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back to article WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

WikiLeaks could be seeing an influx of funds after an Icelandic court ruled that Valitor, the local agent for Visa, broke the law when it stopped taking donations for the website. The court found that Valitor had broken contract laws when it stopped accepting payments sent to WikiLeaks by Visa customers in July 2011. WikiLeaks …

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Anonymous Coward

... cost it around $20m in lost donations

Its seems that WikiLeaks is a nice little earner. I wish I had thought of it.

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Re: ... cost it around $20m in lost donations

"Its seems that WikiLeaks is a nice little earner. I wish I had thought of it."

Yeah you could then spend your $20M on lawyers so you don't end up in GitMo.

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Headmaster

DO YOU

Memo to Iceland Judge:

Want to incur the wrath of a nation over this, do you boy do you!

Signed

Barak Obama.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... cost it around $20m in lost donations

> Yeah you could then spend your $20M on lawyers so you don't end up in GitMo.

$20m buys a lot of lawyers and it only represents the lost income from 20 months.

WikiLeaks therefore has an income stream of $1m per month and since it comprises of 4 people that is $250,000 each per month. It does have expenses, such as hosting its servers, but the cost of that will be pocket change compared to the income.

Like I said, a nice little earner.

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Facepalm

Re: ... cost it around $20m in lost donations

Give a wise man a flag and you can teach him to hate, give the sheeple a cause and watch them donate! I've already seen 419 scammer emails offering to process Wikileaks payments through bank accounts in Nigeria, and I'm told they've made quite a good living out of the guillible.

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Re: DO YOU

Dear Barack,

We have a lovely big abandoned American airbase only three hours from the Eastern seaboard. Some Chinese and Russian investors have just arrived with a lot of money and are having trouble spending it. We've decided to have drinks together later.

Iceland.

PS. Don't make us deploy the rotten shark.

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FAIL

Re: Re: DO YOU

"....We have a lovely big abandoned American airbase only three hours from the Eastern seaboard...."

1. Iceland is a member of NATO.

2. Cuba is already a lot closer, Venezuela is just as close, and the Russian, military can hardly afford to put stuff in either of those two countries anymore, so how do you expect them to fund another base?

3. The Chinese are too busy trying to pinch some islands from the Japanese to worry about a base in the Atlantic, where they have zero startegic interests.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DO YOU

Do the people who write these "Dear Barack" comments in letter form, actually think that there is any chance that anyone from the US government will read them, let alone act upon them or even care?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... cost it around $20m in lost donations

Famous people already pay for those for him, in a desperate attempt to sidle in on the revolutionary rebel limelight.

The $20m could be used to pay the staff who do the work for Assange, while he cruises the world as a self-declared martyr to a higher cause and part-time fondler.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DO YOU

"Do the people who write these "Dear Barack" comments in letter form, actually think that there is any chance that anyone from the US government will read them, let alone act upon them or even care?"

I both read them and care.

Sincerely,

-- Barack Obama

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... cost it around $20m in lost donations

...but you didn't, did you? Because you're clearly not smart enough :)

Wish wish wish...

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«3. The Chinese are too busy trying to pinch some islands

from the Japanese to worry about a base in the Atlantic, where they have zero startegic interests.»

Matt, please ! We are all aware of your propensity to pronounce on matters of which you possess not the slightest knowledge, but do you have to make the display quite so public (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15916486) ?...

In any event, kudos to the Reykjavík District Court. Had the trial been held here in Stockholm, the decision would certainly have gone the other way, Which would merely have demonstrated once again, that when it comes to loyalty to the Evil Empire, we - ostensibly not a NATO member (although we prepared secret landing fields for US bombers during the cold war and flew spy missions for them, etc, etc) - are just as good lickspittles as any country that is....

Henri

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FAIL

Re: «3. The Chinese are too busy trying to pinch some islands

Is it time alrerady for the weekly dose of fail from Mr Day? Please do point out in that article where it says Mr Huang Nubo is the Chinese government and intends rebuilding the ex-US base for military purposes, the whole point of the "eastern seaboard" comment? Oh, it doesn't! This is my surprised face, honest. Well, actually, it's not, it's my ROFLMAO@stupid face.

