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WikiLeaks' payment processor to sue card companies

Dec 9, 2010 6:34:00 AM - thestate.com
WikiLeaks' payment processor said Thursday that it was preparing to sue credit card companies Visa and MasterCard over their refusal to process donations to the secret-spilling website.

Andreas Fink, the CEO of Iceland's DataCell ehf, told The Associated Press that he would seek damages from the American financial companies over their decision to block WikiLeaks funds.

"It's difficult to believe that such a large company as Visa can make a political decision," Fink said in a telephone interview from Switzerland. In an earlier statement, his company had defended the WikiLeaks, saying that "it is simply ridiculous to think WikiLeaks has done anything criminal."

WikiLeaks has been under intense pressure since it began publishing some 250,000 U.S. State Department cables, with attacks on its websites and threats against its founder, Julian Assange, who is now in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

A host of U.S. Internet and financial companies have severed their links to the controversial website, some citing terms of use violations. Earlier this week, Visa and MasterCard said they would stop processing payments to WikiLeaks, although they have not offered a detailed explanation of why. Supporters have reacted with outrage - with many noting that unsavory organizations such as the American KKK and the far-right British National Party both claim to accept Visa and MasterCard.

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