Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

WikiLeaks Donations By Visa Ruled OK In Iceland

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the put-it-on-the-card dept.

Government 55

angry tapir writes "The three-year blockade against donations to WikiLeaks may have just been chiseled away, in Iceland, by a ruling handed down by the European country's Supreme Court. The verdict says that the Visa subcontractor Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell, and must re-open the processing of donations to the whistle-blowing site within 15 days or else face a fine of ISK800,000, or US$6,830, per day."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What IRELAND needs (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554019)

Is workers revolution, north and south! Smash the dead hand of the church! British troops out of northern Ireland! Pizza

Re:What IRELAND needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554981)

In my oppinion I think most of England would gladly give NI back to Eire and be rid of the place.

SEEKING OPTIMIZING ASSEMBLER (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554021)

My x86 asm is sorely lacking. I need an assembler that can take my asm source and optimize it to be as fast as possible !! Why code in asm if it's crap !! Am I right ?? What do you think, nerdly brothers !!

Damage is done (5, Interesting)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554075)

But the damage is already largely done. When the service was terminated, there was a lot of publicity around Wikileaks, and a lot of people wanting to donate. By preventing them from donating at that time, Visa & Mastercard (etc.) basically prevented this money from ever reaching Wikileaks. Even if now, Valitor will process Visa donations, most of the people who were going to donate, probably won't. Without the media, people won't think about Wikileaks. They won't realize that they can now donate (because this court decision will not be widely publicized). Etc.

The article says that 95% of Wikileaks' income was cut by the actions of Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc. Maybe Wikileaks should also sue for lost income, arguing that the percentage of Visa donations would have remained at the same level from 2010 through to now. They probably wouldn't win, but it would be funny.

True BUT (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554113)

You are absolutely 100% correct and this is a common tactic by those who seek to oppress, not to shut you up perso but just to silence you long enough for attention to drift away. You can see an excellent example by weasel company Shell who around the Brent Spar debacle diverted attention away from Greenpeace claim there was till oil aboard the to be sunk platform by claiming that there was less oil on board then Greenpeace claimed, bought reporters like Witteman immidiatly fell for it. Quite by accident (caused by lucrative public speaking contracts) forgetting that Shell had claimed there was NO oil left on board. No oil mean zero liters but the bought press then went into attack mode on Greenpeace because Greenpeace couldn't exactly measure how many thousands of liters were left on board. By the time more accurate measurements had been taken, attention had drifted.

BUT judgments such as this make it harder to pull the same thing again next time. No it won't fix things in the past but it might fix the future.

Oh and this bit did reach the news, so wikileaks is in the news again. And everyone now has proof that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal acted against the law. That means something to. Not much but the longest journey starts with a single step, and a LOT of steps after that. Nothing worth fighting for was every won easily.

Re:True BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554467)

Good post.

Side note: Were you drinking, or typing on a mobile device? Your spelling and grammar are a LOT worse than I usually see from you.

Re:True BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554699)

This is one of the reasons to why you should take great care not to exaggerate when you make accusations.
Greenpeace have a lot of people in their organization that have good intentions but do work that is counterproductive.
Organizations like PETA even more so.

Re:True BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554993)

Greenpeace brought attention to the oil in the first place. I don't see how what they did was counterproductive. Shell just had a good PR strategy and the public and journalists fell for it.

Bitcoins (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554223)

And yet, in my mind, part of the rise of a pure virtual currency like Bitcoin is directly related to the action the US took.

It seems we need a payment method that doesn't involve SWIFT (EU handed Swift data to USA for data mining) and credit cards (US data mining our credit card transactions), and Western Union (US leaned on them, they handed over the transaction data).

Bitcoin is it, and the game of closing a bank account trying to stop conversions from Bitcoin to dollars will only slow it slightly.

Re:Bitcoins (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554391)

Interesting point

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554487)

Bitcoin accounts are being closed because it's an obvious fucking Ponzi scheme and primarily used for money launder - you know actual illegal activities?

The concept of a crypto currency is a good one.. Bitcoin is by far NOT an implimentation that should be touched with a barge pole.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554585)

I don't think the bank account closure will damage Bitcoin much, and likewise an AC spouting nonsense won't either.
If anything you give it vindication, as in "first they ignore you, then they attack you, then you win", as though we're already on step 2 with Bitcoin.

It's not a Ponzi scheme and money laundering is just a excuse to monitor transactions as if they're *all* used for criminal activity with any evidence.

That's one of the things that annoys the hell out of me, having to convince bank staff over the phone that I'm paying a bill everytime I send more than $10k. What business is it of there's why I'm sending the money! Why do *I* have to prove to the bank, that its not illegal money, what right do they have to accuse me of criminal activity without even a shred of evidence!?

So I welcome step 3.

And if it lets people donate to Wikileaks without US imposing extra-legal controls on the flow of money, even better.

Re:Bitcoins (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555259)

Bitcoin will never "win". as currency, it is worse than useless, not being backed by a central bank and being deflationary by nature. And don't give me any crap about deflation being good... And the OP is right, it basically is a Ponzi scheme.

