PayPal releases WikiLeaks funds, restricts account

Last Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 10:34

Washington: PayPal is releasing all of the
remaining funds in an account set up to raise money for
WikiLeaks, but it will no longer accept donations for the
site.

John Muller, PayPal`s general counsel, announced the
move in a blog post late yesterday in which he said PayPal`s
decision to restrict the WikiLeaks account was not the result
of any pressure from the US government.

Besides PayPal, Mastercard and Visa have also
suspended WikiLeaks accounts, choking off donations to the
website that has been releasing confidential and embarrassing
US diplomatic cables.

The move has triggered cyber attacks in recent days on
the websites of the Internet payment and credit card companies
by supporters of WikiLeaks.

Muller said "media reports" had "created confusion
about PayPal`s decision to permanently restrict the account
that was raising funds for WikiLeaks."

He said PayPal is obliged to comply with international
law and company policy bars use of the service "if it
encourages, promotes, facilitates or instructs others to
engage in illegal activity."

"In 2008 and 2009, PayPal reviewed and restricted the
account associated with WikiLeaks for reasons unrelated to our
Acceptable Use Policy," Muller said. "As soon as proper
information was received from the account holder, the
restrictions were lifted.

"The account was again reviewed last week after the US
Department of State publicised a letter to WikiLeaks on
November 27, stating that WikiLeaks may be in possession of
documents that were provided in violation of US law," he said.

"PayPal was not contacted by any government
organisation in the US or abroad," he said. "We restricted the
account based on our Acceptable Use Policy review."

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 10:34

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