Panama Papers whistleblower breaks silence in statement to German media

The source known only as “John Doe” was behind the biggest information leak in history

Panama Papers whistleblower breaks silence in statement to German media

ICIJ

The whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has broken their silence, in a statement issued to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ).

The source, known only as “John Doe”, was behind the biggest information leak in history when 11.5 million files from the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, were obtained by SZ and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

In the 1800-word statement – titled “The Revolution Will Be Digitized” – the whistleblower gave justification for the leak, saying that “income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time”.

They stressed that the release of the data was not for any “specific political purpose”, but simply because they “understood enough about their contents to realize the scale of the injustices they described.”

The statement was heavily critical of the firm in question, Mossack Fonseca, and called for prosecution of their staff who the whistleblower believes “knowingly” violated laws worldwide.

The source also called for better protection for whistleblowers: “I have watched as one after another, whistleblowers and activists in the United States and Europe have had their lives destroyed by the circumstances they find themselves in after shining a light on obvious wrongdoing”.

Referencing Edward Snowden, who is currently stranded in Moscow, they stressed that “legitimate whistleblowers” that expose unquestionable wrongdoing should get “immunity from government retribution”.

“Until governments codify legal protections for whistleblowers into law, enforcement agencies will simply have to depend on their own resources or on-going global media coverage for documents.”

They were also critical of banks, financial regulators, and tax authorities for failing to “address the metastasizing tax havens spotting Earth’s surface”.

In a reference to the media, they noted that “serious investigative journalists lack funding”, and claimed to have approached several major media outlets who “chose” not to run the story, including Wikileaks, who “didn’t answer its tip line repeatedly”.

Overall, they were mostly critical of the legal profession: “To start, the term 'legal ethics,' upon which codes of conduct and licensure are nominally based, has become an oxymoron”.

“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”.

Overall the collective failure to deal with the problem has led to a “complete erosion of ethical standards, ultimately leading to a novel system we still call Capitalism, but which is tantamount to economic slavery.”

SZ has authenticated that the statement came from the Panama Papers source, the full details of which can be read on their website.