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Case update 20 March 2024

Palantir’s silence speaks volumes about its smears

Palantir logo, Shutterstock

We asked the spytech giant to explain why it was accusing us of misinformation. But it has nothing to say.

When Palantir and Tory PR firm Topham Guerin tried to smear Good Law Project, we took the lid off their secret campaign. They weren’t happy that we – and others – were extremely critical of how Palantir had landed a multi-million-pound contract to look after patient data. 

This campaign was supposed to run in secret over Christmas, when they thought we’d be tucking into our vegan nut roast. But after we exposed its workings the NHS launched an investigation into Palantir over a possible breach of contract.

Topham Guerin’s brief to would-be influencers was right – that we’re concerned about Ministers giving away one of the world’s most valuable datasets to Palantir, after a highly irregular procurement process. Palantir was established to help governments conduct law enforcement, warfare and policing. Its founder has said he believes the NHS makes people sick

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The brief also said we were worried that the contract puts private patient data across the UK at risk. We are. We are also concerned about the extraordinary lack of transparency over the deal with Palantir.

But we were curious that the brief claimed we were spreading “misinformation”. Particularly after Palantir’s UK Supremo Louis Mosely repeated the claim.

So we asked law firm, Brett Wilson, on 5 February to ask Palantir what misinformation Good Law Project was responsible for and which publications we had spread it in.

The law firm Schillings, beloved of rogues the world over, replied on Palantir’s behalf. They did not deny the company had commissioned the briefing, but they didn’t identify the alleged misinformation we had circulated. 

So Brett Wilson wrote back on 23 February, pointing out that Schillings’ letter “failed to answer, or even acknowledge, the straightforward requests for information posed in our previous letter”. 

We didn’t hear back. Brett Wilson wrote again on 5 March but we have still had nothing back from Palantir or Schillings.

Just as they did not want to put their name to the covert influencer campaign they were paying for, they appear unwilling or unable to back up their smears over “misinformation”. We’re left with the impression that their covert, paid for smear campaign, was founded on a lie.