PayPal reinstates account for Bradley Manning supporters

Posted by Emma Woollacott

PayPal  has ended its freeze on payments designed to help Bradley Manning, who's under investigation for leaking thousands of classified cables to WikiLeaks.

But, says PayPal, the decision to suspend the account had nothing at all to do with WikiLeaks, and neither does its decision to reinstate it.

PayPal says that Courage to Resist had been failing to comply with its policy requiring non-profits to associate a bank account with their PayPal account. But while Courage to Resist concedes this, it says it had its reasons.

"We exchanged numerous emails and phone calls with the legal department and the office of executive escalations of PayPal. They said they would not unrestrict our account unless we authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from our organization's checking account by default," says the organization's Jeff Paterson.

"Our accounting does not allow for this type of direct access by a third party, nor do I trust PayPal as a business entity with this responsibility given their punitive actions against WikiLeaks-an entity not charged with any crime by any government on Earth."

PayPal denies that it had any such plans.

"To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions," says Anuj Nayar, the company's director of communications, in a statement.

"Upon review, and as part of our normal business procedures, we have decided to lift the temporary restriction placed on their account because we have sufficient information to meet our statutory 'Know Your Customer' obligations."

Presumably, it's pure coincidence that the decision to reinstate the account came just hours after Courage to Resist issued a press release on the matter, and after 10,000 people signed a petition asking Paypal to reverse its decision.