PayPal Cuts Service to Alleged WikiLeaks Whistle-blower Support Effort

UPDATE (2/24/11): PayPal has backed down and reinstated the Courage to Resist account. Read more here.

The online payment provider PayPal has frozen the account of Courage to Resist, which in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network is currently raising funds in support of  U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. PayPal was one way people–especially international residents–were able to contribute to the grassroots effort supporting the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower.

“We’ve been in discussions with PayPal for weeks, and by their own admission there’s no legal obligation for them to close down our account,” noted Loraine Reitman of the Bradley Manning Support Network (Support Network). “This was an internal policy decision by PayPal.”

“We exchanged numerous emails and phone calls with the legal department and the office of executive escalations of PayPal,” explained Jeff Paterson. “They said they would not unrestrict our account unless we authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from our organization’s checking account by default. Our accounting does not allow for this type of direct access by a third party, nor do I trust PayPal as a business entity with this responsibility given their punitive actions against WikiLeaks-an entity not charged with any crime by any government on Earth.”

The Support Network repeatedly requested and was refused formal documentation from PayPal describing their policies in this matter.

PayPal is a private company and thus under no legal obligation to provide Courage to Resist, the Bradley Manning Support Network, or anyone else with services. This was something made very clear to the Support Network by PayPal representatives.

“They opted to apply an exceptional hurdle for us to clear in order to continue as a customer, whereas we have clearly provided the legally required information and verification.  I think our dealings with PayPal should be a cautionary tale for any possibly controversial not-for-profit entity with a PayPal account,” Paterson said, “While there may be no legal obligation to provide services, there is an ethical obligation. By shutting out legitimate nonprofit activity, PayPal shows itself to be morally bankrupt.”

Timeline

Courage to Resist registered the PayPal account in 2006. There were no issues with this account until supporters were encouraged to donate via PayPal to help fund the “Stand with Bradley Manning” public statement and petition effort (www.standwithbrad.org ).

In late 2010, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa closed down payment services to WikiLeaks, severely restricting that organization’s ability to accept online donations.  Within days, Courage to Resist project director and Support Network steering committee member Jeff Paterson fielded lengthy calls from executives at PayPal regarding website content, the intended use of the funds being solicited in support of Bradley Manning, and accountings of the recent purchases (primarily envelopes, paper, and postage stamps) made with PayPal funds.

The PayPal account was briefly restricted at that time pending organizational “verification.” To meet PayPal’s standard verification requirements, the Support Network opted to open a line of credit with PayPal and provided Social Security numbers and other financial details in doing so.  Approximately a month later on January 29, 2011, PayPal decided that these standard protocols did not apply to Bradley Manning related efforts.

Background

Donations made via Visa, MasterCard, and Discover–along with checks and money orders–remain unaffected. Funds donated to Bradley Manning’s defense fund are used for legal defense expenses, public awareness efforts, and minimal administrative costs. Information regarding donations, including a fiscal accounting of funds, is publicly available on the Internet at www.couragetoresist.org/bradley

Manning is an American soldier who has been held in solitary confinement since June 2010.  He is currently being held in pre-trial confinement at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, and is not expected to face court martial until at least October 2011. Manning has been convicted of no crime and has a Constitutional right to a fair trial. The Support Network is dedicated to ending Manning’s extreme and illegal pre-trial punishment, ensuring he receives civilian legal representation of his choosing, and thwarting efforts by the U.S. government to hold a secret trial, out of sight of media and supporters. The Support Network has no organizational ties to WikiLeaks.

70 thoughts on “PayPal Cuts Service to Alleged WikiLeaks Whistle-blower Support Effort

  1. This looks like conspiring criminal activity to me. How long has The Mob been in charge of PayPal? How deep does this conspiracy go?
    Shouldn’t there be an investigation into this bogus business? When is somebody going to serve time??? Can’t you see what a joke you’ve become??! I want to see heads roll!! I want them doing hard time! More than that, I want to see a goddamn revolt.

  2. How is this and the the similar action against Julian Assange not a violation of the sixth ammendment. It would be seem that this is a fairly direct attack on the right to counsel. Why isn’t some organisation really going after this with the goal of taking to the supreme court.

