Icelandic Company To Sue Visa Over Wikileaks Ban - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Company To Sue Visa Over Wikileaks Ban

Published December 9, 2010

An Icelandic company that has been serving as a conduit for donations to Wikileaks will sue credit card company Visa for banning its card-holders from donating to Wikileaks.

As reported, WikiLeaks has faced numerous financial difficulties lately. Swiss banks have closed his accounts, and PayPal has permanently restricted the group’s account. In addition, Mastercard is taking action to block payments from its card-holders to WikiLeaks. Icelandic hosting company Datacell recently began allowing Visa card-holders to donate to Wikileaks via the company.

However, Visa has now banned its card-holders from donating to Wikileaks, and Ólafur Sigurvinsson, the director of Datacell, is far from pleased.

“I have confirmed today,” he told Mbl.is in part, “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.”

As a result of the ban, Datacell is planning to take Visa to court for breach of contract, specifically, for not fulfilling the wishes of its clients.

Speaking to radio station Rás 2, Sigurvinsson said in part, “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.” He has already hired lawyers over the matter, and says that he has heard that Visa is more likely to settle for damages rather than allow card-holders access to Wikileaks again.

Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told RÚV that despite these financial difficulties, the publication and distribution of thousands of diplomatic cables given to Wikileaks will continue.

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