CHARLOTTE, N.C. — WikiLeaks asked customers to close accounts with Bank of America after the Charlotte, N.C., bank said it wouldn't process payments intended for the organization.
The Charlotte Observer reported Friday night that Bank of America
is joining other financial institutions in declining to process
payments intended for WikiLeaks. Soon after, WikiLeaks tweeted a link
to the story and encouraged supporters to make donations.
In a later tweet, WikiLeaks asked that "all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America."
Later the group sent this message: "Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advise (sic) is to place your funds somewhere safer."
A Bank of America spokesman on Saturday declined to comment further about WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has gained attention in recent months for revealing Pentagon and State Department secrets. Founder Julian Assange has also said he plans a "megaleak" involving a major bank, leading to speculation that Bank of America could be the target.
"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 Friday.
"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
Companies that have cut ties to WikiLeaks have faced cyberattacks from hackers who back Assange's organization. MasterCard, for example, said its website was brought down but that card transactions were not compromised.
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