Assange: Wikileaks will suspend publishing, financial blockade has "destroyed" 95% of income

In a press conference today, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks will temporarily suspend all publishing activities to "ensure future survival." A financial blockade against Wikileaks by payment processing services and credit card companies has "destroyed" 95% of the project's revenue, Assange said, costing “tens of millions of dollars” in lost funding.

Wikileaks solicits donations here, with the video above and a message reading: "Censorship, like everything else in the West, has been privatized."

More:, Telegraph UK, BBC News, Associated Press via NYT, and Gawker.


    1. if you’re complaining about losing money you never had, you belong on wall street or in property development.

      WL does do good work, and he’s becoming a terrible spokesperson. WL should open their own bank, not complain that the system they’re prodding at is not letting them play. This is a sympathy play, and it’s a pointless waste of breath.

      1. Oh yes, and we all know that you just have to take 5 $, get down to the city office and say „I’d like to open a bank.“  I wonder why so few people do that. I personally opened three just last week to cash into the the Geek default.

          1. Touting your cause as an open-source movement, but comporting yourself like the Eric Bauman of leaking information seems to be the problem here.

            There are plenty of people that have been doing this sort of thing for much longer, without being self-loving camera hungry rapists. Then there are others that just do it plain better from the get go.


      2. This is not “whining about money [they] never had,” this is pointing out that money they HAD, money that people gave to them, was seized by the banks and never released to Wikileaks.  You say they should “open their own bank,” but that’s a completely ludicrous proposition.  If the existing financial networks won’t service you, what good is hanging out your shingle as a bank?  They would just make the same decision, time and time again, to block any transactions that are attempted.  If you can’t receive money that people lawfully want to give you, what alternatives do you have?

        Claiming this is “whining” is victim blaming.  If someone had all their assets and income seized unlawfully, would you claim they were whining if they went public with that information?  Because that’s exactly what you just did.

        1. That’s not exactly what I just did, since Julian did just that* to the banks, first. That they are evil does not mean they’re guilty. Han shot first, as a review of the evidence will show.

          His mistake was threatening the banks. If this is his best response, I am sad for what he began. I hope (and happen to believe) he has better in him.

          And claiming he is whining is my opinion. That he is a victim of something and needs your defense is your opinion.

          * – received their property and withheld it. Arguably for good reasons, but it is what Julian did, and made known he had. I admire him for that. But this, this is sad.


            And claiming he is whining is my opinion. That he is a victim of something and needs your defense is your opinion.

            We’re all the victims of the banks, but somehow pointing that out is “reaping what you sow”. 

            Yeah, I totally agree, anytime you point out criminal behaviour or act as a witness and are silenced it’s your fault for standing up.  Smart people know to keep their heads down and do what power tells them to.

  1. I think Julian is woefully mislead about the purpose of WikiLeaks, and the reason it’s famous.

    Mr. Assange, you do not have a patent on leaking information.  We do not CARE if you go out of “business.”  The purpose of this exercise is not your financial security or ego.

    We need someone else to handle the next leak.  Not just to teach Assange some sort of lesson but to show that stopping WikiLeaks won’t stop all leaks.

    1. Sure, but name me another organisation that has the infrastructure in place to deal with global anonymous leaks — and the reputation to keep the whistle-blower’s name secret as much as it possibly can.

      1. What reputation did WikiLeaks have when it got started?  What infrastructure did it have before it was donated some?  How good a job has WikiLeaks done protecting its sources?  Manning is still in prison, you know. 

        If you have a leak like that, all you need is a way to spread it.  That can be as simple as a good journalist’s e-mail address.

        Is that how institutionalized we are?  That we can’t even work outside the institution without another institution holding our hand?

      2. Another organization? How about Cryptome which has been leaking third-party docs for a decade now?

    2. “We need someone else to handle the next leak”

      That sounds simple, but any new leak-focused organisations would just run into the same trouble that WikiLeaks has right now, i.e. the financial blockade.  Doing it for free isn’t all that practical either, as you need full-timers to keep everything running smoothly.  I’d like to see WikiLeaks fight this in the courts and win, rather than seeing them wave the white flag and then have this whole process repeat itself with some other organisation.

