Tom's Soapbox: To Protect Your Digital Data, Sheer Probability Is Your Best Hope

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scumofscotland

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"election fraud by the Trump campaign" is quite a claim. I am not following this story terribly closely but would appreciate if you would back up that comment if you are going to toss a grenade out there possibly fueled by your bias. From what I can tell it was the analytics firm that acted unethically (and possibly facebook) and you cannot infer that the Trump campaign had any clue that the data being used should have been deleted (though I am open to being corrected of course).
 

g-unit1111

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I have been following this story. CA (Cambridge Analytica) is in some serious trouble here. The word "cluster----" is probably the most accurate term I can use to describe it. Whether or not it has anything to actually do with election fraud remains to be seen but it's looking like that is going to be a possibility, and it was more than just the Trump campaign that was affected by this. But this is huge and if you're not scared by this colossal data breach you definitely should be.
 

Non-Euclidean

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Except it wasnt a breach. Its a violation of Facebook terms over unprotected data. Its also the same thing Obama did in 2008, except his election staff asked the user to some degree for access. When Facebook found out about the depth of info gathering they said "no problem, do what you want" since we like you guys.
 

King_V

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You've then either been avoiding some news stories, or doing selective reading.

Instead of demanding that the author back it, maybe do some basic searching?


FOR EXAMPLE - in 10 seconds of using Google, I was able to find this:

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/mar/21/jack-posopiec/trump-campaign-used-cambridge-analytica-final-mont/


So, perhaps you can see why you sound like one of those trolls who resorts to the kind of "Well, I've never heard anything about X, so, why don't you provide me with evidence to back it?" when in fact X has been mentioned frequently enough that it's nearly impossible not to have come across it.
 
D

Deleted member 217926

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Much hypocrisy in this hyperpartisan world. And selective memory.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/509026/how-obamas-team-used-big-data-to-rally-voters/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2018/03/19/the-problem-isnt-cambridge-analytica-its-facebook/#502108ee58a5
 

g-unit1111

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Yeah exactly this is one of those stories where you really have to read past the headlines because there will be a lot of misinformation out there.
 

King_V

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Irrelevant. scumofscotland claimed ignorance of any Trump affiliation with Cambridge Analytica, and demanded that the author re-prove it for the sin of making the claim.

This demand is likely because scumofscotland was unhappy to have this fact repeated.

You're changing the subject. Your point serves no purpose, except to basically tell us you don't like Obama.

EDIT: also, are you saying that the Obama campaign engaged with a company as blatantly dirty, who bragged about the effectiveness of their shady tactics, as Cambridge Analytica? That is your implication. I went back and scanned through your articles, and see NOTHING about hookers (Ukrainian or otherwise), use of known false stories ("it doesn't matter if it's true, as long as people believe it"), etc.

Don't even TRY to say the two are anything alike.
 

TJ Hooker

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Whether or not 'Obama did it too' (which seems to be what you're saying) [strike]doesn't have any bearing on[/strike] doesn't dictate whether or not the recent actions by Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/possibly Trump campaign are acceptable. Even if people are being hypocritical (being fine with Obama doing it but not Trump), that doesn't inherently make them wrong here.
 

USAFRet

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It wasn't acceptable then, its not acceptable now.

However...with FB holding this much data, this was a foregone result.
People are under the mistaken idea that your "privacy settings" actually mean something. That just changes the visual interface you and your friends see. All that connection data exists.

And this doesn't even begin to touch on the fact that FB actively filters and delivers to you what they think will keep you engaged on their site.
You are not getting an unfiltered feed.
Mo clicks = mo money.
 

g-unit1111

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Yes I totally agree here. I tend to lean very left-progressive politics wise, but I also know that when something this egregious happens, you can't excuse one side from getting away with it, while the other side commits a huge crime like this. It's a crime no matter which side does it.If you're excusing one over the other that contributes to part of the reason why our political system is so divided right now.
 

scumofscotland

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I did not claim ignorance of an affiliation between the Trump campaign and Cambridge Analytics, I questioned the claim that the Trump campaign had committed election fraud. I was trying to be gracious and open to the possibility that I had not yet read some damning evidence but I don't have my head stuck in the sand and am aware of the issue at hand. I am not sure why you are attacking me over this since I am not the one who made an incendiary claim that as far as I can tell has no factual backing. From my viewpoint it is you who has misrepresented my position and failed to back the claim of fraud.
 

King_V

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Ah, then I mistook your post to mean that you were questioning whether the Trump campaign had any relation.

In which case, I withdraw my previous comment, and instead have to point out that you're using a sort of straw-man attack here.

The partial sentence you referenced, when in full, is as follows:

The motive in the latest Facebook scandal involves possible election fraud by the Trump campaign via the firm Cambridge Analytica, and has been summed up all over the news
all over
the
news

are three separate links to other articles regarding this.

