tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 13, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
sometimes there is a misconception that leaks are easy or that we just read the documents and wrote a story. this was really big-time detective work and working with a lot of public records alongside the confidential information. and if you remember, a story published all over the world, this is one of our main stories. we were able to trace nearly $2 billion that some of the associates of president vladimir putin had shuttled around the world. the president and said that the penama paper is correct. -- panama papers is correct. one of his friends, a cellist, was using money to buy instruments, musical instruments.
we also found that nearly 33 companies and people have been blacklisted in the u.s. for various serious crimes. also we were able to do business offshore with mossack fonseca, they were clients for a long time. we look at the role of big banks, and how more than 500 banks, specifically in this leak, how they had helped 15,000 offshore companies through mossack fonseca, in many cases helping clients around the orld avoid paying taxes. one of most surprising findings, the politicians. you imagine that billionaires and maybe celebrities, they had these offshore companies for rivacy issues or tax issues, but to find nearly 200 oliticians, and 16 world
leaders, in this data, using the tax havens, including some world leaders who have been at the forefront against tax havens. that was really interesting. we created a whole application to look at this important issue. reaction and impact, you remember the viral media. in iceland, where the prime minister testified a few days after publication, that as well -- stepped aside a few days after publication. in malta that were protests, as well as in london, some resignations in fifa. lots of interesting stories related to the world of sports, and how they also use the secrecy of offshore tax havens. there were arrests, in this case, of people connected to drug cartels. and after publication, they were arrested. the arrests in new york, the u.s. prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation there, to look into the panama apers.
and a few days ago, as you probably know, the source of this leak broke his silence. and he published a very powerful manifesto. i do not have time to go through a lot of it. we can talk about it during the question and answer session. but it is important that he said he does not work for any government. and he also said that he is willing to collaborate with authorities, however he mentioned the cases of edward snowden and other whistleblowers with faced retaliation, who are hiding and being prosecuted in some cases. until the government can guarantee real protection for whistleblowers, they will have to deal with her own resources to investigate. so he basically called for immunity and for better protection of histleblowers. he also calls for the creation of public writ of company, where this information about
who really controls the company becomes public, and accessible to all, rather than secrets for ax havens. we published, on monday, a atabase with information about the -- corporate information in this leak. the names of all the companies involved, and the people that are associated to those companies. you can search here again, like in google, you can search by country, jurisdiction, you can use any name of the person or company. you can do a search and find the networks around those people and countries. we have not published public private information, such as bank accounts or financial transactions. things like that. we have also not published a lot of documents that are selected documents that have been linked to stories, but the
leak remains private. it remains for the journalists who are working, and continue to work, on this investigation. so let us compare, just to finish, the two models and what each one brings. we have the lone wolf model and a network model, that we propose, the smaller proposal is that we will be collaborating, along with ndividual achievement. aside from that, we have shared ownership. there is the star treatment, often in the long-term -- in the lone wolf model. nothing is wrong with that. but we offer no special protection. the lone wolf is being roprietary, we are very open source and collaborating on that. the lone wolf usually achieves national impact, of course
sometimes beyond a particular country, but the network model proposes a global impact. we will publish at an agreed ime, and we do it together, to to be able to get that kind of impact. and the lone wolf approach is very vertical. and hours is peer-to-peer. so, we finish with john doe. he says we live in a time of inexpensive, limitless storage and connections that transcend national boundaries. thank you so much. and we're going to go now. [applause] >> good morning.
my presentation will be somewhat shorter, in keeping with my position, working on marina's very capable direction. i will talk briefly today about the two data sets. mr. fitzgibbon: that really everyone here works with. on the one hand, being a journalist. that is why icj hired me. but also to my frustration and occasional surprise, being a collaborative journalism administrator. i came this morning from a conversation that spanned a time zone of 13 hours, speaking to partners. my primary role was working with african partners. when i came to icij, a bit over two years ago now, i think it is fair to say, without being critical, there was a core of journalists who are excellent at what they do.
who largely came -- especially those who participated in regular projects that came from the global north. and if john doe correctly says, there is no reason now why that needs to be the case. where the larger global newsroom only needs a few people who are willing to wake up at 2 a.m. so they can speak to their kenyan colleague and make sure they're just as on board as our partner at the bbc r london is. the panama papers, it is the largest ever collaboration with journalists from cape town to cairo, across africa. this time for that was journalists from 10 newsrooms, that included major national news outlets such as the daily nation in kenya.
also something i find particularly inspiring and inspirational, which is small one-man bands working in bamako, mali, working on delivering room. use that peer-to-peer model. so we do not give preference to the demand or requests for e-mail from the guardian u.k., ore attention than i would from my friend david and west africa. i find that very inspiring as a ournalist. and i find that very motivating. i think what is impressive about this kind of model of journalism, it all too often escapes us here in d.c., reflecting as we should on the impact that the panama papers has had on letters sent by members of congress or senators to officials in nevada and wyoming.
or perhaps a press conference that president obama gave. what we often miss here, that i think is equally important especially in light of the into corruption conference happening in london at the moment, what are the impacts of these kinds of stories? and what kind of investigator lives journalism, changing governments and lives in countries are far from america? we do not every day, unless you have obsessive subversion to new services like me, we do not ave access to sierra leone's president reporting on some of the west african colleagues dimon deals there. we do not receive regular updates into what changes are being made to botswana's nterest to public officials, based on reporting that our colleagues did. i find that one of the true benefits of this kind of global collaboration.
