WikiLeaks founder urges the holders of the Panama Papers to establish “a transparent path to publishing the vast majority of that data set.”
Speaking to the media from the Ecuadorean Embassy where he lives under political asylum, Julian Assange called for greater transparency in the Panama Papers leak.
In an April 9 interview with Al-Jazeera, the WikiLeaks founder praised the work of Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German newspaper that received the massive leak of financial data revealing the offshore tax havens of the world’s rich and famous.
“We’re very pleased about the work that SZ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) — did in the beginning in developing that source. We think that’s really good work. The work of the source of course is the most impressive and then pulling together that collaboration is also impressive work,” Assange said.
After receiving the leak, which contains 11.5 million documents, Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists organized a coalition of hundreds of journalists who collaborated to analyze the files over the course of over a year before publication began.
The praise hasn’t gone both ways, though. Gerard Ryle, director of ICIJ, seemed to cast aspersions on Assange’s work earlier this month, when he told WIRED magazine, “We’re not WikiLeaks. We’re trying to show that journalism can be done responsibly.”
WikiLeaks hosts searchable archives of data sets like emails sent from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State and hacked emails from private intelligence firms, but Ryle insisted that a similar archive of the Panama Papers would be a violation of privacy.
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