Cambridge Analytica suggests prostitutes, fake bribes to swing elections

Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix.
Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix. Photo credit: Reuters

Executives at Cambridge Analytica, a British analytics company embroiled in a high-profile data breach scandal involving Facebook, have been caught on camera boasting about the underhand tactics that can be used to swing elections.

Cambridge Analytica has been in the public eye plenty over the past year, after US Congress announced it was investigating the company in connection to alleged Russian collusion in its 2016 election. It's also accused of unlawfully using the personal data of millions of Facebook users.

And now undercover reporters from Britain's Channel 4 have successfully conned some of Cambridge Analytica's top executives into bragging about the strategies it's able to employ.

Among them are entrapment tactics, such as hiring sex workers to seduce rival election candidates.

"Send some girls around to the candidate's house, we have lots of history of things," CEO Alexander Nix is recorded telling a reporter. "We could bring some Ukrainians in on holiday with us, you know what I'm saying?"

Mr Nix also mentioned the use of phony but attractive bribes, which can be recorded and used as evidence that the politician is corrupt.

"Deep digging is interesting, but you know equally effective can be just to go and speak to the incumbents and to offer them a deal that's too good to be true and make sure that video is recorded.

"You know these sort of tactics are very effective, instantly having video evidence of corruption."

Another top executive bragged of being "a master of disguise" after Mr Nix said he could pose as a businessman and request land in exchange for him throwing funds behind a political campaign.

After the recordings came to light, Cambridge Analytica distanced itself from any of the boasts of its executives.

"We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes or so-called 'honey-traps' for any purpose whatsoever," it said.

"Cambridge Analytica does not use untrue material for any purpose."