Europarliament Scolds Visa, MasterCard, PayPal For Killing WikiLeaks Donations; Initiates Regulation

Today, the European Parliament ordered new legislation to regulate credit card companies’ ability to refuse service. This regulation follows the unilateral and rightless cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks, as well as similar trampling on small entrepreneurs. The Pirate Party took the initiative to the new regulation.

It has become an increasingly large problem that Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal control the valve to any money flow on the planet. Today, the European Parliament established this as a clear problem, and initiated regulation of the companies, limiting and strictly regulating their right to refuse service. The Pirate Party was the initiator of this regulation, following the damaging cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks after said organization had performed journalism that was embarrassing to certain governments.

In the week leading up to this initiation of regulation, banks in Sweden were caught in the act of arbitrarily discriminating against fully legal business owners that the banks claimed sold (according to the banks) “questionable products” like horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys; meanwhile, these same banks happily channeled stock in corporations under investigation of genocide. When pressed on the matter, the banks referred to vague rules from Visa and MasterCard – who are apparently in a position to shut down any business or organization on the planet they don’t agree with for any reason. This is an obvious and severe problem.

The European Parliament adopted the following passage today as part of a larger report, requesting legislation to be drafted on the matter, having the crucial text inserted by Pirate MEP Christian Engström:

32. [The European Parliament] Considers it likely that there will be a growing number of European companies whose activities are effectively dependent on being able to accept payments by card; considers it to be in the public interest to define objective rules describing the circumstances and procedures under which card payment schemes may unilaterally refuse acceptance

While this may seem like vague political language, this is a clear request for legislation to be drafted on the matter which will eventually come to a vote.

The initiator of this part of the bill, MEP Christan Engström with the Pirate Party, comments in a press release:

“It is not reasonable that Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal can shut Swedish entrepreneurs out from trading online when they sell horror movies or sex toys, just because the payment providers are scared of American fundamentalist moralism”, says Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party.

“Another example is when Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal blocked donations to WikiLeaks. This happened without legal grounds and shall be regarded as the three companies collaborating in helping the American government to silence an inconvenient voice. It is unacceptable that private corporations has that kind of power over free speech”, says Engström.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Dalton

    I completely agree with creating international legislation to regulate these companies. Giving any company or corporation the power to keep people from receiving money is a drastic violation of their rights and is WAY too much power for ANYONE on this planet to have. The example where the still happily hold funds for companies under investigation of genocide was brilliant.

    1. Pieter

      Can you name the company under investigation for genocide? It doesn’t ring a bell (although I know plenty of unethical companies out there, such as Nestle, Shell or Elsevier).

      1. Rick Falkvinge

        Lundin Petroleum, being investigated for its role in genocide in Sudan.

        1. Pieter

          Thanks for the clarification. I had indeed not heard of that company before.

      2. JG

        Interested to know where and under which circumstance Shell has acted unethically. You will find it hard, unless you unequivocally believe Greenpeace of course.

        1. asd

          Actually, talking about Shell, this reminds me of a documentary I saw on TV a few months ago. I think it was called ‘Shell to Sea’.

        2. GB

          Just look at what Shell did in Nigeria.

    2. cf

      Dalton, regulation is the wrong answer, as it only helps to entrench these 3 companies. More deregulation, competition, and eventual replacement of the dinosaurs is needed.

  2. Dalton

    I completely agree with creating international legislation to regulate these companies. Giving any company or corporation the power to keep people from receiving money is a drastic violation of their rights and is WAY too much power for ANYONE on this planet to have. The example where they still happily hold funds for companies under investigation of genocide was brilliant.

  3. […] van Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal en Western Union. In elk geval in Europa. Volgens Rick Falkvinge heeft Engström met een cruciale pssage bijgedragen aan een wetsontwerp. Als het aangenomen […]

  4. jake

    i have experienced being blacklisted/banned by visa, mastercard and paypal and the effects are serious. none of the products i ever sold were illegal but they could be considered socially or morally unacceptable. apparently this is a “valid” basis on which to deny payment processing for these companies.

    60-70% of my payment processing volume was cutoff when these companies decided to push my merchant account provider to pull my account. i have found that Dwolla to be a great service but i suspect it is only available inside the US atm.

