Overhype

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
terms of service, wikileaks

Companies:
paypal, wikileaks



PayPal Latest To Cut Off Wikileaks

from the political-pressure dept

Over the weekend, Paypal became the latest company to cut off Wikileaks' account, saying that it was a "terms of service" violation -- the same excuse Amazon gave. Of course, Wikileaks had been using Paypal for quite some time before this, so it seems pretty clear that the reasoning was (yet again) political pressure put on American companies, threatening them for working with Wikileaks. What's funny about all of this, of course, is that it's only going to serve to give Wikileaks more attention, and drive up demand for competing services to these US companies overseas. In an effort to "stop" access to information that is widely accessible, all the US is really doing is (a) promoting that information more while (b) harming the reputation of American companies.

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  1. identicon
    Richard Kulawiec, 6 Dec 2010 @ 7:11am

    Re: Perhaps unrelated...

    But it is also true that governments sometimes have good reasons for not parading all of the information before the general public.

    1. It is also true that governments frequently cover up waste, stupidity, corruption, deceit, and malfeasance by not parading this information before the public. As we see in this case, and as we have seen in many others. 2. Governments will need to adjust to a world where this reality has changed. They can kick and scream like petulant two-year-olds (to borrow a phrase from elsewhere in this thread) but it won't matter. The world has moved on, and now they have to play catch-up.

    Julian Assange seems to have decided that he is the ultimate arbiter of the those decisions.

    This statement reflects a failure to grasp The Big Picture. Let me spell it out for you:

    -- if not Assange, then someone else at Wikileaks
    -- if not Wikileaks, then someone else at another site
    -- if not another site, then via P2P networking
    -- if not via P2P networking, then via portable devices

    It was inevitable that this would happen; it was only a matter of when, and how, and who. It cannot be stopped, although many fools will certainly try. We just happen to be living at the point in time where it's happening.

    "Tough luck gang. We're going to expose you to the risk of massive potential losses so that we can support this group that is acting criminally"?

    1. Please cite the specific criminal statutes that Wikileaks has violated -- keeping in mind, of course, that statutes vary by jurisdiction. If you can't cite any, then you must retract this statement, because you can't show that any criminal conduct is involved. 2. Odd, isn't it, that Amazon and Paypal support activity that actually IS illegal (e.g., spam, spyware, phishing, etc.) to some extent in some jurisdictions, but getting them to take remedial action about those turns out to be much more difficult.

    Finally, let's start applying a label to Julian Assange that fits, the new 007 super-villan.

    Please. Spare us from the movie plots and other worthless tripe. This is the real world. Also: you need to look up the definition of extortion. It does not mean what you think it means.


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