FP StaffOct 24, 2011 18:27:38 IST
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has announced that the whistleblowing organisation will temporarily suspend publishing activities and instead focus on fund raising. Wikileaks has been strapped for cash ever since December 2010, when payment gateways such as Mastercard and Paypal stopped allowing contributors to donate money to the organization and Assange's Swiss bank account was frozen. In a press conference called by Assange and Kristin Hrafnsson in London a short while ago, Assange called the payment freeze an "economic blockade" and said that Wikileaks would be unable to continue unless it received more money by the end of the year.Laying the blame at the feet of banking organizations, Assange said, "A handful of US finance companies have managed to successfully block 95% of worldwide support for Wikileaks", adding that these handful of companies cannot arbitrarily decide how the whole world works with its wallets. Meanwhile Hrafnsson said that it was a conservative estimate that Wikileaks had lost more than 95% of its donations amounting to millions of dollars since the blockade had come into effect. The organization has filed a case with the European Union challenging the legality of the blockade and are hopeful that the decision which is due mid-November, will work in their favour and unblock the funds.
However Assange added that Wikileaks had not put "all its eggs into the judicial basket", adding that they have also come up with several 'innovative' methods for donors to give them cash, including mobile banking and payment transfers via sms.
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