  3. Hit them where it hurts them, close down all Paypal-transaktions, and end your account with them, and let them know that it’s because of their terrorist activities (Yes, I do regard this as and the shutdown of transactions to Wikileaks as an act of terrorism, albeit an economic one, and not like the embassy-bombings and similar activities)

  4. Paypal has always been just shy of crooked at the best of times– look up the fiasco surrounding SomethingAwful’s attempts to raise money for the Red Cross for one example. This is a thousand times more revolting, because it’s abundantly clear that it isn’t ‘merely’ an idiotic procedural issue, but a political one.

  5. Paypal being an evil POS SHOCKER!

    Part of the business I operate sells on ebay and has been since 2003. My items are somewhat seasonal as they are used outdoors in nice weather. Sales vary from 50k-100k/mo depending on the time of year.

    I LOATHE PAYPAL. For my business it’s a necessary evil. You can’t move the volume I do simply using a merchant account. We must use paypal. On occasion and for no reason at all paypal has frozen our primary account. Which is why we now have backups. Once it was frozen for 180 days. Six months, no reason, NOTHING in writing, and the people on the phone wouldn’t give me so much as a last name or an extension to reach them, but demanded faxed copies of authorized employees SS cards as well as, copies of our contracts with various wholesalers, and DIRECT ACCESS TO OUR BUSINESSES CHECKING ACCOUNT, are you kidding me???

    LOATHE LOATHE LOAHTE that company. Look around on the web, I did, this isn’t unusually. Paypal screws businesses and charities all the time as well as small time individual users. They aren’t a real bank and don’t have to adhere to any FDIC guidelines.

  6. Looks like it’s time to find out who else this has been done to and try to bring it to the forefront,this is the 1st time I’ve heard any of this,and It makes me mad the way they conduct themselves!Who is behind pay-pal?Sounds like their untouchable,that’s far from the truth!Where there’s smoke,there’s fire,let pay pal burn,burn,burn!

  7. It’s like our government and supported corporations are just begging for the citizenry to wise up and create their own civilization. It’s funny how the law no longer becomes a relevant consideration when the entity in charge has an interest in mind or a business deal to conduct, or the government makes another attempt at covering their dirty laundry at the expense of the commoners. Paypal has shafted me over their “we are always right” policies, and I am now being constantly harassed by creditors for a debt I never even owed in the first place.

    The only way the our nation, or any nation for that matter, can survive, is if the populace becomes just that, and shifts focus from the “me, me, ME!” ideology that has crippled so much of my 80s babies generation with apathy. Im only 21, yet I am smart enough to know, that I do not know. Which is why I strive for answers based on my own research. People love being told what to do, it makes life easier on them. That way they don’t have to think or resolve an issue, because that takes away from their TV time.

    Sorry for my rant, but it feels like events such as these are slowly crumbling the foundation on which my country was built. A country I was taught to love and cherish and defend as a child. My America has become a joke, and the whole world is laughing.

  8. America is an empty idea, we have been gutted by greedy banks and special interest groups, and we’re slowly turning into a placid nanny state. The only saving grace is this: we outnumber those in power. Let’s remind them of this.

  9. Pingback: PayPal Morally Bankrupt: Shuts Down Service to Alleged Wikileaks Whistle-Blower Support Effort - ArabCrunch

  10. Paypal is a joke, they take way to much money from you when you do a transaction. I think its like 7$ on every 150$. More needs to be done to protect the rights of people with accounts. Simply put paypal gets something out of everything that you make.As long as there are funds in your account they shouldnt be able to shut it down or stop you from getting it because it isn’t even thier money. I had a similar thing happen with paypal when I worked with ebay. I sold someone a playstation and they scammed me. They claimed I sent them a old model of the playstation that didnt even work. Turns out they were trying to get something for free cause paypal took the money back right out of my checking account putting my bank account in overdraft and they froze my paypal account so I couldnt do anything with it. They wouldnt even let me add funds so I could get my bank account removed or my credit card on file. Then they continued to put my bank account into overdraft almost every week trying to take money from me that they had no right to take especially on heresay!! Scumbags

  11. http://www.paypalsucks.com/

    I have had my fair share of problems with paypal, try getting someone to listen to you is nigh on impossible. They just do it their way with no thought what is morally right or wrong. They can do this and you have no leg to stand on – they are above the law.

