Short of funds and the victim of a financial blockade, WikiLeaks is to suspend publishing operations. Announcing the decision at a press conference at the Frontline Club earlier today, Julian Assange said that the site planned to focus on raising new funds. He revealed that “an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union had destroyed 95 per cent of WikiLeaks’ revenues. He added that if it was not lifted by the new year the organisation would “simply not be able to continue”. Donations to the site were running at €100,000 a month in 2010, but had dropped to a monthly figure of €6,000 to €7,000 this year.
In a statement, WikiLeaks said:
The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.
The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.
Earlier this year, Assange appeared at a New Statesman/Frontline Club debate on whistleblowing. You can watch his speech in full here.