Home PayPal: Decision to Drop Wikileaks Was “Straightforward”

PayPal: Decision to Drop Wikileaks Was “Straightforward”

Over the weekend, PayPal announced that it would no longer handle donations to whistleblower site Wikileaks. In a late night statement, the company said that the site had violated its terms of service and the account would be immediately shut down.

Now, Osama Bedier, Paypal’s VP of Platform, has told the audience at LeWeb 2010 that the controversial decision was straightforward.

According to PayPal’s original statement, Wikileaks was shut down “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:

Mashable’s Ben Parr reports that Bedier was pressed for an explanation on stage and responded by describing the process PayPal takes for things like this. “We have an acceptable use policy group to make sure that our customers are protected,” said Bedier.

The acceptable use policy group had to address Julian Assange and WikiLeaks when the U.S. State Department issued a letter on November 27 stating that the activity of the WikiLeaks organization was deemed illegal in the U.S. “It was straightforward,” Bedier said, once the State Department made that declaration.

Ever since PayPal shut down donations to the site, Wikileaks has found itself under increasing pressure from other financial organizations. It has had its Swiss bank account shut down and both Mastercard and Visa suspended payments to the site using their products.

It looks like the decision is becoming “straightforward” for many more payment companies than just PayPal, though Wikileaks has found a new avenue for funding – a small startup called Flattr, started by Peter Sunde, the co-founder of the torrent site Pirate Bay. In addition to Flattr, Wikileak’s support page offers a few more options, such as direct bank transfers or by “good old fashion postal mail.”

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