      Go WikiLeaks!  And good on you for not rolling over.

      1. If you have something worth hearing, people will listen. 

        The fact of the matter is that the information being leaked IS protected.  Leaking it IS a crime.  They’re not going to find WikiLeaks in the right because the legal system is on the side of the government.  That’s because it is PART of the government.

        You might call leaks a necessary evil to fight a corrupt power but don’t expect that corrupt power to agree. 

        And THAT is precisely why it’s important we NOT rely on WikiLeaks.  If you fall for that nonsense, that it takes a huge organization to spread truth, then what are you going to do once that organization is gone?  Roll over?  Give up?  This leak movement needs to be a hydra.  Cut off one head and two grow back.  If you ever let the objective die with a single entity – especially one headed by an egotistical ass like Assange – then I ask how much you ever cared about it in the first place. 

        1. If you ever let the objective die with a single entity – especially one headed by an egotistical ass like Assange – then I ask how much you ever cared about it in the first place.

          The issue is that anyone who tries to build the infrastructure for leaking will have their funding blocked by banks if they leak stuff that banks don’t like.  Since you’ll need infrastructure good luck with your imaginary leaking organisation.

    3. the point is wikileaks has an infrastructure in place; there is nothing like it out there. granted they are under a lot scrutiny at the moment but still it would take years to assemble a similar mission. so stfu plz.

      1. Yes, you’re right, of course.  Nobody ever told us this whole “defying the government” thing would be hard. 

        You can disagree with me all you like but I take issue with you telling me to shut the fuck up. 

  2. Well, I see what you’re saying, but.

    If he was just making up a figure that he thought people would should be prepared to pay him — “My skills are worth millions of dollars!!” then that would be whining. 

    On the other hand, If it’s quite likely that people are waiting to donate money, **but the banks have decided that he can’t have it**, then I think perhaps that’s a different thing altogether.

    On the third hand, I agree that he’s not his own best spokesperson.

    1. I can get 20 bucks to Julian Assange without going through a bank. It might be inconvenient for him to process so much paper, but so what? Not my problem, not the banks problem. 

      In the real world, private companies can choose not to do business with you. You have no right to international banking. You have companioes that think they can make money doing it for you, so they do, or don’t. You always have a right to give the man a $20. Why you couldn’t also get hims 20 bucks is beyond me and seems played up.

      It’s not entirely unlike people claiming censorship when their account
      at a private website is deleted becuase they created a “western culture is a corrupt conspiracy” posting macro.

      Assange took a shit in the global punchbowl, and reaps what he sews. He should man up a bit.

  3. Whatever happened to the Bank of America leak that appeared to trigger the reaction from PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard?

    This article was on November 30, 2010. PayPal canceled the Wikileaks account on December 3rd. Visa and MasterCard on December 6th. It seems pretty likely the one caused the other. So where’s the dirt on BOA?

    1. Hell of a good point.  They had a couple of big releases that had a major impact on important events.

      But they aren’t the only game in town, they are structured in such a way as to be vulnerable to the inevitable internal personal conflicts, and Assange remains the public face of the organization while having no ability to direct its activities.

      If you have something important that the world needs to see, handing it to them seems inadvisable.

      Perhaps a better route in the long run is to have multiple competing outlets, and release identical information to each.  That is, if your goal is the release of the information and not the ego or finances of the intermediary.

      On the flip side, if you are a large government with vast resources, you might want to sponsor such an organization as a covert operation, to use as a honey trap.  Of course, you’d have to allow the releases to flow through it to maintain the cover.  Or maybe you could just tease the releases and dribble out inconsequential ones.

    2. wiped in a data purge by the openleaks founder I believe … someone correct me if I’m wrong on this one.

