back to article Wikileaks pledge drive hobbled by PayPal suspension

Wikileaks, the anonymous whistleblowing website, says PayPal has frozen its account, frustrating its fundraising efforts. The website, which has stopped publishing leaked documents during its donation drive, said that PayPal took the action on Saturday. "This is the second time that this has happened. The last time we …


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  1. Rob Moir

    The question

    is why are people still using paypal for anything but their little walled ebay garden?

    Another question might be why are the eurocrats not holding their feet to the fire too, instead of wasting their time with imposing stupid browser ballots that nobody actually wants on operating systems.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer


      Because it's really, really easy to use and means you don't need to spread your credit card details all over the net?

      I use mine regularly for four different sites, it's doubly useful for cross country purchases, I'd hate to have to use multiple systems (wordlpay/nochex) and even worse if you have to type your credit card details in for every purchase.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Just wait

        One day they will turn and bite you in the arse, then I gusrantee you won't be such a happy little PayPal evangelist...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          a little harsh

          evangelist n

          1. (Christianity / Protestantism) an occasional preacher, sometimes itinerant and often preaching at meetings in the open air

          2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) a preacher of the Christian gospel

          3. any zealous advocate of a cause

          4. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) another word for revivalist [1]..

          that was a little harsh.... i didnt see any preaching or trying to spread the word of anything...

          the only thing the comentard said was why they use paypal. which if you ask me is a very good and valid reason.

          I have had a paypal account for gotta be close to 8 years and have never had any problems at all. but as per everything else, i take care where i put my personal details about on the net...

          paypal since around xmas have introduced a system where they send a text message with a code in to my mobile which i have to enter into paypal login before it will allow me to spend money or anything on my account.... its still not 100% perfect, but better than none....

          give the guy a break,,,

  2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I remain unconvinced by PayPal.

    The last I heard, they're pretty much a bank but still(?) without the regulated obligations of a bank - and in 2010 doesn't that just fill you with trust. Oh, and they want your credit card number.

    They're about as credible with me as the money system in World of Warcraft.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer


      But electronic money is the future, unless the banks come up with a better model PayPal is what we have, just because they don't have the regulation don't blame them... blame the government and banking systems!

  3. ShaggyDoggy

    Ha !!

    Welcome to Paypal.

    I've had mine suspended twice, for "unusual activity" being the transfer of £200 please note this is a "business account" so exactly how much isn't an unusual amount for a business ... a tenner ?

  4. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    Specifically non-profit organisations being suspended? Nothing dubious going on there then. I'm sure the trustworthy and reliable PayPal can't be at fault.

  5. Bob Smith

    this is an outrage

    we all should stop using paypal , they have to much power

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The vast majority of those non-profit sites with PayPal problems

    are, er, illegal download sites...

    1. Ian Tresman

      Yeah but...

      That's not for Paypal to decide, it's up to a court.

    2. Malcolm Boura 2

      USA exporting harm

      No, in at least one case a perfectly legitimate not for profit organisation which PayPal took exception to for no rational reason was, without any warning, denied service. For example If that had been here in the UK I would have been looking into a libel/human rights action against them. (I do a lot of the legals for British Naturism). The behaviour of a number of US dominated corporations with near monopolies, YouTube is another example, in imposing the attitudes of the USA, some of which cause a lot of harm, on the rest of the world is completely unacceptable.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paypal crooks

    Paypal suspended our not-for-profit account because we couldn't provide a credit card. Our charity doesn't have one, and no individual was going to provide their own personal card number. They would accept no other proof of identity, not even our registration with the charity commission.

    Further problems arose because I set-up the account, with me as the main contact, but I am not an officer of the charity. None of the officers are computer literate. At no time did Paypal highlight this, and credit cards, as a potential requirement.

    Bunch of amateurs.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Re: Bunch of amateurs.

      1. Paypal has fees, if you can't provide bank details or a credit card, you can't pay the fees.

      2. So if I tried to create a PayPal account for (say) the NSPCC I send the charity number, I should get an account?

      3. There are legal requirements for charities, you must be a comittee member etc. to do financial dealings or the system could easily be abused, this is just common sense.

      "None of the officers are computer literate." is not an excuse, you could have done it for them, talked them through it, you tried to do something inappropriate.

      I suspect that you are more of a member of the "Bunch of amateurs" than PayPal.

  8. Chris 86
    Thumb Up


    You can use to continue to donate

  9. Jeremy 2

    Shouldn't use PayPal but it's just not that simple...

    Sure, nobody should be using PayPal for their business needs and if anybody signing up for a business account there actually read the terms and conditions where it basically says they can freeze your funds at any time and for pretty much any reason with very little recourse, then far fewer people would use it.


    Punters *love* PayPal. Almost everybody has a buyer's PayPal account, even the people who hate it. Ubiquity plus the fact that customers often expect it from small sellers is a nice little self-reciprocating loop for PayPal. Businesses use it because customers expect it and customers have it because for lots of smaller businesses, it's the only payment option. Add to that the media, which has taught the great unwashed to be afraid of small-time companies asking for CC#'s on the internet and PayPal must be rubbing their hands with glee.

    The other problem is lack of cost-effective alternatives for small businesses who may only see a sale or two a week. WorldPay is trusted but is a subscription model (when last I checked, anyway) so your small profit disappears and a lot of the other major payment systems, like Google's have the same 'what's yours is ours' attitude as PayPal as well as being limited to certain currencies. Those that perhaps do act a little more ethically towards their business customers face the problem of being small-time and the customers won't trust them and the sellers end up with an inbox full of "do you take PayPal" emails.

