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Common Dreams

WikiLeaks Breaks Banking Blockade, Dares US Companies to Block Again

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Common Dreams staff

Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange outside Ecuador's embassy in central London were Assange is seeking political asylum (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

Governmental transparency organization WikiLeaks took one more step towards accessing credit card donations on Wednesday after an 18 month banking blockade by US companies. The organization has announced that it has found a new gateway for receiving credit card funds through a French donation 'channel' and dared US companies to blockade their funding again.

WikiLeaks suffered a massive decrease in donations after companies PayPal, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard and Western Union all blocked payments to the site in 2010. The blockade followed WikiLeaks’ release of embarrassing classified State Department cables; however, a recent court case in Iceland ruled in favor of WikiLeaks by requiring Visa to reopen donation channels in the country.

Emboldened by the court decision, WikiLeaks has found another way around the blockade -- this time in France. The French credit card system, Carte Bleue, which uses the VISA/MasterCard system globally, contractually bars credit card companies from cutting off payments to any merchant or organization. The French non-profit FDNN (Fund for the Defense of Net Neutrality) has set up a Carte Bleue fund for WikiLeaks.

"After almost two years of fighting an unlawful banking blockade by US financial giants VISA and MasterCard, WikiLeaks has announced it is back open for donations," the website said in a statement.

The timing is impeccable for WikiLeaks as their current remaining funds could run out as early as the end of July.

However, the website warns that the financial institutions are likely to continue their blockade and challenge France's Carte Bleue System.

The challenge is welcome, according to WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange: "We beat them in Iceland and, by God, we’ll beat them in France as well. Let them shut it down. Let them demonstrate to the world once again their corrupt pandering to Washington. We’re waiting. Our lawyers are waiting. The whole world is waiting. Do it."

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