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The road to Panama: A history of whistleblowers and hacks

Engadget Engadget 4/04/2016 Daniel Cooper
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Yesterday, a coalition of journalists across the world launched the Panama Papers, a project to uncover the dirty secrets of the rich and powerful. An anonymous source provided reporters at German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung with a 2.6TB dump of files from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents reveal a web of private, secretly-held offshore companies that can be used to hide a fortune or avoid paying tax. For instance, The Guardian accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of hiding $2 billion in offshore companies that are "owned" by a close friend. It has taken anything up to a year for a team to scour the data to find some dirty secrets, and far more are likely to emerge as more of the files are analyzed. This didn't happen in isolation, however. It's just the latest in a long line of leaks and breaches that have put what some would prefer remain secret in the spotlight. Check out the timeline above to look at some of the most notable ones of the last few years.

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