Well, I guess this will add to the evidence that Visa is refusing to accept donations from DataCell because it works with WikiLeaks.

For a few hours on Thursday, credit card donations once again flowed to WikiLeaks through a payment gateway at Icelandic hosting company DataCell. Then Visa shut it down again.

DataCell CEO Andreas Fink said his company had found a new payment acquirer, Valitor, willing to process payments to WikiLeaks, and accepted thousands of donations to the whistle-blowing website before running into problems around 3.30 a.m. Icelandic time.


According to Visa representative Amanda Kamin, “An acquirer briefly accepted payments on a merchant site linked to WikiLeaks. As soon as this came to our attention, action was taken with the suspension of Visa payment acceptance to the site remaining in place.”

DataCell’s contract with Valitor contains no terms that forbid DataCell from accepting donations on behalf of WikiLeaks, Fink said.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Valitor’s brief acceptance of DataCell donations will get it in trouble under Visa’s merchant agreements. Or whether they got written threats of trouble.

Because that’s the kind of thing that might make Europe more concerned about this abuse of Visa and MasterCard’s monopoly position.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.