After the latest release of documents WikiLeaks has dominated international news. The release of documents has been condemned by politicians and leaders. As a result of the criticism, the online payment service provider PayPal has cut off the WikiLeaks account, thereby making it impossible to donate money to WikiLeaks through PayPal. (Read more.)
PayPal has stated that the reason for the termination of the account is that Wikileaks has violated a term of the contract with PayPal “which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity”.
However, no one has been committed of a crime in association with WikiLeak’s activities. Not in any country. In fact no one has even been charged with a crime. Not in any country.
PayPal’s decision is unacceptable. There are reasons to require strict neutrality from payment providers and financial institutions. As a general requirement, one should be able to rely on these kinds of companies not to make decisions affecting customers on political grounds. PayPal’s decision is political. It is a decision that together with other measures taken by official institutions tries to shut down Wikileaks. This decision can therefore, at this stage (before any legal sanctions have been imposed), only be interpreted as an attack on free speech.
We therefore call for a global boycott of PayPal’s services:
* If you use PayPal as a payment method today, we advice you to use alternative payment methods if possible.
* If you are a company that use PayPal to receive payment, we advice you to cancel your contract and to change to another payment provider.
We also advice everyone to call upon companies that you know use PayPal to try to persuade them to cancel their cooperation with PayPal. On the Swedish web page of PayPal, for instance, it says that companies such as Acne, ZooVillage, Skype and InkClub use PayPal. Send an e-mail to these companies to persuade them to change to another payment service.
In the meantime you can support WikiLeaks for instance through Flattr.com and other services.