back to article PayPal banned WikiLeaks after US gov intervention

A PayPal executive said his company's decision to suspend payments to Wikileaks came after the US State Department said the whistle-blower site was engaged in illegal activity. The comment came shortly before PayPal agreed to release the remaining funds in the WikiLeaks fund-raising account. Press accounts from The Guardian and …


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  1. DavCrav


    This is no great surprise. It's pretty obvious that Wikileaks is not complying with US law -- whatever you might think about it -- as publishing classified documents online is a crime. Hence any US company knowingly helping someone perform illegal acts it itself committing a crime, under US law.

    If the company doesn't do any business in the US, no problem, but Visa and Mastercard do...

    (Note I'm not giving any opinions one way or the other here, but just stating that compliance with the law is what companies that don't want to get massive fines do.)

      Jobs Horns


      Massive fines, being truthful, against massive losses, kissing asses, you choose.

      1. DavCrav

        For US companies?

        "Massive fines, being truthful, against massive losses, kissing asses, you choose."

        Massive fines, followed by huge lawsuits from their shareholders for not doing what they are told, and being fired.

        What does Visa have to gain by "being truthful"?

        1. yeehaw....
          Black Helicopters

          Point to consider

          The Feds have taken over many businesses in the name of the Great Recession - not a far fetch to be taken over in the name of national security.

          Times are not what they once were - witness the Wallyworld/DHS BS. Nation of Snitches... ahhh memories of the Stalin years - just brings you back.

          Note: I give myself a fail on this one - it's coming from so many directions now, makes you want to turtle-up instead of dealing with it.

      2. Bilgepipe
        Gates Horns

        Yeah, Right

        "Massive fines, being truthful, against massive losses, kissing asses, you choose."

        Yeah, because Visa, Mastercard and PayPal really want to break the law and pay those massive fines just so they can say they support Julian Assange and the Quest for Peace.

        Perhaps we can start another fund to help companies backing WikiLeaks pay their fines and court costs if/when they are found to be breaking the law - care to make the first payment? Didn't think so.

        1. Scorchio!!
          Thumb Up


          Sure the businesses in question would love to pay lots of money out, because they really want to help these self appointed guardians of international public morals, in the process of dishing out stolen secrets, right?

          As you say it is time for those in favour to put their effing money where their mouths are. Meanwhile my money is on a lot of tracing back to bots, and the nullification/blacklisting of those machines, after finding out whence their instructions came, so that the owners of the originating IP can say hello to Bubba, whilst picking up soap.

          The outraged screams of indignation by these people, whose only approval has been plucked from between their cheeks, merits a very hard slapping or three. Eeejits who honestly believe that their course of action will achieve what no other course in the whole of human history has done, namely ethical behaviour, no war and no espionage.

          Someone must be responsible for the genesis of this behaviour. Who are their parents? Who taught these pr*cks?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Rule Of

      .."National Security Letter", I would say.

      In the System Of Spanish Inquisition, they didn't need an independent Judge or - God Beware - a Pesky Jury to take away someone's rights. Now the United States Government has reached the sophisticated level of Spain in the 1700s.

      A Viceroy will tell people What the Fucking Law Is. At least that is what the corporates are ready to believe.

    3. system


      So, you'll be able to cite which law wikileaks is obviously breaking then?

      1. thecakeis(not)alie


        Assange is Australian, and so long as he personally puts the leaks on Wikileaks, he cannot be tried for treason in the US. Paypal, Visa et al. on the other hand are corporations that do business in the US. They are bound by US law, and the law would go something to the effect of “aiding and abetting treason.” There might even be a little of “profiting from crime” or other such things thrown in.

        It might seem weird…since you can’t actually nail Assange to the wall for treason, but in the complex world where international law meets domestic law, if you are a US citizen helping someone post classified material in a public forum you are functionally aiding the commission of treason.

        Now, that isn’t to say this should be treason. In fact, I’d be seriously shocked if anyone brought treason charges or “aiding/abetting treason” charges into play. The reason for this is that such a move would virtually be guaranteed to end up in the Supreme Court. This is the very last thing that wants; it would mean that the whole system of document classification and the various punishments for posting classified documents in public fora would be under some stupendous scrutiny.

        So it’s an interesting position; posting classified documents from your own government in a public forum is illegal. Full stop. If a foreign national does so, that gets gluey. Now add in a situation like Paypal or Amazon whereby you are helping a foreign national do something that would be illegal if they weren’t a foreign national and everyone gets their knickers in a twist because the rules basically don’t exist to play this game.

        At the end of the day, Paypal would likely be spanked and I have very little doubt that is far from passing some very explicit bills that make clear in no uncertain terms that any foreign national posting classified documents in a public forum will be extradited to the US to face trial just as if they were a US citizen.

        I know that there are a lot of people who want to jump on the Assange bandwagon and wave the flag of “**** you,” I think though folk should put themselves in the shoes of the people in charge of Paypal and Amazon here. The law is ambiguous enough that there exists the potential for these individuals to be /tried for treason/ simply by helping Assange out. Do you understand what the penalty for treason is? I am not saying that it is a likely possibility…but it is a very real possibility.

        People deriding Paypal, Amazon and the like seem to be pretty cavalier about that. It’s easy to tell someone else “stand up for my principals, even if there is the possibility that you will face charges of treason!” After all, the people deriding these companies aren’t the ones being called on to make that choice in a very public fashion.

        Imagine you are a guy in a suit somewhere is approached by a representative one day. You are told “your company is doing X to support illegal individual/cause Y. This could potentially make you liable in the worst possible case for A, B, C and D.” You don’t have a personal stake in cause Y. You don’t have an emotional investment in it and aren’t 100% sure that you even agree with cause Y. You want to go home to your wife and kids, pet your dog fluffy. It takes you five seconds to tell your minions “pull support for cause Y” and the problem goes away. The scary man with his worst case scenarios goes away with it.

        So I ask you…and every one else beating up on Amazon or Paypal...why should the people in charge of these companies put themselves at risk for your principals? Try to look beyond who thinks who is right and wrong and look at the actual people involved here. The risks you are demanding other human beings take upon themselves.

