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 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: That seems to go a bit far...

    If MC says that they are going to terminate a vendor contract on those grounds, I'd say that makes it the standard that they have to follow.

    I don't think that's true. I'm quite certain that MC doesn't have to wait until a person is convicted of money laundering to cut off transactions on the card that's involved in the money laundering. They need merely suspect it. In fact, I suspect they can cut me off if they simply think I'm committing a crime.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Wikileaks shouldn't have access to credit. I'm just saying that it should be within the rights of every business to exercise whatever judgement it has on who it does business with. Businesses that are arbitrarily discriminatory will not last long in a competitive environment.

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