Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

Summary: Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, said today that the organisation would cease publication of secrets to focus on lifting the "financial blockade" by major U.S. banks.

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LONDON -- Julian Assange announced today at a press conference in the British capital, that it would suspend the publication of secrets to focus on raising funds to continue operations.

Speaking today, Assange told reporters that Wikileaks must "continue to fight the blockade" imposed by major U.S. banks.

The Wikileaks founder introduced the event in front of a backdrop of Visa, Bank of America, Mastercard and PayPal logos displayed upside down.

The 'financial blockade', which began in December 2010, only ten days after the initial release of the U.S. diplomatic cables, caused Wikileaks to lose 95 percent of its revenue, Assange said, adding that the organisation has been running on cash reserves for the past 11 months.

In a statement, Wikileaks said: "In order to ensure our future survival, Wikileaks is now forced to temporarily suspend its publishing operations and aggressively fund-raise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents".

"The U.S. government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add Wikileaks to a U.S. financial blockade. But the blockade of Wikileaks by politicised U.S. finance companies continues regardless", he added.

Wikileaks' financial troubles began after the 'Cablegate' releases, where the organisation published tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables from embassies around the world. As the largest leak of classified material in U.S. history, many organisations Wikileaks had used restricted or denied the self-styled media organisation from its services.

This led to Anonymous, the hacktivist group associated with public message boards and forums, to backlash against the companies with denial-of-service attacks.

PayPal, Visa and other major U.S. banks aside, other technology companies like Amazon had pulled the plug on Wikileaks, claiming reasons such as breaking terms of service, to avoid potential conflicts of interest whilst operating under U.S. law.

In September, after a row with the Guardian newspaper, which led to a password being published in a book by a Guardian journalist, Wikileaks published the full unredacted cables from the Cablegate files.

Wikileaks began pre-litigation action against the financial blockade in Iceland, Denmark, the UK, in Brussels, the United States and Australia.

Assange is currently fighting extradition at appeal level as he remains on bail. His appeal outcome is expected in the coming weeks, which may lead to his prosecution in the United States.

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Topics: Banking, Amazon, United Kingdom

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52 comments
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  • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

    What about freedom of speech now? Or is it only relevant when the target is Muslims?
    khawaja.umar.farooq@...
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      @khawaja.umar.farooq@... This isn't about freedom of speech, it is stolen documents that were lableled as confidential and top secret...
      slickjim
      • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

        @Peter Perry
        Freedom of the press is a bit more apropo.
        hoaxoner
      • Wikileaks is not a press organization

        @hoaxoner the idea that wikileaks is now "journalism" is new packaging. Wikileaks began with the goal of being nihilisticc gadflys, not journalists.
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

        @Peter Perry So... if Top Secret documents that show the US Govt breaking the law shouldnt be publicized?
        Bodazapha
      • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

        @Peter Perry Agreed, the man is not a hero he's pretty much scum IMO.
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

        @Bodazapha, is it OK if the cops search your person and house without a warrant if they think you've committed a crime?
        I12BPhil
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      @khawaja.umar.farooq@... You are so correct! Freedom of speech when it suits and freedom of religion when it's the approved religion.
      Ashtonian
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      @khawaja.umar.farooq@...
      Free speach is live and well. Also live and well is the idea that speech has consequences. Wikileaks found this out after the fact. My Mom used to tell me, "Be careful of what you say!"
      eargasm
  • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

    Disgracefully, PayPal has also suspended the account of The Expendable Project (http://www.expendable.tv)

    This is the project which is exposing the Australian government's grotesque sale of the human rights of Schapelle Corby.
    LauraHamp
  • You play with the bull...

    ... sometimes you get the horns, Asshat.... er, Assange.
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • So I'll give a gun to a man who vows to kill me?

    He yells "we're releasing bank documents because [b]we[/b] (wikileeks) don't like the way theses mean banks operate and want to bring them down", yet still expects the banks to process wikileaks payments for them, ?

    Am I missing something here?
    William Farrell
    • My thought as well.

      @William Farrell

      He does corporate and international espionage and wonders why the organizations/groups he targets have issues with him. I question Assange's motives and his ability to reason well.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

        @Bruizer ; Personally, I think 'asshat/assange' just needs to be put to sleep. This puffy elitist liberal twerp hasn't earned the right to out anyone other than himself, and maybe Mikey the bad movie maker,
        ExEC135CrewDog
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      @William Farrell Yes Iyou are, actually. Banks are propped up by government. By law, they are not allowed to "refuse service" just because they don't like the customer.
      Mahegan
  • So they won?

    The cut his funding using extra-legal means, and so Wikileaks then does exactly what the people who cut the funding wanted?
    guihombre
  • Visa, Bank of America, Mastercard and PayPal all support totalitarianism

    None of those companies support or defend the Constitution. They are supporters of fascism and brutal government oppression.
    Dr_Zinj
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      @Dr_Zinj says "They are supporters of fascism and brutal government oppression."
      They are supporters of their own businesses. Why should they assist in the promotion of an entity that aims to hurt their business and publish their trade secrets or private data? If I could stop someone from very publicly bad-mouthing my business by cutting off their services or funding, why wouldn't I?
      dh1760
      • Bull

        @dh1760
        We're talking about an organization that goes after government misdeeds; not corporate espionage. Only in the cases where those companies were breaking the law was Wikileaks spreading the dirty laundry for all to see.
        Dr_Zinj
    • RE: Wikileaks suspends publication of secrets amid 'financial blockade'

      It is not their job to defend the constitution. It is there job to make money for their share holders. If an entity is working against this interest (i.e. wikileaks), why would you expect them to support them.
      sgtm8@...