"Bradley Birkenfeld was awarded millions for his information concerning Swiss bank UBS—and was still given a prison sentence by the Justice Department. Antoine Deltour is presently on trial for providing journalists with information about how Luxembourg granted secret “sweetheart” tax deals to multi-national corporations, effectively stealing billions in tax revenues from its neighbour countries."
Law enforcement agencies don't have the resources or knowledge to go after much of the corruption and wrongdoing inside governments and large companies. If insiders with integrity don't have a safe way of stepping forward there will never be a way to keep wealthy/powerful/connected individuals from abusing the system.
It's not that whistleblowers aren't receiving protections - it's that their prosecutions and punishments far outweigh those whose crimes are being exposed. It's absolutely mind-boggling.
That said, whilst I agree with that part, the rest of John Doe's essay left me cold. Other than its defence of whistleblowers it reads like more or less any standard left-ish Guardian article. The cause of increasing global inequality being a handful of law firms, really? They "write the laws" themselves, really? Which laws does he have in mind? All lawyers are corrupt and unethical? The British island territories are the "cornerstone of institutional corruption worldwide" and not, say, African states where the corruption actually occurs? Billionaires own the press and serious investigative journalism is dead, except, presumably, the press and the journalists who he worked with?
I was and still am a huge supporter of Snowden because he revealed behaviour that was unquestionably bad. Literally nobody tried to defend what he showed was happening, and in fact the people doing it had lied in Congress to try and cover it up. It was a classic case where whistleblowing is justified. Additionally, Snowden had a very clear and straightforward thought process justifying his actions: what was happening was unconstitutional, and his attempts to use the formal complaint paths had failed.
John Doe comparing himself to Snowden rubs me up the wrong way, because although he claims the MF files are bursting with criminal evidence, so far all the stories I read about the Panama Papers were about things that are not illegal, and in fact apparently some of the papers show MF dropping clients when they started to suspect illegal activity, which implies MF was not quite the sinister conspiracy Doe makes it sound like. They clearly had legal compliance efforts and they clearly did things. And his justification is a long, rambling and rather incoherent screed that tries to claim the fault of every problem in the world lies with a kind of global conspiracy of evil and spineless people.
I think Doe is walking a very thin line between whistleblowing for a cause and generic vigilante-ism with his actions.
So the accusation of perjury left you cold? It was linked in the piece.
Try thinking about the issue from the other side: suppose the dickheads ruining our future were actually doing all they are accused of doing (tax evasion on a massive scale, global 'conspiracies' i.e. forging strong alliances to screw everyone else over, etc), how would that look to the People?
What would happen if the big media outlets were in these dickheads' pockets? What kind of coverage would the People get of such issues? What did the People get in this case, for example? No actual, in-depth analysis of the papers, that's for sure.
The world we are living in today exists in this form almost solely thanks to spinelessness and corruption at every level imaginable.
What happens to a politician if he speaks openly about corruption in his own ranks? He'll be gone from the public eye in no time!
Making people disappear like that is trivial: just stop reporting about them, and if they made too much of a mess to do that, just push another crisis to the frontpage. Public memory is horrifyingly short.
Your second paragraph displays the problem beautifully: how exactly is anybody supposed to have a clear view of global happenings (including lawmaking) when they happen in ways inaccessible to the common man (incomprehensible language or plain ol' closed doors)?
Saying corruption actually occurs mainly in African states is just plain ridiculous. Some have valuable resources that get exploited by western or chinese corporations by way of corrupting the locals with nice gifts and whatnot. But that's pretty much it.
On the other hand, any western city with large building projects is subject to corruption. How else do you justify an advertised price of 600mil for, say, a new airport, blowing up ten-fold over the period of the airport's construction and its supposed opening (which only happened years later)? I'm thinking about Berlin Brandenburg here specifically, but no month passes without a similar case of a project starting out at a couple hundred million and progressively climbing up to billions in costs.
The recent VW scandal is another beautiful specimen of what you'd call global 'conspiracy' turning out to be ice-cold money-grabbing. VW was stupid enough to get caught by US environmental agencies and is dropping buttloads of cash to repair their image, all the while the rest of the automobile industry is quietly calling back cars to "fix problems". How come nobody covers this the way VW was scandalised?
Most shady things don't get covered because there's a total lack of material to work on or publish. Which brings us back to square one: how exactly is anybody supposed to have a clear view of global happenings (including lawmaking) when they happen in ways inaccessible to the common man (incomprehensible language or plain ol' closed doors)? I think the people in power have proven enough times already (not just nowadays, but throughout history) that they are not to be trusted.
So instead of asking
> They "write the laws" themselves, really?
> All lawyers are corrupt and unethical?
try finding out what made that person make these claims instead of dismissing them based on your current knowledge. I'm not saying you have to agree with the claims, but you should at least make an effort to understand the issue for the sake of broadening your horizon.
Knowing more about something never hurts ;)
One big difference between Snowden and the Panama Papers (and, to a degree, Manning) is that virtually all of what Snowden revealed is illegal action on the part of the government, or information directly tied to that (allegedly-)illegal behavior. With the Panama Papers, some of the information leaked is indeed evidence of actual crimes, but most of it is actually not. One can make the argument that some of the behavior should be, but that's a far less compelling case for whistleblower protection than the evidence of actual crimes taken place under the law as it exists today.
While I do believe that Manning deserved whistleblower protection, her case was similarly harmed (both legally and in the public's perception) by the fact that the signal-to-noise ratio in the documents she provided was very low. It's a lot harder to convince the public that you were acting as a whistleblower if large parts of the data you're leaking isn't blowing the whistle on anything, even if some of it is.
 The government disagrees with the claim that it is illegal, but that is the premise of the leak.
That's nonsense. Snowden revealed both legal and illegal behavior. In the U.S., as in most countries, it's totally legal to spy on foreign countries for political or economic intelligence. Whereas, it's illegal to spy on our own citizens in the U.S.. Snowden leaked both with full details on how they did it to point opponents could counter a bunch of the legal stuff.
That's why he's both a whistleblower (illegal stuff) and a traitor (leaking legal stuff).
If Snowden is a traitor, what does that make the NSA?
" If you're the state of Germany, they probably don't think it's legal for others to spy on them."