it is a kind of benefit that i think is often missing. of course, work that requires ather a lot of effort and hard work. and at icij, it first needs to be confident that who we are orking with, especially in parts of the world that have limited press freedoms, have issues regarding internet freedom. i know even have monday and practical issues, such as, you know, regular electricity blackouts in senegal. how do we work with those partners in a way that allows us to control risks, as marina aid earlier? that is not something that we do in 24 hours. a lot is based on face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, skype conversations. it is increasingly easy now thanks to recent successes, the growing understanding among journalists that yes, they can have a national scoop unto themselves. but if you're working especially in tunisia, you can
be part of something much more global if you just wide your time -- bide your time and go with your peers. in my own experience with a confident as vast as africa, working in collaboration really oes bring personal and professional protection in many ases to the journalists we work with. journalists who would otherwise have a story killed immediately, because we saw this happen in a number of countries, where a businessman r politician calls and editor, also tv owner, and says there is no way you are running that story. it gets cut in minutes. second, even if they do, the entire network, thanks to what you saw earlier, can be alerted to that. i think it is fair to say that
there is a healthy dose of solidarity among partner journalists, that means if one member is feeling under attack, it is probably more likely to have the opposite attack to embolden that partner to run a story, just to make sure it is the public impact it deserves. when i am not struggling with internet connections in burkina faso, i am also writing stories as a journalist, and is a member of icoj, two of the stories i did on the panama papers came from two vastly ifferent ways. the individual sanctions within the united states, that appeared within the panama papers. that was, we thought, an important story to tell because is situated mossack fonseca within the panama papers, in america within a subject that was for congress and fbi investigators, as many of us told them in investigations for a long time. that was in some ways, an easy story to do. marina showed you the atabase.
you could mention the term, and you have one partner at mossack fonseca saying we have to get off of this as soon as possible. but it also requires a much more thoughtful, data-driven approach to counterbalance that. so that we were not sharing incriminating e-mails. and that also goes back to what marina said, searches to upload the specially designated nationals list from the u.s. department of treasury, to match that against the list, to see who was where, to come up with 33 individuals or companies who had some stage then on the list. nd who are also shareholders within the panama papers document. the second story that began somewhat, i suppose, more
levity. but in the end, and ended up being a story of public interest, relating to how often wealthy spouses use the offshore world to hide or dart, s some people told me, the ormer better half. that was an interesting global story, too. we saw examples in which, often quite frankly, a husband's lawyer, usually husband, would say i need a company that can help me protect assets in view of an impending divorce, winky ace. i usually wake up these days to e-mails from ex-wives or lawyers are presenting ex-wives who are interested in exploring the panama papers further. i think i will leave it at that. nd there was one woman, just a
kevin: ok. i am kevin hall with mcclatchy newspapers. we own 29 newspapers across the country. the miami herald, the sacramento bee. most of the papers in the carolinas. a lot of people in the initial round of recording after april 3 said, gosh, why didn't they have someone of greater weight as a u.s. partner, which i kind of took a little personally, as you can imagine. my background is in latin america.
most of my carrier and in economics. for me, this was a perfect story that i have worked my entire life to be involved in because it brought in all of my skill set together in one story. why does this matter? most of the client sorry in latin america, spending 14 hours a day reading documents in spanish and portuguese. that has not stopped since a police are that is an ongoing project. we did a range of stories after the initial stories. i would caution people against thinking that, once we got the stories out on april 3 and that is the big news. 11.5 million files, 2.2 terabytes of data, this is massive. at the risk of speaking out of tune, i would tell you that the searchable data isn't all earchable. we are working on a story of a high-level person in the united states that did not appear under passport searches, who did not appear in a variety of ways, and yet they are
there. so i would caution using numbers. this is the gift that is going to be -- keep giving for a long time. i will give you an example. you may have been aware in ecuador the president started threatening the reporters from our project. there were going to haul them in and put them before congress and embarrass them in front of national tv. that really got my goat. i thought, ok, i am going to tell my story on that. because of dumb luck, i ran into a ton of stories that showed that the panamanian government had raided fence on econd. now they say they don't know what that was about. that it was the prior government.
this is the thing is this is the sort of thing they were supposed to have, continuity in reporting. if you had seen the actual tory, basically, core is demanding that they release the documents and suddenly his in there. as you can imagine, his people id not want us to publish that and asked us not to. as marina had hinted or touched on, this was originally one terabyte through 3.6. every step along the way, we hought, ok, we are done with our people and let's think about what we are going to write. the data release in october is
really the one that brought a huge amount of stuff. when people started looking in august, for instance, we had 500 gigabytes of data. some of our colleagues in our chain who were involved working with the project got frustrated pretty quick. by october, you had a much bigger file. if you look up the word miami, it has -- it appears almost 119,000 times. it gives you a sense of how difficult it was to search and then research. again, you are looking at -- for instance, does anybody have a passport on them? if you look at the bottom of our passport, you will see the p and then a symbol and a code or your country. one of the swiss members found that is a search tool and it hold up a lot of the passports in the file. you don't have to wonder whether this is the right guy or not.
