Skip to main content

Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica Clients:

Cambridge Analytica (Closed), Now Emerdata, of SCL, Strategic Communications Laboratories

Partly owned by Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon VP of the Board of Directors, Alexander Nix was the Chief Executive, Matthew Oczkowski was the Head of Product and worked under Jared Kushner, as Digital Campaign Director, directly with Brad Parscale to implement Project Alamo in the US 2016 election after using the Cambridge University-Michal Kosinski & David Stillwell’s “My Personality” Facebook App to gather voter data and create profiles rating users on the OCEAN scale. Alexander “Dr. Spectre” Kogan used in the Ted Cruz Campaign. Cambridge Analytica was instrumental in the UK Brexit vote.

“SCL is the parent of a group of companies. Who exactly owns SCL and its diverse branches is unclear, thanks to a convoluted corporate structure, the type seen in the UK Companies House, the Panama Papers, and the Delaware company registry. Some of the SCL offshoots have been involved in elections from Ukraine to Nigeriahelped the Nepalese monarch against the rebels, whereas others have developed methods to influence Eastern European and Afghan citizens for NATO. And, in 2013, SCL spun off a new company to participate in US elections: Cambridge Analytica.Vice

“In 2014, CA was involved in 44 U.S. political races.[3] The company is partly owned by the family of Robert Mercer, an American hedge-fund manager who supports many politically conservative causes.[2][4]The firm maintains offices in New York CityWashington, D.C., and London.[5]

In 2015 it became known as the data analysis company working initially for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.[4] In 2016, after Cruz’s campaign had faltered, CA worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,[6] and on the Leave.EU-campaign for the United Kingdom‘s withdrawal from the European Union. CA “married data gathering and artificial intelligence with psy-ops—psychological propaganda techniques developed by the US military to change enemy behaviour. In this case, the targets were US and UK citizens.”[7] CA’s role and impact on those campaigns has been disputed and is the subject of ongoing criminal investigations in both countries.[8][9][10]”  Wikipedia

Long History of the Firm: Bannon, Breibart, Bob & Rebekah Mercer, David Bossie, Citizens United, etc.

A Special Relationship & the Birth of Cambridge Analytica Bridging the Atlantic to bring radical nativists of Trump & Brexit together via military tech & ad money, one donation or dataset at a time. Textfire

The Guardian Exclusive: Documents reveal donor-funded US startup embedded in Republican’s campaign paid UK university academics to collect psychological profiles on potential voters “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. Analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings shows Cruz’s campaign has paid Cambridge Analytica at least $750,000 this year. The “behavioural microtargeting” company has also received around $2.5m over the past two years from conservative Super Pacs to which Mercer or members of his family have donated.”

Michal Kosinski was a student in Warsaw when his life took a new direction in 2008. He was accepted by Cambridge University to do his PhD at the Psychometrics Centre, one of the oldest institutions of this kind worldwide. Kosinski joined fellow student David Stillwell (now a lecturer at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge) about a year after Stillwell had launched a little Facebook application in the days when the platform had not yet become the behemoth it is today. Their MyPersonality app enabled users to fill out different psychometric questionnaires, including a handful of psychological questions from the Big Five personality questionnaire (“I panic easily,” “I contradict others”). Based on the evaluation, users received a “personality profile”—individual Big Five values—and could opt-in to share their Facebook profile data with the researchers.

Around this time, in early 2014, Kosinski was approached by a young assistant professor in the psychology department called Aleksandr Kogan. He said he was inquiring on behalf of a company that was interested in Kosinski’s method, and wanted to access the MyPersonality database. Kogan wasn’t at liberty to reveal for what purpose; he was bound to secrecy.

At first, Kosinski and his team considered this offer, as it would mean a great deal of money for the institute, but then he hesitated. Finally, Kosinski remembers, Kogan revealed the name of the company: SCL, or Strategic Communication Laboratories. Kosinski Googled the company: “[We are] the premier election management agency,” says the company’s website. SCL provides marketing based on psychological modeling. One of its core focuses: Influencing elections.

Some of the SCL offshoots have been involved in elections from Ukraine to Nigeriahelped the Nepalese monarch against the rebels, whereas others have developed methods to influence Eastern European and Afghan citizens for NATO. And, in 2013, SCL spun off a new company to participate in US elections: Cambridge Analytica.

