back to article Paypal freezes Cryptome

eBay Inc has suspended Cryptome's PayPal account, confiscating donations made to the site in the past two weeks. New York architect John Young has refunded around $5,300 to donors. Young has operated Cryptome since 1996, creating a large repository of obscure or previously unpublished files focussing on intelligence and …

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  1. Chris 59
    Big Brother

    What a crock

    Good old DMCA, the specter that looms over the shoulder over every whistleblower in the US.

    Big Brother, because...well...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Still better than the UK

      That is still better than the UK where you have the libel laws as a worthy DMCA replacement and no protection whatsoever. Wanna try to blow a whistle on your company directors doing a "Conrad Black"? Think again...

      1. WonkoTheSane
        Headmaster

        Re: Still better than the UK

        The truth, by definition, cannot be libellous.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

          And you can afford to prove that statement?

        2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Yet still it prosecutes...

          The truth is no defence here in the UK. Our libel law is pernicious, and can be used to silence people who are telling the truth simply because a "reputation" may be "damaged" by those statements of truth. Under English libel law the person accused of libel is considered guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.

          There is a very good reason we're becoming infamous for so-called libel tourism. It's because our libel law *does* consider the truth to be libel, and so acts accordingly.

  2. Peter Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    arbitrary and unregulated

    From the many comments you can read on the 'tubes. PayPal seems quite fond of acting this way.

    Since they're unregulated, there's not much you can do about it.

    Those not so convinced of the "Pal" part of their name, might note that their 180 day fund freeze garners them a not inconsiderable interest income from the funds being frozen.

    I give them a very wide berth.

  3. Chris Hatfield

    So is Cryptome like Wikileaks?

    PayPal are twats. They suspended or cancelled Wikileaks' accounts, I think.

    Stupid corporations can't silence us.

  4. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    There I was believing it was the role of the courts in society to decide punishment.

    These days with collaboration between just businesses (and governments in the background) this news shows serious punishments can be given to individuals and groups who stand against the establishment, without ever having to use (or prove) a legal case against the groups. Just quietly cut off their money here and their domain name there etc.. etc.. etc.. all done via corporate rules and controls and before you know it, the group is silenced. Plus all done without ever having to create laws they know a lot of people will argue against.

    With the underhanded ways the businesses and governments are working against the majority of society, we need more groups like Cryptome willing to stand up and speak out against what is going on so often behind our backs.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best advertising John has had lately!

    This is the best advertising John has had since MI6 got caught hacking his server many moons ago.

    The place is a bottom-feeder's dream, although a tad dull most of the time.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Britains's Finest, Outed as less than Stellar and probably Criminal too.

      "This is the best advertising John has had since MI6 got caught hacking his server many moons ago.

      The place is a bottom-feeder's dream, although a tad dull most of the time" ... Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 8th March 2010 15:50 GMT

      MI6 are bottom-feeders, AC? Yeah, ok, they'll hardly be able to deny that plausibly.

      Cryptome's forum didn't last long on the Web either .... which was probably because of what was being said on it, which told everyone sharing content, everything they needed to know about what they were sharing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extrajudicial Punishment

    It was always that way.

    Can't open a bank account, get a loan.

    Won't serve you in the shop.

    Never catch the waiter's eye.

    Someone been spreading gossip somewhere ?

  7. Philip Cohen
    FAIL

    Dead Man Walking

    PayPal and Bill Me Later are not a bank, are not regulated as banks are and yet offer banking-type services, services that would be more appropriately, efficiently, and competently carried out under the auspices of the banking community (via their credit card company partners).

    The simple fact is that without the bankers’ knowledge of the entities involved in the transactions, PayPal, or any other non-bank provider, will always be handicapped. Non-bank providers can never guarantee anything for the buyer or seller because they simply don’t have the bankers’ knowledge of the entities involved.

    PayPal is an unregulated, unprincipled, systemically dysfunctional, amateur organization (just like its ugly parent, eBay).

