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WikiLeaks Information Center => WikiLeaks related News => Topic started by: Riney on April 24, 2013, 22:39:05 PM

Title: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: Riney on April 24, 2013, 22:39:05 PM
WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k per month if blockade not lifted'
Published time: April 24, 2013 17:22
Edited time: April 24, 2013 19:45
RT.com

Iceland's Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) must pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month or $2,494,604 per year in fines if it continues to blockade the whistle-blowing site.

The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell.

"Today's decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks," the organization's press release stated.

WikiLeaks asserts that the financial blockade was imposed after the site published leaks exposing corruption within Iceland in December 2010. The leak shed light onto why the country's banking system collapsed in 2008.

The Icelandic Supreme Court is the highest court in Iceland. There is no route of appeal for Valitor.

Economic blockades against WikiLeaks have starved the whistle-blowing site of funds, prompting WikiLeaks to launch fundraisers on its main page. WikiLeaks has previously accused "hard-right US politicians" of orchestrating the "extrajudicial" banking blockade against it.

Freedom of the press campaigners such as Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Elsberg and actor John Cusack have launched the Freedom of the Press Foundation, aimed at collecting money for WikiLeaks. The organization allows donors to make anonymous, tax-deductible donations.

A similar legal battle is currently taking place against a Danish sub-contractor for Visa, equivalent to Valitor.

Last November, the European Parliament passed a resolution which included a clause drafted specifically in relation to the economic blockade against WikiLeaks. The resolution called on the European Commission to draft regulations which would prevent online payment facilitators from arbitrarily denying services to companies or organizations, such as WikiLeaks.

The whistle-blowing site says it has launched a formal complaint to the European Commission on the basis that Visa and MasterCard have unlawfully abused their dominant market position. The two credit card companies currently take up 95 per cent of the European market. It remains unclear whether the Commission will open a formal investigation.

"Today's decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks," the organization's press release stated.

WikiLeaks @wikileaks

Be interesting to see whether Visa will spend $204k a month in fines rather than lifting the blockade generally. Either way, we win.

#Assange: "We send out a warning to the other companies involved in this blockade: you're next." http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rjulqn   #wikileaks #wlwin

the link:  http://rt.com/news/wikileaks-visa-iceland-valitor-346/
Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: Riney on April 24, 2013, 22:40:47 PM
WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE Wed Apr 24 17:24:44 BST

Milestone Supreme Court Decision for WikiLeaks Case in Iceland

Today's decision marked the most important victory to date against the unlawful and arbitrary economic blockade erected by US companies against WikiLeaks. Iceland's Supreme Court upheld the decision that Valitor (formerly VISA Iceland and current Visa subcontractor) had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks donations processor DataCell. This strong judgement is an important milestone for WikiLeaks' legal battle to end the economic blockade that has besieged the organisation since early December 2010. Despite the effects of the blockade having crippled WikiLeaks resources, the organisation is fighting the blockade on many fronts. It is a battle that concerns free speech and the future of the free press; it concerns fundamental civil rights; and it is a struggle for the rights of individuals to vote with their wallet and donate to the cause they believe in.

If the gateway to WikiLeaks donations is not re-opened within 15 days Visa's Valitor will be fined 800,000 ISK ($6,830) per day.

WikiLeaks publisher, Julian Assange, said:

"This is a victory for free speech. This is a victory against the rise of economic censorship to crack down against journalists and publishers"

"We thank the Icelandic people for showing that they will not be bullied by powerful Washington backed financial services companies like Visa. And we send out a warning to the other companies involved in this blockade: you're next."

"We hope that the that the European Commission also acknowledges that the economic blockade against WikiLeaks is an unlawful and arbitrary censorship mechanism that threatens freedom of the press across Europe. If it fails to do so, the Commission must be regarded as failing to live up to the founding European principles of economic and political freedom."

Today's verdict strengthens other fronts in this battle. There is an active legal action in Denmark against a Danish sub-contractor for VISA, equivalent to Valitor. The decision will also buttress the pre-litigation work already under way in various jurisdictions against the international card companies and financial services companies - VISA and MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal and Bank of America, and other payment facilitators that teamed with these giants to form a concerted, and equally unlawful economic blockade against the organisation.

In November the European Parliament passed a resolution which included a clause drafted specifically in relation to the economic blockade against Wikileaks. The resolution called on the European Commission to draft regulations that will prevent online payment facilitators from arbitrarily denying services to companies or organisations, such as WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks has also launched a formal complaint to the European Commission on the basis that VISA and MasterCard, which together take up 95% of the European market, have unlawfully abused their dominant market position. The European Commission is still evaluating whether it will open a formal investigation but documents already submitted by the companies reveal that the credit card companies were in talks with powerful figures in the US Congress and Senate (Senator Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King). http://wikileaks.org/European-Commission-enabling.html

Although it is still not possible to donate directly to WikiLeaks via credit card, freedom of press campaigners including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the actor John Cusack, and the Founder of the California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) John Perry Barlow, have set up the Freedom of the Press Foundation to collect money for WikiLeaks. It allows donors to make anonymous, tax-deductable donations. http://t.co/qpW57qquOf

This and similar mechanisms for Europeans are available on http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

Context:

Blockade:
http://wikileaks.org/European-Commission-enabling.html

Freedom of the Press Foundation:
http://t.co/qpW57qquOf

Julian Assange asylum (one year, June 19, 2013)
http://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html

Bradley Manning (trial June 2)
http://bradleymanning.org/


the link: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rjulqn
Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: Riney on April 24, 2013, 22:43:25 PM


   Winning a case is one thing, but collecting court ordered monetary damages is another. Still I hope WikiLeaks does succeed in getting some of the damages paid, they could sure use the money.  :) 
Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: TrxiZ on April 25, 2013, 18:54:11 PM
wuhhhuuuuuuuu !!
Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: enrica on April 27, 2013, 15:47:44 PM
Winning a case is one thing, but collecting court ordered monetary damages is another. Still I hope WikiLeaks does succeed in getting some of the damages paid, they could sure use the money.  :)

Ditto. Agree.
Whatever one thinks of WL, it was illegally blocked and also our wallets were blocked, and I think it's "my own right" using the mone to donate who I want, and as even (!!!) racist orgs could recive donations, there was no base to block WikiLeaks wich is a no profit.

I hope WL has success in this fight for its own justice on all the fronts and gets the damage paied.

Decidind if donating to WL or not is another issue.
But blocking as it happened wasn't fine.
Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: Riney on April 27, 2013, 22:19:30 PM

  Unfortunately, in the time that this blockage took place, WikiLeaks was probably at it's highest level of attracting donations. There are plenty of people that do still donate, but scandal and a tainting of their image by the media has lead to less of an attraction from donors. So to be paid retroactively for monetary damages would be of great benefit to them.     

Title: Re: WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay '$204k/ month
Post by: enrica on April 28, 2013, 18:30:15 PM
I think so.