        Assange can get away with it; he’s in a neatly grey area of the law. The suit at Paypal or Amazon simply doesn’t have that luxury.

        1. thecakeis(not)alie

          An addendum:

          In my previous post I said "Imagine you are a guy in a suit somewhere is approached by a representative one day." I would like to extend this to read not simply "a direct representative of the government" but to also include "a lawyer from the firm you have on retainer." The man explaining things to the suit doesn't have to be some scary TLA spook sent to but the fear into someone. It can (and probably was) nothing more than a lawyer doing his job: informing the company he works for about the present state of their corporate and individual legal liabilities.

          I figured I should clarify since it was pointed out to me that me previous post could be misinterpreted to be far too conspiracy theory.


        2. system

          RE: @system

          So we should expect to see a Paypal/Visa/Mastercard withdrawal of service from the Guardian and others sometime soon then? I don't think we will.

        3. Anonymous Coward

          Helping someone exercise "First Amendment Rights" is not illegal

          Once documents have been leaked, any organisation publishing those documents is protected by the First Amendment. Don't forget the US tried to shut down wikileaks access in 2008 and it was thrown out for First Amendment reasons. What the US is trying to do pressuring Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc. is that they are trying to shut down a press organisation (wikileaks in this case) through extra-judicial means, simply because they know that efforts in courts will fail for first amendment reasons.

          Wikileaks is doing nothing illegal, hence why they have not been charged with anything and no extradition request has gone out for any wikileaks employee or contractor. Everyone supporting Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc. on the grounds that wikileaks are doing something illegal is spreading fud unless charges are made.

    4. Goat Jam

      "publishing classified documents online is a crime"

      OK. So what about publishing classified documents in newspapers? Crime? Should Rupert be worried that Newscorps assets are about to be seized?


    5. Someone Else Silver badge

      I must have missed it...

      Please direct me and the rest of the readers of El REg to the place where Mr. Assange, or WikiLeaks, have been convicted of the crime of "publishing classified documents online" I must have missed that key piece of jurisprudence.

  2. Matt Piechota

    Seems right

    Wikileaks broke US law by releasing apparently classified documents. A US company suspended their service, just as they would for any illegal activity. How is this news?

    Here's a hint: if you plan on pissing off *any* country and break its laws, don't rely on services based in that country. Duh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems right

      You do realise that PayPal are international, yes? With regional registered offices, yes? In Europe, they're called "PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. & Cie, S.C.A". Any payments received to Wikileaks through regional companies outside of the US are not subject to US laws.

      So maybe the hint should be, if you plan on pissing off the US from any other nation, and in the process not breaking any laws locally, don't rely on services based in your own region which may still come under pressure from the US govt anyway. Whether you agree with WIkileaks or not, the US govt is being forced to publicly display how it +really+ exerts control over private companies and other sovereign states - and without a 'leak' being required.

    2. Keith T

      What about NY Times?

      The NY Times are accomplices and so should be co-defendents, and they would be if there was any merit to this.

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        @Keith T re: NYT

        Media have special protections regarding publishing of information (or more accurately the publishing of summaries of information) than regular citizens or corporations do. Just becuase the NYT can post things does not mean that other individuals or corporations cannot be held to account for support of Wikileaks in this endeavour.

        1. veti Silver badge

          No, they don't have "special protections"

          Media *don't* have "special protections" to do anything in particular. The First Amendment guarantees "freedom of the press", but it makes no attempt to define what "the press" *is*.

          If you're a journalist, then a press card is a useful shortcut to introducing yourself; it buys tolerance, it hints at the promise of favourable coverage (or the threat of the opposite), it explains instantly who you are and why you're being a nosey bugger, but it *doesn't* give you any special legal privileges. None at all. Anything you can do with a press card, is something you could just as well do with a decent Fast Talk percentage.

          In the US at least, "media" is not a licensed industry. Anyone can set up a newspaper, in any medium they like, and there is no special form you have to fill out before you can claim your First Amendment rights. Wikileaks is entitled to exactly the same legal protections as the New York Times.

          1. breakfast Silver badge

            It's only been through the press...

            As the diplomatic papers have only been distributed through the press I can't see why Wikileaks would be in any respect liable regardless.

            1. Scorchio!!

              Re: It's only been through the press...

              "As the diplomatic papers have only been distributed through the press I can't see why Wikileaks would be in any respect liable regardless."

              Non sequitur; the documents came to the press *through* Wikileaks, who are in receipt of stolen goods, classified material.

              Piss poor logic/argumenta. Even the sophists would not offer such dross, being too (hah, now philology bites itself on the derriere) sophisticated. In case you had not known, the Sophists (Greeks) were masters at the art of using specious/fallacious arguments to support the unsupportable.

              Perhaps it would be a good idea if you went and downloaded a few MP3s. Be sure to use a couple of proxies now. It'll lengthen the period of time before you are traced.

              Think about it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Wikileaks isn't a citizen of the United States. Neither is its founder. Therefore neither has any rights. The First Amendment should not extend to anyone who is not a citizen of our nation.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              You sir, have not thought this through

              So what you're saying is that only Americans have rights? Or American companies? He's Australian/English/Canadian/Mexican/Chinese/Indian/French/German, HE has no rights?

              How about his rights in Australia, such as not to be pursued by a foreign government for not committing a crime? He owes the US nothing at all, and the first amendment doesn't apply as he's not bound by US laws. Is it illegal in Australia to publish another countries classified documents? If not, then no case.

              Next you'll tell us that the Chinese govt. hackers have no rights and should be extradited and tried in the US, good luck convincing the powers that be in Beijing of that.

              1. Scorchio!!

                Re: You sir, have not thought this through

                It is both espionage and a warlike act. Assange can pretend that he is innocent and saintly all he likes. Personally I would like to see him introduced to a hollow point round, and I imagine that there is every chance that he will meet with an accident, or that it will be discovered that Jules has HIV or some other difficult illness. If you muck about with the security of a nation state then you can only expect a smacking in response.

