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Bank of America Decline to Process WikiLeaks Payments

Bank of America Corp. said Friday evening that it was joining other financial institutions in declining to process payments intended for WikiLeaks, Kansas City Star reports.

“Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks,” the bank said in a statement.

“This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.”

Companies that have cut ties to WikiLeaks have faced cyber-attacks from hackers who back WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s anti-secrecy organization. MasterCard, for example, has said its website was brought down but that card transactions were not compromised.

Speculation erupted last month that Charlotte-based Bank of America could be WikiLeaks’ next target. Assange told Forbes magazine that he planned to release information on a major bank early next year. In a 2009 interview, he said he had possession of a Bank of America executive’s hard drive, but the bank has said it has “no evidence” that is the case.

The bank on Friday declined to comment on whether it could be a leak target or whether it could face attacks from hackers.