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PayPal Reinstates Fund For WikiLeaker Manning 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the saw-which-way-the-wind-was-blowing dept.
itwbennett writes "PayPal has lifted a temporary restriction placed on the account of Courage to Resist, a group raising funds to support the legal defense of US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was arrested for allegedly downloading classified information and providing it to WikiLeaks. As you may recall, PayPal was embroiled in controversy late last year when it shuttered an account for WikiLeaks amid the controversy over the expose of US State Department documents. PayPal communications director Anuj Nayar said in a blog posting that the decision 'had nothing to do with WikiLeaks.'"
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PayPal Reinstates Fund For WikiLeaker Manning

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  • Slashdot Wins! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shikaku (1129753) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#35315682)

    Crowdtality!

    • Re:Slashdot Wins! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Duradin (1261418) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:46PM (#35315860)

      Yes, they totally made that decision because a site full of people who hate their service and don't use them anyways (publicly) had their sensibilities hurt. That was just as successful as /.'s campaign to topple the lame Apple.

      Tempest, meet Teacup. Teacup, Tempest. I think you two will get along famously. Oh, you met over Other OS? I'll leave you two to it then.

      • by datsa (1951424)
        Maybe people who read this site have more influence than you think? I mean, who sets up Paypal on most websites? Computer people do. The kind of people who are more likely to read Slashdot. Maybe the next non-technical person will decide not to use Paypal on my recommendation, because I'm up on stories like this (99.9% of the country has no idea about Paypal v Bradley Manning - are you kidding me?) and I can warn them that Paypal might freeze their account if they don't like their business.
      • I was a pretty heavy eBayer/PayPal user until this occurred. I'd had reservations but let the convenience outweigh them until this incident.

        Cancelled the account and let them know why in both the feedback form and the survey they sent out.

        So basically, this is my doing. You're welcome, America.

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Yeah, well, we needed a win after the huge loss of Nokia to the dark side, which is still getting hundreds of comments per story within a short time after being posted.

  • by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdotNO@SPAMremco.palli.nl> on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:36PM (#35315728)

    [quote]PayPal communications director Anuj Nayar said in a blog posting that the decision 'had nothing to do with WikiLeaks.[/quote]

    If anybody believes that, I have another bridge to sell them.

    • by olsmeister (1488789) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:38PM (#35315748)
      Do you accept Paypal?
    • by Kingrames (858416) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:41PM (#35315786)
      Someone should have stood behind him with a sign that said "[Citation Needed]".
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It could well be.
      Paypal tends to analyse and shutter things on a regular basis when they gain huge amounts of money in certain ways.

      If anyone remembers, another case of such a closure due to increased exposure was when popularity of the game Minecraft exploded.
      They shuttered Notchs paypal account that contained 6 digit figures if i remember correct, simply because it rose up so sharply in such a small amount of time.

      While i probably agree with you since i have extreme hatred for the service, it might honest

      • by Galestar (1473827)

        It is a sad nuisance we have to live with since they people (the producers) keep using it instead of the various better systems out there.

        Please excuse my ignorance, could you point me in the direction of these better systems?
        Main criteria (IMHO) is the ability to send payments without giving the seller your CC #

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Main criteria (IMHO) is the ability to send payments without giving the seller your CC #

          There's lots of systems for that - Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, etc. None of them expose your credit card number to the seller.

          There aren't many systems for accepting credit cards on an ad-hoc basis. If you're a store, it's easy - get a merchant account, use Google Checkout or Amazon Payments.

          If you're Joe Average, it's pretty much impossible to accept credit cards - the requirements for a merchant account can be ex

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            If you're Joe Average, it's pretty much impossible to accept credit cards - the requirements for a merchant account can be excruiatingly high (minimum transactions a month, minimum amount charged a month, possible data security, etc).

            If by excruciatingly high you mean as easy as $25/month and giving someone the account number to put the funds in/withdraw from ... then yea, its hard. Yes, they withdraw funds from the account ... if you haven't sold enough stuff to cover the $25/monthly service fee.

            Me personally, I just want to authorize.net and signed up. Now I can take credit cards on my phone and process everything right then and there, I can also handle automatic recurring payments and echecks, do address verifications ... every sin

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            https://squareup.com/ [squareup.com] Another way for individuals to take credit cards.
            • Square is a great new low-cost option for ANYONE to accept credit cards, if you have a smart phone.

