The Anonymous of 4chan have taken it up to defend WikiLeaks, at least on the web. In addition to creating hundreds of mirrors for WikiLeaks content and spreading them through torrents and file transfer sites, 4chan users have also launched severe DDoS attacks against many organizations that threaten the existence of WikiLeaks.
Among many other, Anonymous are targeting PayPal, MasterCard and PostFinance as these financial institutions openly prevented WikiLeaks from carrying out its financial transactions. The attacks against PayPal were not so effective as they could only take the PayPal blog down, however, 4chan users got more success with PostFinance and MasterCard. PostFinance, the bank that has frozen Julian Assange’s account, suffered an outage of more than 16 hours due to these DDoS attacks. However, not admitting that it was taken down by a bunch of notorious internet users, the bank issued a statement that the outage was caused by an overload of inquiries:
Access to www.postfinance.ch and thus also e-finance is currently overloaded owing to a multitude of online enquiries. The security of customer data is not affected.
More importantly, Anonymous were able to hack into and take down the MasterCard website for several hours. The website still fails to load for a lot of users. The operation has been called ‘Operation PayBack’ and the group behind it posts regular updates through its Twitter account @Anon_operation. Here is one of the tweets by the group confirming the attack on MasterCard:
WE ARE GLAD TO TELL YOU THAT http://www.mastercard.com/ is DOWN AND IT’S CONFIRMED! #ddos #wikileaksOperation:Payback(is a bitch!) #PAYBACKabout 6 hours ago via Chromed Bird
In every disputed situation in this world, there are two sides and one of them is definitely safer than the other. PayPal, recently had to choose between being on the safe side or pissing off the US government and it chose the former.
With corporate brands like Amazon crumbling under the sheer pressure from the Government, shady PayPal is the last company we would expect to hold up against the government. This was not much of a choice. Rather, it was an imminent move in this situation.
WikiLeaks used PayPal to raise funds for hosting and other survival costs. eBay remarked on the shutdown by calling WikiLeaks’ activities illegal. The way with PayPal is- shutdown accounts first, talk later.
This is what the PayPal blog had to say,
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.
PayPal has done this before. Freezing accounts, deducting balance on charges of abnormal activity spikes, you name it. However, this time, we cannot blame it all on PayPal. This was imminent and WikiLeaks should have moved their balance else than keeping it all with PayPal.
(Via: The Guardian)
One of the most awaited requests of Android users is going to come true soon and I mean real soon. Google is soon going to allow users to purchase applications from the Android market and pay for them using PayPal. As of now, PayPal has not made this piece of news official. Someone however did publish the official announcement on PayPal’s blog before pulling it back.
Here is a screenshot of the official blog post before it was pulled back :
PayPal is the biggest internet bank’ with over 90million satisfied as well as un-satisfied customers. This move from Google and PayPal will surely help in increasing the sale of paid apps on the Android market and reduce piracy.
Along with this, PayPal has also added support for purchasing applications from the Apple’s AppStore and Blackberry App World.
Reportedly, Ebay is in talks with Google to add Paypal as a payment option for Android Market users. Paypal is the most popular payment processor worldwide and processes millions of transactions daily.
Currently, Android users have the option to pay only directly by credit card or through Google Checkout. Both options work well, but aren’t as convenient as iTunes. The adoption rate of Google Checkout hasn’t been very impressive. If Paypal does get integrated with Android Market as a payment option, many more users will start buying apps; Paypal, after all, has more than 87 million active accounts.
Android is a very robust platform with only a few problems, Android Market payments are one of them. The option to accept payments via Paypal should lure more developers to create apps for Android.
Head over to Bloomberg for the whole scoop.
PayPal India has built quite a reputation for pulling nasty surprises out of the blue. Three days back, they suspended indefinitely electronic withdrawal services or direct deposits in India. The good news is that something changed, and PayPal has re-enabled the crucial electronic withdrawal services.
As always, PayPal’s official announcement offers little explanation and simply apologizes for any inconvenience. “We want you to know that our customers are our #1 priority and we are working non-stop to improve our service to you”, wrote Dickson Seow from PayPal’s Corporate Communications team. The previously announced $5 refund for cheque withdrawals will also be continued for Indian users.
Needless to say, these out of the blue jolts have seriously damaged PayPal’s reputation. It’s hard to imagine PayPal being happy with the current situation either. Although we don’t know what caused the latest flip-flop, I will be surprised if the Indian government and regulatory bodies didn’t have a hand to play.
After suspending personal payments in India, making PAN Cards compulsory and putting a lot of Indian website owners and others at hassle, PayPal is now going to stop Electronic Withdrawals or Direct Deposits in India.
PayPal India has just sent out a notice to all their users stating that Electronic or Direct Deposits to banks in India will no longer be available after July 29, 2010 for an indefinite period. Once again this is because of problems it is having with the Central banking authority in India also known as Reserve Bank of India.
