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PayPal Freezes Support Account For Bradley Manning 580

Posted by timothy
from the we-don't-like-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The online payment provider PayPal has frozen the account of Courage to Resist, which in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network is currently raising funds in support of US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. 'We've been in discussions with PayPal for weeks, and by their own admission there's no legal obligation for them to close down our account,' noted Loraine Reitman of the Bradley Manning Support Network (Support Network). 'This was an internal policy decision by PayPal. ... They said they would not unrestrict our account unless we authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from our organization's checking account by default. While there may be no legal obligation to provide services, there is an ethical obligation. By shutting out legitimate nonprofit activity, PayPal shows itself to be morally bankrupt.'"
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PayPal Freezes Support Account For Bradley Manning

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  • Re:who uses PayPal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday February 24, 2011 @04:29PM (#35304494)

    Actually, if this follows the pattern of Assange, Mastercard and Visa are next--making it all-but-impossible to accept online donations of any kind.

  • by Simozene (899342) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @04:53PM (#35305036)
    We need to stop pointing our fingers at PayPal and start pointing them at the US Government. I am sure political powers put a tremendous amount of force on PayPal to shut down the account.
  • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by causality (777677) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @05:16PM (#35305416)

    Hilariously, Paypal was actually started by a libertarian as some sort of "resist the man and his fiat currency's dead hand on trade." kind of thing. Now it voluntarily licks the boots of those who would suppress the entirely legal efforts of an advocacy group to secure a man a fair trial(rather than the present detention-without-trial-of-indefinite-length...)

    All hail the private sector, defender of liberty!

    Far as I can tell Paypal is just another pro-Establishment tool despite any intentions of its founder. Wikileaks has been accused of no crime in any jurisdiction, but they irritate a lot of powerful people. So Paypal interferes with the effort to support Wikileaks by using Paypal to make donations. Manning is currently facing some serious accusations; he is accused of leaking information that ended up in Wikileaks which again pisses off a lot of powerful people. So Paypal freezes the account that would have been used to fund his legal defense.

    This is opinionated speculation only, but I really wonder what kind of favors or kickbacks Paypal is going to receive in the future. They have faithfully served their masters it would seem, and that's obviously not its users and customers. Fascism is the merging of corporate and government power. Corporations doing what is convenient for the government and acting against people government doesn't like, in the absence of any actual requirement to do so, is a step in that direction for certain.

    Even those who are guilty as sin deserve a fair trial. So long as their fair trials are funded voluntarily there is nothing that needs to be stopped.

  • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SimplyGeek (1969734) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @05:17PM (#35305428)
    You have no clue what happend with the original company as it was founded. Criminals were using Paypal to launder money. As a result, the Feds started putting serious pressure on the company "or else". It was either that or close up shop so they had to play ball. I admire what they tried to do. We need competing currencies and ways to exchange money without the Feds knowing about it. There's no way the IRS would ever let that happen.
  • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @05:32PM (#35305664)

    Far as I can tell Paypal is just another pro-Establishment tool despite any intentions of its founder.

    Founder's intentions mean squat with any company after it's been bought out by someone else.

    Just look at Ebay: back in the late 90s when it was new, it was a great place for regular people to sell off their old crap, like a big internet garage sale. It had low fees, and few problems aside from scammers (a problem any time you deal with private sellers). Now it's been taken public, has a CEO, and is mired in greed and unethical behavior. Fees are ridiculously high, small-time sellers are screwed over in favor of "power sellers" who sell tons of Chinese-made junk, and scamming is still a giant problem because the company (even though it has far more resources than ever) refuses to do anything about it.

    This is opinionated speculation only, but I really wonder what kind of favors or kickbacks Paypal is going to receive in the future.

    My theory is that their purpose in scratching the government's back is to keep the government off their back when anyone complains about their actions, which would be illegal if they were chartered as an actual bank. So they get to act like a bank, talk like a bank, quack like a bank, but when they prefer to do something that banks aren't allowed to do (like freeze accounts arbitrarily), they can say "we're not a bank!" and get away with it because the government doesn't want to bother them after their help with "annoying" issues like this.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Thursday February 24, 2011 @05:58PM (#35306050)

    I cannot imagine why any sane person or organization would use PayPal as a bank-like entity after their many, many, MANY abuses of their "not a bank" status.

    Seriously... It surprises more to hear about people successfully getting their money out, than stories like the FP.

    Really simple, folks - Just stop using them. Period. They have the right not to serve us, and we have the right not to use them. Exercise that right, and put these bastards permanently in the red ASAP.

    So how are you supposed to accept credit cards then?

    No one else lets you accept credit cards from random strangers without having to follow some really weird and arcane rules to satisfy the merchant account rules. Google Checkout doesn't (it requires you be a store), not sure about Amazon Payments, but I think it's similar as well.

    Face it - the only real reason people use Paypal is because it's pretty much the only way Joe Average can transfer some money to John Smith via credit card. Sure you can go to the post office and get a money order, mail it off, hope it arrives a week later, ... rigamarole, but that seems idiotic in this day and age of fast and easy e-commerce.

    And the other options aren't much better - western union? egold?

    Until someone manages to find a way to allow two random people on the internet send random amounts of money via credit card, Paypal's it. You want to put them out of business? Set it up in Paypal's niche.

    It's also why eBay bought Paypal - because they're very synergistic.

    And here's another question - why did they use Paypal? Why couldn't they set up their own merchant account? Or use Google Checkout? Or Amazon Payments? Most likely, either the fees are higher (Paypal may charge a lot, but credit card processors aren't cheap, either), or they didn't qualify. If they didn't qualify, Paypal ends up being the only way to accept credit cards.

    So why are people falling into the same trap again and again? Google Checkout and Amazon Payments should also work, as does a merchant account...

  • Re:Yeah yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brain159 (113897) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @06:16PM (#35306352) Journal

    http://www.bitcoin.org/ [bitcoin.org] and a recent episode of Security Now went into a bunch of detail about the theory of how it works.

    (tl;dr hard crypto-guesswork puzzles are used to restrict the creation of their new digital currency. It is apparently anonymous and untraceable, and some sites already exist that will trade it for RL US$)

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