Wikileaks Receives Visa Payments, Loses Them Again - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Wikileaks Receives Visa Payments, Loses Them Again

Published July 11, 2011

Wikileaks briefly began receiving payments again through Visa, who had blocked payments to the website last fall, only to have Visa shut the transfers down again. Meanwhile, a lawyer for Wikileaks pointed out an interesting inconsistency in Visa’s company policy.
Last fall, Visa and Mastercard stopped transferring donations to Wikileaks, a move that prompted outrage in parliament at the time, although nothing seems to have come of that. Since then, the company DataCell – Wikileaks’ Icelandic host – has been handling donations to Wikileaks.
For a brief moment, however, at the end of last week, donations from Visa began flowing into Wikileaks again. When Visa discovered this was happening, the transfers were quickly shut down. Digital news site The Inquirer says the explanation for this is human error.
“An acquirer briefly accepted payments on a merchant site linked to WikiLeaks. As soon as this came to our attention, action was taken with the suspension of Visa payment acceptance to the site remaining in place,” Visa told them.
Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, a lawyer for Wikileaks in Iceland, told reporters that he finds it bizarre that Visa should so strenuously ban payments to Wikileaks, while still allowing payments to the Ku Klux Klan. He has already reported Visa to the Financial Supervisory Authority, contending that they should be stripped of their licence to operate in Iceland.
In fact, Visa originally stopped payments because they were worried about the legality of Wikileaks. When a third-party investigation found the site was perfectly legal, Visa still chose to continue to block payments.

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