After four years defending themselves against the felony charges
brought by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Computer Fraud and
Abuse Act for what amounted to a digital sit-in on the website of PayPal
in response to what they termed extra-legal censorship of WikiLeaks, 13
men and women, known as the PayPal 14 (one case was handled separately),
were sentenced in San Jose, California.
Last year, 11 of the defendants plead to the felony per the terms of
a plea agreement with the Department of Justice. The other two refused
the plea agreement and plead to a misdemeanor.
Today, all 13 defendants had their felony counts dismissed today at
sentencing. They were each sentenced to pay $5,600 restitution to PayPal:
a total of roughly $80,000. For the 11 defendants who pled to a felony,
their pretrial conditions were counted towards probation time. All
defendants will remain on financial probation until they pay full
restitution. For the two who plead to a misdemeanor, they will spend
between 60 and 90 days in a half-way house in lieu of jail. All the
defendants are still fundraising because those defendants who paid their
restitution in full, took loans out to do so.
... über die PayPal14 [in English] (Long version:
Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights
(CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
in Berlin. He taught at Yale Law School, and Columbia Law School, and was
President of the National Lawyers Guild. Michael Ratner and CCR
brought the first case challenging the Guantanamo detentions and continue in their
efforts to close Guantanamo. He is well known for his human rights activism and the
author of numerous books, including "The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld" and "Hell No: Your
Right to Dissent in Twenty-First-Century America" (co-authored with Margaret Ratner
Kunstler). His current books include "Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder."
Michael Ratner is currently a legal adviser to Wikileaks and
When the account of the Wau Holland Foundation was blocked by PayPal in
December 2010 for having allegedly - as stated in PayPal's letter to us -
"encourage[d], promote[d], facilitate[d] or instruct[ed] others to
engage in illegal activity" by donating to WikiLeaks, thousands
of activists worldwide participated in a digital sit-in to express their
disapproval of the blockade. For that purpose the PayPal website was invoked
so often by the demonstrators that the servers were temporarily overstrained and
unable to handle any further requests.
14 demonstrators were arbitrarily prosecuted from the masses who
participated. These fourteen were indicted "under the "Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act" despite PayPal publicly declaring that the digital
sit-in did not disrupt their services at any time and no computer has
been damaged or compromised.
The defendants were threatened with severe jail sentences and fines.
To support the PayPal14 and their act of moral courage against an
unjust financial blockade against the Wau Holland Foundation we kindly
ask you for donations.
Support the Wau Holland Foundation with your donation!
You donation helps to keep the foundation going and supports our projects.
Donations to Wau Holland Foundation are tax-deductable within the EU
As the tax exemption (charitable status) was reinstated, it applied retroactively
for 2011 and 2012, thereafter enabling European citizens to make a tax-deductible
donations to the Foundation. This was due to a ruling of the European Court in 2007
(Decision C‑318_07), which mandates that every EU country honor the tax exemption
decisions of any other EU country.
We are a foundation related to the Chaos Computer Club,
that was launched by close friends and the father of the deceased "information philosopher"
Wau Holland (a.k.a. Herwart Holland-Moritz). The foundation aims to preserve and further
Holland's unique ideas of free-thinking in the fields of freedom of communication and