WikiLeaks, the international non-profit organization that publishes sensitive information with the aim of bringing important news and information to the public may be forced to shut down its operations due to a financial crunch. The website will have to stop publishing secret cables and concentrate on raising funds as it faces a financial blockade by US firms such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Their cause is not being supported by financial firms
Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website said, “This financial blockade is an existential threat to WikiLeaks. If the blockade is not torn down by the end of the year, the organization cannot continue its work.” He goes on to add that due to political pressure from Washington, these payment companies have bowed down and have prevented them from supporting the cause.
The report states that after WikiLeaks began publishing confidential U.S. State Department cables last November, companies that include Visa, PayPal as well as MasterCard have prohibited users to donate to the site. The website had then filed a complaint with the European Commision’s anti-trust authorities in July and Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesman for WikiLeaks, expects they would decide to open the probe by mid-November. The spokesman went on to say that they were planning legal action in various other countries as well. A spokeswoman for European antitrust authorities said they have received the complaint and were looking into the matter.
In a related report it is said that WikiLeaks would require $3.5 million over the period of next year to continue their operations. Assange said that this refusal by US firms to accept donations had cost the website tens of millions of dollars in lost funding. The monthly donations this year have dropped to 6000 to 7000 euros a month as opposed to 100,000 euros a month last year.
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