I quoted this part from a report on East European and Asian police states yesterday: “[China-based experts] pointed out that if the security services wanted to hound or close advocacy groups, they had many other ways of doing so.” The civilized West is just as bad

The whistleblowing group WikiLeaks claims that it has had its funding blocked and that it is the victim of financial warfare by the US government.

Moneybookers, a British-registered internet payment company that collects WikiLeaks donations, emailed the organisation to say it had closed down its account because it had been put on an official US watchlist and on an Australian government blacklist.


Moneybookers wrote to Assange: “Following an audit of your account by our security department, we must advise that your account has been closed … to comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities.”

The main bogeys that such governments use to harass people they don’t like, and spy on everyone else? Terrorism, money-laundering/tax-fraud, and child pornography.

A private company is well within its rights to terminate deals with people whose actions it doesn’t support. But given the nature of the controversy, it is difficult to distinguish between such action and coercion on the part of the US government. Even a “we support WikiLeaks, but have been forced to terminate dealings with them” statement is fraught with risk.

The Russians do it this way: “Pro-democracy activists? They are pirates!! You wouldn’t support such people, would you?” The US: “Whistle-blowers? They are money launderers and tax cheats.You wouldn’t support such people, would you?” We ‘want’ them broken.

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