Tango Down: WikiLeaks

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-10-24

WikiLeaks has run out of money and shut its doors, according to a note on the whistleblower site.

WikiLeaks blamed the situation on an "unlawful financial blockade" imposed on the site by several financial services organizations, said the Oct. 24 note. The site has suspended operations "temporarily" to secure its "economic survical."

"Our battles are costly. We need your support to fight back," WikiLeaks said.

Shortly after WikiLeaks started publishing thousands of the State Department's classified diplomatic cables last November, several organizations have severed ties with the site. Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union were among the United States companies that stopped processing funds and froze accounts, citing the site had violated their terms of service.

Several U.S. lawmakers had also called on companies to terminate the relationship, claiming the "data dump" could jeopardize U.S. interests.

Julian Assange, the site's founder, said the "unlawful financial blockade" cut off the site's ability to receive donations from supporters. The site also published some of its expenses, including $500,000 for "publications research," $300,000 for security, $500,000 for salaries and other staff-related expenses, $500,000 for "technical information," and $300,000 for campaigns. The site also has shelled out $1.2 million in legal fees.

"We cannot allow giant U.S. finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket," the note said.

Assange's legal defense fund is supposedly separate from WikiLeaks, as he fights assault chages in Sweden and legal action for publishing the State Department cables.

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