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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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

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    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. copsewood
        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        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.

        1. Dante

          A weak link is still a link

          yes?

          1. david wilson

            @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?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      @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 ?

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        How about

        Julian gets a knighthood.

        For services to Diplomacy.

  3. ratfox Silver badge
    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.

    1. david wilson

      @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.

      1. ratfox Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          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.

        2. david wilson

          @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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shirt, no shoes, no service.

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

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Tony S

        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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  6. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Naughtyhorse

      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

      1. Rattus Rattus

        "republican???"

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

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          @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.

    3. Geoff Campbell
      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

      1. bob's hamster

        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).

        1. Geoff Campbell
          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

    4. Scorchio!!

      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.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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..

      1. Scorchio!!
        FAIL

        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.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Quite feankly...

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

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No.

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

    8. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Superb!

      Upvoted just for cheering me up during my lunch break!

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

    9. John Bailey
      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.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Free speech, fair enough, OK

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

    1. Scorchio!!

      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.

    2. Heff
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        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. :)

        1. Heff
          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.

          1. Alex Rose

            You kind of had...

            ...a little bit of sympathy from me.

            Until you equated DHCP servers with the Internet :(

            1. Heff
              FAIL

              Whoops

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

              s/DHCP/DNS, with my apologies.

              /fail for fail

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  11. JaitcH
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy

      "The leaks occurred solely because of the failure of American authorities to properly secure the data." No, the leaks occurred because of crap security AND because a trusted individual who had agreed not to do so stole some data. IANAL, but it sure sounds like a US crime has been committed by a US citizen.

      This individual chose to pass this data on to Wikileaks, who knew perfectly well that it had been obtained unlawfully. I'm pretty sure that selling property known to be stolen (albeit in another country) would still be a crime in the UK and elsewhere. I'm not sure of the position if you give it away, but don't forget that Wikileaks are doing this for publicity and to attract donations.

      Irrespective of this, Wikileaks are making the information available to US citizens against the wishes of its owner, so they are (prima facie) committing a crime in the US. They may wish to argue that this is either in the public good or that the US public is the true owner of the data, but they're free to do so in the US courts (good luck with that).

      So it's pretty clear that if Mastercard (a US company) processes payments in the US on behalf of Wikileaks, it may well be breaking the law. In those circumstances, what would you do?

      1. Ian Yates

        Re: AC 1017

        "a trusted individual who had agreed not to do so stole some data. IANAL, but it sure sounds like a US crime has been committed by a US citizen."

        Interestingly, the US have "whistleblower" laws to allow people to 'steal' information and pass it on 'illegally' but get let off. It'll be interesting to see how much (if any) of this leak is allowed under that defence.

        At the end of the day, there's been very little in the current batch of cables that the US gov should be scared of, so their reaction is probably related to something they know or suspect is still to come.

        So far, the leak has been a slight embarrassment, but even ex-UK envoys have admitted that this pretty much par-for-the-course with every country (and I believe that pretty easily).

        The telling thing is how they don't appear* to have sought much of a discussion with wikileaks, instead resorting to name-calling and threats.

        * In the sense that I can't find any public announcement that they tried to talk to Assange et al.

        1. david wilson

          @Ian Yates

          >>"Interestingly, the US have "whistleblower" laws to allow people to 'steal' information and pass it on 'illegally' but get let off. It'll be interesting to see how much (if any) of this leak is allowed under that defence."

          It will be interesting.

          Though surely selectivity plays a part in justifying whistleblowing?

          If I found an organisation I worked in was doing something illegal, and I responded by copying and giving away all the data I could get my hands on to someone likely to release most of it - not merely stuff relevant to the matter I was concerned about, but everyone's personal emails, confidential contract negotiations, trade secrets, etc, I'm not sure that even the most generous whistleblower protection would cover me.

          In the Manning case, there might be a good case for saying that release of some of the information was in the public interest, but if there was stuff released that didn't need releasing to show up gross misbehaviour, that could be treated quite separately.

          I can't see there'd be a defence of "But he gave so much confidential information away, he can't have been expected to read it all!"

          A trial may well relate only to the information they think wouldn't reasonably be covered by whistleblower protection.

          Would "But he gave other stuff away which people did have a right to know" actually be a workable defence?

    2. Scorchio!!

      BS

      These leaks occurred because someone stole the data. Any spurious defence is akin to counting the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin, and will not stop the expected self defence and retribution. Saying or expecting that the case should be other wise is worse than naive and childish, worse than egregious.

      1. Miek
        Thumb Down

        Gah

        Give it a rest soldier-boy

        1. Scorchio!!

          Tsk

          Hush child. The grown ups are speaking now. Back to your toys.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Solely?

