Paypal has lifted the restrictions it placed on the account of Courage to Resist, an organisation that aims to raise money for the defence fund helping Bradley Manning. Manning is the former solider who helped Wikileaks, and who has been pretty much thrown into an oubliette by the military ever since.
In a blog post, Paypal insists that the restrictions weren’t politically motivated but were due to the account not complying with basic rules about linking to a bank account. Most Paypal users will know that this is a common sticking point with Paypal, so it’s certainly a reasonable explanation.
It seems that the decision to limit the Paypal account was due to internal Paypal policy and the company’s need to comply with Know Your Customer legislation. However, supporters of Bradley Manning argue that Paypal should have recognised the moral issues involved and perhaps acted a little differently.
It’s fine for Paypal to insist that they were just sticking to their policies and their requirements under US law. But it would be nice once in a while for a company to just do something because it’s right, or because it has some kind of moral core. Pie in the sky? Almost certainly.