Iceland May Ban Visa, Mastercard
The Icelandic government may take away the operating licenses of credit card giants Visa and Mastercard for their refusal to processes payments to whistleblowing website Wikileaks.
The Icelandic Parliamentary General Committee, allsherjanefnd, called representatives from Valitor and Borgun on Sunday to find out why they banned IT company DataCell ehf from processing credit card payments, reports The Reykjavik Grapevine. DataCell, which was facilitating payments to Wikileaks, has filed lawsuits against the two companies representing Visa and Mastercard in Iceland for the blockage.
“People wanted to know on what legal grounds the ban was taken, but no one could answer it,” Robert Marshall, the chairman of the Committee, said. “They said this decision was taken by foreign sources.”
The Committee wanted to know what legal grounds were given for banning DataCell. Vidar Thorkelsson, CEO of Valitor, stressed to the group that the decision was not his and made by others higher up in the company.
A representative from Amnesty International attending the meeting raised concerns that a precedent would be set that could violate human rights. Also in attendance were The Consumer’s Alliance and, via conference call, Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.