Canadian Firm AggregateIQ Accused by Whistleblower of Building Ripon Software

Published Date : Mar 29, 2018

Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower reported that Canadian company AggregateIQ worked on a software called Ripon which was used to identify Republican voters ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Wylie, who previously revealed Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of 50 million Facebook users to build voter profiles on behalf of Donald Trump’s campaign, said AggregateIQ (AIQ) had built software called Ripon to profile voters.

AggregateIQ, based in Victoria, British Columbia, is alleged by former Cambridge Analytica employee-turned-whistleblower Christopher Wylie to be the technology behind Cambridge Analytica's work in using social media data to help win elections. AggregateIQ is a small data analytics firm with about a dozen employees listed on LinkedIn. It was founded by two western Canadian political staffers, Jeff Silvester and Zackary Massingham. Silvester worked for a federal member of parliament from the Victoria area, while Massingham campaigned for Mike de Jong, a former provincial minister who earlier this year was running to lead British Columbia's opposition Liberal party. AggregateIQ firmly denies it's owned or directed by Cambridge Analytica.

Wylie describes AggregateIQ as essentially the software back-office for Cambridge Analytica. The technology it worked on was used in both the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union and by U.S. President Donald Trump's team during the 2016 election, Wylie told the Guardian, which says it's also seen documents proving the link.

AggregateIQ is under investigation in the U.K. for its involvement in the Brexit referendum. It's alleged that the firm took money from different pro-Brexit groups who legally should have disclosed the payment. British Columbia's privacy watchdog is also investigating.

If the link between AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica is proven, the Canadian firm could get pulled into the U.S. investigation too.