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Whistleblower Says Congress a Possible Client of CA; Party Denies

But a data protection specialist testified that CA was hired by an Indian billionaire posing as being from Congress.

Updated
India
3 min read
Whistleblower Says Congress a Possible Client of CA; Party Denies
i

Christopher Wylie, a former employee-turned-whistleblower of data firm Cambridge Analytica, said that India’s Congress party was a client of the disgraced firm in his deposition hearing in the UK House of Commons.

When asked if Cambridge Analytica “focused on the world’s largest democracy” – a major market for Facebook which has “lots and lots of elections” – Wylie said he believed Congress was one of their clients.

I believe their client was Congress. I don’t remember any national project, but I know they worked regionally. [...] India is so big that one state can be the size of Britain. They do have offices and staff there.
Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower
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Wylie added that he could provide the court with documentation regarding Cambridge Analytica’s Indian operations.

Wylie's earlier testimony also came up in the hearing about his Romanian predecessor, who worked in India and was found dead in Kenya in 2012 "with bits of his skull missing".

"According to reports from India, apparently he was really paid for by an Indian billionaire who actually wanted the Congress to lose. So he was pretending to work for one party but really... paid underhand by others," Paul Olivier, a data protection specialist said, suggesting that Romanian, Kenyan and Indian journalists cooperate with each other in the investigation.

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Congress Denies Accusations

The Congress, however, categorically denied the accusations and reiterated their stand that the party had no business dealings with Cambridge Analytica and added that the firm helped the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP needs to answer... who was this NRI person who hired Cambridge Analytica in the run-up to the 2014 polls, to manufacture false surveys, to ask leading questions and to bring down the Indian National Congress government?
Randeep Surjewala, Spokesperson, Congress

The BJP and the Congress have been sparring over their alleged connections to Cambridge Analytica ever since the data breach scandal came to light.

The IT Minister had earlier alleged that the British firm helped in increasing Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter popularity. Surjewala, meanwhile, said it was the BJP which hired the services of the controversial firm during Bihar state polls as well as for its 'Mission 272-plus' campaign.

While both parties denied their own involvement, Cambridge Analytica’s Indian arm Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI) had both BJP and Congress listed as its clients on the website, which has now been taken down.

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BJP, Congress Trade Barbs Against Each Other

Soon after the reports of Wylie’s deposition, the BJP called out the Congress and said the party owes the nation an apology. Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “This vindicates what we have been saying from day one. Rahul Gandhi has been trying to divert attention all this while.”

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Cambridge Analytica Reacts to Wylie’s Deposition

Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, issued a statement clarifying that Wylie had no direct knowledge of their work or practices post July 2014, which was when he left the company.

Chris Wylie (whistleblower) was a part-time contractor who left Cambridge Analytica in July 2014 and has no direct knowledge of the company’s work or practices since that date. 
Cambridge Analytica

The firm further said that Wylie had misrepresented the company in his deposition and that whatever he said was speculative by nature.

Chris Wylie (whistleblower) has misrepresented himself and the company to the committee, and previously to the news media. He admits himself that what he says is speculation.
Cambridge Analytica

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Topics:  Congress   Facebook   Whistleblower 

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