Want To Know Why Visa & Mastercard Cut Off Wikileaks? Because Its Latest Leak Was About Them…

from the everywhere-you-want-to-be dept

Visa’s slogan used to be “Everywhere you want to be,” but apparently one place it did not want to be was on Wikileaks. We’ve already covered how both Visa and MasterCard cut off Wikileaks quite quickly, with MasterCard even going so far as to claim that it did so because of illegal activity by Wikileaks — despite no charges or convictions for any actual illegal activity.

Just a day later, it seems, we may have some new insight into why this is. Chris Rhodes was the first of a bunch of you to send over the news that the latest cable leak shows that US diplomats worked hard on Visa and MasterCard’s behalf in Russia, where the Russian government was working on a new national payment card system, that would likely deprive Visa and MasterCard of transaction fees in Russia. Convenient timing.

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Companies: mastercard, visa, wikileaks

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Comments on “Want To Know Why Visa & Mastercard Cut Off Wikileaks? Because Its Latest Leak Was About Them…”

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Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

because, you know, it couldn’t possibly be ‘a little from column a, a little from column b’ or, more likely, being large, wealthy entities, the government acting under pressure from Them…

(mind you, i really have no idea. all it really requires is for them all to be a bunch of greedy, paranoid idiots. no further connection required.)

Anonymous Coward says:

This post is typical of TD these days. You spot a minor effect, and create whatever cause you like to support it.

The most likely state of affairs is that someone in wikileak world HQ (the cave next to Bin Ladin) sifted through the documents looking for Visa and Mastercard, then released the document to try to make them look bad, and to make them look like they are trying to cover something up.

Post like this make the National Enquirer look like a reliable source. It probably plays well to the 4chan kiddies, but most adults can see through it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Look, at least the wikileaks cave is full of celebrities.

Now if by adults you mean the wanking incompetent self-serving people who think they command respect because they got a title well, then you are right, because real adults work hard, are honest have morals and know when they need to apologize for something they did wrong.

If ever an Asian politician was caught doing that they would be apologizing profusely to everyone, they beat us because they have something we lost along the way, “respect” and “honor to their word”, look at how the Toyota chairman handled things and look at how BP did it. One went public embarrassed himself and apologized profusely the other one tried to blame others. You people are like children that when get caught on a lie tried to make others believe it didn’t happen, adult people would acknowledge they were caught, apologize and move on.

What you are doing is not the behavior of anything resembling good behavior at all.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The most likely state of affairs is that someone in wikileak world HQ (the cave next to Bin Ladin) sifted through the documents looking for Visa and Mastercard, then released the document to try to make them look bad, and to make them look like they are trying to cover something up.

So let me see if I can follow your tortuous logic; you think it’s most likely that Wikileaks sifted through the documents that had actually been given to them by a source everyone acknowledges is credible, found this factual information and released it after being cut off by MasterCard and Visa to make them look worse than they already did, and somehow that’s “a minor effect?”

I’m failing to see what your point is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, they released it to make it look like Visa and Mastercard acted because they had something to hide. It is sort of basic smear tactics.

However, if you have a shred of intelligence, you can time line things and realize that one of two things happened:

1) Visa and then Mastercard cut off wikileaks for various reasons. Wikileaks people get mad, and try to make Visa and Mastercard look bad, and look like they have something to hide. Plays well to the script kiddies from 4chan.

2) The Wikileaks people found something bad about Visa and Mastercard, and somehow contacted them and threatened to release it. When that happened, Visa and Mastercard cut them off.

Now, 2 is what is being pushed here as the truth, but it reads poorly. It would suggest that the Wikileaks people are threatening people, which could be seen as an illegal act (blackmail). Since we all know that the Wikileaks people are fine upstanding people who would never break the law, answer 2 isn’t right.

That only leaves answer 1.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

so they did something to really piss off wikileaks so they would most certainly release it? Sorry, that isn’t in their best interest. The time it takes wikileaks to post an entry is minutes. Nobody at Mastercard or Visa would be stupid enough to think that stopping processing would suddenly kill wikileaks in less time than it takes to post the info.

