The Guardian — The government paid AI firm Faculty £400k to spy on our social media posts

Big Brother Watch Team / August 10, 2020

We’ve discovered the government paid AI firm Faculty £400k to spy on our social media posts over 3 months of the pandemic to identify political “risks” and “trends” using machine learning…

At best, it’s a huge waste of public money to a well connected data company.

But, if the sales pitch is correct, it’s also secretive, AI-powered mass political surveillance to inform policy.

Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch said:

“This is effectively AI-powered mass political surveillance, and it’s been done in a very secretive way, apparently to inform policy.

“It seems from the contract this social media monitoring has been going on for three months, and machine learning has been used for that time. We don’t know what the impact is.”

Our Legal & Policy Officer Madeleine Stone discovered the contract and is doing a fantastic job of investigating every impact of the pandemic response on civil liberties. Great thanks also to our Chair Lord Strasburger for pushing for this contract publication in parliament.

The Guardian — Government paid Vote Leave AI firm to analyse UK citizens’ tweets

The New European — Government hired firm with links to Dominic Cummings to track tweets by UK citizens