In the three weeks since the unveiling of the Paradise Papers, the government has clung to familiar arguments. These arguments have not been to do with the Panama Papers – the forerunner investigation into tax havens and offshore empires that the Guardian published last year. Instead, the echoes have come from another remarkable, though unrelated, case: the Edward Snowden intelligence leaks.
Four years ago I was part of the Guardian team trawling through thousands of classified documents that showed the inner workings of Britain’s GCHQ and its sister agency in the US, the National Security Agency.
In the weeks that followed the publication of our disclosures about the unreported extent of modern surveillance, there was a splenetic outcry from securocrats and (mostly) Tory MPs, indignant and enraged in