WikiLeaks Loses 95% Of Funds; Ceases Publication

Dennis Faas's picture

The WikiLeaks website (infamously known for disbursing US State Department documents to the public back in 2010) has temporarily halted its work on publishing leaked confidential documents. Instead, the site will focus on a legal battle over money donated by supporters. Such resources are necessary in order to keep the site online.

WikiLeaks Loses 95% of Web-Funds

The site is said to have been operating on cash reserves for the past 10 months after major financial institutions began freezing money donated through their systems to WikiLeaks.

It's estimated that the site has lost approximately 95 of its income it receives from supporters. WikiLeaks claims that the "blockade" has cost the site somewhere between $55 million and $70 million. (Source:

According to WikiLeaks, the groups blocking donations include MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union, and Visa; this leaves donors reliant on less popular and less trusted alternatives.

Monetary Blockade 'Voluntary'

It doesn't appear there is any legal requirement for the financial groups to refuse to handle the payments, and instead they have made a voluntary decision.

While some believe the companies are acting out of belief that money given to WikiLeaks is funding illegal activity, the site itself calls it a "blockade [that] is outside of any accountable, public process ... [and that it] is without democratic oversight or transparency." (Source:

The organization has now filed lawsuits in the US, Australia and Europe, demanding that the financial institutions process its payments. It has also filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, suggesting these companies may be breaching continental regulations.

Assange Makes Dramatic Claims

Wikileaks chief Julian Assange denied that any of the money donated for the running of the site had been used to cover his legal costs in fighting an extradition to Sweden. He says that a separate appeal for financial aid for this purpose has been kept apart from the main fundraising appeal.

Assange also claimed that the US government is behind the financial blockade, suggesting that officials there attempted to put a legal block on donations but, unable to find a way to lawfully do so, instead put pressure on financial institutions. (Source:

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