Bank of America buying up derogatory domain names in bulk

 

Bank of America is buying up domain names with derogatory words like "sucks" and "blows" in an effort to protect its executives and board members from potential future attacks according to a report out of Domain Name Wire. During December, the American bank has reportedly secured hundreds of domain names through a domain registration company that registers domains for large corporations. The domains include variations of an executive's name along with a defamatory term, such as BrianMoynihanBlows.com, BrianMoynihanSucks.com, BrianTMoynihanBlows.com which were registered to protect CEO Brian Moynihan.

This protective tactic is thought to be a response to an impending negative Wikileaks report. Earlier this month, Wikileaks hinted it had potentially damaging information about a major U.S. bank and threatened to release a bevy of damaging internal documents. Though the name of the bank has not been released, many in financial circles and the media have presumed it was Bank of America. In recent weeks, an interview with Julian Assange surfaced that purportedly singled out Bank of America, but that story was later refuted. Bank of America may also be protecting itself from potential criticism after it followed in the footsteps of PayPal and Mastercard and began blocking payments to Wikileaks. While possible, the threat of retaliation over blocked payments would not warrant such an aggressive move by Bank of America.

Regardless of the reasons behind this registration campaign, it looks suspicious when a company begins buying up defamatory domain names en masse. Why is Bank of America doing this? Why is it doing it now? Ironically, Bank of America cannot block the most condemning domain name, bankofamericasucks.com. This domain has already been taken and is home to thriving community of folks speaking out against the banking giant.

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61 Comments

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They certainly do suck, no wonder they are buying those! I deposited a perfectly good check there and they closed my account. It took 3 months to get the money back--- only way to contact the Fraudulent Activity Department was by FAX MACHINE! When I finally got my money back they had charged me $60 for the "investigation". Worst bank ever.

What a failed attempt at shutting away future hate. They should be spending money improving their company and customer service..besides what if someone makes "bankofamericasucks1.com"?? Are they going to buy every hateful name possible? Seems unlikely.

Is this really that much of an issue that they need to be pursuing so actively? Like others have said, there will always be ways around it, they'll just get more creative with their insults if they really want to.

Good to know they're spending money wisely.

I doubt this will stop attackers or change anyone's mind about them. If you're a ****ty bank, you're a ****ty bank.

This can be so much easier: be honest and keep the clients satisfied. Just make sure to provide a excellent services and these domains won't be registered at all by anyone else.

sava700 said,
wow.. I thought there was something against domain parking like this.

You are confused. Domain parking is when, for instance, you buy tomcruise.com in the hopes that he will want to pay you a huge sum of money to get it from you for his personal site. If anything, BoA is trying to buy up domains related to their business and officers so that people can't engage in domain parking. Nothing at all wrong with that.

roadwarrior said,

You are confused. Domain parking is when, for instance, you buy tomcruise.com in the hopes that he will want to pay you a huge sum of money to get it from you for his personal site. If anything, BoA is trying to buy up domains related to their business and officers so that people can't engage in domain parking. Nothing at all wrong with that.

so BoA engaging in 'domain parking' is fine because they're using it to prevent 'domain parking'?

whatever.

Soulsiphon said,

so BoA engaging in 'domain parking' is fine because they're using it to prevent 'domain parking'?

whatever.

You really need to educate yourself about what domain parking is. God, I swear we seem to be flooded with ignorant people lately. BoA is not engaging in domain parking because they are buying domain names related to their company and their company's officers names. If they were buying the domain names related to some other bank or officers of some other company, then it would be domain parking.

In short, you aren't domain parking if you are buying the domain name related to yourself.

roadwarrior said,
In short, you aren't domain parking if you are buying the domain name related to yourself.

This sums it up, although you didn't have to be rude (to put it nicely). The point that they're buying domain names related to them is what changes the situation.

I'm a little concerned as the credit card company I'm with is owned by BoA. This has got to be terrible news.

They just brought attention to themselves, there's endless combination of insulting domain names you can make with someone's name. They're screwed.

