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PayPal Withdraws WikiLeaks Donation Service 794

Posted by timothy
from the no-funds-for-you dept.
ItsIllak writes "The BBC are reporting that PayPal is the latest company to abandon WikiLeaks. The list now includes their DNS providers (EveryDNS) and their hosts (Amazon). PayPal's move is unlikely to result in many more people boycotting the company, as most knowledgeable on-line users will have been refusing to use them for years for a wide variety of abusive practices." Adds reader jg21: "As open source freedom fighter Simon Phipps writes in his ComputerWorldUK blog, behavior like this by Amazon and Tableau [and now PayPal] 'informs us as customers of web services and cloud computing services that we are never safe from intentional outages when the business interests of our host are challenged.'"
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PayPal Withdraws WikiLeaks Donation Service

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  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @11:42AM (#34443498)

    Yea! Aren't you PROUD to be an American?

    Yes

  • Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by inotocracy (762166) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @11:55AM (#34443572) Homepage
    I think it's pretty commonly known that paypal sucks [paypalsucks.com]. Not that long ago Paypal locked the account of the indie developer of Minecraft for no good reason [escapistmagazine.com], holding over $600k hostage.
  • Re:Source? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @11:55AM (#34443574) Homepage

    "PayPal's move is unlikely to result in many more people boycotting the company, as most knowledgeable on-line users will have been refusing to use them for years for a wide variety of abusive practices."

    On a related note, there is a difference between boycotting many of their other targets and Wikileaks. Many of the earlier bad behavior was targeted at sites most people didn't know about or care very strongly about (IIRC), whereas this is a very controversial issue for most US citizens, and others across the globe. I think we can expect numerous current PayPal users to stop using them, and others who have never used them to start, as this is a very polarizing issue. For the record, I hope most people stop using them, but my already crushed hope that most US citizens understand basic elementary school civics makes me less than certain what the outcome will be overall for PayPal.

  • In your face. (Score:5, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:01PM (#34443614) Homepage Journal
    Doing that wasnt on my mind even. Thanks, whichever moron, has pressurized paypal to suspend them. They made me donate to wikileaks.

    Thank you for your donation.

    Your payment of EUR 25 has been received 4.12.2010 16:02:31
    With your VISA xxxxxxxxxxxx9516
    Reference : 5729


    The Wikileaks Team, Sunshine Press
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:01PM (#34443616) Homepage Journal

    They are not pointing out specific wrong doings

    They are, in fact, pointing out wrong doings.

    (1) the U.S. military formally adopted a policy of turning a blind eye [guardian.co.uk] to systematic, pervasive torture and other abuses by Iraqi forces;

    (2)theState Department threatened Germany not to criminally investigate [harpers.org] the CIA's kidnapping of one of its citizens who turned out to be completely innocent [boingboing.net];

    (3) the StateDepartment under Bush andObama applied continuous pressure on the Spanish Government [harpers.org] to suppress investigations of the CIA's torture of its citizens and the 2003 killing of a Spanish photojournalist when the U.S. military fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad (see ThePhiladelphia Inquirer's WillBunch today about this:"The day BarackObama Lied to me [philly.com]");

    (4) the British Government privately promised to shield Bush officials from embarrassment [telegraph.co.uk] as part of its Iraq War "investigation";

    (5) there were at least 15,000 people killed in Iraq that were previously uncounted [reuters.com];

    (6) "American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world" about the Iraq war as it was prosecuted, a conclusion the Post's own former Baghdad Bureau Chief wrote was proven by theWikiLeaks documents [thedailybeast.com];

    (7)the U.S.'s own Ambassador concluded that the July, 2009 removal of the Honduran President was illegal -- a coup -- [lrb.co.uk] but the StateDepartment did not want to conclude that and thus ignored it until it was too late to matter;

    (8) U.S. and British officials colluded to allow theU.S. to keep cluster bombs on British soil [guardian.co.uk] even though Britain had signed the treaty banning such weapons, and,

    (9)Hillary Clinton's State Department ordered diplomats [guardian.co.uk] to collect passwords, emails, and biometric data on U.N. and other foreign officials, almost certainly in violation of the Vienna Treaty of 1961.

