WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday announced that the whistle-blowing website is suspending publishing operations in order to concentrate the group's resources on fighting a “blockade” by credit card companies and raise new funds.
Speaking at a press conference in London, Assange said the banking blockade had eliminated 95% of WikiLeaks' revenues. "If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year,” he added.
WikiLeaks first encountered financial problems in early December 2010 when Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union refused to accept donations for the site.
The website said the blockade was a reaction to its publication of the first of 250,000 leaked US Government cables days earlier.
In February, a Norwegian lawmaker nominated the controversial website for a Nobel Peace Prize for the role it has played in protecting human rights, democracy and freedom.
World leaders and diplomats have downplayed the impact of the leak of more than 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks site, but many have questioned the benefit of the project, alleging that some of the leaks could "threaten lives."