Donations aren’t processed for the website anymore.
According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the controversial website may well close down in a matter of weeks due to lack of funds. WikiLeaks survives on donations from supporters worldwide, but after the controversial leaks of the U.S. State Department cables late last year, the website came under severe political and financial pressure.
In early December 2010, U.S. based financial institutions like Master Card, VISA, Western Union and PayPal practically stopped processing donations made towards WikiLeaks, essentially blocking up to 95% of donations received to help run the site.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange talks to members of the media during a news conference in London, Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 Source: AP
“If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year,” founder Julian Assange told journalists at London’s Frontline Club. “If we don’t knock down the blockade we simply will not be able to continue.”
Assange said that the group, for the time being will not focus on “publication operations” but instead will focus on raising funds through auctions catered to a ”constellation of wealthy individuals” and donations through mobile payments.
WikiLeaks will require at least $3.5 million to survive until 2013, which, according to the website’s spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson is a “conservative” estimate, noting that in 2010 the average monthly donation to WikiLeaks had been more than 100,000 euros ($140,000), while in 2011 the amount had fallen to between 6,000 and 7,000 euros, as reported by Associated Press.