Freedom Of Expression Is Priceless... For Everything Else, There's Mastercard

from the plug-pulled dept

The title of this post is from Rinze, who perfectly sums up the ridiculousness of MasterCard blocking any payment systems that are working with Wikileaks from allowing people to use its card. MasterCard's excuse is even more ridiculous than Paypal, Amazon and others. Rather than drudging up some sort of "terms of service violation," MasterCard is now just making stuff up:
MasterCard said it was cutting off payments because WikiLeaks is engaging in illegal activity. "MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal," spokesman Chris Monteiro said.
That's nice, but last we checked, for something to be found guilty of illegal activity, first they have to be charged and tried, and only after a court decides it's illegal, is it actually considered illegal. To date, Wikileaks hasn't been even charged with anything, let alone found guilty. Apparently MasterCard isn't a big believer in due process either. It's actually very unlikely that Wikileaks actually has done anything illegal. It is against the law to leak such documents but publishing those documents is still protected activity. Except to MasterCard.

Filed Under: free speech, mastercard, wikileaks
Companies: mastercard, wikileaks

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  1. icon
    dullgeek (profile), 7 Dec 2010 @ 2:16pm

    That seems to go a bit far...

    While I agree w/you that WikiLeaks has not been convicted of anything, I'm not sure that's the standard that MC has to follow. If conviction is the only way in which MC can cut off business with someone then how do they handle the case when they suspect credit card fraud? Can they cut the fraudulent transactions off before the aleged fraudster is convicted? What about if MC suspects someone is using their card for money laundering. Can they cut off transactions then, before the money launderer is convicted?

    IMHO, as has been stated by other commenters, MC is a private company who can refuse, at any point, to cease doing business with any of its customers if it so chooses. The fact that my MC worked yesterday does not obligate MC to provide me service today nor tomorrow.

    I don't think MC made a smart move here. But I don't see that they acted in any way outside of their rights.

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