The Panama Papers will have political and social fallout for months and years to come, much like the Libor scandal or the Edward Snowden leaks. A vote of no confidence for Iceland’s prime minister and Internet censorship in China are likely but the beginning.
With top Chinese leaders cited in the leaks, the nation is reportedly turning to Internet censorship to censor the topic. Süddeutsche Zeitung, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reported that family members had connections .
Censors were compromising the integrity of searches containing the characters for “Panama” this week on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent. Later, searches carried the message: “Sorry, searches for ‘Panama’ came up with no relevant results.”
The Chinese provincial Internet office demanded editors revoke references to the leaks, reported the China Digital Times, a UC Berkeley website.
“If material from foreign media attacking China is found on any website, it will be dealt with severely,” the Chinese censorship notice stated.
According to the University of Hong Kong’s Weiboscope, which monitors censor on Weibo, demonstrated the top censored terms were: “tax evasion, file, leaked, Putin and company.”
Relatives, business partners and current and former members of China’s politburo had connections with offshore companies for tax purposes.
The uncertainty behind “The Great Firewall” of China could hold implications for the digital currency Bitcoin, for which a majority of the mining power resides in China.
While it’s perfectly legal for citizens to trade and mine bitcoins, commercial banks and the central banking authority cannot take part in the Bitcoin market.
In the past, popular Bitcoin websites such as BitcoinTalk.org has been censored by censures.
The US attacked China’s recent renewed censorship, calling it a “trade barrier.”
“Outright blocking of websites appears to have worsened over the past year, with eight of the top 25 most trafficked global sites now blocked in China,” the U.S. Trade Representative stated.
“Over the past decade, China’s filtering of cross-border internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers, hurting both internet sites themselves, and users who often depend on them for their business,” according to the USTR report.
As President Barack Obama stated recently of encryption, a main component of Bitcoin: “If in fact you can’t crack that all, if the government can’t get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss Bank account in their pocket. There has to be some concession to the need to be able to get into that information somehow.”
What the fallouts are for Bitcoin, in the wake of the Panama Papers, are yet to be seen.
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