Kosinski came to suspect that Kogan’s company might have reproduced the Facebook “Likes”-based Big Five measurement tool in order to sell it to this election-influencing firm. He immediately broke off contact with Kogan and informed the director of the institute, sparking a complicated conflict within the university. The institute was worried about its reputation. Aleksandr Kogan then moved to Singapore, married, and changed his name to Dr. Spectre. Michal Kosinski finished his PhD, got a job offer from Stanford and moved to the US.

Mr. Brexit

All was quiet for about a year. Then, in November 2015, the more radical of the two Brexit campaigns, “Leave.EU,” supported by Nigel Farageannounced that it had commissioned a Big Data company to support its online campaign: Cambridge Analytica. The company’s core strength: innovative political marketing—microtargeting—by measuring people’s personality from their digital footprints, based on the OCEAN model.

After the Brexit result, friends and acquaintances wrote to him: Just look at what you’ve done.

Now Kosinski received emails asking what he had to do with it—the words Cambridge, personality, and analytics immediately made many people think of Kosinski. It was the first time he had heard of the company, which borrowed its name, it said, from its first employees, researchers from the university. Horrified, he looked at the website. Was his methodology being used on a grand scale for political purposes?

After the Brexit result, friends and acquaintances wrote to him: Just look at what you’ve done. Everywhere he went, Kosinski had to explain that he had nothing to do with this company. (It remains unclear how deeply Cambridge Analytica was involved in the Brexit campaign. Cambridge Analytica would not discuss such questions.)

For a few months, things are relatively quiet. Then, on September 19, 2016, just over a month before the US elections, the guitar riffs of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” fill the dark-blue hall of New York’s Grand Hyatt hotel. The Concordia Summit is a kind of World Economic Forum in miniature. Decision-makers from all over the world have been invited, among them Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann. “Please welcome to the stage Alexander Nix, chief executive officer of Cambridge Analytica,” a smooth female voice announces. A slim man in a dark suit walks onto the stage. A hush falls. Many in attendance know that this is Trump’s new digital strategy man. (A video of the presentation was posted on YouTube.)”  VICE

Matthew Oczkowski was the Head of Product. Blends political science, big-data, and behavioral psychology to influence voter and consumer decision making..As the lead data strategist for the Trump campaign, he was responsible for crafting a path to victory, generating models to target priority states, and creating a travel plan that maximized electoral success. Running more than 1,500 surveys a week in key battleground states to get the most accurate polling data, his team was able to successfully predict the trends that played out during the election, leading to an accurate forecast of the electoral outcome in all but two states. ”

Oczkowski worked under Jared Kushner, as Digital Campaign Director, and directly with Brad Parscale to implement Project Alamo, based in San Antonio, and using information and resources from the RNC. Project Alamo started staffing, resulting in a few hundred employees, on June 14, 2016, five days after the Trump Tower meeting.

Local web design firm with Donald Trump presidential campaign contract offers 100 jobs as election nears  Jun 14, 2016, San Antonio Business Journal 


Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix at the company’s Manhattan offices on Oct. 24. (Joshua Bright for The Washington Post)
 October 27, 2016
 In a Fifth Avenue office near Trump Tower, a company being paid millions of dollars by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign says it has developed a political weapon powerful enough to help the Republican nominee overcome his troubles and win the White House.The key is a psychological model for identifying voters that can “determine the personality of every single adult in the United States of America,” said Alexander Nix, chief executive of Cambridge Analytica.The little-known company, which has operated in the United States for four years, opened its office here only a month ago and is clearly at the center of Trump’s quest for a last-minute comeback against Democrat Hillary Clinton. New federal filings show the campaign’s payments to the firm ballooning from $250,000 in August to $5 million in September.” Washington Post

Inside the Trump Bunker, With Days to Go  Bloomberg, October 27, 2016

“On Oct. 19, as the third and final presidential debate gets going in Las Vegas, Donald Trump’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are being manned by Brad Parscale, a San Antonio marketing entrepreneur, whose buzz cut and long narrow beard make him look like a mixed martial arts fighter. His Trump tie has been paired with a dark Zegna suit. A lapel pin issued by the Secret Service signals his status. He’s equipped with a dashboard of 400 prewritten Trump tweets. “Command center,” he says, nodding at his laptop.”

