WikiLeaks accepting credit card funds again
You can’t keep a good whistleblowing website down for long. WikiLeaks is able to accept credit card donations again.
According to the Associated Press, Andreas Fink, the chief executive of Icelandic payment processor DataCell, told them Thursday that that Visa and MasterCard were processing payments to WikiLeaks again after a seven-month interruption.
Fink thinks that the move is silent admission of guilt from the credit card companies, but he also accepts that it might have been accidental.
Simon Kleine, a Visa Europe spokesman, said that handling the payments was "not something that we've sanctioned" and that the company is investigating it. Emails and phone calls asking for comments from MasterCard weren’t returned.
In early December Visa and MasterCard cancelled their arrangement with the company, DataCell ehf, after WikiLeaks started publishing about 250,000 U.S. State Department cables. Fink said Thursday that credit card services were restored, saying that lawyers verified this by making test donations.
"We have seen donations going through," he said, though he added that he wouldn't know how much money WikiLeaks' was receiving for a few more days.
When WikiLeaks published the State Department cables many financial and Internet services ended their relationships with WikiLeaks, like Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. did. PayPal Inc., Amazon.com, EveryDNS also rejected WikiLeaks, which led WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to accuse them of giving in to government pressure.
WikiLeaks and DataCell said last week that they were getting ready to bring the credit card companies to court in Denmark. WikiLeaks claims on its website that the blocked placed on it by companies such as MasterCard and Visa have cost it at least 90 percent of its donations, a supposed value of $15 million. Suspiciously, they have not explained their method for arriving at that figure.
The organization is currently raising money through the online currency known as Bitcoins, and through direct bank transfers to accounts in Iceland and Germany.
In an update this morning DataCell issued a press release stating that Visa has once again closed down their support for WikiLeaks donations. This means that support from Visa's end only lasted a day this time. Because of this, DataCell and WikiLeaks say they will be filing complaints to the European commission next week.