  5. […] For Killing WikiLeaks Donations; Initiates Regulation Posted on 2012/11/20 by NotSoCrazyNews Original post on →   Comments on →   Related PostsWikiLeaks Reopens Channel For […]

  6. Dirk Ramstein

    The answer to violence is not more violence. The Pirate Party has now exposed itself as nothing more than a bunch of Statists that are identical to the present lot of people who are in control of the apparatus; they simply have different ends – the means remain the same and these means are immoral and unethical and violent.

    The answer to VISA and MasterCard refusing to serve people is not force, but Bitcoin. Forcing these companies to serve everyone as a ‘right’ will merely entrench them and their surveillance systems and make them harder to displace with better technologies. The Pirate Party is now working against the best interests of the public. Its a complete own goal.

    This is total lunacy, especially now, when everyone is being primed to switch to Bitcoin by the clearly evil behavior of PayPal and the credit card companies. Get out of the way, and let the market provide the best services for the customer. The public does not need well meaning violent do gooders ruining everything for everyone.

    1. Adam Smith

      “let the market provide the best services for the customer”.

      1. Caleb Lanik

        Well put. This kind of reasoning leads to segregated buses and restaurants on the grounds that eventually people will put racists out of business. We all remember how that worked out.

        1. huh?

          What? Segregated buses and restaurants were mandated by state law, not because of “the market”. Try again.

    2. wat?

      Neo-liberal bitcoin fanboy trolling?
      Ofcourse we need to regulate the private sector. Especially when they transgress on our universal rights. How does that amount to violence?

      1. Rights

        And what universal right would that be? The right to force others to serve you? I would hate to be on the wrong end of that one…

        The only ethical solution is to utilize the market. I obtained my first bitcoins in order to donate to Wikileaks. Maybe Visa et al will regret pushing customers over to Bitcoin the day they are put out of business by it.

        1. equality

          The right to EQUALITY.

          These huge corporations are the power of governments with NO competition. Think of them like a train service and them refusing you to use it. Now you’re forced to walk because their is NO alternative.

          If these 3 guys refuse to process your payments based on their idea of morality and NOT legality then you lose 90% of your sales, then it’s discrimination!! You’re out of business at the whim of a big corporate. How else are you going to process payments online? Please explain!

    3. Kyle

      Thank you, I agree. I can’t believe how naive people are being about this. They don’t realize that we can choose to use another company in a matter of minutes, it takes decades to choose another government. Giving government regulation of this is a double edged sword. They are grabbing power in the name of protection.

    4. Anonymous

      >The answer to VISA and MasterCard refusing to serve people is not force, but Bitcoin.

      You are way too delusional, dear sir. But you are kind of funny.

    5. lol

      Disagree on the violence, I see none here. Agree with bitcoins. Unfortunately this view is delusional and will never happen, as much as I agree and think would be nice, just won’t happen.

    6. Dr Billy Kidd

      Dirk, I know your comments were well intentioned. But the Visa/MC/PayPal/Google hold on the U.S. has blacked out the news on Bitcoin. Who has even heard of it in the U.S.??

      1. Marc Womack

        I’m from USA and I’m familiar with bit coin but that’s just b/c I’m an early adopter tech head. That said, wouldn’t matter if every single US citizen knew about it. Until something is as easy and stable as Visa/MC comes along Americans won’t use it. Hell paypal isnt as easy which is why it is no where near as utilized as credit cards.

        “We should all just use becuase it sticks it to the man, is good for the environment, is super healthy……”

        Sure, the world does need Idealists. The world also needs Cyncical Skeptics. Then if we are lucky most of the world be Realists in the middle.

    7. Anonymous

      Visa Mastercard and Paypal control the huge majority of online payments. They arbitrarily refuse to handle, for instance, Wikileaks payments. That is completely wrong.
      We need one of two solutions. Either, as proposed by the European Parliament, they must be legally obliged to handle these payments, or there must be a large alternative service provider who will accept them. Somehow, I’m not hopeful of seeing a big new player enter the market, so the European Parliament’s idea seems to be the right one.

    8. Michael Lockyear

      EU banking and anti-moneylaundering regulations create a situation where it is difficult to compete with Visa / Mastercard. It is only fair then that unacceptable behaviour by these companies be dealt with by more regulation.

