WikiLeaks wins credit card bout

Small win for leaks organisation.

A District Court order in Iceland’s capital Reykjavík has ordered local payments provider Valitor to open services to WikiLeaks again or face a hefty US$6,000 a day penalty.

Valitor was one of two Icelandic Mastercard and Visa licensees included in an EU anti-competition complaint last year aimed at US credit card giants Visa and Mastercard and involving several payments processors in Iceland.

Valitor, previously the sole franchisee in Iceland for Visa, was sued by Icelandic hosting company DataCell, which provided a payment gateway to WikiLeaks.

DataCell’s gateway was blocked by several US banking organisations following the 2010 Cable Gate releases.

WikiLeaks has previously claimed it suffered a 95 per cent fall in payments due to the blockade.

Valitor intends to appeal the claim, and DataCell’s lawyer told reporters on Thursday that if it did, it will be on political, not legal grounds.

“We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, pointing to a European Commission investigation on whether to pursue companies involved in the blockade by August.

The victory in Iceland only deals with a small part of the wider payments chain that can influence whether funds actually reach WikiLeaks, according to the Associated Press. MasterCard and Visa could still block customers from making donations to WikiLeaks or DataCell.

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