Klobuchar: Cambridge Analytica, Trump Campaign Potentially Broke The Law

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In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar discusses the new story regarding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica:

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: So, what concerns you most in these revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica?



KLOBUCHAR: Well, of course, it's the sanctity of our elections and our democracy. We actually have an election less than 300 days away. We have to make sure our election infrastructure is safe. I think we're going to get some money for the states in this budget. I’ve been working really hard on that, so they can get back up paper ballots, things like that.

And the second is what you've been talking about so well for the first few minutes of this show and that is this propaganda and things that are coming into people's Facebook pages and their data where in fact we've learned now, things that they thought were safe weren't safe. Fifty million people in America have now had their data basically breached -- and I know they don't like that we're breached, but the last time I checked, if someone broke into my apartment with a crowbar, it would be same as if the apartment manager give them a key and let them in and let them take stuff.

And in this case, they have taken their Facebook friends, they have taken their addresses, things like that and then we find out that they gave it basically, we believe, to a campaign and there are all kinds of potential legal violations here. The first and foremost is Cambridge Analytica itself and how that works with the Trump campaign and is that truly the value, a couple million dollars compared to what I think someone said maybe $100 million in value. That's a potential major election violation.

Then you have Facebook itself in 2011 signed a consent degree with the FTC because of privacy issues and said they paid $40,000 for each individual violation. So, this is just the beginning of what I consider a focus on what we need to focus on and that is the privacy of the data and that means new rules of the road and they better be ready for it because they can’t operate like the Wild West, and then the second thing is how we protect elections and make sure the people that did this are held responsible.

MADDOW: Do you feel like the tech companies here are more the scene of the crime or more the get away driver? I feel like they want to posit themselves here as sort of -- not necessarily innocent bystanders but people who comported themselves with -- according to the rules that they set forth for their users and certainly according with the law and if people use their platforms for nefarious purposes, that's too bad but it doesn't really have anything to do with them.

KLOBUCHAR: You know, these are some of the most brilliant companies in America run by brilliant people with a lot of really smart things they have done. We love putting up the clips from your shows, recipes, you name it. But it’s gotten so much more than that.

And I think someone said they have basically built a product with no alarm system and no locks on the windows and big surprise the bad guys got in.

So, when you have a company that's worth like 500 billion, I think you have to take the some of that money -- they’re going to have to put it big time into protecting the security of the data and I think some rules have to be set in place by Congress. We have to stop pretending that this is just about cat videos. This got to the core of our democracy with a foreign country actually buying ads in rubles and then also sending out propaganda and targeting innocent Americans who didn't know that their profiles and their data and their friends had been stolen.

MADDOW: Senator Amy Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I live in hope with that little note that you got from Senator Grassley today saying he was taking this under advisement. Please let us know --

KLOBUCHAR: We want to get it then.

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