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.

Filed Under: terms of service, wikileaks
Companies: paypal, wikileaks

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  1. icon
    cc (profile), 6 Dec 2010 @ 7:18am

    Re: Perhaps unrelated...

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

    He would be powerless without the support of the public! Cablegate is happening not because Assange decided to do it, but because people want it to happen -- if it weren't Assange doing it, someone else would have stepped up to the mark sooner or later.

    "Now, as to whether PayPal, Amazon, or any other corporation, should respond to the pressure of governments or boycotts; the answer is not as easy as it might sound."

    Perhaps, but that's part of what all this is about: this is to show that the government has no qualms about crapping all over the first amendment. It does that not by direct censorship (which is unconstitutional), but by pressuring private infrastructure providers to refuse service (no problemo).

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

    Ah, gotta love the propaganda. Negative connotations FTW.

    Instead of resorting to childish labels like "pirates" and "supervillains", how about we be reasonable instead? He's taking on the government of a superpower, who wouldn't think twice about calling him a terrurhist and putting a bullet through his head. If I were in his position, I wouldn't hesitate to do the exact same thing. Plus, he's not threatening to blow anyone up, so the supervillain label is undeserved -- Bush and Osama were definitely 007 supervillains, though!

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