  3. Harry the Bastard


    so we'll shortly be able to enjoy the shutting down of paypal, ebay, and gumtree, all as happily and knowingly support the payment for, or sale of, counterfeit and stolen goods

    not to mention seeing bush the idiot and his cohorts banged up for maliciously blowing the cover of one of their own agents

    oops, just realised i'm confusing rule of law with the spite of impotent and corrupt politicians

    ja ftw

    1. Keith T

      We all eagerly await Bush's and Blair's appearance at The Hague

      Don't hold you breath waiting for anything other than the suppression of the press and oppression of young men being sent off to fight pointless wars by killing innocent civilians.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: We all eagerly await Bush's and Blair's appearance at The Hague

        Although your response is a non sequitur - that is to say, your remarks do not follow from the initial premiss(es) of the argument, I hope that Blair does go to the Hague. I view his second appearance at the enquiry as signally important, especially since it is to cover (among other things) his comments in the margin, alongside the attorney general's opinion that war without a second resolution would be illegal, saying "I don't understand this at all". Blair, a lawyer, did not understand. He blew one instance of data out of all proportion, did not obtain corroborating data in support of his aim - something which good lawyers *and* good scientists do (it's known in science as replication of results) - he lied, he is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and I feel that he should fry, or be sent to Osama bin Laden for imprisonment (where he can wear a burkha and be bin Laden's biotch), or some other form of hell on earth.

        That, however, is another matter. The consequences of releasing classified documents from a state security and defence mechanism - of which diplomatic assessments are a part - is a breach of security and law by the person who did it, and it is a warlike act to use them as Assange et al. have. There is only one category of response to these revelations; to 'deal' with those who carried them out. It is not their right, and they have no right to expect that they can do these things without let or hindrance.

    2. Michael C


      The supreme court JUST ruled on that. So long as they comply with legimate notices of takedown, and "optionally" make extra efforts (no requirements to do so) to remove items they themselves believe infringing or illegal, they are immune from prosecution in any US court.

      Had they not self-invoked their ToS, a polite phone call asking them to do so (and proper documentation from a judge regarding a take-down request) would have sufficed.

      Only had they been informed and CONTINUED to host the account could they have run afoul of the law. they could have left it open waiting for that letter, but this was major knows, and obvious legal violations, and charges had been levied against their client, that was enough documentation for them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If you're going to be all hardcore liberal Wikileaks supporter, you should know that Wikileaks documents have proven that Saddam had chemical weapons and that Saddam had therefore be in violation of the armistice from the last Gulf War.

      In short, the war was never over, and all UN/NATO nations were actually required to invade and remove Saddam from power.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:PayPal banned WikiLeaks after US gov intervention

    Another case of governments getting into situations like wars they cannot win, like this one. How long will they resist billions of losses, crippled economies, shut down of stock exchanges, banks, etc. etc. For one guy having "unprotected sex"???? The most expensive fuck of all times. They've released the genie from the bottle. Now let's see how they get it back in, if ever.

    1. Michael C

      way to RTFA

      They clearly said, the US did NOT contact them in any way. The US public motions against Wikileaks directly were enough to satisfy them that the TOS were in fact violated, and they killed his accounts. The government never intervened, or made contact.

      1. Joe 3

        TOS violated

        So if the TOS were violated, why hand over the money in the account? Couldn't they refund it? Surely they're not that desperate for their 2.5%!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: way to RTFA

        "The government never intervened, or made contact."

        The man in the suit calling himself "a patriot" merely said that it was "damned un-American" for them to have such a customer on their books, openly wondering about various "bad things" that may happen if the situation were not to change.

        Meanwhile, over at Western Union...

  5. Mephistro


    ...when the State Department vaguely accused Wikileaks of commiting a crime, PayPal & American credit card companies immediately locked Wikileaks accounts, effectively 'condemning' Wikileaks in the process. At the same time said companies are still working with notorious criminal organizations, like the KKK. In a sane world these companies would be liable for contract breach.

    Funny enough the US gov. hasn't yet made a formal accusation specifying the crimes Wikileaks is accused of committing. Why?

    It may have something to do with the "Pentagon Papers case", which was judged by the US Supreme Court in 1971. You can find more details here:

    With this clear precedent, any formal accusation against Assange et al. 'should' be laughed out of court, and that's why the USA gov hasn't bothered to make said accusation. Of course, there is no need to make formal accusations when you can just lock people in Gitmo without proof, and count on a kangaroo court specially created for the event to uphold all the government's decisions. Sad, sad world.

    The saddest part is that the USA of 1971 -yeah, Nixon, Vietnam, etc- was more advanced -and more honest- than today's USA. Go figure!

    1. Michael C

      in following

      you don;t understand the pentagon papers case. The normal terms of limited access for those documents had expired, but the pentagon tried to extend that classification without a standing in law. These documents are covered by current valid classified status.

      1. Mephistro
        Thumb Down


        "you don;t understand the pentagon papers case"

        From the link in my comment:

        "In its per curiam opinion the Court held that the government did not overcome the "heavy presumption against" prior restraint of the press in this case. Justices Black and Douglas argued that the vague word "security" should not be used "to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment." Justice Brennan reasoned that since publication would not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces, prior restraint was unjustified."

        Add the fact that Wikileaks offered the USA to filter the documents before publishing them and you will get a more complete picture.

        And while you are at it, please tell us some good reason for the USA gov. not having presented charges against Mr. Assange yet.

    2. Michael C

      Vaguely illegal?

      Fact: the documents WERE classified.

      Fact: publishing classified material is illegal. This is not disputed!

      Fact: A US employee who actually obtained the documents was detained, charged, and convicted in military court BEFORE the leak actually was posted online.

      Fact: the US told Wikileaks IN ADVANCE it was a crime to publish those cables, and they were advised of what the punishments might be, and they did so anyway.

      Fact: Wiki ignored very clear US regulations about publishing classified documents, documents that many of which would already have been available via FoIA requests (though they would likely have been redacted on some level).

      Fact: All of these documents are slated to eventually be published anyway. Their classified status is limited by a time period.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        US law doesn't apply to an Australian living outside US borders.

      2. Mephistro
        Thumb Down

        @ Michael C

        "Fact: the documents WERE classified."