It's true. An NSA proponent we shred on Schneier's blog made one good point: each country makes spying on everyone else legal for them but makes it illegal for anyone to spy on them. I call this The Game where they all gripe if they're getting spied on but keep doing it themselves for the benefits. Truth told, major nations have to do it just to break even or else they're going to loose contracts/territory to better equipped nations. NSA always claimed countering that sort of stuff was all they did at economic level with rest being political negotiations and self-defense against threats. I know, I know... ;) Yet, that probably-false claim is a good idea of what spying nations find acceptable in reality and don't do anything besides punishing individual spies as long as it's within the unspoken rules of the game.
"But, isn't a whistleblower someone who believe they are serving the common good by uncovering illegal, immoral and unethical behavior?"
Yes. The Panama Papers, Pentagon Papers, Snowden's leaks of unconstitutional behavior, Snowden's foreign leaks of destroying an ally's telecom (Belgium)... these kinds of things are illegal and abusive to the point they should be leaked. Key factor is they go against what country's citizens has deemed acceptable and endorsed. We're fine with them recording chancellors, business negotiations, whatever to look out for us. Disrupting innocent parties, breaking their oaths to us, selling individual companies' secrets, and so on? Not part of any deal I was made aware of between U.S. voters and intelligence community.
"Can it not be argued that Snowden was helping out the countries (especially our allies) that there government and people were also being spied on? "
Reality: over twenty nations spy on us even stealing our I.P. for their nations' benefits and trying to rig foreign contracts. Many of them are "allies." It's just the real-world in action. They want us to not spy on them? Then they need to disband their own spy agencies or imprison anyone caught spying on us.
"you spy on our citizens, which we can't do as it's illegal, and we will spy on your citizens"
Very worth whistleblowing. I've called out NSA & GHCQ on that for years as have Brits I know. They can't collect info on their own. I don't care how many intermediaries they put between point A and B. Just tells me how guilty their intent was. :)
"If Snowden is a traitor, what does that make the NSA?"
I said Snowden is a whistleblower and traitor depending on specific leaks. This polarization people do is childish and unrealistic. People, organizations, are often a mixed bag. NSA is an organization that has many honest people working to get legal intelligence or more rarely protect us from hacking. It's also got its share of scumbags and illegal activity that betrays its oath to Americans and mandate. Reward the good, punish the bad, and increase accountability where needed. Always my answer.
"Reward the good, punish the bad, and increase accountability where needed. Always my answer."
That hasn't occurred. All we've done is gone after one person who made us aware of what has been going on. Nobody from the NSA has gone to jail over what they were doing, nobody who told them to do it has suffered any real consequences. And increasing accountability? From whom? Congress? If anything, it's arguable that the NSA (and the entire US Intelligence system, down to the local police department) have gotten worse since Snowden's revelations, not better. But at least as a US citizen, I now know (with proof) what my government has been doing to me and "for me." I don't approve of those actions.
If Snowden is a traitor, we could do with a thousand more traitors like him in the US government.
The worst part is that people will read statements like mine without understanding that someone in those organizations ordered the bad stuff done. Probably a number involved in sustaining it and providing immunity for it, too. An organization with plenty of good people and neutral capabilities doesn't need to be eliminated over evil leadership if we can eliminate that leadership instead.
The NSA has already changed in a major way once under Hayden. He turned it from a totally incompetent group, in an organizational sense, into a SIGINT powerhouse tearing up all kinds of technologies. Binney and others noted they were pretty cautious to respect civil liberties for the most part. Post-9/11, they took the gloves off that since it was their orders from America to prevent another 9/11 via only methods (mass surveillance) they knew how. Everything bad followed and continues to as American people are divided over issue. NSA's own culture plays into it, too.
So, just need the country to give them a more reasonable mandate and put someone in power to switch gears to get their mission back into something sane. Plus, reduce, eliminate, or thoroughly audit mass surveillance operations.
Say the CIA spied on, oh, I don't know, Toyota. And they got some good designs for a new engine or fuel injector or something. Legal, possibly? OK.. now what happens to that information? Let's they give it to Ford, but not GM. One could rightly ask "why?" Was it because somebody at the CIA owns Ford stock? Or did somebody receive some under the table kickbacks? Other??? The public has a right to demand accountability in regards to these things as well.
And never mind the fact that the State shouldn't be engaging in industrial espionage for economic benefit in the first place. If Ford wants to hire spies, let them hire their own spies.
Strawman this time. You m are fun. He's a traitor because he leaked national secrets critical to ongoing operations that were legal and mandated. Further, Americans approved of NSA spying on foreign countries as they know it works both ways.
Hope you get it now. Violating classified info laws in a way that damages American ops but doesn't protect American rights. That's treason.
Hope you get it now.
Meanwhile, a rational perdon should assume that if (a) a major method/weakness for NSA surveillance is published then (b) defenders will start addressing that hole/weakness. Further, the proof of subversion for America, but not others doing espionage, means America took a huge financial hit as people boycotted its products.
The damage is real even if the spy agencies don't list each, classified example on their websites as you require. You can bet NSA is also adjusting tools and strategies to deal with it. Yet, they have to be feeling the pressure as encryption, air gaps, Tor, non-US software/hardware, FOSS vs their proprietary buddies, and so on across board in response to leaks. I mean, you cant simultaneously think the Snowden leaks are helping fight NSA surveillance while saying no surveillance losses resulted. That's hilarity of your position.
As for backdoors in routers, etc... again, it was always just a matter of time until that stuff got caught. And it's not like people haven't always suspected that they were doing that stuff.
And even if some small percentage of what Snowden leaked did harm US operations somehow... I'd argue that it was justified in light of the big picture, in regards to the illegal stuff. Finding out about mass surveillance of US citizens, etc., justifies any collateral damage the spook complex may have suffered, as far as I'm concerned.
The ops are classified so it's a bogus point anyway. You're requiring them to commit a felony to prove specific damage. Further, you've already dismissed anything coming from spy agencies as a lie. You've set that line of questioning up to be a fail no matter what they show you. The only exception I'm seeing is a 3rd party or foreign nation detects their ops, then reports on it. Kaspersky already did with Equation Group plus used Snowden leaks to show it was probably NSA.
Anyway, we don't need them to publish anything. Just answer quick question: do you believe that the Snowden leaks improved people's ability to resist NSA surveillance and increase privacy through technological responses? Does that include foreign businesses or governments? If so, then you are already admitting that it reduced NSA surveillance and impacted their operations. One follows the other logically. Either Snowden leaks had no effect on NSA spying, making him a fail outside of legal reform, or they did negatively impact NSA by disrupting their operations.