That isn’t logical. We are stuck with #2.

DarkHorse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Looking Bad?

I have no idea as to the motive of Wikileaks, but I will make this observation. MC & Visa, who charge criminal usury rates do not need any assistance from Wikileaks to ?look bad.? The world’s extremely wealthy banking industry, the ones that manufacture money out of thin air, then lend it to you for 23%, have a monopoly on ?looking bad.?

Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

UH, but they DID have something to hide… anyways, doesn’t really matter what so called “patriots” say anymore… you already lost the battle, and will lose the war. You can no longer control the information, so you have 2 choices… transparency or a constant propaganda war (which you can’t really win) Get it?

Cowardly Anon says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Seeings as the “script kiddies” were already going after Visa and MC before this info was released, your argument looses a bit of it’s wind.

Did Wikileaks intentionally release this particular information as a form of retaliation? Probably. Is there really a problem with that? I don’t think so.

All’s fair right?

likethehangman (profile) says:

The Bank

It seems anymore Bank of America, VISA, Paypal, Mastercard are the shadow government. It would be hard to tell who really has the authority, Am I butterfly dreaming I’m a person, or a person… Either way it’s good the geeks struck back to show some support for the renditions and disgraceful attacks against publishing the truth. If Uncle Sam did not want it to come out, then the gov should have thought about it first!

Pierre Wolff (profile) says:

I don't get their position

So I’ve been giving some thought to Mastercard, VISA and Paypal’s position on why they cut off Wikileaks and something else feels off.

Wikileaks was using these payment instruments to collect donations from individuals. As a non-profit organization, that’s the primary reason for using these payment instruments. Wikileaks was not selling a membership, a product, or a service. Hence, their use of, and reason for using, these payment instruments was only to collect donations, which last I checked is not an illegal activity. Wikileaks made no false promises and did not defraud anyone.

Now, if the position of the payment instrument companies is that Wikileaks’ illegal behavior (which has yet to be asserted as such, and is not being done as means of profiting from), resulted in having their accounts closed or frozen, then what does that really mean? Are the payment instrument companies playing the role of general law enforcement? For example, if Walmart were to be accused of violating labor laws by the Department of Labor, can (or would) the payment instrument companies freeze Walmart’s accounts? If BP were charged w/illegally dumping oil into the Gulf of Mexico, would they stop close of freeze BP’s accounts and stop allowing them fm accepting VISA or Mastercard at the pump? In other words, if a company is violating the law in an unrelated part of their business to the one for which they’re accepting the payment instruments, does that still constitute a violation of their agreement with these payment instrument companies?

Seems pretty far reaching to me, and I suspect that the illegality issue would only apply to the merchant accepting payments w/these instruments in exchange for fraudulent or illegal products or services. If I were Wikileaks’ attorneys, I’d be getting prepared for a round of civil lawsuits against these payment instrument providers.

Johnny says:

Re: I don't get their position

The law suit is already in the works:

These payment companies should also realize that US law does not apply in Europe. If the State Department asks you to shut down payments to a certain entity (as Paypal claims they did), then this should only apply to their customers in the US.

I find it absolutely abhorrent that the US can dictate how companies behave in the EU. This has to be stopped.

mrbill says:

Visa, Mastercard, Ruskies

So F….what. That is exactly what the state dept. is supposed to do. Help promote their countries interest. They do it daily and in every country.

What would you expect them to do…help the other country set up a competing business.

But I digress…Im guessing all the usual Lefty sites would approach it like that. Perhaps we should have Sean Penn and Danny Glover to cover for us…..heh.

Darryl says:

From the OF COURSE, why else Dept..

Want To Know Why Visa & Mastercard Cut Off Wikileaks? Because Its Latest Leak Was About Them…

Mike, that sounds like a more than fair, and adequate reason for them to do what they did..

Can you think of a better reason ?

