National Politics - 2016

Ted Cruz’s Love Affair With Big Data: Ideological Hypocrisy?

DOES TEXAS SENATOR HAVE CONFLICTING VIEWS ON PRIVACY?    One of the most strident adherents for limited government has been culling through reams of social media data harvested without users’ knowledge, according to a new report in The (U.K.) Guardian. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – an ardent opponent…


One of the most strident adherents for limited government has been culling through reams of social media data harvested without users’ knowledge, according to a new report in The (U.K.) Guardian.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – an ardent opponent of the federal government’s Orwellian mass surveillance programs – is using “behavioral microtargeting” tools that match Facebook “likes” and other online interactions to tailor-made voter outreach efforts.  It’s called “psychographic profiling,” and Cruz is using it to gain an advantage over GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Oh, and the effort is being financed almost exclusively by a reclusive “Republican” hedge fund billionaire – Robert Mercer.

According to Guardian reporter Harry Davies, Cruz’s campaign represents an “intensified collision of billionaire financing and digital targeting on the campaign trail.”

Sound shady?

Yes …


Yes …

“Protecting the Bill of Rights is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government,” Cruz said earlier this year, looking to buttress his privacy bona fides.

He also blasted the administration of Barack Obama for its “heartbreaking” refusal to protect the Bill of Rights, as well as its routine violation of “the constitutional liberties of American citizens.”

“It is the position of the Obama administration that the federal government has the full constitutional authority to track the location of every American citizen, no matter where we walk,” Cruz said.  “That is a breathtaking assertion of power.”

Of course when it comes to mining online interactions in search of votes, Cruz has praised Obama for pioneering a “data-driven, grassroots-driven campaign.”  In fact that’s precisely the kind of campaign he’s running now.

Which is smart …

To be clear: Big government surveillance is vastly different from political microtargeting.  Like, night and day different.  For starters, only one is government-funded.  Also, political microtargeting is typically based on information obtained via active interactions … many of them conducted in a pseudo-public digital space.

Does anyone really believe their social media interactions are private?  Perhaps they should be … but that’s not the world in which we live.

Still, there are common threads to both efforts … especially if the information used by microtargeters was harvested without users’ acknowledgement or permission.  And Cruz – given his prior capitalization on privacy rights as part of his core ideology – ought to at least be aware of the potential for stories like this one to be written.


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Superfly December 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Does this mean that Ted Cruz has identified all of Big Turd’s internet profiles, and has been able to zero in the one and only douchebag himself?

shifty henry December 15, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Since you mention GT and all of his reincarnations —
In light of the news of the so called human cloning going on, we have to ask ourselves the hypothetical

If GT pushed his naked clone off the top of a tall building, would it be…

A) murder?
B) suicide?
C) merely making an obscene clone fall?

Gay Florence Nights December 15, 2015 at 5:11 pm

You’ve neglected to note that a close friend of his would be jerking him off prior to the accident.

Bible Thumper December 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

“If GT pushed his naked clone” would it be called:
A) masterbation
B) sodomy.

erneba December 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Sound shady?

Yes …


Yes …


Most likely, NO

To me, this does not equate, protecting the Bill of Rights and your privacy is serious business.
To mind a person’s data on a social website is merely collecting data someone has chosen to expose publicly, more than likely, to solicicit a respond from the whole wide world reading it. No expectations of privacy here……
If you have any sort of expectation that your personal ramblings on Facebook, Twitter, etc., are protected by the US Constitution then you can’t be over ten years old.

Mom December 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm

And even our posts on FITS. I supposed info could be subpoenaed if necessary.

Tazmaniac December 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm

So you are saying he is running his Campaign like a business?

Manray9 December 15, 2015 at 7:31 pm

No. He’s saying Cruz is practicing the very actions he has deplored in the past.

Victorious Secret December 15, 2015 at 10:08 pm

…and you distinguish this from other politicians, how?

Oh Canada! December 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

He is from Canada, they are supposed to be different!

Tazmaniac December 16, 2015 at 8:37 am

Is there not a distinction from clicking “I Agree” to a private company’s agreement and the Federal Government just taking what it wants? I am not a tech guy but there sure seems to be a huge difference.

TroubleBaby December 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm


Voluntary vs not

Mom December 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

My money’s on Cruz tonight. We need a badass in the White House right now.

erneba December 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

I find myself at this point wanting Cruz and Rubio to do well.
I like Trump, with a lot of reservations, and I don’t like him enough to vote for him at this point..

Mom December 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm

History proves that when the Republicans nominate a moderate, he loses. When they have the balls to nominate a Conservative, he wins.

erneba December 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Yeah, proven by McCain and Romney.

Dad December 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

But Ted’s just an ass?

Mom December 17, 2015 at 10:33 am

Nah. He did pretty well against Trump. He’s tough. And he’s from Texas.

Trump-O-Matic December 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm

“See the stick Willie!? See it boy!?”

*throws stick labeled “Cruz”*

“Now fetch Willie, that’s a good boy! Go get it!”

*Lap dog runs and grabs the stick, shakes it around*

“That’s right boy, tear it up! Good dog! No, No! Don’t bring it back to me!”

nitrat December 15, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Hey, Ted was anointed at a Marriott in Iowa in July 2013. He knows that anything to speed the Dominionists turning the USA into a theocracy is A-OK.

Manray9 December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Nah…Ted Cruz a hypocrite! The Tea Party’s “Man of the People” who was educated in private schools, two Ivy League universities, served as a Supreme Court clerk, and was a partner at a “fat cat” influence-peddling law firm? That Ted Cruz? Nah…he’s no hypocrite, he wears cowboy boots.


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