    9. Nicholas Miles

      He is calling the legislation violent because every government regulation invokes the state monopoly on violence – if you break one of them people with guns take you or your money away. This is how government works.

      That said, jumping on the free market bandwagon – which is like my favourite thing in the world to do – requires there actually be a free market in the first place. VISA, Mastercard, and PayPal have such a dominant position that it is hard to see what competition we could hope for. I’m personally not very comfortable with imposing regulations for something like this, and would prefer stronger anti-monopoly and anti-trust legislation, but I suppose this regulation will get the job done in the mean time. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a permanent solution.

  7. Belorn

    Could not anti-competitor laws be expanded to also include depended parties? Its sound as an logical approach, since anti-competitor laws always discuss market abuse by parties of an monopolistic nature, and the activities against wikileaks looks to match that exactly. The problem is not VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal per say, but their monopolistic statue as payment systems in regard to access to and by end-users. For companies and organizations depended on online revenue like donations or webb-shops, VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal has complete market control over them.

    1. 6.941

      For shame, PP.

      I appreciate that people who want to make a purchase or donation should not be systemically prevented from doing so, if the transaction itself is permitted by law. But if that’s what’s on the table, you should be thinking of ways to punch new holes through the wall that VISA/MasterCard/PayPal are trying to put up, not dreaming up new and interesting variations on the theme of antitrust.

      It’s a little different with banks. Banks are granted special rights — to create money, and to exercise primary control over it — and as such can justifiably be obligated to dance to the dictated tune in some respects. But VISA et al. don’t fall into that category. If PayPal denies service to X, it’s admittedly being a huge penis, but it’s no foregone conclusion that it doesn’t have a right to.

      1. Anonymous

        Technically, PayPal is a bank for the purposes of EU banking regulation (registered in Luxembourg).

  8. Alex Macfie

    @Dirk: Where does it say anything about violence? How is it “violent” to oblige payment providers to process payments except where there is a good reason not to (meaning: the transaction is illegal)? And payment processing companies are an essential part of the performing monetary transactions over the Internet; they are a kind of “currency”. To oblige them to process payments is not “statist”, but integral to the existence of a well-functioning free market. To say we should not oblige them to do this because you hope to create your own system some time in the future is absurd.

    1. Dirk Ramstein

      You are being disingenuous. When you say ‘oblige’ what EXACTLY are you saying? You do not mean “ask nicely, and if they refuse, shrug your shoulders”. You are saying, if they refuse to obey us, the collective, we will use violence against them to force them to serve people the do not want to serve. We will levy fines against them, and lock up their directors. This is EXACTLY what you are saying and suggesting is ethical; it is not. That is precisely how it is violent.

      It is the epitome of statist to use the State to force companies and people to do what they do not want to do, “for the greater good of society”. This is pure evil, and no one needs the State to regulate the market, any more than the State is needed to regulate the salinity of the ocean or the orbit of the earth.

      I do not hope to create ‘my own system’; Bitcoin exists now and is growing exponentially right now. This is a fact, and not in the least bit absurd.

      What is absolutely absurd, are a group of well meaning and confused people who on the one hand cry out for ‘liberty’ but on the other, try and force the shackles of the Credit Card companies on everyone, killing off the technologies that have the potential to make online commerce more free, easier, more reliable and without any prejudice or interference of any kind.

      There really isn’t an excuse for this doublethink anymore. Everyone should know by now that force is immoral, unethical and counter productive. The world of voluntary software development in the Free Software movement and now Bitcoin should have made this clear to everyone, especially to the Pirate Party people, who one would have assumed are more intelligent than the rest.

      1. Derek

        Dirk – very well said. I would add that this is a European power grab to control American companies. If the Europeans do not like the way Mastercard et al operate then they should create their own direct competitor. Also, the bit in the article about Swedish banks citing vague rules of these companies is absolute non-sense. The products and services cited are sold every day around the world using these payment services. This means that it isn’t “American fundamentalist moralism” driving this refusal of service, it is European moralism.

        1. Lampa

          Visa and Mastercard s cutting off companies that sell perfectly legal stuff, based on vague rules that they make up themselves, is definitely not nonsense. They do it through the Swedish banks. And as you say yourself, a lot of companies sell the same kind of products using VISA/Mastercard etc. That only shows that the “rules” of VISA/Mastercard are subject to extreme subjectivity and not fit to be used to deny people their livelihood.
          You will have to do the translation yourself, link to the Swedish national radio broadcasting corporation:

      2. What is wrong with you?

        Where doe s it say there will be violence? Who will be jailed? If anything the European Parliament will simply ban Visa, MasterCard and PayPal from doing business in the region.

