During a rare 12-hour window yesterday, WikiLeaks received "five-to-six digit figures” in donations from card holders of MasterCard, Visa and American Express, according to Andreas Fink, the CEO of DataCell, the payment provider for WikiLeaks. But Visa put the kibosh on that his morning according to Visa Europe spokeswoman Amanda Kamin, in an email statement. "An acquirer briefly accepted payments on a merchant site linked to WikiLeaks. As soon as this came to our attention, action was taken with the suspension of Visa payment acceptance to the site remaining in place." Since December, the major U.S. credit card firms had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks, after it leaked thousands of classified U.S. State Department documents. So it was unusual when headlines began swirling yesterday that MasterCard and Visa had begun processing donations to WikiLeaks again.
That all got started by Fink who originally reported that MasterCard, Visa and American Express had begun processing donations from cardholders on Thursday, following a joint threat by DataCell and WikiLeaks last week to take the credit card firms to court in Denmark. "We choose to interpret this, as that Visa and Mastercard has in fact given in to our demand that the payment services was reinstated." But that wasn't the case. Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, an attorney for DataCell and WikiLeaks in Reykjavik confirmed with Bloomberg that Visa "terminated the contract with DataCell for payment processing this morning." In a statement from Fink this morning, he pledged to pursue legal action against the credit card companies following the re-imposition of the blockade. "DataCell regards this action on behalf of VISA as a clear sign that they are not willing to solve the situation. Therefore has DataCell accompanied by WikiLeaks instructed it's lawyers to file a complaint to the European commission next week."