      "The leaks occurred solely because of the failure of American authorities to properly secure the data."

      That's an interesting philosophy and I hope that you would be happy to live in a world where it is consistently applied ... someone's house gets robbed solely because they failed to properly secure it, someone's car get stolen solely because they failed to properly secure it, someone gets beaten up solely because they failed to take proper security measures.

      1. Terry H
        Flame

        Soley

        I think I would thoroughly love to live in that world. I'd move there tomorrow. The only part you left out is that if it's "MY" responsibility then "I" get to decide what "properly secure" means -- You know, like every government on the planet does -- without ANY regard to ANY other authority!

        So sure, bring it on. "I" will properly secure my house with shot-gun traps and land mines. If I come home drunk and blow myself up --- too bad for me. If you die lusting after my TV - too bad for you. And the taxpayers save about 100K a year keeping the bad guy in prison (where everyone freely admits he will refine his skills).

        "I" will secure my car with a 1,000,000 stun gun. If the odd dog or "young lad stealing hubcaps" gets the top of their head blown off, oh well. they won't be doing that again will they?

        And if I get beaten up because I only had a revolver when the 10 guys come at me. My bad! Next time I'll carry that lovely German party favor the MP-5. You know, like the ones the body guards of every politicians on earth carry. Maybe you're not familiar with it. You are excused, as far as I know, it is illegal for normal people to own in every single country on earth.

        Alternately here's a plan that's not quite as radical. Make every government, every politician, and every government employee fully and completely comply with each and every law they inflict on their citizens. No special treatment. The government wants warrant-less wire tapping of the world? They can hardly complain then when the world wonders what's under their kilt then can they? Good for the goose good for the gander.

        1. david wilson

          @TerryH

          >>"So sure, bring it on. "I" will properly secure my house with shot-gun traps and land mines. "

          So I take it you don't expect to get many visitors, then?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Heart

          More!

          More, more, more (sound of feet stamping and hands clapping)

          "Things can only get better..."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        hey solely

        That argument is not valid in this example, because your taxes have paid for "the house" and the people that "live in it". So do you not have a right of sorts to see what has/is being done in your name?

    4. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: 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.

      'Was not my fault officer, his window was not properly secured and, besides, his cleaner passed the USB drive out of the window'

      Won't work. Particularly when it comes to pay back time. So your childish morals will be put ashes in the fire.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Any company can choose....

    to have who they like as a customer, however.

    When an elderly friend was being ripped off for thousands by some scammers in Canada not only did they re-issue his cancelled card with the same account numbers they continued to pay the scammers. Getting the card cancelled in the first place took a major battle and we had no chance trying to get them to pay compensation for the fiasco with the re-issued card. He lost what small savings he had and had to re-mortgage his very small house in order to pay the banks.

    This scam was widely discussed on the web and also raised in the Canadian Courts and Parliament but they still processed payments for them and presumably had issued the scammers with accounts allowing them to collect the payments. The scam netted millions from the UK alone, mostly vulnerable pensioners.

    Double standards apply methinks.

    1. copsewood
      Stop

      monopolies don't have a right to choose their customers

      Anyone acting as the sole provider of an essential service has responsibilities to operate without discrimination or favour other than as allowed by law. That is what monopoly commissions and anti-trust legislation and court cases are all about. For example, Severn Trent, as the sole supplier of piped water in my area has it's prices decided by a regulator and has no right to refuse service because their managers don't like someone.

      1. david wilson

        @copsewood

        >>"Anyone acting as the sole provider of an essential service has responsibilities to operate without discrimination or favour other than as allowed by law. That is what monopoly commissions and anti-trust legislation and court cases are all about."

        Surely, the issue of providers of essential services to individuals and the behaviour of monopolists or effective monopolists are reasonably distinct?

        For one thing, it's fairly tightly defined what an essential service is.

        Also, much of the monopoly/anti-trust legislation is related to anti-competitive behaviour, such as not using a monopoly or cartel to extort excessive profits or doing things to prevent competition arising, like undercutting potential new entrants to a market to make their business uneconomic, but may be unrelated to how essential a service is, or is thought to be.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: monopolies don't have a right to choose their customers

        Wake, not only are these not monopolies/utilities, but they work in a competitive international market. In addition to that, when a state tells them that they don't approve of them passing money to an individual/organisation that specialises in displaying stolen state secrets, to whom the thieving employee owed allegiance having signed a secrets act clause, they can see the wisdom in behaving themselves. Not least because Assange is threatening to destabilise international banking by releasing information about it.

