WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has confirmed that the whistleblowing website is suspending publication in order to fight a financial blockade and raise more money, The Guardian is reporting. During a London press conference, Assange said a banking blockade has destroyed 95 percent of the website’s revenues. Assange also said the blockade posed an existential threat to WikiLeaks, and if it’s not lifted by the end of 2011, the website won’t be able to continue.
The international news organization, which launched in October 2006, made headlines in late 2010 for publishing hundreds of thousands of controversial US embassy cables in partnership with such newspapers as the New York Times. Assange revealed that even after all the attention WikiLeaks received after the controversy, it was running out of cash reserves after an “arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Western Union. He added that donations to WikiLeaks has dropped since 2010.
WikiLeaks released a statement, saying “The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.” It added that “The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicized US finance companies continues regardless.”
Written by: Karen Benardello