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Paypal deletes account of independent news site, gives no reason



Previous Politech message:

"Anti-abortion activist complains Paypal seized his account"
http://www.politechbot.com/p-04524.html

Alternatives? Politech has accepted donations through E-Gold or GoldMoney 
for the last year or so (http://www.politechbot.com/donate/). I'll compile 
and send along other suggestions.

-Declan

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From: Eric Cordian <emc@artifact.psychedelic.net>
Message-Id: <200303112128.h2BLSIH01886@artifact.psychedelic.net>
Subject: Paypal Strikes Again
To: declan@well.com
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 13:28:18 -0800 (PST)

Hi,

The folks on whatreallyhappened.com are reporting that Paypal has closed
their account, exercising its "sole discretion" according to the user
agreement to close their account and embargo their funds for six months.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/lindex.html

Since whatreallyhappened.com is a link farm of news stories featuring a
variety of views on the impending War with Iraq, and Paypal just pulled
this same trick with an anti-abortion activist, it would appear that
Paypal is employing its user agreement selectively for political purposes.

While Paypal as a private company certainly has the right to choose with
whom it does business, tying up donations people have made to support a
political cause for half a year does seem a tad dishonest.

-- 
Eric Michael Cordian 0+
O:.T:.O:. Mathematical Munitions Division
"Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law"

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Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 11:13:54 -0800
To: declan@well.com
From: "A.Lizard" <alizard@ecis.com>
Subject: Paypal strikes again!

 From anti-abortion to anti-war. What business does a money transfer agent 
have deciding whether to pay funds or not based on the account holder's 
politics? And what is PayPal likely to decide is "objectionable" next? On 
what objective criteria?

If you know anyone using PayPal to raise funds for a political site 
regardless of politics, better let them know about this.

Given that PayPal is apparently using political criteria to decide who its 
OK to transfer money to, other than hearing a sucking sound on the Internet 
as every political organization not aligned with the Bush Administration 
using PayPal to accepts donations to pull all their money out and instruct 
their banks not to accept demands for funds from PayPal, I'm expecting the 
next response to be a demand for federal regulation of PayPal-like services.

A.Lizard

>PayPal switches off indy news site account
>By Drew Cullen
>Posted: 12/03/2003 at 08:39 GMT

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/29717.html

>A US independent news site which relies upon reader donations has had some 
>of its air supply cut off by PayPal.
>In a email sent to WhatReallyHappened.com 
>http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ yesterday, PayPal's Orwellian-sounding 
>"Merchant Risk Department" wrote:
>As you know, the PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole 
>discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any 
>reason. We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in 
>accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed. Your 
>funds will be held for 180 days from the date of the last transaction on 
>the account. After 180 days have expired, we will refund your funds by 
>mailing a check to the address linked to your account.
                 .  .  .
                 rest at the URL

---

From: "Scoop Editor - Alastair Thompson" <alastair@scoop.co.nz>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 12:22:11 +1300
MIME-Version: 1.0

Dear Declan,

Looks like a case for the Politech community to ruminate on.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/paypal.html

Paypal closed off this 911 advocacy websites account - and they
are fighting back. As they have a huge audience in the blogging
and independent media community this news is spreading like
wildfire.

Indymedia are now debating ending their association with Paypal
too.. and I suspect hundreds of other independent media sites
(including us) are considering the same thing.

The sad thing is they do provide a very easy to use and well
maintained and supported service... and they have massive market
share. Their conduct is difficult to understand in the circumstances.

One alternative service some indymedia are considering using is.

http://www.affero.com

Which has some additional capabilities which are useful for online
publishers.

It would be useful if members of the forum might be able to suggest
other alternatives. We have been advised by one person to open
our own Visa Merchant account but are very reluctant to do so. A
service like the one Paypal has been providing seems like it is in
huge demand.... but it does need to be secure and reliable... which
sadly Paypal appears not to be.


regards
Alastair Thompson
Scoop




Alastair Thompson
Scoop Editor
Scoop Media
Wellington
http://www.Scoop.co.nz
021 70 70 44




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