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

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

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  1. nsld

    Popcorn

    In 3,2,1.....

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Popcorn

      "Popcorn

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Popcorn

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

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

      2. Ian Michael Gumby
        Boffin

        @theVogon... Re: Popcorn

        Keep dreaming...

        Look, lets break this down.

        What are the facts...

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

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

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

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

        CA? Some. Trump? None.

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

        Just keeping it real.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @theVogon... Popcorn

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @theVogon... Popcorn

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

      3. Stu Mac

        Re: Popcorn

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

    2. Schultz Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Popcorn

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

      1. Mr Dogshit

        Re: Popcorn

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Popcorn

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

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

          1. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: Popcorn

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

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

          2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Popcorn

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

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

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

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

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

        3. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

          Libel covers just about everything though.

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

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

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

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

        4. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

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

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

        5. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

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

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

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

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

          [1] Mostly diseases of the nether bits.

        6. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Popcorn

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

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too Late

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

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

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        state actor's equivalent State Security organisation

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

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

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

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

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

        1. SquidEmperor

          Re: Too Late

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

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Too Late

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

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

          Arrest everyone likely to have passwords at 3am.

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

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

          Copy/decrypt everything.

          Seize all the computing devices after changing the cloud passwords.

          It's been ineptly managed.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Too Late

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

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

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

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

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

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

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

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Too Late

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

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Steven Jones

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

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

        @Faux Science Slayer (Ha!)

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

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

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

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

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

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

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

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

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

        3. Alistair
          Windows

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

          @ Pen-y-gors:

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

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

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

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

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

      3. scarletherring

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

        > Faux Science Slayer

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

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

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Coat

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

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

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

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

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

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

      5. TonyJ Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

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

      6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

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

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

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

        First of all - this is off topic.

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

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

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

      7. IglooDude
        Facepalm

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

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

  2. yossarianuk

    Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

        Because the real lizard overlords

        Shh. Remember the first rule of RLO club!

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

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

    4. Diogenes

      Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

      Nothing nefarious...

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

      Given that people willingly handed over FB data ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

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

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

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

        1. SiFly

          Re: Team from Facebook are in their offices tonight?

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

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