        Yeah. Now, imagine an American journalist making public classified documents from, say, Iran. Should the USA extradite the journalist? Here is a hint for you: usually it's not illegal to publish other country's secret documents. Unsurprisingly American laws can say whatever they want, but the rest of the world doesn't have to abide by American laws, nor to -thankfully- Iranian laws.

        "Fact: publishing classified material is illegal. This is not disputed!"

        In most civilized countries this 'fact' you boldly state in your comment is usually disputed a lot, mostly when it clashes with 'Freedom of Press', accountability and all those out fashioned and obsolete concepts.

        "Fact: the US told Wikileaks IN ADVANCE it was a crime to publish those cables"

        Read my first paragraph, and please make an effort to understand that American laws don't apply in other countries. On a side note when you say "the US told Wikileaks" what do you mean exactly? some government agency trying to cover their asses? a judge? an American official?

        "Fact: A US employee who actually obtained the documents was detained, ..."

        And so? I'm sure what Manning did is illegal, and he's gonna pay for it. What has that to do with Assange?

        "Fact: Wiki ignored very clear US regulations about publishing classified documents"

        For a third time, let me state this clearly: the rest of the world doesn't (or -sigh- shouldn't) care about US regulations, just the same as Americans in America don't care about Chinese laws.

        "Fact: All of these documents are slated to eventually be published anyway. Their classified status is limited by a time period."

        Hmmm... you forgot to tell us the length of that time period. Is it something like 25 years? extendable to 50 or even 75? And aren't there LOTS of exemptions to FOIA? by the time these documents are made public -if ever - everyone involved will be either retired or dead. So much for justice, transparency and accountability.

        Facts are useless without a correct reference frame. If you consider all the circumstances, your facts take a different meaning. The best lies include fragments of truth.

      3. 42


        US law only applies in the US.

        1. Gav

          More Facts

          Fact: Paypal Inc is based in California, and operates in, the US under US law.

          Fact: DoS Attacks are illegal just about everywhere.

      4. veti Silver badge

        Not vaguely illegal at all

        Regardless of where the publishers are based, publishing classified material *is not* illegal. The Supreme Court has been admirably clear on that. That's why the New York Times is still in business, these past 38 years.

        *Stealing* said material (using your security clearance to take copies and distribute them to people who don't have similar clearance) - *that's* illegal. But once it's been stolen by some third party, the government has no standing to prevent its dissemination. If the documents were produced by gov't employees using gov't resources for gov't purposes, there isn't even a copyright issue - they're public domain.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not illegal.

        It is illegal for the US employee to leak them, but not to publish it in another country.

        As for liberti of information and eventual publication.. is this a joke? Compromising documents just get "lost", and nobody notices, as they don't know they existed in the first place.

  6. Anthony Hulse

    What this shows us primarily is...

    ...we're all far too dependent on US based companies for financial transactions over the Net. Maybe it's time for a European or even Swiss based alternative to start promoting itself.

    1. Aaron Em

      Christ, yes, starting last week if possible

      Take it from a US citizen -- if by this point you still trust our national government, our currency, or our multinational corporations at all, you are a fool.

      Of course, you might be shooting too low by worrying about PayPal -- what about Visa and Mastercard? Are there any credible challenges to their global duopoly on payment-card transactions?

      1. It wasnt me

        Yes there are ...

        ...... American express. Oh, you meant not american. And credible.

        Coat please.

  7. Busby
    Black Helicopters

    Who says a title is required?

    I understand this is news but I find attitudes of the press and public surprising. What exactly is the likely outcome of an individual going after the government of the most powerful country on earth? While wikileaks is not an individual he is a very prominent front man. The people he has pissed off are about as powerful an enemy as anyone should care to make. Plus if the US gov don't appear to act then the precedent it sets could be very dangerous.

    DNS Provider, Amazon Storage, Swiss Bank Account, Paypal account all gone. Not to mention the arrest warrant.

    Now hearing talk from US politicians and justice department about criminal charges. The fun may only be beginning for Mr Assange.

    If the insurance file turns out to be as explosive as hoped things could be about to get very interesting.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Tougher than pissing off The Third Reich

      At least the well-uniformed regime did not have controlling interests just about anywhere.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @Busby: So America Is As Broken As Russia ??

      When a Russian Agent offended the "powerful Mr Putin", he got a dose of Polonium in the tea. Now that we should (according to you) see some very similar brutal and illegal action from USG, the logical consequence for Germany will be:

      A) To join Russia's Nuclear Umbrella. They are not more nasty than the US, apparently

      B) To join France's Nuclear Umbrella. Not so good, as Sarkozy is a great fan of the US. (You can't even count on the French these days)

      C) build our own nukes

      I guess we will take option A) and then C). There's a long history of Russo-German weapons cooperation, which has been restarted recently. (Interrupted by that single-egged Austrian death-lover)

  8. Philip Cohen
    Thumb Down

    Ahhhh, PayPal ...

    But all the other unscrupulous/criminal activities that you, and your ugly mother, the eBafia, facilitate on we simple peasants are OK?

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”—Samuel Johnson.

    eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

  9. Jason DePriest

    It doesn't matter if WikiLeaks has broken the law

    The fact remains that WikiLeaks has been charged with no crime and the companies flipping over for the US government have no leg to stand on.

    They are preemptively charging, trying, and convicting a company that, while making the US government angry, has not been brought up on a single criminal or civil charge.

    They could just as easily release statements saying they support WikiLeaks until such time as they are convicted of a crime.

  10. Dave Mitchell

    Not illegal

    If you read the State Department's letter very carefully, you'll find that at no point do they say that Wikileaks is behaving illegally: the illegal action was done by the person who gave the documents to Wikileaks, and continues to be illegal. A deliberately misleading document.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Not illegal

      Wikileaks might be liable for breach of copyright.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        US government papers

        Under section 105 of the Copyright Act are not covered by copyright.

        BTW. If you like your irony full fat, you can currently use your Mastercard or Visa card to buy a copy of the leaked documents in Kindle format from Amazon:

  11. Anonymous Coward

    US flag to be renamed...

