WikiLeaks Taking Visa and MasterCard to Court
As Andy Greenberg reported for Forbes, it’s been over six months since Visa and MasterCard refused service to WikiLeaks and interrupted WikiLeaks’ funding. On Thursday, July 7, only five days from now, if Visa and MasterCard have not corrected the situation, WikiLeaks, and it’s current payment provider DataCell, will take their case to the E.U. Commission.
According to Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, the Icelandic lawyer for WikiLeaks and DataCell;
Visa and MasterCard were served with the following complaint, according to Sveinsson, earlier this month, and will be filed with the E.U. Commission on Thursday, July 7, 2011, unless the situation is resolved before then.
Visa and MasterCard claim that WikiLeaks and DataCell may have violated their terms of service. MasterCard has insinuated that WikiLeaks may be involved in illegal activity and has suggested that it needs to investigate the whistleblowing organization before it will consent to providing service.
The Danish payment processing company Teller, who is also named in WikiLeaks, has already investigated WikiLeaks, and, in a report submitted to Visa in January, 2011, stated that it could find no proof that WikiLeaks had broken any laws.
The complaint to be submitted by WikiLeaks makes no claim of monetary damages, but a very entertaining and informative video ( a wonderful spoof on the Visa ‘priceless’ advertising campaign), released by WikiLeaks earlier this week, implied that damages to WikiLeaks are in excess of $15,000,000.
Will WikiLeaks be successful in reopening their cash-flow by the end of the week? Will Visa and MasterCard blink?
Issues of right and wrong, of freedom of information, and of free speech, let alone responsible business practice and government transparency, seem irrelevant in this high-stakes battle of the info-Wars. Come Thursday, Visa and MasterCard may gamble that WikiLeaks will have a difficult time covering litigation expenses while their funding is severely hampered. If they haven’t learned anything else about WikiLeaks, they should know by now that there are very few barriers that Wikileaks finds insurmountable.