"even if some small percentage of what Snowden leaked did harm US operations somehow... I'd argue that it was justified in light of the big picture,"
He wasn't justified because he didn't have to leak it. That simple. He could've just leaked the ones that targeted Americans or showed gross abuse rather than a lot of what we already, as Americans, allowed NSA to do. Instead, he turned over everything to many foreign media.
Btw, do you remember why he did that? Did you ever read the reason? He gave two actually. One sheds a lot of light on whether he had to do this and just how heroic he really is.
Their ability? No, I don't. Did it promote people's inclination to resist the NSA. Certainly. But I would argue that those things would have happened over time anyway. So if Snowden caused any harm, I believe it was likely to be minor and of little consequence.
He wasn't justified because he didn't have to leak it. That simple. He could've just leaked the ones that targeted Americans or showed gross abuse rather than a lot of what we already, as Americans, allowed NSA to do.
Fair enough... But that'a assuming he had the time and means to carefully sift through it all and make those determinations. I believe his argument is that he turned the data over to credible journalists (as opposed to simply dropping it all over pastebins or uploading a torrent) exactly some somebody could go through it and determine which parts to actually publish, and which parts to withhold, so as to avoid serious harm to legitimate intelligence operations.
Why? I spent around a decade trying to convince American and foreign parties that their systems were being hit from hardware up to software. I tried to tell them about TEMPEST issues. I pointed out that the existing software was so insecure it could be hit without visible evidence at all. Past commercial & ITSEC best practices, nobody believed it or was willing to do anything. They were also gradually moving more private data into the hands of centralized parties in spying jurisdictions using HW/SW from spying jurisdictions.
So, why do you think it was inevitable when companies and consumers have resisted real security more every year for decades with only band-aids accepted? All evidence is to the contrary. That Snowden revealed how easily people are hit with subsequent awareness is one of the positives I count.
" But that'a assuming he had the time and means to carefully sift through it all"
He said he read every document. A spot judgement would've told him which were foreign or domestic. He worked with the stuff daily. In interviews, he recites it by heart without thought. He knew, he spent the time, and said so repeatedly. So, why do two of you ask why I expect him to do what he already said he did unless you just never saw his interviews?
It's as simple as having three folders: Good Leak; Who Knows; Definitely Don't Leak. Leak first for sure with careful thought on second and nothing in third. No evidence he even tried something like that. Why is that? Let's get to that.
" I believe his argument is that he turned the data over to credible journalists"
That was one. The other was that he wasn't comfortable holding onto it in order to do that. He didn't want to take the risk to himself. As in, he was a coward and risked burning all his fellow operators in that data dump to foreign intelligence agents just to save his own ass. Many options available to him. He did the safest one for him that did all the resulting damage. That simple.
Nothing heroic. Nothing abstract. He had a bag of stuff that could save America, stuff that could damage innocent Americans, and gave it all away to save his own ass. By his own admission. When we know he could've at least tried damage reduction as media did in Wikileaks time. Not even the smallest effort before he dumped it and went on the run. He surely had the time to make that effort, too, given he already read it. No question.
Then taking into account legality, many consider them a violation of the 4th amendment. And again such a policy was instituted without ever a public discussion in relation to the constitution.
Someone revealing such policy to the Democracy it was forced on can never be a traitor.
Says who? A few of you keep saying that but it's un-American itself to let a tiny, anonymous minority determine what's right for whole country. What exactly is American? I think it takes a consensus or compromise from voting public to determine that.
"many reasonable people, perhaps a majority, in this democracy of ours never had chance to vote or have any say in their creation."
The intelligence services were created by elected representatives in response to a second, World War that killed tens of millions of people. They actually helped end the war sooner. Their existence and general goal, although not all specifics, were repeatedly accepted by Americans. Instrumental in helping us with Cold War. Yes, most of the voting public is fine with the existence of spy agencies going back decades. It was abusive activities that harmed innocent people here and abroad that we fought against. Not surveillance or actions that protected our interests or citizens, though. Almost no protest.
"Then taking into account legality, many consider them a violation of the 4th amendment. "
That's why they were supposed to spy on foreign countries. They don't have 4th Amendment rights any more than they have responsibilities to America under our Constitution. And, yes, there were public discussions about the existence of military and intelligence activities going back decades. Americans knew they existed and were fine with the concept.
Wait, maybe I made a mistake here assuming you're American given your comments. You may be a foreigner who never read a U.S. history book. My apologies if you were referring to your own country where people never had a choice. Americans, on other hand, chose spying repeatedly with a big chunk choosing domestic spying in restricted form. The latter were foolish but the former are matter of public record.
I'm sure you have a source for this assertion, but I don't recall ever having voted on or having any say at all in anything related to spying.
In addition to that, I don't know anyone who agrees with the idea that spying for competitive reasons is okay. I'm sure there are plenty of people that do, but I don't think I've ever met someone who's stated as much.
Yes, did you vote in or fund politicians that were in favor of having intelligence services? If so, then you've voted for intelligence services given that will keep them going. If most of America did, then they likewise voted for intelligence services. I already know they did. :)
"I don't know anyone who agrees with the idea that spying for competitive reasons is okay. I'm sure there are plenty of people that do, but I don't think I've ever met someone who's stated as much."
Try this. Tell... "anyone" you know... to do a thought experiment. In this experiment, national schemes in economics and war have raged for thousands of years. Still happen. Many were prevented or reduced through information from intelligence services. Our competitive allies have them stealing our I.P., trying to win contracts, or trying to negotiate better positions in treaties. Our own spies have caught and reduced plenty of that. Our enemies have spies for similar and worse reasons up to and including killing a lot of us.
Now, with that backdrop, ask those people if they think we should have an intelligence service spying on those competitive "allies" and enemy nations. Mention that the alternative is to constantly be a victim of or behind those countries due to being in the dark with no spy agency. Which will they choose? I choose having a spy agency, using it for same purposes the rest do, and taking extra care to avoid it getting out of control or damaging.
As opposed to voting for who, exactly?
> Try this. Tell... "anyone" you know... to do a thought experiment. In this experiment, national schemes in economics and war have raged for thousands of years. Still happen. Many were prevented or reduced through information from intelligence services. Our competitive allies have them stealing our I.P., trying to win contracts, or trying to negotiate better positions in treaties. Our own spies have caught and reduced plenty of that. Our enemies have spies for similar and worse reasons up to and including killing a lot of us.
