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Destiny

The Russian Connection 3: Mueller is Coming

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Cartmann99

Channel 4 has put up part three of their Cambridge Analytica series:

Spoiler

 

 

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Meh
fraurosena
2 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

Channel 4 has put up part three of their Cambridge Analytica series:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

I just saw it. Wow. It confirms what we already know or surmised, but what can now not be denied.

I especially liked this exchange:

"... [the candidate] is told what to do by the campaign team."

"So the candidate is the puppet?" 

"Always."

Channel Four has put up this statement on their website:

Quote

An investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran ‘all’ of President Trump’s digital campaign – and may have broken election law. As the report went on air, the firm announced it has suspended chief executive Alexander Nix, pending a full investigation.

 

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AmazonGrace

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Meh
fraurosena
24 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

 

How curious. Here's a link to Channel Four's site where I quoted from. I refreshed the screen and the statement's still up. They haven't been communicating about this with the Guardian, it seems.

In other related news, (which coincidentally also refers to Carole Cadwalladr's reporting, btw):

The Attorney General of Massachusetts just opened an investigation into Trump and his shady election data company

Quote

The New York Times and London’s Observer broke a joint story yesterday that proves Trump’s primary 2016 election data company, Cambridge Analytica, obtained hacked Facebook records to illegally harvest the data of 50 million American voters.

Data scientist Chris Wylie built the Cambridge Analytica data company into “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindf*ck tool,” and he has the proof that his tools were built on illegally obtained Facebook data. (video below) 

They turned Facebook “likes” into a political weapon exploited by the Republican Party to help install Donald Trump into the White House.

That’s why Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey just launched a new investigation into the UK-based data company formed by hedge fund billionaire GOP kingmaker Robert Mercer, who owned Breitbart News.

The Trump campaign used Cambridge Analytica to micro-target voters and to attempt to persuade them to vote against their own interests or to stay home on election day.

Today’s reporting, based on Carole Cadwalladr‘s dogged reporting in the Times, explains how Cambridge Analytica used unlawfully obtained information from Facebook to create psychographic profiles of every US voter, then conduct information warfare to help get Donald Trump elected.

Jared Kushner infamously told a group of interns that the Trump Campaign was too disorganized to collude with Russia, but the August 2016 shakeup following indicted campaign manager Paul Manafort’s departure changed everything.

Trump hired Cambridge Analytica VP Steve Bannon to replace him (who also ‘worked for free’) at the direction of GOP megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer.

Bannon and Mercer’s development of Cambridge Analytica stretched back to two years and relied on a dark secret. TheTimes reports:

The firm had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. But it did not have the data to make its new products work.

So the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, according to former Cambridge employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history.

The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.

Amazingly, CEO Alexander Nix lied to multiple UK investigations about using stolen Facebook data, which his whistleblowing Canadian colleague can prove because he’s got a postcard from Facebook in August 2016 asking him to delete the information.

That’s why Facebook suddenly announced late on Friday night that they’ve cutoff Cambridge Analytica and parent company SCL.

The social media giant denies calling their illicit activities a “hack,” but it represents the largest known systematic misuse of Americans personal data since the advent of Mark Zuckerberg’s revolutionary internet platform:

We are suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), including their political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, from Facebook.

In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to us and violated our Platform Policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica, a firm that does political, government and military work around the globe. He also passed that data to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc.

In addition to the obvious moral and ethical outrage raised by the revelation of Republicans using stolen data to create a propaganda machine and use it to help elect a white nationalist as America’s president, there are serious legal problems.

It’s illegal for non-US citizens or green card holders to hold decision making roles in a vendor working on American federal elections, but that didn’t stop Bannon and Mercer from doing just that; totally ignoring election law and leaving CEO Alexander Nix in charge of most of the company’s operations.

“This story is more evidence that the online political advertising market is essentially the Wild West.” says Senator Mark Warner(D-VA), who has been at the forefront of Congressional investigations into the devious use of social media in elections – when he hasn’t been busy helping Republicans deregulate the financial industry and roll back the Dodd-Frank Act, that is.

“Whether it’s allowing Russians to purchase political ads, or extensive micro-targeting based on ill-gotten user data, it’s clear that left unregulated, this market will continue to be prone to deception and lacking in transparency.”

If only those same concerns were extended to the finance industry.

Most of America’s election laws date back to the post-Watergate era, but a withering legal assault since then has allowed dark money to pour into the democratic process from all angles, and enforcement action takes years and can easily be hindered.

But the Republican Party’s disgusting marriage between a few American oligarchs and their propaganda machines has come about as a direct result of the utter absence of democratic norms in highly influential 1%ers, people who made their fortunes on the backs of US citizens for whom today they show nothing but contempt.

“If you do not respect the agency of people,” remarked Wylie the data scientist to The Guardian, “anything you do after that point is not conducive to democracy.”

