Pirates sue banks for discrimination

@ 2012/12/19
When banks decided to obey the whim of the American government and refuse to allow donations to be paid to Wikileaks, in 2010, it seems that the world thought they would get away with it.

However the Swedish Pirate Party has decided to file formal charges against Swedish banks for their discrimination against WikiLeaks.

Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and numerous financial institutions blocked donations to WikiLeaks and other legal operations since 2010.

Because they are part of the network the banks can actively participate in stopping donations without legitimate grounds.

The Swedish Pirate Party says that this is unacceptable and cause for grave concern, and has filed charges against the Swedish banks in question to see if the behaviour is legal.

First action is to have a word with the Swedish Finansinspektionen, which is the authority which oversees bank licenses and abuse of position.

This follows another move by the Pirate Party to regulate credit card companies on the European level in order to deny them the ability to determine who gets to trade and who doesn't.

Pirate Party's Erik Lönroth said that the blockade is a serious threat against the freedoms of opinion and expression,

Lönroth said that it must not be up to the individual payment provider to determine which organisations are eligible for donations.

He said that the court action would clear up the small matter of whether the bank regulations of today are sufficient, or if regulations need to be tightened to protect freedom of expression.

Lönroth said that it was not just WikiLeaks that has been hurt by the randomness of the payment service providers.

Swedish entrepreneurs such as sex toy shops and horror movie stores have also been denied payment services arbitrarily and been killed off.

Johan Terfelt, who oversees the Finansinspektionen unit for payment providers, said the body will investigate what has happened and evaluate the reasons, if any, to intervene.

He told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper that there was no room at all for arbitrary randomness.

He hinted that the law states, that if there aren't legal grounds to deny a payment service, then it must be processed.

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