        1. Dirk Ramstein

          You just answered your own question.

          If Mastercard, PayPal and VISA are BANNED, how do you think this will be achieved? Simply by asking? If they refuse to obey this ‘ban’ what do you think will happen to the people who run those companies? Or the merchants who continue to accept payment via their services? You are spectacularly naive if you do not understand that a ban is inherently violent.

          A ban on a company is forcing someone to stop offering a service to someone else on a voluntary basis. If you refuse to obey, the State steals your money and then arrests you and jails you. This is pure violence, and what I simply cannot understand is how it is that people like you have been educated so that you do not understand the meaning of the words you use. You throw around words like ‘Ban’ and ‘legislate’ and even ‘force’ without understanding that they all refer to violence.

          It really frightens me that there are people out there who are so incredibly ignorant, and who also have a vote, by which this sort of evil can spread all over the world. Rather than peacefully working for change through technology like Bitcoin, you group together into a braying mob calling for violence against people who have done nothing whatsoever to you. These credit card companies have not even violated contracts; you have no issue with them at all; its just calling for blood like savages.

          Once again, this is very worrying, on several levels.

      3. Lampa

        Would you think it reasonable to deny certain, legal, companies to handle physical currency? I hope not! Why would it then be reasonable to deny the same companies the ability to handle money digitally?

        This is not forcing “the shackles of the Credit Card companies on everyone”, it is removing the shackles of the credit card companies from the people and placing it on the credit card companies.

        You have also made no effort to describe why this would hinder other payment technologies. Why would this hurt f.ex. Bitcoin? More payment providers is still something good and will not be hindered by this potential legislation.

      4. Mans

        Statists and Freedom

        I kind of agree with your conclusion, but with the comment that at present, regulations on card operators is not really violence if the operators are allowed to stop operating completely in such a domain, e.g. EU. It is the same with driving a car – you may drive if you allow people over at a crossings, etc. You may choose to not drive the car also.
        For your suggestion, Bitcoin is the perfect example but there should be options with other Card operators. Why on earth are we all using US card payment systems? Is it not time for a Pan-Europe card, with lower fees and without the US kill-switch!

        1. Filino Rupro

          A Pan-Europe card will be great! We are a larger market than the USA.
          Branson could think in do it!
          But europeans are severelly submissive to american interests, and don’t forget they have a ‘submarine’ on Great-Britain….

      5. Colin


        Unless you think legally obliging a monopoly to behave even handedly to all actual and potential customers who behave in accordance with the law involves beating the shit out of Paypal’s directors, I don’t see any violence here.

        “… and no one needs the State to regulate the market.” Tell that to all the ordinary people around the world who have lost huge sums of their own money to bail out banks that took monumentally stupid risks in the years leading up to the financial disaster of 2007 onwards.

      6. Anonymous

        To respond to your reply to “What is wrong with you” (since that reached the 4-deep limit):

        You don’t need to trow anyone in gaol to stop a company doing business entirely, all you have to do is revoke its incorporation, at which point the company ceases to exist. While that makes it impossible for creditors to recover their debts except from the shareholders and directors, it also makes it impossible for the company to operate.

        However, Mastercard and Visa have no legitimate reason to oppose the proposals. It is in the best interests of their shareholders to handle payments for as many people as possible. That means that without any public or government pressure, they would deal with villains (and indeed do, as Rick pointed out[1]). Thus, what Engstrom is proposing is essentially to force the companies to do exactly what they want to do anyway.

        However, they do have a legitimate reason to complain. Firstly, if they just smiled and said “OK”, it would upset powerful pressure groups, whereas now they can blame those evil socialist Europeans and the complainers will go away. Secondly, if they complain enough, they have a chance of getting some concessions from the EU in return, which is always worth trying for.

        [1] see also Cisco in Iran, IBM in Nazi Germany, and so on.

    2. Dan Black

      100% statist. You can’t admit that these regulations would be based on violence? Seriously? I suppose the state is going to get it’s way by asking “pretty please”? You are in good company with a host of dictators who believe that market interventionism is integral to a “well-functioning” (dictator-speak for “run my way”) economy.

