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3/17/18: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach

3/17/18: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach
The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. The revelations provoked widespread outrage.

Related:  The Mueller ReportTechnologyCambridge Analytica

12/4/18: Mueller about to have his say This week, Mueller is due to make three crucial court filings -- sentencing memos for Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. Each document will tell us something important about what the future holds for these defendants and, more importantly, about what Mueller knows and where he might be headed. By the end of this week, we will know much more about the strength of Mueller's hand and the threat his investigation poses to President Donald Trump and his administration. Ever since his December 2017 guilty plea, Flynn has been something of a mystery man. Trump's former national security adviser, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Explainer: What is Cambridge Analytica? - RNZ Facebook's shares has lost billions of dollars in value after something to do with data used by Cambridge Analytica. Confused? Here's what it means, and what could come next. Photo: 123RF Cambridge Analytica is a London-based consulting firm. Guardian - 11 Dec 2015 - Ted Cruz campaign using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users - by Harry Davies @harryfoxdavies Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is using psychological data based on research spanning tens of millions of Facebook users, harvested largely without their permission, to boost his surging White House run and gain an edge over Donald Trump and other Republican rivals, the Guardian can reveal. A little-known data company, now embedded within Cruz’s campaign and indirectly financed by his primary billionaire benefactor, paid researchers at Cambridge University to gather detailed psychological profiles about the US electorate using a massive pool of mainly unwitting US Facebook users built with an online survey. As part of an aggressive new voter-targeting operation, Cambridge Analytica – financially supported by reclusive hedge fund magnate and leading Republican donor Robert Mercer – is now using so-called “psychographic profiles” of US citizens in order to help win Cruz votes, despite earlier concerns and red flags from potential survey-takers. Research that seeded data on millions

3/21/17: Comey confirms FBI Is Investigating Trump’s Ties to Russia FBI Director James Comey also said the FBI has “no information” that supports Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that President Obama tapped Trump’s phones in Trump Tower during the election. James Comey: “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components: The department has no information that supports those tweets.” During the hearing, the director of the National Security Agency, Michael Rogers, also refuted President Trump’s claims that President Obama asked the British intelligence agency GCHQ to carry out the wiretap on Trump Tower. This is Rogers being questioned by California Democratic Congressmember Adam Schiff. Rep.

Bias already exists in search engine results, and it’s only going to get worse The internet might seem like a level playing field, but it isn’t. Safiya Umoja Noble came face to face with that fact one day when she used Google’s search engine to look for subjects her nieces might find interesting. She entered the term “black girls” and came back with pages dominated by pornography. Noble, a USC Annenberg communications professor, was horrified but not surprised. Guardian - 7 May 2017 - The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked - by Carole Cadwalladr “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” Alex Younger, head of MI6, December, 2016 “It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech. Was it one branch of the intelligence services sending a shot across the bows of another?

12/8/18: Takeaways from the new Cohen & Manafort filings The court filings released Friday by Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors detail the alleged lies Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort told both publicly and to the special counsel's investigators. And for the first time, prosecutors publicly endorsed Cohen's earlier statements in court that he acted at the direction of Trump when he committed two crimes in 2016: making payments to the two women alleging affairs with Trump in order to keep them silent. The court documents provide new insights into the Mueller probe itself, including why the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project was relevant to Russian election meddling and potential new contacts between Cohen and Russian officials seeking to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They reveal that a Russian national who claimed connections to the Russian government spoke with Cohen in 2015 and offered "political synergy" with the Trump campaign. Lying liars

Welcome to the Post-Text Future Your phone buzzes. A message, an Instagram post, a tweet — some bit of digital effluvia has come in, and it’s right there, promising a brief but necessary hit of connection. All you have to do is look. But, just as an experiment, how long can you resist looking? A minute? Two?

The myth that British data scientists won the election for Trump Claims that social media data won the presidency are greatly exaggerated A piece of data science mythology has been floating around the internet for several weeks now. It surfaced most recently in Vice, and it tells the story of a firm, Cambridge Analytica, that was supposedly instrumental in Donald Trump’s campaign. The story goes that by analysing marketing and social media data during the EU Referendum, data scientists were able to model the personalities of voters in unprecedented detail, helping the Leave campaign to an unlikely victory. Shortly after that, the firm was employed by the Trump campaign where, we are told, it contributed to another unlikely victory. For me this story is like candy floss – it looks nice and substantial, but when you stick it in your mouth there's not much there and you’re still hungry.

12/8/18: DJT: Please step away. Nothing to see here. "We're very happy with what we're reading because there was no collusion whatsoever," Trump told reporters Saturday at the White House before boarding Marine One for the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. Trump told reporters he has not read the court filings, which detail alleged lies Cohen and Manafort told publicly and to investigators. In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes after being charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors.

With artificial intelligence and automation, how many Kiwi jobs will go? - Noted The automation revolution Last week, a report by Infometrics From Education to Employment, estimated that the “automation revolution” would displace 31 per cent of jobs by 2036. That report wasn’t based on a new economic analysis, but on a review of previous reports, chiefly by PwC and NZIER and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

The GOP’s Attack on Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016 There were 25 debates during the presidential primaries and general election and not a single question about the attack on voting rights, even though this was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in 2016—including crucial swing states like Wisconsin and Virginia—yet we heard nary a peep about it on Election Day except from outlets like The Nation. This was the biggest under-covered scandal of the 2016 campaign. 1/15/17: Conway: Russian Hacking Investigation Should Be Kept Secret To 'Protect The Public' <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href=" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"><img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src=" Click here for reuse options! </a> During part of a lengthy interview on this Sunday's Fox & Friends, incoming Trump propagandist in chief, Kellyanne Conway was asked whether or not her boss would like to fire FBI Director James Comey after he's sworn in later this week, and Conway told the crew on the curvy couch that she's very concerned that the American people are going to be harmed by all of these leaks.

Smartphones affecting New Zealanders' relationships - survey More than a third of New Zealanders are concerned their partners are spending too much time on their smartphone. Photo: 123RF A 2degrees survey showed 39 percent of 2200 respondents aged older than 16 believed the amount of time being spent on their smartphones was affecting the quality of their relationship. The survey also found more than half of New Zealanders choose their phone or computer if they have to deliver bad news, but 43 percent of respondents felt guilty about this.