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Panama Papers pass security test


The Pulitzer prize-winning Panama Papers investigation was an exemplar of computer security, according to new research.

Journalists from around the world collaborated on the global story of corruption involving leading politicians from more than 50 countries. Leaked documents revealed their nefarious use of offshore funds linked to the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“Success stories in computer security are rare,” explained Franzi Roesner, assistant professor at the University of Washington and one of the principal investigators on this project. “But we discovered that the journalists involved in the Panama Papers project seem to have achieved their security goals.”

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) played a central role in the success of the investigations.

“We found that the tools developed for the project were highly useful and usable, which motivated journalists to use the secure communication platforms provided by the ICIJ,” added Susan McGregor, assistant professor at Columbia University and one of the principal investigators on this project.

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