Compliance

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Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus
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WikiLeaks Guessing Game Jostles BofA

Bank of America's stock dipped three percent yesterday in the wake of news that it might be the focus of a WikiLeaks expose in the months to come.

Although web provocateur and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did not name BofA when he said that he had tens of thousands of documents from a big US bank, the web was rife with speculation that the institution in questions was the Charlotte, NC bank.

Bank of America even went so far as to issue a statement that was far from an ironclad denial. "We have no evidence that supports this assertion," a bank spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. "We are unaware of any new claims by WikiLeaks that pertain specifically to Bank of America."

What a nightmare. Along with world governments, major corporations are now at the mercy of self-styled journalists and disgruntled employees bent on bringing their activities into the light. Much in the same way that a person's privacy has been invaded by high-tech gadgets and social media, big banks and government institutions must now deal with the implications of their secrets getting into the ahnds of people with access to these cutting-edge technologies. After all, an angry employee with a little high-tech savvy can download gigabytes of data on a USB keychain or burn a DVD while it looks like they are checking their e-mail.

Just ask former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he wished he could go back in time and ban digital cameras among US troops. (Maybe it would have been easier to avoid prisoner abuse altogether.)

This harks back to old horror movies when the terrorized heroine receives a phone call from the lunatic killer only to realize that he is calling from inside the house. Where to run?

Phil Albinus is the former editor-in-chief of Advanced Trading. He has nearly two decades of journalism experience and has been covering financial technology and regulation for nine years. Before joining Advanced Trading, he served as editor of Waters, a monthly trade journal ... View Full Bio
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