February 25, 2011, 12:15 AM — PayPal has lifted a temporary restriction placed on the account of Courage to Resist, a group raising funds to support the legal defense of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was arrested for allegedly downloading classified information and providing it to the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing website.
PayPal, which is owned by eBay, said it had restricted Courage to Resist's PayPal account because the organization had not provided a bank account to match with its PayPal account. The Internet payments site said non-profit groups such as Courage to Resist usually have no problem providing such information.
The company said it lifted the restriction on Courage to Resist's account because the group provided a bank account to associate with its PayPal account.
Earlier on Thursday, Courage to Resist put out a press release calling PayPal "evil" and saying the company froze its account due to its efforts to support Manning.
"(PayPal) opted to apply an exceptional hurdle for us to clear in order to continue as a customer, whereas we have clearly provided the legally required information and verification. I think our dealings with PayPal should be a cautionary tale for any possibly controversial not-for-profit entity with a PayPal account," Courage to Resist said in the statement.
PayPal denied requesting anything beyond what is asked of other account holders.
"While it is generally not our policy to comment publicly on account dealings, we are sharing the following statement to clarify information regarding the Courage To Resist organization’s PayPal account and their claim that this is somehow associated with their support of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning," wrote PayPal communications director Anuj Nayar, in a blog posting.
"Let me be clear, this decision had nothing to do with WikiLeaks," Nayar added.
PayPal was embroiled in controversy late last year when it shuttered an account for WikiLeaks, amid the controversy over WikiLeaks' expose of U.S. State Department documents. The payment site's move was mimicked by a number of financial companies, including Switzerland's PostFinance as well as MasterCard and Visa. A hacker group called Anonymous retaliated for the account closures by launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks against these companies and others viewed as hostile to WikiLeaks.
PayPal is a global online payment platform with more than 94 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world, according to its website.