March 14, 2011, 2:30 PM —
The surprising thing about today's release of embarrassing information about Bank of America's lending and business practices isn't that both are morally questionable, but that it came from the hactivist group Anonymous rather than WikiLeaks, which has been rumored to be holding it for more than a year.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed in a 2009 interview to have obtained 5 GB worth of private data from the lost laptop of a Bank of America executive that would embarrass, if not incriminate, BofA executives responsible for shady business practices.
At the time Assange said WikiLeaks was trying to figure out how to release the information so as to create the biggest impact.
Waiting until after WikiLeaks' founder had been hunted down, imprisoned and prosecuted for sexual-assault charges that may or may not have had anything to do with pressure from a U.S. government he also embarrassed was probably not the method he sought.
Instead, Anonymous announced this morning on a Twitter feed it had released the information -- a series of emails and documents -- on a site called bankofamericasuck.
The documents and emails appear to document a pattern of purposely concealing critical information about its foreclosure and loan-insurance policies, and attempts to delete data that could reveal those policies later.
It's not clear if that practice is actually illegal or just slimy.