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PayPal Blacklists Popular Cybersecurity News Website ‘The Hacker News’ Without Reason

women protest censorship
YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / Getty
CHARLIE NASH

PayPal has reportedly blacklisted “The Hacker News,” a popular cybersecurity news website with millions of followers online.

The Hacker News, which has over 2 million Facebook likes and 516,000 Twitter followers, announced the blacklisting in a series of posts on Twitter, Saturday, where the site claimed PayPal refused to give a reason for banning them.

“That’s so much frustrating. @PayPal has permanently banned all of our accounts without mentioning any reason and hold wallet funds wrongly for 180 days,” the site claimed. “Upon asking, @AskPayPal also refused to share any details.”

“Instead of giving a valid reason, company says ‘specific reasons for such a decision is proprietary & it is not released since that could impair PayPal’s ability to do business in a safe and secure manner’… Seriously @PayPal????” continued the site. “You have to mention at least one valid reason.”

In a follow-up post on Monday, The Hacker News declared that PayPal “hasn’t yet provided any reason behind the ban,” and added, “For those asking, banned account was sort of an individual account we used to receive small payments from our sponsors that should not even violate any policy.”

The Hacker News was created in 2010, and the site describes itself as “a leading, trusted, widely-acknowledged dedicated cybersecurity news platform, attracting over 8 million monthly readers including IT professionals, researchers, hackers, technologists, and enthusiasts.”

According to cryptocurrency news site Bitcoinist, “PayPal has often instigated funds blocking against corporate clients, including those involved in the cryptocurrency industry, without explanation.”

Bitcoinist also reported that “such blocks are part of the service’s terms of use, which include the caveat that users can be frozen out of their accounts without the company being required to explain why.”

PayPal has previously blacklisted a number of popular companies and users, including WikiLeaksInfowars, alternative video-hosting platform BitChute, alternative social network Gab, Chuck Johnson’s fundraising platform FreeStartr, political activist and commentator Tommy Robinson, 2018 Toronto Mayoral election candidate Faith Goldy, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch— which had its PayPal account restored following public outcry.

In July, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a liberal nonprofit organization, expressed concern over payment processing services such as PayPal and Stripe becoming the “de facto internet censors.”

“EFF is deeply concerned that payment processors are making choices about which websites can and can’t accept payments or process donations… This can have a huge impact on what types of speech are allowed to flourish online,” expressed an EFF spokesman in a statement. “We’ve seen examples — such as when WikiLeaks faced a banking blockade — of payment processors and other financial institutions shutting down the accounts of websites engaged in legal but unpopular speech. I’m deeply concerned that we’re letting banks and payment processors turn into de facto Internet censors.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

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