WikiLeaks falls silent temporarily

London: The whistleblower website- WikiLeaks – that has rattled many across the world by publishing numerous secret documents today announced the "temporary" stoppage of its work and blamed US financial companies for the drastic move. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made the announcement here and vowed to fight back the economic blockade.

His group also issued a statement saying it would stop publishing in order to focus on making money explaining that the blockade imposed by financial companies including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice. The statement says that in order to ensure survival, WikiLeaks must "aggressively fund-raise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents."

Apparently under US pressure, American financial firms had started pulling the plug on WikiLeaks. The immediate reason was the publishing of some 250,000 US State Department cables last year.

The refusal by US firms to accept donations has cost the WikiLeaks has cost "tens of millions of dollars" in lost funding, the website said. 40-year-old Assange is under legal pressure in Europe and the US. A decision on whether to extradite him to Sweden to face sex crime allegations is expected soon and he may also may face possible legal action in the US.