Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is preparing for the worst as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has stated that he has the bank firmly in his sights. Assange plans to release documents that are reported to be devastating to Bank of America’s reputation.
Nobody knows what is in the documents but Bank of America, to its credit, is trying to prepare. One of the things they are doing is buying up all the domain names involving their bank and their CEO Brian Moynihan in an effort to keep individuals from creating websites with obscene names or that are damaging to BOA.
In full disclosure Bank of America is a client of mine and I have worked with them on media training but I am not working with them currently. Buying domain names is a good first step but I certainly hope that their crisis communication strategy is more involved than just that.
First WikiLeaks spilled the guts of government. Next up: The private sector, starting with one major American bank
In an exclusive interview earlier this month, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes that his whistleblower site will release tens of thousands of documents from a major U.S. financial firm in early 2011. Assange wouldn’t say exactly what date, what bank, or what documents, but he compared the coming release to the emails that emerged in the Enron trial, a comprehensive look at a corporation’s bad behavior.
“It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” he told me.
Assange interview Transcripts:
Here is an edited transcript of that discussion:
Forbes: To start, is it true you’re sitting on trove of unpublished documents?
Julian Assange: Sure. That’s usually the case. As we’ve gotten more successful, there’s a gap between the speed of our publishing pipeline and the speed of our receiving submissions pipeline. Our pipeline of leaks has been increasing exponentially as our profile rises, and our ability to publish is increasing linearly.
You mean as your personal profile rises?
Yeah, the rising profile of the organization and my rising profile also. And there’s a network effect for anything to do with trust. Once something starts going around and being considered trustworthy in a particular arena, and you meet someone and they say “I heard this is trustworthy,” then all of a sudden it reconfirms your suspicion that the thing is trustworthy.
So that’s why brand is so important, just as it is with anything you have to trust.
And this gap between your publishing resources and your submissions is why the site’s submission function has been down since October?
We have too much.
Before you turned off submissions, how many leaks were you getting a day?