So why would you expect MC to support Wikileaks, while wikileaks are kicking MC in the balls ?

They have every right, and the moral high ground here, they can pick and choose who they want to do business with..

And why on earth would you want to do business with someone who is trying to damage your business ?

But as usual common sense is lost on you, may be they just dont like wikileaks !! , what the hell right do you have to determine who some company chooses to do business with.

Some people can see that Julian Asange only cares about julian Asange, if you think he is doing this for some higher goal, you will in time work out that is not the case.

He is doing it for personal gain, and profit..

He is not making this information available for the betterment of mankind, he is doing it to feed his own ego.

And to provide himself a tool for blackmail, and fraud, and to allow him to act as your censor, so how is what he is doing anything but selfserving ?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: From the OF COURSE, why else Dept..

Some people can see that Julian Asange only cares about julian Asange, if you think he is doing this for some higher goal, you will in time work out that is not the case.

Kinda funny since Assange is now in jail, so this didn’t come from him.

Also, if he’s focused only on personal gain, having pretty much all of the worlds’ governments trying to jail you doesn’t seem like a particularly useful way of going about that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: From the OF COURSE, why else Dept..

It is incredibly useful. Assange is only relevant when he is top news, when he is being interviewed, quoted, followed, and reported on. It is all about him. Why do you think his picture is on the front page of the site, looking all serious and pensive? It’s about Julian, the rest is the rest.

Before Wikileaks, who knew this guy? Now? If he manages to avoid the assassins and other issues that he faces right now, he will likely come out the other side as a multi millionaire commentator, speaker, and consultant on these issues. He has absolutely created the cult of Assange.

Christopher (profile) says:

Re: From the OF COURSE, why else Dept..

Darryl, only in your mind can they ‘pick and choose’ who to deal business with. In my viewpoint, any business should do business with ANYONE, unless that person is doing something illegal.

Yes, that does mean that these companies should be F O R C E D to do business with anyone, period and done with, unless the police can give them proof that the business or individual in question has ACTUALLY DONE SOMETHING ILLEGAL!

It’s called ‘discrimination’, and in the real world and most country, it is illegal and a civil offense (sometimes CRIMINAL OFFENSE) to do that.

Johnny says:

Re: Re: From the OF COURSE, why else Dept..

Darryl probably dreams of the day businesses in the US can go back to picking and choosing who they want to do business with.

Like shops that didn’t want to do business with people whose skin color they didn’t like, and of course people whose sexual orientation they disapprove of. Because of course “businesses can pick and choose who they do business with”, right?

What a beautiful world this would be if we could just discriminate as much as we want….

Anonymous Coward says:

boy this site kills you for plugin use…lite version anyone an opt out of garbage?
anyhow sorry mike but is there a opt out….

news from various points in the world

CANADA: visa was still down at time of writing , mastercard mostly back up.

UK both down and have been a while.
USA both down.

i spent most of the night communicating to actual hackers keeping things a bit level headed making sure that they don’t take moron comments the wrong way and that’s its largely the ignorant adn htose with stuff to hide that will cause this to get out of control.

THAT being said should the world get uber stupid there isn’t enough hackers with all the govt’s combined that could stop the real hackers.

I was actually pleased of canada’s govt website cbc allowed nearly uncensored discussion on this subject for a change and it may be why things let up in canada….
WE do get to speak out minds here more, and 70% do not like hte current pm.

While visa and mastercard are getting whacked all day this guy becomes a rock star ( see cbc website)
At least he didn’t over react, in that its the first thing harper may have done that doesn’t show a bad move.

Also its verified that one of his accusers has ties and has worked as a junior cia agent…THIS won’t end good for the USA….it should stop before the world gets ripped a new butt hole.

and daryl be careful

“WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public.”

NON PROFIT….nice try throw the FUD elsewhere.

Ramon Casha (profile) says:

About them? Not necessarily

It may have been about them, but then again it doesn’t have to be. Assange said that it would be about “a major American bank”. Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are all on the same boat with every major American banks. If one of them falls overboard – especially a big fat one – the whole boat could tip over, or at least knock one or two others off the boat as well.

