The Panama Papers, released in April 2016, were another quantum leap in size. Where the cables released by WikiLeaks had filled 1.7 gigabytes, the Panama Papers were 2.6 terabytes, or roughly 1500 times the size. They opened an unprecedented — and unprecedentedly detailed — window into how offshore shell companies were being used for tax evasion and international money-shifting.
The era of digital leaking is clearly upon us. The Panama Papers were emblematic not just of the relative ease of copying vast troves, but also of new opportunities for international cooperation among journalists. It was the innovative techniques of the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, under its Australian director Gerard Ryle, that made the Panama Papers possible.