Online payments service PayPal has joined the global crusade against whistle-blower site Wikileaks and suspended the site’s account, which the nonprofit Wikileaks has previously relied on as a primary channel for donations.
The payments service, which is owned by ecommerce giant eBay, stated on its blog that Wikileaks was in “violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use 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.”
Additionally, it added that the action was taken on its own and that it wasn’t contacted by any governmental agency regarding the matter.
Earlier in the week, Amazon took a similar action and booted Wikileaks from using its cloud services, stating that the site violated its terms and conditions by posting content it didn’t have the rights to and potentially putting innocent people in jeopardy. A couple of days later, domain name service provider EveryDNS.net followed suit and terminated Wikikleaks’ domain name.
As the walls close in on Wikileaks, the ethical stance of Internet services when it comes to delicate matters such as this is rightly being questioned. PayPal, Amazon, and EveryDNS.net have all denied acting due to governmental pressure, but given that the moves all came only after considerable posturing from Washington, it’s difficult to believe that this didn’t play a part.
The whistle-blower site is under immense global pressure from world governments, and these latest moves are shaking the site’s foundations.
On a side-note: Wikileaks also ran into trouble with PayPal back in January, when an automated money-laundering alert was set off due to an influx of donations. The account ended up being suspended for a day, but the situation was resolved soon after.