Paypal hampers Wikileaks' access to cash flow

German foundation that funnels donations to Wikileaks reveals that group operates on a tight $200,000 annual budget.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 4, 2010 21:22
1 minute read.
An employee at  Paypal's Singapore headquarters

311_Paypal logo. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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BERLIN  — The online payment service provider PayPal has cut off the account used by WikiLeaks on Saturday hampering its efforts to collect donations, serving another blow to the organization just as it was struggling to keep its website accessible after an American company stopped directing traffic to it.

PayPal said in a blog posting that the move was prompted by a violation of its policy, "which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity."

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The short notice was dated Friday, and a spokeswoman for PayPal Germany on Saturday declined to elaborate and referred to the official blog posting.

Donating money to WikiLeaks via PayPal on Saturday was not possible anymore, generating an error message saying "this recipient is currently unable to receive money."

PayPal is one of several ways WikiLeaks collects donations, and until now was probably the most secure and convenient way to support the organization.

The other options listed on WikiLeaks' website are through mail to an Australian post office box, through bank transfers to accounts in Switzerland, Germany or Iceland as well as through one "credit card processing partner" in Switzerland.

WikiLeaks' PayPal account redirects users to a German foundation which provides the organization with the money. The Wau Holland Foundation, named after a German hacker, confirmed Saturday in a Twitter message that their PayPal account had been taken down because of the "financial support to WikiLeaks."

Wau Holland's vice president Hendrik Heye Fulda last month told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung WikiLeaks operates on a tight annual budget of about $200,000. Fulda could not be reached immediately on Saturday.

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