You might be thinking what exactly this title means and how exactly this can happen in “Independent” and “Sovereign” country like India? Another question that comes next is why foreign intelligence networks are keen to involve in Indian political affairs? What interest they have in India? We have very good relations with the UK, especially even though they have enslaved us and tortured us for more than 200 years. Oh… the questioning never stop and some readers may ask how can “they” choose our leaders or politicians and not by people of India? Then what happens to the preamble of the constitution ‘Of the people, for the people and by the people’?
To know the answer to the first question the readers has to make some time and read the article http://greatgameindia.com/did-india-really-become-independent-on-august-15th-1947/ and for the next question readers really need to be patient and read these articles http://greatgameindia.com/great-game-india-for-the-control-of-grand-glorious-india/ and http://greatgameindia.com/indias-unique-market-and-the-rise-of-the-west/
For answers to the rest of the questions, readers may read this article. The entire article is divided into three parts
Part-1 Origins of Cambridge Analytica-Facebook Nexus and Shady intelligence Network
Part-2 Indian Scenario – Influencing the Voters and Electing their Lackeys
Part-3 How can we protect preamble of the constitution ‘Of the people, for the people and by the people’
Origins of Cambridge Analytica-Facebook Nexus and Shady intelligent Network
The recent explosive scandal of Cambridge Analytica-Facebook customer data leaks has shaken the entire world and made most of the people to be aware of individual privacy and protection. But no one in India is talking about “democratic election privacy”. Yes, you are reading it correctly, Cambridge Analytica consulted Facebook for user data (each and every profile data) to churn information and use it for political parties in their election campaign and elect a particular leader as President or Prime minister or say any minister by influencing the voters. How can they influence the voters? Before going into that question we need to know the origins of Cambridge Analytica-Facebook nexus.
Origins of Cambridge Analytica-Facebook Nexus
Cambridge Analytica is British based company and their motive is not to make the world a better place by choosing noble leaders. Cambridge Analytica is an offshoot of a British warfare division. This company has all the shady connections with arms lobbies and is chaired by the British intelligence veterans. In India, they have entered through the company called SCL Group.
What is SCL Group?
Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) is an offshoot of Cambridge Analytica. The company records show the firm has four directors: Alexander James Ashburner Nix, Alexander Waddington Oakes, Amrish Kumar Tyagi and Avneesh Kumar Rai.
Alexander James Ashburner Nix and Alexander Waddington Oakes are British citizens who were among the co-founders of SCL in the UK in 2005. Next person from the list is Amrish Tyagi who is the son of Janata Dal (United) leader K.C. Tyagi. He also runs the firm Ovleno Business Intelligence, also one of the branches of Cambridge Analytica in India.
Rai got in touch with Dan Muresan, head of SCL Election Company in the UK. Muresan, a Romanian national, came to India with another three experts from the Behavioural Dynamics Institute which is also affiliated to Cambridge Analytica to help Congress party in India. This institute had been founded by Nigel Oakes in 1993. Oakes and his brother Alexander Oakes later became co-founders of SCL with Alexander Nix.
Avneesh Kumar Rai whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica affair said that one day an Indian-American of Gujarati origin came down to oversee the project. She came here on behalf of the Indian businessman in the United States who wanted to see the Congress defeated. After that, Alexander Nix arrived with new smartphones from the United States, with an app designed by someone else. Nix said this Android app was cheaper and better than the one Rai had designed and created in India. Unsurprisingly, the servers were based in the US. Nix then wanted to take the raw data on smartphones back to London.
What exactly happened here is that SCL group has working relations with both BJP and Congress party. It is also clear from confessions of a whistleblower (Avneesh Rai) that SCL through Oveleno Business Intelligence is ready to work for any political party that offers a huge sum of money. Through Oveleno Business Intelligence, SCL has worked with BJP in accomplishing “Mission 272”. The most important revelation of this entire case is that someone from outside India and who is sitting in London with Cambridge Analytica which happens to be a British Intelligence outfit is deciding the political nature of India.
Here Figure (a) describes the ideal process of Indian elections where politicians influence the voters to vote for them through different campaigns and where people will decide the nature of political situation in India from the knowledge they gain from the inputs of both ruling and opposition party campaigns and figure (b) describes the actual election process where ruling and opposition parties are dependent on the foreign consultancies and taking their inputs to influence the voter or citizens of India.