    ...raise the Double Standard and salute it as you use your credit card to buy pr0n, finance the KKK and other dubious activities.

  12. mafoo


    Comply or be EX-TER-MI-NATED.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    the unspecified crimes are....

    the freedom of speech and freedom of information.

    the cost to the USofA.... lots of Egg on politicos faces and publicly being forced to install a decent level of security of their IT infrastructure other than the most basic levels that the software came with.

    anyway all the info was already known by Mossad, the Rusians and China.

    the only ones not knowing just what went on in government was the american public.

    but they are all dumb hics so it dopnt matter, so long as the gas flows at $2.50 a USgallon and burgers are supersize and cost 99c

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: the unspecified crimes are....

      "anyway all the info was already known by Mossad, the Rusians and China."

      In the absence of data proving your argument I will cite published details of Putin's response to the Batman and Robin depiction by the US of Medvedev and Putin. He was displeased.

  14. Greg J Preece

    The whole Assange saga...

    ...reminds me of that scene in Network where Beale gets called into the boardroom?

    "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature Mr Beale, and I WON'T HAVE IT!"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Innocent until found guilty?

    Are the US planning on reversing the presumption of innocence? As yet, Wikileaks don't seem to have been charged with any offence, let alone found guilty.

    While VISA and Mastercard can choose with whom they do business, doesn't that set a poor precedent. What happens if they don't like YOU?

    On a wider issue, why are we all discussing Wikileaks, and not the security policy of the US government? A policy that would seem to allow a great number of users access to sensitive information. ALso, shouldn't the system prevent large volumes of data being accessed by an individual, or at least require further authorisation? Perhaps some heads should be rolling? The focus on Wikileaks seems to be a very successful diversion tactic.

    Posted Anon - Mr Assange is somewhat more courageous than I.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    More info please

    SO why doesnt anyone (I mean anyone) go to Sweden and interview / get hold of these 2 babes and get their side of the story?

    A live Tv interview would do wonders for this whole malarkey.

    From the orses mouth.

  17. Keith T

    We reject your "might makes right" claims.

    Busby, our attitudes and our protests are against the nationalist socialist idea that "might makes right".

    My ancestors fought a world war over this (for the full length of the war, not just the last 2 years.)

    You shouldn't be surprised that I'd at least try using words to preserve their legacy.

  18. Bob Prentice

    OK now I'm lost

    could someone please draw me a diagram with the labels "good guy" and "bad guy" as I'm getting very lost. Maybe we could go back to making them wear different coloured Cowboys hats, it was all so simple back when ( or at least it seemed simple )

  19. Anonymous Coward

    IS USA a democracy?

    I dont think so, except in name. It is ruled and controlled by the CIA, Pentagon, National security or whatever flavour they choose to call. Even airport jokes are out and there is pervasive sense of fear and eavesdropping. The media added to the doon and gloom which Mr Dubya wanted and got. Now its payback time, for sensible people to wake up to this witch hunting.

    Makes the erstwhile KGB/Stasi appear more humane and reasonable. Just because they passed extreme laws, doesnt make it tright for them to persecute "whistleblowers".

    Th worst thing is the liberals and reasonable people have caved in too.

    What a shame. The land of the brave and free? My ass. So is the law.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Is USA a democracy?

      It was actually founded as a republic. Although one might argue today that the United States is a representative democracy, this still makes it a republic, rather than a democracy.

      If you look at the US model for government, it clearly follows republican lines.

      In the USA's Constitution (or the Declaration of Independence, for that matter) there is no mention of democracy.

  20. Keith T
    Paris Hilton

    So will PayPal, Visa and MC be suspending the NY Times and Guardian?

    So will PayPal, Visa and MC be suspending the NY Times and Guardian?

    Or is the State Department only going after foreigners and those who can't financially afford to defend themselves?

    Paris, because Paris can see the State Department is engaged in selective prosecutions, picking on foreigners.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    dreams of reality

    The name had been appearing on his visor, as if a calling card, posted there by anonymous while he was sleeping, for a while. He'd heard, he'd seen the name and the hype and ignored it, but the name kept appearing and it got closer to other names, and those names already had high scores, so he started paying attention.

    The name itself acquired a glow, even as he watched it, the light shining not around the name but through it, casting outlines as it passed upon many tiny names, held within the name, blackened typographical objects representing the collective thoughts and feelings of billions, swirling illuminated inside the smooth letters cast upon his visor.

    He went for a trawl, many stores were closed, or suffering restricted access conditions, however names are a useful guide, and he found more names, and more, and those names also had high scores.

    The names were behind walls. Many walls, mostly legal and political walls, and those held them in place, inside others. And yet, he found as he zoomed in real close, the walls have holes, many holes, and through those holes are streaming the names, the collective thoughts and feelings of billions, that have been sequestered like dungeoned children, hidden, the world to never know, enslaved to their own entrapment and at the mercy and whim of their captors.

    Everywhere he went he found others, also trawling, also finding the names, finding the walls, finding the holes in those walls and he noticed that the more people who arrived, the larger those holes got, as if they were somehow dependent upon the proximity of others; the people were corroding the holes, by their very presence.

    He zoomed some more and discovered the walls were in fact made of nothing, they were an illusion, a thought-law, transcribed into a distortion of reality by the wall-builders themselves. They only existed because people thought they did. And the names flooded out, from all directions and he experienced a light-headed sensation, of the kind that usually cost good money in the real world.

    He turned to report to his friends and colleagues - but to his consternation discovered they were now separated from him, by mind-walls they had not yet evaporated. Packet loss was high, and he found himself tempted to refrain, as if the walls were now corroding him, by their own proximity and density relative to himself, and their continued existence in the minds of others.

    He sat for a moment, marvelling at the energy wasted by the parties, to build the walls, only to have others subvert them, repeatedly, patching holes, adding fortifications, all to protect an illusion, to protect Canute, and wondered how much time has been lost, how much money, how many lives, how many futures have been squandered on this bastardised reality, this fairyland, this matrix of lies, spun into truth by a thousand apologists and profiteers.