Then, since I have mistaken what you meant, and given the full sentence rather than the partial sentence that you quoted, along with knowing that there are links provided - can you please clarify on the exact nature of your objection?
 

paradyme

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Hang on - there are things you can do as a consumer to mitigate this risk. Start reading privacy policies, do due diligence on the services you sign up for. Have a look at the company and how they make money - nothing is ever free. For example, Facebook are not exactly secretive about how they monetize their service. Also, look for how they store your data - is it encrypted at rest? Better yet, is it encrypted client side? Social networking is not a community service, it's a business - so if you're not paying for it up front, expect to pay for it in the information you give them!
 

scumofscotland

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King, thank you for your kind response. My objection is that neither you nor i know if the trump campaign had any idea that the services they paid for used data facebook had rightfully demanded be deleted. Unless i missed it, the links cited question the timing of the usage or discussed tangential topics (e.g. Similar case with obama) but nowhere establish proof of fraud. To be clear i am not saying it isn't possible, just that it is not established and therefor should not be stated as fact (trump campaign fraud, i make no defence of cambridge which appear guilty). I get that most of us have a prefered version of the truth ( myself included) but i don't think we have that luxury anymore because it is tearing us appart with a level of distrust, cynicism, hatred, and hypocricy i have not seen before (and i am not a spring chicken). If i missed something in the links that you feel does establish that the trump campaign knew the data was ill gotten please let me know so i can adjust my position.
 

g-unit1111

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I also know lots of people like this!
 

King_V

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Here's the thing, though.

I am not saying it isn't possible, just that it is not established and therefor should not be stated as fact (trump campaign fraud
Except that it is NOT stated as fact. The sentence in question is:

The motive in the latest Facebook scandal involves possible election fraud by the Trump campaign via the firm Cambridge Analytica
Your posts treat the sentence as if the word "possible" was not in there. This is what I object most strenuously to. Close to that is your original post citing only a fraction of the sentence rather than the whole thing. It comes off looking like a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what was actually said.

Also, while there's no definitive proof as of this moment of exactly how Cambridge Analytica sold themselves to the Trump campaign, the fact that in a sting operation, Cambridge Analytica has admitted outright to the potential client of the exact tactics they use.


That was in the link from the word "news" in "all over the news." There is also video provided, but I didn't bother with that.

Executives from Cambridge Analytica spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.

In one exchange, the company chief executive, Alexander Nix, is recorded telling reporters: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”

Are you suggesting that they bragged about these tactics, and their presumed effectiveness, only for the first time with the BBC 4 undercover reproters? Or that they always do, but did not do so when discussing work with the Trump campaign?

Do you believe that the company being a US front for a British company (SCL), and Steve Bannon as the vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, who was part of the Trump Administration until recently, is just a coincidence? It is illegal for non-US citizens to work on US campaigns.

Cambridge Analytica employed non-American citizens to work on US election campaigns in apparent violation of federal law, despite receiving a legal warning about the risks.

The company’s responsibilities under US law were laid out in a lawyer’s memo to the company’s vice-president, Steve Bannon, British CEO Alexander Nix and Rebekah Mercer, daughter of billionaire owner Robert Mercer, in July 2014. It made it clear that most senior and mid-level positions involving strategy, planning, fundraising or campaigning needed to be filled by US citizens.

“Any decision maker must be a US citizen or green card holder,” the memo, seen by the Observer, warned. It also provided a brief legal history of cases involving foreign involvement in election campaigns, drawn up by a lawyer at the firm founded by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
...
Employees working for Cambridge Analytica in the US at the time claimed that rather than tackling the problem, management appeared to ignore it.
That's from: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-non-american-employees-political




As to the fact that Cambridge Analytica is a shell company for SCL, just to get around the US laws, well: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/us/cambridge-analytica-alexander-nix.html

Mr. Nix, for instance, holds dual appointments at the two companies. Cambridge Analytica is registered in Delaware and almost wholly owned by the Mercer family, but it is effectively a shell — it holds intellectual property rights to its so-called psychographic modeling tools, yet its clients are served by the staff at London-based SCL and overseen by Mr. Nix, who is a British citizen.
...
But in the footage broadcast by Channel 4, Mr. Nix offered services that go far beyond data harvesting. The Times did not work with Channel 4 on its report about Cambridge Analytica.

“Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company,” he told the Channel 4 reporter, who was not identified. “We can set up fake IDs and websites, we can be students doing research projects attached to a university, we can be tourists. There’s so many options we can look at.”


To suggest that the Trump campaign had no idea of any of this, and did not know what kind of actions that CA would take would be ludicrous in its own right, and that absurdity is magnified given that Steve Bannon is the VP of Cambridge Analytica.


Now, I am not a lawyer, so I don't know what exact proof would be required in court for confirmation of fraud. But to suggest that the Trump campaign was completely ignorant of CA given the information available - well, it's an understatement to say that it strains believability.
 

USAFRet

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Trump or Bannon knowing or not knowing is irrelevant.
Under the terms of the API in use at the time, scraping up all that data was perfectly legal and allowed.

Unethical by the original researcher (long before trump), maybe. But in no way against any law.
 

King_V

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Ambassador


We were discussing the merits of the statement of fraud being committed by the campaign, rather than whether CA's methodology was illegal.



Though, on your particular point:

Cambridge Analytica employed non-American citizens to work on US election campaigns in apparent violation of federal law
At which point Bannon, VP of CA, having knowledge is almost guaranteed. Trump's knowledge, likely.
 

USAFRet

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And I'm not seeing the fraud from the campaign regarding the data that was collected.

The point about non-americans may be valid. I am 100% unsure about the laws regarding that.
 
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