        This is the real world, not la la land. In the real world people are liable to punishment for breaking official secrets acts, theft and similar. Expect a lot of spanked arses over the next few months. Starting with the Dutch 16 year old who found, presumably to his distress, that the LOIC does not conceal IP numbers in the DDOS scam. I foresee a lot of prison sentences. The stocks would be a popular idea. As in rottentomatoes.com, but this time IRL, where the state secrets meet the road.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    big whoop

    Wikileaks have not broken any law's if they had instead of these supposed "sex crime" issues Assange would have been arrested on breaking what ever laws the Wikileaks site would have broken.

    While im not saying the current charges of false or not (it still remains to be seen) im sure the US would have loved to have something they could have him arrested him on.

    As such Wikileaks as a website has not broken any laws other than highlight some things some powerful people would rather remain hidden. Just embarrassing someone by telling the truth should not be against the law, hell enough of the tabloids do it, just look at the UK MP expenses scandal, how much would they loved to have kept all that quiet.

    People claim that the leaks put peoples lives at risk but do the really? Are they publishing anything about current ongoing operations, certainly not in anything I've read so far. They have published information about people who have done wrong and should be exposed for doing such.

    All that is happening is some rather pissed off powerful people who don't like the fact that their dirty little secrets are getting out and it looks bad on them and they are putting the pressure on companies to give wikileaks the boot. This form of strong arming should always be resisted, and until anyone can show exactly what law's wikileaks has broken no action's should be take against the site.

    As for the DDoS I personally can not condone them ether, it just makes wikileaks look like its backed by a bunch of spoilt script kiddies (mostly running LOIC) (no major botnets are involved as far as im aware) and that just harms their case.

    1. Scorchio!!
      FAIL

      Re: big whoop

      Dealing in stolen goods, but bugger that, here's another one; liable to termination with extreme prejudice for placing various states in jeopardy. Don't mess with a state if you don't want your fingers chopped off. It's no good claiming nothing wrong has been done and putting on injured airs, either don't do it and be happy, or do it and suffer.

      HTH

      HAVSD.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    US credit cards maybe, but why ban EU ones

    This is a fantastic internet power struggle. The US view the internet as theirs, and want their companies -easyDNS, amazon, paypal, visa and mastercard to go along with that plan.

    But visa is a consortium of banks, it's global, and for it to take a side here is going to alarm everyone else round the world. What if the US govt. next decide your country needs to be blacklisted, your online retail outlet, your phone company? I wouldn't mind if they just said "US cards aren't allowed to fund wikileaks", but stopping me pay with my UK card (owned by a bank that the UK govt. owns) paying for someone in iceland is going too far.

    Anonymous may have made Low Orbit Ion Cannon a phrase now used in the news, but the US govt and their accomplices have done the work.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: US credit cards maybe, but why ban EU ones

      Category error. It's nothing to do with whether the US regards the net as their own or not. It is what its use as a conduit for broadcasting classified material, stolen from it by an employee legally obliged to protect it. Handling stolen goods and publishing them under such circumstances, whether by radio, television, printed paper, or any other medium including morse is no different. It is not the medium. So we have here again a non sequitur argument.

      HTH

      HAND

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legality of leaks

    IANAL but....

    The method by which the cables were acquired was unlawful in every sense as the guy who did it knew he was breaking the law along with trust etc etc. Don't think anyone would agrue this.

    The content of the cables 'could' be deemed to be confidential and therefore protected to some degree but the bulk of what has come out so far is opinion pieces worthy of the lower order media and is more of a danger to reputations than to nation states. Starting to get onto arguable ground now.

    There is a defence in law that the content of material obtained by 'less than legal' methods can be disclosed in the public good. This is to prevent a Government simply brushing everything under the carpet, think 'infinite options'-gate where some secret government document or illegal recording has been revealed which has exposed unlawful actions by members of various governments. Hmmm really into opinion range now.

    In the US and the UK there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty although in the UK this is being over-ridden by things such as the European Arrest Warrant which can be raised by a country you have never entered for an act which is legal in your country of residence and seen by another person in a country with no link to the two. Scared yet?

    With regards to Visa/Mastercard/PayPal, they have you by the short and curlies. Never mind these physical banks which were 'too big to fail', these guys are little different to stock market traders in that they get their money from every transaction regardless of it's morals and they know that if the US government decide to get sniffy with them they would be in deep trouble. They would like to just lay there quietly slurping their cut from each interweb transaction with the minimum of fuss. Fighting them is like pushing water uphill.