Brexit: The [UK] Information Commissioner opens a formal investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes Posted on

HuffPost: Data Analytics Firm Tied To Trump And Bannon Threatening To Sue Guardian After Paper Investigated Links To Brexit 

comScore Signs TV Agreement with Cambridge Analytica New Agreement Gives Cambridge Analytica comScore’s Television Information to Achieve Better Television Buying for Political and Commercial Clients  RESTON, VA, October 12, 2016 – comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) today announced an agreement with Cambridge Analytica, which will use comScore’s television information as a component of TV campaign strategies for political and commercial advertising clients.


Trump isn’t the only Republican who gave Cambridge Analytica big bucks CNN bMarch 21, 2018.

Sen. Thom Tillis and the North Carolina Republican PartyTillis and the North Carolina GOP spent $345,000 for “microtargeting” from 2014 through 2015, geared at helping Tillis defeat Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in 2014, the most expensive US Senate race in history at the time.The senator also said he met with Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix once but doesn’t remember what they talked about. Nix was suspended from his role at the company this week in the wake of undercover reports showing him discussing potential bribery and entrapment.

Make America Number 1 Super PAC: The Mercer-backed Keep the Promise I/Make America Number 1 super PAC paid $1,476,484 to Cambridge Analytica from 2015 through 2016. The PAC funded a series of pro-Ted Cruz ads during the 2016 presidential campaign. The PAC was also led by Conway prior to her joining the Trump campaign.

John Bolton Super PAC: Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton is being considered to replace H.R. McMaster as White House national security adviser. According to FEC filings, Bolton’s super PAC doled out $1,152,299 for Cambridge Analytica’s work from 2014 through 2016. All of the services billed are for “research” and “survey research.”

During their 2016 presidential campaigns, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson solicited Cambridge Analytica for media services, survey research, web services and database management. The Cruz campaign directly spent $5.8 million for the firm’s services. In addition, Keep the Promise II super PAC, which is associated with the “Keep the Promise” network of the Mercer-backed PACs, was funded by Cruz supporter and Texas billionaire Toby Neugebauer. The PAC paid $570,000 for Cambridge Analytica’s services — the largest expenditure for the PAC during the election cycle. Carson, meanwhile, spent $438,065 for the firm’s work.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton Cotton paid some $20,000 for Cambridge Analytica’s consulting services from 2013 through 2014 as he was campaigning for the Senate.

Republican campaign committees who paid Cambridge Analytica: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. $5,912,500; Cruz for President $5,805,552; Make America Number 1 $1,476,484; John Bolton Super PAC $1,152,300; Keep the Promise II $570,000; Carson America $438,065; North Carolina Republican Party $215,000; Restoring American Leadership PAC $155,725; Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund $133,333; Thom Tillis Committee $130,000; Art Robinson for Congress $20,000; Cotton for Senate $20,000; Dr. Monica Wehby for US Senate $20,000; Walters for Congress $20,000; McHenry for Congress $15,000; Friends of Roy Blunt $12,000; Rick Kozell for Congress $5,211; Source: FEC records


“How do you possibly write a post on Facebook like @realDonaldTrump?”
Meet the digital guru who helped Trump win the presidency. pic.twitter.com/bvbL4AbJgv

— BBC Stories (@bbcstories) August 15, 2017

Meanwhile @ State, the Global Engagement Center issued non-competitive contracts to Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s campaign data firm pic.twitter.com/LZXZ62lGav

— N Aku (@NAKU2014) August 2, 2017

This person requested their voter information from the Mercer/Bannon Cambridge Analytica which optimized memes and strategies for the Trump Campaign. The report is detailed and he said his information was correct. Follow his thread.

