Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.
Banking blockades: Apparently they work.
WikiLeaks co-founded Julian Assange announced Monday that the anti-secrecy organization is suspending its publishing operations due to a cash shortage. Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, Western Union, and Paypal stopped serving WikiLeaks last year after it began publishing thousands of classified U.S. State Department cables. The move has deprived the organization of about 95 percent of its revenues, Assange said at a press conference in London, according to the Guardian.
"If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year," he added, according to the New York Times.
For now, Assange said, the organization will focus on fundraising. He criticized the financial institutions' blockade as "arbitrary and unlawful," adding, "The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency."
Big newspapers such as the Times and the Guardian cooperated with WikiLeaks in releasing secret documents last year. But the organization has been increasingly isolated since it decided in September to release its entire cache of some 250,000 cables, unredacted, revealing the names of whistleblowers and confidential government sources.