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Wall Street Sets Guidelines on Electronic Communications

As Wall Street workers continue to furiously use their BlackBerrys, email, text messages and instant messaging to communicate, regulators have become increasingly concerned about the potential spread of confidential information through unsecure devices.

As Wall Street workers continue to furiously use their BlackBerrys, email, text messages and instant messaging to communicate, regulators have become increasingly concerned about the potential spread of confidential information through unsecure devices.Now, the financial services industry's self-policing groups, NYSE and NASD have released a series of recommendations on how financial services firms should monitor electronic communications.

The proposed guidelines - which are principle-based rather than rules - represent nearly two years of work by a committee comprised of NYSE and NASD, Wall Street firms and lawyers, and including contributions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) .

The basic principle is this: if a company can't supervise a broker's messages or the sender can't be identified, the firm should probably be blocking these messages from the workplace. The guidelines also suggest companies only use communications they can save - potentially eliminating the use of text messaging - and that brokers should limit the use of their personal cellphones. Wall Street firms are also advised to block access by their employees to public message boards related to the securities industry, to prevent them from communicating through these boards for business purposes.As Wall Street workers continue to furiously use their BlackBerrys, email, text messages and instant messaging to communicate, regulators have become increasingly concerned about the potential spread of confidential information through unsecure devices. Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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