Shamefully, the Republican Party has no respect for democracy, or the agency of individuals to make choices based on facts rather than lies.

 

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Nervous
onekidanddone
55 minutes ago, fraurosena said:

The Attorney General of Massachusetts just opened an investigation into Trump and his shady election data company

Trump can't shut this one down, nor can he pardon anybody who might get charged

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AmazonGrace

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AmazonGrace
16 hours ago, fraurosena said:

How curious. Here's a link to Channel Four's site where I quoted from. I refreshed the screen and the statement's still up. They haven't been communicating about this with the Guardian, it seems.

 

 

Maybe he is suspended from CA but he's up to his old tricks regardless. A data stealing psychological spy operation by any other name is still a data stealing psychological spy operation. 

 

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AmazonGrace

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AmazonGrace

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AmazonGrace

Another character introduced. .

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fraurosena
34 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Another character introduced. .

What an apt description. He really is a character... :pb_rollseyes:

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Howl
Posted (edited)

Thanks, I watched the last half yesterday and thought, WHAT THE HELL AM I SEEING?  Really, he and Nunberg must have been separated at birth, only this Randy guy seemed weirder, somehow, and more repellent.  And then, of course, there's the Roger Stone connection.  They're all crazed,  in the Hunter S. Thompson sense of the word. 

Ari Melber was awesome, grounded, didn't get even a bit flustered and stayed absolutely on point.  I wanted to post a link but couldn't decide where to put it! 

Nunberg carrying on about never betraying Stone before he went to the Grand Jury and  presumably did just that, and Credico ranting on about being betrayed by Stone while doing impressions of Nixon and Reagan. 

Edited by Howl

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candygirl200413

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 Slipped Up and Revealed He Was a Russian Intelligence Officer

Quote

Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

That forensic determination has substantial implications for the criminal probe into potential collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia. The Daily Beast has learned that the special counsel in that investigation, Robert Mueller, has taken over the probe into Guccifer and brought the FBI agents who worked to track the persona onto his team.

While it’s unclear what Mueller plans to do with Guccifer, his last round of indictments charged 13 Russians tied to the Internet Research Agency troll farm with a conspiracy “for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.” It was Mueller’s first move establishing Russian interference in the election within a criminal context, but it stopped short of directly implicating the Putin regime.

Mueller’s office declined to comment for this story. But the attribution of Guccifer 2.0 as an officer of Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency would cross the Kremlin threshold—and move the investigation closer to Trump himself.

“The attribution of Guccifer 2.0 as an officer of Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency brings the investigation closer to the Kremlin’s doorstep—and to Trump himself.”

Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone admitted being in touch with Guccifer over Twitter’s direct messaging service. And in August 2016, Stone published an article on the pro-Trump-friendly Breitbart News calling on his political opponents to “Stop Blaming Russia” for the hack. “I have some news for Hillary and Democrats—I think I’ve got the real culprit,” he wrote. “It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.”

Five months later, in January 2017, the CIA, NSA, and FBI assessed “with high confidence” that “Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data.” But the assessment did not directly call Guccifer a Russian intelligence officer. Nor did it provide any evidence for its assertions.

It turns out there is a powerful reason to connect Guccifer to the GRU.

Guccifer 2.0 sprang into existence on June 15, 2016, hours after a report by a computer security firm forensically tied Russia to an intrusion at the Democratic National Committee. In a series of blog posts and tweets over the following seven months—conspicuously ending right as Trump took office and not resuming—the Guccifer persona published a smattering of the DNC documents while gamely projecting an image as an independent Romanian hacktivist who’d breached the DNC on a lark. As Stone’s Breitbart piece demonstrated, Guccifer provided Moscow with a counter-narrative for the election interference.

Guccifer famously pretended to be a “lone hacker” who perpetrated the digital DNC break-in. From the outset, few believed it. Motherboard conducted a devastating interview with Guccifer that exploded the account’s claims of being a native Romanian speaker. Based on forensic clues in some of Guccifer’s leaks, and other evidence, a consensus quickly formed among security experts that Guccifer was completely notional.

“Almost immediately various cyber security companies and individuals were skeptical of Guccifer 2.0 and the backstory that he had generated for himself,” said Kyle Ehmke, an intelligence researcher at the cyber security firm ThreatConnect. “We started seeing these inconsistencies that led back to the idea that he was created hastily… by the individual or individuals that affected the DNC compromise.”

Proving that link definitively was harder. Ehmke led an investigation at ThreatConnect that tried to track down Guccifer from the metadata in his emails. But the trail always ended at the same data center in France. Ehmke eventually uncovered that Guccifer was connecting through an anonymizing service called Elite VPN, a virtual private networking service that had an exit point in France but was headquartered in Russia.

“Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.”

