Wikileaks nearing closure?

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Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Senor Penguin on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:57 am

WikiLeaks Says It Could Close
Website Suspends Publishing to Fight Blockade by Financial-Services Firms

By PAUL SONNE

LONDON—WikiLeaks said it will shut down by year-end if financial-services companies don't lift restrictions on donations that have hobbled the organization.

The website—which publishes leaked, sensitive documents—said it is temporarily suspending all publishing operations so that it can devote its resources to battling Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., eBay Inc.'s PayPal, Bank of America Corp. and other companies that have prohibited payments to the site since last December.

The last major WikiLeaks release, hundreds of thousands of U.S. government documents about Guantanamo Bay detainees, was in April.

"This financial blockade is an existential threat to WikiLeaks," Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, said here Monday. "If the blockade is not torn down by the end of the year, the organization cannot continue its work." He said the payment companies had bowed to political pressure from Washington and have prevented WikiLeaks financial contributors from supporting the cause of their choice.

Days after WikiLeaks began releasing a slew of confidential U.S. State Department cables last November, companies including PayPal, MasterCard and Visa prohibited users from making donations to the site. Those limits have stayed in place.

WikiLeaks filed a complaint with the European Commission's antitrust authorities in July. Kristinn Hrafnsson, a WikiLeaks spokesman, said he expects European authorities to decide by mid-November whether to open a probe into the matter. He said WikiLeaks was planning legal action in various countries as well.

European antitrust authorities have received the complaint and are looking into the matter, a commission spokeswoman said. She didn't say when a decision on whether to open a formal investigation was expected.

WikiLeaks' finances long have been touch-and-go. Since 2009, much of the organization's funding has been donated in sums of about $25 apiece through the Wau Holland Foundation, a German nonprofit organization established in memory of a computer hacker, which processes payments for WikiLeaks.

Bernd Fix, a Wau Holland Foundation board member, estimated that WikiLeaks' revenue has dropped 95% as a result of the restrictions. He estimated that the foundation will receive about €70,000, or roughly $95,000, in donations to WikiLeaks by year-end, compared with the roughly €1.4 million received last year.

In a statement last December, PayPal General Counsel John Muller said the account tied to WikiLeaks had been suspended because PayPal's acceptable-use policy prevents an organization from using the service if "it encourages, promotes, facilitates or instructs others to engage in illegal activity." Mr. Muller said political considerations didn't factor into PayPal's decision.

"Ultimately, our difficult decision was based on a belief that the WikiLeaks website was encouraging sources to release classified material, which is likely a violation of law by the source," Mr. Muller said. PayPal declined further comment.

Mr. Assange said Monday that WikiLeaks hadn't done anything illegal, noting that there were "no judgments or even charges" against WikiLeaks or its staff anywhere in the world.

Visa Europe said the credit-card company reserves the right to suspend payments when a merchant doesn't abide by local laws or Visa's operating regulations. A spokeswoman said Visa doesn't share details of its investigations.

Bank of America and MasterCard declined to comment.

Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks needs $3.5 million in the next 12 months if it wants to operate at a similar level to recent months.

Though WikiLeaks has been denied access to many conventional payment methods, the site can still receive money via traditional checks, cash payments and transfers through companies such as MoneyGram International Inc. that haven't banned WikiLeaks donations.

Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks also is turning to other payment methods, such as mobile banking. And he said that direct bank-to-bank money transfers to WikiLeaks remain possible in most countries. But he said anyone using the Bank of America network can't transfer payments to WikiLeaks.

Mr. Assange is living under legal restrictions on an estate in rural England, awaiting a U.K. court's decision on whether to extradite him to Sweden for questioning in a sexual-misconduct case. He has denied wrongdoing and hasn't been charged.

Mr. Assange said Monday that money donated to WikiLeaks won't go toward defending him in the British or Swedish cases. For those cases, he has established a separate legal defense fund, which he said hasn't been restricted by PayPal.

Mr. Assange also said WikiLeaks plans in late November to unveil a secure way for the public to submit leaked documents.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204777904576651042728141886.html

All of those financial institutions are giving Kim Jong Il a run for his money. CENSORSHIP REWLZ!111one

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Swanhends on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:05 pm

Fascist Tyrants :coffee:

Look at the list of some of the people those companies do business with...yet they blockade wikileaks which is basically doing a public service, and continue to deal with far far far far far worse organizations...

smh

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:10 pm

This image was in my news feed for forever and a half:


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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Senor Penguin on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:36 pm

bhends wrote:Fascist Tyrants :coffee:

Look at the list of some of the people those companies do business with...yet they blockade wikileaks which is basically doing a public service, and continue to deal with far far far far far worse organizations...

smh
Hold that thought ...