  12. I quit using PayPal and cancelled the card I used with them for good measure. I like it when I get emails from them, courteously requesting that I update my account with my new credit card info. I show them the return-courtesy of chuckling fondly and baldly ignoring their pleas. It’s easy to quit using PayPal. Everyone should do it.

  13. PayPal has long been very circumspect in its politically based business choices. I made the decision at the start of the Wikileaks fiasco to close my Paypal and use other payment methods.

    These days, brand power is such a motivating factor in buisiness that customer desertion can be a pivotal moment in a company’s life.

    It is one of the strongest voices we have: use it. Delete Paypal.

  14. Keep it up corporate scumbags.

    Carry on fucking over humanity with your capitalist bullshit, and the people will rise up like they have been doing in asia and africa.

    I can’t wait until there’s a WORLD WIDE revolution.

  15. About 3 years ago London was the the European HQ of PukePal but the FSA was breathing down their necks about the enormous number of irregularities that they appeared to indulge in. On the eve the FSA pouncing on them they moved to Luxembourg and the UK was powerless to do anything about it.

    Cmon Paypal whistleblowers – send your shit to Wikileaks – there must be plenty

  16. Pingback: Paypal refuses Bradley Manning donations « LeakNews

  17. Forget about PayPal, try Flattr (okay that one won’t allow users to send you a specific amount in Dollars, but this way they can contribute to your organization).
    Also, I think Flattr is cool. Go have a look.

    Zo Phar

    Der Mor

  18. Pingback: PayPal Freezes Donations to Bradley Manning Defense Fund [Updated] - www.Korallenkacke.com

  19. paypal executives are nothing but cheap whores for the usa and its morally bankrupt allies. But alas, everything that goes around comes around!

  20. Pingback: Radmin – Remote Control Solution for Home Users: Access your office or home PC remotely from anywhere 24/7 – office pc | office adsl

  21. If this is a conspiracy, or illegal isn’t really the point. WHO IS THE MORON STILL SENDING MONEY TO PAY PAL? If you have room temperature IQ and have even a PASSING familiarity with the wikileaks story, then you KNOW that PAY PAL is a RIP OFF SCAM company. You can VERY easily get a prepaid Visa or MasterCard, and anyone can add money to it either online, at most banks, Wal Mart and Kroger. You can use your prepaid card to obtain goods, services, and CASH and BEST of all you don’t have to have a single thing to do with Pay Pal.

    Morons still using Pay Pal, at this point, deserve what they get. CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, use bank cards, cashiers checks and cash, and if you don’t trust the people that you are doing business with, DON’T do business with them. There are so many things wrong with this whole situation, but to CONTINUE to keep the scam artists at Pay Pal in the news by CONTINUING to do business with them make YOU as culpable as Pay Pal

  22. It was my impression that Visa and Mastercard have refused to allow online donations to Wikileaks. I’m writing a great many more checks to get around using my Visa debit card in daily life now. If enough people stop using Visa and Mastercard (it would be harder than quitting paypal), maybe those two stinking rich, money grubbing enemies of freedom, righteousness, and truth, would step back and reconsider too. I’m in a learning curve re. quitting my Visa card gradually. It gets steadily easier to use the card less and less. Has proven a great cure for shopoholism.

    However, if donations to support Bradley Manning are going smoothly with the use of Visa and Mastercard, we wouldn’t want to ruin that. But they did cut off Wikileaks. So much for their song and dance that “We are banks, it’s just business, nothing personal, we are only concerned with the bottom line!” Yeah. Except when the government puts you in a headlock and asks you if you’d like to keep your villas, yachts, jets, private helipads, cocaine, and undocumented sex slaves, or would you rather be disappeared?

  23. Paypal is a fascist company and so is ebay – they are driven by greed – fees and more fees – more profit for the ceo and shareholders – they have no ethic and principals – what to expect of evil but not to side with good (the truth) .

    America, Australia and UK need a Revolution = Solution.

