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
    Marcus Carab (profile), 7 Dec 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Nobody is saying Mastercard is beholden to due process. You are absolutely right that they are free to do this.

    This issue is with their given reason that wikilieaks is engaged in "illegal activity". This is a flat out lie. Wikilieaks has not even been charged with anything "illegal", let alone convicted. The government can't even figure out which law they could be charged under.

    Does Mastercard know better? Can they point to a law on the books to back up their assertion that Wikileaks is illegal? No. So hiding behind that is a blatantly dishonest PR move. If they want to drop Wikileaks, it's well within their rights, but we don't have to sit here and accept them passing the buck and pretending its about "law" when in fact it is about them voluntarily and arbitrarily discontinuing a client's service.

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