brain-computer interface technologies to do things like cure mental illness and restore memories to soldiers injured in war. But what Facebook is proposing is perhaps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require picking up a phone or tapping a wrist watch in order to communicate with your friends; a world where we’re connected all the time by thought alone. . . .”
3.–” . . . . Facebook’s Building 8 is modeled after DARPA and its projects tend to be equally ambitious. . . .”
4.–” . . . . But what Facebook is proposing is perhaps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require picking up a phone or tapping a wrist watch in order to communicate with your friends; a world where we’re connected all the time by thought alone. . . .”
5.–” . . . . Facebook hopes to use optical neural imaging technology to scan the brain 100 times per second to detect thoughts and turn them into text. Meanwhile, it’s working on ‘skin-hearing’ that could translate sounds into haptic feedback that people can learn to understand like braille. . . .”
6.–” . . . . Worryingly, Dugan eventually appeared frustrated in response to my inquiries about how her team thinks about safety precautions for brain interfaces, saying, ‘The flip side of the question that you’re asking is ‘why invent it at all?’ and I just believe that the optimistic perspective is that on balance, technological advances have really meant good things for the world if they’re handled responsibly.’ . . . .”
7.–Some telling observations by Nigel Oakes, the founder of Cambridge Analytica parent firm SCL: ” . . . . . . . . The panel has published audio records in which an executive tied to Cambridge Analytica discusses how the Trump campaign used techniques used by the Nazis to target voters. . . .”
8.–Further exposition of Oakes’ statement: ” . . . . Adolf Hitler ‘didn’t have a problem with the Jews at all, but people didn’t like the Jews,’ he told the academic, Emma L. Briant, a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Essex. He went on to say that Donald J. Trump had done the same thing by tapping into grievances toward immigrants and Muslims. . . . ‘What happened with Trump, you can forget all the microtargeting and microdata and whatever, and come back to some very, very simple things,’ he told Dr. Briant. ‘Trump had the balls, and I mean, really the balls, to say what people wanted to hear.’ . . .”
9.–Observations about the possibilities of Facebook’s goal of having AI governing the editorial functions of its content: As noted in a Popular Mechanics article: ” . . . When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout ‘we’re AWFUL lol,’ the lol might be the one part it doesn’t understand. . . .”
10.–Microsoft’s Tay Chatbot offers a glimpse into this future: As one Twitter user noted, employing sarcasm: “Tay went from ‘humans are super cool’ to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all concerned about the future of AI.”


FTR #1017 Supreme Court Trump Card: Family Trump, Family [Anthony] Kennedy and Peter Thiel

 Much has been said about Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court justice, replacing Anthony Kennnedy.

In this program, we highlight extensive networking between the Trump and Kennedy families and, in turn, some apparent “deep networking” between some of the individuals in the Trump/Kennedy nexus and institutions linked to key elements of the remarkable and deadly Bormann flight capital network.

Deutsche Bank and the shadow of the I.G. Farben chemical complex figure into the latter part of this equation.

The connections between the family of Anthony Kennedy and the Trump milieu run deep. Anthony Kennedy’s son Justin was  Trump’s  banker at Deutsche Bank. In FTR #919, we analyzed a New York Times article highlighting Donald Trump’s altogether opaque real estate developments and evidence that those projects had significant links to elements of the Bormann capital network.

In that program we set forth the primary role of Deutsche Bank in financing Trump’s real estate projects.

” . . . While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a steadfast financial backer of the Republican presidential candidate’s business interests. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public records and people familiar with the matter. That doesn’t include at least another $1 billion in loan commitments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affiliated entities. The long-standing connection makes Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. operation and has been grappling with reputational problems and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the financial institution with probably the strongest ties to the controversial New York businessman. . . .”

The fact that Deutsche Bank is the primary financial backer of “Trump Incorporated” is of primary importance. The bank is central to the Bormann capital network.

