WikiLeaks is now open for donations, as they have found yet another way around the banking blockade by Visa and MasterCard, through a French non-profit.
On their website is a statement that a blockade by Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and the Bank of America against donation payments to WikiLeaks, has been in effect now for 592 days.
The blockade was put in place after WikiLeaks published around 250,000 secret State Department cables in December 2010.
The blockade came at a time of substantial economic growth for WikiLeaks, but blocked more than 95% of donations, costing the organization in excess of $20 million. For the year 2011, the blockade has resulted in WikiLeaks’ income falling to just 21% of its operating costs.
Digital Journal reported recently that WikiLeaks had won a case in the Icelandic courts, where Visa and Mastercard, under their payment processor Valitor, have been told to accept payments to the whistleblower organization. WikiLeaks is in the process of taking Visa, Mastercard, and their local European partners to court over the blockade, and this was the first victory.
Now WikiLeaks have organized yet another plan and can now accept donations through a French non-profit, France's Fund for the Defense of Net Neutrality (Fonds de Défense de la Net Neutralité), who has set up a Carte Bleue fund for WikiLeaks.
It is not yet clear whether Visa or MasterCard will tolerate this move.
Meanwhile WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange remains alive and well at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he is seeking political asylum in that country, to prevent being extradited to Sweden. It is feared that once in Sweden's clutches, he would then be sent on to the U.S. on espionage charges for his part in releasing the Cablegate secret cables.
In a statement, Assange dared Visa to try to foil his latest fundraising plan. He said, "We beat them in Iceland and, by God, we’ll beat them in France as well. Let them shut it down. Let them demonstrate to the world once again their corrupt pandering to Washington. We’re waiting. Our lawyers are waiting. The whole world is waiting. Do it."