Of course, it's easy to make up a world where it would sort of kind of make sense. That's not the one we're talking about, though.
Early candidates running for the pacifist party, I guess, given I can't recall reading about anyone platforming against existence of intelligence gathering agency. Anyone who could or was running for office that believed America should be only major power post-Ww2 that didn't have spies. Enough votes that direction might have resulted in the dissolution of our intelligence agencies that were forming. And probably the dissolution of or great damage to our country later given the leaders would be acting blind. But you'd have a chance.
"Of course, it's easy to make up a world where it would sort of kind of make sense. That's not the one we're talking about, though."
We are talking about that kind of world. Are you saying there's no allies spying on us with potential economic/political results? Or that there's nobody that might threaten us? Both are ludicrous but such issues are at root of my claim that we need a spy agency. So, which do you reject?
So you agree that such a spy agency was, in fact, not voted in.
So, yes, they were voted in and maintained through the elected representatives. That's how a representational democracy works. There was also no pushback strong enough to affect an election and dissolve an intelligence agency. They'd be diminished or gone had that happened.
So, voters wanted the situation and it's here. They can make it go away but it's still here. So much for your hypothesis.
As you said yourself, it was created in secret as a reactionary policy (because those always work out great!), so there was no possible oversight or popular approval.
Rand Paul had to drop out for lack of interest.
Nice shirt, though. :)
Pretty much all whistleblowing addressing illegal behavior will reveal legal behavior connected or related to, supporting, etc., the illegal behavior. So what?
In U.S., as in many countries, there exist intelligence agencies whose job is to get secrets out of foreign countries. This is legal. There's usually also laws that protect secrecy of those and other activities. In US, such classification applies by law unless it's a criminal act they're trying to conceal. Leaking that information is a felony that, depending on info, might also damage (i.e betray) the US. Leaking criminal activity that was classified is whistleblowing. Not only form but main form for this conversation.
Snowden's whistleblowing by leaking proof of illegal surveillance and perjury by government I don't dispute. However, Snowden also leaked tons of tools and activities dedicated to legal, foreign surveillance. What NSA was legally required to do and which he personally agreed to in case of stopping foreign hackers (eg China). Worst, he leaked it to news organizations in thd countries NSA was spying on.
So, far from your abstract reply, Snowden betrayed his country by leaking legal, mandated, acceptable-to-Americans operations. He didn't have to and shouldn't have. He also heroically blew whistle on dirty stuff. So, he's both a traitor and whistleblower on leak by leak basis. That simple.
Depends on if Russia would still like to give him asylum for sole reason of pissing off America as they are right now. Anyway, you're changing the discussion from a heroic whistleblower to someone who will only blow the whistle if he has extra dirt specifically to get asylum. Much less honorable. Not even an option for most whistleblowers.
"So this is kind of an insurance for him (together with other documents that he did not reveal but could if they tried to catch him)."
No, it's not. He's guaranteed they'll throw everything they have at him by leaking everything. They were intercepting diplomatic planes for goodness sake. People tracking those torture flights indicated one showed up at a German airport he would've went through when they asked him to come in. They were possibly willing to black bag his ass. They don't usually do that even with likes of Manning.
No, he's in a really, really, bad situation. He has nothing further to leak as insurance per many interviews where he gave it all away so nobody could torture him for information. If he does, Russia almost certainly knows it already as a condition of his stay. He's literally choosing between being imprisoned in one police state or living in a police state that does 10x worse than what he leaked on the same topic.
His options would've been better if he leaked only domestic stuff, tried to play it stealthy, and maybe selectively leaked docs to the country he wants asylum in. Instead, he leaked it all out of conscience or whatever with global disruption & embarrassment for NSA. The rest is history.
Was that US-legal to whistleblow? Was it US-legal to perform acts of cyberwarfare against allies? I mean we all know how the rest of the world feels about it.
You can try and draw a line between legal and illegal behaviour all you want. But that really means very little if that decision, what is legal and what is not, is made by a government/legal/intelligence system that gets away with anything because they are so powerful (torture, war crimes / ignoring the ICC ..). Maybe not a very respectable moral compass to orient oneself by, don't you think?
The so-called illegal parts of Snowden's revelations informed me that basically all my data that ever went over the Internet is considered completely fair game by the US, GCHQ and the other Five Eyes. Other US-illegal parts of Snowden's files told me that MY government is complicit, acting like a vassal state. As far as I understand, that last part is illegal to reveal from the POV of the US, cause it involves their secret intelligence missions and doesn't reveal illegal behaviour of the US Intelligence per se (just those of the Dutch Intelligence).
So please, could you repeat that, to my face?
Is there an actual moral reason why it's wrong to release those files? I believe not, but we could talk about that.
However, if you're going to pick right and wrong on this matter by what is legal and what isn't in the United States, then say it to my face: A non-US person is a second class person, even if they're allies.
You believe it is right for you to know whether your government is doing illegal things or overstepping boundaries in surveillance. But you also believe that I, tripzilch, as a non-US civilian do not have that very same right; to know that my government is doing the very same, a lot of it in service of the US government. Or all the surveillance done for economic espionage? Better keep a lid on it because it only screws over those second-rate, non-US people? The biggest problem with the way that we've been doing thing is, the more we let you have the less that I'll be keeping for me. Alright!
Yes as far as I know. It's also done by intelligence services in European countries especially France, Germany, and Italy. If they're doing it, so should we given the consequences of us being only ones without critical info or influence at negotiation table or in market. I'm for ending all of that crap between allies but it's unlikely to happen. If we stop, the Europeans won't as it's our I.P. they mostly steal. ;)
"Which is what they did to the completely innocent civilian sysadmins of a large Belgian telecom."
I mention elsewhere that this kind of reckless damage to allies is worth whistleblowing on. It's collecting actionable intelligence that benefits U.S. that's supposed to be their job. Also, it was GHCQ (Britain) that did that with U.S. providing the access. Blame should be partial.
" I mean we all know how the rest of the world feels about it."
Irrelevant. More relevant is (a) that many countries griping are actively involved in spying or abuse their own citizens; (b) what the hell are they going to do about it for all spying jurisdictions rather than just what U.S. is doing? U.S. is a superpower, as are spy-happy Russia and China. The other spy-happy countries are major, economic powers. Are all the countries of the world just going to boycott every product from every country with an intelligence service? Good luck if you try but I predict the hypocrites won't even try. Many are unjustly doing it to the U.S. but not other spying nations despite knowing same stuff is going on there. Mere politics.