You could imagine a crypto currency where certificates would be emitted by a central bank holding a master key against which they would be verified. It would be designed in such a way that any number of certificates could be printed. You could even have negative interest rates that way.

It would be anonymous, work like some electronic version of cash, and make sense economically.

Re:Bitcoins (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555593)

Except the first thing that banks would be required to do would be to furnish records of the transactions to the government. In order to verify a unit of currency you would need a tool to check its cryptographic validity, and that would need to be certified, meaning its location would be included most likely and then there would be a way to track the currency again.
I don't think it can be anonymous in a way that prevents undesirable entities from gaining information about it and you.
Thats the nice thing about paper money. Once you have it you can spend it without it being traced - unless you put in the hands of a bank, or transfer it electronically etc. As paper its pretty anonymous - but of course subject to counterfeiting etc.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43555295)

Read this paper

http://eprint.iacr.org/2012/584.pdf

Most bitcoins are not actually in circulation, they're just being held on too by a small number of entities. When they value of bitcoins reaches high enough, they'll be able to dump their coins, cash out huge and destory the value of bitcoins.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43558005)

That's exactly what happens during each bubble, like June 2011 and earlier this month. They don't all act in unison - each bitcoiner has their own point at which to diversify.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43568153)

I don't trust BC, but I bought quite a few when they were dirt cheap and when I sold them all at $205 a pop I made a good 175x profit. I can't really complain about the fact that I went from broke to doing pretty damn good overnight. It's a very unstable currency and I'm sure a lot of people are losing big right now.

Re:Bitcoins (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554809)

Your mind is quite evidently wrong. Have you perhaps suffered brain damage from sleeping in a room overheated by GPUs mining?

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43555263)

You do realize that all bitcoin transactions are public right? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. As soon as someone associates your wallet with your identity all your bitcoin money is now associated with you. Even if you try to move it to different wallets, it can be traced.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43557735)

You do realize that all bitcoin transactions are public right? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. As soon as someone associates your wallet with your identity all your bitcoin money is now associated with you. Even if you try to move it to different wallets, it can be traced.

Google "bitcoin mixing service" or "Open-Transactions".

Re:Bitcoins (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43558987)

Yes, this is one of the reasons that I support and encourage the use of Bitcoins as an alternative currency. I can't be stopped from donating to Wikileaks by a third party, unless they use force (i.e. are the government or another group of thugs). In fact I have donated bitcoins to Wikileaks. I hope they made good use of them.

Re:Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559383)

Sorry, but bitcoins are just a ponzi scheme that is wasting excessive amounts of electricity. Once it gets to the point that mining is no longer even remotely viable this may change. Until then it's far too volatile to take seriously. The whole point of a currency is stability, and that is something bitcoins won't have until then!

Re:Damage is done (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555383)

But the damage is already largely done. When the service was terminated, there was a lot of publicity around Wikileaks, and a lot of people wanting to donate.

I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion.
Wikileaks is just one more document dump away from being back in the news for another few 24 hour cycles.

The information Wikileaks provides to the public is its own advertisement.

Re:Damage is done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559583)

I heard a huge fleet of ships carrying tons of democracy are headed to Iceland from the US.

Good news! (4, Funny)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554077)

All those rich Icelanders can now donate! Oh wait...

Re:Good news! (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555213)

Actually, they're doing better and better since they told the criminal banking cartel to fuck off... (Perhaps if the Greeks, Cypriots, Portuguese and Spanish were descended from Vikings, they'd have some bigger balls, too...) :p

Re:Good news! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43556023)

You can pretend that is why, but you would be wrong.

While their decision was fine, and better in many senses, it is not the reason for their relative comeback. The fact is they have their own currency, which can appropriately float to better reflect (and repair) the conditions.

Re:Good news! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43558127)

Which also explains why we're doing so well here in the UK.

Except we're not. We've narrowly avoided our first ever triple-dip recession, but the economy is still flat-lining. Perhaps the condition for recovery was having your own currency AND telling the banks to fuck off.

Re:Good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43558521)

Except that's not what they did, they didn't tell the criminal banking cartel to fuck off at all.

No, they played host to a criminal banking cartel whose management stole the money of regular every day savers, and when those European nations whose savers were victim asked for Iceland to pay the money back given that it was it's government's ineptitude that allowed such a cartel to operate on their soil Iceland went to court and got out of paying what it owed because the Icelandic people voted against being a responsible member of the international community. Rather than seek to get the money back from the bankers and return it to those they stole from it opted to just keep the money for itself and it's bankers.

So on the contrary, Iceland got rich off a criminal banking cartel, it effectively as a nation stole money from many run of the mill citizens in much of the Western world whose savers foolishly thought it was a trustworthy nation with competent government able to prevent such a cartel carrying out such devastating actions.

Iceland is a nation of thieves that stole from every day savers elsewhere, it's really quite simple. Greece et. al. for all their faults have at least been trying to pay what they owe, rather than outright just turning round and saying "yeah thanks for the money, but we've decided not keep it all and not to pay you back" because we're a nation of thieving cunts.

Re:Good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43561725)

And you think the Icelandic population had any say in what these banks did?

