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back to article WikiLeaks payment service threatens to sue Visa, MasterCard

WikiLeaks' Iceland-based payment processor says it will take immediate legal action against Visa and MasterCard for suspending service to the renegade whistle-blowing website, according to ZDNet UK. DataCell EHF, which facilitates credit card-based donations to WikiLeaks, said it will file suit in the UK against Visa Europe, …

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Black Helicopters

A warning sign of bigger issues in the future

This is also a clear demonstration to me of the dangers of a cash free society dependent on plastic cards/chips/other devices to make transactions and identify you. Imagine a unique form of ID that also served as a payment device and to allow access into buildings.

Now imagine you pissed off some big players like wikileaks has pissed off the governments. The governments lean on the banks, the banks cut off your money, turn off your building access/whatever. The current wikileaks thing is showing this in action today. The ability to remove someone's (or some organisation's) access to the banking world is extremely powerful and here we see again, no convictions, just allegations are enough to do it. Scary stuff.

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Welcome

money is too important to be controlled by governments and corporations

If govt's and corps can DOS money to those they don't like without regard for the law it's time for our communities to organise our own money. These and the technology to support them (albeit in primitive, though productive form needing further development) already exist. What we need is more community currencies used more heavily by more people.

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RE:What Visa & Mastercard think is wholesome

Yep, says that BS is more important than fact to too many people.

From what I can tell Visa processe cards for a company that has some weak link to selling something for the KKK, but real infomation, rather than paranoid rant, seems to be hard to come by.

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A weak link is still a link

yes?

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Pint

It's a bit more serious than that...

You have the potential to become a 'Non-person'. If you don't have (access to) money how do you live? A 'system failure' eliminates your identity and your money reverts to the state. Try getting it back!

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@Dante

>>"A weak link is still a link, yes"

Yes it is, but it's a question of how weak is enough.

As long as the KKK-linked site doesn't have even *accusations* of criminal activity, it may be hard to stop payments without risking some kind of legal action. Even if the action may be doomed to fail, it would risk giving lots of publicity to the KKK, which could be something that most people think is a bad idea.

Especially if the KKK doesn't have any immediate need for cash, or could get what it wants via other channels, they might actually enjoy a cat-and-mouse game where they recommend people donate to a whole series of groups, some of whom may not even want to be nominated as beneficiaries (or claim that they didn't want to be nominated), who then get closed down.

It could be that if someone isn't going to ask for funds to be paid directly to them, the card companies are in a tricky position, since they're effectively being expected to judge a degree of connectedness even when they might not have any way to do that.

In that situation, they *may* just wait for complaints/charges to be made against the actual destination of donations as an entity in its own right.

Has anyone else tried taking donations on behalf of Wikileaks?

If someone did, and got blocked by Mastercard, that at least might demonstrate hypocrisy more conclusively.

Does anyone know how many complaints have actually been made about Christian Concepts?

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Anonymous Coward

Fantasy land

MasterCard is still processing so the nonsense that is proported to be news is pure fantasy. Sue all you want. It don't mean your POV will be supported in court. I hope Wikileaks gets everything they have coming to them... and more.

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@anonymous coward - fantasy land

"I hope Wikileaks gets everything they have coming to them... and more."

Me too. The Nobel would be suitable, don't you think ?

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How about

Julian gets a knighthood.

For services to Diplomacy.

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Go

Logical

Objectively, neither WikiLeaks nor DataCell have been charged with anything.

Of course, Visa certainly has a shitload of provisions in their T&C to allow them to terminate an account whenever they want, without needing to justify themselves. Now, the question is, since they have such a stronghold on the market, is this abuse of monopoly?

The way I see it, it is. I believe any organization should be allowed to get paid by credit cards, like about anybody else, as long as it has not been declared guilty of something by the legal system. In that, I approve completely of the position of OVH, which is hosting WikiLeaks in France as long as the French justice says they cannot.

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@ratfox

>>"The way I see it, it is. I believe any organization should be allowed to get paid by credit cards, like about anybody else, as long as it has not been declared guilty of something by the legal system."

I'm not sure that as an individual, I have a 'right' to get paid by credit cards.

Still, it's an interesting point, at what point *does* a company get so big that it actually has a duty to take on and keep anyone as a customer?

