Cambridge Analytica whistleblower says he's been contacted by FBI, DOJ

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower says he's been contacted by FBI, DOJ
© Getty

The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower who revealed that the company improperly obtained data from 87 million Facebook users told lawmakers on Wednesday that he had been contacted by the FBI and Department of Justice.

Christopher Wylie told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he is cooperating with both agencies in their investigations.

His disclosure earlier this year about Cambridge Analytica, which worked with President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE's 2016 campaign, sparked outrage from lawmakers and the public over Facebook’s policies on user data.

Wylie told senators that Trump’s campaign manager, Stephen Bannon, a Cambridge Analytica founder and board member, saw the British research firm as a potential “weapon” in the “culture war” he wanted to fight.

"Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonReport: Rally organizers say GOP lawmakers worked on Jan. 6 protests Juan Williams: Trump is killing American democracy Jan. 6 committee chair: 'No question' Capitol riot was a premeditated attack MORE is a follower of something called the 'Breitbart doctrine' which posits that politics is downstream from culture," Wylie said. "So if you want any lasting or enduring changes in politics you have to focus on the culture. When Steve Bannon uses the term 'culture war,' he uses that term pointedly, and they were seeking out companies that could build an arsenal of informational weapons to fight that war."

The comments came after Wylie told House Democrats last month that Bannon had asked the firm to look into voter suppression techniques, telling them to explore methods of “discouraging particular types of voters who are more prone to voting for Democratic or liberal candidates.”

Wylie served as director of research for Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL Group, from 2013 to 2014.

Wylie also posited that the firm and its tactics portended a “new Cold War emerging online.”

Cambridge Analytica not only sought to collect large amounts of data on individuals for influence campaigns, Wylie said, but also attempted to conduct “black ops” by hacking computer systems to obtain compromising documents.  

Wylie had previously briefed other congressional committees last month over the data scandal which landed both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in hot water and ultimately led to the research firm shuttering its operations.

The New York Times had reported on Tuesday that the Justice Department was investigating the now-defunct data firm.