A bank blockade is about to staunch the flow of information from Julian Assange's notorious WikiLeaks website. According to reports in the Guardian and the New York Times, two of the newspapers that splashed the news from a torrent of secret documents uploaded to the website mostly by a low-level American soldier, Bradley Manning, publishing has stopped abruptly. What's lacking is, er, liquidity.
Julian Assange announced Monday that his pro-transparency hacker website will temporarily halt publication because of a cash shortage and will now concentrate on fundaising efforts. Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, Western Union, and Paypal boycotted WikiLeaks last year after the release of thousands of classified U.S. State Department cables and a threat to leak a big stash of documents incriminating the Bank of America. Consequently, the organization has lost about 95 percent of its revenues, Assange said at a press conference in London. Mortgage frauds hinted at in B of A emails were published on the related site Anonymous in March, but had less impact than anticipated. Arizona and Nevada had already filed charges for
a host of deceptive practices by Bank of America, including falsely advising people that they must be in default before getting a modification, promising modifications would be made permanent after an initial trial period, and pursuing foreclosures even after assuring homeowners that the foreclosure process was stopped.Already, the death knell is sounding and commentators are writing obituaries for the website, like this one in the Atlantic. While Manning remains in solitary confinement, the Australian whistleblower Assange is out on bail in Britain.