Data Entrepreneurs Leak and Map Corruption Online

Data-savvy entrepreneurs gave a quick glimpse into their projects at Asia’s first Investigative Journalism Conference in Manila. Two of them showed how their digital platforms make information sharing possible – and safe.

Japan To Start Internet Leaking
The first Japanese-language Internet leaking site is set to launch in mid-December said Masayuki Hatta, a pioneering open knowledge activist and developer of the site. “In Japan we don’t have a whistleblowing friendly culture but I want to change that and I think it’s about that time.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.51.08 AMThe Japanese site will employ GlobaLeaks, an open source software that offers an anonymous, censorship-resistant whistleblowing platform. The tool is already in use by Italy’s Investigative Reporting Project.

Hatta’s site will also use Tor, a free software designed to protect users from network surveillance and traffic analysis.

“The whistleblower will decide if he or she wants to reveal their identity. All the verification process is done by the journalists,” Hatta said.

The only snag is that most people don’t understand journalism and technology, said Hatta. So his next endeavor is to create an easy-to-use manual for journalists just beginning to use open source and leaking technology.

The Bribes Are Here
Take a look at this interactive map by Mintz Group and discover the more than 200 cases that have been investigated for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as far back as 1977 – the year the law was enacted.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.57.47 AM

Screenshot of Mintz Group’s website.

James Mintz, a private investigator and former journalist who developed the interactive platform, noted similarities between private investigation and investigative reporting. “We operate and pursue the investigations in a somewhat similar fashion,” he said.

U.S. legislation prohibits companies and individuals from using bribes in their business operations abroad and the “who”, “when” and “how” behind each case is what the map exposes.

After years of investigating kleptocrats, tax havens, and ‘following the money’, Mintz said there are five steps crooks take to hide their dirty money:

  • Find an opportunity to get paid under the table.
  • Find somebody to trust with your dirty money secret —no kleptocrat acts alone.
  • Find a structure to insert your money in.
  • Move your money.
  • Enjoy it (luxury goods are a great lead for journalists).


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