      1. kgb999

        First, asserting these regulations are based on violence is actually flat-out asinine. But OK … let’s go with it.

        By your definition, Visa/Mastercard/Paypal are also engaged in violence against randomly selected businesses over whom they have established the absolute power to control cash-flow.

        The primary thing to remember is that these corporations have zero mandate from the citizens of the planet to engage in such violence. OTOH, establishing mechanisms for commerce that preclude the need to resolve disputes using violence was one of the most significant objectives behind humanity democratically forming a government.s

        In this context, it appears the alternative to a “Statist” approach is to embrace and empower an unaccountable plutocratic oligarchy Oooh Yeah. That is like, totally way better.

        So, your premise is that plutocratic authoritarians who establish their power by leveraging non-democratic mechanisms extant in a fully-manipulated economic market should be allowed an exclusive monopoly on engaging in violence against perfectly legal participants in the global economy?

        1. Dirk Ramstein

          Thanks for replying “kgb999”. First of all, saying that the assertion regulations are based on violence is asinine is an empty ad-hominem attack. You need to write sensibly if you want to be taken seriously.

          VISA, PayPal and MasterCard are not engaging in violence by witholding their services. Violence is an active act, and cannot be done by not doing something. Witholding food or services or goods is not and cannot be violence in a trade context. If what you are claiming is true, boycotts would be violent. Its clearly absurd.

          VISA PayPal and Mastercard are private companies. They are not obliged to serve anyone against their ethics or standards. You do not have the right to force your own standards on other people, including VISA/MC/PP. That you believe that you have this right, presumably through ‘democracy’ is simply wrong.

          Corporations do not need a mandate from anyone to trade non violently and voluntarily with their customers. Unlike you, I do not use my own personal definition of words to make my case. MC/VISA/PP do not have ‘absolute power’ over anyone or anything. They ‘established themselves’ through purely voluntary rendering of services over decades, without force or coercion. They deserve the market share they have acquired, and in a free market, something like Bitcoin can (and probably will) overtake them if the companies that use it can do a better job of providing what customers need.

          I sense that I am probably wasting my time replying to you, but there are others who are on the edge that could be persuaded by some plain logic.

        2. kgb999

          Actually, no. Asserting an idea is asinine is simply asserting an idea is asinine, it’s not an ad-hominem. An ad-homninem argument is one that asserts an idea is wrong because of the identity of the person presenting it. … which I simply did not do. I would counter that you should actually learn the meaning of words before using them as part of a debate if you’d like to be taken seriously yourself.

          [“Violence is an active act, and cannot be done by not doing something. “]

          By this definition, if Europe were to simply refuse to renew the business licenses for Visa et. al. It would not be an act of violence – regardless the reason for not renewing. Right? I’m not basing any particular argument on the observation (as I said, I think the entire violence frame is comically invalid), just sayin.

          You’ve kind of gone off into la-la land trying to assert a boycott falls into the conversation at all. In the case of a boycott, participants do not “withhold food services or goods” at all. Private citizens acting as non-licensed consumers simply make a selection about what licensed vendor to do business with.

          At the heart of this, you are simply incorrect on an important point. Corporations absolutely require a mandate – to engage in any business whatsoever. This isn’t a matter of philosophy. It is a matter of fact.

          Which brings us to a glaring logical fallacy with your conceptualizations. Companies are, by definition, creations of a “statist” entity. They exist only through the structures of a State which both empowers their actions and protects their interests with the exact tools of violence you claim to decry.

          Just ask the kids who had their doors smashed in by shock-troops for flooding Visa’s public network with rather more public IP requests than the company would have liked to see. Or maybe talk to Jason Chen about that one time he got an exclusive look at the iPhone4 and wrote it up for Gizmodo.

          Corporations are not people. They are entirely statutory fictitious entities. They currently operate under a set of rules that exist for no other reason than the fact that a government representing the democratic will of a people set out rules and said “OK, individuals can create these new things we invented which we will call corporations.”

          By virtue of the fact that these are entities created entirely by a “statist” entity (i.e. elected government) and operating under such rules – these entities are empowered under these rules to leverage various tools of state “violence” (coercion would probably be a less comically dramatic word choice) to achieve their objectives.

