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Donations to Wikileaks open again

Published on 10 May 2013

In late 2009, DataCell ehf started operating with its green hosting and datacenter services. For the purpose of collecting money it has opened up a credit card gateway with the payment provider Teller to process payments in early 2010. DataCell got in touch with Wikileaks and it was then agreed that DataCell will start processing donations through its existing credit card gateway.

On 7th December 2010, DataCell ehf's credit card gateway had been shut down because the international credit card companies had unilaterally decided that donations to WikiLeaks were illegal, without stating any exact violations or reasoning. DataCell has strongly opposed this decision and fought against it.

In June 2011 DataCell was able to reopen it through payment processor Valitor in Iceland only to then be shut down 7 hours later again. 

DataCell filed a court case in Reykjavik against this and the Reykjavik district court decided on 12. July 2012 that this closure was illegal and ordered Valitor to reopen the gateway or pay high fines on a daily basis. Valitor objected this ruling and appealed to the Supreme Court of Iceland. The Supreme Court ruled on 24. April 2013 that the district court's ruling still stands. 

As a consequence Valitor has reopened the payment gateway to process payments for DataCell's own services and donations to WikiLeaks to immediately cancel the contract afterwards with two months notice. So the gateway was open for a couple of weeks only which was not worth the effort of promoting it. Secondly the cancellation created another legal issue as its an abuse of market power if we are unable to process credit card payments for a legal purpose through any of the payment processors. The contract ending was until 30. June. 2013.

Our lawyers have calculated the damages to be up to 9'039'790'709 ISK (55.9 Million Euro / 72.7 Million US$ / 68.7 Million CHF). After presenting this claim to Valitor, they have finally changed their mind.

American Express has issued a statement several months back saying that they never instructed Valitor to close and have no problems with DataCell or WikiLeaks.

MasterCard International has recently notified Valitor that they no longer oppose to processing credit card donations to Wikileaks.

VISA Europe has simply not answered.

We thus declare that as of today, you can donate to Wikileaks again using your credit card. If your Visa card doesn't work for that, try your American Express 

You can donate here:  https://donations.datacell.com

Andreas Fink 

CEO, DataCell ehf

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