Would someone be under an obligation to take someone on even if they suspected (or believed, or knew) it would lose them money? In this case, imagine Sarah Palin's devoted followers were (or were thought to be) threatening to organise some kind of boycott.

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Monopoly

Well, imagine that Visa and MasterCard suddenly refused to take payments for, say, the iTunes store... I don't care what their T&C are, they would have a hell of a lawsuit coming their way.

They would not do that with Apple, of course, but when you think of it, few business can survive on the web once Visa, MasterCard and PayPal refuse to work with them. That is a lot of power they wield.

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They do it

To companys on a regular basis, for breach of T&Cs, breach of PCI regs, fraud problems etc etc.

I'm pritty sure they know more than you about the law.

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@ratfox

>>"Well, imagine that Visa and MasterCard suddenly refused to take payments for, say, the iTunes store... I don't care what their T&C are, they would have a hell of a lawsuit coming their way."

Surely, contract law is generally about what is the case, not about what one or other person thinks (possibly quite rightly) ought to be the case.

Whatever the /moral/ rights and wrongs might be, a lawyer (and a court) probably *would* care what their terms and conditions were, whether they have a direct relationship with an ultimate customer, or whether things are done through an intermediary.

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Anonymous Coward

No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Get out your check books if want wikileaks to take your money.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

But not for long

They are phasing out payment by cheque in the UK in a few years. What options do we have then? ( I don't have an answer, I'm just pointing this out)

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Anonymous Coward

Visa.com & mastercard.com both went down

I can confirm that both visa.com and mastercard.com were both taken down for a minimum of 3hrs each on the 8th December 2010.

How do I know this, well Anonymous posted it on twitter and facebook, their facebook page was then banned and both sites went down a few hours apart. Any service using visa or mastercard was interrupted however it appeared rto be European targeted only.

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Anonymous Coward

Disruption will not stop prosecution

DOS attacks will not prevent criminals from being prosecuted be that hackers or rapist. Time to get in touch with reality.

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Anonymous Coward

As yet

USA hasn't filed any charges or asked for any extraditions on basis of the leaks. You'd have thought it would be easy to find a charge and UK would have no issues extraditing him.

Sort of suggests maybe USA are struggling to find anything to actually charge him with.

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surely you mean ALLEGED rapist

A fine distinction I know,

But as you are choosing to take the establishment lackey line i think it's worth pointing out.

Now then, then what random accusation can i make against you, for somewone else to then go on to assert as a fact?...

terrorist??

paedophile??

republican???

... no Im better than that. A lot better

I guess you are just lucky I'm not in politics

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"republican???"

Dude! That's a bit harsh, don't you think?

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Flame

Quite frankly...

I've had more than enough of this fucking fiasco. Wikileaks served up documents, the possession of which was illegal - they're stolen. There is, in my view, no justification in publishing this stuff, and the git who DID steal the stuff has been caught, so again, his case has been publicised, and thus the leaks serve NO purpose except to endanger international diplomatic relations - in addition, Wikileaks is a profit-motivated organisation: It is NOT altruistic, charitable, or public-spirited: It's a PUBLICITY platform, not a public interest platform - they serve up whatever they thing might be "juicy", much like the fucking News Of The World.

Fuck 'em, and fuck the fuckers who are DoSing the public through their thoughtless campaign of vandalism. I hope they choke on their Farley's Rusks.

Anonymous, cause I'm sure some fuckwit'll take offence.

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Documents stolen?

I'm sorry but people keep saying that and it's wrong.

If they where stolen then the US would no longer have them, this is not so. It's not even yet proven that they where illegally accessed.

The only crime that seams to have taken place is the handing over of classified documents to a foreign organisation, and there may well be a whistle blower defence for that.

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WTF?

Illegal activities

Some of these documents relate to illegal activities and declaring the possession of them illegal was merely a way for the perpetrators to avoid any repercussions. So what's your take on that?

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Black Helicopters

No offence, you're entitled to your opinion.

But what would your opinion be if these documents were published by, say, The Guardian or The Daily Mail, and similar under-the-table moves were employed to shut them down? I think I'd be a bit miffed, personally.

