WikiLeaks to sue Visa and MasterCard for blocking donations

It has been more than half a year since Visa and MasterCard faced DDoS attacks from Anonymous and WikiLeaks supporters for holding back financial donations to the whistleblower organization. In an announcement made earlier today, WikiLeaks and its credit card processing partner, DataCell, plan to take legal action against Visa and MasterCard via a complaint to be lodged with the EU Commission.

The press release accuses the two credit card companies of "engaging in an unlawful, U.S. influenced, financial blockade" that began in December and continues to this day. Wikileaks and DataCell are represented by two law firms, a Danish firm by the name of Bender von Haller Dragested and Reykjavik Law Firm in Iceland.

Both firms gave prior notice to the parties involved on June 9: Visa, Mastercard, and Danish-based Teller, which manages credit card transactions on behalf of the former two companies. Teller was willing to reinstate services, as the press release notes, but was ordered by Visa and MasterCard not to do so.

Wikileaks and DataCell allege these actions constitute a violation of Articles 101(1) and 102 of the European Union Competition Rules, and also violate Danish merchant laws. Visa and MasterCard have so far refused to comment on these proceedings.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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60 Comments

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If I am using MY card which "I" pay the interest on to have, and the card is not stolen, then Visa and MasterCard have no right to tell me how I can spend MY money.

And yes they should be sued and yes they should lose. And as for the USA having their hand in it, they should be sued too. Don't leave them out. If you wasn't a dirty gov't, like all the rest of them; and didn't have anything to hide you wouldn't need to worry about being exposed.

KingCrimson said,
There is no difference between this and banning payments to a terrorist organization. Julian Assange should be shot.

+1000

KingCrimson said,
There is no difference between this and banning payments to a terrorist organization. Julian Assange should be shot.

Making death threats is a crime. Go away, scum-troll.

KingCrimson said,
There is no difference between this and banning payments to a terrorist organization. Julian Assange should be shot.

My stupid-o-meter has just gone out of scale...

MasterCard/Visa are in the wrong due to their inability to understand EU law, it doesn't really matter who points it out

Wikileaks is an enemy of the state. Good for VISA & MasterCard.

You guys are forgetting Wiki will publish names and credit card numbers whenever they can.

PeterTHX said,
Wikileaks is an enemy of the state. Good for VISA & MasterCard.

You guys are forgetting Wiki will publish names and credit card numbers whenever they can.

You son are misinformed. That is anonymous or Lulzsec not wikileaks. What wikileaks does is brilliant, it exposes lies and BS or governments.

Noveed said,

You son are misinformed. That is anonymous or Lulzsec not wikileaks. What wikileaks does is brilliant, it exposes lies and BS or governments.


Via highly illegal means, thereby making them criminals. Doesn't really matter whether you support them or not what they did/are doing is illegal in this country.

SharpGreen said,

Via highly illegal means, thereby making them criminals. Doesn't really matter whether you support them or not what they did/are doing is illegal in this country.

1. What highly illegal means? Wikileaks does not hack or steal anything; EVERYTHING they publish is given to them by whistle-blower.

2. Wikileaks is not operating from America so what is illegal there is irrelevant. Visa and Mastercard shut down donations and confiscated money donated to Wikileaks world-wide... and frankly they have NO RIGHT to do that and a EU court will support them.

Noveed said,

You son are misinformed. That is anonymous or Lulzsec not wikileaks. What wikileaks does is brilliant, it exposes lies and BS or governments.

It also exposes informants against the Taliban and private conversations between diplomats.

Unless you're willing to post your name, address and SS# you're being hypocritical on the need for government security.

PeterTHX said,
Unless you're willing to post your name, address and SS# you're being hypocritical on the need for government security.

Your logic fails.

No one here is disputing the need for personal privacy. We are, however, disputing the need for governments to have the ability to conceal critical information from the public that may have an effect on the entire democratic process, especially on electing the leaders of the said country.

SharpGreen said,

Via highly illegal means, thereby making them criminals. Doesn't really matter whether you support them or not what they did/are doing is illegal in this country.

