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Finally some good news via the courts concerning the Wikileaks Blockade. As posted by Wikileaks on Twitter:
WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE Wed Apr 24 17:24:44 BST
Milestone Supreme Court Decision for WikiLeaks Case in Iceland
Today’s decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks. Iceland’s Supreme Court upheld the decision that Valitor (formerly VISA Iceland and current Visa subcontractor) had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks donations processor DataCell. This strong judgement is an important milestone for WikiLeaks’ legal battle to end the economic blockade that has besieged the organisation since early December 2010. Despite the effects of the blockade having crippled WikiLeaks resources, the organisation is fighting the blockade on many fronts. It is a battle that concerns free speech and the future of the free press; it concerns fundamental civil rights; and it is a struggle for the rights of individuals to vote with their wallet and donate to the cause they believe in.
If the gateway to WikiLeaks donations is not re-opened within 15 days Visa’s Valitor will be fined 800,000 ISK ($6,830) per day.
WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, said:
“This is a victory for free speech. This is a victory against the rise of economic censorship to crack down against journalists and publishers”
“We thank the Icelandic people for showing that they will not be bullied by powerful Washington backed financial services companies like Visa. And we send out a warning to the other companies involved in this blockade: you’re next.”
“We hope that the that the European Commission also acknowledges that the economic blockade against WikiLeaks is an unlawful and arbitrary censorship mechanism that threatens freedom of the press across Europe. If it fails to do so, the Commission must be regarded as failing to live up to the founding European principles of economic and political freedom.”
Today’s verdict strengthens other fronts in this battle. There is an active legal action in Denmark against a Danish sub-contractor for VISA, equivalent to Valitor. The decision will also buttress the pre-litigation work already under way in various jurisdictions against the international card companies and financial services companies – VISA and MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal and Bank of America, and other payment facilitators that teamed with these giants to form a concerted, and equally unlawful economic blockade against the organisation.
In November the European Parliament passed a resolution which included a clause drafted specifically in relation to the economic blockade against Wikileaks. The resolution called on the European Commission to draft regulations that will prevent online payment facilitators from arbitrarily denying services to companies or organisations, such as WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has also launched a formal complaint to the European Commission on the basis that VISA and MasterCard, which together take up 95% of the European market, have unlawfully abused their dominant market position. The European Commission is still evaluating whether it will open a formal investigation but documents already submitted by the companies reveal that the credit card companies were in talks with powerful figures in the US Congress and Senate (Senator Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King).http://wikileaks.org/European-Commission-enabling.html
Although it is still not possible to donate directly to WikiLeaks via credit card, freedom of press campaigners including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the actor John Cusack, and the Founder of the California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) John Perry Barlow, have set up the Freedom of the Press Foundation to collect money for WikiLeaks. It allows donors to make anonymous, tax-deductable donations. http://t.co/qpW57qquOf
This and similar mechanisms for Europeans are available on http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate
Freedom of the Press Foundation:
Julian Assange asylum (one year, June 19, 2013)
Bradley Manning (trial June 2)
Very interesting press release today, which I saw via a tweet from John Cusack (yes, the actor).
Free Expression Advocates and Journalists Launch Campaign to Support The National Security Archive, The UpTake, MuckRock, and WikiLeaks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco, CA – December 17, 2012 – Notable journalists and free expression advocates today launched the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization designed to crowd-source funding for cutting-edge, independent journalism and publishing outlets that expose government and corporate mismanagement, corruption, and law breaking.
The initial fundraising campaign will run through January 31 and fund four independent media outlets: The National Security Archive, MuckRock News, The UpTake, and WikiLeaks. Individuals can donate money through the Freedom of the Press Foundation and adjust what percentage of the donation goes to each of the recipient organizations…
My favourite part:
The organization was inspired by the financial embargo against the transparency website WikiLeaks. After WikiLeaks published leaked documents from the U.S. State Department, major payment processors—including PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard—refused to process payments to the site, despite the fact that WikiLeaks had committed no crime. Individuals were unable to donate to the nonprofit online, and WikiLeaks suffered tremendous financial setbacks.
“Financial transactions are speech. The financial embargo was censorship – not just of WikiLeaks but of all of us who wished to donate to WikiLeaks,” said board member and co-founder John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and long-time free expression advocate.
Read the full press release here.
European Commission enabling blockade of WikiLeaks by U.S. hard-right Lieberman/King, contrary to European Parliament’s wishes
Tuesday 27th November, 1300 GMT
European Commission documents released today by WikiLeaks show that hard-right U.S. politicians were directly behind the extrajudicial banking blockade against WikiLeaks. In the heavily redacted documents, MasterCard Europe admits that Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King both “had conversations” with MasterCard in the United States. Lieberman, the then-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, boasted of instigating Amazon’s cutting of service to WikiLeaks – an action condemned by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 7 December 2011….