    It's no good saying businesses shouldn't use PayPal when the punters expect it and there's no genuine competition that doesn't have exactly the same problems.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Very true...

      Even after having to sue PayPal to get a refund they owed me and hating them more than I hate Bono, I still use them for eBay and a few other small value purchases.

      The problem is that they are able to dodge regulation, we really should be lobbying our MPs, consumer rights groups and the financial sector to crack down by bringing in legisaltion which would force regulation on PayPal and other similar payments systems.

      Oh, I feel a campaign commin on...!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Wikileaks should be banned instead

    Lets all moan about Paypal, and raise our arms and complain that a non-accountable for-profit organization blocked a NON-accountable not-for-profit organization. Lets all cry about it, and lets all forget that if Wikileaks publishes an untruth you fucked and there is fuck all you can do about it.

    Best still, lets all support these bunch of crooks financially as well. Yay, top plan.

    You supporters are pathetic.... just you wait ... soon Wikesmears will ... Bahh forget it, you wont understand why Wikismears is such a bad site in a democracy.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      @ AC 15:07gmt

      Could you please enlighten us?

      Cos IMHO having some place to publicly show documents the big honchos don't want published would seem to actually PROTECT democracy.

      And about this PayPal 'suspension', it's either a total blunder, and proof that PayPal is just incompetent, or a way to protect all the big fish interested in making wikileaks disappear, and proof that PayPal is evil.

      My money is on the second hypothesis. Seriously, a customer moving that much money MUST have some kind of account manager, and blaming the blunder on some automated program is fscking unvelievable.

      Black helicopters, because they seem to abound lately. :(

    2. Anonymous Coward

      And you are..?

      Jerry McCann?

      Director at Trafigura?

      MOD security chief?

  11. Owen Carter

    My bank has the solution.

    I bank with ABN-Amro here in holland, for the last 8 years I have had a two-factor authenticated internet account (ie. I have a little device which I plug my card into, enter my pin, and then have to use it to generate a response code in order to login, very secure compared to the nonsense I see with my UK creditcard, where the focus seems entirely on adding extra passwords and images to the signup, instead of fixing it properly.

    On top of that I have iDeal (for many Dutch merchants, though obviously not eBay), it works as follows: At the checkout you click the iDeal link, you get taken to your internet banking site where you log in and complete the transaction, then get taken back to the merchant site. While on my bank site I can check balances and choose accounts etc. before paying!

    It's a bit fiddlier than paypals oneclick solutions, but easier than a full creditcard check, and I feel much more in control.

    One day the UK and US banks will catch up and start delivering real services and security to their marks^H^H^H^Hcustomers, but they'll probably have to fail again first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So has mine

      I hate to spoil your party but my UK bank uses the same login method, as does my fathers. I won't mention names as I'm sure many others do too.

  12. Alan Esworthy
    Black Helicopters

    "Money laundering"

    Don't overlook the unbelievably heavy-handed and intrusive "anti-money-laundering" laws and regulations that PayPal and other payment systems have to obey or face very heavy penalties. I put the term in quotation marks because it is in reality just another way for our friendly, well-meaning, totalitarian governments to monitor our lives for activity they don't like.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    PayPal are SLIME of the lowest order... They refused to refund me £113 when I returned a fake product to Hong Kong and the seller failed to refund.

    One ten minute £25 online county court claim and a few weeks later they settled for the full amount + costs.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      i think the company you were dealing with sending fake products were more slime than paypal.

      Companies in Hong Kong and china are a bit of a risk to deal with anyway. I have a personal limit of £12 for any item that i would buy from the far east.

      dont forget, buying from abroad, you do not have the same rights as you do buying from home.

      1. No, I will not fix your computer


        I'm not convinced that PayPal was responsible for your bad purchase or the fact the seller refused to refund, surely your contract was with the seller?

        At the end of the day you did get all your money back, every single penny and the only loser was PayPal, this cost will have to be made up by their fees by other PayPal users, why did PayPal cave in and pay? probably because it was such a trivial amount it wasn't worth representing it, I've had three small claims successful for the same reason, it doesn't mean your claim was valid, if you were stupid enough to spend a four figure sum instead then I suspect that PayPal legal would have been more involved, if you went to an auction house and bought a fake, unless the auction house said it was genuine then it's not their responsibiity, nor the banks (obviously credit cards offer protection as you have a contract for the credit).

        And even after you got all your money back (not even from the person who you gave it to, so it's not even your money!) you still call PayPal slime?

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    paypal ex pron empire

    I think paypal seem to forget that before they were bought by ebay one of their main revenue streams was selling subscriptions to pron websites, adult videos etc. they then kicked all those loyal users in favour of the more family friendly ebay users.

    Although i am sure there must be some useful customer services people at paypal i haven't come across them yet in my several hours of phone calls to their CS dept last year to get a very small issue resolved.

    Unfortunately running a small online business i do have to offer paypal as a payment option to my customers or run the risk that some people will simply not buy from my website.

    I do find it quite amusing that some customers would rather telephone and give their CC number to a total stranger over the phone than enter there CC number on a secure website. Even though from the banks fraud point of view they are both customer not present transactions so covered by the same regulations for fraud.

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