• Sweden's news in English
 
Swedish banks reported for WikiLeaks blockade

Swedish banks reported for WikiLeaks blockade

Published: 18 Dec 2012 07:49 GMT+01:00

According to the complaint, filed on Monday with Sweden's Finansinspektionen (FI), banks in Sweden have broken the law by denying Swedes the ability to make donations to the whistle blower website.

"The blockade is a serious threat to freedom of speech and expression," Erik Lönroth of the Pirate Party said in a statement.

"It shouldn't be up to a specific payment service to decide what sort of activities are appropriate and deserve the ability to receive financial support."

Starting in December 2010, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and other payment service providers stopped processing payments to WikiLeaks, making it difficult for would-be donors to support the whistleblower website.

WikiLeaks claims it has lost 95 percent of its revenue due to the blockade.

The Pirate Party complaint alleges that since banks in Sweden utilize the payment services behind the WikiLeaks blockade, they are breaking Swedish laws by denying Swedes the ability to donate to WikiLeaks.

According to the Pirate Party, Sweden's banks are "actively participating in blocking transactions without a legitimate reason".

"It's frightening that we're all forced to live by the morals of the American Bible Belt by the companies that handle our payments," Pirate Party head Anna Troberg said in a statement.

"These companies happily deliver funds to the Ku Klux Klan, but not to WikiLeaks and other companies they view as immoral."

As the banks singled out by the Pirate Party – Danske Bank in Sweden, Swedbank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, and SEB – all fall under the purview of Finansinspektionen, the party hopes the agency will take action to probe whether the banks are in violation of the law by failing to carry out transactions on behalf of their customers.

Speaking with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, the head of Finansinspektionens payments division, Johan Terfelt, confirmed the agency had received the complaint and would assess whether there was reason to act.

"The law says that if there aren't legal grounds for denying a payment, it should be carried out," he said.

Examples of legal grounds included being unable to identify the recipient of the payment or if there are reasons to suspect the money may go to finance terrorism.

However, Terfelt refused to elaborate on exactly what responsibility Swedish banks had when a payment service provider like Visa orMastercard decides to block payments.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

21:41 December 20, 2012 by jomamas
"It's frightening that we're all forced to live by the morals of the American Bible Belt by the companies that handle our payments," Pirate Party head Anna Troberg said in a statement."

What an utterly bigoted statement.

These smug Swedish racists who think they are fighting racism need to look in the mirror.
Today's headlines
Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years
Forensic experts examine the scene where the victim's body was dumped in Askersund. Photo: Pavel Koubek/TT

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years

A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a female love rival has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and also ordered to pay damages to the victim's family. READ  

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid
Markus Persson created hit game Minecraft. Photo: TT

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid

Swedish billionaire Markus Persson is reported to have outbid the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce with his half billion kronor offer ($70 million) for a 2,000-square-metre Beverly Hills mansion. READ  

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show
Carl Bildt. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has been given a cautious thumbs up for his child-minding abilities after appearing on a Swedish Celebrity Babysitter show. READ  

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has called a temporary halt on sales of its kitchen furniture and appliances in Russia as it couldn't cope with the extra demand brought on by the fall in the Russian rouble. READ  

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt
File photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt

Police in northern Sweden are on the hunt for three men who assaulted a dog owner and then kicked his pet dog to death, in what was reportedly a failed mugging attempt. READ  

Swedish PM hits out at refugee benefit proposal
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaks to the press. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedish PM hits out at refugee benefit proposal

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has criticised a proposal by the Christian Democrats to reduce the costs of the asylum process, suggesting the idea may play into the hands of the nationalist Sweden Democrats. READ  

Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow
The inside of a Migration Board office near Stockholm. Photo: TT

Sweden to hire 1,000 to ease asylum flow

Sweden's Migration Board is set to hire 1,000 extra workers to deal with the influx of asylum seekers, an increased workload which has seen staff members working late nights and weekends. READ  

'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Commanding Officer Göran Mårtensson. Photo: TT

'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces

The Armed Forces have described the recent Russian military activity close to Sweden as "unprecedented", adding that the likes of which haven't been seen since the Cold War. READ  

Sweden joins 'The World' in Dubai project
The Heart of Europe project in Dubai. Photo: TT

Sweden joins 'The World' in Dubai project

Sweden is set to become an island in Dubai, complete with Viking longship-roofed villas, a floating restaurant and the chance to celebrate Midsummer with little risk of the customary rain spoiling the party. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Blog updates

17 December

An Exclusive Interview with Melinda Gates (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"This week Nobel peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi urged the world to “globalize compassion”, as he..." READ »

 

14 December

A lot to learn (Blogweiser) »

" I went to the new Starbucks at the swanky Stureplan intersection in central Stockholm. They have a lot..." READ »

 
 
 
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Gallery
People-watching: December 3rd
National
What happened to Sweden's ice bucket cash?
Lifestyle
Top Swedish songs of the month
National
Why a child footballer has a huge legal bill
Lifestyle
Top ten Swedish Christmas presents
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

797
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options