    And through his mind played a snippet of history, a soundbite, caught on the wind and passed down through time, as if to answer his thoughts - "Tear down this wall!" he heard, a voice duplicitously speaking from inside the maze at the time, and he realised, these are the Berlin Walls of our own. This maze is a series of Berlin Walls and it runs not in Berlin but in every Western country in the world - and not through their cities, but through their minds.

    And this, he realised, was the point of the name. The name is a mirror, and it let him see himself in the maze. It showed him that even if he could penetrate the maze, it's not just about him, it's about everybody, the maze being a product of their collective imagination, only existing while it cannot be perceived - a thought-quantum, ceasing to exist as soon as it is considered.

    He concluded that just as the maze is a product of the collective imagination, so the truth is the product of the collective consciousness. And he set about communicating this fact to his friends and colleagues, by morse code and metaphor if necessary.

    1. Mephistro
      Thumb Up

      Thanks, AC...

      ...For this nice metaphor.

    2. Frank Fisher
      Thumb Up

      we have been here many times before

      Sounds like perhaps, PKD's Black Iron Prison, perhaps something John Galt might have faced, perhaps the Matrix, perhaps the Dark City - but what we're seeing is that all the dystopias were true, all the conspiracies have a kernal of truth. THEY LIVE!

      look for some special sunglasses, and keep your powder dry.

  22. Remy Redert

    @Matt Piechota

    I'm sorry, have they even been charged with any crimes yet?

    Mastercard, the Swiss bank and Paypal all acted without charges even being pressed against Wikileaks. I'd recommend for Wikileaks to start suing the lot of them in European courts for breach of contract.

    Specifically the courts of countries that have in previous instances thrown out contract clauses that prohibit suing or prevent liability for damages.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      @Remy Redert

      I think that the issue that Paypal etc have reacted to is not so much the publishing action of Wikileaks but what Manning is accused of. As has been adequately pointed out the USA have a tough time ahead bringing charges against Wikileaks or Assange. If Manning is guilty then Paypal, Visa and Mastercard might be guilty of aiding and abetting because they are aiding Wikileaks who in turn are aiding Manning. If Manning is found not guilty then someone leaked them and since only US citizens have legal access then it must be an illegal act. Least I think thats the premise. There are holes in this premise too of course.

      Paypal etc should publish the chain of laws they believe they are reacting to IMO.

  23. Stuart Duel
    Black Helicopters


    ...if the Sydney Morning Herald or the NY Times or some other highly respected daily journal had received and published these leaks, there would be the same clammer to hang, draw and quarter the editors, staff and their families?

    You can bet your life the 'old media' would have published it regardless of all the huffing and puffing. Being old media though, the U.S. Government wouldn't dare call for death and violence like they have against this new media because they can characterise it as something "different" and "unworthy of press freedoms".

    It's obvious that the accusations of sex crimes - why does Annie Lennox come to mind? - is a crock. it's reported this morning the U.S. is negotiating with the Swedes to hand Julian Assange over to their custody. I doubt the Brits would have been persuaded. They quite correctly take a pretty dim view of American "justice".

    Now the Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, has pointed the finger of blame directly at the Americans:

    "The Americans are responsible for that," he said.

    Yesterday, Mr Rudd said in response to a journalist's question about what governments should do in response to the leaked diplomatic cables: ''Rule No.1 for our friends in the United States is - how do you tighten things up a bit?

    ''I think that's a fair old question. Maybe 2 million or so people having access to this stuff is a bit of a problem,'' he said, alluding to the fact that many US government officials had access to the classified material.

    He also said that as far as he is aware, Julian Assange hasn't committed any crime and will receive full diplomatic assistance as afforded to any Australian Citizen.

    Mr Rudd, to his credit, seemed to barely be able to contain his bemusement concerning the predicament of "our friends in the United States".

    And Bravo to Mephistro!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I doubt the Brits would have been persuaded. They quite correctly take a pretty dim view of American "justice""

      This was my first thaught as well, but then it occurred toe me that we have a stupid extradition treaty with the US, where we will quite happilly give over even our own citizens at the drop of a hat with no evidence.

      I suspect the reasons the US didnt bother is because it would mean they have to come up with some specific charges to accuse him of, which for some reason they seem unable to do. However, they will also need some charges to accuse him of if they want anyone else to hand him over as well, and at least a modicum of evidence.

  24. Dom 1

    Anyone remember

    Watergate? Or as someone pointed out, "The Pentagon Papers Case"?

    Why are so called journalists of the World's press desperately trying to crucify Mr Assange? Maybe because there are actually very few "Free" news organisations who are prepared to report the whole truth - the rest just pander to the American Government and feed us the propaganda. Very little is said about the person who leaked the documents - why? It is the lack of security in the US Gov that enabled the documents to become public in the first place.

    As the saying goes, "Don't shoot the messenger". Unless, of course, you are the US Gov. Then you get to do anything you want, with the blessing of so-called free press, and you are answerable to no-one.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      @Dom 1

      Seems to me there are a lot of the "free press" publishing summaries of the cables, criticizing, Assange, the apathetic and everyone else remotely involved. Say what you will, but the debate has been pretty through from many different sides.

      Certainly some specific news outlets have taken sides…but many others have chosen to view the entire affair from a largely neutral standpoint. I believe that in many ways (*cough* FOX , MSNBC *cough*) certain modern media elements are highly biased. Still, in my opinion a lot more outlets have covered all sides of the debate than my previously held conspiracy-theorist views would have had me believe.

      I think the “free press” is still largely “free.”

  25. skwdenyer


    Online gambling has been held to be illegal in the USA. A British businessman, who has not operated in any way in the US but has taken money from US citizens, has been arrested and tried in the USA for this. Online gambling businesses take credit card and/or PayPal payments every day; these are "illegal" activities in the US.

    Unfortunately, this is all terribly reminiscent of the catch-all UK legislation prohibiting the possession of "items which could be of use to terrorists"... such as a map, for instance, or a pair of scissors... in effect, governments of all hues like to pass catch-all legislation which can be used to declare any act illegal or person guilty when it suits them. This is not the form of governance we should aspire to, it is not the sort of governance which should be wrought in our names.