there is your passport. there are a lot of creative things, as we all collaborated on way, we ended up lifting each other up. some of the challenges is the most interesting people go through pretty extreme steps to hide their accounts. you are not going to have somebody that says on the front door this is -- i'm donald trump enterprises. you know, come find my offshore. not a good example. he didn't have one. not that we could find at least. everything that we found -- most of it has been serendipitous. you're looking at it country. we can get into this and the q&a. as we touched on and said why you would use this -- there are legitimate uses. on the trump towers, if you were buying one of the trump properties, it is a lot easier in panama to create a shell
corporation because than a shell sells it to a shell and you don't pay transfer taxes. and your income becomes easier. there are practical reasons and you have to single those out. the thing about passport is atching of a person to a name. so about four months in this project, we were sure we had a top nsa official called michael adelvec crmbing io. he is the person who briefed the president. we were pretty sure he was who he was. we had his passport, but he had no internet footprint. we know viewers for northrop grumman, head of the intelligence programs for northrop grumman, the big defense contractor. and they don't have a picture of him on the website. how interesting. he is also a top executive on a trade suit -- trade group for providers. i'm so we have the passport of a guy.
we are 99% sure it is a same guy. the oldest adage in journal of us in -- journalism is about making assumptions. turns out it was not that eccio.l delv it was a different michael delveccio who was also in the military. when we called him, he said you've got the wrong michael delvecchio. he hung up on us. a week later, after we visited his doorstep in malta and mexico city, he decided to play ball and got involved and did an interview. then his lawyer got involved and he did not do anything else. again, knowing who you are dealing with has been a particular challenge.
i want to say i will leave this with the organizers who are -- for anybody who is nterested. did tremendous work. they are more focused on the millennial's, the younger audience. they did an hour-long documentary. they used the big short approach to describe how offshore's work and how they work against the government. very creative, thought outside the box. can't say enough good things about them. marina: would you like to share your experience collaborating with so many journalists and what is hard about it or -- kevin: we can do this in the q and a setting, too. from a collaborative standpoint, i think marina would agree. i would challenge anybody to
say who posted more things in people's groups. this was the exact thing. f you are in latin america and you know the names and you over the region for a long time, they are all over ere. working with reporters in columbia, in peru, everybody kind of pushed the ball forward together. i might add that, for those of us who covered mexico and our mexico team and the russia team, they did this with their lives at threat. we sometimes forget that, particularly here in the united states, the risks they took. one of our partners was under a death threat for over a year. i won't name names or countries. at this was serious business and they were going after people who were powerful, who were connected, and who were robbing their states. from that standpoint, it was wonderful to watch others. i think the biggest miracle to me was that people actually kept secret -- kept this secret
the entire way through. that is no small task given how many countries had elections. marina's home country of argentina, i have to admit i was sure was going to blow it but didn't. [laughter] they had a really big election and they sat on information that could have really swayed the results. and we had our own primaries. in all cases, people also sat on information that, under the old model, you would be first out the gate and do that. and i think they deserve a lot of credit for the discipline it took to stick with it. rather than keep talking, i would rather go to questions. >> that's great. we have a lot of questions coming up here. i will start off with a few. thank you again for being here. this is great. you talked about your source john doe in a bit. do you think he's got the impact he was looking for with the stories that have been done o far? marina: yeah, i think is quite happy.
with the impact. it has been an incredible impact. of course, now the question is will it be long-lasting, like a real, deep impact and reform in the offshore world? will those company registers. become public as governments have been promising, some governments, that there will be. will the measures the obama administration announced become real reform, where the states of delaware and nevada and wyoming will stop allowing people to create companies in the name of ickey mouse instead of themselves and open bank accounts in those names and launder money through the u.s.? sometimes, when government seek loopholes, they create new loopholes. and they have suspicion that some of the reforms that the u.s. is already making is making loopholes for some meals.
as journalists, -- for somebody else. as journalists, we have to keep looking and continue to report bout it. >> it's fair to say that there will be a lot more stories for coming -- forthcoming. marina: right. >> i love this line. all corruption is local. since we are here. what are the best way for reporters to access this data, to work with you to root out what may be a local story for them as well? marina flverage i think the best thing reporters can do is go through the public database. it is not perfect. it doesn't have every single beneficial owner. a lot of that information is buried in the documents. sometimes and little notes on the side of documents but they have a great deal of information. look at the most important law firms in your country. do not search the name of the president.
do it if you want, but quickly move on to the proxies and the relatives. you are more likely to find a can of people. and then if you find something great and we already have been receiving a lot of tips from journalists, but not only tips that we investigate, but ometimes journalists say i have been working on this story for two years and, finally, here's the information i've been looking for. and they present is a compelling case about the work they have done already and how what we have can help them finalize and be able to publish that story. in some of those cases, when people come to us, when reporters come to us with those situations, we are more than willing to work with them and help them take the story, the hard stories to the finish line. >> we are already getting e-mails from people saying this ompany has a same name as my ex-husband's last name, is this his company?
in a lot of the latin american countries, they will be able to find the names and ask people these questions. ack to the first question, whether anything changes, i think we have a pretty small window for when things get changed. here in the u.s., we have an election coming. the president's proposal is far less than it seems. it takes some things backwards in many ways. i'm not optimistic frankly that they will do anything. on the state level, wyoming and delaware, which we highlighted in terms of their shortcomings, i think they will address some of the shortcomings. beneficial owner registry, i don't see a public one that the public and see. the best that we could hopeful that would be useful is a rivately -- is a private one that law enforcement can go to ight now, if you are law
enforcement and you suspect someone he has many in an offshore, you have to get a subpoena. to get the subpoena, it is a very high threshold. you are not going to spend a lot of time looking to see if they've got assets. with all these files, they are not going to spend miles -- months to see if panama coughed up a name. i am not as optimistic perhaps as others. >> talk to me a little bit about the day to technology challenges. we were fussing with the laptop, getting your owerpoint. bureaucracy had some help and you had to build your own programs. talk to me about the data technology challenges you faced here at marina: it really helps that we have been working with big data and confidential documents for four years now. four years ago, we were in a different situation.
