WikiLeaks faced a fresh threat to its survival on Saturday as the online payment service PayPal cut off the account used for donations to the whistleblowing Web site.
WikiLeaks is already fighting to stay on the Internet. It switched its domain to Switzerland because its original Web address was shut down by a US provider, as it continues to release thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.
At the same time, Sweden has issued an amended international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks’ frontman Julian Assange, who is believed to be in Britain, and the Times newspaper reported he could be arrested next week.
In a new blow to the Web site, the US-based PayPal, which is owned by auctions group eBay, announced it would stop taking donations for WikiLeaks thus cutting off a key source of its income.
“PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal acceptable use policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity,” it said in a statement.
WikiLeaks blamed “US government pressure” for the PayPal ban, in a message on its Twitter feed.
Assange broke cover on Friday to say in an online chat that he had increased security after receiving death threats.