    The head turkey at eBay, ‘Noise’ Donahoe, has talked of the possibility of offloading PayPal because he is just barely smart enough to know that when the major credit card companies do get off their butts and introduce a like card/terminal-less payments system to complement their credit card system, they will do it properly, and the dysfunctional PayPal will then sink like a stone—other than, possibly, on what is by then left of the Donahoe-ever-shrinking eBay marketplace. The banks may also let PayPal keep those ‘no hoper’ customers that the banks, who will always better ‘know’ their customers, might not likely allow a merchant-type facility.

    If Donahoe has any brain at all he will be actively trying to sell PayPal to the banks to complement their credit card system; but I doubt the banks would want to lower their image any further by associating themselves with the likes of PayPal; not even for a peppercorn consideration would the banks touch such an incompetent amateur operation as PayPal, I suspect.

    Does anyone then think that ‘all the banks’ are not watching this market segment with interest, and is it possible that PayPal (along with the upstart ‘Bill Me Later’) could be having a negative effect on their credit card business? Why then would ‘the banks’ not be considering a like system to complement their existing card systems? After all, every internet banking user is already set up to receive such a service directly, efficiently and securely, from their bank. The simple fact is that anything that PayPal can do ‘the banks’ can do so much better.

    Do we then need to offer the banks and the major credit card companies another such monopoly-type situation? Ideally not. But, having said that, within the credit card system the individual banks do compete with each other on interest rates, etc.

    Regardless, it would be nice to have a card/terminal-less system that worked efficiently and effectively—as does the banks’ credit card system. Regrettably (or thankfully, some say), PayPal does not have such a partnership with ‘all the banks’ and so PayPal can never offer that same effectiveness.

    My only surprise is that ‘all the banks’, via their credit card partners, have not yet announced their own system. When they do, it will be bye, bye, PayPal—you most ugly of daughters. And, more importantly, we will then have a system that works effectively, just like our credit cards do!

    In support of the above comment I offer an introduction to the full sad/ugly story of eBay/PayPal at

    http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Coat

      RE: Dead Man Walking

      "when the major credit card companies do get off their butts and introduce a like card/terminal-less payments system to complement their credit card system, they will do it properly,"

      I dunno, they've made a giant mess of it with Verified by Visa and Mastercard's system...

      Mines the one with the wallet made out of metal mesh.

    2. PT
      Coffee/keyboard

      @ Dead Men Walking

      Hmmm. Do you perhaps work for a bank, Philip Cohen? You sure sound like an interested party.

      I used to have a merchant credit card account. It cost me a bloody fortune, including a fraudulent "lease agreement" for equipment that I never had. They snatched a payment back out of my bank once on a customer's word, then when I proved the customer was a liar and demanded my money they told me it was too small a sum to be bothered with. Now I use PayPal. I have a couple of hundred at risk most of the time, but if they were to freeze my account and steal that it would STILL amount to less than a month's blood-sucking bank, merchant and "lease" charges. Fuck the credit card companies, I'm never going back. If PayPal goes tits up, something else will come along.

    3. Andy ORourke
      Stop

      PayPal is a bank (IN Europe)

      Check it ou:

      http://tamebay.com/2007/05/paypal-becomes-a-bank-no-longer-under-fsa.html

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    It's one thing to offer the information for free on some website, but it is something else entirely to sell the information, most of which will be copyrighted. It's called commercial piracy. Now I'm no fan of copyright, but when you step over the line between the free exchange of information to attempting to profit from the sale of that information, well, you deserve whatever comes your way.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Sir

      I take it you would also be happy for the head person at Cryptome to be branded a paraded through the streets tarred and feathered as well? Of course, this action has been sanctioned by a legally recognised court of law hasn't it? Hasn't it?

      "you deserve whatever comes your way."

      <sigh> I despair, I really do.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Moron

      You obviously have no idea what you are posting about! STFU.http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/stop_32.png

  9. theLightCosine

    Legality of fund seizure?

