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[FYI] U.S.: SEC Policing the Internet


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June 26, 2000, Volume 3 - Number 10  

Policing the Internet  

Bowing to protests from privacy groups, the Securities and Exchange 
Commission (SEC) recently issued a statement clarifying the scope of 
a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an automated Internet search system 
the federal agency issued to 107 companies in January. According to 
the Wall Street Journal, the SEC initially planned to award a 
contract to one of the bidders to set up an automated Internet search 
system using a “Web crawler” to continuously monitor chat rooms, 
message boards, and public Web sites for suspicious phrases, which 
would be captured in a database for further analysis and possible use 
by SEC investigators in civil proceedings. The system would also try 
to find email addresses and other identifiers for people writing the 
messages or managing the Web sites containing the suspect phrases. 
The SEC Enforcement Division’s Office of Internet Enforcement hopes 
to use the search system to track down online stock swindlers by 
searching for dubious phrases, such as “get rich quick,” and keeping 
a record of fraudulent claims about stock.  


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