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Attacks Reported On Websites Of MasterCard, Other 'Enemies' Of Assange

From London, the Associated Press writes that:

"WikiLeaks supporters struck back Wednesday at perceived enemies of founder Julian Assange, attacking the websites of Swedish prosecutors, the Swedish lawyer whose clients have accused Assange of sexual crimes and the Swiss authority that froze Assange's bank account. MasterCard, which pulled the plug on its relationship with WikiLeaks on Tuesday, also seemed to be having severe technological problems."

Indeed, when we tried to call up a few moments ago, the page wouldn't load.

The Guardiansays the effort is being called Operation Payback and that PayPal has also been targeted (though we were just able to call up its website). TechCrunch posts on comments from PayPal Vice President Osama Bedier that the company shut off WikiLeaks' account after being told by the State Department that WikiLeaks' recent disclosures of U.S. diplomatic cables and other previously secret data are "illegal activities."

This is all related, of course, to the latest WikiLeaks documents dump.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains in custody in the U.K., where he was arrested Tuesday on an international arrest warrant issued by Sweden, where he's wanted for questioning about alleged sex crimes (he says he's innocent).

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.