Bank of America has banned transactions to whistle-blower site Wikileaks since Friday, according to media reports. The Obama Administration earlier urged financial organizations to sever ties with the site for illegally releasing confidential US diplomatic cables.
The McClatchy newspapers quoted a statement from the bank as saying, Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks.
This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earlier stated that confidential information involving a bank would be made public through the website in January next year. Bank of America shares took a hit after investors and media suspected that it was the next target of the whistle blower site. Wikileaks, last year, announced that it was in possession of an executive hard drive of the bank.
On micro-blogging site, Twitter, Wikileaks confirmed the reports stating, Bank of America bans ALL transactions to WikiLeaks. It also urged supporters to boycott the bank and its operations.
Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advice is to place your funds somewhere safer.
Even though Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard earlier severed ties with the whistle-blower site, they consistently denied pressure from the US administration. But some authorities admitted that they were warned by the US State Department which maintained that the leaks were illegal. A group of hackers called 'Anonymous' soon launched 'Operation Payback' which brought down the websites of the organization temporarily. The group also launched a series of DDoS attacks on Republican Sarah Palin's website SarahPAC.com.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate, had called on the Obama administration to hunt down Assange like an al-Qaeda leader. She said that Assange was an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.
However, in recent weeks the activists announced that the group would primarily focus on 'publishing parts of the confidential U.S. diplomatic cables as widely as possible' rather than launching fresh cyber attacks.
Assange, is likely to be slapped with the U.S. Espionage Act, under which it is illegal to obtain national defense information for the purpose of harming the United States. US officials are considering various legal options in extraditing the 39-year-old Australian, currently in the UK. He is also wanted in Sweden, where two women have accused him of molestation.