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27 Mar, 2018 09:58

Vote Leave 'cheating' could have swayed Brexit – Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to MPs (VIDEO)

Vote Leave 'cheating' could have swayed Brexit – Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to MPs (VIDEO)

A whistleblower who blew the lid off Cambridge Analytica’s (CA) links to Facebook, and the sharing of millions of people’s data, has opened up about the company, appearing in front of British MPs at the DCMS committee.

Accusations of fake offices, suspicious deaths, and collusion have emerged in the explosive questioning of the whistleblower, Christopher Wylie. Former CA director Wylie spent a year working with the British press over how the company obtained people’s personal information from Facebook.

Speaking to MPs in Parliament, Wylie faced questions on the inner workings of the company and their connections to the Brexit campaign group Vote Leave. Wylie says BeLeave campaigners, and fellow whistle blowers, Shahmir Sanni and Darren Grimes were manipulated and told what to do by the Vote Leave lawyers. Under UK law BeLeave and Vote Leave should not have been combining campaigns or sharing finances. Wylie accused Vote Leave, BeLeave, the DUP and Veterans for Britain of working together in the EU referendum campaign. 

READ MORE: My predecessor may have been murdered – Whistleblower claims in Cambridge Analytica scandal

Wylie said he is convinced of ‘cheating’ in Brexit campaigning. Simon Hart, Conservative MP asked: “Have you made any assessment as to whether this over-spending would have affected the result?”

Wylie replied: “First, if someone is caught doping in the Olympics, no one asks if that made the different to them winning the race.

“You should not win by cheating.”

Wylie said the online campaigns did sway people. Adding that “conversion rates” for the campaign’s online advertising were “incredibly effective." The campaign was so successful that without “cheating” there would have been a different result, Wylie argued.

Continuing, Wylie accused AIQ – the Canadian firm with CA connections that allegedly worked with Vote Leave – of developing software which was later used in the US to identify Republican voters.

AIQ was also hired, according to Wylie, to intimidate voters in Nigeria. He said there was a mission to find “kompromat” or “compromising material” on the president of Nigeria by hacking him. At the same time, vile videos of people being violently attacked were spread to sway voters.

“AIQ 40… distributing violent images of people being bled to death to intimidate voters,” he said.

Continuing, Wylie detailed that: “The videos were distributed in Nigeria with the sole intent of intimidating voters. People were having their throats cut… Burned… In ditches… Incredibly anti-Islamic.”

He also said Israeli private security firm Black Cube was engaged to hack the president of Nigeria to access his medical records and private emails.

When pressed by MPs, Wylie said Cambridge Analytica and AIQ “absolutely” shared data. He accused the company of using “weasel words” to deny having anything to do with each other.

Before Wylie's testimony, committee members called out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, insisting he should be questioned over how millions of users’ details got into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, after the company said it would send another executive to appear before them.

“We would still like to hear from Mr Zuckerberg as well,” Damian Collins, who heads Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said on Tuesday.

“We will seek to clarify with Facebook whether he is available to give evidence or not as that wasn’t clear from our correspondence and if he is available to give evidence then we will be happy to do that either in person or by video link.”

CA, a political consulting firm, reportedly obtained data through a program designed by an ex-employee, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan.

Billions were wiped off Facebook’s stock price in the wake of the revelations, and news sites rushed to cover the rapidly unfolding story.