MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade
Wednesday July 3, 17:00 UTC
MasterCard has broken ranks in the US-linked banking blockade against WikiLeaks.
For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks' publication of US diplomatic cables.
Now, one of the financial companies involved in the blockade, MasterCard International, has backed down and reversed its position. WikiLeaks was notified of MasterCard International's change in position by VALITOR, the Icelandic partner for VISA and MasterCard.
On April 24, 2013 WikiLeaks and DataCell won a lawsuit, which had been running for two years, against VALITOR for breach of contract and blockading WikiLeaks' donations at the behest of VISA and MasterCard. The Icelandic Supreme Court ordered VALITOR to recommence processing donations to WikiLeaks.
VALITOR complied and reopened its payment gateway, but gave formal legal notice that it would terminate its contract and reclose the gateway on July 1, 2013, citing a unilateral termination clause in the contract.
VALITOR has now fully reversed its position and announces it will honor the contract with DataCell and process payments to WikiLeaks.
In a letter from VALITOR´s lawyers, VALITOR relates how it sought the opinions of MasterCard International and VISA on the proposed July 1 cut-off. In its response MasterCard made clear to VALITOR that it no longer desires to blockade WikiLeaks. VISA has not responded.
Donations by credit cards to WikiLeaks through https://paygate.datacell.com are therefore fully re-instated as of Monday, July 1, 2013.
Other financial companies have not yet retracted their illegal blockade on WikiLeaks, including PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America.
The Supreme Court decision in Iceland was in favour of WikiLeaks and DataCell, but it did not include damages – deemed a separate issue under Icelandic law. A court claim for compensation is currently being prepared. Damages are estimated at 9 billion Icelandic Kronas (55.9m EUR or 72.7m USD).
To donate to WikiLeaks by bank transfer or using other methods, please see: https://shop.wikileaks.org/donate
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