|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 18, 2010 11:45 AM EST||
Bank of America has stopped processing payments meant for WikiLeaks.
It issued a statement saying that it “joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks.
“This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.”
WikiLeaks responded on Twitter with messages saying:
“We ask that all people who love freedom close out their accounts with Bank of America.” and
“Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advise is to place your funds somewhere safer.”
As recently as Friday on CNBC WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange repeated his threat to wash the dirty linen of some big unidentified American bank early next year.
Bank of America is considered to be WikiLeaks’ target since Assange told Computerworld last year that it was “sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives.”
“Now how do we present that?”, he was quoted as saying “It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.”
The bank has said it has “no evidence” that WikiLeaks has such a drive.
Assange told Forbes magazine last month that the data he releases would show “unethical practices.”
He has said it could “take down a bank or two.”
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