Wikileaks Says US Pressure Resulted In Donation Account Being Shut Down

from the financial-censorship dept

While it's sometimes difficult to take the claims of persecution from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange seriously, it is interesting to see that Wikileak's donation account with Moneybookers has been shut down, and the company itself told Assange that it was due to the site being added to a US watchlist and an Australian blacklist. It's unclear what "watchlist" the US has for websites, but if this is accurate, it seems like another unfortunate example of US gov't censorship, this time through blocking financial resources.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 1:48am

    Didn't you know? Because of the First Amendment the American govt. cannot actually censor anyone. So, they enact trade embargoes, and they have foreign and domestic banks freeze the funds of those they wish to censor. That way they can censor without being seen to be censoring!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:42am

    Re:

    Off the top of my head:

    0. (Optional) Try another bank; if they reject you, you're on the lists.
    1. Sue Moneybookers in whatever country needed in order to procure the evidence that they are on these lists.
    2. File FOIA (which will of course be rejected for reasons of "national security") for this information relating to the lists with the US government.
    3. Hope that somebody with standing in the US is brave enough to sue the government to get fuller access to info and enjoin the lists' regulations being enforced on foreign banks in their case. On what grounds the latter, I don't know.
    4. ???
    5. Receive donations again.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:54am

    While often difficult to take the Masnick notions of journalism and freedom/persecution seriously, highlighting this story deserves some credit.

     

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  4.  
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    Joe King, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 3:28am

    What did they expect?

    That the U.S. government wouldn't find ways to cripple them or shut them down? They should have had other alternative means to procuring funds to continue operating.

    If Wiki wants to play hardball, they best be ready for it.

    Otherwise get out of the game.

     

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  5.  
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    DS, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 4:01am

    As much as I appreciate what Wikileaks does, it seems like they are just an anti-USA site now. Their incredibly wrong and out of context 'analysis' aka "Colloratal Murder" was quite the turning point between a clearing house of leaked documents, to actively trying to damage the US.

     

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  6.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Its one thing...

    ...to leak embarassing documents from government entities. It is another thing entirely to release documents that arent embarassing, but rather endanger the lives of our soldiers.

    I want to see secret Pentagon docs all day, as long as they arent battle plans.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re:

    While often difficult to take the Anonymous Coward notions of a cheap shot seriously, this comment was not as bad as most.

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    The US government should take its own advice

    When governments want to increase surveillance on us they always say "if you've done nothing wrong then you've got nothing to hide, and if you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear."

    How come this doesn't apply to them in cases like these....

     

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  9.  
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    Eileen, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:00am

    How was 'Collatoral Murder' mis-interpreted? I watched the video raw and was EXTREMELY disturbed with what I saw. It should be required watching for anyone in favor of these "wars" we're fighting. It isn't a hypothetical - we DO kill innocent people, from the safety of our apache helicopters, no less. Sick.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Apparently people who've never heard of wikileaks before started having an opinion after snips of "collateral murder" hit the fox news opinionators.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re:

    Some Anonymous Coward's notions of a cheap shot are more credible than others.

     

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  12.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Don't quote me on this...

    However I do believe because Wikilinks claims it holds information deemed classified by the US, it has been added to a terrorist watch list, this lis means that any company doing business in the US can't deal with them especially financial institutions. no US bank can deal with them and such. thats all it is. Not that I agree with it, thats just how I believe it is.

     

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  13.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    This is a weird thought. Why are we calling it 'Collatoral Murder'? Why don't we call it murder, and hold those doing it responsible all the way up the chain of command?

     

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  14.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re:

    because when YOU do it, its murder.
    when THEY do it as a part of millitary operations its collateral damage.

     

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  15.  
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    Y Draig Goch, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Mike - I normally agree with a most of your posts but I think that you are a little off-base on this one. It's not a case of censorship.

    Every national government has the right and duty to restrict access to some of it's internal information. The amount and type of restricted information is dictated by laws and government policies.

    If US citizens disagree with the US laws and policies that govern classified information, they can seek relief through FOIA requests and the court system. That's the process that was set up by the government. If citizens are not happy with that process, they can work through their legislators to change it. That's the way our government works. Violations of these laws and policies can be considered crimes.

    If people other than US citizens seek access to this restricted information and circumvent the laws and policies in effect because they disagree with US diplomatic or military activities, they can also be considered to have committed crimes and the government has a duty to respond.

    Mr. Assange and Wikileaks, a non-US organization, have decided that they do not agree with certain US governmental actions and have also decided to bypass the system set up within the US legal system for relief. They should expect that the US government will uphold it's responsibilities and respond appropriately.