    I'd be very interested to see the legal grounds for the fund seizure. I have a hard time believing that paypal has the legal right the seize those funds. It seems rather like an underhanded, and questionable pressure tactic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      legal grounds?

      The legal grounds are that you say they can do whatever they want when you sign up.

      Some years ago my account was frozen - for security reasons of course - when my credit card expired I updated details of the replacement. To unfreeze it they required the usual proof of identity but that wasn't enough - they wanted personal information that I wasn't prepared to release. Fortunately I only had about $17 dollars in my account. Sorry, their account.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      normal practice

      It is normal practice for paypal really. They freeze funds all the time and they have a myriad of reasons they can choose from to freeze anyone's account. Been there as well, took 3 weeks to get it unfrozen again... what a croc.

      Let's face it, they are NOT a bank and hold your cash until you book it to your bank account. Even then you have given them permission to book from your bank account. I don't see them booking these kind of funds straight from your account, but it is one of the rights you wave when signing up.

      Unfortunately they will not just go away as too many people like the way they can use it to pay for internet goods. Even while it is not THAT safe at all. Loosing your email+password is all you need to loose the money you have on your paypal account.

      There's some good systems in the works like iDeal (http://www.ideal.nl/?lang=eng-GB ) which are pretty safe and cheap, but unfortunately there is no global system that can compete with paypal at the moment. Hopefully that'll change soon.

      1. Andy ORourke
        Stop

        PayPal is a bank (In Europe anyway)

        Check it out:

        http://tamebay.com/2007/05/paypal-becomes-a-bank-no-longer-under-fsa.html

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LQQKIE HERE!

    http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidItems&userid=pmolis&completed=1&all=1&rows=50&sort=12&_rdc=1

    Current and recent auctions bid on by EBAY-BACKED SHILL-BID ID pmolis( 1071)

    Member since: Jul-31-04 in France

    All Feedback - 8,118 Feedback received

    Feedback left for others - 8,338 Feedback left WITH A FEEDBACK SCORE OF JUST 1071 <---- HUGE FLAG!

    OF SPECIAL NOTE IS THAT THIS SHILL-BID ID IS BIDDING ON EBAY ID jayandmarie ( 870565)

    Member since: Jan-02-99 in United States

    All Feedback - 1,888,154 Feedback received

    1,964,721 Feedback left WITH A FEEDBACK SCORE OF JUST 870565 <--- FLAG!

    AS AN EXAMPLE, SEE Item number:150410047069, LOOK AT Bid History OF THIS PARTICULAR AUCTION, CLICK ON THE o***m (WHICH IS pmolis ID) AND LOOK AT THE Bid History: Details FOR BIDDER o***m WHICH IS pmolis ID... THIS IS WHAT EBAY-BACKED SHILL-BIDDING LOOKS LIKE!

    ID 9***t IS NOT SO INNOCENT HERE EITHER! HE IS OBVIOUSLY SHILL-BIDDING ON SELLER 1 (jayandmarie - Bid activity (%) with this seller: 76% ) AND SELLERS 2 AND 3, AS WELL!

    FROM pmolis' BUYING HISTORY, IT IS CLEAR TO SEE THAT EBAY-BACKED SHILL-BID ID pmolis IS ALSO A SHILL-BID ID FOR:

    amoeba-outlet ( 150392), amoebablowout ( 96030), recordrow-blowout ( 65044), nours77 ( 1699), fclna ( 602), AND

    diskodisko( 1255) <--- WHO JUST CHANGED HIS ID ON Feb-10-10 TO TRY TO AVOID DETECTION FOR SHILL-BIDDING!

    I BELIEVE EBAY TO BE USING ID pmolis (FRANCE) TO SHILL-BID/CONDUCT FEEDBACK MANIPULATION/LISTINGS PADDING FOR PURPOSES OF STOCK MANIPULATION AND HAS BEEN DOING SO SINCE 1994!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone should restrict Paypal

    No financial institution should have the power to do this without legal backing, and Paypal have no autonomous powers of attorney.

