October 24, 2011
WikiLeaks Founder Says Site Is Running Out Of Money
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that the site will have to stop publishing secret cables if it is unable to end a financial "blockade" by companies like Visa and Mastercard.
He said that WikiLeaks would need $3.5 million over the next year to continue to operate.
The financial institutions stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010 after the site released tens of thousands of confidential U.S. government cables.
"If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade, given our current levels of expenditure we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the year," Assange told a news conference.
The financial blockade is being brought on by Bank of America Corp., Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., PayPal and Western Union Co. These companies have cost WikiLeaks 95 percent of its revenue.
WikiLeaks filed a complaint in July to the Directorate-General for Competition and the European Commission, saying Visa and Mastercard breached antitrust provisions set out by the EU Treaty.
Assange said he hoped the European Commission would make a decision to hold an investigation by mid-November.
According to a report by The Australian, WikiLeaks has about 20 staff, 800 volunteers and two million supporters. The average individual donation is $25.
Assange is currently living under strict bail conditions in Britain and is fighting for extradition to Sweden. He is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape.
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