GJC

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None taken

I agree entirely, and I would take action against the self elected guardian of international public morals, J Assange. Frankly I would be pleased if all of these so-called 'journalists' fell down a few deep crevasses on Antarctica, and would not question how they came to be there in the first place.

Expecting the banking and credit system to sit quietly by when they threaten to release information that is going to throw it into further turmoil is to invite a session with the public executioner. These people are scum.

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Anonymous Coward

Hurp

"thus the leaks serve NO purpose except to endanger international diplomatic relations"

You should probably read them before making statements like that..

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Re: Quite feankly...

If all they've done is upset people like you then I call that a win.

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Anonymous Coward

No.

They're public domain documents. USC 17 § 105. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#105

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re Geoff Campbell

If the Daily Mail were to be closed down I don't think too many people would share you tears. It's a reactionary piece of tawdry right-wing crap (although they have had some good freebies lately).

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Happy

Superb!

Upvoted just for cheering me up during my lunch break!

I can't agree 100%, but each to their own.

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Happy

I *knew* the Daily Mail would be a bad choice :-)

If it were closed down I would be torn between dancing on its grave, sharing as I do your opinion of it as a newspaper, and going to the barricades to protest against government interference in the free press.

I think, on balance, the latter urge would win out. Perhaps I could take a lunch break from the barricades to do a little grave-dance, or something.

GJC

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FAIL

My take..

My take on that is that the motive for the release does not alter the fact that it was still a crime to release that information, and especially the way in which this is all made public practically ensures collateral damage..

This is also where the whistleblower defense actually fails: for you to declare a release as whistleblowing and thus escape the consequences of theft and unauthorised release you have to demonstrate that you knew upfront there was specific information about specific misdeeds in the specfific documents - you too are not allowed a wholesale fishing expedition. In addition, you also have to demonstrate that there was really no other way to address the issue. The latter is even harder to defend - you could have taken the info to a newspaper who could then publish relevant excerpts, not the whole lot.

I had my doubts about Wikileaks from the start, and I'm sad to see them confirmed one by one. There were things they could do together with journalists. Instead,, it's turned into another group of idiots who think they can ignore established law by abuse. The DDoS by, cough, "supporters" - that is criminal activity. The threat to "tell all" - oh, so the founding principles are only there to protect some of the people playing this game? Thank you for highlighting which moral standards are at work here.

Show me something that is handled properly and will result in a focused prosecution instead of a lot of noise in the media. Show me something that turns Blair from someone who makes so much from lectures and memoires that he can propose to set up his own bank to the person who decided to "translate" WMD intelligence and ought to be locked up instead. Show me some REAL good that Wikileaks has done.

Yeah, sorry. Didn't mean to ask you to do any real work. That's what journalists do, isn't it?

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@AC

>>"This is also where the whistleblower defense actually fails: for you to declare a release as whistleblowing and thus escape the consequences of theft and unauthorised release you have to demonstrate that you knew upfront there was specific information about specific misdeeds in the specfific documents"

And presumably an honourable journalist would actually advise a source that releasing too much information would be dangerous for them, since one of the fundamental duties of a journalist is to protect their sources.

It'll be interesting to hear what jounalistic advice/encouragement Bradley Manning may have had.

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FAIL

Nope.

Theft = criminal extraditable offense. The US has a nice cozy one way extradition deal with the UK, where Julian Assange is currently detained at her maj's pleasure. It isn't as if they have to go looking for him. How many extradition requests have there been?

Handing sensitive papers to the media may be legally dubious, but if Wikileaks is guilty of receiving stolen goods, then so is the Guardian and the New York Times. Stolen goods don't stop being stolen after they pass through a given number of hands.

So sorry.. Point has no validity. Try again.

Wikileaks is not a charity. True enough.

Neither is the guardian, the Wall street Journal, the FT, the Sun, the daily mail, or any other news outlet of any stripe.

Which charitable organizations do publish a general interest newspaper? And no.. Guide dogs for the blind newsletters do not count.

Again.. Try harder.

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Re: Hurp

Maybe I have. Comments about other states by a variety of states that raise temperatures have been released, e.g. the Obama crew's comments about Batman and Robin, and to prove it is not merely material about governments between whom there is friction, also about UK politicians. Not good for diplomacy, and certainly these things were done without the authority of the electorates whose government material was disclosed without permission. It is theft of classified material.