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Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

I have always felt that companies and people have the natural right to conduct business in any way they see fit. If they choose not to do business with a segment of the market, their competitors will. If a company wants to overprice merchandise or services, their competitors will lower their prices.

Let the market determine these things, keep the courts out of it.

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Re: Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

I partly agree, in theory, but when a company gets as big as Visa, to the point where they can virtually crush another company just be refusing to do business with it, then I think regulators need to keep a close eye on it. It's the flip side of "to big to fail". Second, I don't for a moment believe the decision to stop processing WikiLeaks' payment happened without form form state meddling in the first place.

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Re: Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

The point wasnt that it was one Company (Visa) its was *ALL* of them.

At the very least thats Cartel behaviour.

Off all the shenanigans around Wikileaks and Asshat (most of which I have mixed feelings about) - this is the one incontrovertible wrong that was done. It was Censorship by economic means with no due process.

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Boffin

Re: Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

I really wish you would get your facts straight.

Visa, MC, Amex, etc are all US Based corporations.

There are laws on the books that make it illegal and levy heavy fines and more if a corporation knowingly violates these laws.

What's the US's status on Wikileaks? If its deemed to be on the wrong side of the line, The US declares them bad and then these companies stop processing their funds.

Not to mention that Wikileaks threatened to go after a bank. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

The only loser is the Icelandic bank. It can lose its Visa status so it won't be able to process any Visa transactions. They are in a lose/lose situation.

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Re: Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

@Ian: Therein lies the conundrum for Visa et al. The US has put pressure on them not to process payments for Wikileaks as they deem them persona non-grata, but do allow them to process payments for the Klan and hardcore pornographers - freedom of speech, mustn't interfere. They say Americans don't get irony! But then Visa et al also have offices and companies/legal entities in other jurisdictions. These companies can then be prosecuted in those jurisdictions for their unfair actions in failing to process these payments. Guess that's what happens when head office is based on the doorstep of the World's bully and you choose to toe the line.

That they are all based in the US will matter not a jot if the EU were to decide they are obviously acting as a cartel. It is Visa et al that could end up in a lose/lose situation.

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Boffin

@ Mark65 Re: Although I am against censorship from governments and nation states...

Racist Hate Groups aren't terrorist organizations. (Unless you can show where a specific hate group has committed some form of terrorist crimes...)

While I don't support the KKK or their principles, they do have some protection under the US laws. So to do pornographers. Consider that the city of Cincinnati went after Mapplethorpe's exhibition by saying it was indecent by community standards, yet many around the world would consider it art. (It may be art, but definitely not my cup of tea.)

Could one apply the definition of Wikileaks as a terrorist organization? Maybe. considering that Assange dumped non-redacted docs on the internet whose only value was to embarrass the US, its allies yielding nothing in terms of war crimes. (I wonder if he published any after action reports where civilians reported deaths caused by the Taliban, like that woman who was gunned down because they accused her of adultery. )

I think you will find the Icelandic Visa company will appeal the courts decision and win on appeal. ;-)

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Pint

hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

The IRA also (historically) springs to mind...

It seems that being a clinically-diagnosed schyzophrene is a requirement for being a US politico (or, as the case may be, pencil-pusher).

What do you mean by "not only in the US"?

All hail Ísland, winner of the common-sense-of-the-week award.

Shame that it has to be so seldom as to grant surprise.

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Headmaster

Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

Yes and it took 9/11 to show what terrorism is really all about when it happens at home.

For thirty years the US allowed Noraid to collect donations to buy weapons that killed people in Northern Ireland

The supply of weapons during the Iran Iraq wars

The supply of weapons during the Russian invasion of Afganistan

The Supply of weapons to South American Countries

They certainly don't come with clean hands.

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Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

Yeah, but that was different, It wasnt killing *Americans*.....

NORAID is a bit of a sore point around here. And especially the number of US politicians that have supported it over the years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

I never remember the IRA accepting Visa or MasterCard, they were a cash only business.

Or if you want to look at it another way:

"For thirty years the US allowed Noraid to collect donations to buy weapons that to protect their community from ethnic cleansing."

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Re: Noraid

if you seriously believe the IRA blowing people up was the only thing preventing genocide in NI, I have several bridges, a tower and a tinfoil hat you might be interested in.

