MasterCard And Visa Target WikiLeaks Donations

December 7, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)— WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange is under siege for his leaking of thousands of stolen U.S. diplomatic cables that have resulted in international anger over his antics that amount to anarchy. He was taken into custody by police authorities in London this morning in response to an international arrest warrant issued by Sweden against Assange for rape charges. Financial institutions and Internet companies have responded by putting the squeeze on Assange’s ability to function. PayPal froze his account for engaging in “illegal activities,” his Swiss bank closed his account for providing false information and and dumped WikiLeaks from their servers. Now, MasterCard and Visa are taking steps to stop processing payments made to WikiLeaks.

MasterCard said payments to WikiLeaks would be blocked because of the “illegal activity” of the leaking organization.

CNET writes:

“MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products,” a spokesman for MasterCard Worldwide said today. […]

“MasterCard said it was cutting off payments because WikiLeaks is engaging in illegal activity. “MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal,” spokesman Chris Monteiro said.”

Soon after MasterCard announced it intended to block payments to WikiLeaks, Visa followed suit, saying the company plans to conduct an investigation to determine if there are grounds to stop payments.

“A spokeswoman for Visa Europe said its investigation would determine the nature of Wikileaks’ business, and “whether it contravenes Visa operating rules.”‘

“She added that Visa Europe could not suspend payments to Wikileaks immediately, and that the process took a certain amount of time.”

After his arrest this morning, Assange was denied bail.

Photo Source: Wikimedia/Julian Assange/New Media Days/Creative Commons Attribution.


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