Note: Nonetheless, I still recommend avoiding any strongly-spying jursidiction when creating a business where privacy matters. That list always getting smaller as only 3 countries weren't cooperating with NSA in Europe per one leak. Iceland, Switzerland, and forgot other one.
"So please, could you repeat that, to my face?"
All of your data that you send unencrypted over a public or semi-private line is up for grabs by anyone in between you and the recipient. That's correct. If you thought otherwise, you may be visiting us from an alternate universe where criminal hacking, war and espionage didn't exist.
"A non-US person is a second class person, even if they're allies."
""You believe it is right for you to know whether your government is doing illegal things or overstepping boundaries in surveillance.""
You are in fact a second-class person... per U.S. law... if you are a non-U.S. citizen that's not bound by U.S. law with no responsibilities to or presence in America. Just as your country, many of them actually, might treat me. Personally, I think our intelligence services shouldn't target you in any way unless they had evidence you were a threat to national security or our foreign policy. Yet, these laws were devised in period from WW2 to Cold War where all kinds of citizens in all kinds of countries, enemies and their trade partners, were worth targeting. Probably corruption on top of that. That's why they're so broad.
Quick question: Do Americans visiting the Netherlands have all the rights and protections of citizens of the Netherlands? I'm curious in how many countries this is true. Are their restrictions in your defense sector not allowing me to know things that might affect me or requiring source code to come from citizens of your country? Plus, does that country's laws allow their military or any intelligence agency to take action against foreigners that it can't take against locals? Also, what's the status of the Trusted Third Parties project I read on a while back that seemed like mandated backdoors for law enforcement? Sounds like a public version of some Snowden slides and recent FBI vs Apple case. I hope it never passed or was pretty limited.
"to know that my government is doing the very same, a lot of it in service of the US government. "
Smart you mentioned it as I was going to burn your for that. That your country is one of 9-Eyes goes back a bit and the arrangements get reported on periodically with no, real resistance. Wouldn't surprise me if their stuff was connected to STONEGHOST on top of it.
"Better keep a lid on it because it only screws over those second-rate, non-US people? "
It only keeps an eye on them, their governments, and their businesses to ensure they're not breaking rules that keep global economy going or doing anything directly threatening. That's what they're supposed to be doing. I'm fine with that as I know us pro-human rights people will get outvoted without a compromise given all the nations, including yours, doing spying.
Yet, I don't see how you're getting screwed over if a NSA system temporarily has your info or an analyst looks at it to determine if you're a terrorist or bribing foreign governments. Your life would've gone on without any effect if Snowden didn't leak. So, it's a privacy violation but not "screwing" your life over in any way. Such strawmen are great for political posturing but are as honest as Keith Alexander testifying pre-Snowden. Stick with the truth and less drama if you want to have an effect. Plus, Americans who might have backed you will just laugh when you tell them how the NSA destroyed your life because... surveillance existed but they did nothing further. They might think Europeans in general are that foolish & dismiss further claims.
So, yes, leaking it makes you a traitor. Especially if you're a trained US spy who did it youself.
I'm clearly talking about all the foreign, classified operations that were both legal in US and whole reason NSA exists. He had no need to leak them to protect Americans' Constitutional rights.
If no one knows that our constitutional rights are being violated because of secrecy, it doesn't mean that they're not being violated (ironically, this is what the government has been using as a defense now for a while when people try to sue over the NSA: You have no proof we are spying on you specifically, so you can't sue us.)
The comment above you makes an excellent point. Just because behavior is deemed legal, does not make it so.
Also, Snowden was no lawyer. Who determines which behavior was legal and which wasn't? Obviously the US government and the NSA believed that everything they were doing was on the up and up (and obviously this was not so.)
Do you think that Snowden should have hired an entire law firm to go over every single file to deem whether or not each and every document either supported illegal and legal behavior by the government? (Which is somewhat what he did by giving all the documents to reporters to vet and disclose what they thought was important)
That's what you're saying. Strawmaning is full-time profession in Snowden threads here. I've said consistently in my replies that the legal stuff is activities against foreign countries, within their operational mandate, and that Americans have accepted as morally right (or a necessary evil) for decades. Not unconstitutional stuff, not gross abuses, not anything like that. Just that they develop tools and capabilities to spy on foreign countries for America's interests. Aka, their job and one that's legally a state secret.
" Just because behavior is deemed legal, does not make it so."
It actually does. The whole concept of a legal system haha. However, I'm allowing for activism against abuses. It's why, as above, I'm talking about all the stuff he leaked that Americans were fine with and endorsed as legal. Even celebrated in "patriotic" films.
"Obviously the US government and the NSA believed that everything they were doing was on the up and up (and obviously this was not so.)"
Red herring important in other discussions about NSA's bullshiting legal team but not here. NSA's beliefs != the laws. Snowden, as a trained spy, knew it was legal for them to spy on foreign nations. That's what we're talking about.
"Do you think that Snowden should have hired an entire law firm"
Jesus. You're really grasping at straws and blowing up the hypotheticals. He claims to read each document at one point. No, all I expect is a simple question asked on each one: does it fall within their legal mandate or is it evidence of unconstitutional, deceptive activity against Americans in violation of the Constitution, their mandate and claims? That simple. Would've kept the leaks to just what America collectively would've had a problem with. Instead, the fool leaked all the legal stuff, too, giving right-wingers the excuse to dismiss him entirely as a traitor. Lots of lost votes for reform.
Also, leaking our foreign secrets to foreign media and trusting them to act in our interests... wtf. You don't need to be a lawyer to know that was treason.
So because it's done against "them" it's suddenly okay? That's trite xenophobic bullshit.
Treason laws and classified information have no place in anything claiming to be a developed democracy.
They should work with the FBI to inform companies of foreigners causing trouble with their systems. And they should develop secure protocols and encryption for the benefit of the government and public. Any NSA-collected data should be inadmissible in any court, and they should not be backdooring encryption. They also shouldn't collect any data from purely US-internal networking. On that point, it would be great if packets with start and end points within the US were virtually guaranteed to stay within the US when being routed, but I don't know enough about internet infrastructure to tell whether that's possible.
When Trump gets elected, I bet he'll take a more direct route here and just sanction them or disconnect their internet or something, which should put a stop to it. Then we won't need to rely on the NSA for defense as much.
We should deal with such hackers too, using agencies like the FBI. I guess the NSA could provide some technical advice, but no more than that.