          What you propose is that it would be an act of violence for the representatives of the people to slightly modify already copious rules which create and empower fictitious entities … ignoring that these fictitious entities wouldn’t even exist and be empowered to leverage the tools of state coercion (in this case, control of currency) were it not for a plethora of “acts of violence” dictating the behavior of individuals well beyond just members of the corporation itself under threat of state coercion.

          That doesn’t make any sense. So. We can make rules that set these guys up in their positions … but we can never change them when it becomes apparent the rules are being abused?

          Until you are able to eliminate the nation state, it makes zero sense to whine about “statism”. In the environment of current reality, you are simply arguing that only individuals who achieve positions of wealth and power should have input to how the mechanisms of The State are implemented. As one who believes all individuals should be equal, I’m not sure how that’s considered logical.

        3. Dirk Ramstein


          If Europe were to refuse to renew the business license of Visa et al, they would be saying, “if you continue to offer your services to people in the EU, we will fine you, raid your offices, arrest your directors and put you in jail”. This is violence by definition, and even someone like you can see this.

          You cannot escape this fact, and you cannot frame any argument where the State has control over business without invoking violence. This is the root of the problem; people like you do not understand what it is you advocate when you call for business to be ‘banned’ or to have ‘license revoked’. The very fact that anyone needs permission to do business is in and of itself, violent by nature.

          A boycott is not violence. It is a withholding of your money, which you are perfectly entitled to do. You must get a grip on English; what the words and concepts mean before you try and frame arguments about rights, violence and the State.

          The fact of the matter is that corporations do not need a mandate to engage in business; once again, you do not understand English. They might need a license, but that is a different matter, and an important distinction.

          Companies are not the creations of a Statist entity (what you are actually trying to say here, is ‘the State’). A corporation is nothing more than a group of people gathering together to pool capital and risk so that they can make a profit. Corporations can exist without the State; it is merely another form of contract between private people; the sort of thing people like you abhor.

          Corporations are not people. This is true. They are however, not “created entirely by a “statist” entity”. This is simply false. They are precisely as I described, though under the State, their true natures and ability to act is distorted by the law and ignorant people who call for violent action against them, especially when they are successful. This is immoral, unprincipled and illiterate OWS dogma.

          You talk about, “the representatives of the people”, and “fictitious entities”. Im afraid that you simply do not understand the true nature of man and his rights. The fact that people vote for someone does not confer the right to engage in violence against people who are themselves not violent. What you are claiming is that because 51% of people vote for something, it magically becomes right or a right. This is nonsense. You have no right to control me or anyone else, and a vote does not give you any rights over anyone or their property.

          As for eliminating the nation state, this is going to happen eventually. In the meantime, there is no reason to encourage them in their violence by adopting and aping their sick philosophies, justifying them and going along with it like its all natural and normal. You have an obligation to know what the truth is and to live by it and to refrain from financing or participating in violence.

          Finally, you say all individuals should be equal. This is utter nonsense. Men are not equal, and cannot be made equal. Your ideology of force is against nature, and it is the cause of all the problems we have to suffer. You refuse to face the facts of violence, and because you can barely think, cannot identify violence, just like the people who all replied to my first comment here; none of them understand that the laws they think need to be passed are pure violence. If you asked them wether or not they thought that they themselves were violent, they would all declare no with a shout, despite the fact that they call out for it by asking the State to control VISA/MC/PayPal.

          In the end, these very sick, twisted people are going to be shut down, because the State is going to be defunded by its money printing and new technologies that will allow people to avoid having their money stolen. It gives me great pleasure to watch it happen, and you will all be forced to face reality head on; a future without your violent State and delusions made real.

        4. Anonymous


          Revoking their business licence or corporate charter would not involve seizing assets or throwing people in gaol. All assets, debts, and loans would revert to the shareholders personally, and the company as such would cease to have an legal existence.

          In many places you are allowed to do business as an unincorporated association, but then you’re operating without any liability shield and thus personally at risk of bankruptcy. The former shareholders could, of course, ask to incorporate again under such terms as the government might be willing to offer, but that would be a whole new company.

          If the company was purely foreign, with no local assets or operations, then revoking its business license would simply eliminate its existence under local law, effectively removing it’s ability to collect debts. It could try to do business, but no one would be silly enough to give it any credit, so it would be pretty stuck.

