WikiLeaks payment firm to sue Visa and Mastercard

One of WikiLeaks' IT service providers today announced that it is to take legal action against Visa and Mastercard, after the credit card companies pulled the plug on the whistle-blowing site's funding.

DataCell, the company that enables Wikileaks to accept credit and debit card donations, accuses the credit card issuers of putting "political influence over the law".

Iceland-based DataCell claimed the move by Visa and Mastercard could harm its own business, and was taking "immediate" legal action to ensure card payment services to WikiLeaks were resumed.

The company said in a statement, "The suspension of payments towards Wikileaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers.

"Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to Wikileaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish.

"Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really [want to] donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down."

Visa Europe withdrew its services from WikiLeaks on Tuesday, followed shortly afterwards by rival Mastercard.

Online payment processing company PayPal last weekend refused to accept further donations to WikiLeaks, accusing the whistle-blowing site of violating its terms and conditions.

Visa and Mastercard have so far not responded to DataCell's threat of legal action.