we were scrambling. we had to go outside of our team for technical support. we had to -- really come in some ways we did not know what we were doing and how to handle that much data and how to make it accessible to journalists. but we learned over time we have perfected the methodology. we are using all open software that we are tweaking. we are happy to share what we have learned with others. we think the crucial thing is focus a lot on security. but also on usability. i need reporters to feel comfortable. and has to be simple and it has to be fast otherwise you lose their attention. i need to get those reporters engaged. now for a month or two months, but sent -- but sometimes for a year. in this case, we needed that time to upload everything, process everything, do the reporting, do it well, and then publish.
again, i do know want to go into too many technical issues are details, but i am happy to discuss. >> one more question and then i will open up to the audience. can you tell me what you would do differently now, looking ack. will: i think we've all had plenty of embarrassing moments no doubt, in which we concluded there was nothing in the search and moved on. only yesterday or 48 hours ago, our australian partners -- and i'm australian too, so i did the same search -- we looked at our prime minister and he did not turn out. he was not in the first ublication in april.
48 hours ago, one of our reporters did an additional form of searching within the search box that you saw. all of a sudden, they found him with a next her middle name in the middle somewhere that we had not thought to include previously. if i were to do the search again from a journalistic point of view, i would probably be more intelligent, artful and technical in how i searched. i would probably start more with databases rather than random entry of names that interested me. [laughter] i am in a unique and lucky position in that i have been able to work from 8:00 to 6:00 or a and indict for as long as i really want -- or midnight to midnight for as long as i really wanted. they still have the motivation to go home every night because they know how important business is to the country and then spend another four hours
looking through the panama apers documents. i think in terms of an organizational practice, what i would do again is -- i don't know -- probably work with more partners. marina: oh, really? [laughter] >> we should learn from our mistakes and there are people that are looking forward to the same. our -- would you do this over again? kevin: in terms of our own organization, a little depression, -- digression, marina has very pleasant and polite enough. to give people a sense of what happened in our organization, when we first got into the project, we had five foreign
bureaus, a bigger washington bureau, and an international focus. at some point during this, we decided to close our foreign bureaus, become more focused, he miami herald in the charlotte examiner both moved and our bureau chief left and we got a new bureau chief. ll of that in this project. to their credit, to corporate credit, they stuck with us. there are three with us. i have been working on this nonstop since august, no other reporting than this. my two colleagues have been six onths nonstop. and they have given us new funding, brought in outside experts. we got a whole budget things planned. in that sense, had we known
this was going to be as well received as it had come i think maybe we would have landed differently. renu that the iceland by mr. would go. we knew by september -- iceland prime minister would go. we knew by september what was in here. but nobody thought the response would be what it has been. we've seen two other big profile mark -- high-profile projects play out well. my sense that this is had more public reaction that we could have expected. marina: about the technical challenges, the need to work side-by-side, hand-in-hand with engineers, with data analysts, these people, many of them are from the younger generation. they need to be our best friends. were we do is return those -- we turned those engineers into journalists. we call them the geniuses. they are the ones who allowed us to work with this data, to be intelligent about how we
nterrogate information and all of that. we are not going to turn into engineers ourselves or data specialists, but make sure engineers can do that work. we saw the difference in the newsrooms where people had that help versus people who didn't. and it makes a world of difference. and we could not have done this work if we did not have a data units which come at this point, is more than half the staff and udget, devoted to technology in these kinds of expertise and skills. >> please state your name and news outlets when asking a question. we have a microphone julie is going to pass out. we have a question from the audience? right in the front row. >> hello, my name is robert thompson. work for an online business
publication covering. . real tory risk thank you for this panel -- covering regulatory risk. thank you for this panel. i want to talk about the john doe agreement to release this information. can you bring us up-to-date? on the status of that offer? ave the documents been released to a law enforcement authority? if so, which one? since you released a public database this week, have you received any requests from law enforcement authorities with very targeted enforcement requests, the ones that would meet fourth amendment muster of having a very specific written request for information?
