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PayPal Freezes the Assets of Wikileaks.org

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the thought-money-was-speech dept.

Censorship 403

matsh sends word that PayPal has frozen the assets of wikileaks.org. From their Web site: "Paypal has as of 23rd of January 2010 frozen WikiLeaks assets. This is the second time that this happens. The last time we struggled for more than half a year to resolve this issue. By working with the respected and recognized German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung we tried to avoid this from happening again — apparently without avail." The submitter adds: "Hopefully we can pressure PayPal to resolve this quickly, since this seems like a dangerous political decision."

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403 comments

Unsurprising (5, Insightful)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872798)

This has been going on for many years, with many different groups. Until people stop using Paypal, or some sort of oversight or audit is performed, it will continue to happen. Mayhap Wikileaks should try and dig up information on Paypal.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872944)

Until people stop using Paypal, or some sort of oversight or audit is performed, it will continue to happen.

The Government has to step up and declare Paypal a bank. Banks can't take or freeze your money simply because they don't like what you do (which Paypal often does) - only the government can do that if you are in breach of laws.

Now that the Government found their balls to stand up to China for once, maybe it can do the same with corporations.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872974)

Now that the Government found their balls to stand up to China for once, maybe it can do the same with corporations.

Fail, fail. The government is standing up to China on behalf of a corporation. If our government actually believed in human rights, we wouldn't favor trade with China above all other nations.

What are human rights ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873094)

Fail, fail. The government is standing up to China on behalf of a corporation. If our government actually believed in human rights, we wouldn't favor trade with China above all other nations.

Why treat China differently than our own country? The Supreme Court just ruled that only corporations have rights.

Oh, sorry, I jumped ahead. That's the next week's chapter of America's March Back to Plutocracy.

Re:Unsurprising (3, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873210)

Our government does believe in human rights. It is just that Corporations are more human than any individual citizen.

Re:Unsurprising (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873250)

Trade and wealth are essential for preserving peace which is needed to transition to a more free government without massive loss of life.

Re:Unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873346)

I thought China was interested in the US is so they can one day recover the obscene US dept they financed. The US however, plays dumb and keeps spending. China is upset and want the US to succeed so they meet to work things out. Hence they punish their people by paying them nothing so Americans can afford cheap clothes. This way they will be less of a burden but since the US is politically unstable (compared to China), China is getting corporations involved in this game.

We are being screwed by ourselves and there's no getting out of it. EVER.

Re:Unsurprising (4, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873038)

Banks can't take or freeze your money simply because they don't like what you do (which Paypal often does)

It's actually worse than that... they can take and freeze your money because they don't like what one of your business partners does...

Now that the Government found their balls to stand up to China for once, maybe it can do the same with corporations.

It's not the government that found a new pair, but Google!

Re:Unsurprising (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873152)

It's actually worse than that... they can take and freeze your money because they don't like what one of your business partners does...

I think you're being overly generous. PayPal can take and freeze your money because they feel like it.

Re:Unsurprising (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873160)

It's not the government that found a new pair, but Google!

When the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) calls out the Chinese about the hack attacks, I'd say that's the US Gov't finding a pair.
I look forward to someone in the Government calling out PayPal/E-Bay for their shitty business practices.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873166)

It's actually worse than that... they (banks) can take and freeze your money because they don't like what one of your business partners does...

Or they can simply hold the country's economy for ransom, take your money by government payout, issue themselves enormous bonuses, lend nothing and tell you to go fuck yourselves.

At least the French knew when it was time for revolution.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873216)

Banks can't take or freeze your money simply because they don't like what you do (which Paypal often does)

It's actually worse than that... they can take and freeze your money because they don't like what one of your business partners does...

They can screw you for just about anything, and have. http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com] Old news, but for some reason, no one knows.

Re:Unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873330)

...

It's not the government that found a new pair, but Google!

Umm, no.

China cut Googles balls off and displayed them to the entire world. That's when Google got pissed. Before that, Google was just fine with how China was doing.