DarkHorse (profile) says:

Wikileaks and Assange have illustrated just how the internet and technology can be a double-edged sword. It can educate tremendous quantities of people on social issues in the twinkling of an eye. Also, it can ferret out the underhanded dealings of corporations, agencies, and political nitwits.

When you expose powerful people’s secrets, they retaliate. Bankers and political hacks live in their own world where people bow and scrape at their feet. When people like Assange show the entire world what they have been up to, it makes them livid! It does not make them honest or above-board.

Just look at the current state of affairs in Washington, DC. Congress and it’s associated buffoons simply do whatever in the hell they want without regard to the desires of their constituents. They spend vast sums of money, running up monumental debts, in order to pay back those that donate large sums to their easily pillaged campaign coffers.

Assange has done the world a favor by peeling back the layers of camouflage that hide the obvious from the public. Actually, we are smart enough to know there is something rotten in DC, by to actually do anything to fix it would interfere with our evening TV show schedules. “Dancing With The Stars” is far more important than fixing America.

Now we know with certainty that we are dupes. So, what’s next?

DarkHorse (profile) says:

WikiLeaks, Bernanke, and Hyperinflation

The National Inflation Association is deeply disturbed by how U.S. politicians and the mainstream media have been calling for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be charged with treason. Some people in Washington are even calling for the assassination of Assange like he is some kind of a terrorist, all because he helped spread the truth about our country’s foreign policy and other sensitive topics. The U.S. is in very serious trouble if it has now become a crime to speak the truth.

In recent years with the help of the Internet, there has been a rise in alternative media sites that speak the truth, while the mainstream media has simultaneously experienced collapsing television ratings and newspaper circulation levels. CNBC’s average television show now only has 47,000 U.S. viewers in the 25-54 demographic, down 36% from one year ago. NIA’s latest inflationary depression update video has already surpassed 47,000 views, and we don’t have the advantage of being on cable television in 95 million American homes.

Americans today have an appetite for the truth. For decades, Americans were brainwashed into believing anything the mainstream media said as the truth. Now that America is waking up and realizing that they have been deceived and lied to their whole lives by the mainstream media, the media is losing its stranglehold over the public. The politicians and corporate elites who control the media are becoming very scared.

Although NIA is not a supporter of Assange, we are a supporter of constitutional rights and there is no more important constitutional right than our freedom of speech. If Americans don’t take a stand now to protect their freedom of speech, the U.S. government soon might make it a crime to warn Americans about the hyperinflation that is ahead. With the current path our country is on, there is a chance that as the U.S. approaches the point of hyperinflation, organizations like NIA will be made illegal to exist in the U.S. Those associated with NIA and organizations like us may one day be charged with treason or targeted for assassination, just for warning Americans to get out of fiat paper money (U.S. dollars) and into real money (gold and silver).

If there is one American who deserves to be charged with treason, it is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Bernanke, this past Sunday on ’60 Minutes’, outright lied to the American public when he said that the Federal Reserve isn’t printing money. Less than two years earlier on the same television program, Bernanke admitted that the Federal Reserve is printing money. However, back then, nobody was questioning the Federal Reserve’s actions. Thanks to alternative media organizations that have worked tirelessly to help expose the Federal Reserve’s dangerous and destructive actions, Americans are starting to finally question the Federal Reserve and Bernanke is now clearly on the defensive.

Bernanke’s lie on ’60 Minutes’ that the Federal Reserve isn’t printing money is similar to the lie he made under oath on June 3rd, 2009, when he testified in front of Congress saying, “The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.” Today, the Federal Reserve is monetizing the debt (as admitted by both the Kansas City and Dallas Fed Presidents). When Bernanke uses the term “quantitative easing”, he is insulting the intelligence of Americans. “Quantitative easing” is nothing more than printing money.

