WikiLeaks Seeks Clarification from Pierre Omidyar About Paypal Blockade
Today a twitter conversation occurred between WikiLeaks and Pierre Omidyar. This conversation was initiated by the following article, written by Omidyar, which appeared in the Huffington Post:
WikiLeaks, Press Freedom and Free Expression in the Digital Age
Pierre Omidyar, 4 December 2013
This week, fourteen people charged by the Department of Justice in connection with a coordinated denial of service attack on PayPal's services in 2010 will appear in Federal Court. The "PayPal 14," as they have been dubbed, are charged with participating in an attack orchestrated by Anonymous to retaliate against PayPal's suspension of its relationship with WikiLeaks. Their case as well as PayPal's actions in 2010 raise important questions about press freedoms and the nature of online protests.
As Chairman of eBay Inc., PayPal's parent company, and as a philanthropist and soon-to-be publisher deeply committed to government transparency, press freedoms and free expression, these issues hit close to home. (Since eBay is a public company, it's important for me to stress that the views in this article are my own and don't represent the views of the company.)
The story started in December, 2010, when PayPal suspended its relationship with WikiLeaks and the foundation accepting donations on their behalf for a period of several months. Today, PayPal can be found as one of several payment options available to support WikiLeaks' work.
Link to the rest of the Huffington Post Article
Unsurprisingly, WikiLeaks, as well as a number of supporters, responded in an attempt to clarify and obtain a resolution to the blockade:
Omidyar's references to third-parties not being subject to the blockade, seemed inscrutable, if not disingenuous and still seemed so after he tweeted that he was surprised that WikiLeaks were still subject of a blockade. It seems hard to believe, particularly given his connection and journalistic plans, in relation to Glenn Greenwald, that he has not made a point of keeping himself in the loop in relation to the blockade.
At this point many of us are still awaiting clarification, or for Pierre Omidyar to get off the fence and start using his influence to apply pressure in relation to this troubling issue.
And the confusion continues thus:
Journalist Alexa O'Brien attempts to get to the bottom of the issue:
As evidenced, Omidyar again turns the conversation to the third party organisations which we know are not the subject of the Paypal blockade. This is occurring despite the fact that WikiLeaks and supporters (and others) are clearly enquiring about the direct blockade of WikiLeaks itself. There is also an inference created (my interpretation) that the blockade against WikiLeaks has been lifted and that WikiLeaks have been hiding the fact. This is not evidenced by WikiLeaks' initial statement, indicating their own confusion, as well as their on-going and no doubt pricey, litigation.
Will someone please put us all out of our misery and find out where the truth lies? I smell the stench of mendacity.