Because Sergei and Larry were able to make a few more billions of dollars. Google didn't get pissed until THAT opportunity was gone. THEN Google acted against China.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872966)

Interestingly this is only a problem in US and western countries. Russia and Eastern Bloc almost fully uses WebMoney [wmtransfer.com]. There is no problems with locking accounts, transactions fees are really low and you can pay your phone, internet or tv bill with it (along with countless of other services). Cards to put money in to account are sold in every kiosk. Security is better too, if you require they send you one-time auth sms or you can have keyfiles to login.

Paypal is shit.

Try not to use Paypal or any eBay company. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872968)

Try not to use Paypal, or any of the abusive companies owned by eBay. Never vote for anyone [wikipedia.org] associated with eBay [sfgate.com].

Re:Unsurprising (1, Insightful)

the simurgh (1327825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873050)

i wonder if wiki leaks knows that paypal is still operating in violation of a court order that states that their terms of service is illegal.

Re:Unsurprising (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873316)

Until people stop using Paypal

Absolutely right. I keep cash on paypal in order to make purchases online. I will withdraw all of it immediately and let them know that their freezing wikileaks' assets is the reason.

It probably won't make a difference to them, but it makes a difference to me.

Paypal is poison.

They need to unfreeze wikileaks' account right now.

If corporations are going to play in politics, then it's got to be up to us to show them the consequences.

Burnt twice? (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872804)

TFA (such as it is, < 140 chars):

The SCUMBAGS at PayPal have frozen the assets of http://www.wikileaks.org/ [wikileaks.org] ! I'll withdraw all my money from PayPal as soon as I can!

So don't deal with the scumbags at PayPal. I suppose they have it for taking donations. Maybe they should have a second bank account.

Re:Burnt twice? (4, Insightful)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872876)

Unfortunately Paypal is really the only option for a lot of smaller sites for whom a merchant account is too much hassle and expense.

Re:Burnt twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872940)

Shit like this sounds expensive too. Fuck paypal. And fuck banks.

Re:Burnt twice? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873000)

YEAH, fuck banks!

I only accept payment and donations in cash, gold, and cartons of cigarettes.

Re:Burnt twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873036)

you forgot bags of weed, ass grass or cash is my moto

Re:Burnt twice? (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873218)

When Paypal freezes your account you get your money back in 6 months. This is so that Paypal can give refunds to anyone who requests one during the six month period.

Re:Burnt twice? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873328)

But how much expense is it when customers are turned away because their credit card is refused for no reason (it's happened to me) - and the business is not even aware of the lost custom?

PayPal Regulation? (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872814)

Is it too much to hope that this will bring Pay Pal to the attention of the US Government and finally get PayPal regulated as the bank it clearly is?

Re:PayPal Regulation? (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872850)

Yes. It is too much. As of Thursday [is.gd] our government is owned by the huge corporations. No one there is going to care if individuals are treated correctly or even if corps follow through their contracts.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (2, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872916)

Ah, yay for leftist idiocy. Did you read Stevens' dissent? Y'know, the thing that would have resulted as precedent had Kennedy voted with Stevens. No? Cause if you had you would have noticed it treated speech strictly as audible noise. Which means, among other things, flag burnings could be banned by any locale that chose to do so because symbolic speech was no longer protected, and any corporation could be forced to give up the names of it's members. Like sayyy, the NAACP. The only difference between now and Wednesday is that the money will no longer need to be funneled through 527s. Which means we'll get who's actually funding various campaign ads. One would think that transparency would be a good thing. Of course, I imagine George Soros would consider it to be bad.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873018)

Right-wing idiocy is even better. What Stevens wrote is a dissent--the writing of which would not have been necessary had Kennedy voted with him to respect precedent. So whatever he wrote would have been different, probably much shorter because upholding precedent doesn't really require a lot of words. It would have been the lunatic right-wint corporate sympathizers on the Court writing the dissent. This is not a "vote for this piece of prose or the other" kind of business. Learn how things work.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873070)

They could still funnel through a 527 to hide their names in the ads.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873174)

Did you read Stevens' dissent? Y'know, the thing that would have resulted as precedent had Kennedy voted with Stevens. No? Cause if you had you would have noticed it treated speech strictly as audible noise.

