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Forum Post: Bank of America and VISA "muzzling" Wikileaks

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 25, 2011, 4:11 p.m. EST by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

OWS credits the Arab Spring for its inspiration - and a pivotal event in the Arab Spring was the revelation of widespread corruption in the Tunisian government by Wikileaks. (see http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/01/15/133592.html)

Wikileaks' activities were never found to be illegal, not even in the United States. It is legal for anyone to send money to them. But thanks to a back-room campaign by both the Obama administration and New Jersey Senator Joseph Lieberman, major companies were persuaded to simply cut off the common methods of sending donations to them. These include Visa, Mastercard, Amazon, Bank of America, Paypal, and Western Union. Their donations have been cut 95%. (see http://www.technewsworld.com/story/73578.html and http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate ).

These banks are everything OWS opposes. Especially, their monopolistic power. Especially, the use of this power to control people without any democracy or accountability. Above all, when this is used to stifle public knowledge and political action.

I hope OWS can find a way to help Wikileaks and fight this blockade.



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[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 12 years ago

Thanks for the insight

[-] 1 points by kingearl (141) 12 years ago

Obamas 2012 Re-election finance director is the son of Bank Of Americas former CEO, Chad Gifford....One of the guys who got us into this mess....Keeping it all in the Family???

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 12 years ago

I like to keep things referenced, so I'll cite articles.boston.com/2011-07-05/news/297397541_obama-campaign-headquarters-campaign-spending-chad-gifford for you about Rufus Gifford, 36, national finance director for Obama's reelection, dubbed by some as "Obama's Gay Goldmine", nephew of K. Dun Gifford (who was aide to Edward M. Kennedy present at Robert Kennedy's assassination), 20th Century Fox creative executive involved in "Dr. Doolittle 2", "First Daughter", "Life or Something Like It", raised $30 million for Kerry. Not sure what all this means except that for some people this is a _very small country.

[-] 0 points by commonsense11 (195) 12 years ago

Wikileaks is absolutely irresponsible and could care less about the consequences of releasing classified and sensitive information. This sight has put INNOCENT peoples lives in danger and the guy running it should be thrown in jail!

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 12 years ago

The U.S. government was irresponsible. They created a classified network, SIPRNet, that was accessible at any given time to somewhere close to 500,000 people. And they had no way to notice that someone (Bradley Manning? No trial, so who knows?) was downloading every document in the database. Now I don't know what that says to you, but what it says to me is that if the Kazakhstan intelligence agency didn't get its hand on its own complete set of cables, without any redactions, long before people heard of Wikileaks, somebody over there ought to be fired.

While it is obviously not the best outcome, it's better for informants who talked to Americans to know they've been compromised, than for the file to get into al-Qaida's or whoever's hands unannounced and for them all just to turn up dead without anybody noticing.

I do believe that the U.S. needs to keep documents like this secret, and I hope they do so, but the thing about secrecy is you have to keep things secret, not run around after the fact threatening anyone who makes it hard for you to pretend that the documents are secret as long as lower-class voters can't read them.

Maybe Wikileaks, by highlighting the poor security, has helped or will help to make that happen.

[-] 0 points by anonymouse (154) 12 years ago

You left out paypal in the title, one of the biggest thieving scam outfits that ever existed


[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 12 years ago

Agreed - I wanted to keep the title short, but I have a low opinion of them. This started when I was considering using them and was presented with a User Agreement to sign ( https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US ), which includes:

"If you violate the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, then in addition to the above actions you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages caused by your violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. You acknowledge and agree that $2,500.00 USD per violation of the Acceptable Use Policy is presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages considering all currently existing circumstances, including the relationship of the sum to the range of harm to PayPal that reasonably could be anticipated because due to the nature of the violations of the Acceptable Use Policy, actual damages would be impractical or extremely difficult to calculate. PayPal may deduct such damages directly from any existing Balance in the offending Account, or any other Account you control."

Note that violating their Acceptable Use Policy in that agreement includes performing such "restricted activities" as:

  • "Infringe PayPal's or any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy;"

  • "Send or receive what we reasonably believe to be potentially fraudulent funds;"

  • "Have a credit score from a credit reporting agency that indicates a high level of risk associated with your use of the PayPal Services;"

That last one's a real beauty, isn't it? You're supposed to agree that if some third party says something bad about you, by PalPal's criteria, they can take all your money. For that matter I think they can sue you for it and charge you for the legal fees. I'm not a lawyer - maybe some court would impose sanity in a case like that, but somehow I doubt it.

[-] 0 points by anonymouse (154) 12 years ago

They are on a binge of illegal policy changes now. They hold people's money for reasons they can't define, which are completely afoul of their money transmitter licenses. There are lawsuits over it coming out of the woodwork. The more people close their accounts the more they are squeezing those left. Remember ebay? Don't even go there. It's a complete scam and criminal organization now. It's the parent company of paypal

They too have bought the congress and do everything they can to rewrite laws to allow their fraud to continue.

Not to mention they enforce their own political agendas through the holds and account freezings/seizings

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 12 years ago