    All in all this is a very odd fight to get involved in and would indicate either alternative motives or else very poor judgement. Getting the Wikileaks team into court one by one is unlikely to stop the flow of documents which surely should be their aim here.

    Why Anonymous? well if you have to ask....

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Boffin

      IANAL also

      However, as far as I understand it, you cannot be arrested on a European Arrest Warrant for an activity which is legal in your country. The example I have seen given beofre is that of Holocaust denial - this is illegal in Austria, but a UK citizen cannot be extradited to Austria for denying the holocaust in the UK. If, however, they were in Austria at the time but later returned to the UK, they could be extradited.

      Again, IANAL, and this is just my understanding of the issue. And just to be clear, I wouldn't condone holocaust denial in any way; those who do so are morons. It is just an example of something that carries a different legal status in various EU states.

      1. Ian Yates

        EAW

        From my following of EAW cases, I don't believe this is true (or if it is, no member country understands it correctly).

        EAWs are regularly abused (there are some notable countries that like to apply for them without any real evidence to back it up) - but this is due to poor "quality control" and understanding.

        Sorry for lack of sources, 'busy' at work. Examples should be easy to find, though.

      2. viet 1
        Boffin

        EAW

        "However, as far as I understand it, you cannot be arrested on a European Arrest Warrant for an activity which is legal in your country. The example I have seen given beofre is that of Holocaust denial - this is illegal in Austria, but a UK citizen cannot be extradited to Austria for denying the holocaust in the UK."

        This is the general principle, but there's a list of 32 crimes that can be an automatic basis for an EAW, irrespective of local laws. Among them, you guess it, rape. So, take an unproven 'minor' offence, say sexual harassment, spin it to 'alleged rape' proportion, *bam* EAW.

        The EAW is a monstrosity.

        1. david wilson

          @viet 1

          >>"Among them, you guess it, rape. So, take an unproven 'minor' offence, say sexual harassment, spin it to 'alleged rape' proportion, *bam* EAW."

          But then, if it has all been some Grand Conspiracy, they could have fairly easily progressed things to the point where they could have stopped him leaving the country in the first place, and wouldn't need to bother with EAWs.

          If 'They' are going to fit him up, what advantage do They actually get from delaying things?

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    You help me, I help you...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/246424

    "Monday, 01 February 2010, 04:41"

    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000228

    SUBJECT: RUSSIAN DRAFT BILL WOULD REQUIRE ON-SHORE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING

    The latest version of the Russian draft law "On the National Payment System" contains several provisions that would disadvantage U.S. businesses. The draft law would set up a National Payment Card System (NPCS) including its own payment card that banks and payment card companies could join voluntarily. Most likely to be a consortium of state-owned banks, the NPCS operator would process the domestic payments for all members and collect processing fees estimated at $4 billion per year. The draft also forbids sending abroad any payment data for domestic transactions. Should international payment card companies such as Visa and MasterCard chose not to join the NPCS they would have to set up the infrastructure to do their Russian payment processing domestically.

    .... This draft law continues to disadvantage U.S. payment card market leaders Visa and MasterCard, whether they join the National Payment Card System or not. If they join, the NPCS operator will collect the fees, leaving them to collect processing fees only when card-holders travel abroad -- a tiny section of the market. If they do not join but choose to compete with NPCS cards, they will have to set up payment processing centers in Russia, a very large investment in itself, and compete against a system likely backed by the largest Russian state banks. While the draft legislation has yet to be submitted to the Duma and can still be amended, post will continue to raise our concerns with senior GOR officials. We recommend that senior USG officials also take advantage of meetings with their Russian counterparts, including through the Bilateral Presidential Commission, to press the GOR to change the draft text to ensure U.S. payment companies are not adversely affected. END COMMENT.

    1. loopy lou
      Happy

      Thank you

      Adding this to the debate deserves more than the 1 upvote I can give it.

      The wikileaks issue is just illustrating the problem: as normal people become more dependent on credit cards to get on with their lives, we have to make sure the Ts and Cs don't give corporations (and the governments that lean on them) excessive power. States have to start saying "if you want to provide credit card services to our businesses and citizens, here are Ts and Cs YOU have to abide by".

      Good on the Russians for realizing this and starting to do something.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Keep it up Wikileaks

    Funny how the US and UK governments invade our privacy more and more each day and say it's for our own good and say if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.

    Now that this rule is working both ways they don't like it so much do they? Tough.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Ah, but ...

      ... they know they *have* done wrong things, so they *do* have something to hide - that's what all the fuss is about!! ;-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    seven-digit figures in losses in a week?

    We're talking binary here, I presume?

    AhHa, the IT angle :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Assange is innocent?