  9. k0nsl

    Mr. Engström speaks wisely.


  10. Cellar

    Probably time to recognise that turning money services into tracking- and policing tools does more harm than good. How many terrorists were apprehended because they handled “terrorist” money? How is that money different from any other money?

    That this happens with american companies is ironic since political donations count as free speech there. So why not other kinds of donations, any purchases at all? Why the monitoring? Why no anonymous money transfers?

    1. Leonardo

      Actually, there is a way to differentiate between normal currency and what you called “terrorist currency”. The basic idea is to look at the source of the money.

      So, say that the recipient has received X amount of currency from this entity that is somehow linked to some terrorist act, then this would be a red flag. It might not be damning evidence, but if the recipient keep receiving currency from dubious source, specially from different dubious sources, this could become evidence to justify an investigation.

      Take this with a grain of salt thought. This has no direct relation to my field of expertise and it’s just an educated guess on how money can be different from other money and be discerned as such.

  11. mijj

    The corporate government shenanigans makes it obvious: Bitcoin should become the standard for making donations.

    1. managerdefotbal

      Since WordPress added the option to purchase with bitcoins, the number of bloggers interested to receive anonymous donations will increase:

  12. Ano Nymous

    Doesn’t that text mean just about nothing? “define objective rules describing the circumstances and procedures under which card payment schemes may unilaterally refuse acceptance”
    -Okay, we define the rules to be that they can do anything they want, no change.

    The EU dictators like control, and do you really not believe that the US Govt. had something to do with the cutting off of funds to Wikileaks? The EU wants, or already has, similar control.

    Also, even though it’s good that the companies are prohibited from stopping money flow at will (if they are), the main problem with that kind of money transfer remains. It is totally and utterly free from privacy and anonymity. Today there are, to my knowledge, two anonymous ways to pay: Cash and well-anonymized Bitcoin. In my opinion, the EU will not have done enough until they have either made the most common card- and internet-services just as anonymous, or educated the people well enough to almost entirely stop using anything but Cash and Bitcoin.

  13. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  14. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  15. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  16. Daniil

    Apparently Paypal refuses to accept donations to some “questionable” web sites, whilst happily providing their service for the KKK…

  17. thnkbtt

    wikileaks is a terrorist organization that has done more to undermine free speech than any organization not classified as a police state. shutting off their funding should have only been the first step.

    1. Techanon

      They are? who did they bomb? Or did they kidnap a plane?

  18. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  19. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  20. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  21. WikiLeaks-Blockade wird für Mastercard und Visa zum Boomerang

    […] konnte ein Abgeordneter der schwedischen Piratenpartei einen beachtlichen Änderungsantrag durchsetzen, der durchgreifende Folgen für marktmächtige […]

  22. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  23. Europa quer regular seviços de pagamento | Fator Tecnológico

    […] Falkvinge, fundador do Partido Pirata sueco, comentou a decisão do Parlamento Europeu em seu site. “Tem se tornando um problema cada vez maior que Visa, MasterCard e PayPal controlem a […]

  24. Ano Nymous


    Yes, you read that right. However I’m not sure if it’s just a conspiracy theory or not.

    The claim comes from the Iranian TV channel PressTV: whose satellite transmissions has been censored away in the EU, courtesy of both the EU and the USA:

    On Flashback Forum (in Swedish) some commenters believe that the big banks are to blame, because they don’t want Bitcoin to replace their monetary systems. After all, they say, the USA killed Khadafi because he wanted to replace their currency with gold dinars.

    I don’t find the last claim to be that unlikely, but for the shutting down of the internet I don’t know what to believe. Let’s just hope that people will use as many of the four boxes of liberty as necessary, if it indeed does happen…

  25. […] on the subject: Rick Falkvinge, Slashdot Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggMerStumbleUponRedditE-postSkriv utGillaGillaBe the first to […]

  26. […] que año y medio más tarde ha dado pie a que el Parlamento Europeo trabaje en un marco legal que proteja a los clientes de cualquier entidad financiera que opere en Europa a que éstas ejerzan, de manera subjetiva, el derecho a rechazar clientes o a […]

  27. […] Europarliament Scolds Visa, MasterCard, PayPal For Killing WikiLeaks Donations; Initiates Regulation […]

  28. Anonymous

    shame there is no mention of the US entertainment industries influence on getting websites they dont like stopped from receiving payments. also funny how it is, as usual, the ‘land of the free, home of the brave’ that keeps coming out with this crap and how everyone else is then expected to just put up with it. about time the US had it’s fortune read by the rest of the world on the way it behaves towards others when it supposedly has this ‘holier than thou’ attitude!

