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Cambridge Analytica's UK Parent SCL Group Headquarted in Virginia Since June, 2017

presidential tower
Presidential Tower in Arlington, VA

3/18/18 J.D. Lakota (Boston, MA)

SCL Group is the British parent company of Cambridge Analytica. Both companies were banned from Facebook's advertising platform in March, 2018 after a whistle-blower in Cambridge Analytica went public with information related to the company's use of 50 million Facebook profiles to build a set of psychological profiles they would use to tailor politically persuasive advertisements for distribution during the 2016 United States presidential campaign.

A google search for SCL Group results with a Wikipedia description that states, "SCL Group is a private British behavioral research and strategic communication company. In the United States, SCL has gained public recognition mainly through its affiliated corporation Cambridge Analytica." Just to be clear, Google is serving a definition stating that SCL Group is a "British" company. (As well, the Cambridge Analytica office is in New York City.)

This was indeed true at one time. Before June, 2017, and for many years prior, the SCL Group website displayed a head office address in London, as one would expect. Here is an example record of this shown in a Wayback Machine archive page for SCL Group taken on April 27th, 2017.

SCL Group London Address Listed as Head Office (Last Recorded Instance)
UK head office

In case you haven't heard of it, the Wayback Machine a tool provided by Internet Archive, a non-profit organization in operation since 1996 that has been taking automated snapshots of webpages across the globe to provide a record of the internet over time. There are now similar organizations that do the same for public social media data from the likes of Twitter.

The next webpage capture the Wayback Machine has for SCL Group is from June 12th, 2017. It's the first record of their website instead showing Arlington, Virginia as the location of their head office, instead of London. Multiple news and web page searches provide no notice or record of the location change. It appears that this article is the first public notification of the move of the SCL Group head office from London to the United States.

SCL Group Virginia Address Listed as Head Office (First Captured Instance)
VA head office

At 2511 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, VA stands Presidential Tower. Per their website, "The newly renovated 12-story property offers flexible, efficient floors of approximately 31,000 square feet that are well-suited for a variety of office layouts." Other tenants include companies like BAM Technologies and Cobalt.

SCL Group lists suite 620 at this address as their headquarters. As of March 18th, 2018, the live website was displaying the Arlington, VA address. Perusal of all available Wayback Machine website captures back through June 12th, 2017 show the same address in Virginia as the head office of the company.

Although the parent company of Cambridge Analytica is still widely referred to as a British umbrella company, it's imperative that SCL Group soon become known as an American company. And not just any American company, but one that is operating just down the road from Washington, DC, the capitol of a country whose presidential election it influenced in an allegedly nefarious way.

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