After almost two years of fighting an unlawful banking blockade by US financial giants VISA and MasterCard, WikiLeaks has announced it is back open for donations using the French credit card system, Carte Bleue.
The Wau Holland Transparency Reports for WikiLeaks' finances, released today, illustrate that the blockade resulted in WikiLeaks' income falling to just 21% of its operating costs. WikiLeaks has been forced to run on its cash reserves which have diminished from EUR 800,000 at the end of December 2010, to less than EUR 100,000 at the end of June 2012.
French tax authorities have visited the headquarters of Microsoft France to conduct an inspection, a spokesman for the company confirmed Wednesday.
The visit, last Thursday, was a routine check, according to a statement on the company's website.
When I was in high school in the mid-1990s, I got to spend a few weeks with my French extended family at their country house east of Paris. Nearly each night, I watched my uncle stare into a small, old, dusty computer to monitor the results of the Tour de France. The little beige box had a fold-down keyboard and a pretty old-school text-only interface, even by mid-'90s standards. This was a Minitel.
Founded in 2006 by a group of Swedes close to the Pirate Bay illegal download website, the Pirate Party has spread across Europe. The Pirates are the spiritual heirs of the libertarian hackers from the late 20th century, who dreamed of a free circulation of culture and knowledge on the Internet.
France's three-strikes anti-piracy law is one of the strictest in the world. It employs private companies to scan file-sharing networks for copyright infringement and sends warnings to pirates if they're caught red-handed. The law, enforced by a French authority called Hadopi, was instated 17 months ago to the applause of music copyright holders and their representatives.