Funding illegal Israeli settlements?
Priceless.

by Bernard Keane

Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all enable donations to be made to US-registered groups funding illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank in defiance of international law.

It appears at least one of the major credit cards also enables donations to an extremist Jewish group that has placed a bounty on the lives of Palestinians.

All three have in the last week ceased enabling donations to WikiLeaks. Neither Mastercard nor Visa have explained the basis for their decision to do so. PayPal has backed away from its initial claim that the US State Department told PayPal WikiLeaks had broken the law after the claim was discredited. This is the third occasion on which PayPal has suspended payment services for WikiLeaks.

Israel subsidises over 100 settlements in the West Bank in defiance of international law. Another 100+ are “illegal outposts” even under Israeli law. All benefit from extensive support from the United States, channelled through a range of Jewish and right-wing Christian bodies, all of which have charitable status under US law. The International Crisis Group’s report on settlements in July 2009 identified the important role played by US charities. Israeli newspaper Haaretz has investigated the strong support provided via US charities, and Israeli peace groups have also targeted the generous support provided via private donations from the US and Canada.

Credit card transactional systems play a key role in facilitating this support for illegal settlements. Here are some examples.

- The Shuva Israel group, an evangelical Christian group based in Texas, is accused by Israeli group Gush Shalom of channelling money to fund the illegal West Bank settlement of Revava. You can donate to it, says the Shuva Israel website, via Mastercard, Visa and Paypal.

- The One Israel Fund, used as an example in the International Crisis Group report, boasts of being “the largest North American charity whose efforts are dedicated solely to the citizens and communities of Yesha”. You can donate to the One Israel Fund, according to its website, via Mastercard, Visa and Amex.

- The website of another right-wing Christian group, the Christian Friends of Israeli Communities describes support for settlements like Argaman, which are illegal under international law. You can donate, their website says, via Mastercard, Visa and PayPal.

- One of the highest-profile groups is the Hebron Fund, the centre of a 2009 row when the New York Mets were criticised for hosting a fundraising dinner for the group. It provides extensive support for the extraordinarily aggressive Hebron settlement, described by one Israeli group as “an ongoing war crime”, while the Fund itself has been linked to praise for an Israeli mass murderer. According to its website, it receives donations via all major credit cards.

- Worst of all is the extremist SOS Israel group, which has incurred even the wrath of the Israeli Defence Force by rewarding Israeli soldiers who disobey orders to evict settlers from illegal outposts (i.e. inciting mutiny), and which has offered a bounty for Palestinians shot by IDF soldiers. The SOS Israel website describes a number of ways you can make your “generous donation” to it, including credit cards. Crikey’s token $2 donation via a Visa card was successful last night.

At this stage WikiLeaks has breached no international law and no laws of any country, but Mastercard, Visa and PayPal have all blacklisted it. All three continue to enable the support of settlements that are in breach of international law, in some cases of Israeli law, and in defiance of US policy on settlements under successive Republican and Democrat administrations.

Crikey invited Visa, Paypal and Mastercard to comment but none had responded by deadline.
http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/13/funding-illegal-israeli-settlements-priceless/

Looks like I'll have to throw my Mastercard out the window and get rid of my PayPal account. Screw 'em.

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Swanhends on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:43 pm

I have discover :coffee:

Fight the power :coffee:

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Senor Penguin on Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:02 pm

bhends wrote:I have discover :coffee:

Fight the power :coffee:
Unfortunately Visa and Mastercard are used all over the world ... So not a lot of alternatives out there who can compete against them.

Assh*les. Mad

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by Grande_Milano on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:15 pm

If you dig, no big company has a perfect clean reputation

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by El Chelsea Fuerte on Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:48 am

Wikileaks FTW

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by che on Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:55 pm

in the inevitable wikileaks movie, kevin spacey should play assange...

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

Post by The Lizard King on Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:08 pm

Rest easy. Catatafish and crew are on it !

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Re: Wikileaks nearing closure?

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