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WikiLeaks Can Kiss MasterCard Good-Bye Too: CNET

Another Company Tells Assange To Beat It

WikiLeaks is finding it increasingly difficult to spit in the eye of an outraged establishment with impunity.

MasterCard has reportedly refused to handle anymore donations to WikiLeaks and its boss Julian Assange, depriving the renegades of another source of funding after PayPal dropped them Friday and the Swiss Post closed their new bank account Monday.

Cnet's web site quotes a spokesman for MasterCard Worldwide as saying "MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products" because "MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal."

That seems to leave only Visa through a web page hosted by an Iceland-based outfit called DataCell.com, banks accounts in Germany and Iceland and a post box in Australia where sympathizers can offer financial support.

Of course, if WikiLeaks is declared a terrorist organization, as the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee wants, US banks would be prohibited from processing payments and it would be a felony to provide the group with "material support or resources."

And it appears that Assange is going to need somewhere between £100,000 and £200,000 pretty soon to post as bail to keep him out of a British cooler. In American money that's $133,000-$265,000.

According to the Guardian he'll also need "up to six people offering surety, or risk being held on remand."

The paper says he's supposed to appear in a UK court Tuesday and at some point have a chat with Scotland Yard, which received an extradition request from Sweden.

The Guardian explained that "once he turns himself into the police he will have to appear before a magistrate's court within 24 hours, where he will seek release on bail. A full hearing of his extradition case would have to be heard within 28 days."

Assange is expected to fight the extradition that Sweden is seeking so it can ask him some more questions about the rape, sexual assault and unlawful coercion allegations made against him by two Swedish women.

The Guardian said Assange is afraid that Sweden is acting on trumped-up charges as a "cipher" of the United States, which may charge him with espionage, and that Assange claimed "prosecutors had requested that he be held in solitary confinement and incommunicado."

Assange has admitted to consensual but unprotected sex and Wired says that means "one woman told police that Assange refused to stop after the condom broke."

The issue of his arrest was upheld by Sweden's Supreme Court after Assange challenged the findings of two lower courts.

 

 

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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