Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

PayPal to WikiLeaks: You're Cut Off

If you’re keeping track of the U.S. companies that are purging themselves of any connection to secret-spilling Web site WikiLeaks, you can add the eBay subsidiary PayPal. The company announced on its official blog that it has suspended the PayPal account that WikiLeaks used to solicit donations.

WikiLeaks portrayed PayPal as bowing to government pressure. Another company, DataCell, which describes itself as under Swiss and Icelandic control, says it is accepting donations on behalf of WikiLeaks. And the organization says there are other options for supporting the organization financially.

Like Amazon and EveryDNS before it, PayPal said that WikiLeaks had violated its Acceptable Use policy, which says the service “cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”

In response to Amazon’s move, Daniel Ellsberg, the man known for leaking the Pentagon Papers and whose story has recently been retold in a 2009 documentary film “The Most Dangerous Man In America,” has called for a boycott of Amazon, saying he wants “no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of information and deterrence of whistle-blowing.” He further asks Amazon insiders who may have documentation of what political pressures were brought to bear to send what files they have to WikiLeaks.

Amazon maintains its decision was motivated by nothing more than a Terms of Service issue, and it’s “inaccurate” to consider its move a response to a government inquiry.


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