    (TotH to GG [salon.com], as usual.) I appreciate why you believe what you wrote. You might want to reconsider your position given your primary source of news is from organizations whose allegiance is to parent corporations that, like Amazon, absolutely cannot afford to get on the wrong side of the government that regulates them.

  • by slick7 (1703596) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:34PM (#34443902)

    But realistically now that they've cut off Wikileaks they've got precisely zero leverage.
    One Meeeleon Dollars.

    I guess Wikileaks will have to do it for gratis, since there is no more money to withhold information.
    Obligatory RAH quote: Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. - RAH

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by westlake (615356) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:39PM (#34443954)

    I think it's pretty commonly known that paypal sucks.

    It is also pretty well known that PayPal is wildly successful:

    PayPal accounted for 37 percent of eBay's overall revenue in the third quarter compared with 23 percent just five years ago. EBay's payments unit, which consists mostly of PayPal, had $838 million in revenue in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 22 percent from the period a year earlier. The auction and retail operations, which eBay calls marketplace, took in $1.41 billion in revenue during the same period, an increase of just 3 percent.
    If the current growth patterns continue, PayPal will surpass its parent in revenue around 2014 -- and even sooner if the unit is able to insinuate itself into mobile payments as successfully as it has with Web transactions.
    For PayPal, the Future Is Mobile [nytimes.com]

    PayPal Black Friday Payments Up 27% [coated.com]

  • by zoomshorts (137587) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:42PM (#34443970)

    NOT A DEMOCRACY a representative REPUBLIC !!!

    http://www.allaboutgod.com/sin-of-pride.htm [allaboutgod.com]

    Pride is a SIN, idiots!!!

  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:52PM (#34444086)

    I'm sure that given a certain preexisting worldview, Lieberman's claims would seem pretty damning. However, Amazon flat out denies that government pressure was behind their dumping of Wikileaks as a customer.

    Message [amazon.com]

    There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate.

    There have also been reports that it was prompted by massive DDOS attacks. That too is inaccurate. There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against.

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis. AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. For example, our terms of service state that “you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.” It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.

    We’ve been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS. Some of this data is controversial, and that’s perfectly fine. But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.

    We look forward to continuing to serve our AWS customers and are excited about several new things we have coming your way in the next few months.

    — Amazon Web Services

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:55PM (#34444112) Homepage Journal

    Wikileaks didn't point out any of those wrong doings, which is what a Whistle-blower site is supposedly supposed to be doing. pointing out wrongs that need to be corrected. Instead they just dumped the cables on the internet and real journalists dug through them to find a (very) few incidents of questionable activity.

    This is not true, from start to finish.

    Wikileaks worked with journalists and has only dumped the subset of documents that journalists consider newsworthy on the Internet. The full archive is, as yet, unavailable to the public. I believe an encrypted version is floating around, the famous "insurance policy" of Assange, but, well, encrypted is encrypted.

    So:

    1. Wikileaks did, indeed, point out those wrong doings, as part of publishing specific evidence to back-up journalist's claims about wrong-doings reported in the papers. They have not published anything outside of that.

    2. Even if the allegations Glenn quoted amounted to the entire scandalous part of the dossier, I'd hardly describe these as "very few" or even "few" incidents of questionable activity. The US government interfering in the justice system of TWO foreign powers in an attempt to COVER UP kidnapping, torture, and unlawful death is a MAJOR wrong, as is condoning torture when administered by our allies. Lying in order to justify a war is a MAJOR wrong.

    Do I really need to continue? Handwaving doesn't make these "very few" incidents of "questionable" activity. These are extremely serious issues that deserve public discussion - and in a sane world, these allegations would result in imprisonments of Prime Ministers and Presidents. In a sane world, our media wouldn't bury the stories for fear that its corporate masters would not get the subsidies, government contracts, and licenses they need to remain in business. In a sane world, you'd be outraged.