Okay, so that would have been ridiculous and would take away some of our rights. That doesn't make the alternative less ridiculous or bad for us. Corporations aren't people, and giving them the same rights was a bad move, they're going to buy and sell elections. I think that's going to end up worse for every citizen who is not a corporation than if we decided speech was noise, those problems you bring up seem pretty trivial in comparison.

flag burnings could be banned by any locale that chose to do so because symbolic speech was no longer protected

And many places that would bother already do basically, whether they officially do or whether you'll just be arrested for any other charge they feel like.

Anyway, I would have gone with a better example, such as "Blashphemy and swearing could be banned in any locale..." since "OMG! I won't be able to burn my flags anymore" doesn't exactly resonate with many people.

and any corporation could be forced to give up the names of it's members. Like sayyy, the NAACP.

Or plenty of other organizations like the KKK.

The only difference between now and Wednesday is that the money will no longer need to be funneled through 527s. Which means we'll get who's actually funding various campaign ads.

I don't see that. If big oil can now give money directly to canidates instead of making ads for that canidate, the canidate is making the ads and just has to say "I approve this message," right?

It may be a trivial point in practice, but I think that one canidate with 100 million corporate dollars in his warchest is better off than a canidate with 10 million in his warchest and 90 million being spent by corporations on ads for him, which he doesn't actually control. The canidate who picks his own ads knows exactly what his strategy is and can coordinate ads to match it better than a semi-independant entity.

mnb Re:PayPal Regulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873320)

I don't see that. If big oil can now give money directly to canidates instead of making ads for that canidate, the canidate is making the ads and just has to say "I approve this message," right?

Your lack of understanding of campaign finance law is so vast no one link will suffice. Read at least enough to prevent so blatantly displaying your ignorance before further posts, please.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873232)

Did you read Stevens' dissent? Y'know, the thing that would have resulted as precedent had Kennedy voted with Stevens. No? Cause if you had you would have noticed it treated speech strictly as audible noise.

The dissenting opinion being worse does not make the majority opinion a good one, or an improvement over the status quo.

Bet Kennedy still supports "Free Speech Zones"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873274)

Whereas political speech by corporations falls under the protections that:

There is no basis for the proposition that, in the political speech context, the government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers

I betcha Kennedy still supports using "free speech zones" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone#Notable_incidents_and_court_proceedings [wikipedia.org] to impose restrictions uniquely on disfavored political speakers.

So how soon until the ACLU "finds" (creates) an opportunity to appeal an individual's conviction for failure to confine his/her political speech to a restricted (cordoned-off) area so they can cite this case's majority opinion?

Re:PayPal Regulation? (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873366)

The 527's will still, by far, be the weapon of choice. That ad about how wind turbines kill condors so don't vote for Prop 3 will still sound better coming from Americans for Responsible Energy Choices than it will from the Coal Miners Association.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872976)

Yes. It is too much. As of Thursday [is.gd] our government is owned by the huge corporations. No one there is going to care if individuals are treated correctly or even if corps follow through their contracts.

They'll start caring the moment the citizens exercise their first amendment right, backed up by their second amendment right. And when the citizens are finished, they can all kick back and enjoy a nice, cold glass of their twenty-second amendment right.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (2, Funny)

gilroy (155262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873132)

And when the citizens are finished, they can all kick back and enjoy a nice, cold glass of their twenty-second amendment right.

So this is all about presidential term limits [usconstitution.net]? Color me confused.

Re:PayPal Regulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872996)

The government was owned by corporations before your parents were born.

Please don't use paypal (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872826)

Paypal is just a horrendous disaster area. Just please DO NOT use paypal, either as merchant, or as purchaser. If a service only supports payments by paypal, just tell them that your sorry but you will not buy their service.

Re:Please don't use paypal (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873292)

If a service only supports payments by paypal, just tell them that your sorry but you will not buy their service.

I do that. They are usually amazingly surprised. Then they will frequently take a personal check. Funny that... :)

More info, please (4, Interesting)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872830)

Why is PayPal freezing the account? What happened the first time, and what agreement was reached to thaw the account?

Re:More info, please (2)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872882)

+1. I really think the editors jumped the gun putting this through. Most worthwhile stories get submitted to the fire-hose multiple times, so why not wait for a submission that actually gives a bit of background, rather than just linking to a twitter post that was obviously written in the heat of the moment?