Bernanke said in his interview that the purpose of the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” is to keep interest rates low, but the yield on 10-year U.S. treasuries rose to a new six month high today. The truth is, “quantitative easing” is causing interest rates to rise because all of the money being printed is about to cause an outbreak of massive price inflation. The yield on the 10-year bond has risen by 38 basis points during the past three days alone and is now up to 3.26%. NIA continues to believe that interest rates have seen their lows and yields on the 10-year bond will likely rise above 4% in the first half of 2011.

When the 10-year bond yield rises to above 4%, instead of Bernanke admitting that he lied to the American public and his money printing actually caused interest rates to rise, Bernanke will likely claim that his “quantitative easing” just wasn’t large enough. Bernanke will use rising interest rates as an excuse to expand the size of QE2 and/or possibly launch QE3. Remember, every 1% rise in interest rates means an extra $100 billion that will need to be spent each year on interest payments on our national debt. Rising interest payments on our national debt can only be paid by Bernanke printing even more money.

Bernanke promises that he won’t let price inflation in the U.S. rise above 2%, but all Americans who live in the real world realize that price inflation is already well above 2%. Whether it be food, gas, heat, clothes, healthcare, college tuition, entertainment, or just about anything else, prices have risen over the past twelve months for just about all goods and services in America by a lot more than 2%. It is a real shame that absolutely nobody in the mainstream media has acknowledged this fact and called Bernanke out on it. Bernanke deserves to be impeached for his previous acts of perjury and for blatantly ignoring the price inflation that exists all around us.

Bernanke is currently leading a misinformation campaign that will prevent the majority of Americans from preparing for and surviving U.S. hyperinflation. Bernanke’s misinformation campaign is similar to what took place in Weimar Germany in the 1920s when they experienced hyperinflation. In Weimar Germany, the misinformed public always focused on rising prices, but never understood that prices were rising because the German mark was losing its purchasing power.

The Germans believed that there was a shortage of marks and it was therefore necessary to print as many marks as possible. Germans placed all of the blame for their crisis on the symptoms of inflation. They blamed greedy tourists, selfish industrialists and profiteers, the wage demands of labourers, speculators in Germany who were buying foreign currencies and sending their wealth out of the country, and other nations that were buying up German assets with foreign currencies. They failed to grasp that it was their government’s own printing of marks and increasing the money supply that caused the inflationary disease.

Bernanke is trying to convince the world that he can create an economic recovery through “quantitative easing” (printing money), without creating price inflation, because he claims to have the tools to unwind the Federal Reserve’s massive asset purchases. He is trying to trick the world into believing that he has the ability to pinpoint an exact time in which the U.S. economy is recovering without massive price inflation, where he can exit his inflationary strategy before prices start to dramatically rise. Bernanke has no exit strategy that he can implement without sending the U.S. economy into the next Great Depression.

Bernanke, being a self-proclaimed scholar of the Great Depression, is not going to allow another one to occur. Bernanke didn’t like the market’s reaction when he allowed Lehman Brothers to fail (the only right decision he made during the whole panic of 2008). After the failure of Lehman Brothers caused the stock market to crash, Bernanke didn’t allow another major U.S. bank to fail. NIA predicts that we will one day see Bernanke attempt to launch his exit strategy by raising the Federal Funds Rate, but as soon as the stock market begins to go south like in late-2008, Bernanke will reverse his decision and either lower the Federal Funds Rate again or leave it at artificially low levels until the U.S. dollar loses all of its purchasing power.

One organization out there that has perhaps played the largest role in helping expose the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of gold and silver prices is the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA). NIA considers GATA’s President Bill Murphy to be a hero for having the courage to expose evidence of gold and silver price manipulation at the CFTC hearing on position limits that was held on March 25th of this year. A short time after the hearing took place, Murphy was leaving a restaurant less than two blocks from where he lives when somebody jumped out from behind a wall and sucker-punched him with brass knuckles. He was knocked out cold and thought his jaw was broken. NIA just conducted a shocking interview with Bill Murphy that we will be releasing Friday evening. You will definitely want to listen to this interview.

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