Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower in the Facebook data breach row, has shared the details of India operations of Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica (CA).
"I've been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL's past projects in India. To the most frequently asked question - yes SCL/CA works in India and has offices there. This is what modern colonialism looks like," Wylie said in a tweet on Wednesday.
In new revelations, Wylie claimed that SCL India (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica) was asked to provide electoral research and strategy for the 2010 Bihar elections for the JD (U).
However, the claim was denied by the JD(U) with the party insisting that it does not believe in using data for electoral politics.
“I have said this in the past. I repeat again that the JD (U) does not believe in such means. We fight elections the way it should be contested,” JD (U) leader K C Tyagi said.
Yesterday, Wylie had confessed before UK House of Commons committee that the controversial UK-based company has also been linked with alleged attempts to influence elections in India. "I believe their client was Congress," the whistleblower had told the committee, investigating Facebook data breach.
The whistleblower, who first revealed how CA stole user data to manipulate elections across the globe, today shared the details of all the past elections that the company worked on in India.
I've been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL's past projects in India. To the most frequently asked question - yes SCL/CA works in India and has offices there. This is what modern colonialism looks like. pic.twitter.com/v8tOmcmy3z— Christopher Wylie 🏳️🌈 (@chrisinsilico) March 28, 2018
The screenshot shared by Wylie says, "SCL India has a database of over 600 districts and 7 lakh villages in India and this database is constantly updated.
"The information includes household level demographics, specifically focusing on caste data.
"The company links the information to online mapping applications for analyses based on required applications."
SCL India promised its clients, to help 'identify and target key groups within the population to effectively influence their behaviour to realise a desired outcome'.
"We provide our clients with the research to develop and disseminate the right messages, from the right sources, using the right communication channels," the screenshot of SCL India's brochure shared by Wylie says.
The projects SCL India/Cambridge Analytics has worked on in India (based on info shared by Wylie on Twitter):
2012 Uttar Pradesh
SCL India carried out a caste census in Uttar Pradesh on behalf of a national party. The research included analyses of caste structure and dynamics within the state leading to conclusions regarding the identification of the party's core voters as well as swing voters.
2009 General Elections
In the 2009 general elections, SCL India managed the campaigns of a number of Lok Sabha candidates. The research and campaign teams employed SCL India's proprietary data collection methodologies to form strategies that gave client successful election campaigns.
2010 Bihar elections
SCL India was asked to provide electoral research and strategy for the 2010 state elections for the Janata Dal (United). SCL undertook a behavioural research programme targeting over 75% of households to assist the client in not only identifying the correct battlegrounds, but also the right audiences, messages and most importantly the right castes to target with their campaigns.
2007 Uttar Pradesh
In the 2007 Uttar Pradesh election, SCL India carried out a full political survey on behalf of a major party. The research included a party audit and a statewide census of politically active individuals using in-depth interviews to assess the satisfaction levels of party workers at booth level.
2003 Madhya Pradesh election
SCL India carried out a psephological study and opinion polling for a national party to identify swing voters. This was followed with a more in-depth analysis of the behavioural dynamics at work in key seats which in turn informed the party's efforts to ensure a local structure and communication strategy that matched the caste make-up and attitudinal positions of pre-identified 'swing population'.
2003 Rajasthan election
A major state party contracted SCL India to carry out two pieces of work, one internal and aimed at assessing the party's organisational strength (party audit), the other external and looking at the nature of the voting population and, more particularly, the attitudes and behaviours of politically-active individuals within the state. Both consisted of quantitive surveys followed by qualitative in-depth interviews, the product of which were analysed using the Behavioural Dynamics methodology, though the subject of enquiries and the implications for the party's strategic approach were naturally very different. SCL India also assisted the party in understanding how to use the diverse findings.
The India branch of SCL also did some psephological studies and behavioural polling in Delhi and Chhattisgarh, Wylie claimed.
Watch video: Rajat Sharma on why Christopher Wylie's revelations could be embarrassing for Congress