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Must Read: Cambridge Analytica, Tantra Niti Exposed “The Fault Lines”

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • April 2, 2018
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As I pen down My thoughts towards another blog of Mine, I would like to quote a Phrase from Chanakya’s Nitti Sastras—

“O Wise Man! Give your wealth to the worthy and never to others. The water of the Sea is received by the clouds is always Sweet”.

This Particular quote is very Much apt & suitable for Indian National Congress, as they had invested their time, Money, Energy & Effort In Cambridge Analytica, to influence Peoples Minds through Psychometric analysis, Instead of telling directly to 1.25bn Indians what they have to offer for 2019 Elections for India & Indians, which itself is missing from Ground Reality, this is where our PM Modi believes In Having a connect with People on day to day Basis either on Social Media, through Video Conferencing, Seminars, or directly addressing Public & Telling people about Governments Welfare oriented Objectives for the upliftment of common Man. Before I go into the details of Cambridge Analytica, Friends, let me tell You All What is the Profile of Cambridge Analytica, what are their Core Competencies—

Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a British Political Consulting Firm which deals with Data Mining, Data Brokerage, & Data Analysis with Strategic Communication for the Electoral Process. This venture was started in 2013, as an offshoot of SCL group. The company is Partly owned by the family of Robert Mercer, an American Hedge- Fund Manager, who supports many Politically Conservative causes. The Firm has offices in London, New York City, & Washington D.C. CEO Alexander Nix has said CA was involved in 44 US Political races in 2014, 2015, it performed Data Analysis, in 2016, CA worked for Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, as well as the leave-EU Campaign for the United Kingdom’s, withdrawal from the European Union. What we find is that CA’s role is very much surrounded by Controversies & is subject to undergoing Criminal investigations in both countries. Many Political Strategists have in fact questioned the Intent of CA to influence the Voters. In March 2018, Multiple Media outlets broke News of Cambridge Analytica’s Business Practices. There was a blatant allegation By The New York Times that Facebook & Cambridge Analytica Data Breach, in which the company used for Political Purposes all Personal Information, acquired about Facebook Users, by outside Researcher claiming it to be collecting it for Academic Purposes. In response to the Media reports, The Information of the Commissioner of the UK Pursued A Warrant to Search the Company’s servers. Facebook Banned Cambridge Analytica, from advertising on its platform saying that it has been deceived. On March 23rd 2018, the British High Court granted the Information Commissioner’s office a warrant to search CA’s office in London. Its quite surprising to see that the Data about the 50 Mn Facebook users were acquired, from 270,000 Facebook users who shared their Data with the App “this is your Digital Life”. By Giving this third- party App Permission to acquire their Data in 2015, this App gave the information about the Friend Network of those People, which resulted in Information about 50 Million users. The App Developer Breached Facebook’s terms of Service by giving the Data to Cambridge Analytica.

How does Cambridge Analytica Function?

CA collects the Data on Voters using various sources such as Demographics, Consumer behaviour, Internet Activity, & other Public & Private sources. According to the Guardian, CA is using Psychological Data derived from Millions of Facebook Users, Largely without user’s permission or Knowledge. Another Source of the Information was of “Cruz Crew”, mobile App, which Tracked Physical movements & Contacts & According to Associates Press, which invaded Personal Data more than any other App of Presidential candidate.  According to Alexander Nix” Today in the United States we have somewhere close to four or five thousand data Points on Every Individual… So, we model the Personality of every adult across the United States, Some 230 Million People. The company used Data Enhancement & Audience Segmentation Techniques Providing ‘Psychographic analysis, for a deeper knowledge of the target audience. The Company uses Ocean Scale of Personality Traits, called as “Behavioural Micro Targeting”, the company indicates that it can Predict “Needs”, of subjects & How these needs change over time. CA derives much of its Data from online Personality Surveys For each Political Client CA narrows down Voter segments, from 32 different personality styles it attributes to every adult in the United States.

Now Friends, Let Me in a detailed manner bring out the facts, that so Called “BRAHMASTRA”, used By Indian National Congress-Cambridge Analytica, A Proposal to revive Congress Image to move towards Goalpost, but unfortunately it Backfired thoroughly on them—

As we all know, on 27th of March, Christopher Wylie dropped a Big Bombshell, this former Employee of Cambridge Analytica(CA), who was a whistle blower on this UK-based firm, has been caught under the eye of storm, for harvesting 50 Million Facebook Profiles to help Politicians alter Poll & Survey outcomes told a Parliamentary Panel in London, that India’s Congress Party could be among CA’s Clients. Mr. Wylie, A Canadian whose Twitter handle says ‘I make things better with Data’, was speaking before the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Committee. His Statement comes amidst an escalating political row in India over Data Leaks 7 Profile thefts to influence voter Preferences. But Friends, as we all the Politics of Hypocrisies Which Congress is involved into Vehemently dismissed it by saying, “What he said as a piece of Fiction even as the ruling BJP had sharpened its attack on Rahul Gandhi. Now as we all know Cambridge Analytica founded in 2013, by Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), group, Cambridge Analytica has been accused of using the Facebook Data of Individuals to Influence Elections as significant as 2016 US Presidential Poll that saw Donald Trump, emerge the winner, & most importantly Britain’s BREXIT Referendum which went in favour of snapping away from European Union. Many Security Experts from US are also of the view that Cambridge Analytica could have been the crucial link in Russia’s reported interference in the White House Election.