In this whole process, these political parties don’t have any problem in using the British Intelligence consultancies or can be called as East India Company consultancies in deciding the political process in India.
Shady Intelligence Network
How can we call these foreign political consultancies as British Intelligence Consultancies?
Let us look into the profile of SCL Group. Nigel Oakes is the brain head of this company and he also happens to work with MI5 and had an experience of dealing with military contracts of UK and USA. SCL Group, which shares personnel with CA, has a history of involvement across the globe in military operations, training NATO forces, marketing databases and election rigging. Based in the UK, SCL carries a Secret clearance as a ‘List X’ contractor for the British Ministry of Defence; has worked for private contractors in Iran, Libya and Syria; and though they had conducted surveys in Iran and Yemen for the Pentagon in the past, they’re now legit big players.
SCL has successfully secured a contract with the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC). Formerly known as the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) – first established via President Obama’s Executive Order 13584 in 2011 – it was rechristened as the GEC by President Obama in 2016, first via Executive Order 13721 on 14 March and then as part of the Congress-passed 2017 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) on 23 December. Obama’s executive order also merged with the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act on the way into the NDAA’s final version.
Nigel Oakes and Kirsten Fontenrose, a former State Department employee recently joined the company to work on Target Audience Analysis (TAA). This is a rather common term in the realm of marketing, advertising, and information warfare. Behavioral Dynamics Institute (BDi) set up by the Nigel Oakes as the research arm of SCL and the institute stated goal is “to assemble and assimilate the full extent of creative and scientific knowledge on group behaviour and the dynamics of change and package it into a unified and workable methodological approach to conducting successful and measurable behaviour change campaigns.”
Behaviour change campaigns? That is precisely the definition of psychological warfare a/k/a psychological operations a/k/a PSYOPS. Alongside military mechanisms of Information Operations, Media Operations, and Electronic Warfare, PSYOPS are “designed to alter the ‘behaviour’, ‘perception’ and ‘attitudes’ of the target individuals and groups.” Also known as Military Information Support Operations (MISO), this typically happens through either ‘Influence Activities’ which influence the will of targets or ‘Counter Command Activities’ which affect the capability of targets.
Nigel Oakes started BDi around 1990, repackaging the work of several academics to hawk his wares (as an aside, CambAnal has been accused of stealing its methods from Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, though that explanation would be a convenient saving of face for CUni). One of the most important researchers involved was the late Leeds Prof. Phil Taylor, who wrote many books, manuals, and published papers about the art of propaganda warfare.
The company Oakes founded, Cambridge Analytica (CA) is off-shoot SCL Group (Strategic Communications Laboratories) to tap the data market through psychological operation (psyops) with its unique brand of big data-led political consultancy. To run these data psyops Cambridge Analytica also used Facebook customer data to feed into CA machine learning machines and get behaviour data of target audience.
Oakes has also been called as adman to a psych-war specialist who could perhaps be pinned down to his thoughts and tested the big data and behavioral analytics in the field of advertising. Oakes gave a lecture at the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), USA. where he explained that the goal was to understand the population as a group; not simply to understand attitudes but to understand the motivation, and ultimately to design a campaign that would change the behaviour of that population and important to find out anything with the potential to negatively impact the mission. At the same time, they aimed to promote behaviour that could positively impact the mission.
SCL and CA, with the help of Steve Bannon, consulted American billionaire, Republican mega-donor and model train enthusiast, Robert Mercer. Cambridge Analytica already got expertise in “military-grade data firepower” and moreover facebook data helped in designing the behavioural analytics to find strategic communications solutions for clients in governments, militaries and humanitarian and commercial organisations across the world. The endgame is to mould public opinion to suit the client’s need. Oakes himself had once described what they do as “mind-bending”.
SCL has been especially active in the developing world, in markets as far-flung as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, South Africa, Nepal, Indonesia, and India, among others. Their contract, as listed on the company’s website that’s often rather obtuse and limited in its descriptions, includes a “voter-suppression” and this company is mainly expertise in on social media to construct “psychographic” profiles of users and help other political parties to reach the target audience. Interesting this is that Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix is the face of the scandal but the root is Nigel Oakes and irony is that none in Indian media is talking about it.
In the next part series, we will be seeing how can they influence the voting pattern in India.
Next Part- Indian Scenario – Influencing the Voters and Electing their Indian Lackeys
By Raja Sekhar - April 3, 2018