WikiLeaks won an important legal battle against Visa and MasterCard in Iceland on Thursday – where the credit card companies’ local partner was ordered by a judge to resume processing credit card donations made to the controversial secret-sharing site.
The Icelandic court ruled that Valitor, Visa and MasterCard’s local partner, ran afoul of contract laws when it stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks, according to the Associated Press.
Visa and MasterCard, along with other U.S.-based financial firms such as PayPal, blocked transactions headed for WikiLeaks in 2010 after the website published more than 250,000 American classified diplomatic cables.
Some of those organizations became the target of pro-WikiLeaks hacktivists after putting the brakes on WikiLeaks donations.
“This is a significant victory against Washington’s attempt to silence WikiLeaks,” reads a statement posted by WikiLeaks and attributed to founder Julian Assange. “We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong. When it’s done outside of the rule of law its doubly wrong.
“One by one those involved in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
WikiLeaks also claimed to have suffered a 95% drop in revenue since the financial embargo began.
Valitor must restore service to WikiLeaks within two weeks or face fines of about $6,000 every day. The company is planning to appeal the decision.
Assange requested political asylum from Ecuador after losing his appeal against extradition from the U.K. to Sweden last month. He’s wanted by Swedish authorities to answer for accusations of sexual misconduct, but says he believes Sweden would send him to the United States to be tried for crimes related to WikiLeaks releases.
The United States has not publicly charged Assange with any crime.