Data Firm Funded By Backer Of Donald Trump And Breitbart Threatens To Sue The Guardian
Cambridge Analytica, a U.S. data analytics firm backed by Robert Mercer, and its British affiliate, SCL Elections Limited, have threatened to sue The Guardian following a series of articles investigating links between the conservative billionaire and last year’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
On Wednesday, The Guardian informed staff that the firms had threatened legal action and it added a disclaimer to more than a half-dozen articles and editorials, including “Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media” and “Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit” from February and this month’s “The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked.”
“These articles are the subject of a legal complaint on behalf of Cambridge Analaytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited,” the disclaimer reads.
A Guardian spokesperson said the paper had no additional comment.
A Cambridge Analytica spokesperson did not immediately respond with comment.
The aforementioned articles were written by Carole Cadwalladr, who reported Sunday that two data firms tied to competing pro-Brexit Leave campaigns, Cambridge Analytica and Canada’s AggregateIQ, hadn’t disclosed a partnership, a possible violation of British election law. The firms denied such a relationship.
That most recent line of inquiry appeared to especially rankle Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, as Cadwalladr tweeted that the firms’ lawyers approached the paper on Saturday.
So. One day ahead of publication, Squire Patton & Boggs, lawyers for Cambridge Analytica, drop @guardian a line…. pic.twitter.com/ibSWo6Tvyq
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) May 14, 2017
Cadwalladr said the firms’ attorneys, Squire, Patton & Boggs, sent the paper a “Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation.”
And the firms’ displeasure with Cadwalladr’s reporting was made clear in the article, which was published in The Observer, The Guardian’s Sunday newspaper.
Lawyers for Cambridge Analytica […]