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Visa shuts down WikiLeaks payments workaround

08 July 2011  |  8949 views  |  0 credit card

Visa has succeeded in shutting down a workaround that briefly enabled the re-instatement of credit card payments to whistle-blowing Website WikiLeaks.

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks and its Icelandic card processing partner DataCell instructed lawyers in Iceland and Denmark to institute legal action against Visa and MasterCard for "engaging in an unlawful, US influenced, financial blockade".

In a statement on its Website Thursday, WikiLeaks announced: "After a legal fight we can currently take donations via Iceland through Visa, MasterCard and Amex. We are uncertain how long this facility will last as today Visa has declared they might close it."

This followed wire reports that Visa had lifted the blockade, following an announcement by DataCell that an an "alternative payment processor" had opened the gateway for payments with Visa and MasterCard.

Visa moved swiftly to disavow the reports, stating: "We have not reinstated DataCell and are looking into how transactions are being made."

By mid-morning Friday, Visa had traced the source of the payments to card acquiring network Valitor and promptly pulled the plug.

Visa spokeswoman Amanda Kamin, told Computer World: "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."
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