Assange is going to get a good splatting, and so are those facilitating/defending his behaviour. He can expect no less. If he really expects a medal to be pinned on his chest, or governments/politicians/security services to wag their tails on his mat he is in for a big shock.

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Unhappy

Free speech, fair enough, OK

DDOS, come on guys, that's like just nasty.

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Yup

I expressed a similar in respect of the DDOS on the execrable ACS:Law, whom I detest for their similarly underhand tactics which, I understand, have extend to 'innocent' people.

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Welcome

oh please

ten years ago a DDoS storm was nasty. now its the equivalent of a "fuck you"; if your backbone provider and server farm dont have a way of handling it* and your a multinational business then you need to start sacking people.

as for the rest of this? I think wikileaks might be the forerunner of events forcing global corporations to either finally become a whole view (we'll take anyones money for anything, fuck you, local government) or schizophrenic (Visa USA will not be sending assanje money, but we will route customers to our sister company, Visa Cayman Islands). it is only a matter of time before the big two and their backers start to turn around and go

"excuse me, why do we have to listen to these assholes, anyway? Fuck the DoJ, we could buy and sell those assholes. if they want to push us, send them a letter saying we can pull our entire shit out of their country and they need to watch their goddamned mouth"

I dont expect them to go to the wall for Assange, not in a million years, but I do expect some closed-boardroom-meetings to discuss _why_ they have to suffer the tantrums of individual countries.

*should be a hiccup, a 2-3 hour outage, nothing more.

I for one welcome our credit-extending overlords and the new and immoral reign of pure capitalism; you want it, you buy it.

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RE: oh please

"excuse me, why do we have to listen to these assholes, anyway? Fuck the DoJ, we could buy and sell those assholes. if they want to push us, send them a letter saying we can pull our entire shit out of their country and they need to watch their goddamned mouth"

That angry out burst made me smile. Thank you. :)

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Flame

the whole thing just makes me rage

In reality I could give two fucks about the US state departments wants and needs of secrecy; Wikileaks could post something that basically says "Bush said fuck it, lets kill some Islamic goons for the hell of it" and I doubt there would be actually repercussions for those involved or even a change on how politics is carried out over here.

What makes me furious is that when any other country throws a shit-fit online (like Turkey, for instance) they fuck the internet up _for their country_. Turkey takes down youtube for turkey. not the entire goddamned world. Every time the USA throws a conniption fit It demands the entire internet cleave to its personal view, fucking up companies and individuals across the globe. I mean we mock people when they file lawsuits that say things like "I personally hold Bill gates, Steve Ballmer, Michael Dell, AOL Online and DARPA for the fact my computer got a virus on the internets" but seriously, thats the level of derp and wharrgarbl that the US keeps pulling.

ENOUGH, YOU BASTARDS! IT STOPPED BEING YOURS THE MOMENT A SINGLE DHCP SERVER WENT UP IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!

you'd think .com meant "entirely beholden to the USA" rather than "commerce", and personally if anonymous has to start physically visiting business addresses and slapping CEOs on the back of the head, I'm all for it.

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You kind of had...

...a little bit of sympathy from me.

Until you equated DHCP servers with the Internet :(

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FAIL

Whoops

confused my derp and wharrgarbl there. I blame the late night dumbs.

s/DHCP/DNS, with my apologies.

/fail for fail

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Anonymous Coward

After all is said and done

will any company want to be associated with WikiLeaks at all? There was a DoS attack against the site before anyone pulled any plug. So people that did nothing but host the site got hit, then companies that pulled the plug also got hit for pulling the plug. I would bet that most companies will have nothing to do with WikiLeaks when the dust settles. Amex, Diners and Discover definitely won't want their business as most DNS and hosting companies won't either.

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Alert

Brave guy, this Icelander, and right on the mark

Assange and Wikileaks have broken no laws with respect to the 'leaks'.

The leaks occurred solely because of the failure of American authorities to properly secure the data. Any claims by these usurious credit card companies to the contrary are plain and simply lies.

These companies should recognise that American law does not apply to Europe and therefore the EU should their feet to the fire and get this sorted out.

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