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Visa and MasterCard funding returns to WikiLeaks via French payment gateway

Loek Essers | July 19, 2012
Using Visa or MasterCard for donations to WikiLeaks was made possible again Wednesday when the French organization Defense Fund Net Neutrality (FDNN) started accepting payments via those credit card providers through the French Carte Bleue systems.

In addition to announcing the new donation system, WikiLeaks published a report about the impact the blockade had on its finances. For 2011, WikiLeaks' income fell to just 21 percent of its operating costs, according to data provided by the Wau Holland Foundation, a nonprofit foundation in Germany that handles transfers and donations to WikiLeaks.

The organization has run on its cash reserves at the Wau Holland Foundation, which decreased from ¬800,000 (US$982,000) at the end of December 2010 to less than ¬100,000 at the end of June 2012, WikiLeaks said, adding that its reserve funds will probably expire within a few months. "In order to effectively continue its mission, WikiLeaks must raise a minimum of ¬1 million immediately," it said.

WikiLeaks is fighting the payment blockade on different fronts. An Icelandic court ordered last Thursday that payments processor Valitor had to reopen a gateway hosted by DataCell for Visa and MasterCard donations to WikiLeaks. Valitor was ordered to reopen the handling of Visa and MasterCard donations within two weeks. However, the gateway will probably remain closed while Valitor appeals the case.

DataCell also filed a complaint about the WikiLeaks payment blockade with the European Commission. A decision from the Commission on whether or not to pursue financial companies that are blocking donations is expected before the end of August. WikiLeaks is also involved in similar litigation against Danish payments processor Teller.


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