News in respect to Wikileaks
(public announcements by Andreas Fink, CEO of DataCell ehf, from their site)
8th December 2010 12:30 CET
Since yesterday around 22:30 CET Visa and Mastercard payments are being rejected on our donation system. We have received a suspension notice stating that Visa Europe has ordered our payment processor to suspend payments and undertake due diligence investigation in order to pretect the Visa brand ensure neither the payment processor nor Visa Europe is running legal risks by facilitating payments for the funding of the Wikileaks website. For the same reasons the payment processor has suspended the payments of Mastercard.
The suspension period will be one week with effect from 8 December 2010 Danish local time. The suspension period may be prolonged.
DataCell ehf who facilitates those payments towards Wikileaks has decided to take up immediate legal actions to make donations possible again. We can not believe Wikileaks would even create scratch at the brand name of Visa. The suspension of payments towards Wikileaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers. Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to Wikileaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish. It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards Wikileaks than to have them occur. Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down. We strongly believe a world class company such as Visa should not get involved by politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money. They have no problem transferring money for other businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like so why a donation to a Website which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse than that is outside of my understanding.
Visa is hurting Wikileaks and DataCell ehf in high figures. Putting all payments on hold for 7 days or more is one thing but rejecting all further attempts to donate is making the donations impossible. This does clearly create massive financial losses to Wikileaks which seems to be the only purpose of this suspension. This is not about the brand of Visa, this is about politics and Visa should not be involved in this.
If you want to donate, use wiretransfers. And make sure your local Visa partner knows that it is your sincere wish to donate to Wikileaks using your Visa card. We will do our best in the meantime to support Wikileaks.
7th December 2010
Since 2 months we operate a payment gateway so people can donate to Wikeleaks. From the press we hear Mastercard and Visa are closing donations towards Wikileaks.
We have been contacted by Visa with the wish to close down the account for donations to Wikileaks. We had no contact from Mastercard until now. After discussions with our lawyers, we have decided that we can not honor such requests based on the pure simple fact of untrue and unverified accusations.
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship and/or limitation. The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law. Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.
It is simply ridiculous to even think Wikileaks has done anything criminal. If Wikileaks is criminal, then CNN, and BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jaseira and many others would have to be considered criminals too as they publish the same informations. Nobody even tries to touch them though. You can still buy a New York times subscription and pay with your credit card I guess.
We have not even heard of the Wikileaks organisation being accused anywhere in the world for any crime. The conclusion is that it is only honorable to donate to Wikileaks as they fight for our human rights.
DataCell is only doing work for Wikileaks in helping them processing credit card payments. We can look at it from every perspective as we want, we are helping a honorable organization to get its funding it needs to sustain the load on their servers and deliver the messages the public wants to read.
If large companies such as Visa or Mastercard, who hold the duopoly of the credit card transactions world wide, think they have to put priority on political influence over the law, they have to be ready to take damage claims in the billions of Euro’s and they have to be ready to loose a big chunk of their business. This might be very well the end of the credit card business worldwide.
- Wikileaks: State Department Backroom Deals- Visa & Mastercard? (nowpublic.com)
- WikiLeaks supporters disrupt Visa and MasterCard sites in ‘Operation Payback’ (guardian.co.uk)
- MasterCard and Visa threatened with legal action over WikiLeaks (v3.co.uk)
- WikiLeaks payment host threatens MasterCard, Visa (news.cnet.com)
- MasterCard, Visa targeted in apparent cyberattack (money.cnn.com)