Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Release Management , Microservices Expo

Release Management : Article

PayPal Turns Off WikiLeaks Spigot; Sweden Issues New Warrant for its Boss

Wonder whether Assange has been counting on PayPal receipts to pay his mounting legal bills

WikiLeaks has lost its PayPal account.

The eBay unit stopped handling contributions to the renegade site late Friday night citing unacceptable use.

Meanwhile, Sweden has issued a new arrest warrant for WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange on allegations of rape, sexual assault and unlawful coercion made in the name of two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers in two separate incidents this summer.

Assange is understood to be in the UK and British authorities reportedly had technical problems with the original warrant. They needed to know how much time he’s looking at if convicted.

European media, even WikiLeaks itself, are claiming the irresponsible attention-seeking 39-year-old Australian troublemaker could be arrested in the next week to 10 days.

No formal charges have been filed. Swedish authorities say they want to talk to him again. His Swedish lawyer told Reuters Assange will fight extradition. His UK lawyer previously indicated as much.

Wonder whether Assange has been counting on PayPal receipts to pay his mounting legal bills.

PayPal said on its blog that it “has permanently restricted the account used by Wikileaks due to a violation of the PayPal acceptable use policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.”

The New York Times, which has been a party to WikiLeaks’ drip-by-drip release of a huge pilfered cache of 252,000 frank diplomatic cables and State Department documents, says it’s illegal to leak classified information, but it is not illegal to receive or publish it. Pretty to think so.

Ellsberg decision or no, it’s not as simple as that and actually falls into a twilight state of American law under which the US government could charge Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act which covers receiving and retaining stolen government property it asked him to return.

Knowing as much Assange is reportedly afraid of being extradited to the US. He told the Guardian Friday in an online Q&A that he had sent the documents to 100,000 people just in case.

In response to PayPal’s move WikiLeaks predictably twittered that the online payment service had bent to “US government pressure.”

After Amazon kicked it off its cloud servers, visualization company Tableau Software erased WikiLeaks content from its site and EveryDNS.net pulled the plug on its WikiLeaks.org domain name, WikiLeaks turned up using a Swiss web address that directs traffic to servers in France.

When last seen France’s Industry Minister was talking about outlawing WikiLeaks’ use of the OVH infrastructure in France but the French servers are only part of WikiLeaks’ network which now spans domains in Germany, Finland and Holland, not counting mirror sites. It also has other ways to collect money although Wired claims that “most of the over $1 million in contributions WikiLeaks has drawn in the last year have come through its PayPal account.”

According to WikiLeaks’ moving web site, which has been repeatedly downed by denial of service attacks this week, it takes in donations at a post office box in Australia, through bank transfers to accounts in Germany and Iceland, and through MasterCard and Visa credit card payments.

Presumably the US government is doing what it can to trace any money flowing to the outlaw site to see if there is a larger destabilizing force behind it than the hordes of titillated individuals cheering it on. It may also be able turn off WikiLeaks’ other spigots of cash.

This is not the first time PayPal has cut WikiLeaks off from donations but, judging from Paypal’s statement, apparently it is the last. Because PayPal froze WikiLeaks’ account twice before the latest brouhaha, contributions intended for it were redirected to the Wau Holland Foundation in Germany, named for a German hacker. So it is actually Wau Holland’s account PayPal has terminated.

Meanwhile, the US government has forbidden government workers and contractors without proper clearance to access the documents on WikiLeaks. Well, at least on their office computers. It says the documents’ unauthorized disclosure – “whether in print, on a blog or on web sites” – doesn’t declassify them. The Library of Congress has blocked access to WikiLeaks.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...