Knight Center
Knight Center


WikiLeaks urges Bank of America boycott; V.P. Biden likens Julian Assange to "high-tech terrorist"

Bank of America has become the latest financial institution to block transactions with the controversial whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, reported the BBC.

Bank of America, one of the world's largest banks, said it would not process any payments going toward WikiLeaks because "Wikileaks may be engaged in activities that are... inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments," a statement from the bank said, according to the BBC.

WikiLeaks has been under fire since releasing secret diplomatic cables and confidential military records related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The website's founder, Julian Assange, was freed on bail last week, facing extradition from London to Sweden for sexual assault charges.

It is speculated that Bank of America will be WikiLeaks' next target, as Assange has said he has documents that could be embarrassing for a large American bank, the New York Times explained.

The bank information is supposed to be released in January.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks sent out a tweet calling on "all people who love freedom" to boycott Bank of America.

Assange has become a polemic figure, with some hailing him has a crusader for freedom of information and expression, and others denouncing him as a criminal.

Vice President Joe Biden said during the "Meet the Press" television show on Sunday that Assange is more of a "high-tech terrorist" than a whistle-blower or a journalist, reported the Washington Post. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating ways to stop WikiLeaks from releasing more secret information, and looking into prosecuting Assange, the Telegraph added.

Still, some, such as journalism professors at Columbia University, and even Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have come out in support of Assange and WikiLeaks.

Salon ran an article Monday in which writer Scott Gant explains exactly why Assange is a journalist, "at least as far as the First Amendment is concerned."

Other Related Headlines:
» Glenn Greenwald (The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page)


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter "Journalism in the Americas"

Boletim Semanal (Português)
Boletín Semanal (Español)
Weekly Newsletter (English)
Marketing by ActiveCampaign