Bigdata, big money and democracy

Carol Calwalladr follows up on the story about how big data has been bought by the ultra rich and is being used to buy democracies and breakup the European Union.

  1. This storify is pretty much an anthology of Carol's stories, but I have created this story to encourage you to read the first article immediately below where she follows the links and money, identifying the psyops heritage of the theory and the military source of the original funding and current staff; it looks at the potential crimes committed by the leave campaign in their campaign funding and questions the appropriateness of domestic military technical intervention and the strength of our democracy to withstand it.
  2. One quote from the article on potential breaches of electoral law, "This story isn’t about cunning Dominic Cummings finding a few loopholes in the Electoral Commission’s rules. Finding a way to spend an extra million quid here. Or (as the Observer has also discovered underdeclaring the costs of his physicists on the spending returns by £43,000. This story is not even about what appears to be covert coordination between Vote Leave and Leave [dot] EU in their use of AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica. It’s about how a motivated US billionaire – Mercer and his chief ideologue, Bannon – helped to bring about the biggest constitutional change to Britain in a century."
  3. The article also points out how close the result was, and that it's likely that this made a difference. There's no doubt that the leave campaigners thought it did.
  4. She also, says, in conclusion, "This is Britain in 2017. A Britain that increasingly looks like a “managed” democracy. Paid for a US billionaire. Using military-style technology. Delivered by Facebook. And enabled by us. If we let this referendum result stand, we are giving it our implicit consent. This isn’t about Remain or Leave. It goes far beyond party politics. It’s about the first step into a brave, new, increasingly undemocratic world."
  5. The Economist, helpfully produces a Democratic Index, below we have a copy of their article announcing the 2016 results, and a cached copy of their map where the US is now assessed as a flawed democracy and only Scandanavia and Canda get a full pass mark. To see more click on the story hyperlink, the picture is just a picture.
  6. In the article, Cadwalladr refers to a previous story where she looked at an academic study into the foreign money and the weak regulatory structure, particularly for one-off referendums. The penalties are laughably small, and the electoral commission can't do real time monitoring, as the regulators do with financial service firms.
  7. She keeps the story warm here, where the potential and illegal if true collusion between the Brexit campaign groups is called out.
  8. More about the (foreign) money here
  9. and here
  10. Also my first look at the story
  11. Big Data and the populist right (with image) · DaveLevy
  12. found at WikiMedia Commons, CC 123Net 2011 BY-SA Unported - cropped by me