In addition to your questions, I'd like to know what PayPal has told them, if anything. It's all well and good to scream, "censorship!", but if this is just a bureaucracy stuff up, then this is not really news - PayPal does this all the time.

Re:More info, please (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873308)

but if this is just a bureaucracy stuff up, then this is not really news - PayPal does this all the time.

That in and of itself should be news. I am amazed what they get away with, and no one seems to know.

Re:More info, please (2, Interesting)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872906)

I don't have the answer to your question, but this site [hostingprod.com] suggests their problems may be from not jumping through proper hoops to prove it is a non-profit.

PayPal usually suspends non-profit organisations, because PayPal have to comply with local taxation laws involving the tax exempt status of such organisations, and with the world wide anti-money laundering red tape and bureaucracy.

You end up having to send them details of your charitable status, or, failing that, proof that you have a bank account in the name of your group etc.

The site also describes how wikileaks is "deep linking" a graphic on their site that may cause problems with keeping anonymity, though I can't see how that is related to the suspension.

maybe I'm missing something but... (5, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872836)

If your organization used Paypal and they froze your assets once, and you "struggled for more than half a year" to resolve it, why the fuck would you STILL be using Paypal?

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (3, Insightful)

mauriceh (3721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872866)

There are precious few alternatives. How else on the net can you easily solicit contributions / donations?
The real problem is that Paypal has no competition.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (2, Informative)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872908)

http://www.kagi.com

Existed long before PaySuck started.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873244)

http://www.kagi.com

Existed long before PaySuck started.

Good luck getting all anonymous cowards to donate their precious $5, $10, $20 via an online system they have never heard before (and may not trust).
I know it would be a show-stopper for me and my donations; and I am somewhat tech savvy and could discern between phished vs non-phished sites.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (2, Informative)

terraformer (617565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872926)

Yes it does. www.gunpal.net

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873134)

What do they do instead of freezing your account?

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873206)

They don't freeze your account. They don't care what one happens to be spending their money on unless there is a valid LE warrant or judicial action. They act like a bank. They are a bank. They were created so gun owners could have an alternative to pay pal because our accounts were getting frozen every time we bought even the most innocuous gun related part like a new grip. Pay pal is pushing their morals on their users. Even after flea bay bought them and more ironically one can buy things off of flea bay that fall afoul of Pay Pal's TOS. Figure that one out.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872970)

There are precious few alternatives. How else on the net can you easily solicit contributions / donations?
The real problem is that Paypal has no competition.

That's right - especially if you're catering to the online geek crowd.

Another alternative is for them to take credit cards over the web: software, (maybe) gateway, and merchant bank account. And I don't know how the credit cards are on small payments these days. It use to be that anything under $5 wasn't worth it because of the transaction fees up the chain and you'd end paying them. Like I said - used to be - I don't know.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873146)

Nowadays I have found it's anything less than 1.50 isn't worth it, depending on your volume. Most places wont let you debit card something less than $1 so it's somewhere around there.

Western Union (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872978)

Things called money orders. Keep the cash in a safe deposit box. You really won't miss that 1.25% interest from a bank account either.

Re:Western Union (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873196)

Yeah, cause people who want to donate a few dollars are going to go through the hassle of sending a money order. Anyone accepting donations exclusively through the mail can expect their donations to decrease by WELL OVER half.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873304)

On the one hand, it's unfortunate that there is little competition if two people want to send money to each other internationally (I was caught out by this recently - Paypal have decided they're going to refuse my credit card, with no reason given, and there's no way to contact them - their contact page times out, and they haven't heard of this thing called "email"; I used a bank transfer, but the fixed fee means it's more expensive for smaller amounts).

But for organisations, surely there are better ways? I mean, here in the UK even B&Bs have started taking credit/debit cards.

On top of that, national transfers can be done for free simply by giving their bank account details.

About 12 years ago when I released some shareware software, as well as accepting cash, I used a 3rd party company that offered a system for shareware authors, that meant people could pay me via credit/debit card. If I as an individual managed that, 12 years ago, what's the problem for an organisation? Or has the competition really be cleaned out by Paypal since then?

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872886)

If your organization used Paypal and they froze your assets once, and you "struggled for more than half a year" to resolve it, why the fuck would you STILL be using Paypal?