  29. Wikileaks colpisce ancora - Giornalettismo

    […] e lo scompiglio provocato da Wikileaks è arrivata oggi la notizia che il Parlamento Europeo proporrà una nuova legislazione per impedire comportamenti come queli di Visa, Masrtercard e PayPal che hanno chiuso i conti di […]

  30. Netizen Report: #Gaza Edition - Global Voices Advocacy

    […] European Parliament has addressed the issue of credit card companies’ ability to refuse service, in response to the unilateral cutoff of […]

  31. IAA (Instigator.Agitator.Activist)

    Visa, MC, PayPal should be held responsible for acting against the public interest. Both Civil and Criminal charges should be filed against them. They have acted without due diligence and irrationally by refusing to transmit funds on behalf of the public to the WikiLeaks organization. Such immoral corporate motives should not go without punishment. Show cause notices should be issued to Visa, MC, PayPal as to why proceedings should not be initiated against them and there should be equal time reserved for public comments upon response from Visa, MC and PayPal.

  32. IAA (Instigator, Agitator, Activist)

    I am glad that I stumbled upon this great website.

  33. […] membri del Parlamento Europeo hanno ora ascoltato la mozione presentata dal Partito Pirata svedese, che ha puntato il dito contro la discriminazione […]

  34. […] traduit de l’anglais. Original de Falkvinge. Ça vous a intéressé ? Lisez aussi : Aucune trace d’eDémocratie. La participation […]

  35. IAA (Instigator. Agitator.Activist)
  36. […] and procedures under which card payment schemes may unilaterally refuse acceptance – Falkvinge jQuery(document).ready(function($) { […]

  37. Florin T.

    Hello Rick Falkvinge.
    In the past 6 months, all the file services ( like, ) lost their rights to sell premium acount by paypal, Visa, Mastercard.
    If you could include this situations too into this new regulation in PE. They can`t accept money and they cannot sell premium acounts to users.

  38. La neutralidad… del dinero » El Blog de Enrique Dans

    […] algo que evoca claramente cuestiones como la justicia universal o el policía del mundo. Resulta absolutamente fundamental que este tipo de acciones sean reguladas para poner freno a actuaciones co…. El estrangulamiento de las donaciones a Wikileaks puede ser importante en sí mismo por lo que […]

  39. La neutralidad… del dinero | Coral Marina

    […] es algo que evoca claramente cuestiones como la justicia universal o el policia del mundo. Resulta absolutamente fundamental que este tipo de acciones sean reguladas para poner freno a actuaciones co…. El estrangulamiento de las donaciones a Wikileaks puede ser importante en si mismo por lo que […]

  40. Legislarán para evitar bloqueos financieros Wikileaks - El Diario

    […] “No es razonable que Visa, MasterCard y PayPal puedan cortar las operaciones en la red de emprendedores suecos poruque se dediquen a vender películas de terror o juguetes sexuales y las entidades financieras estén asustadas con el fundamentalismo de la moralidad americana”, señaló ayer en conferencia  el europarlamentario del Partido Pirata Christan Engström, según la traducción del sitio Alt104 a partir de las declaraciones recogidas por Falkvinge. […]

  41. Moremoremore

    wow. How can people come up with this nonsense? This is very sad journalism. It took me one google search to get info on why the supposed “collusion” happened against wikileaks. They were threatened by the American government as engaging in illegal activity. This is NOT a case of too much power in the hands of 3 companies but too much power in the hands of the American government. C’mon

  42. […] the authority which oversees bank licenses and abuse of position. This follows an earlier initiative from the Pirate Party to regulate credit card companies on the European level in order to deny them […]

  43. 20 November 2012 | This Day in WikiLeaks

    […] initiative of the Pirate Party, the European Parliament has ordered new legislation which would enforce regulation of credit card companies’ ability to refuse service. This was […]


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