Today in London, the infamous whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks (wikileaks.org) headed by Julian Assange, released a statement that it would temporarily suspend the publishing of leaks to fight a”blockade” by financial companies.
The blockade began on December 7, 2010, when Bank of America, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Visa refused to accept any more donations for WikiLeaks. Donations collected on behalf of WikiLeaks was the primary method used to generate operating capital.
WikiLeaks officials claim the “arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade destroyed 95 percent of its revenues . . “, and, that they are almost depleted of capital resources. “As a result, WikiLeaks has been running on cash reserves for the past eleven months.”
WikiLeaks officals further commented that this blockade may signal a change in the way in which WikiLeaks operates.
At a press conference in London yesterday, Julian Assange futher iterated, “The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.” “We have lodged an anti-trust complaint at the European Commission and expect a decision by mid-November as to whether the European Competition Authority will open a full investigation into the wrongdoing of VISA and MasterCard.”
This latest blockade has occurred at one of the most critical points in WikiLeaks business timeline. This blockade has cost WikiLeaks millions in donations when operating cost for the publishing alliance is distributed among 50 countries.
Today, WikiLeaks will offer new options for sending donations to the web site.
Many First Amendment advocates claim the blockaded imposed by major institutions is an affront to basic Constitutional principles.
If the blockade is supported by the US Government, are the First Amendment rights of WikiLeaks being violated?