Banks in general suck. B of A is shady, Wells Fargo treats their customers like crap, and Chase is doing away with free checking, including existing accounts (lots of old WaMu customers are p*ssed).

I made the switch to a Credit Union a couple years ago and never looked back, except to point and laugh as the banks started going under.

Shadow D. Wolf said,
Banks in general suck. B of A is shady, Wells Fargo treats their customers like crap, and Chase is doing away with free checking, including existing accounts (lots of old WaMu customers are p*ssed).

I made the switch to a Credit Union a couple years ago and never looked back, except to point and laugh as the banks started going under.

I'm not saying you are incorrect regarding your comments about Chase doing away with free checking but could you supply a source for this? I know a lot of Chase customers who would abandon ship the instant that Chase does this.

If people say they suck wouldn't it make more sense for them to address the complaints and try to improve the company and their image? Even doing nothing at all would be better than this. To try and buy up every derogatory domain name is not only impossible it makes them look like complete morons.

Yes, they are forcing me to use them! This is because I am a British citizen, working with the Gov in the US under s special arrangement, they have required me to open a bank account with BoA.

TonyLock said,
Yes, they are forcing me to use them! This is because I am a British citizen, working with the Gov in the US under s special arrangement, they have required me to open a bank account with BoA.

You are totally full of ****. There is no way that any government agency is requiring you to use a specific bank.

TonyLock said,
Yes, they are forcing me to use them! This is because I am a British citizen, working with the Gov in the US under s special arrangement, they have required me to open a bank account with BoA.

So has the US Government made you open an account with BoA or have BoA?

TonyLock said,
Yes, they are forcing me to use them! This is because I am a British citizen, working with the Gov in the US under s special arrangement, they have required me to open a bank account with BoA.

yeah thats not true at all. They can probably tell you that you need to have a bank account so they can pay you through direct deposit since they dont send out paychecks, but they dont tell what bank to use.

roadwarrior said,

You are totally full of ****. There is no way that any government agency is requiring you to use a specific bank.

Not disagreeing with you, but I wouldn't put it past them. Wikileaks have shown that the US lobbied in Russia for Mastercard and Visa, so it's not outrageous to claim that they would have other deals in place to help corporations.

Why are they spending my money on hiding the truth, rather than spending it on improving customer service (which is extremely poor) or paying me a decent interest rate. The current rate of interest is less than 0.1%. WTF? In my UK back accounts, I earn 8% interest and they offer SUPERIOR customer service and satisfaction.

TonyLock said,
Why are they spending my money on hiding the truth, rather than spending it on improving customer service (which is extremely poor) or paying me a decent interest rate. The current rate of interest is less than 0.1%. WTF? In my UK back accounts, I earn 8% interest and they offer SUPERIOR customer service and satisfaction.

Well dont tell us about it, tell them by moving your money to another bank. Nobody is forcing you to use them, you pick whatever bank you want.

TonyLock said,
In my UK back accounts, I earn 8% interest and they offer SUPERIOR customer service and satisfaction.

So funny.... which bank?

TonyLock said,
Why are they spending my money on hiding the truth, rather than spending it on improving customer service (which is extremely poor) or paying me a decent interest rate. The current rate of interest is less than 0.1%. WTF? In my UK back accounts, I earn 8% interest and they offer SUPERIOR customer service and satisfaction.

Off topic but, what bank / account are you using that gives 8% interest in the UK? Mine is only giving 2-3% and I need to switch

ie9 said,
This almost seems like a confession. If I were a stock holder I would get rid of whatever I had now.

No it's a precaution. They are being preemptive.

ccoltmanm said,

No it's a precaution. They are being preemptive.

Precaution for what though. Bank of America is just being chilidish

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

What? No. They're just protecting their name...

from? they are doing this NOW and not last 20 years because now they're about to be caught with their hand in the cookie jar doing something criminal

ccoltmanm said,

For an attack. Have you seen the news?

