Home FBI Searches Social Media for Insider Trading

FBI Searches Social Media for Insider Trading

The FBI launched Perfect Hedge Investigations, an effort to root out insider trading that includes monitoring of social networks.

The emphasis on social media and online communications platforms like Skype accents how complex law enforcement is becoming in the connected era: a simple phone tap or document subpoena is no longer enough to catch Gordon Gecko-like figures in an age where people have dozens of options for sending information to associates.

And, speaking of Gecko, who famously declared “Greed…is good” in the film “Wall Street,” the actor who portrayed him is now playing a role in the effort to crack down on insider traders. The FBI is using a public service announcement where Michael Douglas urges viewers to report suspected insider trading.

In January, the FBI put out a request for proposals to firms that could develop a system to monitor social networks as a way of predicting and analyzing crime. And, as we reported yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring an extensive list of keywords used online and marking them as “items of interest.”

But this is the first time a law enforcement agency has said it is also monitoring social media for evidence of securities fraud.

“We will go to whatever lengths we have to, to keep up with changes in technology,” said Richard Jacobs, an FBI special agent, told ComputerWorld.

Photo courtesy of s_bukley / Shutterstock.com.

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