              No minimums, no monthly fees, just sign up, link to your bank account, get their card reader which plugs into the microphone jack of your smart phone, and take credit cards. Swipe fee is 2.75 percent, phone/internet rate is 3.25 percent. Very good option. I just signed up.

          • by blair1q (305137)

            eBay would be dead in the water without Paypal, which is why they bought it.

            Almost excruciatingly false.

            eBay could have set up its own payments system where you deposit money ahead of time and debit your account as you buy things there.

            eBay could also have set up a fungible payments system that could be used with any website, mimicking Paypal in every way (except the crusty ways).

            They realized that Paypal was popular, well-understood, easy to use, expensive to replicate, and cheap to own.

            So they pwned it. L33terally.

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Online auctions would be a PITA if the buyer had to go the post office, get a money order, send it off, wait a week for seller to receive it, wait another couple of weeks for it to clear, then wait another week for the item to arrive.

            What is this about waiting for a postal order to "clear"? They are, to all intents and purposes, cash. Just take them into the post office with some proof of identity that matches the name on the P.O. (if it's crossed), and walk away with the cash.

            Or ... are you possibly in a

    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      My sources disagree with what Paypal is saying. http://www.quora.com/Can-PayPal-withdraw-money-from-a-linked-Bank-account [quora.com]

      • by blair1q (305137)

        You explicitly authorize Paypal to make withdrawals in certain situations when you open the account. Funding your account from your bank on your orders, getting money from your bank to cover payments they're making on your orders, and covering chargebacks of money you collected through them, are authorized.

        You do not authorize them to do it capriciously. That is what they were being accused of by people who either did not understand the terms of service or chose to slander the company.

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          You explicitly authorize Paypal to make withdrawals in certain situations when you open the account. Funding your account from your bank on your orders, getting money from your bank to cover payments they're making on your orders, and covering chargebacks of money you collected through them, are authorized.

          You do not authorize them to do it capriciously. That is what they were being accused of by people who either did not understand the terms of service or chose to slander the company.

          Paypal do attempt to withdraw large sums of money from linked credit cards and bank accounts. The amounts they attempt to withdraw are greatly in excess of the disputed amount. I know because they tried, and failed, to pull that on me. In the end they sent a debt collection agency after me who were actually far more reasonable than paypal themselves. The agency accepted they didn't have any case and backed down after I talked to them.

          The dispute was due to someone claiming I never sent them goods I sold the

    • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:46PM (#35315848)
      Indeed - from the blog meaculpa

      In a press release issued today, the Courage to Resist organization claimed that their resistance to follow our policy is because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder

      from the statement by Jeff Paterson of Support Network.

      They said they would not unrestrict our account unless we authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from our organization's checking account by default.

      So Paypal, first doesn't call him a liar with that statement, and secondly claims they would never take money from Support Networks bank account without authorization in order to refute the claim that they requested specific authorization to remove money from Support Networks bank account.

      Simply priceless.

      • PayPal sought [the authorization] to withdraw funds from their account. That's the thing. I seek to enter your house... I stand at the door yelling. Or ring the doorbell. In any case, I don't just walk in. Doesn't mean I'm trying to break in; just means I'm seeking to enter.

        I don't see a logical disconnect here. PayPal wants an account to use to draw funds out of, for chargebacks or refunds or whatever. Paypal wants this when you do massive transactional volume and might owe PayPal a lot of money

        • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday February 25, 2011 @06:04PM (#35318016)

          Also, where was this original claim that they're refuting? I don't see it. As I understood (as of yesterday), the issue WAS that PayPal froze their accounts for non-compliance in this respect

          from PayPal's blog [thepaypalblog.com]:

          "We recently placed a temporary limitation of the Courage to Resist organization’s PayPal account as they had not complied to our stated policy requiring non profits to associate a bank account with their PayPal account (for the vast majority of non-profits, this is not an issue)."

          So PayPal is claiming that this was only because they wouldn't 'link' a bank account with their PayPal account. No explanation of why this only happened after 3 years and coincidentally closely followed CTR sponsoring Manning.