Now in India, Wylie’s expose of the facts of his former employee has exposed the age-old Party Congress in bad Light completely. Paul Farrelly, a Labour Party Member of the British Parliamentary Committee, the “Opportunity for destabilisation”, is extremely high in India, which is home to more than 11 per cent of Facebook’s active users worldwide, also Social Media Giant’s biggest Market, even bigger than the US, & Subscriber Count is always on the upward Trajectory. Wylie also confirmed to the Panel that “They worked Extensively in India” for CA. They also have an office In India”, their client Is “Congress”, They have done all kinds of Projects, I don’t remember a National Project, but I Know regionally. India is so Big that one State can be as big as Britain. But they do have offices there, they do have staff there.” Told by Wylie. Congress Spokesperson Mr. Randeep Surjewala, maintained his stand as usual by denying that the party “has had no Truck with CA & Never Hired its Services.” After Wylie’s disclosures, it is Rahul Gandhi who finds himself completely aloof, as there emerges a new Document suggesting that his Party might have been in touch with the Tainted British Company to steer its Campaign in upcoming State Polls of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, & Chhattisgarh, besides the General Election of 2019. OPEN which has a detailed Proposal Prepared by CA that streamlines, what the firm could do to help revive the Electoral Misfortunes of Congress, which it says is confronted with an ‘existential Dilemma’. When OPEN contacted CA office in London, an Executive Promised to respond an Email sent to it about its ‘proposal’ to the Congress but has not yet done so despite having had sufficient time. Wylie had offered to provide the British Panel with the ‘Documentation’, on the firm’s India- specific activities. Wylie also criticized his former Employer for running campaigns in “struggling Democracies”, which he termed “an example of what Modern-day colonialism looks like”. CA Executives were also exposed on camera boasting they along with SCL had worked on more than 200 Elections around the world, including Polls in Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic & Argentina, apart from India. Due to this Backlash, that Forced Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg tenders an unconditional Public Apology& carry full page ads in Multiple Newspapers Globally. Zuckerberg says “This was a breach of Trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We are now taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again’. The main aim of Hired CA by Congress According to the Document, “It is designed to disrupt the BJP’s current monopoly on India’s ‘Smartphone Voters” by Building a World-class data & digital capacity for INC in similar Vein to what we did for the Trump campaign in 2016.

Let me In an Brief tell What Cambridge Analytica’s Strategization Document—“Executive Summary”, Which is Basically Friends divided into Various Sections : National Situational Analysis –  which is A National Data Infrastructure Project-A Data Driven Campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha: & State Assembly Elections, this section also looked into Communications activity & Capability in order to give a clearer View of the factors which will set Success Path to Pan-Indian Context.

Next Section Of “Executive Summary”, deals with developing, Designing & Building an operations Centre, with supplied Technical &Data Infrastructure which will help in co-ordinated Team Planning, Strategy Execution& Seamless Campaign Communications to provide the INC with the ability to strategize an Efficient National Campaign.

The Third Section which is Data Driven Campaign that CA has set as a roadmap for Congress which will use Data Analytics, Behavioural Science is a Tricky field today in the Context of Poll or Advertising Campaigns, which leads to leaks of Confidential Information on Individuals, which invariably leads to intrusion into the Privacy of citizens. We all Know from the Past Experiences that Congress is Known for Snooping on People, especially in the 1980’s long before the advent of Internet Rajiv Gandhi brought the Bill to give the Government the power to sift the contents of letters sent through Indian Post, but this was refuted by then President Zail Singh.

The Fourth Section of the CA focusses on Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh. ‘All Phases are intrinsically connected, which will set momentum for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Entire Document says its Cutting Edge- Data Analytics to ‘Model, Segment & Micro-Target the Population with Personalised Messaging’. Strengths are mainly on Psychographic Profiling of entire Population by acquiring & Modelling “Big Data”, finely targeted towards advertising & Psychographic Profiling of Individuals, Research to Understand & influence the underlying motivations & drivers of Human Behaviour.

In Conclusion, main Purpose of CA would prepare a complete Data set on the Indian Electorate, & all the Information required to develop communications model across the voters by Influencing their Minds by spreading the Messages, across the voters in the most efficient way by Congress. In the Document CA keeps referring to the Congress Existential challenge of Leadership & the need for the Leadership to Change. It also speaks about the Four V’s – Volume, Variety, Velocity, & Veracity. But CA came under severe Criticism & thoroughly got exposed due to its use of Unethical Means that has come to Limelight. Contacted By OPEN, Divya Spandana, Head of the Congress Social Media & Digital Communications Team opines by saying, “(CA could have made a Proposal, but they never sent it to us. I’ve never met nor spoken to anybody, neither has my Boss.”

My Viewpoint as a Blogger, as a Citizen of India, hopefully 1.25bn Indians also feels that our PM Modi has set a Transformative, Progressive, Development oriented, Innovative, Digitized, Skilled & A Positive Narrative of ‘SABKA SAATH SABKA VIKAS’. I feel Here is a Formidable leader who works tirelessly, selflessly, relentlessly just cruising along with the turbulent stormy situations Posed on to him & Government by United Opposition, but he Firmly Believes in only one Strong Point— “Actions Speak louder than Words. “Believes in Karma”. Being A Karma yogi, he only works for Empowerment of 1.25bn Indians being a leader of our Nation & which has made Him to Achieve “World’s most Popular Leader & Made our Nation to Achieve a Tag of “Fastest Growing & Emerging Economies of the World”. Dear PM Modi, aim with you, as a Women You Empowered me by accepting my ideas, suggestions in Participative Governance.

With You NAMO, Due to your Popular Narrative of Good Governance & Accountability, you will be the PM of our Nation in 2019, your Honesty, & Hard work with Grit & Determination will make you to Achieve your Goalpost. Indeed, A Beacon-Light for Bharat & Bharatvasis.

Jai Hind

Dr. Sukanya Iyer

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