WikiLeaks wins credit card victory
WikiLeaks has declared victory in the first round of its campaign against the financial blockade imposed by Visa and MasterCard after an Icelandic court ordered its local partner to resume processing credit card donations to the site.
Visa and MasterCard were among half a dozen major American financial firms to pull the plug on WikiLeaks after it began publishing around 250,000 US State Department cables in late 2010.
WikiLeaks said the blockade led to a 95 per cent fall in revenue. Founder Julian Assange, facing an extradition move to Sweden and now seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, claimed this had forced him to focus on fundraising rather than the site’s publication work.
The judgment issued by Reykjavik District Court yesterday, is “a very important milestone in our campaign,” WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said. Lawsuits remain active in Denmark and Belgium, he said, but the Icelandic win was “a small but very important step in fighting back against these powerful banks.”
The court ordered Visa and MasterCard’s local partner, Valitor, to resume funnelling donations to WikiLeaks’ payment processor, DataCell, within two weeks or face 800,000 kronur (about £4,000) in daily fines, said DataCell’s lawyer.
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