marina: no, we haven't received any requests from law enforcement. after the release of the database, at least not that i am aware of. with regards to john doe, he communicates with our partners at deutsche zeitung. we have always kept it that way. imagine, if any government or any law enforcement official is willing to take him on his offer, and also offer the kind f immunity and protection that he is requesting, which, if you ead his manifesto, he is not asking just for himself. he is talking about law changes that need to happen. so not only he is protected, but any other person. doing similar kind of work -- person doing similar kind of work. but it should be through eutsche site and -- deutsche
zeitung first. > is collaboration with what happen with the panama papers the new way forward with probing corruption or possible orruption? marina: i absolutely think o. it is an incredibly efficient model. law-enforcement, economies, and even criminals figured out collaboration decades ago maybe. and journalists, we are lagging behind. we were still in the lone wolf model. i think the panama a have shown the potential and the power of journalistic collaboration, that it can really be a game changer. that'll leon this topic, but
basically any other topic where journalists decide to join forces. >> kevin, can you add to that? kevin: there is a variation that we and others have been doing for a while. with the donors and nonprofits. i always joke that they are voluntary nonprofit versus the newspaper industry that is in voluntary nonprofit. i think that already is a new model in terms of -- i affirm or -- jim asher has business.org. i think those models are coming up more frequently now. it's collaboration through think tanks, something new is eing born. it is not clear how it will look further down the road. we had partnered with donors to und an effort of correspondence for a number of years, that the only requirement was at they deal it -- they write about children's issues during just had to write a fixed number of stories. we were free to do everything
s we wanted to do. that was a wonderful collaboration. i think we are going to see more that going forward. frankly, the business model for the newspaper industry and even digital is pretty much still struggling. >> questions from the udience? your name and news outlet, please. >> thank you for doing this. my name is hiram mejia. my question to you all is -- correct me if i'm wrong, but this leaks show that most of these activities are already legal or illegal in many countries. and they will continue to find new ways to evade paying taxes. will they think twice before trying to not comply with the
local national laws and pay their fair share? >> what is interesting in the anama papers is that we have four decades of documents. there have been changes in regulatory systems over that time. you can see in e-mails and documents, for example, a change in panama -- there were hares of people to hold shares that do not have an identifier or that left many people to just go, all right, i have anonymity -- but it is not worth the trouble -- sure, put the name of my public share.
not everyone is desperate and dedicated to go to the very limits of anonymity behind whatever they are doing and when reforms were introduced, we saw in the panama papers that sometimes they complied. there are examples where they have not as well. my expectation is that some people will be left forthcoming or explicit and what they put on e-mails from now on and maybe revert to pigeon. or traditional forms of messaging. >> bearer shares are a form of share ownership where somebody else holds the share for you. your name is never revealed unless a subpoena comes but how woodlawn enforcement know to come there? panama has 16,000 still on the books so in terms of those people coming on, with his company has done and i presume other companies are doing is converting some abuse to what are called with foundation -- private enterprise foundations were you have to know many directors who are appointed by the form and their shareholders -- your name doesn't appear in the document so it is -- they
have responded to this in a way that kind of continues the camouflage so i'm a little more cynical and i think that my debt is that they are going to ind better ways to make it even more secure in order to penetrate. >> just a last short thing is that to remember that yes, tax havens are usually associated with tax avoidance but what the panama papers have shown is an array of criminality that goes beyond tax avoidance and it involves drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking. what else? financial fraud of every type they even possibly imagine. it is important to remember that many people say it is legal -- president obama said that is precisely the problem that it is legal and we have designed laws and so poorly
that we are allowing this parallel universe or parallel economy to exist that allows yes not only to avoid taxes but also allows people to break the law in infinite ways and get away with it. >> are you surprised you haven't gotten requests from law enforcement? the lack of response by law enforcement agencies across the world? marina: i have to say, the question was whether we had gotten requests from law enforcement after the release of the database -- the specific cases we have received and published -- we have received requests from docents -- dozens of governments around the world before the release of the database. they wanted documents -- lots of document -- every document -- they wanted axis to an entire leak and we have responded that our stated public decision is that we do not collaborate with governments. we do not see ourselves as an arm of the law enforcement. we are independent.
we are doing our work and have been trusted to do journalistic work on these files. if whistleblowers would have wanted the files to be accessible to everyone, they would have gone to a different type of group who would have made them accessible to everyone or if they wanted and accessible to law enforcement they would have gone to law enforcement, so -- that is the reason why we haven't -- we have declined all requests including the requests from the ew york prosecutors. > the panama -- the panamanian government raided and reportedly has coppy is of well beyond what we have because we do not think this is the entire universe of their data that we ave. so, and a law enforcement requests will probably begin our tour the panamanian government and it is up to them to say what they are doing in who's requested it. >> the panamanian government which would like to us stop
saying the panama papers. >> i am glad he mentioned that. one of the things this -- these documents show is the fact how disingenuous -- they have a form -- they have these visas that you can get panamanian citizenship through a certain amount of investment or have a forestry investment program where you give a certain amount and you get a forestry these and were even take residents there is a they have a lot of misaligned incentives that they on the face of it look like a good thing that are attracting nefarious people and i think it is not proper to say it is just ne firm. >> want do you need to help? you have a lot more data. hat more would help? obviously money is always nice to have. as in more journalistic colleagues? what do you need to keep digging into this? >> i can start it i would say a bit of all of the above. as we have said, we are constantly adding new partners, especially in countries where
we haven't had partners up until now. as marina said, it is so crucial for us to work with local journalists because we can find it -- anyone can find david cameron's father but not verybody can find the lawyer of -- i don't know -- the childhood friend of a former minister in senegal, for example. on the ground journalists who we can trust, a key resource that we are continuing to seek out and added. of course each time we had a journalist, we are adding workloads onto not only ndividual reporters like me or marina who have to train journalists to convey the importance of the collaboration nd how we work, but every time a journalist types in a word to the database and correct me if i am wrong -- there is a financial cost that based on the -- based on what we are using.
