PayPal freezes Manning defense fund operator's account (Update: account unfrozen)

Brad-Manning-in-uniform.jpegPayPal has frozen the account being used to raise money for Pvt. Bradley Manning's legal defense, because its owners refuse to give PayPal access to its bank accounts.
Asked why, if the Courage to Resist account was opened in 2006, PayPal hadn't raised the issue of linking it to a bank account earlier, Nayar did not have an immediate response. ... Courage to Resist says it repeatedly requested and was refused formal documentation from PayPal describing its policy. "They opted to apply an exceptional hurdle for us to clear in order to continue as a customer, whereas we have clearly provided the legally required information and verification," the group wrote.
Odd how PayPal suddenly starts caring about certain policies, but only for certain account holders. Update: PayPal released a statement. It says that its decision had nothing to do with Wikileaks and that it never withdraws funds without 'authorization.' It has, however, unfrozen the account. PayPal Freezes Account of Group Raising Money for Bradley Manning [Wired]


    1. I love the fact that boingboing comments are moderated by the kind of person who replies “Motherfuckers” to a story. No sarcasm.

    2. Them being this arbitrary will some day turn around and bite them in the ass. Unfortunately, Manning’s defense needs the damned money now, and these bastards are going out of their way to screw with him. Karma is going to run them over in the end.

  1. As I was passing La Vista and watching the roofing crew repair crew last week, I can only hope the next 6″ of snow bring joy.

  2. Come on, Peter Thiel, and speak to us about freedom and Libertarianism. We are eager to hear your wise and sincere words.

    This fucker is despicable. Freedom for him to crush anybody else, it seems.

    1. When did Manning earn the Iron Cross?

      That’s a marksmanship badge. A large portion of the US Army has them.

  3. Why isn’t Hillary on TV condemning the regime for disregarding people’s universal human rights?

    Anonymous needs to kick in some paypal ass. Or someone who works for paypal needs to sneakily get into their server rooms and start yanking cables. If I worked there this would be more than enough to turn to sabotage… ARE YOU LISTENING PAYPAL EMPLOYEES?? Stand up for what is morally correct, not what puts $ in your pocket or keeps the Feds off your backs.

    This is wrong, America. When are you gonna do something about this cascading failure of your institutions to protect citizens? Leader of the free world, my fucking ass.

  4. >because PayPal sought to withdraw funds from their checking account. To be clear: PayPal cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions.


    I didn’t know going in that this was going to be such a funny post.

    The internet is overflowing with stories of Paypal ripping people off and dipping into peoples’ bank accounts without authorization.

    In fact, the kind of publicity this story got has pretty consistently proven to be the ONLY way to get Paypal to back down on a dispute (that or bring some heavy legal guns to bear).

    1. Yep it’s true. They did it to me last week, and cost me $40 in NSF fee. The principle hurt more then the money, I make quite a point in never bouncing checks. But then, that’s a lot easier to do when other people aren’t “signing” them for me.

      And ya, Paypal is nothing but a private tax, held in place by eBay. I’ll be looking into their competition very shortly. eBay is very anti-competative when it comes to payment processing.

    1. Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to El Mariachi, which Church beat me to.

      (I guess I’m not very proficient as a BB poster)

        1. I’ll get it to you as soon as Manning’s trial starts.

          (I’m not sure you’re ever going to get that badge, Church)

  5. I’m just waiting for one day to find a situation where Paypal doesn’t act like a bunch of evil assclowns.

    1. We need something lossless. PayPal and Credit Cards tax all transactions – there’s no equivalent of cash transactions on the internet. Either a neutral non-profit bank or better, there have been some good crypto based suggestions for electronic cash where noone gets the opportunity to tax it in passing. Such schemes can also make following transaction trails hard – also desirable in such cases.

      Naturally banks and governments are violently opposed to such!

      1. They ought to tax Visa and Paypal to pay for the digital infrastructure and to rollout digital broadband for the poor, and also so as to increase Visa and Paypals future user business base thereby.

        If they profit from it , they ought to help pay for it.

  6. I love you guys, but we can tell this kind of thing is going to keep happening not just from Paypal’s specific behaviors in the recent past, but because of what Paypal is. Haters gonna hate, Libyans gonna lib, capitalists gonna capitalize.

    Expecting a for-profit corporation to do the right thing, even if their motto was “Don’t be evil”, is like expecting a smiling shark to swim up and give you a kiss. It’s only in their nature to pretend to be “good” in as far as it serves their real purpose of making money. They don’t avoid polluting or grinding up children to make their meal because they think those are bad things. They avoid it in as far as they’ve been forced not to do it, or in as far as they recognize the bad reaction it would bring down on them from citizens or consumers.

  7. Doesn’t the entire world know that Paypal is (are) asshole(s)?

    I only use them if there is absolutely no other choice.

  8. Without authorization – yeah right – like 2 weeks ago, when a scammer emptied my father’s bank account using a Paypal vulnerability. To its credit, the bank, Wells Fargo, immediately restored my father’s bank balance and referred the matter to its internal fraud unit.

    A year or so ago, another Paypal scammer emptied my mother’s account (they’re divorced). Since my mother’s account was with a credit union, it took 2 weeks to restore the balance. Both of them follow standard security measures.

    Paypal blew off both of them. When my father called, the Paypal rep accused my father of buying the $1700 guitar in Jakarta and trying to defraud Paypal. My 70+ year old, North Carolina born, southern drawl, decorated military vet father. Similarly, they accused my 60+ old mother of trying to defraud them. It seems to be their standard mode – accuse victims of being criminals and deny all responsibility for their inability to secure customer financial data. Fortunately the banks see it differently.

    We can now say we are a Paypal free family. No member of my family will ever use Paypal ever again, for anything.

    So nothing that Paypal does surprises me anymore. What very little cred they had with me disappeared two weeks ago.

  9. It’s 50/50 as to whether this has anything to do with Manning personally or if it’s just the usual PayPal penchant for cutting people off at random. For example, if you try and run any service that a 14-year old boy’s fevered imagination could remotely connect with sex you’ll be cut off: sex therapist, sexual assault survivor’s groups or services, breast cancer stuff. I’m pretty sure that, a la Bevis and Butthead, if you had the words “long and hard” somewhere on your website you’d be cut off.

    There actually is a newby competitor to PayPal called AlertPay. It will cheerfully fund any depraved interNet activity. (Not that I, ahem, would have any knowledge of such things.) It’s based in Quebec. The reviews I’ve seen say that they pretty much never cut you off but they are much slower than PayPal for getting your money out of the interWebs and turning it into actual off-line cash. Your mileage may vary.

  10. AlertPay will also cut you off, if, for example, your website features drawings of underage animal characters in sexual situations.

  11. Restored… I wonder if it was because someone realized what sorta hornets nest they were poking sticks into… As evil as paypal is I wouldnt be surprised if they were in cohorts with a government in using this as bait for a trap.

    I am confused as to why people still use paypal. They have proven time and time again to not be reliable as far as a financial institution. To call them Arbitrary is kind. It appears to me they are basically criminals who hide behind their tos as a way to rip off their customers.

  12. PayPal is starting to remind me of TicketMaster. Since they have no competition or regulation they are charging all the market will bear and become more and more exploitative. They need to be broken up. Antitrust! YAH!

  13. As many of your posters are noting there is a long history of people using PayPal to empty victims’ bank accounts. Most of the reputable merchants I know that accept PayPal do so by hooking up a “dummy” account and immediately transferring all funds out of that account to a real, unlinked account.

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