Not illegal. No court has ruled what they do as illegal. US govt has not brought WL to court yet because they know they have no case. Bradley Mannings et al. are another story.

SharpGreen said,

Via highly illegal means, thereby making them criminals. Doesn't really matter whether you support them or not what they did/are doing is illegal in this country.
Since when was publishing information and documents illegal?

Tk1917 said,
Since when was publishing information and documents illegal?

It isn't. Some people just take the word of officials (who have been outed as liars in their own words by these very documents) at face value. Irony.

MindTrickz said,
2. Wikileaks is not operating from America so what is illegal there is irrelevant. Visa and Mastercard shut down donations and confiscated money donated to Wikileaks world-wide... and frankly they have NO RIGHT to do that and a EU court will support them.
Except when it attempts to go through the US financial system, which I imagine is the entire problem that Visa and MasterCard faced.

MindTrickz said,

1. What highly illegal means? Wikileaks does not hack or steal anything; EVERYTHING they publish is given to them by whistle-blower.

2. Wikileaks is not operating from America so what is illegal there is irrelevant. Visa and Mastercard shut down donations and confiscated money donated to Wikileaks world-wide... and frankly they have NO RIGHT to do that and a EU court will support them.

Wikileaks is publishing information obtained by Amercans in violation of the National Secrets Act thereby making it illegal. Also Visa and MasterCard shut down accounts used for criminal purposes all the time, and yet no one complains about them...what's different here?

Governments and Corporations made electronic payment a necessity and they love the control. There is no better evidence of that than right here. Whether or not you are for or against Wiki, only a seriously ignorant person would want this much control over individual finances. In reality, there is no justice system at this level, you'll probably see a settlement at the most just to deaden the bad press because legally it's ridiculous.

I dont' care about wikileaks but I think Visa and MasterCard stepped way out of line here. who are they to make a judgment call on what we can spend our money on. If we don't stop this kind of behavior, there is no telling where it will stop.

capr said,
I dont' care about wikileaks but I think Visa and MasterCard stepped way out of line here. who are they to make a judgment call on what we can spend our money on. If we don't stop this kind of behavior, there is no telling where it will stop.

Yeah fully agree.

capr said,
I dont' care about wikileaks but I think Visa and MasterCard stepped way out of line here. who are they to make a judgment call on what we can spend our money on. If we don't stop this kind of behavior, there is no telling where it will stop.

There are very clear cut rules that Visa and Mastercard lay out on the table and that every merchant agrees to when they begin accepting these credit cards.

An organization who's activity was being denounced and called illegal and harmful by the US government would be a breach of those rules.

Accepting credit cards, whether for donations, products or services is not a right, it's a privilege.

Wikileaks is just trying to get their name back into the media by any means necessary.

capr said,
I dont' care about wikileaks but I think Visa and MasterCard stepped way out of line here. who are they to make a judgment call on what we can spend our money on. If we don't stop this kind of behavior, there is no telling where it will stop.

I heard they've already "privatised" all the external funds of Libiyan government.

capr said,
I dont' care about wikileaks but I think Visa and MasterCard stepped way out of line here. who are they to make a judgment call on what we can spend our money on. If we don't stop this kind of behavior, there is no telling where it will stop.
When you use VISA and MasterCard you aren't spending YOUR money.. You are spending theirs. It's called Credit.

And while personally I don't approve of them picking what you can and can't spend their money on, I also think it should be their right so long as it's their money.

Ryoken said,

And while personally I don't approve of them picking what you can and can't spend their money on, I also think it should be their right so long as it's their money.

Except that when there is effectively a government sanctioned monopoly (or a cartel of 3 non competiting megacorps), then you are restricting free trade.

They are either common carriers, or they are not. It can't be both ways.

Ryoken said,
When you use VISA and MasterCard you aren't spending YOUR money.. You are spending theirs. It's called Credit.

Not if it's a DEBIT card.

Ryoken said,
I wasn't aware they did Debit cards o_0.

Where have you been? I've had a Visa/Mastercard Debit card since I got my first bank account back in 2003 and that is what I was given. Comes in handy since I hate carrying cash around.

jclarkaz480 said,

There are very clear cut rules that Visa and Mastercard lay out on the table and that every merchant agrees to when they begin accepting these credit cards.