    3. I agree that we really need to know what WL knew about BoA (which is a TERRIBLE corporation!). Here’s some public dirt on Bank of America (that I think I remember). In return for taking over Countrywide for a ca. $600 million tax break, they now hold $75 trillion in derivatives (source: Which can’t be true. That number’s ridiculous. Second, according to Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith in her recent interview with Harry Shearer, BoA holds an amount of second mortgages approximately equal to if not greater than its current stock worth. Most people would pay off their troubled first mortgages before worrying about second mortgages, but the risks for first mortgages have been waltzed off onto investors and banks still hold the risk for second ones. Consequently, US banks are using all the non-bank incentives at their deregulated disposal, including debt collection agencies they own, to scare second mortgage holders into paying a bit more a bit longer so as bank statistics are tracked in the USA they can put certain numbers off for weeks at best. No matter what happens, no consumer debt is forgiven of course. (Source: Oct. 2 episode of “le Show”)

  4. but without Wikileaks… how will Julian Assange convince wealthy people to use their largesse to support his lifestyle gratis?  Massive 24 guest room mansions aren’t free…well, they are to Julian, but without Wikileaks, he might have to get a real job… how will he keep his ego inflated then?   Won’t somebody please think of Julian? I mean…someone besides Julian…

  5. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

  6. Could someone please elaborate on what infrastructure, other than the existing infrastructures of TOR or Freenet, is needed to run a Wikileaks-alike?

    Because it seems to me that Assanego has been spending any donations on himself – his legal fund, his mansion, his travel fees, etc.

    It seems to me that WL could run perfectly well without any money at all, purely on volunteer labor and donations of hardware. Of course, that means that ANYONE in the system could leak the info that WL had, and not release it slowly and in a controlled manner for drama and egoboosting. It would mean that the leaks would be released as intended by the leakers.

    And it would mean there was no useful role for a figurehead.

    At which point, the only useful role left to Assange would be as a convenient near-rhyme for “orangey”.

    1. Could someone please elaborate on what infrastructure, other than the existing infrastructures of TOR or Freenet, is needed to run a Wikileaks-alike?

      Careful analysis of the leaked data to ensure that leaking of it does not contain watermarks of various types which could identify sources (especially important with photos and video).  Analysis to remove names or other identifying information to avoid retributive attacks which may get people killed.  Careful vetting of the source and authenticity of the documents to ensure that the documents are not faked, are not part of disinformation campaigns, or are not falsified intentionally in an attempt to discredit.

      In addition there will need to be support infrastructure of various types including legal work, secretarial work, making contacts, LOADS of PR work, server and IT work etc. 

      It’s not a “dump it in your off hour from work” type job.  It certainly isn’t something easily managed.  If you think it’s something a few people could do in their spare time, I don’t think you’ve really contemplated just what is required and totally under appreciate what’s being done.

      1. ….And what evidence is there that Wikileaks was doing any of this sort of thing?

        All the diplomatic cables were processed in partnership with newspapers.

        What has Assange done with the money that was already donated? There’s no evidence he hasn’t done anything other than spent it on himself.

        1. All the diplomatic cables were processed in partnership with newspapers.

          What has Assange done with the money that was already donated? There’s no evidence he hasn’t done anything other than spent it on himself.

          I know for a fact that the jobs I mentioned were done by wikileaks.  The evidence that he hasn’t spent it all by himself is that there are servers, there are people doing all of that support work. He can’t have spent all of it on himself and also on those things.

          It’s also important that the media hasn’t claimed that he was in fact spending all the money on questionable things.  Based on the amount of smear work against wikileaks the probability of foul play with regards to spending without negative press is close to zero.

  7. They might get more donors if they made more of an effort to separate the cause of Wikileaks from the legal woes of a guy who is facing charges of sex crimes. Writing a check to “WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund” might be off-putting to people who suspect the charges against Assange may not be part of an international conspiracy.

    1. “Writing a check to “WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund” ”
      I seem to recall before the financial blockade or when it was being put in place (ie last time I looked, so a bit out of date) the allocation to one or the other was a different account. No idea if it stayed separate.

      Edit: “WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund” is a defence fund “that will be used to cover the legal defence fees of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks staff.” not funding wikileaks – those are the other avenues of donation. Probably needs a less ambiguous name.