The connections between the family of Anthony Kennedy and the Trump milieu run deep. Anthony Kennedy’s son Justin was  Trump’s  banker at Deutsche Bank.

Furthermore, jurists who clerked for Anthony Kennedy figure prominently in Trump’s judicial appointments:

1.–” . . . . He [Trump] picked Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who had served as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Then, after Justice Gorsuch’s nomination was announced, a White House official singled out two candidates for the next Supreme Court vacancy: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati. The two judges had something in common: They had both clerked for Justice Kennedy. . . .”
3.–” . . . . In the meantime, as the White House turned to stocking the lower courts, it did not overlook Justice Kennedy’s clerks. Mr. Trump nominated three of them to federal appeals courts: Judges Stephanos Bibas and Michael Scudder, both of whom have been confirmed, and Eric Murphy, the Ohio solicitor general, whom Mr. Trump nominated to the Sixth Circuit this month. . . .”
4.–” . . . . Justice Kennedy’s son, Justin . . . . spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role. During Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history. . . .”

After Kennedy left Deutsche Bank in 2009 he went on to become co-CEO LNR Property LLC. LNR Property saved Jared Kushner’s midtown Manhattan property in 2011:

1.–” . . . . from 2010–2013 Justin Kennedy was the co-CEO of LNR Property LLC with Tobin Cobb. . . .”
2.–” . . . . According the New York Times, in 2007 Kushner Companies purchased ‘an aluminum-clad office tower in Midtown Manhattan, for a record price of $1.8 billion.’ At the time the NYT wrote that this deal was ‘considered a classic example of reckless underwriting. The transaction was so highly leveraged that the cash flow from rents amounted to only 65 percent of the debt service.’ . . .”
3.– ” . . . Who came to the rescue? None other than LNR Property, the company whose CEO at the time was Justin Kennedy. According to the NYT and the Real Deal, Mr. Kushner and LNR ‘reached a possible agreement with LNR Property, a firm specializing in restructuring troubled debt and which oversees the mortgage, that would allow him to retain control of the tower by modifying the terms of the $1.2 billion mortgage tied to the office portion of the building.’ . . .”

The links between TrumpWorld and Anthony Kennedy’s sons is deeper still. Kennedy’s other son Gregory, has long-standing ties to Trump Silicon Valley adviser Peter Thiel, whom we first analyzed in FTR #718.

” . . . . . . . . Kennedy’s seat, meantime, seemed destined to go to Kavanaugh, thanks in part to the glowing review of Kennedy, whose son, Justin, knows Donald Trump Jr. through New York real estate circles, and whose other adult child has connections to Trump World via the president’s 2016 Silicon Valley adviser Peter Thiel, most recently when the Kennedy firm Disruptive Technology Advisers worked with Thiel’s Palantir Technologies. . . .”

Gregory Kennedy’s DTA has an unusually close relationship with Palantir, a company that has helped the Trump administration.

Kennedy’s DTA has other personal connections to Palantir. Alex Fishman and Alex Davis, two other DTA founders, “enjoyed a very close relationship” with Palantir co-founder Alex Karp, according to the lawsuit.

It should be noted that the alleged secrecy with which Palantir treats its operating and investing information is characteristic of Bormann organizations. A closeted, insiders-only operating ethic serves the need for this consummately powerful organization to maintain a relatively low profile, even as it gains power, influence and wealth.

” . . . . Yet Palantir — whose stock changes hands only through private trades — goes to great lengths to keep any detailed information about its business private. . . .”

A lawsuit by Palantir investor KT4 Partners alleges that Palantir is illegally blocking investors from selling shares in the company and that Kennedy’s Disruptive Technology Advisors (DTA) is a key partner and beneficiary of this strategy.

KT4 claims that when it tried to sell its shares of Palantir to a third-party, Palantir would have DTA contact the third-party and convince them to have Palantir sells them the shares directly instead. DTA would then collect a commission.

