Bank of America says cuts off WikiLeaks

Dec 18 (BestGrowthStock) – WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Bank
of America was quoted as saying late on Friday that it
was joining other financial institutions in declining to
process payments to WikiLeaks, which has angered U.S.
authorities with the mass release of U.S. diplomatic cables.

“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,” the bank said in a
statement, quoted by McClatchy Newspapers.

No one at Bank of America was immediately available to
comment.

WikiLeaks has said it will release documents early next
year that will point to “unethical practices” at a major U.S.
bank, widely thought to be Bank of America.

Several companies have ended services to WikiLeaks after
the website teamed up with major newspapers to publish
thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that have caused
tension between Washington and some of its allies.

“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,” the Bank of America statement added.

WikiLeaks later issued a message on Twitter urging its
supporters to leave the bank.

“We ask that all people who love freedom close out their
accounts at Bank of America,” it said on the social networking
medium.

“Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our
advice is to place your funds somewhere safer,” WikiLeaks said
in a subsequent tweet.

In a backlash against organisations that have cut off
WikiLeaks, cyber activists have been targeting companies seen
as foes of the website.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail this
week from a jail in Britain, where he is fighting extradition
to Sweden over alleged sexual offenses.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, said on Friday that he
was the target of an aggressive U.S. investigation and feared
extradition to the United States was “increasingly likely”.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said his government
was considering using the U.S. Espionage Act, under which it
is illegal to obtain national defense information for the
purpose of harming the United States, as well as other laws to
prosecute the release of sensitive government information by
WikiLeaks.
(Reporting by Sandra Maler, Editing by Ron Popeski)

Bank of America says cuts off WikiLeaks