Continue reading here
Towards the bottom of the Wikileaks update you can read through Visa and MasterCard’s highly predictable and cookie cutter response. **slow clap**
Interesting news last week that the European Parliament is drafting legislation to prevent Wikileaks-style banking blockades aka economic censorship.
About. Freaking. Time.
This issue needs a legislative solution in every country as many of us have found out, there is nothing we can do on an individual level to overturn this…
You can read the Wikileaks update here
Bonjour Wikileaks Supporter,
Vous venez de créer un compte sur le site de don du Fonds de Défense de la
Neutralité du Net, soit automatiquement, soit manuellement….
Merci pour votre soutien.
Le Fonds de Défense de la Neutralité du Net.
And in English:
Hello Wikileaks Supporter,
You just created an account on the donation site of the Defense Fund
Net neutrality, either automatically or manually….
Thank you for your support.
The Defense Fund Net Neutrality.
So, almost a year after I complained to MasterCard, my bank, the ACCC, the RBA, APRA, ASIC and the Australian Human Rights Commission – I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY USED MY MASTERCARD TO DONATE TO WIKILEAKS!!
Yes, I’m EXCITED!
Take that mofo’s!
And here’s the real kicker: WikiLeaks Reopens Channel For Credit Card Donations, Dares Visa And MasterCard To Block Them Again
18 July 2012
“After 18 months of having its funding nearly completely cut off by a payment industry blockade, WikiLeaks says it’s finally found a new workaround that allows it to receive credit card donations. And after a legal victory against Visa in Iceland, the group is literally daring the card companies to shut down payments to his site again.
In a statement to press Wednesday morning, WikiLeaks writes that the Fund for the Defense of Net Neutrality (FDNN) has agreed to accept donations on behalf of WikiLeaks, and that the group can receive payments through the French payment card system Carte Bleue. WikiLeaks claims that Visa and MasterCard are contractually obligated to allow payments through Carte Bleue and thus prevented from blocking the new channel to the site as they’ve done with others in the past…”
Continue reading here
Think I’ll run to make a donation before this one gets shut down as well!!
July 12 2012
“The Icelandic partner of Visa and MasterCard violated contract laws when it imposed a block against credit card donations to the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks, a district court there has ruled.
The Reykjavík District Court ruled that Valitor, which handles Visa and MasterCard payments in Iceland, was in the wrong when it prevented card holders from donating funds to the site. The court ruled that the block should be removed within 14 days or Valitor will be fined the equivalent of about $6,000 a day.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told the Associated Press that it was “a small but very important step in fighting back against these powerful banks.” He said other lawsuits are ongoing in Denmark and Belgium.
Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America and other U.S. financial institutions began to block donations to WikiLeaks in 2010 after the controversial site began publishing more than 250,000 U.S. State Department cables that the group allegedly received from former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning. The financial services cited violations of their “terms of service” agreements as the reason for blocking the donations…”
Continue reading the full article here
If you’ve read through any of my various emails etc to my bank regarding the Wikileaks blockade you can imagine how excited I was to read that the ‘Terms of Service’ excuse was not accepted by the court in this case
Apologies to any regular visitors as I haven’t had a chance to update my blog for a while. Hopefully most of my issues have worked themselves out and I will be back to regular posts about the Wikileaks blockade. There has certainly been some interesting developments in the last week or so.
Thanks for your patience.
Whistleblowers seek to restore funding 500 days after Visa, MasterCard and PayPal blocked donations.
US backers of transparency organization Wikileaks have announced plans to establish a foundation for the site seeking a way to allow donors to give money to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks once again. Wikileaks has undergone over 500 days of a “banking blockade” after Visa, MasterCard and PayPal blocked donations from going to the website.
WikiLeaks has lost 95% of its donation income since the blockade was called by US senator Joe Lieberman.
“Supporters based in the US are now in talks with Assange to establish a US-based foundation aimed at funding organizations cut off by private companies in situations with first amendment implications,” reports The Guardian.
Spearheading the campaign are Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers leaker, and John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the US online rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
“We now have organizations with the ability to stifle free expression with no bill of rights that applies to them – just terms of service,” he said.
Continue reading here.
As you know, this site is dedicated to fighting the Wikileaks Blockade. Various avenues have been unsuccessful so far so it’s time to try the Reserve Bank of Australia.
They regulated finance systems in Australia so they likely have the power to force MasterCard, Visa, American Express etc to provide this service to us, the consumers.
I implore you to email them, send them a letter or call them. I’ve spoken to them and they are really helpful.
Their contact details are here:
Thanks @Spider_Sheep for tweeting their details.
If we all do our part, we CAN overturn this!