    This is no more censorship than any other responses made to previous espionage cases.

     

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  16.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    You know, you should be a stand up comedian... you're so funny!

     

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  17.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Being watched is not being censored, and I already assume that they are tracking everything in and out of Mr. Assanges world, and thats being nice for a governemnt. If he released Russian documents on Wikileaks we would be talking homicide by now.

     

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  18.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or not.

     

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  19.  
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    Any Mouse, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    We've spent BILLIONS on developing weaponry accurate enough to keep things like this from happening. I'm surprised you're not more outraged by actions done to supposedly secure our rapidly-declining 'freedoms.'

     

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  20.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    "Being watched is not being censored"

    Just like pulling a gun out but not pointing directly at anyone is not threatening?

     

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  21.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    We didnt point the gun....yet. We just happen to have a gun, and are watching, which we were already doing anyway. The only new development is that Moneybookers would prefer to not be on watch/black lists and will take the actions needed to remain so.


    Im sure you'll find all the other endpoints of the wikileaks moneytrail equally as 'watched'.

     

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  22.  
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    A Concerned Reader, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    And when it's NK gov't? I guess this whole planet is somehow in US jurisdiction...

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Aaron Russo warned us of events like this. He stated that one of the elite's goals as told to him by Nick Rockefeller was to get everyone to have an RFID chip with all banking accounts linked to the chip.

    Then if you become too much of a pain in the neck to the PTB they can just turn off your chip so you can no longer buy anything.

    It looks like this plan is already partially in place and being used on Wikileaks.

    No one in Wikileaks has been convicted of a crime. Denying wikileaks the right to economically interact with others is a violation of the unalienable rights of the members of wikileaks.

    You can find the Aaron Russo interview on youtube.

     

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  24.  
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    anon, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    list

    US Banks are bound by Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) to not do "business with our enemies". Every account at a bank must be checked against OFAC's SDN list. Found here" http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/

    I checked and it doesn't look like he is on that list. (unless it is by some other name)

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Its one thing...

    ...to leak embarrassing documents from other governments. It is another thing entirely to release documents that embarrass the US Government.

    I want to see secret Pentagon docs all day, as long as they don't embarrass the US government.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Mr. Assange and Wikileaks, a non-US organization, have decided that they do not agree with certain US governmental actions and have also decided to bypass the system set up within the US legal system for relief.

    That is because they are not subject to US law. Just as a cartoonist in a non-Muslim country is not subject to a law in some Muslim country making it a crime to draw a cartoon of Mohammad. But I suppose you would disagree with that too.

    This is no more censorship than any other responses made to previous espionage cases.

    The hell it isn't. Yeah, I know your type. Go take a hike.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re:

    If he released Russian documents on Wikileaks we would be talking homicide by now.

    No necessarily. It sometimes takes a while for the right opportunity to present itself. The US has assassination hit squads in operation right now and I imagine Mr. Assange's name is on at least one of their lists. He knows that too. That's why he usually avoids sleeping in the same place two nights in a row.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    We didnt point the gun....yet.

    Hey, I'm not actually pointing this gun at you. I'm just watching you and pointing it at something behind you! See how that works?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: list

    I checked and it doesn't look like he is on that list. (unless it is by some other name)

    That's the official "public" list. The real list is far larger.

     

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  30.  
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    s. keeling (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    "Every national government has the right and duty to restrict access to some of it's internal information."

    No, they don't. Your "Founding Fathers" disagreed with empowering statism (I'm a Canuck).

    Passwords to the launch systems, I accept qualify, but governments don't deserve the right to privacy. They cannot be trusted, have proved it over the millennia, and need to be controlled. All of them suffer from the disease "Mission Creep."

     

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  31.  
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    s. keeling (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re:

    "Being watched is not being censored"

    Just like pulling a gun out but not pointing directly at anyone is not threatening?


    I recently was surrounded by a tactical team armed with streetsweepers (automatic shotguns). I felt no intimidation from them whatever. They knew how dangerous they could be and handled them as they'd been trained to. No violence ensued. Everyone went home alive.

    If it's not pointed at me, yeah, it's benign.

     

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  32.  
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    Y Draig Goch (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Mr. Assange and Wikileaks, a non-US organization, have decided that they do not agree with certain US governmental actions and have also decided to bypass the system set up within the US legal system for relief.

