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Democracy leaks

When Wikileaks made its disclosures about the war, the banks’ paymasters – Visa, MasterCard and Paypal – panicked. The decision to deprive Wikileaks of the means to receive money has nearly brought it down.

Is this a victory for law and order or the suppression of the right to free speech and a frustration of democracy?

By deciding to take action against Wikileaks before any crime by Wikileaks had been proved, they are setting a very dangerous precedent: if such pre-emptive action is justified, why do they not take action against all sorts of other people and organisations that have been accused of a crime? Are racist organizations denied their services?

No doubt they will have a worked-through policy for which activities they are prepared to block on their own account before knowing that a crime has been committed. If they think of themselves as ‘corporate citizens’, we should be told about this policy and how it led to the Wikileaks decision. Or perhaps they don’t have one…

Maybe next time they won’t react quite so swiftly.

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