PayPal has posted a (late-night) statement to its website, saying: "PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We've notified the account holder of this action."
WikiLeaks Coverage From ReadWriteWeb:
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- One Year After Cablegate Began, WikiLeaks' Operations Still Handicapped
- Twitter, WikiLeaks and the Troubling New Implications For Online Privacy
- Having Ended the Iraq War, Wikileaks Runs Out of Money
- Did Google Hand a Wikileaks Volunteer's Gmail Data to the U.S. Government? [Updated]
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- Wikileaks Takes Down the Head of Al Jazeera
PayPal isn't the only way to donate to Wikileaks. You can make a bank transfer or send money directly by mail. But certainly sending money online via PayPal has become one of the easiest and most routine ways for folks to make all sorts of online donations.
It's not the first time Wikileaks has run into trouble with PayPal either, as the organization had its account temporarily frozen earlier this year.
PayPal's announcement will certainly result in a loss of donation dollars for Wikileaks. But it also marks an important symbolic loss for the organization as well, as it represents yet another major private tech company that has closed its doors to Wikileaks. In addition to those who've refused to provide Wikileaks with hosting and financial services, the visualization company Tableau Software also expunged all Wikileaks content from its site.
Although these companies have said that their terms of service forbid the support or facilitation of illegal activity, such pronouncements about Wikileaks are debatable. While it is a crime to leak classified information, receiving and publishing it is not.