photo © 2007 Anh Thai | more info (via: Wylio)
Last time we checked in with PayPal, it, along with MasterCard, Visa and others had blocked its services with regards to donations to WikiLeaks foundation.
Today it is being reported that PayPal has taken further action against another WikiLeaks-related fund, in freezing the account of the Courage To Resist foundation which, in conjunction with the Bradley Manning Support Network, gives donations to the Bradley Manning legal defense fund. The imprisoned Manning is allegedly the source of the US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks.
In a phone call earlier today, PayPal representative Anuj Nayar told me that this action is not WikiLeaks related and that PayPal has only temporarily restricted the fund, “This has nothing to do with WikiLeaks.”
Courage To Resist and PayPal are still in talks, and according to Nayar the former is infringing against PayPal’s policy on 501 (3) (c) non-profits, which hold that a non-profit needs to have a bank account associated with their PayPal account. “For the vast majority of none profits this is not an issue,” says Najar.
Nayar also takes up CTR’s claim that PayPal would not un-restrict the account unless CTR authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from the checking account by default, “We can’t do that without the authorization of an account holder, so a) We can’t do it b) We don’t do it c) Even if we did the bank would resist the charge.”
So why make this a WikiLeaks issue? “That’s a question for them,” he says.
The company’s official statement, below:
“Today’s temporary limitation of the Courage to Resist organization’s PayPal account is due to PayPal regulations requiring non profits to associate a bank account to their PayPal account. It is nothing to do with Wikileaks. Back in December 2010, we permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action. This is not the case with Courage to Resist”
Update: PayPal has posted a longer statement on their company blog.