both people and dollars are going to be increasingly important to us. marina: we have a staff of 12 and are we are dealing with 400 journalists, dealing with massive amounts of data appeared we are a nonprofit organization. we are funded only bound -- only by foundations and individuals. we are part of the center for public integrity. our organization just had to lay off journalists at our organization. so, we -- we need continued support in from donors and from individuals and we are very grateful -- they got a lot of small donations online after we ublished, a lot of $20 donations and that added up, but we have challenges ahead because now we have grown so uch and quickly, and reporters
expect a lot from us, and we want to continue going. we already have new projects inside, but we also have a pretty burned out staff who has been doing, you know, a lot of work, without a break for a long time. we do not have anybody to fall back on. so, that is something that internally we need to assess how we face the next strategy and the expectation we have created with limited resources. >> more hours in a day would be nice. that would be a starting point because in other leaks, someone had mentioned you get a name and you are -- you just write it. this is the most unglamorous sort of research paradigm might be a thousand files. have to read each file might have an e-mail for that is 20 pages long and there is nothing that a machine can do -- this is something that you have to read with your own set of eyes and do this and one other thing that is widely underreported to
date is looking backwards. these files go back to 985. the tech team who is beyond fantastic -- do you realize that some of these files are in lotus notes? they had to make them readable most the files before 2006 are in a format that is equivalent to a jpeg that is not searchable. it predates of adobe acrobat. all of this old data about you on contra, we barely even looked at because it wasn't the time trade-off wasn't there. i think -- one of the things i would like to see that would make it easier to research older files which i think what clarify a number of scandals round the world -- >> on that point, why not make it all available -- viewable -? here is everything we have, absolutely everything -- >> you need to make all of this
files available to the ublic? there is incredibly private information in these files that you don't want to give the criminals of the world so many passport numbers and bank accounts. there is a responsibility that comes with an and as i said before, the whistleblowers knew who they were dealing with and they didn't give it to us because they wanted a published n its to cavity, but because they were seeking the journalistic lens that we can bring to it. there is another reason -- not only the privacy -- a lot of what kevin said is incredibly oring. there is so much that nobody -- believe me -- wants to read, because they are going to be bored. so, i think what we need is a comprehensive reporting force to be able to really dig out most of the stories that we can possibly. >> thank you. > alex lewis, i am a tax analyst.
have you guys responded? >> what do you mean reach out? >> any type of legal action? anything? ease and desist? >> monsanto sent a cease equest before we published the database. we received a public database in the public interest. they have recently announced that they plan to sue icij but we haven't yet received any form of letter or information that has been filed. >> we also received a number of threatens for suits from
lawyers from people that we have been interviewing -- that -- so the property, do not ublish this. we have not heard from any of them since publishing. we have heard from one person who is under indictment and threatened to sue us for reporting with the federal government already has in an indictment so we are numbered about that one. >> the importance of whistleblowers. obviously, as journalists, we always know and learn that you cannot ask somebody to distill data for you but it is vitally important it seems to have this kind of data reach journalists so that they can pursue stories like this, right? protections for whistleblowers in this administration seem lacking.
>> absolutely. the criteria we use is that we don't -- you all share with us s that we don't get involved in any activity with the. we are recipients of leaks and we are happy to get them. s long as our reporters have not participated, encouraged, or been part of any kinds of activities by the whistleblowers. as long as we are passive recipients, we are fine with it. in this case, it was through süddeutsche zeitung. the laws are lacking everywhere to protect whistleblowers. the investigation that i talked about before that exposed and multinational tax avoidance scheme, participation in that investigation -- the main whistleblower -- the alleged whistleblowers in the main reporter working on that story
are standing trial right now in luxembourg in the face jail. edward tourraine is facing charges. it is happening in a country that is a founding member of the european union and they can o to jail. >> the scary thing about merican journalists taking for granted -- the freedoms we have -- but you face a lot of hat. the press freedom issues created, especially in countries like africa but the journalists you are working with; can you talk to me with the challenges that you face there with the press freedom issues and journalists who cannot get electricity and are worried about going to jail or worse?
these are kind of things that we hear of secondhand. marina will often hear me speaking in french or slow english to our african colleagues about what they are experiencing. it was a universal it was a universal phenomenon and a kenya report on the panama papers and where the newspaper received a phone call from their lawyers that they still published. there are lots of challenges. and panama papers was amazing was it is more or less validated everything she had reported on that led to her
imprisonment and offshore empire and houses in london and despite the president coming out saying his family members are business en and women, that doesn't fly when you have them using a whole range of foundations and no one will be able to track or to have the kind of documents we were able to see through the panama papers. i would go back to that point. nd i'm not completely removed, but greatly helped through collaboration and you may want to vent and share with 00 journalists the suffering that you are going through and someone else can pick up your
story so the truths don't get out. >> and i think a lot of the papers, will take the partner did and translated and going back to this collaboration, you wouldn't do that and through the partnership, it has allowed that, too. the russian team did this under great personal risk. our partners where the reporter was killed in her apartment. that is front and center. i can't say about the bravery that it took to do that and partners that will be working off the same data. if you look at what hasn't been reported about russia, the government of russia speaks to
this rule of law and what sort of society has come out of the post-cold war era. here is a lot of work. reporter: what was the role. and not clear what was the partnership sharing -- what kind of partnership. my second question related to -- you mentioned you are dealing ith leaked material and leaked documents, as we say and part of your answers are saying that we can pick and choose, what was e criteria as far as the information and the third is my
question, we are talking about documented digitized corruption. what if it is not documented and not digitized, how are you handling it. do you have any program or somebody has to leak it to you? role as the recipient of the leak. we wouldn't be having this conversation. irst of all, paying attention, and d in his manifesto and i mails and hard sometimes to distinguish to the great leaks and somebody in
their basement. i give them credit for having paid attention and having asked the right questions. but also for having them instead of trying to, this was the story of life. we are hoping for in our careers. and let's going back to the network of giving back because they have mr. benishek: fitting and then they give back and i give them credit for that. i know that is not -- you have different views and i'm sure there were vows in other newsrooms.