My sentiments exactly! "Get burned once, shame on you. Get burned twice, shame on me."

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872902)

If your organization used Paypal and they froze your assets once, and you "struggled for more than half a year" to resolve it, why the fuck would you STILL be using Paypal?

Because they would probably need to setup many bank accounts in many countries. It's probably also ease-of-use. Easy to press a few buttons and fill out an amount with paypal and transfer money, than to transfer using say direct bank-transfer. This means people are more likely to donate...

Another example: I use paypal but I'd rather not. However, I sell specific items worldwide, and there are no other good wide used systems to transfer money from say the USA to the Netherlands. Bank transfer is something hardly used in the US for example, and if used, the cost is often prohibitive. So if I want to sell to the US, there's no real choice.

What's then annoying is that many Europeans (in euro countries) also use paypal... In Ebay you are not allowed to say "I won't use paypal for people in counties using the EURO".

This doesn't apply to wikileaks, but just gives an idea why sometimes you don't have a choice, or the others are just too expensive (bank transfer in the US too expensive, Western union is also fairly expensive and has other problems, etc.)

One word: (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872982)

Monopoly. Where else can you go?

Aside from any EULA, how can this be legal? I can understand if there is fraud going on and courts get involved but this is purely political extortion/theft.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (3, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873040)

If your organization used Paypal and they froze your assets once, and you "struggled for more than half a year" to resolve it, why the fuck would you STILL be using Paypal?

Probably because a little bit of money most or even some of the time, is a whole lot better than no money none of the time.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873190)

why the fuck would you STILL be using Paypal?

In addition to the convinience issue others brought up, probably because they thought they had cleared up whatever problem there was the first time and because they were taking the extra step of directing it to Wau Holland Stiftung.

Re:maybe I'm missing something but... (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873300)

For the same reason why people use windows (even though it crashes constantly) because it's a widely accepted standard.

Unacceptable (5, Interesting)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872840)

Paypal's behavious is unacceptable in many ways and it happens to many people.

The most annoying thing is when you couple it to ebay, and anoying buyers file a not-received or not-as-described claim when it's clear they couldn't have received it yet, or you told them it was delayed because you were, say ill. As has happened with me.

The bad thing is that this partly or wholly freezes your business section that depends on that. Unacceptable.

Paypal and Ebay were once pretty good, the former because payments via bank transfer for small amounts internatioanlly were so expensive, but all that is gone now and the fees for large sums are also far too high...

I suggest everyone use bank tranfers in EURO countries. IBAN/BIC payments are free if done with shared-cost.

Probably some low level drone who didn't know (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872848)

I doubt this is political. Paypal is notorious for freezing accounts based on some internal drone's mistake or a some programmed tripwire. There are countless horror stories about this: http://www.paypalwarning.com/ http://www.paypalsucks.com/frozen-accounts.shtml When you outsource all your employees and pay them 5 cents an hour or whatever slave wage they pay foreign workers, you get what you pay for.

If it is political, then Paypal, as an organization is of unfathomable stupidity.

bunch of whiners (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872854)

it's not like there is no alternative to pay pal. Just use something else.

Re:bunch of whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872920)

such as?????

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872924)

it's not like there is no alternative to pay pal. Just use something else.

For example?

Re:bunch of whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873212)

http://www.h2epayment.com/, though they appear to charge more for the service.

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

Dana Larsen (1707334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872938)

Sure we can "just use something else" than Paypal when they block people for political reasons, and we can stop using Facebook when they ban accounts for the same lame reasons, and we could find a different search engine if Google starts blocking political sites, and we could build our own Internet if the USA started trying to block political websites like China does...

Paypal also often does this kind of thing to members of the cannabis community. [cannazine.co.uk]

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873074)

Sure we can "just use something else" than Paypal when they block people for political reasons

Yep--sounds like a good idea...

and we can stop using Facebook when they ban accounts for the same lame reasons

Yeah...

and we could find a different search engine if Google starts blocking political sites, and we could build our own Internet if the USA started trying to block political websites like China does...

Oh--wait, I see what you're trying to do. You're trying to make rational reactions sound insane so someone else steps in and fixes your pet problem.