4/ Here is letter provided by Cambridge Analytica/SCL with request describing data protection policy jurisdictions and their data sourcing. pic.twitter.com/mrOmr4qPlf

— David Carroll (@profcarroll) March 27, 2017

4/ Here is letter provided by Cambridge Analytica/SCL with request describing data protection policy jurisdictions and their data sourcing. pic.twitter.com/mrOmr4qPlf

— David Carroll (@profcarroll) March 27, 2017

6/ Here are the election returns data connected to my CA/SCL voter profile. Incomplete results but accurate to my districts. pic.twitter.com/8BZM03UVXo

— David Carroll (@profcarroll) March 27, 2017

7/ Here is CA/SCL voter issue profile/propensity model on me. I’d rank this somewhat differently but feels roughly accurate. Could be worse. pic.twitter.com/n4x3IRQrL8

— David Carroll (@profcarroll) March 27, 2017


Kenyan 2017 Election

Black Cube worked for Cambridge Analytica.  Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Uhuru’s Election – David Murathe Explains Kenyans By VINCENT KEJITAN on August 21, 2018 “In an undercover report, Cambridge Analytica MD Mark Turnbull was filmed admitting to running the 2013 and 2017 campaigns for President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We have rebranded the entire party twice, written the manifesto, done research, analysis, messaging. I think we wrote all the speeches and we staged the whole thing – so just about every element of this candidate,” he states in the secretly recorded video. Turnbull is further captured stating: “It is no good running an election campaign based on facts, it is all about emotions.” The news report indicated that the controversial firm was behind a spate of propaganda driven reports against NASA leader Raila Odinga during the 2017 polls. Cambridge Analytica has, however, released a statement denying all allegations made by Channel 4 News adding that it was only gauging the reporters’ motives. Dennis Itumbi, Director of Digital Innovations and Diaspora Communications at the Office of the President, also refuted the claims noting that no one influenced the campaign. Itumbi further maintained that President Kenyatta’s campaign with his Deputy William Ruto was launched and run by young Kenyans.”

Police Implicated in Murder of Cambridge Analytica Analyst Dan Muresan Kenyans By MUMBI MUTUKO August 21, 2018 “On Tuesday, Christopher Wylie claimed that his predecessor, Dan Muresan, was poisoned in a hotel in Kenya after “a deal went sour.” Wylie stated: “People suspected he was poisoned in his bedroom and Kenyan police had been bribed not to enter his hotel room for 24 hours.” He noted that the allegations were “speculation” he had heard from others inside the company and he had no proof of the claims.The whistleblower stated: “What I heard was that he was working on some kind of deal, I’m not sure what kind of deal it is.” He further added: “But when you work for senior politicians in a lot of these countries you don’t actually make money in the electoral work, you make money in the influence brokering after the fact – and that a deal went sour.” Wylie narrated of a lawless organisation that had dealt with the hacked material, illegal data and the use of intimidation techniques to win elections.He maintained that Cambridge Analytica had little concern for the law in countries they were contracted adding “they don’t care whether or not it’s legal as long as it gets the job done.” h/t @kelly2277

Nigerian 2015 Elections

Revealed: The Cambridge Analytica data specialist who was found dead in Kenyan hotel – as whistleblower tells MPs he may have been POISONED after a deal went ‘sour’ Daily Mail March 27, 2018  “Mr Muresan was the son of former Romanian Agriculture Minister Ioan Avram Muresan, who is now in prison for corruption charges. According to a report of his death which ran in 2012 in the Bucharest Herald, the 32 year-old had studied at the LSE in London and had coordinated election campaigns in Europe, Africa and the US.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye, an IT expert, told the committee: ‘My understanding relating back to your predecessor Dan Muresan. ‘There are stories that have come out in India…he was working for Congress apparently according to reports. ‘But apparently he was really paid for by an Indian billionaire who actually wanted Congress to loose. ‘So he was pretending to work for one party while actually paid by someone else.’

He claimed that SCL had been involved in a project in Nigeria in 2015 which had involved hacking the private information of Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for president. Cambridge Analytica’s parent company involved in distributing kompromat to intimidate voters in Nigeria, MPs hear Cambridge Analytica’s parent company was involved in the distribution of kompromat to try to intimate voters in the Nigerian election in 2015, a whistleblower today claimed. Christopher Wylie said SCL was involved in a project involving the hacking the private information of Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for president. He claimed AIQ distributed compromising material – known as kompromat – and videos designed of people having their throats slit to intimidate Mr Buhari’s supporters. He told MPs: ‘The company utilised the services of an Israeli private intelligence firm, Black Cube.