  • by McTickles (1812316) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @12:57PM (#34444126)
    In France it is illegal to refuse to sell something based solely on "I don't like them". You have to base you refusal to sell on a legal problem that a court of law could approve of.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 04, 2010 @01:05PM (#34444168)

    Isn't it interesting that Amazon quite genuinely publicly defended a Paedophilia how-to guidebook longer than Wikileaks? I'm surprised no one else seems to be talking about this in all the discussions I've seen so far on Wikileaks being dropped.

    Though the author claimed it did no wrong, and was about 'loving children', reports stated it went so far as to discuss how to create custom condoms for use with children, that's a far cry from innocent intent, but an attack on the innocent.

    "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," it stated.

    And yet the single biggest defender of the right to true free speech this century, perhaps even ever, is dumped from their servers quicker than 'TSA for dummies, a terrorists guide' would be.

  • mod parent up (Score:4, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @01:12PM (#34444224) Homepage Journal
    quite an interesting point he has there. pedophilia is more free than information it seems.
  • by r7 (409657) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @03:21PM (#34445050)

    Not just Paypal but Wells Fargo as well. When I heard about Paypal and Amazon I went to the wikileaks website to make a donation. Not only was my charge denied but they put a hold on my card! Talk about harassment. It's bad enough when your own government breaks the law, worse when vendors decide to run a protection racket when they disagree with a customer's purchases/donations.

  • Re:backfire (Score:3, Informative)

    by dissy (172727) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @04:09PM (#34445348)

    Unless the government is going to open mail and remove checks (I suppose that COULD happen) wikileaks will get support.

    Recently a congressman pushed in a bill that would officially/legally classify wikileaks as a terrorist organization.
    If this bill passes, it would be a federal crime to donate money to them in the US, one that carries a jail sentence.

    The government would then not only be allowed to block mail to them (including checks), but arrest those that sent the checks in the first place, to discourage others from doing the same.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/congressman-calls-for-anti-wikileaks-offensive.ars [arstechnica.com]

  • ...and? What of it? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#34445942)

    So you seem to be proposing that not only should the government have a duty to protect the freedom to do something, they should have to finance your doing it as well? You seem to have a rather fucked up understanding of freedom. Being free to do something doesn't mean that doing it has to be easy, or that someone else has to provide you everything to do it, it just means that you have to be allowed to do it. This is how freedom in nations has worked, well, forever. So whining that "Oh you aren't free because it costs money," is silly.

    Also, as this relates to this case, part of freedom means that your freedom can't step on the freedom of others. As the saying goes "Your freedom of speech ends at my door." You are free to speak your mind, but you cannot require me to listen to you. Likewise you cannot demand that I make my house available to you to speak in. You have the right to express yourself, but I can't be forced to help you if I don't want to because that infringes on my rights.

    Same is true with web sites and companies. I don't have to allow you to speak on my forums, I don't have to host you on my servers. To force me to do so would be to interfere with my freedoms.

    Freedom does not mean that you can do whatever you want, and it also doesn't mean that everyone has to help you do what you want.

  • by nospam007 (722110) * on Saturday December 04, 2010 @06:29PM (#34446042)

    Not much. The US embassy did illegal video-surveillance in the street where the embassy is located, we were told that 20 US nukes are 30 miles from here and the Prime-minister was 'shocked' according to his own words, but he's a Christian-Socialist, they are easily shocked.

  • by HJED (1304957) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @07:49PM (#34446514)
    read this (Sydney Morning Herald) [smh.com.au] his lawyers weren't even shown the evidence against him in English (a requirement of Swedish law). Then the charges where dropped and then reopened by someone more senior a few days latter. In many countries this would be enough for the case to be thrown out.
  • Only in America (Score:4, Informative)

    by nemesisrocks (1464705) on Saturday December 04, 2010 @10:26PM (#34447596) Homepage

    Merchant accounts in Australia are actually pretty reasonably priced. The amount we pay sure buys us the peace of mind that a non-bank-pretending-to-be-a-bank can't just freeze our accounts and withhold our money.

    PayPal's often looked down upon as being used by "unprofessional" vendors. By processing transactions directly, you're often also improving your company's image in your customer's minds.

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