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The Almighty Buck Communications Open Source Privacy Software Your Rights Online

PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account 443

Posted by timothy
from the saving-them-from-the-root-of-all-evil dept.
rysiek writes "Remember MailPile, the privacy-focused, community-funded FOSS webmail project with built-in GPG support? The good news is, the funding campaign is a success, with $135k raised (the goal was $100k). The bad news is: PayPal froze MailPile's account, along with $45k that was on it, and will not un-freeze it until MailPile team provides 'an itemized budget and your development goal dates for your project.' One of the team members also noted: 'Communications with PayPal have implied that they would use any excuse available to them to delay delivering as much of our cash as possible for as long as possible.' PayPal doesn't have a great track record as far as fund freezing is concerned — maybe it's high time to stop using PayPal?"
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PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account

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  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:07AM (#44764693)

    Paypal froze Notch's account after Mincraft went gold and began selling. Supposedly in just one day he managed to get over one hundred thousand dollars in sales which prompted paypal to freeze his account.

    This is thanks to the US patriot act [wikipedia.org], bank secrecy act [wikipedia.org] and possibly some other nanny state laws. Large transactions are red flagged and reported. The owner of the account must provide an explanation of what they are doing with the money. This is one of those risk mitigation plans we were talking about the other day which helps the US government find the "bad guys". Eventually paypal will unfreeze the account once they learn the money won't be used for terrorism, drugs, racketeering or other boogeyman bullshit. I feel safer already.

  • by kintamanimatt (2674243) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:10AM (#44764723)
    Gay isn't a synonym for bad.
  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:21AM (#44764795)

    Why do people use PayPal at all?

    Mainly as a convenient means to avoid giving credit card numbers to those I trust even less than them. Nothing beyond that.

  • Re:"Maybe?" (Score:4, Informative)

    by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie AT mac DOT com> on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:25AM (#44764825) Journal

    What else is there? Look, if I see a vendor on eBay who doesn't use PayPal, my first thought isn't "oh, this person is a conscientious objector to PayPal's malfeasance." Instead, it's an instant scammer alert. The one time I used BidPay, I got scammed. Never again. On the other hand, it's way to easy for shitty buyers to screw you over on PayPal.

    I don't know what the other options are, though. Even on Slashdot, there seems to be a lot of "don't use PayPal" but not a lot of "use $SERVICE instead" as an alternative.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:26AM (#44764837)
    Probably something in those terms of service [paypal.com] people don't read.
  • War on Privacy (Score:4, Informative)

    by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:31AM (#44764887)

    Anyone who is funding any project that the US government does not like should know better than to use Paypal at this point.

    Paypal is a tool of the US government, for whatever reason(s). and this is hardly the first time they use Paypal as an attack vector.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:31AM (#44764889)
    Gay has been used as a synonym for bad for a long time. The PC police may not like it but that doesn't change the facts.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:38AM (#44764961) Journal

    It's not just Paypal they have to worry about. Look at what normal financial institutions did to Wikileaks. Mastercard stopped procesing payments, and Julian Assange's swiss bank account was frozen. If you challenge the powers that be, you will be retaliated against.

  • Re:"Maybe?" (Score:5, Informative)

    by NatasRevol (731260) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:54AM (#44765137) Journal

    High time was when I first read a few stories on here:

    http://paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com]

    In like 2006.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @09:56AM (#44765163)

    The sheer amount of hate that banks, financial services and operators like Paypal have generated in the population at large is amazing. Exorbitant fees, slow transfers, arrogant customer service, publicly funded bailouts for amounts that almost defy imagination, systematic fraud [google.com] reaching to the the highest levels of most governments of the world, few to no prosecutions of financial crime - the world of finance and banking it is a stagnated corrupt market that needs some serious competition, a bright light and a clean sweep.

    Bitcoin is a tiny flicker of a spark in the dark rotten world of finance - not even in its infancy. Sure like any currency it can be stolen or used and abused to perpetrate fraud. Sure it is damn inconvenient to use or exchange, hardly anybody accepts it - but despite all this there is an army of people and entrepreneurs [coindesk.com], early adopters with more joining every day that are willing to bend over backwards and work through the teething problems simply because it could almost possibly eventually bring much needed change to the almighty financial sector to which our economies now serve [nakedcapitalism.com] (as apposed to the other way around).

    If you think mass media can drum up a propaganda campaign so the Military Industrial Complex can have their profitable wars, wait till you see how far and loud the corporate media "journalists" will willing to go when the financial sector stands to lose absolute monopoly over our currency for online global payments.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:09AM (#44765279) Homepage

    And giving PayPunk the card number is better?

    They won't let you delete all your card numbers from your PayPal account. You have to leave at least one.

    The only work around is to cancel the card.

    Actually, you can be used by PayUpPal without giving them a credit card number. They just go out of their way to make life difficult for you.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:26AM (#44765475)

    Visa and mastercard have prepaid cards that work just as easily as a credit card you put fixed amounts onto them and then spend it as a credit card.

    It is much safer than paypal. I only use paypal when i am forced to. 1 out of 10 transactions go bad for me when using paypal.

  • by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:28AM (#44765509) Homepage

    ...regularly sweeping money into a bank account will also get your account frozen.

    I'm not saying I trust PayPal all that much, but this is simply untrue. I have businesses that use a couple of different PayPal accounts, and regular sweeps are de rigeur for us, and we've never had any account frozen by them.

    Part of the reason we sweep them is to guard against just that possibility, however.

    It's also important to sweep the account you are sweeping into... usually, the wire transfer capability works both ways. So they can, without additional authorization, suck funds back out of your bank account. (if anyone happens to know a bank that will let you prevent this sort of outgoing transaction, I am all ears)

    If the funds aren't in that account, you could get hit with an NSF charge from your institution, but you'll have an easier time arguing with them about it than with PayPal, and a $30 bounce charge is a lot less than $50,000 or whatever amount PayPal might decide to sit on instead.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:34AM (#44765581)

    Don't confuse your little corner of the internet with the real world. In the real world, you're a tempest in a teacup, son.

    Right [1], back [2], at ya [3], son.

    [1] The 2012 Harris Poll Annual Public Summary Report (PDF) [harrisinteractive.com]
    [2] Banking Stinks Like Cigarettes and Politics: Survey Shows Contempt for Industry [mybanktracker.com]
    [3] Banking Sector Is Slowly Replacing Big Oil As The Most Hated Industry [huffingtonpost.com]

    ...

    The Harris poll asks consumers for their opinions on six key attributes of the 60 ‘most visible’ corporations in the United States. Rating companies’ social responsibility, emotional appeal, products and services, workplace environment, financial performance and vision and leadership, the Harris RQ survey seeks to get a snapshot of corporate America’s reputation among consumers.... Banking and financial services scored terribly.

    ...

    But the banking sector has screamed up the charts, and not counting the always-hated federal government, it was No. 2 with a bullet as of Gallup's most recent poll [gallup.com], taken way back in August 2012. Fifty-three percent of Americans surveyed had a negative view of banks in that poll, up from just 18 percent in 2007, before the crisis. The percentage of people with a positive view of banking has plunged to 25 percent from 50 percent in 2007.

  • by contrapunctus (907549) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @04:46PM (#44768861)

    tried to sign up to dwolla a while ago.
    half way through, they asked for my ssn.
    at the time, i didn't think it was worth it so i didn't provide it.
    but magically, i ended up on their spam email list.
    fuck them and they shitty spam emails, will never use them now.

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