No evidence on American hackers should be classified or secret, unless they target government or military(and even then, the only thing that should be supressed from the public court record is the actual classified records that they stole, or details about the vulnerability they used). However, evidence the NSA gathers on foreigners and techniques they use could be classified.
The President should not intervene with diplomats if an American hacker hacks an American company.
I think these make the two situations very different in practice.
On the contrary, it just recognizes the fact that nations with competing interests exist. Many of which spy on us for similar reasons. You'd have to be xenophile to justify doing no spying when even our allies are doing the opposite.
"Treason laws and classified information have no place in anything claiming to be a developed democracy."
The existence of them in many democracies for good reason show otherwise. Plus, we've had methods for detecting and correcting abuses for years. Requires a certain percentage of honest politicians and active citizens, though. That problem was actually created and sustained by democracy a la tyranny of the majority. They're doing it again with likes of Hillary and Trump.
Where does the line go for who is to be considered "other"? As someone living in Stockholm, why should I care more about companies in Gothenburg doing well than a company in Oslo? Or am I an outsider as well, since I have a mother from Copenhagen?
> The existence of them in many democracies for good reason show otherwise.
No, that just shows that they're not actual democracies either.
> Plus, we've had methods for detecting and correcting abuses for years. Requires a certain percentage of honest politicians and active citizens, though. That problem was actually created and sustained by democracy a la tyranny of the majority. They're doing it again with likes of Hillary and Trump.
Okay, this is getting far into Poe's law territory.
Your wishes don't matter at all. You're not a competing nation referred to in my comment.
"No, that just shows that they're not actual democracies either"
Or that you don't know what a representational democracy is or think they all think like you. Look up KSI where you live to find something even less transparent than our NSA. (shocking really)
"Okay, this is getting far into Poe's law territory."
Nah, it's just a prerequisite for existence of a thing you're pretending to know about. Successful democracy and active citizenry go hand-in-hand. Without it, problems emerge.
The point was that nations and citizenship are entirely arbitrary dividers.
> Or that you don't know what a representational democracy is or think they all think like you. Look up KSI where you live to find something even less transparent than our NSA. (shocking really)
If it doesn't live up to the definition of democracy (rule by the people), then it's by definition not a democracy.
NSA, FRA, KSI, whatever, this is about principles, not specific cases. It makes sense to say NSA on forums, since they're a name people recognise, and they're the ones capable of doing the most damage.
Sophistry or trolling is undeniable now. Goodbye.
At least in the US, Treason involves waging war against the US. I don't think there's anything wrong with treason laws in a developed democracy.
(OTOH, treason laws have nothing to do with Snowden; espionage laws might, but that's a different issue.)
There's some overlap between the two although I don't mean it in a strict, technical sense so much as betraying his country to its enemies with criminal action. Espionage is spy activity, often moving information. His actions mostly fall into that. Treason concept often includes aiding and abeitting enemy military. A significant part of that today are the cyber commands on various sides. He certainly gave our enemies a heads up about what we were doing while giving us no such advantage on them. That can be construed as treason given what effect it would have if war broke out.
Note: Apparently didn't help North Korea any during Sony response. ;) So, effect on wartime capability is debatable. I'd say espionage charge for legal leaks at the least with a deal (maybe immunity) due to legit whistleblowing.
Important read  - Antoine trial started few days ago!
Sigh. One of the most puzzling questions I have to deal with in my mind. Why is there so little moral left in this world?
It also seems like material scarcity and instability make it harder to converge on norms like morality (for good game-theoretic reasons). But why would a private individual with $10M have a position in a company that provides payday loans? Beats me.
Payday loan firms are enormously profitable, because they prey upon people who are in dire need of cash. The private individual you mention has managed to accumulate his wealth by exploiting those people.
While I agree with your sentiment, just would like to point this out that nature does have nuclear weapons, pretty scary ones for that matter: the stars.
Also, if we take these things to their logical conclusion, then the nuclear weapons created by human beings are, of course, created by nature - in this case, indirectly, using the humans.
This is just to point out the logical aspects of the arguments. Other than that, I do agree with you that we, the humans, need morals to sustain a better life for most human beings.
How are you so sure? Have you talked with Nature by any chance? Has Nature given you this statement, say, in English?
I am not trying to be sarcastic here, I am dead serious.
I for example, think that Nature likes to fight many of its creatures against each other. e.g. polio viruses against human beings
I may be wrong, but one cannot be so sure.
Anthropomorphising can only go that far. Do you know any physical law that has volition?
So either humankind is part of nature, and then it's safe to conclude that nature has morals (no matter how little right now, it's certainly part of humankind), or we're out of nature and there's no advantage in pointing out that nature has no morals.
I don't condemn people who accept the first option as the absolute truth, but I'd like to believe we can make this blue marble a better place than that somehow.
I guess we don't have much of a choice here. The best we can do is hack natural selection trying to get some collectivism out of it. And if we want to hack natural selection, the GP question is exactly the kind of stuff we should be trying to answer in order to develop the (social) tech we'll need.
>>[psadri] Does nature by default have morals?
Morality is the differentiation of actions proper and improper; generally defined 'morals' is that language that contains imperatives: what humans should do (as sentences, called 'norms').
When we wonder why there seems to be a lack of behavior that follows these morals in the world, we approach the concept of morality from a descriptive sense (we observe that human behavior has changed). Increased insight in this pursuit is found when we examine how humans themselves have approached morality from a normative sense (what is actually proper and improper). When humans have considered morality they have come to understand that the morals humans proclaim—again, language that contains imperatives—either correspond to real, objective moral facts ("Moral Realism") or are merely invented delusions expressing human emotions ("Moral Nonrealism").
Prior to the Enlightenment, there was a category of accepted knowledge outside of empirically observed nature (e.g., the non-natural, supramundane, supernatural, etc). The Enlightenment itself was a shift in human thinking that rejected this category as invalid, switching our criteria of acceptable knowledge to the material, to the empirically observed.
The shift in thinking did not happen all at once. Certain beliefs remained, held over from earlier times—somewhat as dependencies—until they could be examined and dismantled individually if they lacked empiric evidence. Western society's assumption that objective Moral Facts existed in a material universe remained for some time until examined by David Hume in 1738 in his A Treatise of Human Nature. Here Hume observed the difficult reality of the relationship between facts (that which is) and values (that which we claim ought to be), concluding that we cannot assert prescriptive or normative values based on descriptive facts.
