The Cambridge Analytica employee who revealed the company’s alleged Facebook data mining has stated that he believes his predecessor may have been poisoned.
Newsweek reports that Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower who revealed the company’s alleged Facebook data mining practices has claimed that his predecessor, Dan Muresan, may have been poisoned. Wylie told British Parliament members that Muresan, who was found dead in a hotel room in Kenya in 2012, may have been murdered after a deal went wrong while Muresan was working on the Uhuru Kenyatta election campaign in the country.
“When you work in Kenyan politics, or politics in a lot of African countries, if a deal goes wrong then you can pay for it,” Wylie said. He continued “What I heard was that he was working on some kind of deal of some sort…and that a deal went sour…people suspected that he was poisoned in his hotel room. I also heard that the police had got bribed to not enter the hotel room for 24 hours.” Speaking to the U.K. Commons Liaison Committee, Wylie stated: “That is what I was told — I was not there so I speak to the veracity of it.”
Wylie was speaking to the committee about his role at Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm at the center of Facebook’s latest controversy. Cambridge Analytica allegedly gained access to the user data of 50 million Facebook users, raising questions about the security practices of Facebook. Wylie now claims that he believes that both Cambridge Analytica and Canadian company Aggregate IQ had an influence on the Brexit referendum as the Vote Leave campaign reportedly spent 40 percent of its budget on Aggregate IQ’s services, targeting 7 million UK voters.
“I think it is completely reasonable to say there could have been a different outcome in the referendum had there not been, in my view, cheating,” stated Wylie. Wylie further stated that he broke his silence on Cambridge Analytica as he believed that the company was influencing elections in struggling democracies and felt uneasy about this. “You have a wealthy company from a developed nation going into an economy or democracy that’s still struggling to get its feet on the ground—and taking advantage of that to profit from that,” he said.
Wylie also stated that he has received some “intimidating legal correspondence” from Facebook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to appear before U.K. Parliament to answer questions about the recent user data scandal.