      1. I realize there is more than one account listed on that page but they didn’t exactly go out of their way to make a distinction. If you think Assange is the victim of a frame-job and want to support him that’s OK, but why can’t his personal appeal live on a different web page? Maybe a seperate web site entirely?

        1. it does… its called founded by former staffers of wikileaks who left due to Assange and his egotistical horseshit.

  8. _ today i received the following message via e-mail. Here the complete mail without modifications:

    “Dear Donor,

    on behalf of the whole WikiLeaks project, we in the Wau-Holland-Stiftung (WHS) want to thank you for your generous donations in 2010. Your donations were vital to making the historic disclosures of 2010 possible. Without your help, the WikiLeaks project would not have been able to deliver on making freedom of information a reality.

    As you are aware, since December 2010 WikiLeaks has come under a politically motivated attack to cut off donations and debilitate its financial capabilities; our own foundation is subject to an investigation of its charitable status by the tax authorities in Germany. The financial blockade has not achieved its goals.

    You can still financially support WikiLeaks and help the project withstand this politically motivated attack – and here is how:

    Today, 24th October 2011, WikiLeaks is initiating a campaign against the unlawful and arbitrary blockade imposed by PayPal, Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, and Western Union to prevent you and other people like you who want to donate to the WikiLeaks project and keep it strong. WikiLeaks has initiated litigation proceedings in several countries.  Your support is more vital than ever. If you would like to learn more about the blockade, visit can join Julian Assange, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Bernd Fix from WHS at the press conference about the financial blockade against WikiLeaks and WHS via live stream The event will be held in London’s Frontline Club at 12:45 (local time) on Monday, 24 October 2011.

    Best regards
    Board of directors, Wau-Holland-Stiftung”

    1. I received the same email.  The simplest way I have found to provide support is to  just mail a check made out to the “Wau Holland Foundation” First Class Mail USPS to Germany.  The postage cost is 98 cents.  Please rest assured the Wau Holland Foundation is not the defense fund. 

      The address to use for your donations is:

      W???Leaks “Some variation of the word WikiLeaks to avoid censorship”

      Wau Holland Stiftung
      Postfach 65 04 43

      Quick and easy.

  9. So this guy decided to stick it to The Man in a way and on a scale that made the Pentagon Papers look like a cocktail-party rumor, and he didn’t have a Plan B for when his target decided to retaliate via the industry that depends on the backing of the federal government for its continued existence and prosperity? Why is Assange in charge of anything larger and more complicated than a lemonade stand? 

  10. Is wikileaks’ structure still sound? The longer they use that structure (and the more they fight amongst themselves) the more likely it is that governments around the world will get access to it.

  11. Having just now RTF donation page, I must conclude that the majority of posters have *not*.  The upper (majority) portion of the donation page revolves around how to support the actual Wikileaks organization, the remainder of the page is about funding for legal defense of all Wikileaks staff, (including Mr. Assange of course).  No confusion, no problems, no sleight of hand, WTF are people belly-aching about?!?

  12. If wikileaks really wanted to stay open, they could.  
    There are ways around the “embargo”.

    Send cash, send prepaid debit cards, send them money orders, send them gold or silver coins they can use to buy server time on a Tea Party owned server (sarcasm).

    It seems to me that there is more to the story than we are being told.  I did not think he would give up this easily.  There has to be more out there to leak… not sure why hes not leaking more now than before.

  13. Heilige Scheisse, it wasn’t Countrywide that was the source of Bank of America’s derivatives, it was Merrill Lynch? Harper’s Weekly Review writes that this week

    “Bank of America shifted $55 trillion worth of Merrill Lynch derivatives to its retail bank unit, where they would be insured by U.S. taxpayers through the FDIC.”

  14. Just what regulation exists to ensure that PayPal and such finance 2.0 companies are bound to act fairly?  We’ve seen them twist their Ts & Cs like a vanilla villain.  Ironically, this sort of thing is where a regular bank is a lot better behaved…

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