Wikileaks, Banks and Mainstream Media

I had previously written on this blog about how the mainstream media was inordinately quiet over the issue of PayPal, Bank of America and MasterCard withholding transactions relating to Wikileaks over pretenses of risky investment policies. Now banks are entitled to reserve their rights to trade with people or organizations that they consider (potentially) harmful. This regulation was put into place with specifically the public interests in mind, so that the banks could be aware and be able to clock users trying to launder money or legitimize “black” money. However, the manner in which they have come together as a clique to oustracize Wikileaks is indeed a scary proposition. One must keep in mind the fact that these sanctions were put in place after Julian Assange threatened to bring the scandals of the financial world online following the acquiring of a hard disk of a bank official in 2009. Another aspect of this sanctioning thing, which I personally feel is more worrisome is the fact that there are no legal proceedings against Wikileaks at present. It is, as far as legal definitions are concerned, a fully legitimate entity.

What gives the banks the right to slap down on Wikileaks when the only risk here is the apparent exposure of the illegitimate activities of the financial honchos?

The mainstream media was, for quite a long time, silent over this issue, but that is no longer the case. An Editorial in the NY Times has at last raised the quite legitimate, and scary question: what if a clutch of banks decided to conglomerate and clamp down on any individual or organization which they perceived as a potential threat to their vested interests (all the while hiding behind the facade of a risky venture)? Would it not be contrary to the interests of the common people? Would it not be against the very fundamental principles of the right to freedom of speech?


The questions are manifold. And answers, are yet to be forthcoming.

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

1 comment on “Wikileaks, Banks and Mainstream Media

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