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Cambridge Analytica executives filmed saying they could dig up dirt

Senior executives at the data analysis firm that allegedly tapped the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users were secretly filmed boasting about using beautiful Ukrainian women to seduce politicians, according to an undercover television investigation.

A Channel 4 report features recordings of meetings with the firm that allegedly show staff saying they could use ex-spies to dig up dirt on political opponents.

The recordings are part of an undercover investigation by Channel 4 news into the data company that has credited itself with Donald Trump’s presidential victory. 

Alexander Nix, the company’s chief executive, said the British firm have worked in more than 200 elections across the world, including in Nigeria and India, and that it uses front companies or sub-contractors to do so. 

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According to the Channel 4 report Cambridge Analytic chief executive Alexander Nix (pictured in November 2017) was recorded saying he could send Ukrainian women to a candidate’s house

The firm, who allegedly tapped the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users, were involved in Donald Trump's election campaign

The firm, who allegedly tapped the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users, were involved in Donald Trump’s election campaign

In the report Mr Turnbull says: 'We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again¿ like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, "that's propaganda", because the moment you think "that's propaganda", the next question is, "who's put that out?"'

In the report Mr Turnbull says: ‘We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again… like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, “that’s propaganda”, because the moment you think “that’s propaganda”, the next question is, “who’s put that out?”‘

In one clip Mr Nix said they could ‘send some girls around to the candidate’s house’ and added that Ukrainian girls ‘are very beautiful, I find that works very well’.

He is also heard saying: ‘We’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet.’

In a phone call Mr Nix is heard saying to Channel 4’s undercover reporter: ‘I look forward to building a very long term and secretive relationship with you.’

Reporters secretly filmed a series of meetings between November 2017 and January 2018 in which they posed as a fixer for a wealthy client hoping to get candidates elected in Sri Lanka.

Other staff recording in the meetings include Mark Turnbull, the managing director of CA Political Global, and the company’s chief data officer, Dr Alex Tayler.

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: 'We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called ¿honey-traps¿ for any purpose whatsoever¿ (pictured: Mark Turnbull and Alex Tayler in the Channel 4 news report)

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: ‘We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called “honey-traps” for any purpose whatsoever… (pictured: Mark Turnbull and Alex Tayler in the Channel 4 news report)

Mr Turnbull is heard saying Cambridge Analytica can discreetly push damaging material gathered on opponents onto social media, and says that he knows people who used to work in MI5 and MI6. 

He said: ‘It’s no good fighting an election campaign on the facts because actually it’s all about emotion, it’s all about emotion.’ 

Mr Turnbull added: ‘We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again… like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, “that’s propaganda”, because the moment you think “that’s propaganda”, the next question is, “who’s put that out?”‘

In the footage, Mr Turnbull then talks about the Kenyatta campaign, which the company ran in both 2013 an 2017, and says they rebranded the entire party twice as well as writing their manifesto and doing ‘every element’ of his campaign. 

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: ‘We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called “honey-traps” for any purpose whatsoever…

‘Cambridge Analytica does not use untrue material for any purpose.’ 

Mr Nix was also recorded saying: 'We'll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we'll have the whole thing recorded, we'll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet'

Mr Nix was also recorded saying: ‘We’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet’

Earlier this week whistleblower Christopher Wylie said the firm used the private social media activity of a large portion of the U.S. electorate to develop techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump¿s campaign in 2016

Earlier this week whistleblower Christopher Wylie said the firm used the private social media activity of a large portion of the U.S. electorate to develop techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016

Earlier this week whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Guardian that the firm used the private social media activity of a large portion of the U.S. electorate to develop techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016. 

Mr Wylie claimed that in 2014 it advertised the This Is Your Digital Life app as a research programme used by psychologists.

Around 270,000 downloaded the app and gave permission for it to access data from their Facebook profiles including their likes and information about friends.

Facebook has since suspended Cambridge Analytica, University of Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan who created the harvesting app in question, and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies (previously employed with Cambridge Analytica), who also allegedly received user data from the app. 

In a blog post, Facebook explained that Cambridge Analytica had years ago received user data from a Facebook app that purported to be a psychological research tool, though the firm was not authorized to have the information.  

Cambridge Analytica later certified in 2015 that it had destroyed the information it had received, according to Facebook, although the social network said it received reports ‘several days ago’ that not all the data was deleted.

Facebook has said it is investigating. 



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