Bank of America Cuts Off Wikileaks

Mike Halsey MVP
Dec 19, 2010
Updated • Dec 10, 2012

The Wikileaks story rumbles on as we near the end of 2010 and the latest company to withdraw its support is the Bank of America.  This follows on from other financial institutions including a Swiss bank, Mastercard and PayPal.

The reason the bank gave for refusing to handle payments from the controversial website was that "Wikileaks may be engaged in activities that are... inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."  Which could mean anything.

Wikileaks hit back by asking supporters to stop using bank of America, though this is a tougher sell given the difficulties people face in moving their accounts from one bank to another these days.

The bank of America, based in North Carolina also said that they will "not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for Wikileaks" but left the statement at that without providing clarification about what types of transaction this could cover.

The war of words between Wikileaks and businesses that have withdrawn services from it is set to rumble on into the new year and it will be interesting to see what companies, if any, will be the next to line up against the website.

It's entirely possible that this could throttle Wikileaks to a point where they simply have to close their doors and shut up shop.  Fear not though because the scandal has inspired whole generations of people to take up arms and Wikileaks in 2011 will be only one of a great number of whistle-blowing websites out on the world wide web.


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  1. Virtualguy said on December 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Yes, America is an empirical power, and has been for a long time. But, we seem to be in a rapid downward spiral.

  2. Dreller said on December 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Every company which boycotts exposing war crimes, ethically supports commission of war crimes.

  3. berttie said on December 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    So far Wikileaks hasn’t been charged with anything, so the actions of these financial institutions appears to be politically, not legally motivated.

    Bank of America is of no importance outside America, but Mastercard and Visa dominate the international credit card market and their actions are troubling. Effectively, my use of these cards is at the political whim of foreigners. This must be of concern to any retail business that may fall foul of American political opinion.

    Have Bank of America, Mastercard and Visa cut of the NY Times? If not, why not? It, and the other publishers selected by Wikileaks, decide what is published and do the redacting. If anything their involment is far greater than Wikileaks which appears to have merely been the conduit between the government employee who stole the cables and the newspapers.

  4. JM said on December 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Jack, I agree with most of what you’re saying. Just don’t judge the population of a whole country based on the shortcomings of leaders or other ‘talking heads’ in the media. Some of us ‘working stiff’ Americans don’t like how things are being handled, either. I would also say that the United Kingdom is deeply embedded in the United States’ existence as an Imperial Power.

    1. Jack said on December 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      “I would also say that the United Kingdom is deeply embedded in the United States’ existence as an Imperial Power.”

      Absolutely – and it’s something a lot of us are deeply disturbed about. And why seeing the same old mistakes over and over again is so worrying. Those who forget history, etc…

      As for not judging the entire population of America, I take your point entirely. In fact I have to fall back on the cliche that some of my very best friends are American.

      But, just like the British and every other empire including the Third Reich and Israel, the sins of the leaders tend to inevitably and tragically be visited upon general populations.

      Wikileaks may not be perfect and motives sometimes questionable, but such people are too often alone in standing between us and the ignorance we not only suffer but are so comfortable in hiding behind.

      Perhaps the uncomfortable reality of Wikileaks is in reminding us we are none of us totally innocent.

      1. Eduardo said on December 20, 2010 at 1:50 am

        “But, just like the British and every other empire including the Third Reich and Israel”
        Israel, such a small country just fighting for existence you believe is an empire? Why don’t you mention the sins of the leaders of Iran or Saudi Arabia?

  5. Jack said on December 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    It’s very easy for us all to concentrate on the response in the USA to Wikileaks. But in the long run – as has already been happening increasingly over the last decades – the real question is going to be the response of the rest of the planet to the USA. Every empire – and America is now unmistakably an imperial power – thinks it will last forever. So far in history they have all been wrong.

    My main regret is that the UK can’t show some backbone in dealing with a President who, whatever his initial promise, has been shown by Wikileaks to have no regard for this country whatever – or indeed for any other country beyond narrow American interests. He’s the kind of ‘friend’ we could well do without.

  6. pitman said on December 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Why won’t they setup an offshore account that is not traceable ?
    They do it in movies all the time :P

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