The central dynamic in the allegations of plaintiff (and Palantir investor) KT4 is set forth as follows: ” . . . . But remarkably, KT4 claims that when Palantir receives information from an investor about a planned sale, it uses that information to contact the buyer and persuade them instead to buy shares directly from the company or from certain Palantir insiders. One particular broker, Disruptive Technology Advisers, or DTA, repeatedly gets commissions from these sales, even when it ‘performed no legitimate work,’ KT4 claims. KT4 says it experienced interference by Palantir when it tried to sell shares to Highbridge Capital Management, a hedge fund that was owned by JPMorgan Chase, in May 2015. After KT4 notified Palantir of the planned sale, Palantir turned around and instructed DTA to ‘take the opportunity, on Palantir’s behalf,’and arrange a sale from Palantir to Highbridge instead, according to the lawsuit. . . .”

In FTR #946, we examined Cambridge Analytica, its Trump and Steve Bannon-linked tech firm that harvested Facebook data on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Peter Thiel’s Palantir was apparently deeply involved with Cambridge Analytica’s gaming of personal data harvested from Facebook in order to engineer an electoral victory for Trump, setting the GOP campaign to control the Supreme Court in a deeper, broader context.

Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, at one point was its largest shareholder and is still one of its largest shareholders. ” . . . . It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The revelations pulled Palantir — co-founded by the wealthy libertarian Peter Thiel — into the furor surrounding Cambridge, which improperly obtained Facebook data to build analytical tools it deployed on behalf of Donald J. Trump and other Republican candidates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a supporter of President Trump, serves on the board at Facebook. ‘There were senior Palantir employees that were also working on the Facebook data,’ said Christopher Wylie, a data expert and Cambridge Analytica co-founder, in testimony before British lawmakers on Tuesday. . . . The connections between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica were thrust into the spotlight by Mr. Wylie’s testimony on Tuesday. Both companies are linked to tech-driven billionaires who backed Mr. Trump’s campaign: Cambridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mercer, the computer scientist and hedge fund magnate, while Palantir was co-founded in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an initial investor in Facebook. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1.–Review of Peter Thiel’s high regard for Carl Schmitt: “. . . . a Nazi and the Third Reich’s preeminent legal theorist. For Thiel, Schmitt is an inspiring throwback to a pre-Enlightenment age, who exalts struggle and insists that the discovery of enemies is the foundation of politics. . .” 
2.–Review of Peter Thiel’s early legal experience with Sullivan & Cromwell, the Dulles law firm.
3.–A recounting of the role of John Foster Dulles and Sullivan & Cromwell’s roles in the formation of I.G. Farben.
4.–Review of Thiel’s German heritage and his father’s probable role with one of the I.G. successor companies.


The Cambridge Analytica Microcosm in Our Panoptic Macrocosm

Let the Great Unfriending Commence! Specifically, the mass unfriending of Facebook, which would be a well deserved unfriending after the scandalous revelations in a recent series of articles centered around the claims of Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower who helped found the firm and worked there until late 2014 until he and others grew increasingly uncomfortable with the far right goals and questionable actions of the firm. And those questionable actions by Cambridge involve a larger and more scandalous Facebook policy brought forth by a Facbook whistle-blower, Sandy Parakilas: Facebook was handing out exactly the kind of data collected by Cambridge Analytica to all sorts of app developers for years. Beyond that, it appears that Facebook really did have an exceptionally close relationship with Cambridge Analytica’s research partner and was only bothered by its data collection when the media got wind of it. It also looks like Steve Bannon was overseeing this entire process, although he claims to know nothing. Oh, and Palantir appears to have had an informal relationship with Cambridge Analytica this whole time. And this state of affairs is an extension of how the internet has been used from its very conception a half century ago. And that’s all part of why the Great Unfriending of Facebook really is long overdue, along with a lot of other reforms.