At a time of increasing censorship is this a form of digital book burning? The authors state "the effective banning of the sale of a book represents a dangerous new stage in the ongoing campaign to criminalize political expression and censor freedom of speech on the Internet".
PayPal blocks sale of WSWS pamphlet - World Socialist Web SiteThe American payment-processing corporation PayPal has blocked sales of the World Socialist Web Site pamphlet, The Struggle Against Imperialism and for Workers’ Power in Iran.
Mehring Books customers who attempt to purchase the pamphlet using PayPal currently receive the following message: “PayPal gateway has rejected request. This transaction cannot be completed because it violates the PayPal User Agreement (#13122: Transaction refused).”
When a Mehring Books representative contacted PayPal’s customer service team on March 27 to inquire about the error, a PayPal representative confirmed that the pamphlet’s sale had been deliberately blocked because “the government has given us certain policies that we have to block transactions.”
The staff member’s supervisor stated further, “It is something where we can’t change it. You are not going to be allowed to process [sales of the book], based on compliance reasons.” She said she “can’t provide further information” and that Mehring Books would receive no explanation for the action “except via a subpoena.”
These statements make clear that PayPal is acting as an agent of the United States government to block the sale and distribution of a book. This is an illegal violation of the right to free speech and freedom of expression guaranteed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.