    If I make a payment to an organization, and Paypal don't deliver, then either my money has been stolen, or a refund should be automatic.

  13. Philip Cohen
    FAIL

    eBay’s facilitation of shill bidding fraud

    To any intelligent, independent person I can prove, beyond any doubt, that sophisticated shill-bidding fraud by unscrupulous professional sellers is rampant on eBay nominal-start auctions.

    I have no doubt that I can also convince that same reasonable person that eBay’s managing executives cannot but be aware of this rampant criminal activity, and yet—contrary to their claims—eBay does nothing proactive nor truly effective to stop it.

    And, I can prove, at least on the balance of probability, that eBay has quite deliberately chosen to further aid and abet such criminal activity by their masking of bidding IDs with non-unique, non-trackable, anonymous aliases which serve no material purpose other than to further obscure such criminal activity from which eBay gets an improved Final Value Fee.

    Put simply, eBay is knowingly facilitating rampant ‘wire fraud’ on buyers the world over.

    An introduction to the full ugly story of shill bidding fraud on eBay auctions, and the proof of eBay’s deliberate criminal facilitation thereof, can be found at

    http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

    Please excuse my detailed rant on the matter but a rather big picture is required to demonstrate the facts and seriousness of the matter.

    And, surely it is about time that some competent authority shone a bright light under this slimy rock.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    relevant

    http://paypalsucks.org/toon1.shtml

  15. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    Google Checkout is Trrustworthy!

    I have never used or trusted PayPal - besides their commission is way too high for what they offer.

    Google at least handles transfers honestly, the only thing is you don't know what tracking they are using!

  16. wsm
    Thumb Down

    Paypal has no money

    If you look at the Paypal agreements, if you can call them that, they have the money and account holders have only that--accounts. Paypal can freeze anything for any reason. They are not subject to banking or credit card regulations.

    Perhaps someday this will change, but for now they are only a debit system with their own rules.

    I successfully got funds back after a judgement against them, but I won't use them or any other similar service again.

    1. Andy ORourke
      Stop

      PayPal IS a bank (In Europe anyway)

      Look, PayPal are not very good, fees are high and they have some very questionable practices but they are a bank and as such are subject to regulations (at least in Europe)

      http://tamebay.com/2007/05/paypal-becomes-a-bank-no-longer-under-fsa.html

      1. James O'Brien
        Stop

        We get the damn idea

        Now stop spamming the damn comments you moron.

  17. Phil Koenig
    Grenade

    Both Paypal and the banks stink

    As various people here have noted, Paypal's age-old habit of arbitrarily preventing or greatly delaying users from accessing money which is rightfully theirs, and their sleazy dealings in general, are well-documented.

    Then again, banks these days are not exactly endearing themselves to the public. Here in the USA, the credit-card industry have been engaging in mafioso-like shenanigans for decades. Then when the US Congress finally gets around to passing legislation to put an end to the worst abuses, in the 6-9 months before the act takes effect, they go all out with the bogus fees and penalties, pull the credit rug out from under people that have been reliable customers for years, ganging up on their "customers" hoping to get one last good shot in before the shackles finally go on.

    They all need to go take a long walk on a short plank.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone up above...

    ... asks why banks do not offer services like paypal, and this is an often asked question around the interwebs.

    There are simple reasons for this:

    1. If banks offered this type of service, most banks are going to offer this service to ONLY their customers. No point in offering such service (in bank mindset) to people who do not have bank accounts with that particular bank.

    2. If multiple banks started up their own service, most likely they would each do things their own way, resulting in different procedures in how to do things, and making transfer of money from one banks service to another banks service really hard, if not practically impossible.