The official note from PayPal to Indian users says this:
In accordance with regulatory instructions, we would like to notify you about a change in our withdrawal functionality in India starting on August 1, 2010. At present you can request for either an electronic or cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account if you are an India user.
From July 29, 2010 onwards, you will only be able to request for a cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account.
While we are working hard to restore the electronic withdrawal service, in the meantime, we are bringing this matter to your attention so that you can plan your future withdrawal activities accordingly.
Though there is no note on why the Direct Deposits are being stopped or when they will resume, it is more likely that the Indian Government is cracking on the free flow of money to India through PayPal. However, what beats me is the they can easily track the transactions even if they are direct deposits, so why put everyone through an hassle with a cheque?
The one silver lining in this entire news is that PayPal will refund the $5 fee which users have had to be paid if they were using a cheque withdrawal.
Traditionally, if you want to sell something online you would either setup a store or put it up on eBay. Even though both these options are great, they don’t work for each and every situation. For example, if you want to sell only a couple of items and want to target them to a certain group of people, none of these would work. In such situations, a better solution is to use a service like TinyPayMe.
It takes less than 2 minutes to setup a sale on TinyPayMe; you can include as little or as much information possible including price, quantity, pictures, description, tags, location and any personal info that you want to publish. You can sell physical items as well as digital content using TinyPayMe. Once you have created your listing, simply share the link with desired audience or embed it on your website or blog. A user will be able to purchase the item through PayPal instantly.
The service however is not free, they do charge 5% of the selling price as their service fee. You can also donate a portion of every sale to a specific charity if you want. There is also an option to display pageviews, include listing in search results and require a shipment address from the buyer. Over all, TinyPayMe is not a world-changing solution but can work really well if you are trying to do a very targeted sale and think the convenience is worth the 5% fees.
Despite all its recent problems in India, PayPal is sure Asian markets are the future. This is quite prominently reflected in company’s recent announcement to double its workforce in Asia from 1000 to 2000 employees. Most of the new hires (100 out of 1000) would be for PayPal’s regional headquarters in Singapore. Others will join offices in Taiwan, India, Australia, Japan, China and Hongkong.
However, this is not the only bit of news suggesting PayPal’s ambitious intentions for the Eastern markets. According to another report, PayPal has partnered with China UnionPay to fight the already established competitor AliPay. A Subsidiary of world’s most popular business network AliBaba, AliPay is already well established in the market and will not be an easy beast to tackle. Right now, AliPay has 300 Million users in China, three times more than what PayPal has. AliPay already does an average of $85 Billion worth of transactions each year compared with PayPal’s $9 Billion worth of transactions in the Asian market.
PayPal sees the future belonging to the east and it is trying hard to make a place but with a natural bias towards local alternatives, would companies like PayPal, eBay and Google succeed? We have already seen eBay losing to AliBaba and Google losing to Baidu. Let’s see if PayPal can achieve a different outcome for a change.
PayPal has finally started allowing Indian users to send and receive payments. However, they have added a new twist to the entire saga by asking Indian users to enter their Mobile number and PAN numbers when they login to their PayPal accounts.
This morning, PayPal started greeting Indian users with a screen, which looks similar to the screenshot above, without which they are not allowing users to get into the account. Users are being asked to enter a mobile number and their PAN card number before they can access their account.
PAN card number is a Permanent Account Number in India, required for opening and operating bank accounts and which is associated with an Indian’s tax filing.
As I have stated earlier, Indian banks require users to add the PAN number when they make a deposit of Rs. 50,000 or more, this move may be to track deposits higher than the said amount, but this may not be true too, so it is best to confirm with PayPal as to why the PAN number is required.
Secondly, this could also be a compilation with an RBI notice to have compulsory PAN numbers while opening bank accounts in India.
Work Around: According to Techie Buzz writer, Pramodh, if you see the screen to enter the above details, you can skip it by clicking on the PayPal logo, this will take you directly to you account.
Thanks @BlogsDNA, @mayurjango, @honeytech
After more than a month of problems, Indian users will finally be able to withdraw money to their banks from PayPal India.
The new withdrawals will require users to use a Purpose Code while withdrawing money to their bank accounts. If you received payments for your website or blog, you need to use Freelance Journalism as your purpose code.
Please choose your purpose code accordingly, so that you do not get into any trouble later. Also, as said earlier, there will be a limit on the amount you can withdraw before which you will require to produce receipts or invoices and your PAN card. Though PayPal has not explicitly said how much the upper limit is before you would require additional documents, however, this would more likely than not be Rs 50,000, as bank deposits above this require users to produce their PAN cards.
Phew, that was a tough month for publishers, but all’s well that ends well, go ahead and get your money out right away.