WikiLeaks auctions memorabilia to raise funds

Sep 19, 2011
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds a legal document as he addresses a press conference in central London, in July 2011. With its coffers empty because of the blocking of credit card payments by major operators including Visa and MasterCard, WikiLeaks is selling off what it bills as unique memorabilia to meet its running costs.

Fancy a signed version of a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable, or a sachet of coffee smuggled out of jail by Julian Assange? Then the cash-strapped whistleblowing website has the auction for you.

With its coffers empty because of the blocking of by major operators including Visa and MasterCard, is selling off what it bills as unique memorabilia to meet its running costs.

In the first of four fundraisers which opened on auction website at the weekend, £6,000 (6,863 euros, $9,469) is the opening bid for the most expensive lot: one of only two laptop computers used to prepare the "Cablegate" release of tens of thousands of secret US diplomatic messages.

A copy of a cable describing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's orders to spy on the United Nations, signed and fingerprinted by WikiLeaks founder Assange, starts at £2,100.

Tickets to Vivienne Westwood's Spring/Summer 2012 fashion show in Paris later this month -- donated by the British fashion designer at Assange's 40th birthday party earlier this year, held while he was under house arrest -- open at £850.

But the most bids by late Monday were for a sealed prison coffee packet smuggled out of Wandsworth Prison in London by Assange on December 17, after he spent a week there fighting extradition to Sweden on rape charges.

Nine bidders pushed the price from £200 to £250.

WikiLeaks said proceeds from the auctions would not go towards Assange's own legal battle against extradition, adding: "The money raised will be used exclusively to support WikiLeaks' right to publish."

The first auction ends on Thursday.

In June WikiLeaks auctioned off a chance to dine with Assange to raise funds as it struggled to finance its activities following the ban on payments via Visa, MasterCard and PayPal imposed in December.

None of the card companies has spelled out its reasons for blocking transactions after Wkileaks released a huge cache of documents in December.

Explore further: Facebook lets users squirrel items away

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WikiLeaks' payment processor to sue card companies

Dec 09, 2010

(AP) -- WikiLeaks' payment processor said Thursday that it was preparing to sue credit card companies Visa and MasterCard over their refusal to process donations to the secret-spilling website.

Visa again blocks funds for WikiLeaks

Jul 08, 2011

(AP) -- Visa said Friday it has closed a donation channel to WikiLeaks after a payment processor briefly accepted money transfers to the anti-secrecy site.

WikiLeaks getting credit card funds

Jul 07, 2011

WikiLeaks has again begun accepting credit card donations, a company affiliated with the secret-spilling site said Thursday.

Judge grants bail to WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Dec 16, 2010

(AP) -- Julian Assange will be freed on bail from a British jail, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors to keep the WikiLeaks founder in prison as he fights an extradition request ...

WikiLeaks founder 'free to leave Sweden'

Sep 18, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is free to leave Sweden, after prosecutors said there was no arrest warrant against him for an alleged case of rape, one of his lawyers said Saturday.

Assange blames Guardian for cable dump

Sep 06, 2011

The "negligence" of British daily The Guardian led to WikiLeaks releasing its full archive of 250,000 US diplomatic cables, the whistleblowing website's founder Julian Assange said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Bitcoin 'mining pool' promises to stay small

Jul 17, 2014

The largest group of bitcoin miners, which maintains and processes transactions in the digital currency, is promising to avoid majority control of the currency as a temporary measure to maintain the payment system's credibility.

User comments : 0