The globally recognised whistleblower site WikiLeaks will have to shut down operations due to severe restrictions placed on their cash flow, founder Julian Assange told reporters.
As has been reported, Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America and PayPal have blocked payments to the site. Although the Icelandic company DataCell has been receiving payments and transferring the funds onwards, the flow has not been enough to stave off the decision to fold.
Assange alleges that the payment blocking is illegal, saying, “These few companies are not allowed to decide how the world deals with its wallet.”
In the meantime, they are still accepting checks and envelopes of cash, and are planning a new “hack-proof” system of information transfer, should they ever get up and running again.
DataCell, which has helped donations get to WikiLeaks in Iceland, has not been without its share of problems, either. The company shares the same building with Morgunblaðið, owned by the company Árvakur. This company previously tried to buy DataCell out of their offices. When this didn’t work, employees of the company arrived one morning to find the door pass codes to the office had been changed, prompting threat of a lawsuit from DataCell.
It has been speculated by Glenn Greenwald at Salon, among others, that the leaking of a diplomatic cable from Iraq last May which described in detail the execution of ten Iraqi civilians – among them women and children – by US troops in 2006 helped scuttle talks between the US and Iraq to keep troops in the country, and serve as the catalyst for the Arab Spring.