In the growing battle over stolen information, who can muster the most misplaced outrage? The French, for whom the ends (prosecuting tax evaders) justify the means (using a list stolen from HSBC)? Or the Swiss, defenders of the Eighth Commandment and erstwhile protectors of tax cheats from around the world?
Or bets are on the French.
"France is committing no fraud, the tax evaders are," said Eric Woerth, budget minister, in an interview on Canal Plus. "What counts is that we obtained [the information] legally."
A useful, if legally unsupportable, position. Certainly one that owners of artworks stolen by the Nazis might consider employing if they'd like to be laughed out of court.
Which is not to say that the Swiss are behaving any better: Bern is threatening to junk a bilateral tax agreement designed to keep people from evading taxes if the French don't turn over the list.
France stands by use of stolen bank data [FT]