Five Good Reasons for Secrecy

It is the theory of journalism that everything is the business of everybody. A desire for secrecy is met with suspicion, as though there are no good reasons for people to keep things secret. The concept is brought into focus by about eleven million documents were stolen from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca being reported as the documents being “leaked” by journalists and broadcasters who have unhealthy high opinions of themselves and their own moral purpose.


There are many corner of the world where “off shore” companies can be established. The Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Monaco have been at this game far longer than has Panama. The United Kingdom and France, despite all their self-proclaimed efforts of prevent tax fraud, have allowed these jurisdictions to continue, rather in the same way that Panama has operated. Continue reading


Privacy is the antithesis of transparency, although many who urge transparency do not understand that in many cases the effect of more transparency will be to have less privacy. Continue reading

We will do it because we can!

If in the 1960s a government had proposed that every person who wrote a letter had to, before posting it, file details of their name and address and provide details of the person to whom they sent the letters, and deposit a photostatic copy of the letter, which the government would not open without permission from a judge, the hippies and the establishment would have united to prevent such a plan. It would not matter how much the Home Secretary protested that the plan was to prevent the IRA blowing us all up and prevent organised criminals like the Krays from operating it would not have been enacted. Continue reading

Google say “no harm done” – nonsense!

“Who was harmed? Name the person,” Mr Schmidt of Google said, when talking about the company’s collection of private data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The data included passwords and chunks of email messages. Well, Mr Schmidt, if you collected my data I was harmed. You see, private information about me is exactly that. It is private. Continue reading