• Sweden edition
 
WIKILEAKS CONTROVERSY
WikiLeaks funded via Pirate Bay-linked firm
The Pirate Bay's Peter Sunde (left) and other Flattr staff

WikiLeaks funded via Pirate Bay-linked firm

Published: 09 Dec 2010 11:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2010 11:51 GMT+01:00

Swedish micropay site Flattr, which was launched by The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, remains one of the sole online financial lifelines for embattled whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

Credit card operators MasterCard and Visa and rival online payment system PayPal have shut down donations to WikiLeaks in the last week on the grounds that the site engages in illegal activities.

"As long as there is no sign that they are doing anything illegal, we will continue," Flattr spokesman Niklas Silfverström told The Local on Thursday.

According to WikiLeaks, the site also accepts donations via transfers through an Icelandic bank, as well as a German foundation. But after Swiss/Icelandic internet company DataCell suspended an online donation system linked to Visa and MasterCard, Flattr is now the only way to make online donations to WikiLeaks.

Unlike PayPal, Flattr, which is based in Limhamn in Malmö in southern Sweden, charges a minimal €2 monthly fee, with which users can donate as little as €0.01 (9 öre, $0.01) - or less - to websites they want to support.

Sunde described the site as "not actually micropayments, it's nanopayments" in an FT.com Tech Blog article in July.

"The idea had already been initiated in 2007, but the first release was in 2010 due to typical geeky laziness," the company wrote on its website.

The site, named both for flattering someone and a flat-rate payment model, believes it is attractive to users who would otherwise hesitate to donate amounts under €10 since users can donate as little as €0.01 - or less.

The site now has 50,000 user accounts compared with 20,000 members prior to its open beta launch in August.

Traffic to the site spiked following the release of WikiLeaks' Iraq documents in August, but Silfverström said it remains unclear whether the site has received more traffic after MasterCard, Visa and PayPal banned donations to WikiLeaks.

Users can deposit funds into a Flattr account through Visa, MasterCard or Nordea through MoneyBookers or PayPal, both of which charge fees.

When asked whether he thought it was ironic that Flattr is funded through the credit card companies, Silfverström said, "We are trying to find alternative means to do transactions and payouts, but we depend on the bigger organisations."

"The difference is we distribute the money to WikiLeaks, but there is always the risk that we will be shut down too," he added.

Last week, Flattr won a grant worth more than 320,000 kronor from Swedish innovation agency Vinnova to expedite the site's international expansion. Silfverström said the funds will be used to develop newer services with Flattr and look at ways to expand.

Regarding Sunde's activity on Flattr, Silfverström said, "He is involved on occasion, but he has other things on his mind right now."

Sunde's jail term for his involvement with The Pirate Bay was reduced to eight months at the end of last month.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:22 December 9, 2010 by Great Scott
Does this now mean that the names of all the Pirate bay users will be leaked.
20:42 December 9, 2010 by digitalamish
"Does this now mean that the names of all the Pirate bay users will be leaked."

Sure, as long as the users are government employees and used the Pirate Bay at the taxpayers' expense...
22:38 December 9, 2010 by krattan
The ingress of this article isn't true. There is still several ways to donate:

http://www.wikileaks.ch/support.html
13:00 December 10, 2010 by Adam Neira
"Assange Calls For Obama's Resignation If Confirmed President Approved UN Spy Ring"

This is like a foot soldier calling for Ulysses S. Grant to resign during the Appomattox campaign of 1865. President Obama is keeping a steady hand on the tiller of world affairs. Julian Assange is acting like an anarchist gossip merchant.

I repeat...

Some things must remain private and confidential. In any organisation whether it be a corporation, government, defence force or charity there is a hierarchy of awareness and responsibility. Certain people are invested with executive decision making. Obviously these people should be employed on merit. Pure anarchic openness of all information sources leads to mass confusion, as people are unable to prioritise and process the data. A happy child trusts his parents to make good decisions on his/her behalf. That is why we need command and control structures in place around the world. When people feel that their confidences can be betrayed at the click of a mouse they are loathe risking authentic connections with others. We actually need more respect for intellectual property and healthy boundaries everywhere right now, not less.

P.S. What does it say about Mr.Assange's respect for healthy boundaries and the concept of sovereignty that he so recently had casual, unprotected sex ?
06:13 December 11, 2010 by Tassa
krattan is right.

In addition, DataCell clearly said that they will do their best to support WikiLeaks.

http://www.datacell.com/news.php
04:01 December 12, 2010 by Icarusty
"P.S. What does it say about Mr.Assange's respect for healthy boundaries and the concept of sovereignty that he so recently had casual, unprotected sex ?"

Absolutely nothing. Unless you're a hypocritical American who believes in free speech as long as that freedom helps, not harms, your country.
17:05 December 13, 2010 by creamy
@ Adam .. scary casual bug infested sex. Lots of people are doing it because they still can without being indited and turned into a criminal. It is the way the world is. Enjoy it.
19:20 December 28, 2010 by buckrogersday
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

749
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com