Pirate Party Charges Banks for WikiLeaks Boycott
The Swedish Pirate Party is pressing charges against banks in Sweden for presumed acts of discrimination against WikiLeaks. The WikiLeaks organisation has been declined receiving donations by several payment providers since 2010.
In 2010, donations to WikiLeaks have been blocked by several financial institutes, including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal – and Swedish banks. The latter have been pressed charges on, by the Swedish Pirate Party with the Finansinspektionen (the local authority of financial supervision). An earlier initiative by the Pirate Party suggested regulations on credit card corporations on EU-wide level to revoke their sovereign abilities of banning traders arbitrarily.
“The blockade is a serious threat against the freedoms of opinion and expression”, says Pirate Party’s Erik Lönroth. “It must not be up to the individual payment provider to determine which organizations are eligible for donations. At the same time, these charges will bring clarity as to whether the bank regulations of today are sufficient, or if regulations need to be tightened to protect freedom of expression.”
Other companies in completely legal space have been banned, too. Payment services have been cancelled for shops of adult entertainment, what effectively kills legal small business by arbitrary and deconstructive control of bank institutes which used to be seen as trustworthy and credible.
“We will now investigate what has happened and evaluate the reasons, if any, for us to intervene”, Terfelt tells the Dagens Nyheter. “The law states, that if there aren’t legal grounds to deny a payment service, then it must be processed.”
Meanwhile, journalists and activists launched the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a crowd-source funding for WikiLeaks and several independent investigative organisations exposing government corruption and advocating for transparency.
Featured Image CC-BY-SA Kent Holmblad