EU Set to Regulate “Fake News”, as SNP admits further meetings with Cambridge Analytica

The EU’s Security Commissioner, Julian King, has said that the EU is willing to regulate social media companies if they fail to deal with the issues of ‘fake news’ and data mining, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

In a speech to the EU’s centre of European Policy, Mr. King said that: “we are still coming to terms with the potential political impact of attacks and manipulation intended to subvert our democratic processes and values and turn them against us. 

These consist of everything from hijacking online petitions, to hacking electoral servers, to the deliberate spreading of disinformation and fake news.”

“We need urgently to put in place safeguards to prevent the misuse of the tech services and tools that we use to communicate with our friends and families and to keep ourselves informed.”

The French President, Emmanuel Macron has already announced emergency plans for French Authorities to have emergency powers to combat the spread of “propaganda articulated by thousands of social media accounts”.

It comes as further revelations about the SNP’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica have been revealed, including that a second senior SNP employee was involved in talks with the disgraced firm.

The Herald newspaper has named Chris Jones, the SNP’s head of data and technology as the second figure to contact Cambridge Analytica. 

The SNP had previously only admitted to meetings between Kirk Torrance, the party’s former New Media consultant, and the firm. 

In a statement Cambridge Analytica confirmed that they had been in contact with the SNP:

“These contacts included the SNP’s initial approach to us, a conference call, a meeting in London, a number of emails and a further phone call. Our discussions were about providing the party with a platform to help manage their data.

“The SNP were keen to work with us, but they said that the timing was not right. We can only assume that comments from a former SNP consultant describing the company as “cowboys” are an attempt to distance himself and the party from further media scrutiny.”

Labour's campaigns spokesman, Neil Findlay, said that Cambridge Analytica’s statement "directly contradicts what the SNP has been saying for a week now".

“Enough is enough. The SNP must answer basic questions over its dealings with Cambridge Analytica."

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