    How long before we can persuade the people of one nation - perhaps ours - to rise up and demand: "treat me better"?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kind of wonder why PayPal employ lawyers

    If their response to a notice from the government is a simple 'Okay'. You'd have thought the legal department's first response would have been 'and which law exactly are WikiLeak breaking?' if only so PayPal would have something concrete to tell WikiLeaks if the organisation protested their delisting.

  27. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Where's the problem here?

    Yeah OK so poor Mr Assange is getting his assets seized or being denied methods of payment, but Paypal and Amazon are companies, they are huge corpsa and they exist for the benefit of their shareholders and nothing else. It's that simple, why is it all you armchair freedom fighters seem to lose sight of that?

    OK, so the US Gov most likely stepped in to remind them what the penalities are for adding and abbetting a foriegner promiting anti-US sentiments, but at the end of the day these are companies that exist to make money, not support personal crusades for egotists trying to change the world.

    Sorry if that upsets the armchair Che's and Ghandi's, but if you want to make a difference, forget about Assange and his ego-crusade, support something more worthwhile. Support your local domestic violence shelter, Amnesty International, an anti-child abuse charity or War on Want, something that will make a real difference to real people's lives.

    The satisfaction of just helping one child escape a life in a living hell, that feels far more worthwhile than massaging Assange's ego!

    ( I have my flameproof undies, bring it on! )

    1. Dom 1

      @The Fuzzy Wotnot

      But their shareholders (and, one would assume, the US Gov) are quite happy to profit from business with the likes of the KKK - which actively spreads hate and religous intolerance. You don't see the State dept writing to the about that do you? It's the hipocracy of what has [and how it has] happened.

      And as for supporting something worthwhile, have a read of Katrin Axelsson's letter to the Guardian here:

    2. Mephistro

      Just a minute. Need to turn on my flamethrower

      "The satisfaction of just helping one child escape a life in a living hell, that feels far more worthwhile than..."

      Sorry to disturb your peace of mind, but if you 'just help one child' and don't fight against the conditions that put that child -and millions of others - in a 'living hell', your satisfaction is totally hollow and worthless. Without leaving the Wikileaks area, please consider the thousands of children that have been orphaned, injured or killed by the Americans and their allies in the Middle East, like the ones injured in the incidents recorded in the infamous 'helicopter video' made public by Wikileaks a few months ago. Or go to any repository of the leaked cables, and search for Kenya or Nigeria.

      "... than massaging Assange's ego!"

      I don't think that most people supporting Wikileaks give a damn about Assange's ego or any other part of his person. o_O. We just believe that what he is doing is -perhaps by chance - good for justice, democracy and freedom. In a sense, we are being selfish, because, by definition, an unaccountable government means also a corrupt government, and if they don't respect other people's human rights in a short time they will be smashing their own citizens human rights as well. Opps, I just noticed that's already happening. Google " TSA" for the details.

      "Sorry if that upsets the armchair Che's and Ghandi's..."

      So, if you aren't a member of an NGO , a pacifist leader or a self appointed revolutionary messiah you can't give your opinion on political matters. Hmmm... somehow that doesn't sound right.

      "what the penalities are for adding and abbetting a foriegner promiting anti-US sentiments"

      Please allow me to rephrase that as " aiding and abetting a foreigner doing something perfectly legal"

      Now, seriously. One of the things we should be most afraid of is the 'Authoritarian mindset' . All those people that say that whatever The Man says or does is right, whatever the circumstances. Fellow commenters have quoted the Nazi meme 'might makes right'. (Of course it's older than the nazis, but nazis are a good example of the use of said meme and its consequences). If we want our children and grandchildren to live reasonably free and happy lives we have to use a lot of critical thinking. We must fight for openness and accountability or face the consequences.

      I hope your undies aren't made of asbestos. It's illegal, you know. :)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll get their day in court

    Wikileaks will get their day in court but some folks won't be happy with the outcome.

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Pay Palsy

    Weak as!

  30. David 141

    Vive la revolution

    "Another case of governments getting into situations like wars they cannot win, like this one. How long will they resist billions of losses, crippled economies, shut down of stock exchanges, banks, etc. etc."

    How long did the French monarchs continue to insist on their divine right to absolute authority? Until their heads were removed from their shoulders.

    Vive la revolution.

  31. Curtis

    what "Law"?

    Just off the top of my head, Assange has

    A) Received Stolen Goods

    B) Transferred Stolen Goods

    C) Violated the Espionage Act (U.S.C. Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 37)

    D) Blackmail

    And those are just off the top of my head. Of course, to the majority of the readers of this article, these laws "don't count" since they're US laws, despite the fact that each of these crimes are also illegal in the EU.

    1. Frank Fisher

      Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers Curtis?

      Oh, and btw, *where* did these "crimes" take place? Are they extraditable to the US? In what jurisdiction are Wikileaks and paypal/visa/mastercard's contracts drawn up?

      Sorry to break this to you, but the USA does not rule the world.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What laws?

      a) What goods are you refering to? To steal is to permanently deprive the legitemate owner of something. As I understand it, the US Govt. still has the data so nothing has been stolen.

      b) See my answer above.

      c) As has been stated before in these comments, US law only applies in the US. The rest of us can ignore it as an irrelevance. There is no EU law against espionage, that is legislated by individual states and in any case, those laws only apply to secrets of the host state.

      d) That's a pretty serious allegation there, I hope you have evidence to support it as otherwise you're guilty of libel. If you're referring to the so called 'Insurance' file, until we know the ontents of that, no one can comment. It might be his travel insurance policy number for all we know.

      Now climb back into your box and remember in future that the rest of the world doesn't give a hoot about US laws.

      1. Curtis

        Coward is right

        A) Theft of Information is considered stolen goods.

        B) There is no doubt he received the stolen information.

        C) As the victim country where the data was stolen from, US laws would apply.

        D) As for blackmail-"Arrest me an I'll release an encryption key to unlock a file I've already passed around"

        Obviously the rest of the world does not care about US laws. After all, the sooner the United States collapses, the sooner you can forget the concept of personal responsibility and personal involvement in government.