I'm thinking backlash might be the word, and that backlash will probably come from the upcoming leak that is supposed to be early 2011

I am with Wachovia and never have issues, even when I lost my debit card few times. They helped me immediately with the appropriate steps.

iKenndac said,
What has this got to do with Net Neutrality?
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

xbamaris said,
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

I bought the domain name for my real life name, does that mean I'm impeding on the freedom of speech of anyone else that has the same name as me?

aka, worst. argument. ever.

xbamaris said,
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

Oh man.
You can always register BrianMoynihanBlowsSuperHardAndHeKnowsIt.com
and make these efforts look even more ridiculous. THIS is the freedom of
speech. Freedom would be taken away if you would like to forbid them from
buying domain names, no matter how stupid. Essentially, biggest deal in
freedom of speech is that anybody is free to make bloody idiot of himself.
So calm down.

xbamaris said,
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

where are all these tinfoil heads coming from lately. Wikileaks comes out and they all burrow out of thier basements and flood neowin, its crazy.

xbamaris said,
In other news, Net Neutrality is dying quickly in this world. As well as freedom of speech.

It probably has a lot more to do with them being on death watch 2011. They don't want sites popping up spreading truthful information or lies about their company. They were not expected to make it through 2010. They did. They even pulled off a pretty good profit. The trouble is that according to the latest "rumors" they really cooked the books pretty badly.

That being said, I am not sure. It could just as easily be trying to protect themselves from supporters of Wikileaks.

xbamaris said,
In other news, Net Neutrality is dying quickly in this world. As well as freedom of speech.

That's not what net neutrality is.

xbamaris said,
In other news, Net Neutrality is dying quickly in this world. As well as freedom of speech.

seriously? dude you need to read up on what net neutrality is.... first off it applies to ISP's not companies that don't provide you internet... a private company can buy up what ever they want, its like someone buying up all the property around their house just so they have no neighbors... net neutrality would be preventing you from you owning the road but you select who can go down it and charging certain people more money and letting others go for free

xbamaris said,
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

how about... NO.

xbamaris said,
Because technically they are regulating (owning) small portions of domain names that people can come up with that they have no real business in buying, other than for their ego. Leaving the ability for others to create or use domain names that also take advantage of the Freedom of Speech.

You are grossly misunderstanding what Net Neutrality is. Also, them buying a pile of domain names in no way affects my ability to exercise freedom of speech - I can still write about it on my blog, or yell it out on the street, or whatever.

xbamaris said,
In other news, Net Neutrality is dying quickly in this world. As well as freedom of speech.

xbamaris is right, because any action designed to restrict any type of expression is restriction of freedom of speech. Actions of Bank of America (if news is truth) are legal but immoral - exactly what I would expect from bankers .

EJocys said,

xbamaris is right, because any action designed to restrict any type of expression is restriction of freedom of speech.

Take a ****ing Civics class, and listen to what the teacher is saying this time instead of daydreaming about the girl sitting next to you.

roadwarrior said,
Take a ****ing Civics class, and listen to what the teacher is saying this time instead of daydreaming about the girl sitting next to you.

Strange for you to mention Civics class when it looks like you can't understanding what freedom of speech/expression actually is. Case would be different if bank bought these domains to be used, but if bank's motive was to prevent use of them by critics then this is clear restriction of freedom of speech. Bank can supply tons of motives/reasons/pretexts (real or imaginary) in order to make this action legal so from legal point of view they are fine.

EJocys said,

Strange for you to mention Civics class when it looks like you can't understanding what freedom of speech/expression actually is. Case would be different if bank bought these domains to be used, but if bank's motive was to prevent use of them by critics then this is clear restriction of freedom of speech. Bank can supply tons of motives/reasons/pretexts (real or imaginary) in order to make this action legal so from legal point of view they are fine.

uuhh... they are BUYING the domain names... not taking them for nothing... seriously... don't be so dumb! if I own the domain and BoA comes up and says I want to buy your domain I can say no thank you.... jeez...

Also if the domain doesn't exist they are in their own FREEDOM to buy them