On Monday, Channel 4 News released undercover footage featuring the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm associated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, saying that the company used bribery and sex workers to intentionally place politicians in compromising situations or dig up dirt on them to benefit their opponents.
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was filmed during part of Channel 4’s four-month undercover investigation into the company, according to a report by The Hill, where they also discovered that the company has worked behind the scenes to influence over 200 elections throughout the world.
The Channel 4 News undercover reporter posed as a “fixer,” claiming to represent a client interested in influencing Sri Lankan elections.
During one exchange, Nix discusses sending “some girls around to the candidate’s house” as a means of gathering information about political candidates.
Nix also discusses putting any discovered information “into the bloodstream of the internet” and that “we’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land, for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll just blank out the face of our guy and post it on the internet.”
Cambridge Analytica has denied using entrapment and bribes, “or so-called honey-traps,” in a statement released after the Channel 4 News information went public.
Cambridge Analytica has also been accused by a whistleblower of gathering data on approximately 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent, an action that may have violated the social media giant’s terms of service and various data privacy laws.
While the company is denying the accusations, it has since been suspended on Facebook until an investigation into the allegations is complete.
Facebook reportedly discovered the violations in 2015, demanding Cambridge Analytica destroy the data and provide certification that the information was properly deleted. The firm claimed to have complied, but Facebook recently received reports that some of the data remained intact.
Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower, has been invited to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
Multiple Senators have also called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Facebook about privacy concerns.