    3. (and probably the most important) Banking Regulations. As banks are... well banks... they have specific regulations that they MUST follow, including verification of account owner(s), oversights necessary regarding transfers of money (especially between banks), reporting laws (in some cases), as well as other regulations. Banking regulations alone is going to make setting up such a system harder. However this could result in less scamming then what paypal currently does.

    .

    Since paypal accepts signups from nearly anyone, allows you to link bank accounts from most banks, and does not have to follow the same regulations as banks, they are really in a unique position.

    Banks themselves may never be able to setup such a service due to the hurdles that they must go through in order to create such a service, however I would not be suprised if in the future there are other services started by private individuals/companies.

    While some countries are looking at requiring services such paypal to be registered as banks, I do not see this as coming in most countries anytime soon. Especially in those areas where paypal is allowed to make "campaign contributions".

    As much as I hate to say it, the best companies to start something like this and be actually able to give paypal a run for their money (pun intended), would probably be Microshaft or Crapple.

    Maybe one of the above will purchase paypal, kill it, then start something under their own name/setup.

  19. Equitas

    Where are there realistic alternatives?

    to ebay and PayPal?

    The bottom line is that expensive though ebay is, it meets a need which is otherwise largely unmet. Shopping for replacement china of an obsolete pattern produced only one source outwith ebay but dozens within it.

    Likewise with PayPal. The banks have goofed it big time. There is no other simple way of transferring money across the world for relatively small transactions. Even where the seller has a merchant account to accept credit cards, that doesn't necessarily mean they can accept credit cards from other countries and in any case the loading on international transactions has made credit cards a lot less attractive in more recent years.

    We use ebay and PayPal because they're the best there are in certain areas of the market -- even though they're desperately flawed. Amazon have some areas in which they offer a better deal -- the opportunity's there for others if they want to take it.

  20. Tom 13

    I trust Paypal more than I trust Google checkout

    But only because I've never used Paypal and have used Google checkout. Most stuff I ordered through Google checkout never arrived, and it was too much of a bother to go after them about it, with too many finger pointing opportunities.

  21. Philip Cohen
    FAIL

    @ Someone up above...

    @ Someone up above...

    There has never been any suggestion that individual banks should offer a PayPal type card/terminal-less service; any such individual service would simply be as dysfunctional as PayPal actually is.

    Indeed the PayPal service is supported by only an individual bank, Citi, and that is why PayPal is such a dysfunctional system, because only one bank is involved, the bankers of the entities involved in the transaction are not directly involved (remember, PayPal is not a bank and therefore they still need to work through a bank, in this case, Citi—ugh!).

    For the same reason “the banks” (and the many other card providers) don't offer individual credit cards as such; although they “badge” their cards, they will still be of the type Mastercard or Visa, through which organizations all “bank-type” card transactions (even Citi’s) are processed.

    The banks may well be gougers themselves, but at least their “universal” card system works (and they do have an effective mediation system), and there is competition between the banks in the marketing of their “badged” cards.

    Seriously, can you imagine how long the Mastercard and Visa card systems would have lasted if their systems had been as dysfunctional as PayPal? If the banks’ card system had been as “clunky” as PayPal, charge cards and ultimately EFTPOS would have never got off the ground; charge card use would still be the exclusive domain of Diners Club (who?) and “wealthy” Amex card users, I suspect.

    Whether you like the cost, or not, of the banks’ credit card system, you get what you pay for; someone has to pay for the warranty involved in such an effective system. It seems to me that PayPal wants to take a similar fee for the their “clunky” service without any warranty and certainly no effective mediation process.

    Again, anything PayPal can do, “the banks”, via their card processing partners Mastercard and Visa, can do much better, and they can do that because all the participating banks better “know” the entities involved in the transaction, as PayPal never can.

    eBay/PayPal: Dead Men Walking

  22. Armus Squelprom
    Thumb Up

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    PayPal hadn't offered an with an explanation at press time........

    How about "it's my nature", like the old Aesop fable

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