    If he's innocent why doesn't he go to Sweden and clear his name of the rape charges?

  20. ShaggyDoggy

    Is it just me

    or is anyone else getting TOTALLY FUCKED OFF WITH THIS U.S. EXTRATERRITORALITY

    ... it's wikileaks this time, next time it' could be YOU

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      FAIL

      Ummm,

      like he did a couple of days ago, when he handed himself into a UK police station you mean? Please do try to keep up...

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Ummm,

        A UK police station =! a court of law.

        The appropriate place for the matter to be determined is in the legal system where the allegations were made, that is to say where actions were alleged to have occurred. It is important not merely because the data are all available there, and not merely because the matter to be determined is under the laws of another country.

        Finally, the police are not a court of law, in case it had escaped your attention, though I am sure that it would not were they to determine the guilt or innocence of rioters in this country.

        So, all in all, flawed logic of the kind that would not even pass muster amongst the Sophists.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Public Interest?

    Wikileaks has got itself confused between "in the public interest" and "of interest to the public".

    As much as they are probably revelling in the "ooh look at us making fun of the Americans" moment .. I suspect that real damage will be done and at some point some random nation will get all upset.

    Things smaller than this have lead to wars, where real people get really killed.

    When Wikileaks was doing good work (like the Apache helicopter footage) they had my full support, but this latest stunt is simply titillation for the sake of their own notoriety.

    I'm still trying to figure out how they manage to fit their notions of free speech into the concept of "and if you choose not to supply us, our supporters will DDOS the hell out of your business" .. not the sort of freedom I would want, thanks.

    1. The main man

      True

      Thats what i have been saying. They have brain washed so many people and they use their hacker buddies to blackmail those who stand in their way. I supported them early on but not any more

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Errrr ...

        "They have brain washed so many people and they use their hacker buddies to blackmail those who stand in their way. I supported them early on but not any more"

        You're not really getting a handle on all of this, are you?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      >>"Wikileaks has got itself confused between "in the public interest" and "of interest to the public"."

      And in that respect at least, isn't necessarily very different to large sections of the real media, who try to pretend that finding someone happy to read something justifies pretty much anything (or, put another way, pretend that finding a willing reader removes most/all responsibility for publishing from the publisher).

      The difference is that if the real media fuck up and really go much too far, there's a possibility that they can be held to account somewhere.

      Who can hold Wikileaks to account?

      And for that matter, where does Wikileaks' income actually go?

      If they lost a 7 figure sum in a few days, how much do they make per year, and what does it get spent on?

      Who audits their accounts?

      1. The main man

        Income

        Their income goes to the upkeep of the site, blackmail purposes via hackers (4chan) and sustaining Julians lifestyle

  22. Spider
    Unhappy

    how the times change

    one man leaks classified docs of shady government shennanigans and those that publish are given pulitzers...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Woodward#Career_recognition_and_awards

    now they are decried as terrorists and threatened with assasination as they are hounded to the ends of the earth.

  23. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What's your definition of Criminal?

      It clearly doesn't match the legal one, which is the only one that actually matters.

      In law, a criminal is someone who has been proven (usually in a court) to have broken a law.

      Someone *suspected* of breaking a law is not a criminal, they are a suspect.

      I suggest that you watch the 1985 film "Brazil" directed by Terry Gilliam, and ask yourself how the world depicted could have come about.

      The short answer is that it's the logical extension of opinions like the ones you posted. Take care that you do not allow it to come about.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    Liability

    The payment company's senior management left themselves open for being litigated in court and castigated in public the moment they did not turn round to US pencil pusher and say, "so you claim this is unlawful, go and get me a court order, and we'll shut it down, see you in an hour then"

    Hopefully the size of the bill will make banks and payment services think twice before the pull the same stunt on another organisation or person, who may not have the same legal resources as wikileaks

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Error

    I got this email from PayPal yesterday:

    Dear <full name>

    On , we attempted to transfer from your bank account, ending in . This transfer was returned by your bank on for the reason below:

    There was a bank processing error.

    As a result, this bank account has been removed from your PayPal account. Please contact your bank for more information or add a new bank account. Please do not contact PayPal because this is entirely an issue between the account holder and their bank.

    Yours sincerely,

    PayPal

    Bank account is still there and a payment has gone through?

  26. Velv Silver badge
    Go

    How to shutdown wikileaks....

    Presumably the US Government knows which documents have been "stolen"

    So they can assume that wikileaks will publish them at some point over the coming weeks.

    Ergo, all the US government needs to do to is publish the documents themselves. Once all the information is out in the public domain, nobody will give too hoots about wikileaks and they will become redundant.