Hume's Is-Ought observation upset the world, and has resulted in our modern condition. If empirical observation is categorically never able to locate oughts, a world that accepts Empiricism alone is one forced from Moral Realism to Moral Nonrealism: morals no longer correspond to Objective Facts, but can only be understood as invented whims and emotions, which—apart from society's ability to enforce or inflict punishment for as a conditional consequence (what Kant termed 'hypothetical morality')—can be ignored without consequence.
The transition from a society whose intellectuals and leaders held Moral Realism (viz, Christendom) to one where artists, philosophers, and intelligentsia hold Moral Nonrealism (the Modern West) has been a long, painful process since 1738. The Marquis de Sade astutely summed up the painful condition of man following Hume's revolution in thought saying "If there is no God, then everything that Is, is Right" and the majority of Western thought since then has either been in reaction against this belief (i.e., revivals of Evangelical Christianity) or experiments exploring this accepted world (e.g., Surrealism, Dada, Modern Art, Existentialism, Egoism/Individualism/Anarchism, Deconstructionism, Postmodernism, etc).
From the introduction to Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor by the American Heidegger-scholar and philosopher Charles Guignon:
Briefly put, the issue is this. Either God exists or He does not exist...if God does not exist, then the picture of the universe formulated by mechanistic materialism must be true. But, in this case, given the point of view of modern science (what Ivan calls "Euclidean reason"), the universe consists of nothing but meaningless material objects in causal interaction, effects follows cause according to the laws of physics, people are determined to do what they do, no one is guilty of anything, and so there are no such things as right or wrong, good or bad. Or, more precisely, the ideals of justice, goodness, benevolence, dignity, and so on turn out to be purely human inventions, the results of projecting our needs and wishes onto brute, meaningless matter, and so they are illusions lacking any basis in the order of things.
...Dostoevsky regarded [this] as the inevitable outcome of the perfectionist stance of detachment and moral superiority: the idea that, for higher people, "everything is lawful." [If] "God is dead"...then why not step outside the law and do whatever you want? From this standpoint, morality looks like a suckers game. The paradox [of] Westernized ideals, then, is that its austere discipline of detachment and self-transformation tends to undermine its own moral underpinnings. In the end this form of idealism spawns a self-serving moral nihilism.
Define nature, and, particularly, what things are excluded from it.
I'm a corporate lawyer who does a lot of cross borders work. I'm ethical - the lawyers I work with are ethical. The vast majority of lawyers are ethical.
If anything, the Panama Papers should be an object lesson that one firm or group of lawyers can be responsible for a huge proportion of activity in a given sector. Do you think, for a minute, that other firms have this astoundingly high rate of forming off-shore companies? I can assure you it is not the case.
Accordingly, to extrapolate that because one law firm in a central American country is (allegedly) corrupt that the entire profession is worth throwing out is just nonsense of the highest order. It's childish and counterproductively naive. How can you possibly hope to reform a system when you paint it with such a broad brush you are utterly blind to its reality?
The strong odds are that there was chicanery (quite possibly, a lot of it) at Mossack Fonseca. However, my money is on the fact that the substantial, if not overwhelming, majority of companies set up by the firm were for legal purposes and no laws were broken. If you want to argue that these laws themselves are problematic - sure, I am right there with you. Let's talk about reforming the laws in these small tax-haven nations and meaningful internal tax reform in major western economies that will prevent off-shoring from happening in the first place. Those are productive discussions - lets have them. That the Panama Papers may have furthered these discussions is also great.
But the idea that we should be castigating attorneys for taking advantage of legal loopholes that exist in their clients favor is utterly absurd. If you fail to take advantage of those loopholes you wind up getting sued for malpractice, plain and simple.
While I am deeply interested in the further releases of Panama Papers, and I fully support tax reform, a huge strengthening of whistleblower laws, and a whole bunch of other things that puts me, as a lawyer, closer to the 'pirate' end of the spectrum than then 'legal maximalist' side of the spectrum - I have to say, when I read the words of the purported, unverified "John Doe" - he seems to me to be catastrophically naive in his critique of the legal profession and he is all too happy to assign blame with a fire-hose while appearing totally uninterested in performing a surgical analysis of the pressure points where, if achievable reforms were made, real change could result.
Fundamentally, this screed is not a mature call to action. It is a "fuck you" to the system writ large by someone who appears to be more interested in burning things down than figuring out how to fix them.
I'll stand by and watch the flames - but I do not, nor should you, expect that it will be anything more than a campground fire. In order to get real reform achieved - guess what? - you need the buy in of the lawyers too - not just incidentally, but centrally. We write and enforce the laws. Calling us all assholes is not a great way to start that conversation.
> Mossack Fonseca did not work in a vacuum—despite repeated fines and documented regulatory violations, it found allies and clients at major law firms in virtually every nation. If the industry’s shattered economics were not already evidence enough, there is now no denying that lawyers can no longer be permitted to regulate one another. It simply doesn’t work. Those able to pay the most can always find a lawyer to serve their ends, whether that lawyer is at Mossack Fonseca or another firm of which we remain unaware.
And you said this.
> But the idea that we should be castigating attorneys for taking advantage of legal loopholes that exist in their clients favor is utterly absurd. If you fail to take advantage of those loopholes you wind up getting sued for malpractice, plain and simple.
I agree that castigating all attorneys is going to far, but this comes dangerously close to two fallacies; that because it's legal, it's moral (namely that you can divorce your moral responsibility because you're acting in the letter of the law) and that you were just "following orders." If the consequence of failing to take advantage of loopholes is lawsuits for malpractice then that indicates a problem in itself. As a corporate lawyer you have to put yourself as an ethical person first, a lawyer second.
> I have to say, when I read the words of the purported, unverified "John Doe" they seem to me to be catastrophically naive in its critique of the legal profession and is all too happy to assign the blame with a fire-hose while uninterested in performing a surgical analysis of the pressure points where, if achievable reforms were made, could result in actual change.
I think it would be tremendously useful if you inject some needed surgical analysis into this. Any reasonable view point from the other side should be welcome into such a debate.
"If it's legal it's moral" is fallacious in general, but not as applied to lawyers. Their role in the system is not to assert their independent moral judgment, but to represent their client while staying within the letter of the law and protecting the integrity of the process.
You've actually got the "following orders" hypothetical backward. A soldier should not follow an illegal order. But he is not empowered to pass moral judgment and ignore a legal one. Lawyers are the same way.