          Next you have CTR's spokesman saying that after the account suspension, they did provide the bank info, but that PayPal wanted even more - the permission to withdraw funds directly from the bank account. This is the relevant part that PayPal has not addressed. Did they actually request this? If so, they haven't mentioned it in their blog post. They simply cite the 'link an account', not grant us debit authorization on said account.

          No one is going to give a 3rd party processor that type of permission and it is not in PayPals User Agreement. They specifically say they will take you to collections if you owe them money but do not remotely mention they will dock your account directly.

          From the PayPal User Agreement Actions They May Take [paypal.com]

          "10.3 Reimbursement for Your Liability. In the event that you are liable for any amounts owed to PayPal, PayPal may immediately remove such amounts from your Balance. If you do not have a Balance that is sufficient to cover your liability, your Account will have a negative Balance and you will be required to immediately add funds to your Balance to eliminate the negative Balance. If you do not do so, PayPal may engage in collection efforts to recover such amounts from you."

          So even if you OWE THEM MONEY they aren't saying they can go directly into your bank account and take it. Yet they asked for this very permission of CTR.

    • by doconnor (134648)

      I understand PayPal blocks accounts for all kinds of questionable reasons which aren't political. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

        This is slashdot. The masses are too busy creating malice with their stupidity.

      • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday February 25, 2011 @03:07PM (#35316078) Homepage

        "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

        With all the recent disclosures, does that apply anymore for anyone other that a naif?

        Would you believe a plan to destroy a journalist's career simply because he supports Wikileaks? All just stupidity? The emails say otherwise [salon.com].

        • Would you believe a plan to destroy a journalist's career simply because he supports Wikileaks? All just stupidity? The emails say otherwise [salon.com].

          I'm not so sure that's what they say. We could just have a maverick loose cannon at HB Gary who went too far afield in his zealousness to grab a big contract, and whose sense of ethics is, shall we say-- AWOL? Despite the fact that the presentation was prepared "in conjunction with several top security firms," no doubt the presentation was thrown toge

      • I understand PayPal blocks accounts for all kinds of questionable reasons which aren't political. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

        It didn't stop them from blocking the KKK. Actually I went to double check on the official KKK site and they still have support from Visa and Mastercard but no longer Paypal. I guess the bad press gave them a change of heart.
        In order to find out their payment details I added a thousand dollar donation to my card and went to payment options and the cheeky bastards saw fit to add a further 250 dollars to the total on my fake donation for 'shipping'!

        It's a scary site though, a real eye opener. They sell

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        That is what the malicious people want you to think.
      • by 1s44c (552956)

        I understand PayPal blocks accounts for all kinds of questionable reasons which aren't political. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

        They block accounts for one reason; they want to keep the cash in the account. It's not stupidity, it's ( technically legal ) theft.

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:53PM (#35315930)

      Then you apparently didnt actually read the earlier story, where the explaination boils down to,

      • CTR claimed nonprofit status with paypal
      • Paypal has a policy requiring a bank account to be associated with such accounts
      • Paypal warned CTR that they were not in compliance with said requirements
      • CTR ignored said warnings, and had their account frozen

      Source for claims (here [thepaypalblog.com])

      We recently placed a temporary limitation of the Courage to Resist organization’s PayPal account as they had not complied to our stated policy requiring non profits to associate a bank account with their PayPal account (for the vast majority of non-profits, this is not an issue).

      In a press release issued today, the Courage to Resist organization claimed that their resistance to follow our policy is because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions.

      But no, CTR and slashdots sourceless claims are totally more credible than that. And its totally bogus for Paypal to ask CTR to follow the same requirements as everyone else.

      I can agree the unfreezing has a tenuous link with Manning-- all the attention around this non-story has made paypal choose the path of least resistance, which is to reinstate the account and lift the restrictions.

      • by iago-vL (760581)
        +1. I've been through this exact same thing with Paypal.
      • well CTR claimed that PayPal requested permission to withdraw cash from their bank account. PayPal did not refute this in their post. This by indications is not part of their standard requirements, only that an account be associated with the PayPal account. Not that PayPal gets withdrawal rights to the account.

