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.