    FREE Bradley Manning – the people of nations need to know the truth since their taxes are paying the politicians salary’s

  24. Here in the USA the next step in state control (in the USA the state is run by big capital interests) of our lives is the privatization of censorship, that way the state does not have to observe any laws as they can just have the corporation do their dirty work for them. Wake up people, the anarcho-capitalists and christian fascists are now running the state. I am moving to Mexico, even with all its problems, it is less of a fascist state than the USA.

  25. I will not use PayPal anymore, I prefer to make donations direct from my bank which I can do online, providing I have the details of a bank to transfer funds to.

    I really want to donate to Bradley Manning’s legal assistance. Can someone on this website please set up a special bank account I use MasterCard at my bank and I have made donations to other organizations direct.

    Frances

  26. Pingback: PayPal Halts Donations to Defense Fund for WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning [UPDATED] | Stu Haugen

  27. Pingback: Paypal continuing to block accounts supporting freedom, transparency and right « Kissaki Blog

  28. PayPal’s doubtful behaviour is not untypical. Those who want a monopoly in the internet market will do anything to succeed even if that means an undemocratic agenda. I am deeply impressed by the public reaction to recent debacles. If any company tries a similar stunt stop using that company. Online traders will facilitate their customers without PayPal. One more incident like this from PayPal and everyone should boycott them. Even better, start asking online traders for other online payment options. Don’t do business with online traders who offer only a PayPal payment option. A monopoly is not in the public interest.

  29. Ladies and gentlemen! It is clear with recent events that the Class War has OFFICIALLY begun. Please understand that PAYPAL is owned by EBAY! So that means that we will all have to do something else that is awfully painful. If you want your STATEMENT OF DISSENT (to this behavior) to be truly ‘felt’ by these corporations, you will need to pull the plug on Ebay as well.

  30. this guy should be freed for exposeing war crimes not in jail what the hell is wrong with people and pay pal the hell with them close your accounts and start fighting back this goverment is geting worse everyday

  31. I too stopped using paypal and I am definitely whittling down my use of all credit cards and using cash only, except where absolutely necessary. I think it is possible to put these corporations out of business by not giving them my business, and being mindful of what and how I spend my money.

    I am also turning my spending toward purchasing local products, and buying used where ever possible. This both saves me money and keeps my money local and not in the hands of big corporations.

    As consumers, we do have power!…Power to the People! Consumer Activism Starts With YOU!

  32. I think its time that someone forms another company to compete with paypals near monopoly. I would hope that their new competitor would offer an unbiased service.

  33. For all of you who have spoken about pay-pal freezing your accounts, you do know they kept that money in an interest checking account and drew interest on your money that they illegally held. Check into taking them to court producing documentation on the amounts they received and collecting your fair share. Make them pay that’s the only thing that hurts a financial institution

  34. The story really makes me question whether or not I will continue doing business with EBay who owns PayPal a service I used to use a lot.

    Considering this interference, I will have to rethink the way I do business.

  35. You cant go through the proper channels on this. Everything is corrupt in this gov. Im with Randy, we need a fucking revolt and we need it 20 years ago!

  36. PayPal is a private enterprise. But political
    discrimination is just as awful as any other form of discrimination. By establishing different standards to “Courage to resist” and “Wikileaks” than to any other customer, PayPal put themselves into the same situation as private companies that under the Third Reich did not want to service Jewish customers just because they were Jewish. According to international law, racist, ethnic, religious and political discrimination is prohibited.

    According to international human rights conventions, the states are obliged to protest people against discriminatory behavior, also against discrimination perpetrated by private persons and companies.

    Personally i think PayPal is not only showing contempt for our basic freedom rights, but the enterprise is also actively trying to prevent us from exercising our rights. In this way PayPal put themselves in the same league as Islamic fundamentalists that want to destroy democracy and freedom.

    Shame on PayPal.

  37. This is bullocks. But shit does roll downhill.
    I believed in “eat the rich” since I was around 10, and I still do.
    And my body is even quite sensitive to rich foods.
    I understand the nature of business, but it is natural of me to oppose oppression and tyranny esp when it comes from corporations and such “superior forces” per se.

    Just more for PsyOps to document on the psychology of “we the people”.