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Facepalm

Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

"For thirty years the US allowed Noraid to collect donations to buy weapons that to protect their community from ethnic cleansing."

--

O grow up!

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WTF?

Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

""For thirty years the US allowed Noraid to collect donations to buy weapons that to protect their community from ethnic cleansing.""

When did religion become an ethnicity? I must have missed that memo.

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Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

It wasn't the number, it was the names. You know, like Teddy Kennedy for instance.

Oh, wait, that's right. He was a Progressive who wants the US to implement our own version of the British failed healthcare system.

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Trollface

Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

Porn, Klan and Gambling..... all on the same site?!?!

Please provide link, as this is surely worth a look.

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Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

Oh, wait, that's right. He was a Progressive who wants the US to implement our own version of the British failed healthcare system.

===

Did you miss adding the joke icon? Or are you just badly informed?

The NHS hasn't failed by any reasonable measure. It costs a lot less than the US healthcare system, and is applied relatively evenly across the population. Life expectancy is greater under the NHS than in the US, and survival rates for many diseases are also higher, in most cases due to earlier intervention for people who couldn't have afforded their own care.

It has plenty of flaws, certainly, which are regularly rolled out and analysed in the press and society; but at least it doesn't leave people to die lingering deaths because they had to change jobs - "pre-existing condition, not covered.", were made unemployed, or simply couldn't afford the medicine they needed.

On Teddy, spot on. It really is quite disturbing the gross hypocrisy the US political establishment thrust on the UK in that regard. Maybe we should just unfriend them? ;-)

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Re: Noraid

Do I hear a whooshing?

"if you seriously believe the IRA blowing people up was the only thing preventing genocide in NI, I have several bridges, a tower and a tinfoil hat you might be interested in"

You and others seem to miss the point. Noraid funding a terrorist rebel movement is directly analogous to causes with which we're supposed to sympathise. Topically right now you might look at rebels in Syria throwing all they've got into escalating to provoke foreign military intervention.

More directly relevant we have UK charities like "help for heroes" presenting EXACTLY the same case as Noraid: "we're helping the casualties of conflict and their families". Perhaps top of the that pile, "combat stress", whose mission is to help any troops haunted by the terrified screams of small kiddies when the British troops beat down their door and beat up and dragged off their dad.

p.s. I've no idea who the much-downvoted anonymous coward may be. Were they just too subtle, or is El Reg a hotbed of jingoism?

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NHS (Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

"The NHS hasn't failed by any reasonable measure."

It failed me, the one time in my life I had a real medical emergency that couldn't wait. Wouldn't even give me an emergency GP appointment for sooner than two and a half weeks ahead. Which is not what you want to hear when your eyesight has faded *very suddenly* to the point where things suddenly look dark, you can't sustain reading a book for more than a couple of lines, and you're bumping into people on the pavement.

That wasn't some distant past. It was less than five years ago, in 2007. More recently I heard a report that some 70% of people who had had some medical emergency had been let down by the NHS (OK, some of those were next-of-kin where the non-patient hadn't survived).

I used to believe in the NHS until I tried to use it. Now I resent every penny of my taxes going to fund that bandwagon for the useless (and a lucky 30% of Brits with medical needs).

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Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

All I can say is that they found out the hard way how big a bitch Karma can be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Noraid

" if you seriously believe the IRA blowing people up was the only thing preventing genocide in NI, I have several bridges, a tower and a tinfoil hat you might be interested in"

And if you consider British soldiers shooting unarmed civilians dead in the street of Derry 'peacekeeping' then you might want to help yourself to one of those tinfoil hats.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Noraid

As Holmes noted with the curious case of the dog in the night-time, what *didn’t* happen can be as instructive as what did.

Approximately 1,800 soldiers were deployed in Londonderry’s Bogside for the containment operation, from five different units, the majority armed with SLRs (FN MAG) with 20 rounds on the weapon and 30 spare. Even grossly underestimating that only half carried the SLR, that equates to 18,000 rounds on rifles, ready to go; including their reserve ammo makes 45,000 rounds available. Yet only 128 rounds were fired—0.71% of their loaded ammo and 0.28% of the total (N.B. gross underestimates). Even the 21 paras who fired barely expended a quarter (107) of the 420 rounds loaded on their rifles; 1,050 rounds being carried altogether means they handed back nine-tenths of their ammo.

