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. identicon
    Michial Thompson, 6 Dec 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Perhaps unrelated...

    Richard; In regards to retracing the statement because of the lack of statute. You need to retract as well, it does not require a specific statute to file a lawsuite. The statement of "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"? does still hold weight. We do not live in an idealistic world, and to stand on principals is costly in our society. While in an idealistic world we would be able to stand on our principals because it is the right thing to do, in our world it's not that way. Companies are formed to make money for their investors. Amazon, Paypal and all the others are no exception. Hell not even Google is exempt from this rule... Decissions are made based on what is best for the purpose of making money for the investors. While none of these companies are liable for the actions of WikiLeaks, that does not change the cost of hosting WikiLeaks WikiLeaks is a hot potato right now, and very few corporations want to be associated with it because it's costly for them. It's costly on just about every level, companies are being hit with DoS attacks, threatened with lawsuites, threatened by loss of business, and thats the negative side. Wikileaks is getting so much press that it's popularity is going up at unpredictable speeds which makes it impossible to project bandwidth needs for planning. Even if a host was able to stay ahead of the bandwidth needs curve, its costly to commit to the bandwidth levels knowing full well that this is a short term increase and when the press moves onto Obama's next wag the dog campain the popularity of wikileaks will die off and the hosts will be stuck with the commitments. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback and talk about how you would do everything differently when it's not your checkbook footing the bills. It's easy to talk about how these companies are wrong for dropping wikileaks when its only your opinion at stake and not your buisness, your livelyhood or the jobs of thousands under you. I actually own and run a business. I worked my way up from the bottom of the chain of other businesses. Every day I am given the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is, and I look back every day at the number of times I thought I could do my boss' job better and I now see all the things that was affecting those boss' decissiosn that I didn't see back then.

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