Wikileaks will stop publishing leaked cables, as the payment companies’ financial blockade takes its toll
Controversial whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks has announced the temporary suspension of all publishing activity, accompanied by a desperate plea for financial support in order to “fight back against this blockade and its proponents.”
According to WikiLeaks founder and spokesperson, Julian Assange, the five-year-old non-profit organisation is the victim of a payment blockade being imposed upon it by politicised US finance companies.
“The attack has destroyed 95 percent of our revenue. The blockade came into force within ten days of the launch of Cablegate as part of a concerted US-based, political attack that included vitriol by senior right wing politicians, including assassination calls against WikiLeaks staff,” the company said in a statement.
Financial ban politically motivated
US-based Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union have been embroiled in an on-going battle with WikiLeaks, since 7 December 2010, when Visa and MasterCard moved to impose a ban on payments to WikiLeaks, citing suspected illegal activities. This is despite findings to the contrary.
As a result, WikiLeaks says it has been running on cash reserves for the past eleven months, adding that it must now focus its remaining resources on fighting the “unlawful banking blockade”.
The organisation added that it has commenced pre-litigation action against the blockade in Iceland, Denmark, the UK, Brussels, the US and Australia.
“We have lodged an anti-trust complaint at the European Commission and expect a decision by mid-November as to whether the European Competition Authority will open a full investigation into the wrongdoing of Visa and MasterCard,” it said. “Our battles will be costly. We need your support. A handful of US finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket.”
WikiLeaks is responsible for publishing tens of thousands of classified and sometimes embarrassing documents from governments and global organisations and even religious sects. Its methods of obtaining information through anonymous sources have earned the company a world-wide following as well as some very vocal, powerful enemies.