Cambridge Analytica ‘used former spies to dig dirt on rivals’

Cambridge Analytica ‘used former spies to dig dirt on rivals’, by Mark Bridge.

The chief executive of a British company at the centre of allegations of electoral interference boasted about using “beautiful Ukrainian girls” to entrap the political opponents of clients.

Alexander Nix was filmed saying that Cambridge Analytica would offer bribes to smear opponents as corrupt and that it campaigned secretly in elections by operating through front companies or using subcontractors.

In one conversation seen in undercover footage, when asked about digging up material on political opponents Mr Nix suggested that the company could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”.

In another conversation with a reporter, who posed as a fixer for a rich Sri Lankan hoping to get candidates elected, he said: “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.” …

The executives claimed that the firm and its parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, had worked in more than 200 elections across the world including Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India and Argentina.

They said that they worked with intelligence-gathering organisations that employed personnel with security services experience, including former operatives of MI5 and MI6, to find “all the skeletons” in an opponent’s closet. …

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: “We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or ‘honey-traps’ for any purpose whatsoever. Cambridge Analytica does not use untrue material for any purpose.” He added that the use of intelligence gathering, subcontractors and encrypted communications were legitimate.

The left are going to try to make this the reason they lost the Brexit and Trump elections, after the failure of the Russian excuse.