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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 12:48 EDT

Icelandic Bank Once Again Blocks WikiLeaks Donations

July 10, 2011

An Icelandic bank that unknowingly provided a way for WikiLeaks supporters to fund the controversial website best known for publishing classified military and diplomatic websites earlier this week has closed the proverbial loophole, according to Reuters reports.

ҬIn a story published Friday, Maria Aspan of the wire service revealed that Valitor had agreed earlier this week to accept payments processed by DataCell, a data hosting service provider and a WikiLeaks supporter. However, bank officials later told Aspan that they had not been informed that the transactions would include donations to the Julian Assange owned website.

“¨Credit giants Visa and MasterCard have banned DataCell from processing such donations for months, and on Friday, Valitor spokeswoman Jonina Ingvadottir sent an emailed statement to Reuters stating that the bank “was not informed that DataCell would be conducting these activities when their business agreement was made,” and another source told Aspan that Valitor had “blocked the Visa and MasterCard WikiLeaks donations and terminated its contract with DataCell” earlier in the day.

ҬThat source told Reuters that less than 100 donations were processed before the agreement was terminated.

“¨”The failed Valitor partnership is the latest blow to Assange, who has struggled to gain funding since the major payments networks stopped processing payments to WikiLeaks,” Aspan wrote.

“The Internet vigilante group Anonymous temporarily shut down the public websites of both Visa and MasterCard in December after the companies began their embargo.”

“¨She added that Olaf Sigurvinsson, the founder of DataCell, “confirmed that Valitor had terminated the contract with his company” and that when the contract was signed, he had made it “absolutely clear” to the Icelandic financial institution that the company would “continue”¦ to collect donations” for various organizations, including WikiLeaks.

“¨On a special page dedicated solely to donations, Sigurvinsson’s company posted a statement in which they said, “DataCell advocates free speech and jurisdiction independence. We plead the public support for the independence of media and jurisdiction; and to bring truth, integrity, dignity and justice to the world”¦ You can help by donating financially to the following organizations.”

ҬFurther down on the page is a form which individuals can donate by credit card to WikiLeaks.

“¨In addition, the web page claims that, “DataCell is taking on legal case against Visa and MasterCard for suspending its account, for which DataCell was processing credit card donation for WikiLeaks. Please contribute to DataCell legal fund to support in its legal battle against credit card giants for their unjustified and prejudicial action.”

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