Yesterday, PayPal froze the account of the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group raising funds for the legal defense of alleged Wikileaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning. Donations were blocked, and the group was not even able to withdraw the money in its account. This was the same treatment with which PayPal had hit Wikileaks last year.
Manning has been held in solitary confinement for 8 months, based on a rumor that he was connected to the Wikileaks publication of international cable correspondence. He has not been convicted of a crime. He has not even been accused of a crime. Amnesty International has called his treatment "torture".
The Support Network was organized to supply legal counsel for Manning, and demand that he be charged with a crime and stand trial, or released.
Yesterday, FireDogLake organized a write-in and call-in campaign to pressure PayPal to restore the account.
PayPal responded that its action had not been political, that they had closed the account because the group had refused to supply a bank account number. The Support Network said they were not using the account to make payments but only to receive monies, and that they had been afraid that PayPal could use the account information to make unauthorized withdrawals. PayPal countered that it "cannot take such action without the authorization of an account holder, nor does it ever take such unauthorized actions."
For now the situation is resolved. PayPal un-froze the account. Whether this was in response to a barrage of complaints from PayPal users we cannot know.
Let's thank PayPal for doing the right thing. You can call them at 402-935-2050, or email them: executiveoffice [at] paypal [dot] com.