115 people (including one Garda) had been murdered by Irish republican terrorists before that January 30; two of the latter were police officers murdered in Londonderry’s Creggan on the Thursday prior. Two of the nine soldiers murdered in Londonderry in the previous six months were killed by terrorists using rioting crowds as cover. The young, working class soldiers were deployed into a confusing and dangerous situation. Things went wrong, and 13 people were fatally shot and another 13 wounded (at least a few of them hardened rioters and one a member of the PIRA youth wing). But that so few soldiers fired, and even the ones that did returned nine-tenths of their available rounds, shows that the soldiers were genuinely trying to identify legitimate targets, and on not identifying a legitimate target, they withheld their fire. They were mistaken in their identifications; but it was a cock-up, nothing more sinister than that.

Things unfortunately get rough when soldiers (or armed police) are deployed—even the Swiss managed to shoot dead 13 demonstrators and wound 65 in Geneva in 1932. South African police notoriously killed 69 and wounded 180 at Sharpeville in 1960; in 1961 French police killed between 200 and 325 Algerian demonstrators in Paris. At Dak Son in 1967 Vietnamese communists systematically killed—often burning alive—252 civilians with flamethrowers and grenades. At My Lai in 1968, American soldiers proceeded over four hours to massacre an estimated 347–504 Vietnamese civilians—mainly infants, children, women and the elderly. Our lads compare quite well to all that; and compared to the Irish republican terrorists’ 2,060 murders, the 363 deaths we were responsible for is, frankly, small beer.

Séamus Murphy, SJ, wrote in the Autumn 1993 issue of ‘Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review’: ‘At the SDLP’s annual conference in 1988, John Hume stated that it is “the IRA who are the nightmare of the Catholic community”, since they had killed more than twice as many Catholics as had the security forces in the previous twenty years and more Catholics than had Protestant paramilitaries in the previous ten years. He added that were he to lead a civil rights movement again in NI, it would be directed against the IRA. As so many others have said, he reiterated that there is no injustice in NI that justifies killing a single person.’

(Sources: CAIN website; BSI report, online at the National Archives; ‘Bloody Sunday: Truths, lies and the Saville Inquiry’ by Douglas Murray)

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Re: NHS (hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

It failed me, the one time in my life I had a real medical emergency that couldn't wait. Wouldn't even give me an emergency GP appointment for sooner than two and a half weeks ahead. Which is not what you want to hear when your eyesight has faded *very suddenly* to the point where things suddenly look dark, you can't sustain reading a book for more than a couple of lines, and you're bumping into people on the pavement.

========

good God! Surely A&E would be the pace to go for that kind of thing?

The somewhat harsh reality is that modern medicine is founded on statistical responses by the population at large to medical interventions, not individual responses; although this is starting to change a bit recently with tailored drugs and all...

Britain's stats are generally better than the US' with less money spent. In that sense, the nhs is no failure.

There's room for abject failure to individuals in both systems, and room for heroic success too... but the stats are what they are.

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Re: hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites

"Oh, wait, that's right. He was a Progressive who wants the US to implement our own version of the British failed healthcare system."

Percentage of GDP spent on healthcare as of 2009:

UK - 9.8%

US - 17.4%

Life expectancy as of 2009:

UK - 79.1 years

US - 78.1 years

I realise there's more to it than life expectancy but since you seem like you've been getting your world view from Fox News I really can't be arsed looking up figures you'll just ignore.

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Stop

@ boltar re: religion becoming an ethnicity

When did religion become an ethnicity? I must have missed that memo.

Look up the word "Jew" sometime. You might find it quite enlightening.

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Re: Noraid

"And if you consider British soldiers shooting unarmed civilians dead in the street of Derry 'peacekeeping' then you might want to help yourself to one of those tinfoil hats."

Except for the minor point that they weren't all unarmed. The IRA had infiltrated the crowd and started shooting to deliberately provoke the troops. A minor but rather crucial point which is conveniently ignored by all the self righteous republican bluster and BS we've had about that incident over the last 40 years.

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Re: @ boltar re: religion becoming an ethnicity

"Look up the word "Jew" sometime. You might find it quite enlightening."

Look up "ethiopian jew". Ditto.

