How one of America’s premier data monarchs is funding a global information war and shaping the media landscape

Posted on 3 Μαρτίου 2019

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How one of America’s premier data monarchs is funding a global information war and shaping the media landscape

How one of America’s premier data monarchs is funding a global information war and shaping the media landscape

Through his purchase of influence over the daily flow of information to American media consumers, a dizzying array of connections to the national security state, and a media empire that shields him from critical scrutiny, Pierre Omidyar has become one of the world’s most politically sophisticated data monarchs.
 
by Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal
 
Part 4 – Backing a disinformation warrior
 
This January, a Democratic Party-tied cybersecurity firm called New Knowledgewas exposed for its plot to swing Alabama’s 2017 Senate race in favor of the Democrat, Doug Jones, by falsely painting his opponent, Roy Moore, as a useful idiot of the Kremlin.
 
The firm was co-directed by Jonathon Morgan, a former Obama special advisor who helped create the Omidyar-backed Hamilton 68 Russian bot tracker. His partner in the initiative was Ryan Fox, a veteran of the NSA. Their firm’s non-profit arm, Data for Democracy, received $411,300 from the Omidyar Network in 2018 for an initiative to create a code of ethics for data scientists. The Omidyar Group has not responded to MintPress News’ request for comment on this matter.
 
The story of how this duo orchestrated a black ops project to swing the Alabama special Senate election in 2017 first appeared in the New York Times. It described a “false flag” disinformation campaign that featured the mass purchase of Cyrillic-speaking bots to follow Moore’s Twitter account, then a tidal wave of stories planted in media from MSNBC to Mother Jones alleging that the Kremlin was throwing its full weight behind Moore’s candidacy.
 
There is no evidence Omidyar had any personal knowledge of the operation.
 
This February, The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald published a blistering attack on New Knowledge after the group was cited as an expert voice in a defamatory NBC News article suggesting that the Kremlin was backing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Greenwald may have had no idea about the relationship between Omidyar and the New Knowledge team. But the article’s publication in an Omidyar-funded outlet highlighted the tangled web of the billionaire’s political empire.
 
Omidyar’s interest in the weaponization of news and data extends to a murky international initiative operating on the frontiers of a rapidly escalating information war.
 
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