    This is why I don’t vote or other things that people tell me to do.

    I know how “good” people are treated. It is in our history books and other “documents”.

  38. Grassy Knoll, people… Grassy Knoll. Someone got blamed for shooting JFK, tried, and executioned as well when it was “we the people” of the government that killed him. Death is their business, and the blood-money is “pouring in”. Whom of us do not have blood on our hands beknownst or unbeknownst? Pilat (sp?) washed his hands and sealed his fate, yet he was a just and fair loving man of position and power having to do a cruel job or he would probably suffer dire consequences by his superiors and possibly the angry mob right in front of him.
    This oppression, tyranny, and such does stink to high-heaven though.

  39. Pingback: PayPal n’aime pas WikiLeaks et ceux qui le soutiennent (MàJ) | Vive le Québec

  40. yet another american company that blindly obeys to the US administration orders to block supporters of human rights and impose censorship. I grew up under a dictatorship and I have to say that the US system is far more dangerous and perverse because in such a dictatorship you know from the very start what the rules are and the risks you run if you fight the system, while in the US people are mislead, they think America is a free country where the freedom of speech is guaranteed. There’s nothing more false.

  41. Great comment Lola. America hypocritically critizizes overt “dictatorships, while becomming more and more a “soft tyranny” at home. The pity is that most Americans are cheering it! The abuse of the Soldiers civil rights are because he is being held under the so-called Patriot Act. Being a “patriot” in America today apparently means giving away your constitutional rights.

  42. i applied for a job at paypal last year, ()their offices are in the Omaha Ne area. I guess i made the mistake of asking the interviewer about the problems they have with freezing vendor accounts and the bad publicity that those problems bring…i didn’t get the job and I have never used paypal…never will. Free the kid…

  43. Pingback: PayPal Lifts Ban on Fundraising Account for WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning | Accompagnement Startup

  44. Pingback: What is a good Network Security Software and where i can monitor if any computer has viruses or any thing bad?

  45. Pingback: PAYPAL HALTS DONATIONS TO COUNTERCLAIM ACCOUNT FOR PURPORTED WIKILEAKS SOURCE BRADLEY MANNING » 99 ZINE

  46. Bradley Manning is a hero in every way, I for one know that this is another act against anon and their partners…this is treason…anon will come back…the ones who did this need to watch their backs…I know anon will not play around in this scenario..

  47. Pingback: PayPal Lifts Ban on Fundraising Account for WikiLeaks Source Bradley Manning | Stu Haugen

  48. The article relies on Pay Pal’s private corporate nature as a basis for it’s ability to thake the adverse actions based on the content of it’s customers, like this web site. However, Pay Pal’s Corporate headquarters is in California which has adopted Civil Code Section 51 outlawing “arbitrary” discrimination by ANY California business and the attorneys can get their fees paid if they win. Go get ’em.

  49. Honourable members of the Committee for Nobel Prize for Peace,

    The Nobel Prize to Barak Obama was not wrong but too early.

    I have been working long time on Atman or soul and like Mahatmans (Maha+Atman) like Mahatma Gandhi (title Mahatma to Karam Chand Gandhi by Rabindra Nath Tagore, who got Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913).

    I think, Olof Palme was a better candidate for peace prize than Kissinger (his son was a better candidate).

    If I were you, I would suggest Bradley Manning for the next Nobel Prize in Peace.
    I am a sceptic who was doubtful about men in military service. Have you ever found any military man worth of peace prize?

    Therefore,
    Bradley Manning, a prisoner of Conscience, is the right candidate for the next peace prize!

    Regards

    Dr. S. M. Babulanam
    a Physicist
    and a Humanenist (a derivated word invented by me)

  50. Pingback: Bradley Manning Support Network » Archive » PayPal Backs Down, Reinstates Account for Supporters of Bradley Manning

  51. This wreaks of Joe Lieberman. I cannot believe this is our America where a politician can go to a private company and try to restrict the ability of individuals and organizations to speak out against govt oppression.

    Is this our America???

    Keep up the good fight- FREEDOM FOR BRADLEY!

    He should be nominated and should win the Nobel Peace Prize. History will show he is a courageous young man of conscience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>