But on one occasion, The Daily Beast has learned, Guccifer failed to activate the VPN client before logging on. As a result, he left a real, Moscow-based Internet Protocol address in the server logs of an American social media company, according to a source familiar with the government’s Guccifer investigation. Twitter and WordPress were Guccifer 2.0’s favored outlets. Neither company would comment for this story, and Guccifer did not respond to a direct message on Twitter.

Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow. (The Daily Beast’s sources did not disclose which particular officer worked as Guccifer.)

Security firms and declassified U.S. intelligence findings previously identified the GRU as the agency running “Fancy Bear,” the ten-year-old hacking organization behind the DNC email theft, as well as breaches at NATO, Obama’s White House, a French television station, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and countless NGOs, and militaries and civilian agencies in Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

Timestamps in Guccifer 2.0’s first leaks show they were packaged for release over the course of a single day in June 2016, beginning just hours after the DNC intrusion and its attribution to Russia were made public. The moniker was an homage to Romanian hacker Marcel Lazăr Lehel, who as “Guccifer” achieved notoriety in 2013 for a string of hacks against celebrities and politicians.

In his inaugural blog post, Guccifer 2.0 disputed Russia’s involvement and claimed credit personally for the DNC breach, positioning himself as a one-time hacking operation working to expose “the Illuminati.” The post included the world’s first glimpse of the enormous cache of documents siphoned from the DNC’s network, including the Democrats’ opposition research report on Trump. Presaging the leaks that would roil the election, Guccifer 2.0 declared that he’d already sent the bulk of the stolen material to WikiLeaks—which has spent the time since obfuscating whether Guccifer was its source.

On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks began releasing its cache of approximately 19,000 emails and 8,000 attachments stolen in the hack. While Trump promoted the leak on Twitter and in rallies, his surrogate Roger Stone pushed back against the Kremlin attribution. In his August 2016 article for Breitbart, he argued that Guccifer 2.0 was the Romanian hacktivist he claimed to be. “Guccifer 2.0 is the real deal,” he wrote.

Last May, Stone admitted that he’d also exchanged direct messages with the Guccifer 2.0 persona, and he released what he claimed was a complete transcript of his communications with the account. The transcript is brief and banal, showing Stone congratulating Guccifer 2.0 on returning to Twitter after a brief suspension, and then mostly ignoring him. Then and since, Stone has consistently denied that Guccifer was connected to the Kremlin.

“I myself had no contacts or communications with the Russian State, Russian Intelligence or anyone fronting for them or acting as intermediaries for them,” he wrote.

“I myself had no contacts or communications with the Russian State, Russian Intelligence or anyone fronting for them or acting as intermediaries for them.”

— Roger Stone

Guccifer 2.0 maintained a sporadic online presence throughout the election, posting to his dedicated WordPress blog and on Twitter, and spilling more DNC documents, sometimes in private emails to journalists.

While the national election clearly interested him (“Democrats prepare new provocation against Trump,” he thundered in October 2016), Guccifer 2.0 reached down the ballot as well, posting documents from the Democrats’ national campaign committee on his WordPress blog. There, readers could find internal Democratic candidate assessments relevant to battleground states like Pennsylvania and Florida; internal assessments of key congressional districts, with granular analyses of their demographics; and campaign recruitment material.

The GRU officer was eager to share this trove, as well. A GOP political operative in Florida, Aaron Nevins, DM’d Guccifer 2.0 a request for “any Florida based information” and received 2.5 gigabytes’ worth, according to The Wall Street Journal. The data, he enthused to Guccifer 2.0, was “probably worth millions of dollars.” A consultant for a successful Florida Republican congressional candidate told the paper, “I did adjust some voting targets based on some data I saw from the leaks.”

Sometime after its hasty launch, the Guccifer persona was handed off to a more experienced GRU officer, according to a source familiar with the matter. The timing of that handoff is unclear, but Guccifer 2.0’s last blog post, from Jan. 12, 2017, evinced a far greater command of English that the persona’s earlier efforts.

“It’s obvious that the intelligence agencies are deliberately falsifying evidence,” the post read. “In my opinion, they’re playing into the hands of the Democrats who are trying to blame foreign actors for their failure.”

(Contrast that with the language from a June 2016 post: “I made some conclusions from the Marcel’s story and decided not to put all eggs in one basket. Moreover, other cases weren’t so successful and didn’t bring me the glory.”)

Today the most popular counter-narrative surrounding Guccifer 2.0 concedes that the account was a fake persona but posits that it was created by the DNC to support a false-flag operation implicating Russia. In this theory, advanced in two widely cited anonymous blogs, Guccifer 2.0 was the DNC posing as Russia posing as a Romanian hacker.

 

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AmazonGrace

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AmazonGrace

 

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fraurosena
3 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

 

How to Create an Authoritarian State 101.

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Howl
9 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

 

#SorryNotSorry

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Happy
choralcrusader8613

New thread here:

 

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