and how do we pick the stories nd focusing first on politicians and public speakers. small business owners and things like that if they don't have a big business interest and and who , we have no are the individuals who need to be held accountable and we are finding one politician after another, the factions people, the banks, the enablelers, banks and law firms. that is how we have our
stories. >> that an approach they took that other rooms would have taken on this particular investigation and the third question related to non additionized projects. >> i think there is a trend for everything and when you are involving corruption you are going to need a bank account than create a company or write a an and it's not impossible talk about the containers full of money that are traveling from
about because it involves personal data is the person of public person. we have lots of things that does president add up. ap does president hold an office or head a public corporation and the case of egypt. one of mubarak's sons was tied to financial fraud. he was not named in the document. we did not run that, because it wasn't a direct relationship. it was presumed it was on his behalf and i think there are a ot of examples that a lot of knewsrooms would deal with that. made. t of decisions are how did you happened will that,
with your decision might not be the same? >> and i think she at the risk f using a generic term watched everything that people were doing and someone working on a story and people working on a story and made sure and as best -- you know, as best as possible, not undermining but getening out. and i think that was helpful. >> and we don't get involved in our decisions. we suggest a lot and we profusely give them guidelines and suggestions but it's up to each organization to decide not when, because that's what we are
how that all plays out. the u had to be careful in ecuador story, what i find most troubling was having to do this at a time they had an earthquake and didn't want to distract and he president politicized and things like that and we had the green light and had to take into account what it might mean to our partners and we didn't want them arrested. these are real calculations. >> we are down to our last few minutes. how do we make the technology
used, how do we make this a model going forward for other information this is given to journalist and how do we serve it as a model? >> there are groups and networks that are working in this way and that is the best news that the paradigm has scommanged from the lone to the globe network collaboration. anybody who find himself or herself, they know what to do. there are groups. and others, we are open about our networks and our technology and if you want to learn more about that and how to put the documents and you are neutral and they use one line from and
video. she was horpped before having a chance to visit the bus. the bus traveled to pennsylvania to honor athe graders for their second prize winners. during the ceremony, they donated $500 to the local charity. following this event, they traveled to new jersey the next big problem. and leonard smates lance joined in the ceremony. comcast helped to coordinate. and view all the videos at studentcram.org. and reporting on the visit
washington wins anti-russia allies and from the bbc, nordic leaders. president obama and the first ady welcomed the leaders with ceremony at the white house this morning and ends tonight with an official state dinner. we will be showing their arrival at 7:00 eastern time. here's the aprifle -- arrival ceremony that started the day off.
>> good morning, everybody. due to the possibility of thunderstorms, we decided to ove our arrival ceremony indid doors. our nor dick friends are used to tough weather. you should know that we have not seen the sun in about three weeks, which you experience for months on end, but despite that fact rg, we want you to know we
are happy to have all of you here. we are horpped to welcome, not one nation, but five. our great nordic friends and partners. from finland and orway, prime minister of sweden, prime minister of depp of and prime minister iceland. to you and your delegation, welcome you to the united states. speaking foreign language]
president obama: i'm not sure they were delivered perfectly, but the spirit was under stood. today is an opportunity for michelle and me to return the spital that we received in copenhagen and stockholm. don't worry, i understand that swede why has a phone number. iceland invites you to send your questions to a #. and they'll answer. but they are extraordinary countries and most importantly
they are extraordinarily friends. this is a special day, i think for the millions of americans who trace their and cease friday to nordic countries including my ome state of illinois. erickson reached this country and horpped their parents and grand parents and helped to ild our country, they wear their sweeters and display orses and -- speaking foreign language] president obama: around the world our closest partners are democracy.
we share the same values. we bleach our citizens to live in freedom and security, free .rom terrorism and europe we believe in free markets and rade that support jobs and the environment and the the we believe we have a moral obligation to this to confront the reality of climate change including our beautiful arctic. we believe in societies, through education, health care and equal opportunity. a world of growing economic disparities, they have the least
income equality in the world and they are the happy yet people in the world despite not getting believe in the dignity of every human being. we believe in pluralism and toll rism and respect for free speech. we welcome the refugee who seeks a better life. we stand up for human rights around the world. leading ations are our contributors to spare a child on the other soid of the world. to give girls even on the other side of the world a chance at an yeags and to end the outrage of extreme poverty.
and in their own region, the ordic countries are a model of cooperation and they punch above their weight in meeting the challenges of our time. they are not large countries but no issues that we deal with, whether in terms of security or onomics or how march r man tarians. and that's why i invited to invite them. we take our best friends for granted and it's important not to do so. they have been important for us in shaping and maintaining our international order that is
rule-based, fair and just. i really do believe that the world would be more secure and more more produce produce. why don't we put all these southern california countries in charge for a while and core clean things up. now, i will admit to our nordic languages and expressions can be a little confusing. show called "game of thonesthronse. we we are grateful. not in terms of politics but our ur culture and
children's imagination as come to life with our homes and lives us here design, some of dance and sing to aba. i want to point out that finland has the most heavy metal band in the world per capita and ranks high on good governance. ion there is a correlation. stay in touch by skype and millions spend what would be on angry birds and candy crush. [laughter] , >> the poet once wrote the community is lying a ship, everyone ought to be prepared to
take the helm. our ship is stronger when everyone has the opportunity. our world is safer when we contribute to. i blook and i welcome you all to the united states of america. now, given the unique nature of this visit, we have unusual arrange mnlt and we aren't going to have them speak consecutively because the n so nordic countries are famous for their cooperation, there has been an allocation of time and we are going to begin this morning with the president of finland and prime minister of
our ertesm and strengthening the security and stability, and this is includes appropriate dialogue with russia to increase transparency and reduce risks. the countries are in providing shoulder europe and we our responsibilities. we seek solutions instead of -- we are rilling and able to cooment with you in promoting security and stability. we value highly. the u.s. commitment to europe and our security.
