WikiLeaks Sees Financial Spigot Re-Open, Wounds Itself on Satiric Hoax

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
08/01/2012
       
WikiLeaks Sees Financial Spigot Re-Open, Wounds Itself on Satiric Hoax

 The Internet-based whistleblower website WikiLeaks appears to have won some battles to recover its financial infrastructure in the past few weeks, winning the first stage of a legal battle in Iceland with Visa Corporation and gaining a French source for accepting donations in the Fund for Defense of Net Neutrality (FDN2). But a WikiLeaks satire of former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller — admitted as a phony by WikiLeaks July 29 on its Twitter feed — threatens to undo much of the organization's credibility. FDN2 claims that banks and credit card companies are legally bound to honor the French-based “Carte Bleue” transfer system.

 

 

The Internet-based whistleblower website WikiLeaks appears to have won some battles to recover its financial infrastructure in the past few weeks, winning the first stage of a legal battle in Iceland with Visa Corporation and gaining a French source for accepting donations in the Fund for Defense of Net Neutrality (FDN2). But a WikiLeaks satire of former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller — admitted as a phony by WikiLeaks July 29 on its Twitter feed — threatens to undo much of the organization's credibility. FDN2claims that banks and credit card companies are legally bound to honor the French-based “Carte Bleue” transfer system.

Most U.S.-based financial service providers, such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union, and Bank of America, have banned use of their networks to transfer funds to WikiLeaks, likely because of U.S. government pressure. The French free speech organization FDN2 allows donors a gateway to give to the funds-starved whistleblower organization, which has claimed that 95 percent of its operating income was wiped out by the financial boycott.

In a splash-screen on the WikiLeaks website, Australian-born founder Julian Assange continues to make a financial appeal in a video message, claiming: “During this time, we have withstood attacks from military and intelligence organizations, lawsuits, imprisonment, cyber-warfare, and high-level calls for our assassination. But now we face our greatest challenge: A politically motivated banking blockade led by Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union and the Bank of America. This blockade has left us with just five percent of our financial lifeline. It has wiped out, successfully, 95 percent of your support.”

The forgery or satire of the New York Times — it's unclear which was the intent in WikiLeaks' stormy relationship with the establishment newspaper — had Keller issuing a plea for tolerance of the whistleblower organization (a phony based upon a real New York Times column by Keller). The WikiLeaks phony claimed:

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Photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

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