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Focus on Freedom

WikiLeaks: What can one person do to help?


Updated Information below

You can sign a petition protesting the use of extra-judicial influence by governments and corporations - I and Paul (Kitty Antonik and Paul Wakfer) have definitely done that - and you can also strongly urge everyone that you know to do the same.

I and Paul made the decision to actively support WikiLeaks even before this petition became known and to strongly and publicly Socially Preference against those particular corporations - our announcement at MoreLife Yahoo and the discussion that follows addresses this in detail.

However getting support money to WikiLeaks has become very awkward for those able to donate only small amounts. PayPal, MasterCard and Visa all appear to be currying favor with the US government, if not actually kowtowing to direct political pressure, by agreeing that WikiLeaks is engaged in "illegal" activities thereby justifying their removal of services. So it appears that either snail mail money orders/drafts or bank wire transfers (electronic funds transfer - EFT) are the only means left to get funding to WikiLeaks.

Unfortunately for the small donations that many people wish to send, such EFTs, particularly international, will result in a major portion of the donation going to EFT fees (or even all of the donation, since such EFT fees are often $40 or more these days) and therefore not reaching WikiLeaks. In order to minimize the portion of support money destined for WikiLeaks that is eaten up by such EFT fees, I have opened a new checking account at my credit union independent from my personal accounts into which I have initially deposited $25. I am proposing that anyone wishing to donate money to WikiLeaks now deposit their donations directly to that account, which may be done at any of the participating Credit Union Service Centers (CUSC) branches throughout the US. Note that one does not need to be a member of any such credit union in order to make a deposit to a known account at any of them - just walk in and give them the credit union name, account number and account name to which the deposit is desired. Upon reexamining the website above, I have also discovered that there are even some international credit unions at which such deposits can be made. For those without a participating credit union which they can access, I will also accept checks and money orders for deposit to that account, but remember that all personal checks will require a holding period before the funds are available for transfer to WikiLeaks. My plan is that when the account balance reaches $1065, I will then wire $1000 to WikiLeaks - the $25 remaining after wire transfer will be the account minimum balance. I am still concerned about the relatively high (4%) transfer loss, so if the balance grows quickly I may wait till there is more before wire transfer is effected so as to minimize the fee's effective loss to WikiLeaks. In opening this account I have not indicated anything about its purpose to the credit union. I suggest that anyone depositing to the account at a participating credit union do so by means of cash only (not traceable and with such a deposit often not requiring the ID of the depositor), and that those sending checks or money orders to this account should *not* indicate the purpose of the check/MO on its face.

I plan to continue this method until such time as either I or it are shut down by the corporate/State axis or other methods of getting money to WikiLeaks are re-instated. In order that this method become as decentralized as possible, I also urge other people with clear, prior and publicly honest credentials (as I have for anyone who wants to check) to start a similar group support effort.

All who wish to join me on this monetary support to WikiLeaks are requested to email me and provide clear identifying information plus links to any Internet posting prior to the creation date of this page which shows support for either WikiLeaks or similar ideas supporting press freedom and individual liberty in general. This request and the return email sent by me of specific information on this account for actual deposit are being done to protect the account from attack.

Lastly, Paul will begin investigating setting up a similar account at his bank in Canada for the same purpose with an update here when that is complete.

Update 12/10/2010

Today I was informed by an email response to this announcement that XipWire (pronounced ZipWire) has a mobile phone pay service by which anyone can make credit or debit card payments to businesses, charitable organizations, etc or send money to other people with mobile phones. While it is currently not possible to actually register with XipWire without a mobile phone number and service provider, it is still possible to make a donation to WikiLeaks via the XipWire website. Select "donation" (rather than pledge) and when asked for your mobile phone number, if you do not have one, enter your regular (land) phone number. I used my debit card and it worked fine and is already pending at my bank account to which the debit card is linked.

In addition, upon contacting XipWire about this registration limitation, I was informed that in response to multiple such requests, they will be removing the mobile phone limitation within the next few days. After that it would appear that their service will be every bit as good as PayPal but with much lower fees and even more flexibility. In the near future I very much hope to see a large increase in the number or organizations which include the XipWire name as an acceptable payment method.

Update 7/21/2011

In Mid March, I was informed by co-founder Sibyl Lindsay, "Due to security reason we had to reinstate the mobile number requirement to protect all of our users and abuse of the system." This was in response to my inquiry, "I'm confused and apparently have confused others regarding ability to have a XIPWIRE account without having a cellphone or if one's cellphone is not on your "carrier list"... [N]ow what does someone do who wants to simply use his/her PC to make transfers as I and Paul have been doing?" No explanation about how a mobile number requirement protects users...

Since early June 2011 I, and at least 2 other persons, have had difficulties with XIPWIRE; transferral of money to/from linked bank accounts have not been possible. No response to email inquiries directed to the website and co-founders, Sharif J. Alexandre and Sibyl Lindsay, were received. Then in early July the website became completely unavailable only noted to be back online on July 20. However Login attempt was greeted with message: "The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later." At no time has there been any explanation on the website or at their .

As a result of these problems with XIPWIRE and its founders/owners, I cannot at this time recommend it as a money transfer method and do not know when or if I ever again will.