Items donated by Julian Assange or the guests to his 40th birthday party on the 10th July 2011 (while under house arrest) are to be auctioned on eBay to raise cash for WikiLeaks, the group that he founded. A WikiLeaks statement on Twitter announced the fund raising and with full details of the items yet to be auctioned.
This will be the first of four featuring unique items such as a framed, signed limited edition cable describing against the United Nations, one of two , complete with full historical data, invite-only in Paris later this month and sealed smuggled out of HMS Wandsworth by Julian Assange on 17th December.
WikiLeaks caused a furore by publication of 250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables last year leading to a worldwide embarrassment for everyone from government and embassy employees to high profile businesses people and even royalty. The site has suffered loss of it’s Domain Name Service (which allows you to find their site on the Internet), denial of service attacks on their website and the WikiLeaks site being kicked off their hosting by Amazon.
WikiLeaks, a not-for-profit organization, relies entirely on donations from its supporters in order to stay operational. Since 7th December 2010, WikiLeaks has been the subject of a financial embargo by the Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union.
It’s kind of bizaare that having had the WikiLeaks PayPal account permanently closed they are now raising money on eBay for items which can be paid for by PayPal.
In December 2010 PayPal said “PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.“. One wonders if many of the eBay WikiLeaks auctions will actually be paid for using PayPal’s services?