        The only defense for the block PayPal offered was that they would never remove money from a bank account without permission. Which they had previously requested. So what exactly is PayPal deny
        • Paypal very clearly in the second paragraph stated

          Courage to Resist organization claimed that their resistance to follow our policy is because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions.

          Seems like a refutation to me.

          • by sarastro (467532)

            I don't think it is a refutation. Paypal did not deny they requested withdrawal permission,
            they only denied that they could withdraw without permission.

            Nice way of talking around the main question.

          • PayPal refuted that they intended to withdraw funds without authorization. But CTR made no such claim. They claimed it was requested PayPal be able to withdraw funds by default. They are different statements.

            CTR also claimed that the request for permission to withdraw funds was made as a condition of reinstating their account. PayPal still has not said whether this requirement is part of the standard agreement; my guess is if it were they would have said so. The wordsmithing being done doesn't l
            • by BitZtream (692029)

              . PayPal still has not said whether this requirement is part of the standard agreement; my guess is if it were they would have said so.

              It is, and they did say so, but you just didn't read that part. Its pretty clearly stated in the ToS and in the previous article about this subject.

              • It is, and they did say so

                please cite where they said this.

                From the PayPal User Agreement Actions they may take [paypal.com]

                "10.3 Reimbursement for Your Liability. In the event that you are liable for any amounts owed to PayPal, PayPal may immediately remove such amounts from your Balance. If you do not have a Balance that is sufficient to cover your liability, your Account will have a negative Balance and you will be required to immediately add funds to your Balance to eliminate the negative Balance. If you do not do so, PayPal may engag

          • by Anonymous Coward
            Paypal requested permission to withdraw cash from their bank account. They did not refute this.
            What your quote says is: "To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions."

            It's not a refutation. What they are saying is "We can't take money from your account unless you give us permission. Oh, btw, can we have your permission? No? Oh, ok, we'll freeze your account."
          • by tqk (413719)

            Courage to Resist organization claimed that their resistance to follow our policy is because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions.

            Seems like a refutation to me.

            Sounds like massive communication problems on both sides. If you need to talk to one of your customers, don't you follow up? Don't you check your mail and other communications gateways?

          • by 1s44c (552956)

            Paypal very clearly in the second paragraph stated

            Courage to Resist organization claimed that their resistance to follow our policy is because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions.

            They terms or service are so huge no-one would notice that just signing up allows paypal to make up numbers and withdraw them from customers bank accounts.

            If you deal with paypal you will get robbed, it's just a matter of time.

      • Yup. The tin foil hat brigade won this round... :)

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        Someone is the last story on this topic today, said that they worked at PayPal and that it was far more likely that they didn't have their paper work in order for being a non-profit, and that without that paperwork properly documenting them as a non-profit, PayPal would shut them down, and has many others for the exact same thing in the past.

        So yes, the truth is out there, you just have to wade through a river of shit to find it.

      • But no, CTR and slashdots sourceless claims are totally more credible than that.

        Three men make a tiger.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        My understanding is that they hadn't followed the rules for years and the enforcement against them was lax until they started the most recent push and then it was swift and decisive. So yes, they hadn't been following the rules, but they hadn't for years.

        Also, a "linked" account is "linked" by giving PayPal authorization to withdraw funds whenever they feel like it. They "promise" to only do so in certain circumstances, but the ability to do so is not functionally restricted at all. They could do it for
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Yeah, that guy makes the Iraqi Information Minister sound credible by comparison.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      If anybody believes that, I have another bridge to sell them.

      They came out and said that there was a breach of the terms of services for donations. They quoted the direct line in their terms of service. They asked the customer to rectify before the account will be reinstated. The customer did, Paypal did. In the long list of Paypal's evils this has to have been the lamest 2 days worth of bitching about them I have ever seen.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Friday February 25, 2011 @02:47PM (#35315874)
    Sorry, but Paypal has done a lot of questionable things, and only retracts them if they get enough bad press.
    Is his story true? I don't know, it could be, but then again...

    Paypal should really do a little more investigation when these issues crop up, and contact the account holders to try and fix or at least clarify any issues before locking an account. It wouldn't take much more work in the short run, but it would save a lot of work in the long run, not to mention legal and public relations bills.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      You don't understand their business. If they lock a number of accounts then only unlock the accounts where someone made a big stink they still have huge extra income to add to their bottom line. If they don't lock too many accounts they can discredit their victims as crooks who were asking for it.

