A really interesting organization launched last night called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, with a slew of prominent individuals involved. For one, there is Glenn Greenwald, one of my favorite journalists active today who used to work for Salon and now writes for the UK’s Guardian. Also on the board is Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame; John Perry Barlow a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Xeni Jardin of the Web site Boing Boing; and actor John Cusack. The idea behind the organization is to support and fund unbiased journalism, particularly the kind that governments and intelligence organizations around the world may not like. What really bothered all of the founders involved and served as a call to action was the way WikiLeaks was systematically cut off from the financial system. The Huffington Post writes:
NEW YORK — Not long after WikiLeaks began publishing leaked diplomatic cables in November 2010, the anti-secrecy organization ran into trouble raising money.
Increased government scrutiny and criticism from lawmakers prompted several companies, including MasterCard, Visa and PayPal, to stop processing donations to the non-profit organization. WikiLeaks eventually suspended publication due to the “bank blockade.”