‘Black Cube on the Nigeria project was engaged to hack the now-president Buhari to get access to his medical records and private emails. AIQ worked on that project. AIQ was handed material in Nigeria from Cambridge Analytica to distribute online.  ‘That’s distribution of kompromat and of incredibly threatening and violent video content which I’ve passed on to the committee. ‘The videos that AIQ distributed in Nigeria with the sole intent of intimidating voters included content where people were being dismembered, where people were having their throats cut and bled to death in a ditch, they were being burned alive. ‘There were incredibly anti-Islamic and threatening messages portraying Muslims as violent.’

Mr Wylie also alleged AIQ had worked on a project in Trinidad & Tobago, which involved attempting to harvest the internet data of the country’s entire population. He said: ‘You’ve got AggregateIQ, who received 40 per cent of Vote Leave’s spending, also involved in projects which involved hacked material and kompromat and distributing violent videos of people being bled to death to intimidate voters. ‘This is the company that played an incredibly pivotal role in politics here.’  In a statement issued after the hearing, Black Cube said it has always operated within the law.

He also accused Dominic Cummings, the strategist at Vote Leave who is credited with masterminding the victory, of finding ways of cheating in the Brexit referendum. Mr Wylie said he found ways to bust spending limits by telling other Brexit backing organisations including BeLeave to used their money to pay for a digital advertising blitz by AIQ.” @kelly2277

Indian Influence in the Trump Campaign-Amrish Tyagi & Brad Pascale-Project Alamo

Trump card: son of socialist Indian psephologist to read Asian American pulse By Ananya Sengupta September 17, 2016 “The Janata Dal United, a party from the socialist stable, has a “secular” alliance in Bihar that defeated the “communal” BJP. It’s a professional assignment and has nothing to do with his political beliefs, insists Amrish Kumar Tyagi, son of K.C. Tyagi and a psephologist, who was booked on a plane to the US early Saturday morning. “My job is to find out the psyche of the Asian community (in America), their demands, expectations and fears, and convey them to Trump’s team,” Amrish, 38, told The Telegraph over the phone. “We will also design campaign messages to draw the community in, and create databases for Trump’s campaign.” Amrish owns a psephology and campaign consultancy firm called Ovleno Business Intelligence Private Limited, founded in 2010, which worked for Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal in last year’s elections in Bihar and Delhi, respectively. “Some of Trump’s aides had come to India in 2011 and were impressed with how we work here. Later, they approached us for this job and we agreed,” Amrish said. “Now the son of a senior Janata Dal United politician [AMRISH TYAGI, above], will try to help Trump win the Asian American vote in the run-up to the November US election.” h/t @MsMariaT

UK Firm Accused of Facebook Data Breach Worked in Indian Elections Too: Report By Little India Desk

Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, is reported to have played roles in over 200 elections globally, including those in India, Nigeria, Kenya.

““In the meetings, the executives boasted that Cambridge Analytica and its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) had worked in more than 200 elections across the world, including Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India and Argentina,” according to the Channel 4 report.SCL collaborates with Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) in India and names the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Janata Dal (United) as its political clients on its website.

Cambridge Analytica (CA) was formed and created officially in 2013 by its parent company — London-based Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) group.  SCL’s  work and its origin in India were formed in 2010 with the Bihar state elections. The source is Amrish Tyagi, the son of JD(U) leader KC Tyagi, who owns OBI. In the Indian subcontinent, OBI is Cambridge Analytica’s go-to company, the Wire reported.

“CA was contracted to undertake an in-depth electorate analysis for the Bihar Assembly Election in 2010. The core challenge was to identify the floating/swing voters for each of the parties and to measure their levels electoral apathy, a result of the poor and unchanging condition of the state after 15 years of incumbent rule,” CA said in a statement on its India sectionStrategic Communications Laboratories Private Limited is an Indian company based at Ghaziabad, and lists Tyagi and Nix as its directors, the Indian Express reported.

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of harvesting data of 50 million Facebook users without their consent and failing to delete it when it was asked to do so by Facebook. A whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, who worked with Cambridge Analytica, has alleged that the company collected huge amounts of data through a personality quiz called This is Your Digital Life on Facebook. According to him, 270,000 people took the quiz, and the data of around 50 million users, based mainly in the United States, was harvested without their consent through their friend networks.”

Skip to toolbar