    QED

    Simples!

  27. heyrick Silver badge

    Banks should be able to trancend this nonsense (banks & politics = fail)

    The idea that a bank is aiding and abetting a terrorist/treason(er?) and could find themselves partly liable is ridiculous and a hangover from an olden day. That an international brand can suspend services globally because "one country doesn't like it" is extremely ridiculous. That all this can happen on heresay alone rather than an actual jury decision is beyond description.

    I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to compile a list of "unwanted" organisations that the banks are more than happy to deal with. As the first poster says - KKK yes, Wikileaks, no.

  28. Bob Fish
    FAIL

    Oh the irony...

    ... it has probably already been mentioned, but I found it really funny when I read that the 'hacktivists' behind the DDoS attacks were campaigning for 'making sure the Internet stays a free and open place'.

    I mean. Really.

  29. h 6
    FAIL

    Seriously

    "“Not being able to receive money from the public for a week can cost WikiLeaks seven-digit figures in losses/"

    Then write and snail mail a fecking CHECK! (CHEQUE for the Brits)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Seven Digit Figures in Losses

    So, they're making millions per week then?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting activism here

    I note with interest that ANY post with negative comments is downvoted in volume, regardless of the point it makes.

    Interesting activism. Sad, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      "I note with interest that ANY post with negative comments is downvoted in volume, regardless of the point it makes."

      If that's news to you, I take it you haven't read many of the Pirate Bay threads.

    2. Naughtyhorse
      FAIL

      wtf??

      how can a post on the one hand have negative comments and then be downvoted irrespective of content.

      the negative comments are the CONTENT, ergo the content must be assesed to meet the first clause. thereby making the second clause..... a load of old sour graped bollocks

      you just have the hump cos you are on the wrong side of the arguement

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @naughtyhorse

        I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that the intended reading is "negative posts are downvoted regardless of whether or not they're making any sensible points".

        That certainly seems to be the case in some threads around here.

        Sometimes even neutrally stating a simple fact in a TPB/filesharing thread is sufficient to get a clutch of knee-jerk downvotes from people who either think that collectively they can actually outvote the Real World, or that someone daring to contradict one of them even when they're factually wrong is somehow evil.

        The same treatment can happen to someone simply asking a question, if it's clear that the factual answer isn't what some people want to believe.

        The funny thing is, I really don't think that the people concerned realise just how silly and childish that makes them look, or how much it devalues their votes.

        Honestly, it makes me wonder why 'hivetard' is practically a Googlewhack.

        1. Mad Mike
          FAIL

          @Anonymous Coward

          I wouldn't complain about people downvoting your posts because they don't like the truth and it contradicts their 'collective' opinion.

          The real truth is your posts are far from the truth. You keep repeating the Wikileaks are doing illegal things line which is utter nonsense. They haven't been convicted of ANYTHING. They haven't even been charged with ANYTHING. Therefore, the one with his facts back to front is you. They are entirely innocent and the judicial system says so as they haven't been found guilty. Yet, they are being treated as if they are guilty by the US government and some others.

          So, what you're saying is you wish to rid the world of due process and simply agree with anything the US government says. Guilt will be determined by congressmen, senators, lawyers and the president without reference to any legal system.

          Once and for all, understand that Wikileaks are currently entirely innocent of EVERYTHING as they have not been convicted or even accused and your rants to the contrary are complete fiction of the worst kind. That's why you're being downvoted.

          1. Chris Miller

            Let me see if I understand

            On planet Mad Mike, if I spot someone climbing out of your bedroom window with a big bag marked 'SWAG' and they throw me some jewellery, I could keep it perfectly legally? After all, they haven't been convicted of ANYTHING, so they must be innocent of EVERYTHING. What an odd world you must live in.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Let me see if I understand

              Chris, I'd watch out.

              Mad Mike obviously seems to think he knows who all the anonymous posters are, since he addresses comments to a strand of the thread where, (judging from their posts here and elsewhere), the only named person in it isn't who he's talking to, but he still directs his comments at an invisible 'you', AND he apparently seems to reckon he knows just what that 'you' is thinking.

              Still, I guess shouting at a straw man on the internet makes a nice change from shouting at the television, or at real or imaginary pedestrians on the street.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    We're all doomed!! DOOMED!!