I don't use paypal anymore because they are retarded. But I don't want anyone (like the government) to step in and 'fight' on my behalf.

I still use Google, but I don't allow cookies or scripts to be run, and I have stopped using the Google account I created years ago. I also block the stupid Google Analytics scripts that *everyone* seems to be running these days. But I don't need the FTC coming in and slapping them down because they know 'everything' about retards who don't browse safely.

The point is, if enough people find Paypal to be a pain in the ass, or an inconvenience, they will leave and paypal will go out of business. Alternatively, someone else might start a company that does the same damn thing and do it better. They will win over all the people who hate paypal. (When I saw the gunpal.net link someone posted, I read it as 'GNU'pal.net and thought 'Damn--that's a good idea'.)

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872954)

it's not like there is no alternative to pay pal. Just use something else.

Please list some of these wonderful alternatives.

As much as I hate to say it, paypal is becoming the de-facto method of paying for things on the internet and the de-facto method of accepting free donations. Think of all the times you see a "help support us" link on someone's page, with a paypal logo/link? I can't even recall off the top of my head the last time I saw a donation link that wasn't paypal.

I'm not saying paypal is good, they're not. But right now they're practically the only game in town. So what alternatives do you recommend? Whatever they are, they need to at least be able to draw from a credit card or bank account, and need to be quick and hassle-free for the payer to set up and start using.

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873042)

Doesn't Google have some sort of Paypal-like checkout system?

Re:bunch of whiners (1)

winwar (114053) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873198)

"Whatever they are, they need to at least be able to draw from a credit card or bank account, and need to be quick and hassle-free for the payer to set up and start using."

You answered your own question. Credit cards and bank accounts (debit cards). Businesses and charities don't seem to have a problem with them. Yes, they cost money to use and set up. They are also regulated.

Anyone who uses paypal to manage money that they aren't willing to lose is a moron.

pecunix among others? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872856)

Paypal has a long history of doing this sort of thing to people.

In addition to that, they have a history of requiring personal information from people (due in large part to US law)

I believe it's time for an alternate, non-US based payment processor to take the place of paypal, the problem is there are so many to choose from. I like pecunix for their security (and the fact they aren't US based.. and use a market-maker approach, which helps to create competition in the exchange rates)

But what about others? how come we're held hostage to paypal when other systems exist?

Re:pecunix among others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873012)

In addition to that, they have a history of requiring personal information from people (due in large part to US law)

I believe it's time for an alternate, non-US based payment processor to take the place of paypal, the problem is there are so many to choose from. I like pecunix for their security (and the fact they aren't US based.. and use a market-maker approach, which helps to create competition in the exchange rates)

With the PATRIOT Act, do you really think our illustrious Government would allow that?

Terrorists, drug dealers, kiddie porn purveyors, and BAD PEOPLE could use it to take our Freedom away!

Re:pecunix among others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873158)

Terrorists, drug dealers, kiddie porn purveyors, and BAD PEOPLE could use it to take our Freedom away!

Yeah when really only the government should be allowed to sell/outsource/give away our freedom.

Re:pecunix among others? (2, Funny)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873120)

I believe it's time for an alternate, non-US based payment processor to take the place of paypal

I agree, I have a very rich uncle in Nigeria that has a large sum of money and we need a bank account to get this up and running. If you don't mind posting you full name, DOB, SSN and bank account info then we will get started right away.

We'll gladly pay you $40,000,000US for the inconvenience and helping us out!!

Wikileaks is webbugged! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872928)

It seems that there is a image from "alainfishing" on wikileaks main page. Read this interesting article about this:

https://p10.secure.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/ssl/wikileak/2010/01/paypal-suspends-donations-to-wikileaksorg-who-then-web-bug-their-own-website.html

Why? (2, Insightful)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872958)

I'd like to see some indication of what prompted Paypal to do this. Not that it would make a lot of difference, but "because we could" would lead to a different attitude on my part than "because they were a source of malware that kept making unauthorized deposits into their account."

Not that I think either of those is likely to be their public explanation.

