Before even getting to David Cameron’s father here’s a starting-point question about the Panama Papers: how is the desire to break the anonymity of Panama banking secrecy different from the FBI’s interest in breaking Apple’s encryption of the iPhone?
The Apple imperative is to build a system that is 100 per cent resistant to any government warrant. The data on your iPhone, no matter how swarmy, corrupt, or dangerous you are, is supposedly safe. That’s also the proposition of Panamanian banking laws. If your financial trail is through a Panamanian bank (in this case via the conduit of a Panamanian law firm), you’re safe from a warrant. The innocent and guilty are equally protected.
With obvious irony, many of the left-leaning privacy advocates who might cheer Apple’s stand against the government’s intrusion into its system, are now, as transparency advocates, on the side of the leakers of the Panama Papers.
And here’s another question: how is the hacking of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm whose 40 years and several terabytes of data lay bare the off-shore financial strategies of a wide variety of unpopular world leaders and their families and friends, different from the hack of Sony Pictures, laying bare assorted instances of moral turpitude and hypocrisy in the media industry? Different in the degree of turpitude perhaps, but not necessarily in the nature of the intrusion. READ MORE OF THIS STORY