president and first lady and distinguished guests. thank you for and the other members of our delegation. as you make the most of our year in the white house, you have clearly the best -- [laughter] guests anded special it is, the exercise provided joint training and one of the highlights is watching u.s. marines learning how to do it. . president, and this is our navy, and your birthday, two years ago -- just as we got
together 9/11 and joined forces in the filet against isis. this is the nature and our partnership. we are bound by the history that we share. one of the march eeps that i met and muslim i don't know, sir of people in the united states. there are more here than there are here in norway. and huge expansive in the atlanta ocean and new opportunities for themselves and their children. they carry the dream in the united states. the atlantic ocean units us more. nd made norway and and
there is more to be done. the united states and we have different roles to play in the nternational arena and mr. president, i would like to commend you on your leadership. your commitment to achieving real progress in climate change was essential to the paris agreement. american leadership is key to ensuring the planet. d this new security, nonproffer lifferings, a key element, of international security and bold in new reductions a to make the world safer. mr. president, in new york, last year ks the international
community established a road map by broge the sustainability. if you make the right choices, can reaid and more peaceful future and do this in a way that safeguards the plan. broad partnerships will be needed to achieve this goal. nordics d states anded nd will provide a best return. i greatly appreciate the leadership and discourse it's a course we share as mothers, and today's summit is to advance the reiterate the values we share
and because we are stronger and more effect tiffer together and the bond between us remain as powerful as they are today. thank you. umh [applause] president obama: we are going to get so work. we are very grateful for the presence of our leadership. >> ladies and gentlemen, in concludes the ser moany.
one head of state, but five guests of hoorn will be arriving here. righters reporting they will be in a large tent. at haddyo, guest will sit blings and hand roled bee go and tuna servinged in large tubes of ice. and tweeted a picture of where held.nner will be ll day, they have been in deed h leaders. they have been contributed and germany has and taking in.
swede cren has 10 million people received requestions last year and the u.s. target is to. cameras were allowed and well ie look at president obama remarks. president obama: we are grateful ith the remarks and they are not large countries in term of could of populations but ontributions, ideas, energy, they are enormously important and the fact that our values and them terests align make make one of our most important partners.
given the threats of terrorism, our partners are making corrections in the fight against seistlithes i will a liberated rom isil and syrians and iraqi yes, sir, we discussed our counterterrorism operation. want to thank den mrk to the nato mission in afghanistan. we agreed that we need to work teague in support of a settlement to end the civil war and we will continue to work together and me vrnt people. i want to mend the contributions that these countries have made in absorbing receive few dees
and had a discussion among receive few combose. and the american press understand that although the absolute numbers that are going into these numbers may not seem that large when you are lookic t a per camenta basis they are making and effort to help people in great immediate. but tass important for the world to carry this burden alongside them and not a lou those and i'm glad that we'll great get strong partnerships in the summit on e rift few geese that i hope to host in september.
as we head into the see him hit. ourark and norway will will europe and all of our nations incries cooperation between the nato and e. nd support the ukraine and until we can get a ressloogs as krn outlined in the m ninch k agreement. we are united many our concern out russia's about their posture. will be maintaining ongoing dialogue. but we want to make sure that we are prepared and strong and we
this whereas a useful and important conversation. although there was too much agreement to make excitement as i stipes participate in. what i would like to do is turn it in to the prime minister who is going to be sharing for the group. thank you mr. president and anking us for our nordic leaders. we foe the united states and we 11 million e than
a.m. cans have the heritage and we share that will to share and the values and let me just give you two examples. we agree on the need of global response to common challenges and the transatlantic linching is more important than ever. we stand by side by side ambr russian will not accept aggression in you crane. we are convinced that a negotiated two-state solution is urgent and needed for israel and palestine and will require
actions and responsibility. we welcome the military progress while seeking to come plea in the event these. we have agreed to work together task the the root causes of migration. have a and we welcome the u.s.-lid summit on which sweden will continue and i will attend that summit. think it is important to have it. the same goes for climate change and pushing for the clean energy nergy for the u.s. and
northwardics countries will in emissions. ah reduce and we will be the first in the world. the u.s. and we share the belief that the individual freedom are swrobs, growth to create jobs, we need sustain able investment and new tech moling and that i'm awe staunch supporter of bringing us closer together to a strong investment partnership. but with freedom comes with also responsibility. we strive for trade that is both free and fair and enables creates better working skns.
we share the belief that women and participation in the quork orce necessary to achief and gender is smart and fem matter of human rights. our five countries have developed qua is known as the models to enable more people to work increase gender equality. and we are proud to see those ideas are discussed and developed in the united states th the strong evers with health care and higher education system for all. i believe that in the u.s. advanced on these issues will crite new hope for all of those who believe in social justice
and as we have read in the atlantic, obama likes to say, if anybody would like to say, we uld all be easy and trully enjoy communications not only easier but better and fiscal year for all. harning you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> around the white house, take a look.