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HomeMiscellanytheBreaker.news Podcast: Datamining whistleblower shares ideas with Canadian lawmakers on stopping digital deterioration of democracy

theBreaker.news Podcast: Datamining whistleblower shares ideas with Canadian lawmakers on stopping digital deterioration of democracy

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For Christopher Wylie, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, it was a sort of homecoming.

The data scientist who hails from Victoria made headlines around the world in March when he revealed how Cambridge Analytica exploited data from tens of millions of Facebook users to help the Vote Leave campaign win the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and the Republican Party take back the White House. A key player in the equation was AggregateIQ, a small Victoria company that Wylie had an indirect role in launching. 

On May 29, Wylie testified from London, via videolink, to the House of Commons committee in Ottawa that is investigating the scandal and its implications for Canada. 

AggregateIQ’s co-founders, Jeff Silvester and Zack Massingham, appeared before the same committee in late April, and went through a rough ride as several Members of Parliament doubted their crediblity and accused them of offering misleading testimony. 

At the end of the public portion of Wylie’s hearing, chair Bob Zimmer (Conservative, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies) asked Wylie if he felt Silvester and Massingham had been untruthful to the committee. 

Some of their testimony, Wylie said, was “so fantastical, it’s hard to believe.” 

During a two-hour hearing, that continued behind closed doors, Wylie offered his advice to the committee on how to bring truth to online advertising and protect social media from abuse. Listen to the highlights on the Big Deal feature of this week’s theBreaker.news Podcast. 

Also on this edition, commentaries and a special scan of headlines related to the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. 

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