  32. JaitcH

    PayPal - no credibility, not trustworthy1

    The PayPal wanna-be-a-bank outfit has a history of freezing accounts for unfounded reasons. Did it for Cryptome, too.

    Not only this, they also sell on customer data to other potential vendors.

    Totally unworthy and unreliable. Never, ever give them a credit card number, either!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    people vs governments

    The issue is not right vs left, it is people vs governments.

    Western governments claim to be 'free', they claim to be representative of the people, they claim to follow the rule of law, they claim that the public has rights.

    But one guy sticks his neck out, releases documents that the US and other countries find embarrassing, and he's labelled a terrorist, US congressmen start talking about executing him and then he is being extradited to sweden for 'sex crimes' (the details of which appear to be two cases of consensual sex). Still, throw enough mud and hope something will stick.

    If you stick your neck out against the regime in China, you'll be branded a 'troublemaker' and 'criminal' and be put in jail for 'trying to bring down the state'.

    And now we find that if you do the same in the west, the same fate awaits you.

    Not really a sad day for western freedom and democracy as it seems it actually died long ago. We just didn't know it was dead until now.

    1. Frank Fisher

      " if you do the same in the west, the same fate awaits you"... irony missed by BBC

      Last night Newsnight spent the whole prog examining China's attack on the Nobel for a jailed free speech activist there, sitting in a cell on dubious charges, while one of our own sits on trumped up charges in Wandsworth.

      Irony, I guess that's what prison bars are...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the US goverment actions only worsens the situation

    Wikileaks is trying to be nice and do some censoring

    Next thing is that someone posts everything anonymously.

    So all current US government actions ensure that soon information will be 'free'.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop using Palpal and Credit cards?

    Rather than stopping the use of Paypal entirely, I think a suitable protest would be to remove all cards from paypal, forcing everything through the slow echeque system. (And also to start paying in cash for small purchases in the real world)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go

    Im not gonna bother commenting either way about this because this issue is much wider than anyone has cottened on to on here and by the sounds of it, if posters dont conform to the opinion of the US is evil and Wikileaks are saints they are slated. What ever happened to civilized debate huh?

    anyhow, keep up your revolution, but one wee tip, you wont get far hiding behind your AC

    1. Jolyon

      There you go

      "if posters dont conform to the opinion of the US is evil and Wikileaks are saints they are slated"

      They are downvoted if it is even possible to misconstrue their posts as a slight on Assange / Wikileaks.

      It's clearly something that matters a great deal to (a particualr subset of) the Reg readership.

  37. ShaggyDoggy

    "US law only applies in the US"

    Haha which planet are you from.

    First we have the TERRORIST threat.

    Then we have the FINANCIAL meltdown.

    Then we have the WIKILEAKS debacle.

    How many more sticks do the masters want to beat us with.

    Next ... METEOR

  38. Anonymous Coward


    OK, wikileaks probably broke the law, but it isn't for mastercard and visa to decide, it is for a court.And even if they did break the law, a court has to order for the account to be shut down. if I break the law, it doesn't follow straight away that all my accounts will be closed, unless it's relevant and with a court order.

    for example, say BP broke the law by not having proper inspections on their oil rig, it doesn't mean that straight away all of their accounts will be closed, if shell broke international law by bribing officials in Nigeria, it doesn't mean that their accounts will be closed, not without a court order.

    yes it's the legal right of a company to stop services in terms with it's contract, but this is very selective, and shows a double standard.

  39. John Latham

    PayPal General Counsel John Muller said...

    “Ultimately, our difficult decision was based on a belief that the WikiLeaks website was encouraging sources to release classified material, which is likely a violation of law by the source"

    Belief? Likely?

    It's not that complicated, surely. RTFM.

  40. bugalugs

    So this is what being " Unned "

    looks like. Shades of the Bourne series !

  41. The main man
    Thumb Down

    Might i chip in?

    I don't agree with what the government are doing i also don't agree with what these hacker i.e. criminals are doing. They think they are anonymous (did they create the internet?) but on the internet no one is anonymous. They want to take down Twitter and that will be their downfall. I have been on the receiving end of hackers and it ain't funny. Given the chance, these guys will steal your credit cards and sell it on

    1. nobby

      please take down twitter

      maybe some good could come from this...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Cause hackers are BAAAAAD, mkay?

    '...hacker i.e. criminals are doing'

    Please go somewhere and learn what hackers are. Hint: there were hackers long before there were digital computers.

    Have a nice day.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    US Law?

    Whio gives a crap about US law? The US doesn't care about International law so screw 'em.

    This is the time when the US needs to learn US law only applies in the US.

    Would still be nice for the US Government to state what law is actually being broken. They seem to be struggling.

    Funny how the emphasis is on Wikileaks ... not the dodgy, illegal actions revealed in the leaks. But when you are up to your eyeballs in war crimes and corruption your only option is to shoot the messenger.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    Looking forward to Twatter being taken out.

  45. codemonkey

    The Elephant In The Room

    I know you all accept this is a "as it is", and "how it has to be"...but the elephant in this particular room is that *any* of the day to day working of *any* of our civil SERVANTS is in any way classified at all.

    Truth and openness, it would seem, are the enemies of the state.

    What are they hiding?

    We elected them.

    They WORK for us.

    They are only our REPRESENTATIVES, but yet they keep all their discussions etc behind closed doors.

    You are a fool if you think this is healthy or “pro-you”; it’s not.

  46. Drunken

    PayPal Brand

    It is understandable that a company such as PayPal would like to protect their brand identity. Thereby this action of suspending WkiLeaks account is expected. The brand they want to maintain is that they will suspend your account for little reason and be a total pain in the ass.

  47. RW

    It's not illegal until the judge says so

    Until someone is found guilty in a court trial, any statements regarding the illegality of their acts are merely unsubstantiated allegations. PayPal should have sent the relevant letter back to the FBI and said "tell us when this guy has been tried and found guilty."

    This is called "the rule of law" and, oddly enough, is one of the issues the US was founded on.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "US State Department said the whistle-blower site was engaged in illegal activity."

    and if you believe it, your an even bigger masturbator!

    They will say and do anything to prevent us from knowing the truth.

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