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Wikileaks sues Visa and Mastercard over payments

Whistleblower turns litigator
Mon Jul 04 2011, 09:30

WHISTLEBLOWING INTERNET PUBLISHER Wikileaks has filed a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard after the firms chose not to accept payments for it.

The payment companies dropped support for the Wikileaks web site just after it published the most sensitive information it had, the explosive military and government cables allegedly released to it by Bradley Manning.

This is not the first time that the payment firms have been targeted for this move, and they were two of the first organisations to get hacked by Anonymous, which hit them with denial of service attacks that took some parts of the businesses offline.

WikiLeaks has a legal supporter in one of its payment service providers, Datacell, which has criticised the payment giants for preventing it from working for the whistleblower and is assisting it in this case.

"The suspension of payments towards WikiLeaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers," said Andreas Fink, CEO of Datacell, in a statement released last December.

"They have no problem transferring money for businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like. Why a donation to a web site which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse is outside of my understanding."

"Visa and Master Card (which have 70 and 25 per cent market share in Europe respectively) have not answered the demands or shown willingness to negotiate a settlement," said WikiLeaks in a statement released over the weekend.

"In light of this outcome DataCell and WikiLeaks will instruct their international legal team to take actions against these companies in the coming days as outlined above. Further actions in other jurisdictions will follow." µ


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