    That is because they are not subject to US law. Just as a cartoonist in a non-Muslim country is not subject to a law in some Muslim country making it a crime to draw a cartoon of Mohammad. But I suppose you would disagree with that too.


    Just because Mr. Assange and Wikileaks are operating outside the jurisdiction of the US doesn't mean that they can't use the US legal system to remedy a situation that they don't like. The US does allow non-citizens and foreign companies to file suit.

    This is no more censorship than any other responses made to previous espionage cases.

    The hell it isn't. Yeah, I know your type. Go take a hike.


    espionage: "the practice of gathering, transmitting, or losing through gross negligence information relating to the defense of [a nation] with the intent that or with reason to believe that the information will be used to the injury of [that nation] or the advantage of a foreign nation." (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 15 Oct. 2010)

    You lose...

     

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  33.  
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    Y Draig Goch (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Being a good libertarian, I agree 100% with what you said about statism and the inherent untrustworthiness of governments, but keeping military information under wraps during a war is not statism.

    If I remember my history correctly, there were, for example, many military secrets kept by those founding fathers during the war between the American Colonies and the British Empire. Some of ours were almost sold to the British military by one of our more capable generals, Benedict Arnold, who had won several battle for the US, some of which took place in what is today Quebec and Ontario.

    The US Constitution was supposed to prevent the mission creep of which you write, but unfortunately, in my opinion, this hasn't been enforced by the citizens. Maybe we'll head back in that direction soon...

    BTW - I'm from a state that borders a couple of your provinces. You guys make good beer!

     

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  34.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    This isn't "military" information: it's evidence of murders committed by people in a uniform. As the invasions themselves aren't legally justifiable, were based on and continued by lies, then all that follows is WAR CRIMES.

     

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  35.  
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    Y Draig Goch (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    I'm not familiar with any invasion that was "legally justifiable" including the Allied invasions of France, Italy, North Africa, various islands in the Pacific, or many more that took place in the 1940's. Some countries thought these military operations were justified, others did not.

    The military operations in the early 20th century that were undertaken by the US did have a declaration of war to back them up so they were "legal" in the US. There haven't been any such declarations since then so does that mean that military operations in Korea were illegal, making the Allied soldiers who fought there murderers as well?

    The famous saying by Clauswitz, "War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means," pretty much puts armed conflict in the hands of the diplomats, not the lawyers. Agree or not, it's reality.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Just because Mr. Assange and Wikileaks are operating outside the jurisdiction of the US doesn't mean that they can't use the US legal system to remedy a situation that they don't like. The US does allow non-citizens and foreign companies to file suit.

    That's very different from being subject to it.

    espionage: "the practice of gathering, transmitting, or losing through gross negligence information relating to the defense of [a nation] with the intent that or with reason to believe that the information will be used to the injury of [that nation] or the advantage of a foreign nation." (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 15 Oct. 2010)

    Well, there you go then. Wikileaks hasn't done that. And I don't see "embarrassing the government" included in that definition, either. To the contrary, what Wikileaks has done is expose stuff to the American people that the US government is ashamed of and would rather the people not know, and in so doing is actually helping to make America better. Just the opposite of your "espionage" definition. Of course, the people being shamed and embarrassed don't like that at all. Like I said, I know your type.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    I'm not familiar with any invasion that was "legally justifiable" including the Allied invasions of France, Italy, North Africa, various islands in the Pacific, or many more that took place in the 1940's.

    Your knowledge of history is really lacking.

     

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  38.  
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    Y Draig Goch (profile), Oct 16th, 2010 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: US simply taking action against foreign agency

    Let's read that definition again.

    "practice of gathering" - Yes, Wikileaks did that
    "information relating to the defense of [a nation]" - ditto
    "the information will be used to the injury of [that nation]" - ditto again

    Wikileaks & Mr. Assange actually did do these things. Not the opposite at all.

    You lose again...

     

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  39.  
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    noway, Oct 20th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    What's a military secret about shooting a bunch of foreign journalists in Iraq ( one of their first leaks). Covering up a mass murder - how is that a government secret, it looks more like another crime added to the murder.

     

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  40.  
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    unlawflcombatnt (profile), Oct 21st, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Its one thing...

    Was any of what was revealed "battle plans"?

    The video on "Collateral Murder" certainly didn't reveal any "secrets" that would directly endanger American soldiers--other than possibly getting those particular soldiers tried for murder.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    marco, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    Re:

    You did not need any edit to appreciate the guy on the helicopter eagerly waiting for the wounded on the ground to pick up anything resembling a gun....
    No, I'm afraid, no misinterpretation was possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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