12/07/2010

privatization of censorship


Amazon removes Wikileaks's content from its EC2 cloud service, but later insists it did so because the content could cause harm to people and did not belong to Wikileaks – and that it was not due to political pressure or the hacker attacks against the site.  Wikileaks.org ceases to work for web users after everyDNS.com, which had provided a free routing service translating the human-readable address into a machine-readable form, ends support. PayPal, owned by US auction site eBay, permanently restricts account used by WikiLeaks due to a "violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy". A spokesman said the account was suspended because "[it] cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity."  Switch, the Swiss registrar for Wikileaks.ch declines pressurefrom US and French authorities to remove the site or block access to it. Credit card company Mastercard withdraws ability to make donations to Wikileaks. "MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products," the credit card outfit says. Postfinance, the Swiss postal system, strips WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of a key fundraising tool, accusing him of lying and immediately shutting down one of his bank accounts. The bank says that Assange had "provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process.” Credit card company Visa withdraws ability to make donations or payments to Wikileaks. "Visa Europe has taken action to suspend Visa payment acceptance on WikiLeaks' website pending further investigation into the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules," said a spokesman.