We have not heard the last of the Panama Papers
Two assumptions form a necessary beginning: 1) the leak did not happen by itself but was encourged by human intervention; and 2) the person managing the leak decides what to do with the data. What does he want to do with the data? He alluded to “cooperation with law enforcement to bring those guilty to justice.” I wonder if he has definitive knowledge of outdated software.
The Source of the data leak seems to be following in the footsteps of Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower formerly from NSA (National Security Administration) who felt the practices of NSA were not in the best interests of the people targeted. The Panama Papers Source is concerned, not about those targeted in the papers leaked, but in the fallout to the people excluded. He calls it “income inequality.” To quote the Source:
Shell companies are often associated with the crime of tax evasion. But the Panama Papers show beyond a shadow of a doubt that although shell companies are not illegal, by definition they are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes. Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time.
The outrage generated by the Panama Papers, the largest data leak of its kind in history, has been over the tax evasion practices of some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful individuals. So to say, “it’s not over,” is to imply more outrage as more names are identified.
The Source wrote his 1800-word whistleblower statement on the website of the journalism consortium that has been sorting through the document trove. The title of his treatise is, “The Revolution Will Be Digitized.”
Quartz reports that he “argues that the surfacing of the documents has succeeded where courts, regulators, tax authorities, and the private sector have not: in holding the political and financial elite accountable for wrongdoing, such as tax evasion and other crimes frequently cloaked in the secrecy offered by shell companies.”
From the posted document, this statement is chilling, showing the far reaching consequences of what has been discovered, and reminiscent of the French Revolution’s excesses:
The horrific magnitude of detriment to the world should shock us all awake. But when it takes a whistleblower to sound the alarm, it is cause for even greater concern. It signals that democracy’s checks and balances have all failed, that the breakdown is systemic, and that severe instability could be just around the corner. So now is the time for real action, and that starts with asking questions.
It is convenient to store data digitally. Those involved in this massive scandal felt secure – ignorantly. The threat of “severe instability” should be sufficient to show the ineffectiveness of any revolution, whether by steel blade or secret leak.
Need I remind you that access to this data was made abundantly easier by the outdated software the lawfirm used to managing their client’s data? Is your data secure? Assuming you have no criminal activity to hide, it is still a necessary question. Is your data secure?