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WikiLeaks payment service threatens to sue Visa, MasterCard

Visa.com crushed by Operation Payback

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WikiLeaks' Iceland-based payment processor says it will take immediate legal action against Visa and MasterCard for suspending service to the renegade whistle-blowing website, according to ZDNet UK.

DataCell EHF, which facilitates credit card-based donations to WikiLeaks, said it will file suit in the UK against Visa Europe, according to the report, which also said MasterCard would be targeted but didn't provide details. The complaint against Visa will seek an immediate injunction “to limit further damage.”

“Not being able to receive money from the public for a week can cost WikiLeaks seven-digit figures in losses, and DataCell as well, as it is unable to process any cards,” the hosting company's CEO, Andreas Fink, told the publication.

Fink's Wednesday announcement is the latest piece of backlash to come out of decisions by corporations to cut off services to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks supporters on Wednesday afternoon added visa.com to their list of websites suffering sometimes crippling denial-of-service attacks. At time of writing, the site wasn't available, and mastercard.com remained extremely sluggish.

Hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks claimed they breached 10,000 MasterCard payment cards, and offered screenshots as evidence, but its authenticity could not be confirmed.

Other sites, including those for WikiLeaks critics Joe Lieberman and Sarah Palin, also came under attack, although they didn't appear to be plagued by long-term outages. PayPal, which has admitted it blocked WikiLeaks in response to State Department influence, also appeared to be working normally. ®

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