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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cyber Update: Guccifer 2.0 and Cambridge Analytica

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.
In September, Byron Tau reported at WSJ:
Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump, told members of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he had no involvement in what U.S. officials have called a Russian campaign of interference and disinformationduring the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to reporters after his closed-door interview on Capitol Hill, Mr. Stone said that “a substantial amount” of the questioning focused on his interactions with entities and organizations that helped disseminate stolen emails aimed at embarrassing the Democratic Party, including the website WikiLeaks and a hacker entity called Guccifer 2.0.
In a lengthy statement released before his appearance, Mr. Stone disclosed his correspondence with Guccifer 2.0 and detailed his interactions with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. During the 2016 campaign, both entities published stolen emails from Democratic Party organizations, an element of what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a Russian effort to tip the presidential race toward Mr. Trump.
Mr. Stone, a veteran Republican operative who worked for Mr. Trump briefly as a consultant and continues to serve as an informal adviser and confidant, said in prepared remarks that he resented “any allegation that I would collude with the oppressive Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”
The blueprint for how Cambridge Analytica claimed to have won the White House for Donald Trump by using Google, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is revealed for the first time in an internal company document obtained by the Guardian.
The 27-page presentation was produced by the Cambridge Analytica officials who worked most closely on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
A former employee explained to the Guardian how it details the techniques used by the Trump campaign to micro-target US voters with carefully tailored messages about the Republican nominee across digital channels.
Intensive survey research, data modelling and performance-optimising algorithms were used to target 10,000 different ads to different audiences in the months leading up to the election. The ads were viewed billions of times, according to the presentation. 

Matthew Rosenberg at NYT:
The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents. 
Mr. Bolton’s political committee, known as The John Bolton Super PAC, first hired Cambridge in August 2014, months after the political data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.
In the two years that followed, Mr. Bolton’s super PAC spent nearly $1.2 million primarily for “survey research,” which is a term that campaigns use for polling, according to campaign finance records.
But the contract between the political action committee and Cambridge, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, offers more detail on just what Mr. Bolton was buying. The contract broadly describes the services to be delivered by Cambridge as “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging.”