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Re: NHS (hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

"good God! Surely A&E would be the pace to go for that kind of thing?"

A&E? Isn't that for accident victims? I wouldn't have known where to find one, anyway. I wanted to get to the eye hospital, but I was in no position to find it, even if I could've got through the red tape to be seen without a GP referral.

"The somewhat harsh reality is ..."

That outcome statistics don't compare like with like.

Anecdote: an ex-colleague had a long history of dental trouble, and had had himself fixed up by a dentist every couple of years. Then his job took him to the US, so when he needed fixing he got an american dentist at a fearsome price (to his employer's insurer). The american dentist, unlike the UK ones, did a good job that lasted, so he no longer needed repeat treatment. An altogether better outcome, yet it'll show in the stats as just one successful treatment, compared to many in the UK stats.

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Re: NHS (hardcore pornography, Klu Klux Klan, and online gambling sites)

A&E : Accident and Emergency

If you have an emergency, go there.... the clue is in the name.

Similarly the regional eye hospitals all run emergency drop in centres. Ambulances will take you straight there if you have an eye problem, or you can walk in off the street. I've been to a couple of them now, they're really quite good at their jobs.

I'm not sure dental work is quite what we're discussing, it rarely kills you...

I, for one, am not saying american medicine is bad, far from it, so long as you can afford it, its great.

If you can't afford it though, you're in deep trouble. Many, many, people in the US can't afford it, dooming them to substandard care, or no care at all; which is sad.

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Re: Failure by the NHS

Well, you have my sympathies, but I can't fault the NHS at all. In my experience if I want a regular appointment with my GP it takes nearly 2 weeks, but for an emergency I can generally be seen same-day. When I crashed my motorbike they couldn't have been more helpful (though the fracture clinic at the ERI is a zoo, and it's my one complaint I can level at them). When my kids were born 10.5 weeks early, though, I saw the NHS working fantastically. I saw parents dragged through hell in that place by bad luck, but throughout the whole experience the staff were as helpful, professional, friendly, courteous, patient and honest as they could be. If we had a USA-style medical industry, my children would probably be dead now. So would the wee lad Harris, who was born 12 weeks early. So would the cute little triplet girls with the Thai parents who almost filled one of the ICU rooms. And a dozen or so others that I can remember from my stint in there. There's something about watching a baby in an uncubator being rushed out of the ward by a helicopter crew whilst the parents are chasing it with their luggage that makes you pause and think (a) that could have been me, and (b) they're really doing everything they can.

Does the NHS have problems? Yes, it most certainly does. But most of these problems (from where I've seen it, and from the people I've spoken to) have been due to management incompetence at some level or another. The people in the trenches trying to save lives and cure sick people work fucking hard and deserve a lot of respect.

I'd rather have a safety net for everyone that faily the unlucky few (and I do know people who've been failed too), than the patchwork that the USA has.

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Anonymous Coward

Saved?

Does this mean Julian's no longer under arrest and not facing charges any more? Inquiring minds wanna know. May the force be with you Julian and remember, Jesus loves ya.

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Anonymous Coward

Jesus loves you, Julian...

Everyone else thinks you're a whinging arsehole.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jesus loves you, Julian...

Thats a polite way of putting it, what I think of him is not repeatable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jesus loves you, Julian...

what I think of him is not repeatable

Ditto, so that's now doubly not repeatable.. On the bright side, maybe he can now buy NEW condoms - I read somewhere the cause of breaking was a *used* condom. The very picture horrifies me, but then again - so does any other part of Assange(tm)..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jesus loves you, Julian...

"what I think of him is not repeatable."

About Rav Ben Yusef or about Mr. Assange?

And why do folk have this habit of getting on first name basis with people they have never met?

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Devil

Re: Jesus loves you, Julian...

Dear Anonymous

Why the hate ? Were you one of the murdering bastards Wikileaks so rightly fingered ?

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Anonymous Coward

Here's a clue

Visa and Mastercard write their OWN business TERMS and Conditions and no court can force them to process donations. Nice try though it won't hold up on appeal. In addition any processor can decline to process financial transactions that they feel supports criminal activity.

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Re: Here's a clue

True, Visa & Mastercard can do what they like.

But they have also been found to be breaking Icelandic law and will comply or be punished.

Good thing too.

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