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Justice Department and FBI Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica

The New York Times (May 16, Rosenberg, Confessore) has learned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business. Prosecutors have questioned an undisclosed number of potential witnesses in recent weeks, telling them there is an open investigation into Cambridge Analytica and "associated U.S. persons." The inquiry appears to be in its initial stages, with investigators seeking an overview of the company and its business practices. "The investigation compounds the woes of a firm that has come under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the United States and Britain since The New York Times and Observer in London reported in March that it had harvested private data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles, and that it may have violated American election laws," states the Times. Earlier in May, Cambridge Analytica announced it would shut down and declare bankruptcy.

One source tells CBS News (May 15) correspondent Paula Reid that prosecutors are zeroing in on possible financial crimes. A company that has had this much regulatory scrutiny is practically guaranteed to have federal prosecutors interested, Reid was informed. The U.K. government is also getting involved. "The U.K. Commissioner's Office has ordered the company to release all personal information and data it has on an American voting," notes CBS. This, in turn, could "open the floodgates" for millions of U.S. voters to request their data back from the firm.

According to the New York Daily News (May 16, Brenn