I just watched the People v. OJ Simpson. Here's a man who was clearly guilty of a heinous crime. Yet, his lawyers' job was not to pass moral judgment on him, but to represent him. It was their ethical obligation to try and exonerate their client by exploiting every shred of doubt so long as they did nothing to undermine the integrity of the process (lying to the Court, etc).
As a people, we've made the judgment on the tradeoff that we should like the criminal system to behave this way because it's better off to have a thousand guilty men go free than jail an innocent person.
I believe we have strayed a little off track if we apply a similar sentiment to something like corporate loopholes.
Blackstone's original quote was 10 guilty men, not 1000, but I digress. The whole point of the legal profession is to serve as a buffer between public opinion and individuals. If we had taken a nationwide vote on OJ, the results wouldn't be "better to have a thousand guilty men go free" but rather "life in prison."
The same rationale applies in the business law context. Cupertino's mayor wants Apple to pay the city $100m: http://fortune.com/2016/05/05/cupertino-mayor-apple-abuses. Not because it's the law, but because public sentiment opposes the growth created by Apple's presence. Should Apple's lawyers advise them to pay more money because it's the "moral" thing to do? And how do we decide which companies to target for ad hoc moral judgment?
And how exactly do we hold lawyers accountable for "moral" rather than "legal" conduct? Do we punish the lawyer who files the complaint to foreclose on a building full of retirees and disabled veterans? What if the new construction on the site will house 10x as many people and create dozens of jobs? Who decides?
What one man perceives as a loophole, another man perceives as the correct functioning of the law as designed. Ultimately trying to second guess the law is a bad idea and lawyers, in particular, should not be in the business of saying "this is legal, but you shouldn't do it because it violates my own personal ethics". Lawyers are supposed to advise on the law, not act as wannabe politicians.
I don't think that's "politicking." I think that's jurisprudence. The law lets you do a lot but a lawyer has advice exceeding the law in many situations, and should advise you based upon your interests. I'm in a position to completely punish someone legally, for example, and the law is on my side; my attorney advised me of this but also illustrated some of the risks of doing so despite the legality. Another client might ride that lightning and be a dick, but she knows I'm not so she advised against doing it. That specific situation came down to just fairness and understanding me personally, not even ethics or law. Maybe I misinterpreted your comment, but it sounds like that's second guessing to you and she shouldn't have done it, in your opinion.
I would expect nothing less of counsel I retain, and I appreciate it. That's why we hire lawyers. Not law robots.
Please don't confuse "ethical" with "not illegal".
This seems worrisome to me. It looks like one of those cases where the system is set up so that we end up getting exactly what no one wants. Moloch in other words. I don't have a solution (no one has a solution to Moloch), but it's worrisome.
You can buy moral pretty much everywhere nowadays ;-)
What may change their mind is if all the data were made public. Since whistleblowers have not much protections, their only protection right now is to release everything on the 'net, anonymously. Now, clearly this is not a good idea, as in many cases there will be collateral damage. But what is the alternative? Once the governments see that such collateral damage is the only alternative, they will be force to enact meaningful whistleblower protection.
And they can't work effectively to further their own ends while in the light of public scrutiny.
I'm sure there are forces that act on politicians other than loyalty to their constituents, but there's no reason in the American democracy we couldn't (theoretically) get to a point where we elect representatives who understand the importance of whistleblower protection and care more about their constituents than other influences.
This is true, on paper. But the other reality is that states have passed laws (or tried to) prohibiting the sort of investigative behavior that leads to whistleblowing, and a lot of companies have in-house rules against it. No cameras and cell phones in your work area, for starters. This sort of thing makes it easy to dismiss the paper laws. I imagine that if they are violated, one must sue to get it worked out.
Yes, it is theoretically true we could get to a point where we elect folks that understand the importance of them, or at least have the wherewithal to listen to experts in the field. And care more about their constituents. Unfortunately, I think we are a long ways off, and those very people - the ones that care less about the constituents and have little grasp of the importance of such laws - have made high entry hurdles for the ones that would care.
When you have parts of the government that are essentially without oversight and that illegally spy on their oversight committees ... what do you expect?
Might as well be a non-native speaker. It also seems to me that the author might have had some personal reasons to target MF
But to be honest, I don't think Income Inequality is one of the most defining issues of our time, through human history, inequality, not only monetary, but cultural and intellectual has usually been higher.
So it might very well be a case of a German whistleblower, and a German editor.
Given that all the checks and balances have failed, I don't see very few other options.
American lawyers can provide the services provided by Mossack Fonseca.
What that doesn't explain is why no American clients were listed in this "leak".
>When the data is released, users will be able to search through the data and visualize the networks around thousands of offshore entities, including, when available, Mossack Fonseca’s internal records of the company’s true owners. The interactive database will also include information about more than 100,000 additional companies that were part of the 2013 ICIJ Offshore Leaks investigation.
>While the database opens up a world that has never been revealed on such a massive scale, the application will not be a “data dump” of the original documents – it will be a careful release of basic corporate information.
>ICIJ won’t release personal data en masse; the database will not include records of bank accounts and financial transactions, emails and other correspondence, passports and telephone numbers. The selected and limited information is being published in the public interest.
Calling on any government to create change, not it citizens, is a mistake - especially on a topic like this.
It is the government responsibility, in their mandate as representatives, to address the problems perceived as important by the citizens (as, for instance, the problem mentioned in the quote).
Now, if the government is unable or unwilling to use the power it was given "by the consent of the governed" to address such important issues then __that__ become "one of the defining issues of our time", not income inequality or any other problem derived from that.
But it is the citizens' responsibility to make clear to their representatives the problems they consider important. For a couple of examples of this principle in action, see the civil rights movement of the '60s, or the marriage equality movement of the noughts and teens. No politician would've dared approach those issues until the citizenry made its voice heard.
As a rule, on issues that we as peoples consider important, we lead our politicians, they do not lead us. This is partly because of the incentives in play in modern democracies and partly because, as you say, they are merely our representatives, not our dear leaders.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will release on May 9 a searchable database with information on more than 200,000 offshore entities that are part of the Panama Papers investigation.
The data [...] includes information about companies, trusts, foundations and funds incorporated in 21 tax havens, from Hong Kong to Nevada in the United States. It links to people in more than 200 countries and territories.
there's absolutely no real news here. but suddenly "democracy’s checks and balances have all failed".