Re:Good news! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43557993)

"All those rich Icelanders can now donate! Oh wait..."

They actually do! Both of them.

ISK is the Icelandic currency? (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554083)

All this time I thought Isk was some sort of space money for Eve Online. Icelandic Kroner? I am an idiot.

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554107)

I am an idiot.

Me too I thought the same thing. Maybe we can all donate to wikileaks by joining Eve.

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554133)

You seriously didn't know this? It's like an injoke :D

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (4, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554295)

It's an homage; CCP, the creators of Eve, is an Icelandic company.

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (5, Interesting)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554371)

I am an idiot.

Should I mod that as informative or as insightful?

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554671)

Redundant. We already knew.

Re:ISK is the Icelandic currency? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555171)

I am an idiot.

Should I mod that as informative or as insightful?

Recursive.

InterStellar Kredits (5, Funny)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554091)

800k ISK? Man, that's pocket change. Go shoot belt rats for a few minutes and you'll make that back easy.

Where's "Europe" anyhow? Can't find it on the map. Sounds like it should be part of Gallente space, though...

(lol, burning karma)

Re:InterStellar Kredits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554109)

It's a small moon around a planet called Jupiter by the local pirate colony.

so have they started processing? (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554161)

because I vaguely remember this exact same story from few days back.. so don't repost it until they process.

Can they say no? (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554309)

It is my understanding that Valitor is a private company. Can they simply refuse to process transactions in Iceland "taking my ball and going home" style?

Re:Can they say no? (4, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554465)

It is my understanding that Valitor is a private company. Can they simply refuse to process transactions in Iceland "taking my ball and going home" style?

Of course they can; they did. Now they've been found guilty of unlawful contract termination.

Re:Can they say no? (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554471)

After a decision of that level, highly unlikely but possible. The fine itself is not much, and as far as I know they can still appeal to ECJ if this is a matter of European rather then state law. But this does in fact seem to be state law matter, so wikileaks won. It's a bit of a phyrric victory at this point due to the fact that those who wanted to donated when it was needed were prevented from doing so. Wikileaks was essentially a target of a massive media hit campaign, followed by funds blockage to avoid them from being able to function, which was largely successful. When was the last time you heard about them in mass media in relation to their actual work rather then some juicy scandal aimed to discredit them?

Natural balance? (2)

Agent_B-7 (2906267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554317)

Seems like a tiny european countries laws actually trying to couterbalance almost totalitarian laws of a major ones.

Didn't Obama OK monitoring credit card transac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554323)

I remember a few weeks ago hearing about how Obama was going to or had proposed to pass a bill that would allow the government to monitor all transactions that has some kind of footprint in order to "prevent terrorism". So say you were to donate to Wikileaks, wouldn't the government red flag you as a terrorist instantly? I could imagine not being able to board aircrafts afterwards.

Re:Didn't Obama OK monitoring credit card transac. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554369)

I remember a few weeks ago hearing about how Obama was going to or had proposed to pass a bill that would allow the government to monitor all transactions that has some kind of footprint in order to "prevent terrorism". So say you were to donate to Wikileaks, wouldn't the government red flag you as a terrorist instantly? I could imagine not being able to board aircrafts afterwards.

Not to worry. If they don't stop soon, everyone in the country will be on a terrorist watch list, anyway.

And think how safe everyone will be if no one is allowed to fly.

Re:Didn't Obama OK monitoring credit card transac. (2)

neo8750 (566137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554537)

And think how safe everyone will be if no one is allowed to fly.

No only people who will be able to fly will be the terrorists cause they will be sure to have clean records.

Re:Didn't Obama OK monitoring credit card transac. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43555661)

I remember a few weeks ago hearing about how Obama was going to or had proposed to pass a bill that would allow the government to monitor all transactions that has some kind of footprint in order to "prevent terrorism". So say you were to donate to Wikileaks, wouldn't the government red flag you as a terrorist instantly? I could imagine not being able to board aircrafts afterwards.

Not to worry. If they don't stop soon, everyone in the country will be on a terrorist watch list, anyway.

And think how safe everyone will be if no one is allowed to fly.

It doesn't work like that. You don't decide which Icelander doesn't fly, their volcanoes decide if you don't fly!

Network neutrality is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554361)

If they block Wikileaks but don't block every single terrorist of criminal, they're accomplices and must be prosecuted.

Yeah but by rights (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43554681)

won't they leak the Visa numbers of their donors? Otherwise, oh, the hypocrisy!

Eh easy solution... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554717)

Shut down, move operations out of Iceland....home of pirates and Wikileaks lovers.

F em

Re:Eh easy solution... (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#43556205)

This solution is what got them into trouble in the first place.

They decided to shut down transactions for DataCell, and now the court decided that they have violated their contracts and have to pay a fine until they adhere to the contract again.

This is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43554845)

I think it's cool that this country of so few citizens stands up to USA's hegemonic bullshit. Europe needs to pluck up some balls and get with this program.

ISK800,000 per day? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#43555647)

That's nothing. Sell one PLEX and you can keep paying that for a couple years... :p
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?