      This extra income is what pays for management bonuses at paypal and may be what is keeping the whole company afloat.

  • Is that the new code for "let me be totally inscrutable"?

    Obama starts off his weasel worded sentences in the same way.

    And it's both sides of the aisle. David Cameron (UK PM) does the same thing.

  • If you believe what PayPal said, then I have a real deal for you on a slightly used bridge...
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      If you believe what PayPal said, then I have a real deal for you on a slightly used bridge...

      Just don't accept payment for that bridge via paypal or you will lose the money and they will wipe out your bank account..

  • Obviously this is just part of the government conspiracy to out wikileaks supporters^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H terrorists! At the behest of the U.S. government, Paypal allowed the account to be opened, only to seize the funds shortly thereafter. This caused all of the terrorists to come out in support of Manning and wikileaks temporarily so all of their IP addresses could be gathered. Now that the NSA has handed over the relevant data to high lord of the internet police Joe Biden, PayPal can release the account onc
  • "To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions."

    What a line of bullshit, they have stolen from me twice to the tune of $5300.

    4 years and I'm still fighting these fuckers over this.

    i even won in small claims court due to them not showing up and haven't received a penny, and i likely never will.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      "To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions."

      What a line of bullshit, they have stolen from me twice to the tune of $5300.

      4 years and I'm still fighting these fuckers over this.

      i even won in small claims court due to them not showing up and haven't received a penny, and i likely never will.

      I feel for you. They tried to rob me for a much smaller amount.

      I see people who should know better using paypal all the time. If I warn them they just come back with crap about how convenient it is.

  • I believe the Paypal spokesperson when she says that the decision to freeze the accounts had nothing to do with the Wikileaks controversy, and it's obvious that the reversal is mostly due to bad publicity or maybe they just had one of the two people in the organization with common sense adjust the policy in this specific case. The arbitrary and capricious manner in which Paypal makes decisions really isn't suited to a company that is handling people's money. In this case, they probably really didn't care ab

  • Paypal probably* did this because they received a National Security Letter.

    Now, the action they took was trivial to work around (spend 20 minutes opening an extra bank account that is cleared daily), so I don't see the giant fuss in the cat-and-mouse game that is the modern police state.

    But CTR didn't get that and made a big stink about it. OK, fine.

    Now, because of the PR disaster, PayPal is likely* defying a secret order from the government. This changes some things about how people will think about PayP

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      How can the government prevent you from talking about a national security letter? Wouldn't that be making a law prohibiting the exercise of free speech? We're not talking here about some government employee with a security clearance who *agreed* to keep state secrets here.

      An NSL is something sent to you as a business without you requesting the letter or consenting to it. At that point, if you want to tell other people about it, by what Constitutional power can Congress possibly prohibit you from talking abo

      • At that point, if you want to tell other people about it, by what Constitutional power can Congress possibly prohibit you from talking about it?

        It's the Patriot Act [wikipedia.org] - the Constitution is suspended, didn't you hear? We got turrists who hate us for our freedoms.

  • We had a PayPal account some years ago. At that time the easiest way to get free software was to order using PayPal and then dispute the payment. PayPal would immediately take the money out of our bank account until the dispute was resolved. It always went in favor of the buyer so we lost thousands of dollars. It got so bad that PayPal zeroed our bank account. They then closed our account permanently. Worse, I had family members unrelated to our business who's acconts were also closed because they were rela
  • Buy the Bullet (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127)

    Time to burn some karma!!!

    Is there a corresponding site for those of us who wish to donate to a fund that will buy the bullets that the firing squad will use when they take the traitorous little bastard out and shoot him? And, if so, does the site accept PayPal?

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • They hate America! Or, err, hate those who hate America! Oh, I'm so confused. Someone please tell me how I should feel.

    I think I missed the /. memo notifying me to add PayPal to the list of companies I'm supposed to hate.

    All joking aside, looks like PayPal had a legitimate reason to suspend the account. The organization was forced to step through a few other hoops to get around thee reasons and are good to go. How was this ever a story in the first place?

    This is like when they suspended the Mojan
  • How about an account to donate for the noose!

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