Cambridge Analytica has announced that it is shutting down after the Facebook controversy, blaming the media focus on its activities during the 2016 campaign. Cambridge announced that it was “immediately ceasing all operations,” trying to cast the reason for the accusations: “Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas.”
The press release also announced commencement of insolvency proceedings. But the public should not be fooled by this announcement and blame. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss – Emerdata. Christopher Wylie, former Cambridge employee, was on Morning Joe raising questions about the intentions of his former employer. (Cambridge recently has tried to downplay Wylie’s role – sound like any administration we know?) His concerns are legitimate.
Cambridge’s New York City address was 597 Fifth Avenue. On March 16, 2017, Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer (daughters of Cambridge’s main investor/funder, Robert Mercer) were appointed directors of Emerdata. Rebekah’s address listed for correspondence? Correct if you guessed 597 Fifth Avenue. The other directors include Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge, and Julian Wheatland, chairman of the Cambridge parent firm, SCL Group.
Wheatland set up the new entity along with the Cambridge chief data officer, Alexander Tayler. The Canary Wharf address in London for Emerdata is the same as that of SCL. And to close the loop of overlap and no coincidences, a board member is from Frontier Services Group, a private security firm chaired by Erik Prince, brother of Betsy DeVos. The Prince of Seychelles is he. The Emerdata entity is being referred to as a “Blackwater-style” rebrand. Prince also founded Blackwater. As noted, the old boss is the same as the new boss and Emerdata must be watched closely and skeptically.