Iceland may ban MasterCard, Visa over WikiLeaks censorship

Credit card companies that prevented card-holders from donating money to the secrets outlet WikiLeaks could have their operating licenses taken away in Iceland, according to members of the Icelandic Parliamentary General Committee.

Representatives from Mastercard and Visa were called before the committee Sunday to discuss their refusal to process donations to the website, reports Reykjavik Grapevine.

“People wanted to know on what legal grounds the ban was taken, but no one could answer it,” Robert Marshall, the chairman of the committee, said. “They said this decision was taken by foreign sources.”

The committee is seeking additional information from the credit card companies for proof that there was legal grounds for blocking the donations.

Marshall said the committee would seriously review the operating licenses of Visa and Mastercard in Iceland.

WikiLeaks’s payment processor, the Icelandic company DataCell ehf, said it would take immediate legal action against the companies to make donations possible again.

“DataCell who facilitates those payments towards Wikileaks has decided to take up immediate legal actions to make donations possible again,” DataCell CEO Andreas Fink said last week. “We can not believe WikiLeaks would even create scratch at the brand name of Visa.”

“It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards WikiLeaks than to have them occur,” Fink added.

 

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U.S. Military Contractor Allegedly Hacked Teens to Extort Nude Photos from Them

An army contractor who worked on a U.S. military base in Iraq hacked into the computers of teenage girls to harass and extort sexually explicit images from them, authorities allege. Police say he and an accomplice targeted some 4,000 young women around the world, including six Florida teens — one of whom he cyber-stalked for years, beginning when she was 14, and showed up at her work place.

According to the complaint filed in the case (.pdf), the alleged perpetrator, Patrick Connolly, 36, planted malware on victims’ computers to spy on them and threatened them and family members with harm and public embarrassment if they didn’t send suggestive images or perform sexually for him in front of their web cameras. He also allegedly used his personal Paypal account to purchase and send a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans and Louis Vuitton handbag to one of his victims.

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