Global Politics

Wikileaks claims U.S. financial companies are 'blockading' it, suspends operations temporarily

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The Wikileaks site has stopped accepting new documents until it can raise funds to support its operations.

 Story from PRI's The World. Listen to the above audio for a complete report.

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 The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks is suspending its publication of classified files.

Wikileaks said it would focus instead on raising funds to ensure its future survival.

The announcement came after what the group called a blockade by US-based finance companies.

Wikileaks became most well-known for disclosing hundreds of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables in recent months.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that since last December an “arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” had been imposed by Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union.

“The attack has destroyed 95 percent of our revenue,” he said.

The former computer hacker said the organization had “tens of millions of dollars in lost donations at a time of unprecedented operational costs”.

“A handful of US finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket,” he added.

Assange said Wikileaks must “aggressively fundraise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents.”

He said the group was taking pre-litigation action against the blockade in Iceland, Denmark, the UK, Brussels, the United States and Australia and had lodged an anti-trust complaint at the European Commission.

A Wikileaks spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson said its website would reopen for submissions of confidential documents on Nov. 28.

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PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More about The World.

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