    Seeing as wikileaks has bought the apolcalypse unto us all (or so the amount of media coverage would seem to suggest) I'm off for a beer. See you allon the other side.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So it really is all about the Benjamins and not uncovering corruption after all:

    "Not being able to receive money from the public for a week can cost WikiLeaks seven-digit figures in losses, and DataCell as well"

    Not that the suit has any chance of winning. Vendors always include clauses that the contract is null and void if the buyer is engaged in illegal activity. State Department sent official notice that they were, MC, VISA, and Paypal are therefore all within their legal right and OBLIGATIONS to withhold services.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      @AC

      "Vendors always include clauses that the contract is null and void if the buyer is engaged in illegal activity"

      'engaged in illegal activity' usually means that a judge has ruled said activity to be illegal, or at least has sent a letter to the company asking them to stop giving the service, not that some suit or shyster working for USA.gov wrote a letter claiming so. If we take in account the fact that USA.gov hasn't even pressed charges against Assange and/or Wikileaks the only logic conclusion is that the clauses you refer to don't apply here.

      Now, in two days I've read dozens of comments like yours stating that Wikileaks acted illegally. All of them have been answered with good logic and very strong arguments, and proved wrong time and time again.

      When someone voices that broken argument again, I always wonder whether the commenter didn't bother to read the other comments to the article, or has trouble understanding what he reads, or is simply disseminating FUD.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No

      This is about a self absorbed egotistical sh!tbucket who wants to make a name for himself so he doesn't have to pay call girls to get himself some.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    Card numbers are Fake

    The screen shot linked to in the article contains fake CC numbers. Mastercard account numbers all start with a 5. (AMEX is 3, Visa is 4, and Novus/Discover is 6)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Heart Bleeding

    "I actually almost feel sorry for Visa and Mastercard."

    I don't. They are happpy to process payments for the KKK so they are hardly standing up for any noble principles. They are just doing what some right-wing-nut-job-senator is telling them to do.

    Amazon won't host Wikileaks data but is happy to sell it for cash in Kindle format.

    They could easily stand up to the US Government if they wanted. They simply need to ask politely for a court order.

    The Government should not be able to take action on a whim without being subject to the rule of law. If people want a society where the Government can operate above the law I suggest they book a flight to Burma.

    Anonymous? Hell yeah!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      "If people want a society where the Government can operate above the law I suggest they book a flight to Burma."

      And if Anonymous hacktards want a society where anarchy is favoured over government, maybe they should book a flight to Somalia.

      Assuming they can actually get Mummy's credit card to work today.

      Just because a government or company might be in the wrong doesn't justify morons taking the law into their own hands.

      Except that I guess a self-congratulating collective always feels like it's in the Right, as long as the people inside it only ever listen to each other.

      But then it was never about legal rights and wrongs, as evidenced by the previous attacks against organisations like the RIAA.

      It's only *ever* been about who the group likes or dislikes today, and whether the targets are actually breaking any laws doesn't really matter.

      Today they may *pretend* they're trying to somehow uphold the law, but the instant that excuse doesn't fit what they want to do, they'll ditch it and try some other rationalisation.

      The sooner some of them get a good fat criminal record, the better.

  36. Flybert
    Black Helicopters

    I'd like to post the transcript .. however ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM1HlfVF4I4

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Thanks, Flybert

      A very interesting link. This guy seems to be one of the few politicos able to make a good analysis of the actual status quo and at the same time being brave enough to make it public . In the comments to the video someone wrote this reference "09KABUL1651". I recommend all our fellow commentards to google it.

  37. Hugh_Janus
    WTF?

    Crying over Paypal getting ddos

    I am not going to shed tears over Paypal this is the company that

    They fail to mention their total lack of security to prevent your account from being compromised by phishing & spoof sites. That if your account is accessed by a criminal using one of these methods, PayPal will hold YOU monetarily & legally responsible! Also, no place do they openly tell potential members that their money is 100% at risk. That PayPal can, will, and has in the past, completely cleaned out customers' accounts, (including your checking or savings account) with no appeals process available. Instead they bury in the fine print of 37 pages of their "Terms of Service" (ToS) where they disclose to you that PayPal can close your account for any reason what-so-ever, or no reason, and then you have to wait 180 days to get your money

    hahahahah use Paypal? only if i was a complete fuckwit

  38. PETER FREDERIKS
    Gates Horns

    WikiLeaks payment service threatens to sue Visa, MasterCard

    Can't wait for next week when Christmas shopping starts in earnest....

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    visa/mastercard repays the gov

    No surprise really as the US gov fronts for visa and mastercard around the world.

    Western democracy meet western hypocracy I am sure you will get on well together.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    As if we didn't have enough laws of our own...

    I suppose it's inevitable given the globalisation the internet has brought, but we're clearly seeing the start of an effort to make laws converge across many countries - and I'm sure this will involve many struggles like this one.