Re:Why? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873118)

Possibly as it may have been used to fund criminal activity? Quite a few of the things Wikileaks publish aren't legal in many countries that they are active in (i.e. membership lists of the BNP with the menbers' home addresses). If they're up to something and paying for the info, and it's falling foul of legal departments, then it could well be under investigation..
Either that or it's a normal screwup.. But in the WikiLeaks world of doing quite clandestine things, I'd be surprised if they weren't under investigation now and then.

Oh noes! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872960)

What ever will wikileaks.org do without the excellent customer service, transparent and fair practices, and fantastic service charges provided by Paypal? Guess I'm not donating to them anymore.

Fsck Paypal use revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873006)

Try revolution. May paypal rot in hell.

The only sane way to use Paypal... (5, Informative)

knarf (34928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873028)

...is to empty the account every day. There is no sense in keeping any amount of money within their graps as they have shown time and time again they will freeze access without real cause or warning.

I was part of the collective to buy i-Opener [wikipedia.org] machines from the failed Netpliance company. We used Paypal to collect fund from participants as that seemed to be the best way at the moment... How wrong we were... Paypal froze access to the account once it had accumulated enough money for them to be profitable to draw interest from. Of course they did NOT block payment into the account, just access to the funds. They had no real reason to freeze the account and ignored their own rules in both freezing and unblocking the account. They just sat on the money for a month or two, drawing interest from it. When they finally unblocked the account - again without giving any reason whatsoever - the deal with Netpliance had almost bounced.

Paypal is not a bank. Don't treat it as a bank. Don't entrust them with your money. Don't give them access to a debit account, only to a credit card.

Paypal, in short, can not be trusted. Use it at your own peril, only use credit cards so you can reverse the transaction. Never ever accumulate any real amount of money on a Paypal account.

Don't use PayPal (5, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873086)

This is really the fault of the person who decided to keep their assets in a PayPal account. And this isn't the first time? Well, they just don't learn do they.

PayPal can freeze accounts for any number of reasons, of which very few have to do with the owner of the account. If someone pays you with a stolen card or from an account that is suspected to have been compromised, that can trigger a freeze. Their support is notoriously bad, and their instructions for re-enabling your account are always overcomplicated.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who receives money with PayPal.

Money received => withdraw immediately

NEVER HOLD A PAYPAL BALANCE.

Always be ready to redirect payments to a backup account.

Re:Don't use PayPal (4, Insightful)

clintp (5169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873356)

Too bad it's +5, this should be +6 Insightful.

Treat PayPal like the liquor store down the street that sells money orders and does Western Union wires. Sometimes they're a necessary evil to get money from point A to B. But you sure as hell don't keep your retirement money and the cash assets of your business in the store's cash register.

Jumping the gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873088)

There's nothing really wrong with PayPal on the whole, the average person really has not a clue the amount of fraud that is attempted and prevented via PayPal.

What people bitch about is the fees, and that is their only axe to grind.

If money has been frozen it is BECAUSE someone has attempted to defraud someone. What likely has happened is that someone donated to wikileaks with a stolen credit card one too many times and it automatically triggered a freeze.

I don't know why people complain about not being defrauded. Paypal is at the very least one step ahead of the banks in preventing fraud.

Do you know how the ACH system in the US works?
If you know, anyone's checking account number, you can basically defraud the hell out of them and the banks will allow it till the person catches on.

They're probably even slimier than we think (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873228)

Every time I buy something with PayPal, I wind up getting inundated with fake "update your account" requests and various other kinds of PP-related spam. This is on a system scrubbed by various effective anti-spyware and anti-virus programs and, sometimes, even an on-line scan. The only logical conclusion is that PayPal is at the bottom of the problem.

Re:They're probably even slimier than we think (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873336)

Um, yeah, spam has little to do with malware and spyware on your own computer. Email accounts get phishing scams even if their users have never even encountered a virus from places like Bank of America, UPS, Western Union, and yes, PayPal.

What you describe is just a popular means of phishing...whether you have a PayPal account or not, and certainly regardless of how "scrubbed" your computer is.

PayPal's business practices are plainly questionable to begin with, and the Internet is littered with actual horror stories of dealing with them. There's no need to fabricate accusations--especially ones as weak as this.

No SEC or FTC Oversight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873370)

How is it that Paypal escapes the oversight of the SEC and the FTC? One or the other should come to bear on them.
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