An organization who's activity was being denounced and called illegal and harmful by the US government would be a breach of those rules.

Accepting credit cards, whether for donations, products or services is not a right, it's a privilege.

Wikileaks is just trying to get their name back into the media by any means necessary.


Wikileaks aren't doing illegal activities. This has yet to be ruled by a court.

Northgrove said,

Wikileaks aren't doing illegal activities. This has yet to be ruled by a court.

Precisely!

I'm still waiting to see any legal action taken by anyone against WikiLeaks. So far, all we've seen are smear campaigns, harassment, and a bunch of officials (who were outed as liars) CLAIMING it's illegal.

That isn't evidence of anything...yet.

Dinggus said,

Where have you been? I've had a Visa/Mastercard Debit card since I got my first bank account back in 2003 and that is what I was given. Comes in handy since I hate carrying cash around.

Not in every market MasterCard and Visa are in debit card business.

AtriusNY said,

Not in every market MasterCard and Visa are in debit card business.
Indeed, I don't think I've ever seen one in Canada.. I get my Debit card from the bank, and it has nothing to do with VISA/Master Card.

Ryoken said,
When you use VISA and MasterCard you aren't spending YOUR money.. You are spending theirs. It's called Credit.

Credit we repay them in the end of the month. Or you are suggesting you don´t pay your credit card bills?

Marcos_Edson said,

Credit we repay them in the end of the month. Or you are suggesting you don´t pay your credit card bills?


They lend you money. It's up to them to deicide what purposes they want to lend money for. And of course you have to pay them back, no one has suggested otherwise?

Jaybonaut said,

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

It does to anyone someone who is already a Teabagger or a Libertarian... 8P

excalpius said,

It does to anyone someone who is already a Teabagger or a Libertarian... 8P


Yeah...uhh...libertarians are not exactly friends of large government, so they don't have much problem with organizations that expose the workings of large government.

Solid Knight said,

Oh great, another right-wing nut.

And you are what? A liberal who resorts to insulting people he/she does not agree with?

Solid Knight said,

Why would I be a liberal?

And why would I be a "right-wing nut"? The teabaggers and libertarians are the nuts. And one does need to be right or left wing to know that.

excalpius said,
And why would I be a "right-wing nut"? The teabaggers and libertarians are the nuts. And one does need to be right or left wing to know that.
Ah yes, a group forms out of spite because the government is spending money uncontrollably and without regard to the results, the people, or the Constitution. They must be crazy. It can't be that they find both Democrats and Republicans unreliable in bringing the country back to its ideal form: small, accountable government. That's all they really want.

They're wild! Out of control! Sure, some are. But so are plenty of Republicans and Democrats. Hey, let's pass Health Care Bill so that we can see what's in it! ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV-05TLiiLU )

Who are you to insult those people for going against the broken grain? It sure doesn't sound like you have any idea. At least they're trying something.

Phuk0ff said,
Good I hope WikiLeaks wins.

I do too! They had no right to tell people what they should and should not spend their money on. They should of blocked spending to some Amazon items but they didn't. I wonder why ? Hmmm.

Phuk0ff said,
Good I hope WikiLeaks wins.

why? these people are retarded and should be shot... and so should the people that send them money.

Brent1700 said,

why? these people are retarded and should be shot... and so should the people that send them money.

What? Should be shot? What for? For showing that the American government are a bunch of liars for starters?

Phuk0ff said,
Good I hope WikiLeaks wins.

Agreed. Those leaking info to them may be in legal trouble, but Wikileaks aren't doing anything illegal when publishing info sent to them. News organizations publish anonymously sent info everyday. Since they are not breaking laws, Visa and Mastercard are the aholes here.

Brent1700 said,

why? these people are retarded and should be shot... and so should the people that send them money.

I can understand "eye for an eye", but what the hell is this nonsense you are spewing? Death for not thinking the same way you do? For not having the same opinion? Ridiculous...

Brent1700 said,

why? these people are retarded and should be shot... and so should the people that send them money.

Does Neowin TOS allow bandits like Brent1700 make death threats?