    We've seen the US attempting to enforce its intellectual property laws abroad through trade agreements. We've seen the use of extradition agreements to project domestic laws on to citizens in other countries. Now we're seeing power being exercised abroad through the financial payments system. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised as anti-money laundering laws have allowed this area to be almost completely tied down by governments.

    But there clearly have to be limits. Bull fighting is illegal in England (and in the US I guess) but that shouldn't (IMO) mean that Spanish citizens should be extradited for attending a bull fight in their own country. Countries are entitled to define their own laws, if only because the democratic process doesn't allow them to influence laws in other countries. So it's definitely a worry that we seem increasingly subject to foreign laws in which we have no say.

    Of course, the other worrying thing is that 3 companies have the internet payments system stitched up. That's a position of power that would be (ahem) all too easy to abuse. Probably we need some EU legislation to define this as an essential service and control how and when it can be withdrawn. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the current example is likely to inspire the EU in that direction.

  41. Mad Mike
    WTF?

    Fact Check - Otherwise Known as Reality.

    Forgetting his past crimes which are all over and done with some years ago.......

    Wikileaks and Assanje have committed no crimes. No court has convicted them of anything yet, so this is absolute fact. Indeed. Wikileaks and Assanje haven't even been accused (by anyone sensible) of any crimes and certainly not charged in relation to Wikileaks. Assanje has been accused (and so far no more) of some sex crimes, but these are independant of Wikileaks. If some people believe there is a connection, that's up to them and conspiracy theories.

    So, on the basis of no conviction, no charge and not even an accusation, Wikileaks and Assanje are being targetted by the US and various other countries and companies. If that isn't unfair treatment, I don't know what is. If they've broken the law, charge them, try them and then you have a verdict. At the moment, they've been accused, tried and found guilty by the US government (and anyone they have power over). This is blatant abuse.

    Anyone who attempts to defend any organisation, country or other entity that wildly accuses people of doing illegal acts etc. without the slightest bit of evidence and plenty to the opposite is clearly not interested in due process or the law and has no right to talk about legal, illegal, guilt or anything else as they clearly don't have a clue.

    If Wikileaks are guilty of something, prosecute them. Otherwise, leave them alone and stop threatening people going about their perfectly legal business such as Paypal, VISA and Mastercard accepting their payments.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Fact Check - Otherwise Known as Reality.

      "If Wikileaks are guilty of something, prosecute them. Otherwise, leave them alone and stop threatening people going about their perfectly legal business such as Paypal, VISA and Mastercard accepting their payments."

      Here is a fact check for you; when someone handles stolen property in the form of sensitive information about diplomacy, intelligence [...] has to expect a good slapping from the governments they have crossed. These twits have crossed most major governments in the world. For them and you to cry foul is most amusing. As I said before, I've invested in popcorn and expect to see some good twatting over the next few days, weeks, months... ...expect a few interesting twists in the tale, never mind Julian's telling of it. A lot of dubious people will be brought from the shadows into the glare of public scrutiny, a lot about their methodology and finances will become clear, and then we will see who laughs last.

      If anyone seriously expects to do these sorts of things and get away without a lot of pain is either not very well and in need of a needle in the gluteus maximus, very naive, or trying hard to defend themselves whilst applying their brakes so hard that the pads are gone and the backing is metalling on the disc.

      HAVND.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shh

    I'm a tad surprised by how many supporters there are here of 'big government', one of whose basic requirements is an all-pervasive secrecy. Must be Democrats / NewLabourites...

    1. david wilson

      @shh

      >>"Must be Democrats / NewLabourites..."

      Yeah - since no right wing party would /ever/ be in favour of secrecy, or spending public funds on their mates, or would consider starting dubious wars.

    2. Scorchio!!

      Re: shh

      "I'm a tad surprised by how many supporters there are here of 'big government', one of whose basic requirements is an all-pervasive secrecy. Must be Democrats / NewLabourites.."

      Apart from the fact that using the argumentum ad hominem in whatever form is an illicit technique in argument (that is, from the perspective of epistemology, it is a failed gambit), it is the case that this is not about 'big' government, it is about someone stealing and then publishing state secrets of a completely different order; this is nothing to do with the nanny state, except possibly in the minds of those who 'think' that international affairs are Nanny's business. It is more a matter of intelligence, diplomacy (which does not mean being firm but nice like Nanny, in case you did not know), and military affairs.

      Big government. Hah. What new form of ad hominem argument are people who are pro wikileaks going to pluck from in between their cheeks? It does not say much for the intellect and comprehension of Julian Assange et al. (and thus their self appointed international enterprise) that they have been employing just such arguments.

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