DataCell Wins Case Against Valitor

Published July 13, 2012

Reykjavík District Court ruled yesterday that Valitor – the company which manages Master Card and Visa in Iceland – must open payments from its costumers to DataCell, the company which manages donations to Wikileaks.
As reported, Wikileaks faced a number of financial obstacles in 2010. When Master Card and other companies began to block payments to the site, Icelandic hosting company Datacell began allowing Visa card-holders to donate to Wikileaks via the company.
However, Visa banned its card-holders from donating to Wikileaks, and Ólafur Sigurvinsson, the director of Datacell, was far from pleased. “I have confirmed today,” he told Mbl.is at the time, “that I can support Al-Qaida, the Ku Klux Klan, buy weapons and drugs and all kinds of porn with my Visa card. There is nobody investigating this, but I cannot support a human rights organisation which is fighting for freedom of expression.” Speaking to radio station Rás 2, Ólafur added, “This is a very serious breach, and not just of the contract that we have [with Visa] … now card-holders cannot decide for themselves where they spend their money.”
Viðar Þorkelsson, the director of Valitor, said that he had no opinion one way or the other of the work that Wikileaks does. Rather, Valitor contended that Datacell did not reveal right away that they were allowing a “payment gateway” for Visa card holders to donate to Wikileaks via Datacell. Datacell owner Ólafur Vignir Sigurðsson denied these allegations, contending that Datacell made it clear from the beginning that a payment gateway was open, and that money was going to be directed to Wikileaks.
As a result of the ban, Datacell announced then that they were planning to take Visa to court for breach of contract; specifically, for not fulfilling the wishes of its clients. That trial began late last month and, RÚV now reports, the court has found in DataCell’s favour.
The court ruled that Valitor must open its customers’ payments to Wikileaks within 14 days, or face a fine of 800,000 ISK for every day the payments remain closed. Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, the lawyer for DataCell, told reporters that the ruling was a victory for freedom of expression, stating that if Valitor decides to appeal, “it will be for political reasons; not legal reasons. If I were Valitor’s lawyer, I would not advise appealing.”
In the legal decision of the court on this case, posted online, the courts state that DataCell had informed Valitor that they were serving as a payment proxy to Wikileaks, and that the contract Valitor has with its customers is very clear on how they can use their money.
There is as yet no word on whether or not Valitor plans to appeal.



News
“Pizzagate” Had No Effect On Support For President

“Pizzagate” Had No Effect On Support For President

by

Despite making some controversial statements about his distaste for pineapples on pizza, which inexplicably attracted worldwide attention, trust in the

News
UTL In Its Current Form “Should Be Discontinued”, New Report Concludes

UTL In Its Current Form “Should Be Discontinued”, New Report Concludes

by

Even workers within refugee services want to change the system, and there is a tremendous difference between how “quota refugees”

News
“Too Much Lamb” Being Produced In Iceland, Says Farming Head

“Too Much Lamb” Being Produced In Iceland, Says Farming Head

by

The high exchange rate and the closing of the Russian market has created a serious situation amongst sheep farmers in

News
Photos: Reykjavík Gets Buried In Snow

Photos: Reykjavík Gets Buried In Snow

by

A new record for snowfall for February in Reykjavík was set today, with some 52cm of snow dumping on Iceland’s

News
First Flights Between Keflavík & Akureyri Cancelled Due To Weather

First Flights Between Keflavík & Akureyri Cancelled Due To Weather

by

Domestic airline service Air Iceland announced that the long-awaited direct flights between Keflavík and Akureyri began today. However, high winds

News
Drone Ban For Downtown Reykjavík Now In Effect

Drone Ban For Downtown Reykjavík Now In Effect

by

The Icelandic Transport Authority has finally authorised regulations for the use of drones in downtown Reykjavík. While not outright banned,

Show Me More!